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Misc Articles

Quick Look: Milspec Monkey Stealth Compact Pouch

Adam Teeter

I've said it before, but I'll say it again - I like organizer pouches. They just make life better when you have smaller items to keep track of and access regularly. One product worth your consideration is the Stealth Compact Pouch from Milspec Monkey. This is a collaboration between MSM and Tactical Tailor, so it built to high standards in the USA. It is a good size to be used on the side or a pack and suits a variety of items well. Tools, double stack pistol magazines and flashlights all fit well, as do smaller items such as pens or lighters. These run less than $40 and available in a variety of colors (mine is Foliage Green) to match your pack. Check them out here for more info. 

Happy carrying, 

- AT

20170819 MSM Stealth-8916.jpg
20170819 MSM Stealth-8918.jpg
20170819 MSM Stealth-8919.jpg
 Looking into the smaller front compartment.

Looking into the smaller front compartment.

 Looking down into the main compartment. 

Looking down into the main compartment. 

20170819 MSM Stealth-8924.jpg
 The front side of the main compartment, turned inside out. 

The front side of the main compartment, turned inside out. 

 The rear side of the main compartment, turned inside out. 

The rear side of the main compartment, turned inside out. 

 The bottom of the pouch, turned inside out. 

The bottom of the pouch, turned inside out. 

 The basic kit I carry in the pouch. 

The basic kit I carry in the pouch. 

Quick Look: STM Cable Wrap

Adam Teeter

I am constantly on the lookout for unique ways to sort my gear. I stumbled across the Cable Wrap from STM and decided to give it a go. It is interesting in that it uses no zippers externally, but rather functions like a wrench wrap to secure all your items inside. With it's size and shape, it will handle some items most organizers cannot, such as my Apple MBP charger. It has a variety of slots and pockets that are well suited to organizing your EDC kit as well. Despite a few straying stitches, at under $10, it's a pretty good value. You can find these on Amazon. 

Stay squared away, 

- AT

 The Cable Wrap is fully loaded here, yet maintains a decent shape. 

The Cable Wrap is fully loaded here, yet maintains a decent shape. 

 It is still fully loaded in this photo. 

It is still fully loaded in this photo. 

 And here you can see what I had inside. 

And here you can see what I had inside. 

 Close up of the adjustable on the exterior. 

Close up of the adjustable on the exterior. 

 There are a few crooked stitches. 

There are a few crooked stitches. 

Quick Look: Greenroom136 OttoBook

Adam Teeter

Travel is a time in which one has several small items to keep track of. Passports, credit cards, cash, itineraries, tickets, pens, coins, ear buds, chargers, etc, etc. . . Sometimes you just need a place to keep these things all together, organized and readily accessible. This is where the OttoBook Travel from Greenroom136 comes in. It has a place for all the essential kit you need when getting from point to point. Check is out HERE. 

Carry on everyone, 

- AT

Quick Look: Kifaru Tombstone Organizer

Adam Teeter

I really like organizers. Small ones, big ones, I like them all. One thing I have come to realize about organizers is that there is never a single one that can suit every need. The things you carry dictate which layout needs you might have. Thus, when I find a pouch that has a unique or interesting layout, I usually buy it. 

The Kifaru Tombstone organizer is quite unusual. Instead of the regular clamshell and zipper, this one is a trifold with hook & loop. It is 6"x6" and can accommodate a wide range of gear. I have set one up here as a mobile office kit and another as a tool kit which goes to show how versatile the Tombstone Organizer is. It can also hang inside a bag or pouch with loop lining. These run $12, and although Kifaru charges a minimum of $10 to ship, they represent an outstanding value for a piece of US made gear. 

Check them from out Kifaru here

May your bags be well ordered! 

- AT

 At first glance, the Tombstone Organizer doesn't look like much. 

At first glance, the Tombstone Organizer doesn't look like much. 

 Here you can see the varying slots and pockets in the main part of the pouch. 

Here you can see the varying slots and pockets in the main part of the pouch. 

