With pleasure I can present you another article written by my dear friend Alzwolf. He was able to put the Helikon-Tex Numbat Chestpack through its paces in the last few weeks and write up his impressions of this versatile bag. If you are interested in a german version of this review, you can follow this link.
With that being said, let’s get started!
Today I want to introduce you to a special bag by the Polish company Helikon-Tex. It is named Numbat, after a small Australian endangered marsupial, the Numbat and is a chest pack.
For several years now, I’ve been using a similar chest pack by the US company Hill People Gear.
As the name suggests, it is worn on the chest and at first glance, it is reminiscent of chest rigs from the military field. The main component is in the front, on the back is only the supporting part made of mesh fabric. The Numbat is put on like a backpack, just the other way around.
Two important things in advance, before we look at the bag in detail. First, we can easily carry a backpack on the back, the system of wearing a backpack and the chest pack complements one another very well. Second, we can also wear the Numbat chest pack under a jacket, if we do not pack it up too much.
- HxWxL: 19,5 x 28 x 6 cm / 7,68 x 11 x 2,36 in
- Materials: 500D Cordura Nylon, Woojin buckles, YKK zippers
- Weight: 490g
- Colours: Black, Adaptive Green, Coyote, Shadow Grey
Construction of the Helikon-Tex Numbat
This roughly 19.5 x 28 x 6 cm sized and about 490g lightweight bag is made of sturdy 500D Cordura. On the back is mesh fabric, four adjustable Cordura straps lead forward, which end in four high quality and stable Woojin plastic buckles.
Thanks to the mesh fabric on the back supporting panel, the chest pack rests flat on the back, allows for ventilation and does not rub with the backpack. All straps are infinitely adjustable and have a rubber loop to accommodate or stow excess strap material.
On the backside of the chest pack is a breathable 3D mesh fabric, which fits well thanks to good padding and does not rub. Similar to a backpack. There are also four laces made of paracord on the back, which are used to hook carabiners, s-biners etc. to attach gloves, ropes, caps or similar items. They hang on the side and are always ready if needed.
You can easily open the rig with the Woojin plastic buckles on the side or top and remove the Numbat.
On the front you can see a vertical and a horizontal laser cut PALS strips with various small holes for attaching other equipment. On top of it is also the Bushcraft logo of Helikon-Tex.
You cannot attach more bags to it, because otherwise everything would be messing around. Additional carabiners or paracord can be attached to secure equipment such as a compass or GPS device.
On the front of the bag are two well-covered stretch pockets on the left and right. A compass, GPS device, walkie talkie or ski pass are easily stowed away here. Larger mobile phones such as my Samsung S8 do not fit in there, my Samsung S4 does however without any problems.
On the bottom of the bag runs a looped and adjustable bungee cord and there are also large tabs on the left and right, sized 5 x 5 cm. According to the manufacturer, you can safely stow a Mora knife in it without any problems. I use it for stowing the short dog leash or for the Helikon-Tex Windrunner Shirt.
Now to the inner workings of the Helikon-Tex Numbat chest pack. The bag can be opened wide with a sturdy paracorded YKK zipper. The unfolded pocket parts are secured by a surrounding paracord, which can be adjusted in length with a cord stopper.
Similar to a belly store, the front hangs forward and allows secure access to the items in the bag. You can decide for yourself how far the bag is opened and held.
The front has a zippered large main compartment on the inside, then followed by two large open slots, then four more slots are attached.
In the middle of the bag a movable center plate is attached. It can be detached from the bag via two Slik Clips. The middle plate is fixed by a velcro tab on the back. You can remove the center plate completely and increase the volume of the bag if need be.
The center plate has a 27 x 5 cm velcro strip and two 13 x 10 cm large slot compartments. Followed by four more compartments which are sewn on. The two in the middle are constructed as bellow pockets. And finally, a 2.5 cm wide sewn-on rubber band runs over these compartments.
The highlight comes at the back side of the center plate. There is a plastic wrap which makes it a map pocket. From my point of view, a practical matter when hiking, geocaching, Urbanex etc.
The center plate can be rotated so that the card bag points forward and the device bag to the carrier. Thanks to the Slik Clips, it can be fastened in the bag accordingly.
The backside in the bag is completely provided as a velcro surface. Accordingly, further organizers or bags from the Helikon-Tex series can be installed there. Here it might have been desirable, if the velcro surface would be provided with laser-cut Molle slits.
The high-quality processed bag has a wide range of uses. Whether on Lost Place Tours, geocaching, Urban exploration, trekking, sports, backpacking, etc.
Important things such as a flashlight, writing pad, pen, GPS device, wallet, etc. can be reached in front quickly and easily accessible at any time, without me taking off my backpack etc. The bag allows me to better organize myself for many purposes, thanks to the many inside pockets and organizing opportunities.
I see it as a sensible addition to the backpack.
With that being said, I hope I could give you a good look into the Helikon-Tex Numbat chest pack!
Many thanks to Helikon-tex to making this possible. And also thank you for reading!