I’ve been meaning to get this review out there for a while about my rucksack/backpack from Get Hosed Apparel. Honestly I fell in love with it as soon as I opened the box several months ago, but I resisted temptation to blast a review out there 5 minutes after laying eyes on it. Even though I’ve never had a bad product from Jay, I really wanted to adventure with this one before I wrote it up.
First of all, let me say this. When you’re ordering a product from GHA, you are ordering something that has some history to it, it has a look, a feel, a story, if you’re using your gear…maybe its YOUR story. Regardless, it speaks a story from the fire it might have been on, or the story of craftsmanship. When I speak of craftsmanship, I look at the GHA product line from top to bottom the amount of time, thought, detail, quality, and effort put into making your product right for you. There is no mass production machine that is spitting out parts and a robot putting these together. There are no quotas that an assemblyperson must meet (well I guess maybe Staci lays the smack down and tells Jay that there is a pile of orders coming through the website could count…right?) Really though, its not about how fast can we throw these together, its about customer satisfaction and taking care of customers…family.
Get Hosed Apparel is a FAMILY owned and operated business, and it is a firefighter owned business. With that comes not only the family mindset, but the fact that we take care of each other, know what is important to firefighters, why a product needs to function for the end user a certain way, and not just look cute. There is something to be said about small businesses that are family owned and operated like this. Its not about profit margins and CEOs or having to push products through huge marketing campaigns or mainstream TV spots. Products from GHA and their happy customers sell the product.
Since I opened the box that my backpack was shipped in, its not really left my side…or rather my back. I shifted things over from the old pack I carried and put it in service that night. It’s a daily carry to the office of my 9-5 job. It’s a I need to head out on a trip and throw a couple things and a laptop together bag. It’s my, “I’m heading across the country on a plane” and need a bag that can handle the trip.
Order it to the color of gear that you wear, maybe the same color striping that your department uses, make it represent you and fit your personality. The exterior of these is tough, because its meant to withstand what we do. The interior is a heavy duty durable black material that holds up to pretty much anything you toss at it. The snap closures on the main flap, yeah those should look familiar too if you’ve been in the fire service for any amount of time. You can’t miss this bag.
I took that backpack out to my premier event in Seattle back in March, why, because I needed something that could hold up and look good. I switched planes in Chicago and the firefighter that sat down recognized the product right away and knew the company. Rainy Seattle weather and going everywhere from plane, to train, to walking 7-10 miles a day was nothing for this bag. I never ran out of room and never was uncomfortable.
Two weeks ago I took the backpack out with our dive team for a training on our boat. Sure there was some water, but what was inside was dry and safe. I had plenty of room for the afternoon on the water and never once worried. Sunlight, chance of getting splashed or wet from water running on the floor of the boat, having enough space for my needs, all taken care of.
Most recently I found my bag used out at FDIC. Like any other trip I wanted to take it with me, I love it, and it’s a highly functional bag. It wasn’t until the final day of FDIC that I realized that yes you CAN put 10 pounds of crap in a 5-pound bag. Actually If I weighed the bag, it was probably closer to 60, but that’s not my point. My point is that I got to the final day and was packing up my booth for the Scott Firefighter Stair Climb and really didn’t want to make two trips out to my truck parked behind Lucas Oil Stadium because my feet were dead tired. So I loaded up the backpack and through surely this is not going to work. My Macbook Air, my second laptop with a 15” screen that was on display, 18’ surge protector, a portfolio, a bag of challenge coins, two t-shirts, four chargers, some swag I picked up at the show that day, a light jacket, my Canon 7D with a lens, adapters for a monitor, a 10’ HDMI cable, water bottle, snacks, and I topped it off with around 350 (5×7) flyers for the FF climb that were printed on cardstock. I cinched the drawstring on the bag and wasn’t once concerned if the bag would hold. The wind straps of the bag were comfortable and didn’t pinch, and I drew it up high into a comfortable position. The straps never loosened under the weight, the heavy-duty plastic adjustment pieces head fast and off I went. The straps on this pack are wide and feel like they have rounded edges on them that don’t cut, but also don’t slip from your shoulders when carrying.
My recommendation if you’re thinking about buying one of these bags. Quit thinking and just do it. Better yet, if you have your own patches, or nametags, or maybe even gear that you want to use in it, DO IT! Work with Jay to implement these into your bag and making it tell your story.
For more information on their products, to get pricing, and to place an order, check out www.gethosedapparel.com