or the past 5 years (at least) a growing trend seems to have been that one wants to have the first three or so magazines available as quickly as possible. Usually the position for having those fast access mags is on the chest, in the middle of your chest rig or plate carrier. As I started to adapt this idea, I wanted to find a pouch that would provide enough protection for the magazines from dirt and debris but without protective flaps or bungees retaining the magazines, which would slow down mag changes.
Looking at options it was clear that I didn't want go with traditional Cordura only shingles as those always had flaps or didn't seem to provide enough retention for the magazines for fast movement.
I found out about ESSTAC M4 KYWI pouches browsing SKDTAC's selection and was intrigued by the Kydex mag retention so decided to try them out.
Haven't looked back since.
KYWI pouches deliver. The custom Kydex inserts provide really good retention for the magazines. I've never had a magazine drop out of them although I've been running, crouching, crawling whatever, the KYWI hold the mags safely in place. Still all you need is a sharp pull to have immediate positive release of the mag so you can feed it into your gun. Inserting the mags in the pouch is also a pleasure and you kind of have this feeling and sound of a "click" that lets you know that the mag is "locked" in place.
The pouches take standard magazines and MAGPUL style polymer magazines (and many others I believe) and also other pouch versions for 7.62 mags, pistol mags etc. are available.
The fabric pouch that contains the Kydex inserts itself is made of quality Cordura with a simple design, which is pretty bomb-proof. You also have PALS channels on the outer surface to add other pouches. I've ran a BFG TenSpeed triple on top in case I need more mags or other mag sized equipment at hand.
ESSTAC pouches attach with malice clips to any MOLLE equipment.
If you're looking for a "shingle" style pouch for fast access mags, definitely give ESSTAC KYWIs a try. To me they seem to be the best option on the market at the moment.
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