When you are on the front lines, pockets are not a good thing to store your stuff, and there is a lot of stuff. From equipment to tools, all the way to toiletries, you need a place that you can store these items without filling your backpack any more. For specialized gear, there are specialized pouches like medkits or ammo pouches, but for miscellaneous and unplanned tools you want to have universal models as well.Pouches are the basis of modular gear and the main reason why we can have one good backpack and plate carrier and form all other equipment around them.Generally, there are four features that should be included in every good model:
Firm connection to other gear
Easy to access
Universal pouches usually only have a single large compartment in the middle with maybe some way to create a separator if you need it. Most gear layouts will demand at least a single universal pouch, followed by a couple of specialized models you know you will need.As the price of these pouches pales in comparison to other gear available for sale, adding to the versatility of the equipment you can carry by using such a pouch is always a good idea.
What are Tactical Pouches?
Tactical pouches are compartments you use to actively carry gear and equipment. Unlike your backpack, your items in the modules can be accessed virtually instantly to use the items that are inside.The two most common types of models are the universal pouches, that are basically large horizontal bags that you can place anything in, and mag pouches that are used to store your ammo.One of the main requirements of a tactical pouch is its firm connection to the rest of your gear. The US Armed Forces and most police departments across the Nation use MOLLE webbing with PALS straps for a semi-permanent bond between the plate carrier or backpack and the pouch. This modularity vastly increases the utility of the gear as well as the tactical capacity of any soldier individually.
What Can Be Placed in a Universal Pouch?
These modules are fairly large and can take in a variety of different equipment. Usually, you will place in the universal pouch the item you need and you don’t have a dedicated compartment for.For combat situations, the universal pouch usually houses unpredicted auxiliary gear. This can include spare parts for something, robust medicinal gear, or even more ammo that couldn’t fit in the holsters and ammo mag holders.For civilians and private security situations, this pouch will usually secure private items such as smartphones, car keys, glasses, and more times than not cigars. Also, it can take in a GPS and similar tools that are required rarely enough that you don’t have a desiccated pouch for them in your arsenal.
What to Look for in Universal Tactical Pouches?
The first thing you can see is the attachment type. While smaller compartments that are the size of larger back pockets can work with Velcro® pads, serious pouches need MOLLE webbing or a similar toughbuilt attachment. You don’t want to have your compartments fly off your PC when you are running or jumping, or flap around and distract you.Next are the materials. Ideally, you don’t want your pouch to be easy to tear or poke holes in. Because of the weight concerns, pouches will never be made from thick materials, but they should be very sturdy. Medium flexibility is ideal, as you want it to be relatively firm and stay in place while you put items in or out.Finally, you want to access your container quickly with only one hand and manipulate the contents unrestricted. From experience, two zippers in the middle usually do the best job, with a single zipper with a solid stop coming at a close second.
Specialized vs. Universal Pouches
Universal pouches have that drawback that they are the jack of all trades but a master of none. A specialized pouch will always do a better job holding its intended item than the universal pouch.But, a specialized model often won’t fit any other type of equipment than the one it is made for and is very narrow in its use. Here, a universal pouch will do a much superior job.The best solution is to have specialized pouches for all of the gear you use regularly, such as ammo and a medkit, while having a universal pouch on top of that which will house the gear you rarely take on a mission or didn’t know you will need. This solution will offer the most tactical solutions for any given task or situation.