 Hidden under the clear vinyl pocket is a slim pocket with hook and loop closure. I have ear buds in one and a Boker Plus Chad Los Banos Edit in the other. 

Hidden under the clear vinyl pocket is a slim pocket with hook and loop closure. I have ear buds in one and a Boker Plus Chad Los Banos Edit in the other. 

 There is another slip pocket under the upper portion of the organizer. This is large enough to hold my full size MBP power brick with EU plug (not an easy this to find a pouch for!). 

There is another slip pocket under the upper portion of the organizer. This is large enough to hold my full size MBP power brick with EU plug (not an easy this to find a pouch for!). 

 Looking down into the top pocket. 

Looking down into the top pocket. 

 The Tombstone Organizer is open on the sides. This could make some gear vulnerable, but adds to the flexibility of the pouch. 

The Tombstone Organizer is open on the sides. This could make some gear vulnerable, but adds to the flexibility of the pouch. 

 The rear of the pouch is slick. 

The rear of the pouch is slick. 

 Here the pouch hangs in the  First Tactical Crosshatch Sling . This works, but only if the organizer is not loaded too heavy. 

Here the pouch hangs in the First Tactical Crosshatch Sling. This works, but only if the organizer is not loaded too heavy. 

Disclaimer: Kifaru provided these pouches at a discount in exchange for my unbiased evaluation. 

Review: First Tactical Tactix Pouches and Small Pen Light

Adam Teeter

Introduction

If you've seen some of my early reviews, you'll know I am a fan of the bag designs First Tactical is coming up with. When I saw they had pouches to match, I thought I'd give them a shot. They also have some very affordable flashlights; so much so they are hard to pass over.  The Tactix 3x6 Utility Pouch, Tactix Eyewear Pouch and Small Penlight will be discussed more thoroughly below. 

Tactix Series 3x6 Utility Pouch

Manufactures Specifications

3” L x 6” H x 3” D / 7.6cm H x 15.2cm x 7.6cm D

Capacity 54 cubic inches / 0.9 liters

Weight 0.2 lbs. / 0.9 kg

500D texturized nylon

Description

At first glance, this pouch looks like many other general purpose MOLLE pouches on the market. A closer inspection though reveals that this pouch is packed with features! 

The front of the pouch has a nice PVC First Tactical Logo and a small loop field for your patches or perhaps an ID label. 

The rear of the pouch is covered in a laser cut PALS field with permanently attached webbing legs for lacing into whatever MOLLE/PALS platform you like. This system uses Duraflex Hooks for to secure the legs. Also, you can just make out that the bottom has a grommeted drain hole in the center. 

I have turned the pouch inside out so you can see where First Tactical differentiates itself from the crowd. They have included a padded liner with the pouch that is secured with Velcro. The liner is reversible, one side being OD green and the other a hi-viz yellow. There is also a small mesh pocket on the interior rear of the pouch and a loop for tether attachment. 

Design Commentary

Pros

  • Padded liner is a great feature for sensitive items like a camera. 
  • Hi-viz option for the liner is very helpful for finding items.
  • Small mesh pouch is useful for things like SD cards.
  • Construction is solid and components used are quality.
  • Integrated PALS attachment works well and is easy to use.
  • Value of the item is high as the regular price is just $20 USD. 

Cons

  • I honestly cannot find a fault on this one!

Conclusions 

The pouch is great. If the size suits you, you will not regret purchasing it. If the size does not suit you, they have other options too!  

Tactix Series Eyewear Pouch

Manufactures Specifications

3” L x 7” H x 2.25” D / 7.6cm L x 17.8cm H x 5.7cm D

Approx. Capacity 47 cubic inches / 0.8 liters

Weight 0.3 lbs / 0.13 kg

500D texturized nylon

Description

Like the 3x6 Utility Pouch, the Eyewear Pouch includes a First Tactical Logo and loop field on the face. 

The rear of the pouch sports the same attachment system as the 3x6 Utility Pouch

First Tactical thoughtfully added a lens cloth to the Eyewear Pouch. It is attached to the pouch via a small tether and can be detached or stowed internally. 

