Hill People Gear - Connor V2 Pack

For the second installment of my ramblings we will again be covering a high quality, U.S.A. made piece of kit.  I’ve been waiting to write on this until I got a little more use out of it so that I wasn’t just writing a classic “unboxing review” that invariably gives the item a glowing review because it literally hasn’t been used.  With that said, today I’ll cover the Hill People Gear Connor V2 backpack.

TL;DR I’m pretty sure I will break down before this pack does, and while it isn’t pegged as an “EDC” bag, it does fantastic in that role.

Hill People Gear (HPG) isn’t a household name but #IYKYK (that means “if you know, you know” for the old folks out there reading this).  Their company seems to be built on their passion for the outdoors and for delivering the highest quality product that they can and from my experience, they’re doing just that.

I had been using a Vertx Gamut for years and while it was a good EDC pack, I needed/wanted a change.  I had some pretty specific criteria for a new pack (I won’t get into all of that) but a couple of things that were at the top of the list were:

  1. flexibility/adaptability,
  2. durability
  3. made in the USA (typically goes hand-in-hand with #2)

A lot of packs met most of those criteria, but not many met all of them.  My list narrowed quickly and because I have some other HPG gear (I’ll cover those another day) I gravitated towards them.  It seemed that I had two options from them to choose from – the Umlindi v2 and Connor v2.  I was having a hard time deciding between the two – they’re similar sized and either would seemingly fit my use case.  Ultimately what sold me on the Connor v2 was their product video that showcased features like:

  • Large main compartment lined with First Spear’s 6/12 PALS cut Velcro loop fabric
  • Two water bottle pockets
  • Hypalon wings with PALS grid that wraps partially around the pack
  • Two outer mesh pockets each capable of holding a bike sized water bottle
  • Incredibly load capable chassis with option to add a belt

*Side note - one other “must have” for my new pack was that it was available in grey (or “manatee” in this case).  I’m a fan of the grey man theory and my pack needed to be neutral (even though I want MultiCam black everything).*

While I wish I could use this pack more for what it was designed to do (backcountry use) it has been excelling at what I do use it for, carrying whatever I decide I need to take with me to work or travel.  Any given workday I typically have my lunch, coffee, water, GBG EDC Folio, small FAK, and a multitool.  There’s plenty of room left over for whatever else I may need to take along with me for the day and the Hypalon wings with compression straps allow me to strap my jacket outside the pack instead of forcing it in to the main compartment – quite a nice feature for us Nebraskans that go to work when its 30F and 9 hours later when we leave its 75F.

To me, part of the beauty of the pack is the blank canvas that it is when it comes to organization.  There seems to be never ending options for organizational items that come with Velcro backing or are PALS compatible - tool rolls, holsters, laptop sleeves, sheathes, pouches of all shapes and sizes, you name it!  I plan to fully utilize the PALS lined main compartment and will be dropping some 3D printable accessories for it (and any other pack with PALS panels) here in the next few weeks!  (Keep your eyes out on our Facebook and Instagram for more info or subscribe to our newsletter!)

Expect me to come back and revisit this pack in a year or two as I get more use out of it.  I have no doubts it will continue to suit my needs and adapt to any role that I need it to, whether it is a work bag, travel bag, diaper bag, hunting day pack, or maybe even a ruck pack for getting some workouts in.

Works great as a hunting day pack!


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