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A Better Man-Bag? The Hazard 4 Kato

Review overview

CAPACITY 7.8
LIGHTNESS 8.6
LOOK 8.7
FEATURES 8.6
COMPARABILITY & LONGEVITY 7.7
PRICE 8.3

Summary

8.3 tech score So there you have it, pros and cons. Of course, what does any of this have to do with zombies? Well, in addition to being able to haul a nice amount of EDC gear, in a pinch, you can also stuff the Kato full of magazines. Put up the divider in the main compartment, and you have room for as many as 10 PMags.

For the last several weeks, I’ve been carrying around the Hazard 4 Kato – the newest addition to its “Mini-Messenger” lineup, designed specifically to house iPads and other tablet devices. As with all the Hazard 4 stuff I’ve seen to date, the Kato is well designed and well built. Construction quality is top-notch, and you can tell a lot of thought went into developing its numerous features. I won’t go into every single feature on this bag, but here’s a quick rundown:

  • On the flip, there’s a convenient lockable zipper pocket. Inside, it’s got velcro and a slip pocket. Perfect for a CCW holster (and can be locked if the local law so requires), or just throwing your keys and bills you have to email. The inside of the flap also has a slip pocket, and the front has a nice patch of Velcro, perfect for putting a name tag or ID holder.
  • Under the flap, there’s an admin pocket. It zips all the way down & has stayed, so the first acts as a tray or drawer. It got a map pocket on the inside, and lots of different sized slots for pens, flashlights, knives, checkbook, magazines, etc. The front of the pocket has a full array of MOLLE, so you can attach stuff to the flap, keeping it out of sight.
  • The main pocket has a soft inner lining and a divider, presumably for a smallish computer, like the 11 inch MacBook Air. It also has a velcro-attached padded divider, in case you use your Kato to house camera gear, or if you want to keep your bottle separate from your other stuff.
  • The back of the Kato has a dedicated pocket for an iPad or another tablet computer. It has the same soft lining as the LaunchPad and also features a weather-resistant zipper.
  • There is a side pocket big enough for a smallish water bottle (think 20 oz. soda bottle size), or other similarly-sized goodies.

All that said, I’m a little on the fence about this bag. From day to day I can’t decide whether I like it more than my Sitka. So here’s what I like about it:It’s not too big & not too small. The Kato is a perfect size for an EDC bag. I can stuff all of my EDC gear in there and still have room left for other stuff I come across.

  • It has lots of nice pockets and features. I am a sucker for this. I haven’t figured out what to put in all those pockets, and I kind of like that.It has a robust, grippy grab-handle. This bag is incredibly easy to grab and go.
  • Its not too big and not too small.  The Kato is a really good size for an EDC bag.  I can stuff all of my EDC gear in there and still have room left for other stuff I come across.
  • It’s kind of nondescript. The Kato doesn’t look like an uber-tactical man-purse (even if that’s kind of what it is). It looks more like a midget computer bag and is much less likely to draw attention to itself and you.
  • It’s well-made. I know I have saying that, but it’s true. The hardware is top-notch, materials are sturdy, and construction is very detailed.

Of course, there are things I’m not too crazy about, too. Here’s a list of the Kato’s shortcomings:

  •  The contents of the bag can be difficult to access if you’re wearing it. Because it’s got so many pockets, the flap is a little on the heavy side. Clearing it to get to the main pocket or even to open up the admin pocket, can be awkward, particularly if you’ve got stuff in the flap pockets, weighing it down.
  • The flap pass-through is too small and narrow to be useful. There is a zipper on top of the flap that is supposed to allow the user to access the main pocket without lifting the flap. However, this pass-through does not open very wide and is probably only useful if you have to grab small things from inside your bag..
  • The iPad pocket was a snug fit for an iPad 2 with just the magnetic cover. If your iPad is sporting an Otterbox case or some portfolio-style cover, it may not fit.
  • It doesn’t have a dedicated water bottle pouch. You can put a bottle inside, but it would be taking up valuable real estate. You could stuff a smaller bottle into the side pocket, but again, what if you wanted to put something else in there? Why not a dedicated water bottle pocket to fit along the other end panel?

Plenty of room for more P-Mags.

Stuff two more in the side pocket, or cram four Glock mags in there. It doesn’t have a convenient dump pouch like the Sneaky Bag; you can stuff your empties into the flap pocket (just watch out, since you’ll have to grab new mags through the pass through). The side panel even has a nice place to stash a fixed blade knife.

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