Jul 15, 2013 at 3:23 pm #1305411
What kinds of upgrades or modifications have you made to your HMG Porter?
Hip-belt pockets are a must for me (but clearly not for everyone!). I've heard of people adding an hydration port to the Porter. What else have you (had) done either by HMG or others or by yourself?Jul 15, 2013 at 7:33 pm #2006498
Just a couple of hip belt pockets, plus their mesh front pocket. Other than that it's GTG.Jul 16, 2013 at 4:34 am #2006572
I have the hip belt pockets and the optional mesh back pocket. I use the daisy chains and shock chord to attach things to the sides as necessary.
I don't have a hydration port as it would compromise the waterproofness. If I am using a water bladder I put it in the mesh back packet.
While I have improvised side attachments for my shotgun and bear spray which allows me quick access with the pack on. Once accessed the pack has to come off to reattach them.
I have not yet devised a way to carry a water bottle which would allow me to access it and put it back with the pack on. Not a problem for me as I tend to stop and remove the pack to give my back a rest when I need a drink. I suppose if a constant water supply was needed I would use my bladder in the mesh back pocket.
DerrickJul 16, 2013 at 6:19 am #2006594
The side water holsters that I had made can be angled to about 45 degrees, which makes it very easy to retrieve and put back the water bottle. The Porter has side daisy chains that permit this configuration.Jul 16, 2013 at 12:37 pm #2006739
I have a couple of water bottle carriers from EMS that attach to the hip belt straps at the back. Unfortunately, I can't find them on their web site now.Jul 16, 2013 at 12:45 pm #2006740
Jeff GerkeBPL Member
Davey, who did you have make your side bottle holsters? I just started using a Porter pack this year and I really miss carrying my water in side pockets like my old Jam. Other than that I love the Porter, just wish there was a better way to carry water so it accessible on the go. I tried carrying a bottle using the shoulder strap daisy chains but have decided I don't like that.Jul 16, 2013 at 12:50 pm #2006742
Jeff – Michael Fogerty:
If you can't reach him by PM, let me know and I will get you in touch with him. He has a Porter as well so was able to create something that works well.Jul 16, 2013 at 1:40 pm #2006765
@tomlikeLocale: Pacific Wonderland
1 Zimmerbuilt water bottle side pocket, the HMG Porter Stuff Pocket and HMG Accessory Straps. Those add-ons make the pack configurable for just about any trip, although I still find the Porter 2400 to be too big for most summer weekend trips. In addition, you can add cordage as shoulder straps to the Stuff Pocket, which makes a dandy of a detachable summit/day pack!Jul 20, 2013 at 1:42 pm #2007880
Tim CheekBPL Member
Does anyone have a favored method to hold a bottle of bear spray on the pack?Jul 21, 2013 at 11:35 am #2008063
When in dense bear country I carry both bear spray and a shot gun, each mounted to the daisy chains on the side of my pack in a way which allows fast and easy access,without possibility of snags and hooking up.
I mount bear spray on the left side, attached with 2 shock cord loops around the container, near the bottom of the pack on the side-most daisy chain. Pulling it out is much easier in a downward direction so I attach the cannister upside down so when I pull it out reaching backward with my left hand, is is upward in my hand and ready to shoot as i bring my hand forward.
Mys shotgun is attached to the right side and I retrieve that reaching back over my shoulder and pulling the pistol grip up and over my shoulder.
I have to remove my pack to reattach both.
Edit: I am away from most of my expedition gear right now, but when back in Labrador, I will attach it all and send a few pics – in about a week.Jul 21, 2013 at 11:45 am #2008072
@glacierramblerLocale: NW Montana
I undo the cinch straps on the hipbelt and run one through the bear spray holster. It stays attached easily, and I can draw from the holster very quickly. The holster is whatever comes with Counter Assault bear spray.
FWIW, I have two side pockets by Zimmerbuilt which work very well. I can reach my water bottle and put it back without taking the pack off, and they are attached very securely to the daisy chains. Very pleased with them.Jul 22, 2013 at 7:43 am #2008332
@alpinistooutdoorsLocale: Catalinas, Saguaro, Grand Canyon
I just ordered the Wand Pocket from Cilo Gear after seeing the set up on a fellow BPLer's pack here on the site. We'll see how they work out and I'll post some pics as soon as I get it and get it on the pack. It's suppose to hold a 1 liter wide mouth bottle or a large gator aide style bottle. Hope it works!Jul 22, 2013 at 9:20 pm #2008584
David AlexanderBPL Member
@davidtaLocale: New York City
I have a porter I had them put in a hydration pocket and port, which I regret greatly. They removed the small internal pocket to do it which I didn't realize they were going to do and the hydration port does compromise the water proofness of the bag. The best thing I did was have two cuben fiber water bottle pockets made by Joe at Zpacks for the sides of the bag to hold water bottles and used the daisy chains on the bag to secure them. This was not a perfect solution, but a very good one. I really like the bag but the lack of water bottle holsters (fixed or removable) is a major over site in my opinion and I think would be an easy option to add. Looking back until they add them I would probably not get another porter. I also wish they would add the ice tool patch they have for their ice pack as an add on option to the porter like the porter stuff pocket.Jul 23, 2013 at 5:35 am #2008644
Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
It wouldn't be that hard for HMG to make add on pockets that attach similar to the ones McHale makes. I would not buy a pack without the option of water bottle pockets but that is just me.Jul 23, 2013 at 6:34 am #2008662
They kind of dropped the ball when it comes to accessories. I just put a bladder on the back…no ports.
What's with the cinch straps on the belt. They don't seem to do much.Jul 23, 2013 at 5:28 pm #2008884
Great comments, folks. Thanks for the insights.
I'm leaning away from having a hydration port put in because I really like the idea of having an essentially waterproof pack in case I end up going swimming! However, I really, really like having a hydration tube near me. Otherwise, I'd never be able to drink enough.
I'm considering buying Zimmer's hip-belt pockets to test how I like them before seeing if HMG can add the pockets permanently.Jul 23, 2013 at 5:35 pm #2008886
David AlexanderBPL Member
@davidtaLocale: New York City
HMG in my experience has not been that good with customer customization, so I wouldn't hold your breath on them being willing to add them permanently. If they don't see a reason or need for it they wont do it. I am not knocking them, they make some great gear but this is just seems to be their philosophy and one that def. frustrates me a bit. If you want something added permanent you are better off seeing if you can send it to McHale or whom ever you are having make the pockets and have them attache the pockets.Jul 24, 2013 at 4:47 am #2008973
If you prefer to use the bladder, then simply put it in the mesh add-on pocket on the back of the pack as sold by HMG. It works perfectly. No need for mods.
DerrickJul 24, 2013 at 6:09 am #2008984
Derrick wrote: "When in dense bear country I carry both bear spray and a shot gun, each mounted to the daisy chains on the side of my pack in a way which allows fast and easy access,without possibility of snags and hooking up."
I would LOVE to see the shotgun attachment! That's delightfully non-traditional!
I wonder if the mesh back pocket really needs the cuben back. Could it be mesh too?
I decided to order hip and shoulder pockets from Zimmer, and for now I'll just put the bladder in the back pocket. It is a bit awkward having that much weight so far back, so I'll experiment with it there and underneath the Y strap on top.
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