Friday, August 7, 2015

Review: Platatac - S&M Side Opening Pouch

I follow a couple of gear swap-buy-sell groups online, and every now and then something comes up that piques my interest. The last time was my Condor Plate Carrier, which I've enjoyed running in at a few events, and was value for money second hand, for my purposes. A bonus from that deal was the carrier had a couple of extra pouches that the guy "threw into the deal". One of these was the pretty recent Platatac S&M Side opening pouch. I hadn't thought to get one of these of its own merit, but having had one in my collection now, I can see this may have been a mistake.

One of the first things I noted was that it looked quite different to my other Platatac pouches, which mostly run into the magazine pouch category, but certainly had the same quality of construction that I'd expect of their products. Constructed of 1000d Cordura, and double stitched throughout. The big-enough to be strong, small enough to keep grit out No.10 YKK zipper wraps around three of the four sides, but interestingly, not top to bottom, but from the side. The twin zipper pulls are equipped with nylon extenders which are grippy, but snag-free.

One of the things I really liked about this design is that the front panel has a broad lip, that can completely wrap over the zipper, giving you a fully Cordura enclosure, even of the pouch isn't fully zipped up, and eliminating rattle, and giving further dust and water protection. Inside, the pouch measures 15cm (6") x 10cm (4") x 4.5cm (1.75"), giving you quite a lot of capacity for personal electronics, like a GPS unit, strobes, a survival tin or small medical kit, or even snacks or drinks.
The internal of the pouch only has one feature in particular, a wide, broad band of elastic webbing, too big for the strobes I have, but perfect for a 600mL bottle sized item. No extra flaps, pockets or anything to get in the way. One thing that was obvious though is that all the seams were really well finished off, no bare edges or seams to catch or fray. The non-zipper side features a big chunky drainage grommet, which even though it's on a vertical face, gives a good headphone jack access point, or dummy-cord lashing point.
Attachment is via twin channel PALS/MOLLE straps and takes three rows, to give a pretty solid connection. The "handedness" of the pouch is simply governed by flipping the way you attach the pouch, with the PALS/MOLLE connectors feeding "up" rather than "down" to have the opening side either way. I've been using this pouch on my baby-poo khaki-green gear, and Multcam, but threw it onto my black pack for contrast, but really, it's smooth lines and snag free profile don't really make it stand out. Perfect for all your small S&M needs. Cuffs and gags, anyone?

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