1. Are you a current member with account or password issues?

    Please visit following page for more information

    Dismiss Notice

Hazard 4 Kato Messenger (PICTURE HEAVY)

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by TARFU, Jan 27, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. TARFU
    • In Omnia Paratus

    TARFU EDC!!!!! Junkie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,255
    Likes Received:
    2,732
    You're welcome. Hey... you started all this with that Hazard 4 Shot Show 2012 thread... rabble-rouser!


    Yeah, that's you.
    ;D
     
  2. TARFU
    • In Omnia Paratus

    TARFU EDC!!!!! Junkie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,255
    Likes Received:
    2,732
    Thanks. But that's like another super model showing up on the red carpet wearing the exact same designer dress. Beatch! :spank:

    All kidding aside, I liked having a look at those other new Hazard 4 pouches actually on the bag in your pics... the mil-koala and big_koala smartphone case. Looks like they did a nice job with those too.
     
    BarksAtCats likes this.
  3. Si_K
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Si_K Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2011
    Messages:
    705
    Likes Received:
    1,135
    That's a nice looking bag, thanks for the detailed walkthrough. The missus is getting narky about me buying EDC stuff and says she wants a new bag too. Think I might point her to this, looks ideal for her.
     
  4. TARFU
    • In Omnia Paratus

    TARFU EDC!!!!! Junkie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,255
    Likes Received:
    2,732
    Sounds like you've been married for a while or stumbled upon the secret early. Yes, when the missus gets narky, throw em a pair of shoes, jewelry, or a bag. I call it marriage counseling by mouse click.

    And if she asks for an EDC bag? You've got a keeper. Go get that lass what she wants.

    But i digress...
     
  5. TARFU
    • In Omnia Paratus

    TARFU EDC!!!!! Junkie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,255
    Likes Received:
    2,732
    So, here are my overall impressions of the bag...

    I made a pretty bold statement that it's one of the most flexible and ergonomic EDC systems ever conceived. I won't back off that statement but rather make my case to support it.

    I have a Maxpedition Jumbo Versipack and it's a great bag in it's own right, but it's utility is limited. Being very shallow and lacking protective padding, it cannot carry a laptop, full sized tablet, or any electronic device not in a protective case. But many of us have gravitated to the Jumbo because we wanted a shoulder EDC bag that was comfortable to carry in a relatively small package. The compromise is we had to get another bag if we carried a computer for work, school, or on the weekend. And that's the case more often than not because in 2012 we live in an increasingly connected world.

    For most here, that other bag is typically a one strap sling bag (Maxped Gearslinger, 5.11 Moab, etc.) or a two strap backpack (Maxped Falcon/Condor/Vulture, 5.11 RUSH/COVRT, Various 3-Day Assault Packs, TAD, Northface, etc.). The compromise is those solutions are bulky for everyday carry or, in the case of one strap bags, sometimes uncomfortable to carry under load. Don't get me wrong - when you need to haul larger items, there is no substitute. But I hear the "it's too large for EDC" complaint again and again and again.

    That's where the Kato comes in. It's a hybrid. They took the Jumbo and improved it by adding enough vertical volume to carry a small laptop, netbook, or tablet along with padding in all the right places to protect them without the need to add bulky protective cases. The form factor is similar to a medium sized Timbuk2 blogger (another great bag), but with better organization and versatility. On top of that, it has one of the best K.I.S.S. layouts for concealed carry. Quick access... no rotating the bag to the front of the body or fumbling for a zipper that's nestled against your side... with room enough to carry a full sized pistol and at least one extra mag. Some will point out that having it in the flap is not ideal. But, if you use a holster with retention, then it shouldn't be an issue. And you can access the bag to remove small items without undoing the flap.

    The ergonomics is not just better because its a shoulder bag. The strap is the same width as the Jumbo, but the shoulder pad is larger with thicker padding. The grab handle is also larger and cased in a soft touch no-slip rubber material. All of the zippers are two-way so they can be accessed from either side. The build quality is excellent - better than most of us will ever need. Condura brand nylon with reinforced stitching at the stress points. I wish the nylon material used in the admin areas was thicker to prevent snagging but I suspect they did that to conserve on weight and the bag overall is very light. ITW hardware and YKK zippers. Everything the more discerning among us look for in bag materials.

    Aesthetics wise, and this is subjective, I think it's a nice looking bag. In it's base configuration, to the unpracticed eye, it looks like a lot of other shoulder packs (especially in Black). With the addition of accessories, the bag can look as tactical as you want it to. Good to have options. I also like that Hazard 4 isn't as common as Maxpedition and 5.11 so it doesn't scream EDC or CCW. That could change and probably will if they keep releasing products like the Kato.

    So, overall, I couldn't be more pleased with the bag. I will still keep my COVRT 18 for those times when I need more volume or just feel like carrying a backpack. I might even keep the Jumbo too for a slightly smaller option. But, it's likely that the Kato will see more use than the two of them combined because it's really the best of both worlds.

    Of course, this is one man's opinion. Your mileage may vary.
     
    zenpunk likes this.
  6. ppfd

    ppfd Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Messages:
    793
    Likes Received:
    105
    Who has the best pricing on these?
     
