“Utility pouch? How could this guy write a whole article about utility pouch!?” Nay Sayers beware because I’m about to drop some knowledge on you.
Utility pouches are used across all spectrums of the military, law enforcement, and civilians alike for…. utility! It’s just a pouch you can throw extra shit or turn into a bleeder kit. There’s has been a trend going towards slim utility pouches for some time (meaning when its full it doesn’t become a 6” hump poking off of your kit or make one big snag hazard.)
The first utility pouch I ever used was the old school horizontal utility pouch with the zipper and little Velcro flap that you’ve probably seen around. It took up the entire lower portion on the back of my plate carrier, and if it wasn’t full, the stuff I would put in there would shift around and never really sat right. The zippers on it were garbage and would get stuck or be a pain in the ass for my buddy to zip back up under dark conditions. (This was a SOCOM issued pouch mind you, from a very popular manufacturer. not going to call out any brands.) Since that time, I’ve tried and tested tons of pouches from a bunch of different brands. A couple of take a ways related to utility pouches:
If the pouch has a zipper, when its mounted on your kit you should be able to open and close the zipper with one hand. If your pouch has a shitty zipper and is a pain in the ass to open or gets stuck all the time, change it. Most of the stuff on my body is opened by feel only, as in darkness you don’t usually have enough natural illumination to look down and look for a pouch opening.
Don’t use a pouch that’s a lot bigger than the stuff you are going to put inside of it. Shit will just shift around and why have something a lot larger than what you will need to carry? Ounces make pounds, pouches are no exclusion. Your kit should already be set up for what you need on your average mission. Now think about what you could need for a prolonged mission or engagement. If we are hitting targets during the day, maybe carry a smoke grenade, or if we were hitting a target hard, maybe a few extra bangers. Maybe the dog would need some extra food, you get the point. Don’t overthink it and don’t overpack. (Mine has an SSE Kit with mask, cuffs, bag, and gloves, a smoke (or 2 bangers,) a tape card, some 550 cord, lighter and a multitool. Little odds and ends that I might need throughout the duration of a mission or any event.
The T3 Utility Slick Pouch really hits the nail on the head as far as these things are concerned. The zipper structure is solid, it can be opened one-handed, and the zipper pulls are smooth and durable. The pouch I chose is on the medium end, sized at 6″x6″x3″. Even when loaded out it isn’t that wide which is exactly what I go for when setting up my kit. The material is 500 weight Cordura so durability isn’t really a huge question here.
A big one I didn’t mention early is the Molle attachment system. I HATE Molle straps that have stiffeners or button snaps. Not a big fan of the Malice clips either. Other companies have a similar strap system to T3, but they define their strap system on their website.
*From the site: T3 Maritime MOLLE Closure System is how we secure our MOLLE items to one another. It’s a simple hard plastic tab sewn into the end of each MOLLE strap. After being threaded through the rows of webbing, the tab is tucked back under the last row of webbing to form a secure connection. Unlike snaps, the T3 Maritime Closure System will not rust or clog with debris.*
If you’ve had snaps rust, you know how much it sucks. Also, you know how you can sweat like big trying to weave stiffened Molle straps. Complete pain in the ass.
Like everything T3 makes, this pouch is solid across the board and has everything it needs and nothing it doesn’t. If you’re in the market for anything nylon related I could not recommend them more, and hopefully, this gave you some insight as to why the little things matter if you’re in the profession of Arms.
Author – Tim M. is an Army Ranger who has served in Afghanistan and is currently a K9 handler for ARSOF. In his free time, he enjoys shooting, working out and hitting the trails with the dog.