Life was tough before HBP’s. Performing contortionist maneuvers to reach your lid pocket was common, the odd dislocated shoulder from trying to reach you side zip pocket, and the famous chase your tail while accessing the “front” (or is the back?) pocket…all while wearing your pack…there is no need for this anymore. The HBP’s have solved the problem.
Really though, as my kit was getting smaller/lighter, I saw no need to stop n the trail to access common items when they could all fit in my HBP. When you think of how small the items are or could be – ie. E-lite, LM micra, folded map, camera, energy bars, whistle, compass…they can all fit. I have my pack (‘07 SMD Essence) set up so that my water bladder is in the lid, camp items in the main compartment, and any small items required frequently (except for kitchen and food) are in my hip belt pockets.
Some people fill their cargo pants with stuff, but I didn’t like that too much. I opted for a pant with only the 2 standard pockets…therefore I require the HBP.
My main compartment only opens during meals and arriving at camp. I found that as I tried to cover more ground during the day, the convenience was quite nice to have.
Don’t even get me started on Panel Loading – that’s equally as important…for me.