  7. ppfd

    ppfd Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Messages:
    793
    Likes Received:
    105
    Naw, done a lot of business with LAPG and never had a problem.

    The never having anything in stock is annoying though.
     
  8. cowsmilk

    cowsmilk EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Messages:
    7,076
    Likes Received:
    26,576
    Thanks for the write up Tarfu! Now to bide my time till I get mine....
     
  9. zchen

    zchen Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    2
    How's the balance of the bag if you have a filled 32oz Nalgene in the side pouch?

    Edit* The other thing I've been thinking about it is how easy it would be to turn both the Tonto and the Kato into a sling style bag if only they'd sewn a D-ring on the top of the bag at the rear center position and the two bottom corners. As it is right now you can only wear them as upside down sling bags by hooking one end of the strap to the D-ring on the center buckl pull. And I wish I hadn't bought the Tonto before they introduced the locking zipper this year.

    Also I really would like Hazard4 more if they actually respond to their emails and take care of problems. I bought their Covert LT Starter Kit from LAPG and it was missing all straps, emailed LAPG and they said they need to to contact Hazard4 for it, 24 days later LAPG have not received a response from Hazard4. I myself have emailed them, with no response either. This is just the latest problem after the last MOD bag I bought had buckle problems (one side of buckle was bent and wouldn't lock).
     
  10. TARFU
    • In Omnia Paratus

    TARFU EDC!!!!! Junkie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,255
    Likes Received:
    2,732

    It will tilt towards the Nalgene unless there is something close in weight in the main compartment (like a laptop). Adjusting the shoulder pad and shortening the strap does help a little but you can't fight physics.

    I'd call them. I contacted them through the 800# listed on their site and spoke with someone right away. Granted, they should answer email too but I'd go that route if I were you.
     
  11. McNabUx

    McNabUx Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great thread :)
    I was looking at buying this, after reading your posts I am sure.
    this is the only tactical bag created for a tablet.
     
  12. mraif

    mraif Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    5
    Ditto and ditto...pulled the trigger thru LAPG and went with the Coyote. I'm so excited!! :dance:
     
  13. gflack

    gflack Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2011
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    16
    I want this for all the reasons mentioned... I may even try to use it for my laptop.
     
  14. RogerStenning

    RogerStenning EDC Junkie

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    805
    Likes Received:
    1,618
    Good review, many thanks; I've been looking for a portrait-format MB for a while, and the Kato would seem to fit the bill. Now to find a supplier that has them in stock over here in England!
     
  15. TARFU
    • In Omnia Paratus

    TARFU EDC!!!!! Junkie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,255
    Likes Received:
    2,732
    OK, the zipper pulls on the Kato were driving me nuts. The ones that don't have the plastic sheath back through the zipper making it hard to open compartments without first messing with the pulls. I had some black 550 paracord laying around and quickly fixed that issue. Big improvement.

    Pictured below - the cheap Hazard 4 pull on the left and the mil spec gutted paracord on the right. I thought about doing something other than black and might in the future but for now I like the stealthiness of it. ;D

    [​IMG]


    Working on equiping the molle area to carry some additional EDC items. Will share some pics once I have everything in place...
     
  16. Kilted1

    Kilted1 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Messages:
    2,503
    Likes Received:
    1,899
    Nice review, thanks! I was totally there until they put the CC area in the flap. I don't like waving the whole room and probably myself to get to the inner compartments. Doesn't matter how secure the retention is, a wave is still a wave and is a no-no if you do it, big fail on the part of the design team. But then I'm not a big fan of off-body carry anyway because bags tend to get put down and walked away from. So I wouldn't use it for that purpose so I wouldn't rule it out and it looks like a great bag.

    Question: What's the thickness on the internal compartment? Big enough to house a DSLR? I need a new camera bag and don't really like the available options in purpose built bags. This looks like it might be easily modified to camera carry and appears just the right size for my needs.
     
  17. nuphoria

    nuphoria Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,185
    Likes Received:
    1,494
    Do I need another bag?

    Nope


    Are you making me want one?

    Yep ;D
     
    billybatson and julioroman like this.
  18. TARFU
    • In Omnia Paratus

    TARFU EDC!!!!! Junkie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,255
    Likes Received:
    2,732
    If by waving you're referring to covering someone with the muzzle then I understand but by that logic a weapon in a shoulder holster is putting people at risk. Same with appendix carry since its pointed at your privates. Of course, it also depends on the firearm. If you carry condition one or two, are there safety features to prevent accidental discharge? In the case of my Springfield XD, it has both the much maligned grip safety and safe assurance trigger. Not sure I'd feel as comfortable with a Glock (for instance) since it just has the trigger safety.

    I guess another option would be to carry condition three. I do agree though - if the People's Republic of Illinois passes a CCW law then I'll be carrying on my person and not in a bag the vast majority of the time.

    The internal compartment dimensions are 12.1" L x 9" W x 3.1" D. I think its big enough and the padding makes it viable to use as a camera bag.
     
  19. Convoy

    Convoy Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    23
    This bag looks cool. I wish it were a little wider so I could carry my lunch.
     
  20. Haubitz

    Haubitz Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    566
    Likes Received:
    2,862
    What she said
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.