(18JUN15. I wrote this review quite some time ago but out of respect for BFG I had not made it public until they were ready to launch their shingle line)
Full disclosure: I don’t receive any benefits or monetary gains for posting information about Blue Force Gear products. My relationship with Blue Force Gear is as a customer.
I had received a set of the magNOW! pouches after inquiring about them with my go-to POC at BFG for
a time-sensitive delivery. My POC indicated they were in final prototyping phases and would begin production well after I needed them. He very generously offered to send me two of their current prototype
to trial in the mean time.
Some of the features that will stand out about this pouch is the rubberized pull tab which is proprietary to
BFG and reminds me a lot of the L shaped webbing pull tabs designed for AK pattern magazines.
One of the most outstanding features of this pouch is the ability to clear the shock cord retention by treating the rubberized pull tab like a holster bale. The stiffnesss of the rubber allows you to sweep your hand across the magazine clearing the tab and drawing the magazine in one motion. This effectively eliminates the draw back of carrying magazines with the shock cord on top of the magazines.
In operational environments a lot of times I did not run the shock cords on top of the magazines but on the sides. I disliked the secondary motion required to clear the cords before drawing. This habit made me a stickler for tight fitting magazine shingles. The current fad to loosely cut magazine pouches to accommodate a wide variety of magazines has left me a pretty unhappy camper in the past.
The pouch itself includes in it’s unitary construction contains small gaps at the bottom corners of the pouch for drainage instead of a separately articulated grommet. This will obviously save on weight.
BFG has gone out of their way to reinforce some of they key points of stress on a mag shingle.
The magazine shingle itself is slightly smaller than a typical model (Tactical Tailor old gen featured) The backing itself is just as tall but the pocket comes in shorter. This height will be felt more when using bulkier or longer magazines such as the H&K high reliability magazine.
The shock cord is technically ran on the inside of the pouch, which I find to cause trouble when conducting administrative reloads from the pouch. In a fortunate attempt to both mitigate getting caught up on MOLLE tabs woven through the front or the shock cord itself BFG has added that sleeve to divide the components from one another.
This is probably the weakest point in the pouches design. As you can see when I manipulate the outside edge of the magazine pouch or the shock cord the sleeve folds inwards or isn’t affected at all. This most certainly can and has caused hang ups when conducting an administrative reload. This fact isn’t necessarily surprising. BFG’s ten-speed pouches are also kind of difficult to reload with out using two hands. I believe if the top edge of the sleeve was attached to the outer portion it would solve most of the issue here.
If you are choosing BFG Hypalon pouches you are choosing them for their genuinely smart design and weight saving attributes. If you were solely worried about speed you’d utilize pouches with kydex inserts. Despite hang ups on reloading, the rubberized pull tab as I’ve already mentioned makes deploying magazines from this pouch with level 1 retention surprisingly easy.
Unfortunately there are limitations to the front MOLLE interface of this pouch. If your intention is to attach a ten-speed pouch on the front you may be disappointed. The laser cuts for the MOLLE tabs are off-set to such a degree that it drops the second pouch far below the first. This may bother some of you.
Depending on your preference, if you like to keep your rifle/pistol magazines close together, the front MOLLE interface is solely designed for short pouches like pistol magazine pouches. The hypalon pouches make an incredible low profile combination for two different pouches being woven together however.