Airsoft pouches – a brief overview of the types of pouches

Airsoft pouches

Airsoft pouches – just another piece of useful equipment that we use to carry our magazines and that’s it, no rocket science here, right? WRONG! Despite common opinions popular among less experienced airsofters there’s a lot to be said and written concerning airsoft pouches. Because pouches, dear ladies and gentlemen, are a book-size topic. Today we’ll try to take care of it so buckle up and enjoy!

Let’s start from the very basic fact – pouches aren’t solely used for magazine carrying. For seasoned airsofters with years of experience and tons of BBs shot this may sound as pretty obvious statement, but let’s not forget about our rookie friends who might be just a little bit surprised. Hell, I remember my early days of airsofting when I was pretty sure that pouch is a thing where I can keep my spare magazine and that’s all, end of story. I was quite surprised when I realized that there are multiple types and kinds of pouches… So let’s talk about them.

1. Magazine pouch

Creme-de-la-creme of airsoft pouch family. We will find them extremely useful and irreplaceable as soon as we drop our stock hi-cap magazine for something more sexy and we realize that:

  1. We can have more than just 1 magazine,
  2. Some equipment for carrying those extra magazines would come quite handy
Ładownice w airsofcie - Różne rodzaje ładownic na magazynki

Source: http://millrjess.accountsupport.com

When it comes to different types of airsoft magazine pouches there are basically no limits to our imagination. There are single mag pouches, double mag pouches, triple mag pouches and even quadruple mag pouches (I know it sounds weird by I use them myself and I find them really comfortable).

  • There are closed top mag pouches with velcro or button cover preventing magazines from falling out (it can be really painful, especially if you own GBB replica and your mags are hard to get and expensive).
  • There are open top pouches aka shingles, where mag is protected by piece of shockcord– they provide us with very easy, quick and comfortable access to magazines, expecially useful during fast-paced games or CQB skirmishes.
  • There are pouches made of fabric (from the cheapest Chinese nylon to hiper-professional fabrics used by real military) and pouches made of polymers – for example FAST pouches or kydex pouches by IMI of Front Line, just to mention those two brands.
  • Of course there are universal pouches that should be sufficient for any kind of magazine and special, dedicated pouches for AR, AK, M14, MP5… including pistol mag pouches and shotgun shell pouches. And… Well, you can imagine there’s a lot of them.
Ładownice w airsofcie - Ładownica zamknięta Flyye Industries
Ładownice w airsofcie - Ładownica otwarta typu shingle - GFC Tactical
Ładownice w airsofcie - Ładownica typu FAST - FMA
Ładownica na naboje do strzelby gładkolufowej - GFC Tactical
Ładownice w airsofcie - Ładownica z tworzywa na magazynki pistoletowe - Nuprol

Any other divisions of pouches? Well of course, be my guest! For example – type of montage. In the era of universal MOLLE system most of mag pouches use PALS, that’s why we are almost completely free when it comes to mag pouch configuration on our chest rig, plate carrier or belt.

But we can’t forget about older generations of integrated vests with fixed pouches. Well, here at least we don’t have to spend long hours on pouch reconfiguration before every airsoft skirm.

So which are the best? Depends (of course). I’ve got my experience with a lot of different mag pouches and usually I was quite happy about them. I started from the most basic, simple Chinese pouches where the main advantage was ridiculously low price – and they were just perfect for airsoft beginners. I’ve got vest with integrated, closed top pouches and it is awesome during longer, quasi-milsim games with more walking than shooting. I’ve got set of open shingle pouches and I can’t imagine anything better for dynamic skirmishes or “real-cap-type” games with frequent magazine changes and a lot of shooting. I own universal pouches that are good for both AK and AR magazines, I’ve got some dedicated pouches as well. And even two FAST-type pouches – at first I treated them with a grain of salt but now I really appreciate them – especially because I can mount them upside down and they come very handy when I need to lie down on the ground under suppressing fire.

2. Universal pouch and cargo pouch

I can’t imagine airsoft without them – especially because I truly despise backpacks but still need to carry a lot of my stuff on me. Types and shapes? Multiple, starting from inconspicuous flat bags by Rasputin (I really recommend them – just read the entry by Chaos), through baggy cargo pouches mounted on your vest, belt or even leg (don’t use them, they suck) up to sophisticated pouches with inner pockets, straps, velcro and rubbers for better organization of your stuff. So if you want to carry bag of BBs, spare battery, something to eat, multitool etc… Just use cargo pouch. Simple, comfortable and efficient.

3. Medical pouch and First Aid Kit

Ładownice w airsofcie - apteczka zrywana GFC Tactical
Ładownice w airsofcie - przykład wyposażenia apteczki pierwszej pomocy - BCB

I decided to treat them separately, despite the fact that I rarely see them used according to their purpose. I hope I don’t have to describe the purpose. 😉 How are they different from regular cargo pouches? Usually they are equipped with a lot of inner pockets, straps & rubbers to carry our medical equipment in proper order. Fortunately we don’t really have to use first aid kits on the airsoft battlefield that much but I still encourage you to have at least the simplest first aid kit with you. You never know.

4. Dump pouch

Ładownice w airsofcie - mały worek zrzutowy - GFC Tactical
Ładownice w airsofcie - pokaz pojemności worka zrzutowego - GFC Tactical

Yep – those are pouches as well 😉 They are used for empty magazines but I often see airsofters who use them to carry water, gloves and some other equipment. One could say that dump pouches are simple and there’s not much philosophy about them but airsoft is never simple. We can find simplistic bags made of Chinese nylon created to do the job at the lowest cost (so perfect for beginners) and, on the other side of spectrum, uber-pro-tacticool dump pouches made by hipster tactical tailors in their hidden, artistic ateliere and costing sh**load of money.

5. Map pouch and admin pouch

Let’s just put them in one bag. What is the purpose of map pouch? Well, I hope you can guess 😛 Admin panel can be frequently seen on tactical vests as an additional pouch (or pocket) for the most important stuff like wallet, mobile phone or anything else that we don’t want to keep in our general cargo pouch. Plus they often have small velcro panel for extra morale patches. And we love morale patches.

Ładownice w airsofcie - panel administracyjny Monkey Combat Admin

Source: milspecmonkey.com

Ładownice w airsofcie - panel administracyjny Monkey Combat Admin

Source: milspecmonkey.com

Summary

Ładownice w airsofcie - ładownic nigdy za wiele

And basically that’s it. Do you know what is the greatest thing about airsoft magazine pouches? Diversity. We can adjust types, sizes, camo patterns and other features according to our needs and preferences. Do we need cheapest equipment because we are just starting our airsoft adventure? No problem, contrary to popular belief the simplest nylon pouches by GFC Tactical or something similar will do the job just right. Do we despise the mass production and care only about unique, highest quality products? No problem, hipster tactical tailors are there for us. And if we want open top mag pouch, closed one, integrated pouch, MOLLE pouch, single, quadruple (yes, I really use them)…We can get them.

Airsoft market if full of various pouches and we can pick whatever we want. So here’s my word of advice – just go ahead and try them. Don’t listen to people talking about best and worst pouches, just try them yourselves and find what you need.

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