I have turned the pouch top inside out to allow you to see the internal features. In addition to the tethered lens cloth, the pouch features a semi-rigid insert to protect your glasses. As with the 3x6 Utility Pouch, the insert is removable. There is no mesh pocket in the rear of this one. 

Design Commentary 

Pros

  • Glasses are well protected in the semi-rigid insert.
  • The included and attached lens cloth is a great addition.  
  • Construction is solid and components used are quality.
  • Integrated PALS attachment works well and is easy to use.
  • Value of the item is high as the regular price is just $20 USD.

Cons

  • The dimensions between the insert and the pouch are tight. The zipper drags across it and does not run smoothly. This is particularly an issue at the corners. The pouch should have been slightly increased in size to better accommodate the insert. 
  • The pouch does not open as widely as might be required to insert some glasses smoothly. Most should be OK though. 

Conclusions 

The little pouch should provide a safe and cozy place for your eyewear. Unfortunately, access to the pouch is hindered by the tight dimensions and narrow opening issue. 

Smal Penlight

Manufactures Specifications

Includes battery (1) AAA

Lumen High 55

Run Time High (h) 2.5

Aerospace grade anodized aluminum

Length: 3.6in / 91mm

Body diameter: 0.75in / 19mm

Bezel diameter: 0.75in / 19mm

Product weight: 1.5oz / 43g

Product weight w/ batteries: 1.9oz / 54g

Description

First Tactical's Small Penlight is a single AAA flashlight. It has a momentary on/off tailcap switch, a single output mode and a reversible pocket clip. The body is aluminum and is textured heavily. 

Design Commentary

Pros

  • This is a solid little unit. It is overbuilt and armored quite heavily.
  • The reversible pocket clip is deep enough to accommodate a hat bill or pocket nicely.
  • The tail cap switch allows for momentary on/off and has a very reassuring click to it. 
  • Operation is simple and foolproof. 

Cons

  • The single output level is a bit restrictive. 
  • The light is rather bulky for a single cell AAA torch. 

Conclusions 

The Small Penlight is a decent little light. If you need a sturdy light without a lot of features, this might suit your needs well!

Carry on all and may God bless you! 

- AT 

For more information on these items, please visit the First Tactical website.

Disclaimer: Some of these items were provided in exchange for my unbiased review. 

Quick Look: ThruNite Ti

Adam Teeter

The ThruNite Ti is a single AAA battery flashlight that features a Cree XP-L V4 LED. This little torch is small, light, tough and bright! The mode sequence and spacing is perfect for my use, starting with a moonlight mode and progressing up to a high mode that maxes out at 162 lumens. That is a lot of light from a AAA cell! It includes a reversible pocket clip that works great on the brim of your ball cap when you need to go hands free. And speaking of your hands, the heavy knurling over the surface of the body allows for a very secure grip. The titanium finish will wear some. This thing has found a permanent home in my pocket! At $20-$30, these are an incredible value.

Carry on and may God bless you all, 

- AT

Review: Range Leather Gannet Minimalist Wallet

Adam Teeter

Introduction

DSC_2364mod.jpg

Life can be fast paced and crowded. As a result, we need kit that is both slick and functional in order to keep up with our demands. The Gannett Minimalist Wallet from Range Leather sets out to do just that. 

Manufacturers Description

“The Gannett is a minimalist design that features accessible card slots with a layout that is easy to navigate. With both vertical and horizontal openings and the addition of a money slit, this is the ideal wallet for anyone looking for a functional and sleek minimalist wallet. Holds 4-8 Cards. All Range products are crafted by hand from genuine Horween Leather.”

Philosophy of Use

I selected this wallet as I began spending more time in urban areas. I realized I needed to reduce the amount of cards I carried and move from rear pocket carry to front pocket carry. I wanted the option to carry cash, but did not plan on carrying it full time. I planned to carry a total of 3 plastic cards and maybe a couple of my business cards. I’ve been carrying it full time for 3 months now. I've included a couple of pictures below to show my normal load out.  

 Here is what I typically carry in the horizontal side: main credit card, local store loyalty card and train pass. 

