Another update for the 1-2 people that actually care. I will probably finalize things here once I get Diz's pouches.

Front Runners:

SOE Triple Shingle: It's lined with velcro so I put KYWIs inside if I jump or am swimming, combined with the bungee retention, it's great. Run S&S tabs on it. Seems bombproof. I count 3-4 lines of stitching in the stress areas, SOE states genuine 1000D cordura. Great mag fit. Perfect ride depth, protects 90% of the mag and leaves enough room for a good draw in gloves. Big fan for sure. The KYWIs seem to be a little more compressed since the pouches are tighter, so they don't stick out a lot. Easily removed if needed and I just want to run the bungee. This seems like an ideal setup right now.

Tyr Triple: Great as well. Mags seem like they ride a little looser. It's lighter than the SOE. Need to test more. I read something about the adhesive between the kevlar and the cordura having a relatively low melting point of around 150deg (F). The hood of your car can get hotter than that in the sun... I'll need to look into it a little more.

BFG Triple Flap: Great simple pouch. Velcro is loud but for a flapped magazine pouch, I would say this is the best option out there. Flaps are tuckable. Mags are a good fit, not too tight, not loose... Big fan of HW and the UltraCOMP, it's low profile yet still seems durable. I reckon I will keep this pouch and use it interchangeably with one or two other choices.

Esstac Mid + Tall: I like this pouch but I've found more success running the SOE with KYWIs. For my line of work I'm slightly concerned about the open-bottom KYWI pouch. If your Kydex ever failed or the adhesive of the velcro melted off, your mag is going for a ride. I think Esstac pouches are absolutely perfect for range or SWAT/LE though. I don't believe in using gear on the range that I won't use on ops, so it's a no-go for me. That being said I run a 2x1 on my belt and know a lot of guys who do.

Notable mentions:

FirstSpear Ranger Shingle: Also seems like a good option but I need to test it more. It's nice and low profile, easy to use, seems like your standard pouch honestly. Good quality.

S&S Precision Triple Pouch: This thing screams tacti-gucci. Made of 4-way stretch with S&S flair. I think this would be a good fit on a JPC or low-profile rig. I don't think I will use this for assaulting or .mil ops.

Still waiting on Diz's pouches, he's at SHOT Show right now. Once I receive those I will be able to finalize what I will be running.

I've been using WTFix straps on my ESSTAC KYWI mag pouches on the front of my PC for the past three years, and they've been solid, but they are a huge pain to install. I use a long but thin flat head tip screwdriver and a small pair of needle nose pliers to thread the straps through the PALS on my PC because it is very easy to pull them back out as you move the pouch around that you're trying to mount. It requires a fair amount of tugging to pull them through enough so that you can thread the double locking tabs through both slots at the end.

Having said that, once they're in place, it makes the mag pouches sit tight against the front of my PC without any gap or movement. On my double midlength pouches, I have four straps behind each double pouch to make sure they're secure. They hold up fine when I'm yanking magazines out of the KYWIs or if I catch the pouches on something. As I said earlier though, I'm not jumping, rock climbing, or anything else extreme with them, so I can't say that I've really stressed them. I can say that they've held up well, because I've installed and removed them at least 5 or 6 times on my current kit. I think I'd be concerned about using a single WTFix strap by itself because it might stretch a little bit, but that's the only potential issue I've thought of.


I'm going through each pouch individually and spending some time working with them one-by-one (not on ops, just on the range here).

Just finished evaluating the Esstac Mid. I'm not really a huge fan. The retention with the Kydex is solid but I have to say that those WTFix straps don't really keep the pouch tight to my kit. I also found that fully loaded mags sort of "pulled" the mag pouch forward and the whole system sticks out way farther than I'd like. I appreciate the "click-in" function of the KYWI, but as a whole the pouch leaves a lot to be desired, mainly in terms of fit and tightness to my kit.

I know with the mid you only use the top three rows of PALS. Hopefully the tall pouch will be a little better. I intend to give it a good shakeout as well, not writing it off just because I didn't like the Mid.

These are really good updates here.  If you don't mind your "ox being gored", there might be many good take-aways from this thread.  As I said, the Show was way behind the curve, in terms of the stuff we are discussing here.  So now I am going to turn-to and start working on some of this stuff.

As a disclaimer I want to say that I am trying to find the best designs that work for guys in the field.  Missions, opinions, and preferences may vary.  I am simply looking for new ways that work, not to mother-fuck anyone or the equipment they currently use.  I try and constantly evolve, as new ideas come out, rather than preach the status-qou.       

