Thursday, November 1, 2012

Review: Zulu Nylon Gear - CAOS Admin Pouch

A while back I saw a post by the inestimable MilSpecMonkey covering the ZuluNylonGear Mega Admin pouch and from that time I was really keen to see some Zulu products myself. Since then, several other bloggers, such as Soldier Systems with the Skeletonized Container Sling, the guys at Jerking the Trigger with the Indy Satchel and of course ZNG's design-partner ITS-Tactical with their EDC medical kit pouches. I just had to get my hands on some of this gear. As always, the biggest hold-up was shipping, Melbourne being very far away from Chicago. As luck would have it, I got in touch with the folks from HORNEST in Singapore who managed to "infest me with gear"!

Having read what MilSpecMonkey had to say about the size of the "Mega" pouch, I opted for this, the very funky Zulu Nylon Gear CAOS Admin pouch. The CAOS (Combat Application Organizer System) pouch is the result of collaboration between Zulu Nylon Gear and CDH-Tac in Finland. I love the fact that these guys do so much collaboration and can't help but wanting to be part of it in my own small way.

The pouch measures approximately 5cm (2") deep, 15.5cm (6.25") across and 15cm (6") tall. This is a MOLLE compatible pouch, but unlike most of the other pouches I have reviewed, does not come with it's own integral clips. but will attach to PALS/MOLLE with two long MALICE clips.

This pouch is made of two distinct regions; the front pocket and the main pocket. However, there are plenty of other great additions. Twin D-rings in the top of the back of the pouch offer additional attachment points, to sling more gear, dummy-cord items, clip carabiners or to use as a harness point to sling the whole pouch. You can see that I have fitted two Grimlock carabiners which is how I have been affixing the pouch to my pack. Additionally, webbing loops from the back also give dummy-cord attachment points from both top and bottom of the pouch. So many options!

A straight view of the back shows the full coverage of 5 rows and 4 channels available to run ITW MALICE clips, Maxpedition TacTies
or Blackhawk! Speed Clips
through to secure it to your pack, or the chest of your plate-carrier. Again, not having any of these to play with, I have affixed my Grimlocks. You can also see here the dummy-cord loop at the top middle, and also the two at the bottom corners.

Between the two edge channels of webbing at the bottom you can just make out the two additional loops of webbing, giving you yet another attachment option. Behind the top dummy-cord loop is a slip-pocket, for keeping a notepad, papers or other slim needfuls.

This kind of attention to detail and willingness to put extra material in, to ensure the user gets maximum configuration options rates really highly in my books. Being an unusual size and shape often leaves me out of scope for "one-size-fits-all".

The front pouch pocket, as well as featuring a wide and tall loop-field for attaching nameplates, ID patches or even a glowing logo patch like I have put on mine (thanks to Hornest).

Pulling up on the wide (but very flat and snag-free) webbing handle, reveals the inside of the pocket. A wide band of elastic is sectioned into two sides, the narrower being ideal for a mobile phone, the other, perhaps a GPS unit.

As well as these elasticized "pockets" this pouch features quite a spacious main cavity, allowing the user to stow quite a number of things, in what is essentially only the auxiliary pouch of this piece.

 Inside the main pocket, however, is where the magic really lies. There are literally dozens of different places to store and secure gear within this area, and the attention to modularity, and multiple functionality is again displayed in the design. The water-resistant material is well stitched, and has fully taped edges. This is built rugged, just the way I like, but is still light.

 The foremost interior feature is a drawstring system like that seen in the Mega Admin, which serves to keep contents from spilling out when the zipper pulls are opened. This essentially forms a drawer on your chest or pack, with cord-keeper allowing you to define how "open" the drawer can swing.

The front face has another slip pocket and a range of layered elastic and webbing "pockets" for organizing small tools, pens and the like. I really liked the layering of webbing under elastic tape. It allowed me to hold some things loosely, some firmly, and some locked right in.

The rear slip pocket is further divided with two larger, phone sized pockets, another slip pocket and elastic for securing more small items. This pouch just keeps on giving. Further dummy-cord points inside keep your needfuls from flopping into the dirt, or dropping into rivers of lava.

As I mentioned earlier, I don't have any MOLLE-clip type attachment accessories right now (soon, I hope), so I have used Grimlocks to affix this pouch to my pack, would probably to the same with my MAC plate carrier, when I go adventuring.

From this angle you can see that I have attached it to the daisy-chain webbing over the top of my Bullock Echo daypack (which just got an update, check it out! In this configuration, it acts as a "lid" over the top of the pack, the paracord zipper pulls are easily accessible and I can access all my tools,and accessories

You can see here the difference between "coyote" of the pack, and the Platatac "khaki". The colours are complementary, I think, and it certainly doesn't look out of place.

In summary this is a brilliant pouch, I can see a lot of applications, and look forwards to putting it to a lot more use in the future. the guys at Zulu Nylon Gear put in a lot of work, in design and manufacture, and it shows.

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