Here is what I typically carry in the horizontal side: main credit card, local store loyalty card and train pass. 

 And my typical load out in the horizontal side: ID card, debit card, a couple of business cards and some back up cash. 

And my typical load out in the horizontal side: ID card, debit card, a couple of business cards and some back up cash. 

Description

Side 1

This side of the minimalist wallet is set up in a horizontal orientation. The slot has an angled top to provide the user access to the contents. I can stuff about 3 cards in here. In the lower left corner is the word, “Range,” stamped to denote the maker. You can see the hand-stitched construction quite prominently also. 

Side 2

Not only does the orientation of this side change, there is some added functionality built in. The vertically laid out slot is cut with a gentle concave arch to allow an easier grab on the cards stowed inside. I can fit about 4 cards in this side. Cut into the body of this slot is the money slit, which enable the used to fold some cash and stow it here.

Design Commentary

Pros

The wallet is small, I mean barely bigger than the cards it is designed to hold. It is fantastic in the front pocket of my jeans. 

Materials are outstanding and some of the best available in the the leather industry. This thing will not wear out or break (note the heavy marking above the Range stamp from getting stepped on on concrete) even under the heaviest use. 

The all leather construction allows the wallet to shrink/swell some as different amounts of cards are used in it. This is great in that the user does have some flexibility in their use. I find this handy when collecting receipts or if I need to add something like a business card or appointment reminder. 

The horizontal card slot allows the user easy access to the cards stowed within.

The vertical card slot is a good place to stow essentials that get used less often or perhaps added security. The layout keeps things a bit more secure than the horizontal slot. 

The cash slot works well for small amount of cash (3-4 bills is about tops) and keeps it in ready supply. 

The aesthetics of the wallet are great. I get many compliments and questions about it! It is as classy as it is functional. 

Cons

The wallet is small. Granted, it was designed this way, but it might have been nice to have just a little bit more size (like 5mm in height and width) for added flexibility. 

The money slit requires bills to be folded down to fourths. I’m not sure you can find a wallet in this footprint that doesn’t necessitate this much folding, but some will not like this requirement.  

Conclusion

The Gannett Minimalist Wallet accomplishes what it sets out to do; it manages to merge the highly functional with the low profile. It will not slow you down but will be there ready and waiting when you need it. I can highly recommend this wallet if it’s style and features suit your high speed living! 

Carry on and God bless you, 

- AT 

My Take: EDC Flashlights

Adam Teeter

Introduction

You are walking through a building and the power suddenly goes out casting your path into darkness; what do you do? Or perhaps you drop something into the dark abyss that is the floorboards or your car and it rolls under you seat; can you see well enough to retrieve that gadget?

These are just two potential scenarios that demonstrate why it is good sense to EDC a flashlight. But what features constitute the ideal EDC torch? Below are 6 different attributes that are my must haves when selecting an EDC light.

SIZE

Size is a very important consideration when choosing your light. It must be sized to fit in the place you plan to carry it, of course. This rules out something like the classic D cell Maglites and many smaller lights. I like a light that can be pocketed or slipped into a pen slot in your bag. For me, this leads me to mostly consider single cell units that are slim and compact.

BATTERY TYPE

Battery type is an important discussion when selecting the ideal light. For everyday use, I prefer a battery style that is readily available wherever I may be. Whether you use a rechargeable battery or a traditional disposable variant, there will likely be a time you are caught needing to reload your light and keep going. This has led me to standardize all my lights to AA and AAA cells.

I have further solidified this decision by investing in Sanyo Eneloop rechargeable batteries and a Goal Zero Solar Charger. I feel that this set up will allow me to keep the lights going no matter what sort of circumstance I may encounter.

LOCK OUT

Have you ever pulled a light from your pocket only to find that the battery has died because the light was inadvertently turned on? If you answer, “Yes!” then you will appreciate a good Lock Out feature on your EDC torch. The lock out serves to interrupt the circuit in the light so that it takes a deliberate attempt by the user to activate the light. These lock outs take many forms, but they will save you batteries and frustrations if they are present and function as described. 

