Saturday, May 31, 2008

VTAC (5.11) pouches

These pouches are create by 5.11 in conjunction with Viking Tactics. Viking tactics president, Kyle Lamb, is a special ops combat veteran and the gear made by viking tactics has been field tested by Mr. Lamb and is rugged, yet affordable. I bought these items from United Uniform, a 5.11 full line dealer, and was very impressed with the price and the gear seemed to be very rugged just by picking the pouches up and checking out the features. The pouches I picked up are all made of rugged 1000D nylon, which is the industry standard for tough gear. I got most of them in "Flat Dark Earth" color, which is a coyote brown type color. The phone pouch which will be used in civilian wear I got in black. These are the only 2 colors at the time of this writing that the pouches are available in.

The first thing you notice right off the bat when you purchase any of these pouches is the "slick stick" MOLLE feature. The MOLLE straps on the back of the pouches slide up and down through a plastic UV-resistant ring that makes attaching and removing the pouches slightly easier. The MOLLE webbing that the straps feed through is very tight. This makes attaching the pouches slightly difficult, but insures that once the pouches are attached they won't shift around and will be very sturdy.

The first item I got is a double stacked M16 pouch with flap. This pouch as all others has sturdy Velcro that connects easily but holds the flap firmly. The pouch also features elastic around the mag area so that when one mag is removed the elastic helps retain the other mag. I was concerned right away that my Pmags may not fit in this being that it's a double stacked mag pouch and the Pmags have a wider base than a normal mag. This wasn't a problem if I slightly staggered the mags in the pouch. By puting one of the mags slightly higher than the other, this mag can be easily removed first. There is also a drain hole in the bottom.
The Pistol Mag pouch is basically the same design only fitted for pistol magazines. It has elastic retention and a flap that has plenty of velcro on it to adjust to many mag sizes. The flap on the mag pouch doesn't come undone to adjust for mag height...but the amount of velcro on the flap and pouch itself is enough for a wide range of adjustment.

The dump pouch I bought is the large folding style. It folds up into a nice pouch when not in use. When opened up it'll fit several mags...more mags than I currently use. One thing that is different from some other dump pouches is that this doesn't have anything in the opening to prevent mags from coming out. There is an adjustable elastic drawstring... that helps, but if that isn't pulled tight the mags can fall out when running or crawling. The drawstring has a slide lock on it which is easy to use and you can loosen the opening with just one hand. I keep the opening just wide enough to fit the mag and part of my hand in and the mags seem to stay in pretty well. This dump pouch has the "slick stick" MOLLE straps on the back and can be added to a vest or a belt. The pouch itself is made of 500D nylon, which is still durable, but easier to fold up.
Update: I have been using this dump pouch consistently for a while now and its durability is great and I haven't had any mags fall out with the opening about halfway closed.

The phone pouch I bought for my casio G-Z'one phone is the C4 case. It fits my phone perfect and it's designed to be used on MOLLE gear, but I use it on my belt just as easily. It has elastic sides and an adjustable strap to hold the phone. When worn on the belt it can dig into the sides a little bit but that is because it's designed to be worn on MOLLE gear and not the belt. I use this pouch on a daily basis and it's held up well so far.

Update (11/25/08) - I've been using this pouch on the outside of my duty bag for quite some time now. It's holding up well. The corners of the nylon are showing some "shiny" wear areas, but the nylon isn't wearing out just seems to hold up as well as most industry standard nylon.

The last piece of gear I bought is the medical pouch. It is a clamshell opening pouch which opens so that the user can easily access the contents. The opening "hinge" is on the bottom. It features a medical cross on the front to indicate that it is a med pouch. The interior features plenty of room for your medical gear inside 2 mesh zipper pockets on each side of the pouch and loops in the fold of the pouch for syringes. I really like the layout of this pouch and it can hold a ton of gear.

As for durability, time will tell and I will update this post if durability is an issue. But I highly recommend this gear and I can't wait to see it's durability.

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