When hiking with a backpack that has hip straps, it can interfere with a conventional holster worn at belt-level. A properly adjusted drop-leg holster is one option, but it is not as accessible when sitting, has an "aggressive" look and is not concealable. Shoulder holsters are another option, though I suspected the backpack would either interfere or rub uncomfortably during a hike.
One option that I found appealing was a chest holster. They are less common, but I found one from Kenai and one from Man Gear Alaska. I won't be using this holster as frequently so the $80-120 was difficult to justify. I decided to build my own prototype.
The total cost for materials is $51. You'll have plenty of leftover buckles, clips and strapping so a second holster would only cost $27. I had the MALICE clips on hand, but you could substitute them for cheaper hook and loop strapping.
Assembly is straight forward. I removed the mag pouch and added the MALICE clips to the side I wanted facing out. There are two straps: a vertical shoulder strap and a horizontal waist.
The triglides go on first. For the waist belt, the next step is to slip the strap in and around the buckle slots. Last, you bring the strap back and through the triglide layered with the first strap layer. Don't be surprised if it takes an attempt or two to get everything correctly oriented. I kept the loose ends on the body-side of the straps except one for tension/release. Clean up the frayed ends with a lighter and you're done.
To put it on, slip the waist belt through the two looped ends of the vertical strap. Your weak-side arm goes through the vertical strap. Next, put the waist strap through the MALICE clips and around your body. Clip the waist band and adjust to fit.
Pictured I have my 1911 for testing, but the steel frame's grip gives it a cant that is both ergonomic for drawing and odd feeling. My M&P compact sits comfortably in the center of the holster and rides vertically. I had a spare Safariland belt keeper that I'm using to keep the vertical strap from wandering though that may not be necessary. Honestly? A beefy zip tie would do the job just as well.
As I mentioned before this is a prototype, but is perfectly usable. Replacing two of the triglides with box stitches would be an improvement. Also, the strapping that I used is a a little too smooth and feels like it may loosen with jostling; I'd recommend shopping around and finding something thicker/rougher.
I do like the look of the Kenai so I may end up scrapping this all and making a molded Kydex and leather hybrid (with the addition of a retention strap). For now, this does the trick.