And yes, this does get out in the weeds for some, but for others it can be valuable stuff.

As to attachment methods, I think, in the end, you need sewn-down pouches, once you figure out what you really need.  So the fewer layers the better.  If you can configure several rigs for different missions, ideally you would sew the 3-mag shingle directly to the PC ("Warhammer" anyone?).  This takes out the wiggle-jiggle in the system.  I have it on good authority that this is done in-house at certain JSOC units.  

The next best thing, IMHO, would be a 3-mag shingle, that clicks on, with velcro backing.

Then three individual mag pouches.  

On the new pouch attachment systems.  I think it works OK on belt kits, where you want the pouch to articulate a little bit, but maybe not so much on a PC.  For example the V/M jungle pouches seem to hold up well so far, but as Nomadms has said, the hypolon webbing might be too loose for PC applications.

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

Solid followup by Diz. Haven't considered sewing pouch attachments in yet. Definitely need to consider that.

For anyone who's curious, I picked up another piece of kit to test out. Pics to follow later tonight. Traded my Esstac Mid Triple for an Australian SOF dude's triple shingle. It's standard issue for them, made by an Australian defense contractor that produces most of their stuff (it's hard for them to buy their own kit). Basically a triple mag pouch with bungee tab retention but the mag body is constructed a bit differently in a way that enhances its function. Basically a rigid U-shaped pouch, open at the bottom corners (drainage), and connected on the sides with slightly elastic material that allows the pouch to just barely hug the mag, providing some passive retention. I actually really liked it and spent today testing it out. Attachment method is pretty solid, MOLLE tabs that velcro in at the bottom in the same way as BFG Helium Whisper.

This thread got me thinking about a pouch design. Basically a kydex insert like the KYWI but just on the rear of the pouch with fabric pockets on the rear where a bent piece kydex would tab into so that when there was no magazine in it it would sit flatter (addressing one of NomadMS issues with the Esstac kywi). Maybe even kydex in the front & back (but not the bottom) allowing for basically a collapsible KYWI type pouch? If the top was reinforced it would most likely stay just as open as the Esstac pouches and the bottom would be closed like a regular pouch (addressing NomadMS other issue with the KYWI). Tabbing in slightly bent pieces of kydex would eliminate the problem with possible Velcro adhesive failure in high heat. 

Just a thought...don’t know if I’m properly describing what I’m picturing in my head. 

Joined: 13AUG2010        

Location: Southern Arizona 

No I'm actually tracking with ya.  There were some pouches like this out 10-15 years ago (maybe Diamondback, precursor to Tyr) which seemed to work pretty good but just never caught on.  

That would actually work but would have to be balanced against overall weight.  Every detail you add is more weight and cost.  

Also the kydex or structured mag pouch vs the nylon fold up.  Good benefits either way but which takes priority.  Or a combination of the two?

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

Another quick update:

Canning the Esstacs, both mid and tall. Keeping the 2x1 on my belt; I think they are a good upgrade to ITW FastMag-style quick pouches but for a main PC fighting load, the construction and attachment is insufficient. I fucking hate the WTFix straps.

I’m keeping the inserts, though, and plan on testing them inside the SOE Triple Shingle. Of all the pouches I currently have with me or on the way, the SOE Triple and the Australian triple are by far my favorites. SOE because it’s bombproof and I have used their kit before, it’s never going to break, and the pouch is highly functional with Kydex insert capability for tertiary retention. The Aussie pouch is great because of the elastic sides combined with the rigid front. 

Havent factored Diz’s stuff in yet because I don’t know what it will look like. I have a strong feeling I will use the SOE or Aussie pouch as my standard load in combination with one of Diz’s creations, pending mission requirements. 

Finally, the Warrior Assault Systems Triple pouch is great. Open top, no bungee, slightly elastic sides with rubberized internal material. Design is very similar to the aussie pouch, but with rubberized interior for friction and no bungee. Great construction. If I ever have to do a pure CQB type op or am going for pure speed with an open top, I think I will use this one instead of a KYWI type pouch. Same function as the KYWI, more durable and no Kydex.

I have been using tall Esstac KYWIs with bungees added for extra retention if I am moving around a lot, or doing things where there is a risk of the magazines coming out.  I have found that the "grab" on a USGI mag is pretty tight, but a PMAG being plastic is a lot easier to remove/lose.  The bungees take care of that though and hardly slow down a reload. 

So far they have worked well for me.  I just bought the bungee kit from HSGI.  Took longer to take off the WTFix straps than it did to get them set up.

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