So, this is a GP pouch, no matter what kind of spin you try to put on it there’s not much you can do to make a GP pouch exciting, but for those who want to know just a little bit about why some brands are pricey and considered top quality and suitable for military usage then this may inform you of at least a couple of the factors at play.
The depicted pocket is a FirstSpear General Purpose Pocket Medium and this particular one has their 6/9 back for attachment which is compatible with all standard PALS gear. Design wise it really doesn’t try to do anything too fancy at all, it’s just a pouch that’s 6″ wide, 5″ tall and 2″ deep. Personally I own a few as they are a perfect fit on most plate carrier cummerbunds with no overhang and they just work for what I want, plus of course they’re far too well made for me to ever break by using recreationally.
The design is excellent in that the 1″ webbing and G-Hook on top of the pouch combined with the double zip allows for only partial opening for access, yet with complete retention for items stored inside. If you really want to be doubly sure however there is heavy duty elastic mounted internally to both sides with 4 slots on one face and 3 on the other to allow for differently sized items. Each division in the elastic is triple stitched. I’d like to be able to give exact specs on the elastic used but that’s not something I can personally eyeball, sufficed to say it is of a strength and resilience that is overall beyond what is likely to ever be required.
Key to note here on the 2 shots of the pouch turned inside-out is the grosgrain (edging/binding tape) going around all the edges and not only is it there it is double-stitched all the way around. Turning any item of tactical gear inside-out, be it apparel or cordura for load carrying, is a great way to see the real quality of workmanship and materials that has been put in to said item. A lot of pouches, platforms and clothing are actually largely manufactured inside-out, so to a fair extent that is the best way for the end user to view it as that is also the way the manufacturer viewed it during much of the production process. If you turn most PALS pouches out this way you will simply see the exposed raw edges of the cut cordura and that can even apply to some of the brands portraying themselves as being high-end. Just another good example of why I’ve always liked FS and continue to do so.
For other examples of the burly and reliable sewing work look at the flag stitch that is holding on the 1″ webbing for the G-Hook strap, visible on the upper portion of the image showing the 4 slot elastic internal retainer. Also the bar-tack that is used on the end of the adjustment strap for the G-Hook closure, visible in the first image that shows the front of the outside of the pocket.
Even the paracord zip pulls are each capped off with a GTZP cord end from ITW, not that they would need to be for most users, but they add that tiny but more area to grip on and fully protect the ends of the 550 from even potentially fraying.
I shall leave this here as I think that’s enough detail for now and while I could continue on to many other things I’ve hit the key standout areas on this specific pocket. The notion I’m trying to get across primarily is to always be critical of what you are actually buying, I’m an advocate for the consumer and end-user not for the big brands and the industry behind them. I like what I like, however the knowledge to analyse a piece of kit can be applied to any brand whether it be expensive or more friendly to the budget.