Oh, also I would suggest getting a set of lifter straps in a color that matches your pack so that when you’re not using the kit bag, the straps don’t look goofy.
Sounds like a good plan. FWIW in the woods I carry a Glock 20 w/ small light (TLR7) in a Recon and the gun fits just fine in there, but there isn’t room for many accessories, so for your use case, the Original sounds right.
I wonder if 11 to 1 o’clock AIWB might be feasible? I’ve never found an AIWB rig that worked for me, but dealing with just the webbing and buckle vs the padded hip belt seems a lot more feasible.
For belt concealed carry with a hip belt, I don’t have any good solutions. I’ve open carried with a hip belt (out in the mountains), and it was pretty uncomfortable: neither the holster nor the hip belt rode right. Exo Mtn Gear has a holster system for their packs https://exomtngear.com/pages/selecting-a-pack-holster but it’s hardly concealable from the look of it.
If you’re open to chest carry, however, the HPG Kit Bag is excellent: http://hillpeoplegear.com/Products/CategoryID/1
It’s not exactly covert, but it’s not exactly overt either.
For a G19, the Runners or Recon is probably the right size. There should be enough space in the front pocket for a spare mag and other small accessories like a compact trauma kit or compass, and with a Dale Fricke Zacchaeus mini-holster (https://dalefrickeholsters.com/product/zacchaeus-concealment-holster/) in the main compartment, the gun will have its trigger covered.
That’s a good distinction to make. I agree: when carrying on your person, have a round chambered. Personally, I’m OK with John’s suggestion, knowing that in a case where I left the house in a hurry without my normal EDC I would be retrieving the holstered firearm as soon as I could pause, rather than treating the bag as off-body carry. One can’t ever escape having to think about the condition of weapons, anyway… Many shotguns are not drop safe, and are intended to be stored “cruiser ready” (chamber empty). Same with ARs (aside from fancy variants like the 416): the firing pin is free floating and could fire when dropped, though they don’t seem very prone to it.
That all makes sense, thanks. I hadn’t thought about PALS mounting for holsters on the hip belt padding. In my particular case I’m using a holster that could mount reasonably well on the pack’s belt (the wide webbing, not the PALS on the foam bits), which will probably be just fine if I can’t carry IWB, but that’s something to keep in mind for future holster choices.