I’ve somewhat struggled for a while now with what exactly I should say about the FirstSpear LLC MultiMag, but I do find it a very compelling piece of kit and extremely interesting on a lot of different levels that might not be immediately apparent to someone first taking at look at it.Before I go in to my own thoughts on the design and functionality I’d be remiss to not recommend that you check out The Reptile House’s post about this pouch. As with anything new on the commercial market that’s worth paying attention to, TRH is way ahead of me as usual and covers the construction of the MultiMag here:
First Spear MultiMag Rapid-Adjust Pocket: Review (Redux)
To my mind the first point to discuss with relation to this product is the design process, that was initiated by end users, which actually lead to the production of the MultiMag. The analogy I like to use is the Aimpoint CompM5, which as many will know is basically just an Aimpoint Micro but instead of using specific types of button cells it uses AAAs which are commonly available and in fairly plentiful supply the world over. A lot of people (short sighted in my opinion) questioned the need for Aimpoint to even produce the M5 at all, given that the battery life on the T/H series optics is insanely long and the button cells can be found easily enough in the developed world. What those people missed however is the fact that some clandestine government agencies, be they military or otherwise, had very specifically requested an optic that could run on the more commonly available batteries.
If you’re the sort of person who not only genuinely needs their face blurred in pictures but almost never appears in pictures in the first place, then you’re probably doing your job in extremely remote locations and you have absolutely no idea what might happen during your deployments. So when the red dot on your rifle is a vital piece of equipment in terms of defending your own life you don’t want even the slightest potential wiggle room for that optic to ever possibly die on you. These large, really well established and highly respected manufacturers don’t tend to just do stuff for no reason.
There were a lot of people saying of the MultiMag ‘why not just use TACOs?’ because on the surface a lot of the functionality is the same, but again said people were short sighted in some important aspects. The key issue with an HSGI TACO is that the retention of the contents is achieved via bungee cord and specifically in very cold conditions that bungee will freeze up, creating a possible loss of retention and it might even snap entirely, potentially resulting in loss of critical equipment. This possibility is eliminated with the Boa Fit System, in fact you can read Boa talking specifically about this fact right here:
I don’t know exact details because this is the sort of thing companies have to keep quiet, but I know FirstSpear did have certain end users come to them requesting a highly adjustable pouch that would function reliably in absolutely any climate and the MultiMag Rapid Adjust Pocket is the answer to that request.
Retailing at around $52 vs about $35-40 for a TACO (model dependant) is the MultiMag the choice for everyone? Nope – it costs slightly more and most people don’t need that extreme temperature capability, though I will say I prefer the mounting solution on the MultiMag by far and it is far better at quickly dialling in a precise fit around your equipment. However as much as I do have something of a relationship with FS I’m just here to report on facts and there’s no denying the HSGI pouches and many of the slight variants out there on the market are pretty well proven at this point. That said, if you happen to be in the military or police etc and you like the features that the MultiMag brings to the table then of course FS offer a discount for individual purchase and I’d imagine unit purchases in bulk come even cheaper, so as with anything it comes down to the end users’ needs.
For me personally a part of this whole picture that is more interesting than that pouch itself, innovative though it may be, is the partner product that comes in the form of the Speed Reload Insert Kit. In stock form I found the MultiMag very good overall with easy access and great function in terms of adjustment, though a tiny bit more involved when it comes to reinserting mags etc when put up against the competition. The insert kits however are a formed kydex entirely covered in a sort of super heavy duty loop that transform the MultiMag, from a pouch that’s good at carrying almost anything in to a pouch that’s truly superb for carrying 1 specific thing and I do not say that lightly. Ease and smoothness of both drawing and reinserting magazines is amongst the best of any mag pouch I have ever used and the kits are available for a wide variety of popular weapon platforms covering both rifles and pistols (double capacity for pistol mags).
If you happen to find yourself parachuting, scuba diving or generally doing really high energy stuff while carrying ammunition magazines, there is also the optional Molded Speed Tab Kit. Close enough to 100% assurance of gear retention in any circumstance and unlike most of the pull tabs found on basically every other shingle-type pouch on the market FS haven’t just sewn together a bit of webbing and called it good, they’ve molded some nicely contoured and flexible rubber like gripping tabs. Creating a concave surface to hold on with a wide protrusion along the lines of a gear stick. I would have more confidence with these in terms of knowing there’s no way my hold might just slip off when compared to the webbing tabs you usually see.
It’s rare to see a pouch that is not only highly adaptable in base form but can then be massively scaled up or down and altered by adding and removing different components. I’ve not covered every detail here by any means and if I were to go in to minute detail of materials on each component we would be here for days, but primarily I wanted to cover the reasons for the design and the many possibilities that exist for customisation with this range of products. If the MultiMag and associated accessories might fill a niche for you personally then I’d certainly not have a reservation in saying you should take a strong look at them for your own use.
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