As you may have seen mention in last weeks post I spent a good bit of time in June and July training. One of the courses that I attended was the LMS Defense No Light Operations course in Alliance, OH. While there I had the opportunity to check out some new and not so new gear from industry developers including Stephen Hilliard and Pat Rogers. Stephen works for Blue Force Gear and while talking between evolutions I had a chance to discuss with him the Ten Speed series of pouches. These have been out for a few years and the line has been growing to meet a wider array of end user’s needs. While the idea of a multipurpose, low profile, and light weight pouch intrigued me I had obvious concerns about the durability of such a product.
So let’s take a look at these things, from the manufacturer’s website:
Our Ten-Speed Mag Pouch™ works from the premise that a magazine pouch should have excellent, consistent retention without a lot of securing straps, lids, or flaps to get in the way of a smooth, consistent reload. When not in use, the pouch is designed to lay flat against your vest or carrier so that it is completely discrete and unobtrusive. Primarily intended for personnel performing fast, short duration operations where speed and a low profile are paramount. Due to the use of high performance materials, the Ten Speed Pouch is also extremely lightweight registering barely three ounces on the scale. Not limited to magazines, it will also securely hold some types of Flash Bangs, Strobes, Lights, etc. Attaching to any MOLLE/PALS surface, its use is only limited by your imagination. The Blue Force Gear Ten Speed Pouch™ is made out of military-grade heavy duty elastic and Cordura fabric/webbing right here in Georgia.
During class a number of students used the Ten Speed M4 pouch to hold M4 mags but also to hold other items such as trauma kit contents, radios, flashlights, and flash bangs. While some may be thinking, “yeah, and…, I can do that with a standard triple M4 pouch”. My response to that is, when you dont need to carry anything in that triple M4 pouch you now have a bulky pile of cordura sitting there that will easily get caught on any obstruction it can find when moving through a structure or in brush, not to mention the weight whereas the Ten Speed pouches are elastic based they tighten up and lay flat when not in use reducing the overall profile of your gear and they are quite trim on the weight side (weights of Ten Speed M4 Pouches: Single-1.4oz, Double-2.7oz, Triple-3.2oz).
As someone who appreciates modularity in a pouch (or most anything) the Ten Speed Series gets my vote since it offers a relatively secure package that can handle small or large items without having to spend your evening weaving MOLLE/PALS to prep for a class or a mission that has different requirements from normal gear setup. As well, for me a big benefit of this series is the ability to stash a Ten Speed Triple M4 on the back of my vest and have the ability to run my rig in more of a traditional shooters platform sans med pack and should I need to transition back to a med pack or ruck I can simply remove the contents whether they be mags, smoke, or bangs and there is no unnecessary bulk under my pack that would increase profile. To me it is a win-win.
While all of these things were positives and points I had already evaluated I had not had the opportunity to thoroughly evaluate extended use of the pouches. Having a chance to talk to Pat and look over his gear which included Ten Speed Pouches I was pleasantly surprised to see that while well worn the materials and craftsmanship had held up and continued to have quite a bit of life left in them, even after years of regular use (by my accounting Pat averages 4-6 blocks of instruction a month which equals a good bit of time in gear). This shouldnt be a surprise though as just with all Blue Force Gear the Ten Speed series is all Made In The USA with domestic components and while the price may be slightly higher than some of the options available at your local discount surplus store you wont be able to find a comparable design or execution from any of the knock off brands.
So after all that, I decided to pick a few of these up and stick them on some gear to get a feel for how best to integrate them. The one shown below is a triple that I have placed on my primary med bag. This bag is setup as an assaulter’s med bag, the intent is to have a relatively low profile with the primary capability of treating and stabilizing life threatening injuries in a warm zone environment prior to moving to a cold zone or CCP where more definitive support equipment can be staged. For that reason the Ten Speed Triple works perfectly to plus up the fire superiority component of care under fire and allow me to carry extra mags, smoke, or bangs that either I can use through removal of the pack or team mates can use by working off my pack and me working off their pack or vest.
|From Blog album|
|From Blog album|
Or Extra “Band-aids”
So, if you need a lightweight and low-profile/low-bulk solution to carrying your fighting load take a look at the Ten Speed series of pouches.
Look for more offerings of Blue Force Gear products at Austere Provisions Company, BFG is making a solid product with solid designs and putting Americans to work. I personally take pride in carrying such a product and supporting such a company and I believe the customers of Austere Provisions Company feel the same way.
So, until next time, stay sharp and stay safe,
Honorable Mentions: (Look for these more often)