REVERSIBLE POCKET CLIP

Pocket clips are great (see my article on the Tec Suspension Clip). They keep junk from piling up in the bottom of your pocket and eliminate that uncomfortable bulge! So naturally, your flashlight should come with one.

A reversible clip though adds an extra functionality to the light; it allows you to clip the light bezel up or down. When set up for bezel up carry, the light can be clipped to the brim of a ball cap(which I always have on), allowing you to illuminate your surroundings hands free. In this way, you get a headlamp without having to carry the extra weight and bulk of a head band!

MOONLIGHT MODE

Ever pulled a flashlight out and clicked it on in the dark only to be blinded by the sudden flood of light? I have, and it's no fun. Further more, it can be dangerous and disorienting. The modern LED bulbs are capable of producing a staggering number of lumens, even from the tiny little lights I prefer. So what is to be done?

Many lights today are built with a set of modes that allows the user to select the amount of output. Some come with 2 modes, others 3 and others many more. One of the most important and useful modes is called Moonlight or Firefly. Supposedly, these levels are set to mimic those produced by, you guessed it, a firefly! What good can such a low amount of light do though, you might ask? Moonlight or Firefly modes are generally enough to allow reading a book or a map, to look through your kit bag for a gadget, or for times when discreet lighting is necessary. It is also low enough that it does not greatly affect your night vision. Firefly or Moonlight mode is a no-brainer.

USER INTERFACE

But, simply having a moonlight mode is not enough for me. I want that mode to be the default mode that comes on when turning on the light. I want to save my night vision initially, and potentially avoid alerting those around me to my use of a flashlight. Thus, when considering an EDC light, I want the ability to access the Moonlight or Firefly mode directly from off. Beyond that, I can be fairly easy going when it comes to User Interface, so long as it is intuitive and simple to remember.

 Some of the authors favorite models (from left to right): Olight S15 2x AA, Olight S15 1x AA, Maratac Tactical Personal Flood, Foursevens Atom AA and Thrunite 1x AAA. 

Some of the authors favorite models (from left to right): Olight S15 2x AA, Olight S15 1x AA, Maratac Tactical Personal Flood, Foursevens Atom AA and Thrunite 1x AAA. 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

There are certainly other considerations when deciding on your pocket torch. I'll discuss three of them below:

TAIL STAND

I put the ability of a light to “Tail Stand” (that is, it is capable of standing on it's tail on a flat surface) in the optional category. Some will find this a necessary feature, but with my instance on having a clip that can attach to the brim of my ball cap, it becomes less important. There are times however when a stationary light pointed upwards could be of use. A circumstance when one wants to fill a room with light by reflecting it off the ceiling comes to mind here.

MAGNETIC TAIL CAP

A magnetic tail cap is a great feature and one that should be included on every single cell light in my opinion. But again, because of my pocket clip requirement, it is not really necessary. The ability for a light to attach to any ferrous surface though can be very handy in many cases and should not be underrated.

SWITCH TYPE

Switch type can be important in some circumstances. Generally, the smallest light will come a twist type switch where the bezel is tightened or loosened to turn on the light and cycle modes. Some lights come with tail cap click switches that allow the user to activate the light with their thumb while maintaining a firm grip on the body. Still others will use a side switch that is either pressed or slid back and forth. Each switch type will have it's advantages and disadvantages, but I find each of these to be useful and suitable for one handed operation. 

Carry on, 

- AT

 

 

Quick Look: TEC Accessories P-7 Suspension Clip

Adam Teeter

Keys in the bottom of your pocket got you down? Need a lift for that bulge on your thigh? The TEC Accessories P-7 Suspension Clip is for you! 

This little clip allows the user to dangle their keys or other pocket accouterments from the top of their pocket. The user is given quick access to the items without having to dig for them. Additionally, the pile of stuff at the bottom of the pocket is reduced or eliminated entirely! 

Grab yous today and get that lift you've been looking for! The TEC Accessories P-7 Suspension Clip is available here. 

Carry on, 

- AT