View Full Version : First Line Medical Pouches Compared
One of the many things that an active shooter needs to have about his/her person is some sort of medical supplies, should the inevitable happen. There have been large discussions on what a person should carry in their ifak.
There have been large lists compiled of what should be included. most list contents would require a full clamshell style pouch, some a small back pack. I wanted something more compact that I could use on my first line, for times where i'm not having to use a plate carrier or chest rig, thus not able to carry a fully stocked 2nd line med pouch. I realized that I would not be able to carry a full life saving line up in order to do this. I set out and consulted with several people as to what are some of the most critical items to carry. It was narrowed down to:
(1) Cinch Tight H-Bandage (http://www.tacticalresponsegear.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=37_118&products_id=2476)
(1) 14g catheder (http://www.tacticalresponsegear.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=37_118&products_id=3168)
(1) set of shears (http://www.tacticalresponsegear.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=37_118&products_id=2342)
(1) Airway w/lube (http://www.tacticalresponsegear.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=37_118&products_id=3167)
(1) a quik clot sponge (http://www.tacticalresponsegear.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=37_118&products_id=3177)
(1) Combat Application Tourniquet (C.A.T) (http://www.narescue.com/Combat-Application-Tourniquet-C-A-T---Tactical-Black-P195C145.aspx)
After that it was all about finding the right sized pouch. There were four that I immidiately considered. The first that crossed my mind was the ever so popular HSGI Bleeder Pouch. Then Blackstone Tactical started carrying ICE tactical gear, and i found out about their horizontal tear off pouch, Then OSOE put out their mirco-vok; finally a maxpedition pouch was pointed out to me. Not knowing which one i wanted to buy I secured some loaners to test out and see which one best suited my needs. Here's what I thought of each.
HSGI was one of the first companies to successfully market a smallpouch for use with medical equipment. They first introduced theirbleeder pouch about two years ago. Being that it has pretty much beenthe only option available (up till now) it had really taken off.
TheHSGI Bleeder Pouch is a top loading pouch. It features two closuremethods, the primary being a fastex buckle on the front, and hook andloop beneath the flap.
Thesides are lined with webbing in the form of a pals channel. In theoryyou could mount another pouch here, but i prefer to mount a C.A.T inthis spot using rubberbands. I'll show this mounting solution at theend of the article.
Aswith most of HSGI's flapped pouches, it features a drain hole in thebottom so that sand or whatever environmentals can easily removethemselves from the pouch. Note, with the contents that i've put intoit, that's really not an option. Once full unless it's uber fine dry orfluid environmentals there is no way for particles to move downward.
Anice addition to this pouch is that it has a dedicated shears slot sewninto the back of the pouch. It retains the shears with a snap button.
MyGoal was to get all the above stated materials into or onto this pouch.I came up a tad short. I was able to get the H-bandage, crinkle gauze,duct tape, catheter, shears (an added item) and C.A.T. into it. Leavingthe quickclot and airway with no room to fit inside.
Once filled it pretty much retains its original form (3"x3"x7") I've included of it fully loaded from every pertinent angle
Thepouch is well designed. Plenty of edging tape for added durability onthe stitching. The pouch is actually sewn together and then sewn ontoanother sheet. I was slightly disappointed that it would not fiteverything I wanted it to. It's not meant to be a pouch that can carrya full 2nd line medical load out, but I would have liked to at leastbeen able to carry ALL the BASICS. On a side note, I was able tosqueeze everything in after changing my compression bandage out for anIZZY, which provides considerably smaller coverage, and in turn absorbsless..
The pals channels on the back extend all the way tothe top of the pouch. When mounting it to your modular belt you willnotice that it will almost line up with the top of your belt. Becauseof this, it does hang a tad below the bottom. No issue there. Nohinderance in movement or anything. Just felt like pointing that out.
The second pouch in this comparison comes to us from John Willis over at OSOE (http://www.originalsoegear.com)
In recent years the tactical gear industry has produced a number of "micro rigs". These rigs, unlike their full sized counterparts, do not have the available real estate for a full sized medical pouch, much less a tear off medical pouch that would require four pals channels worth of room. As OSOE has produced the Micro Rig Pals, The Mookie War Rig Lite, and the TV Chest rig, John needed something that would carry the basics of the TRG VOK, but take up a lot smaller foot print.
This is the OSOE Compact VOK
It is a small pouch, only requiring two pals channels to mount, but does overlap the channels laying directly on each side.
The OSOE Compact Vok is a quad folding pouch. The outer two flaps use hook and loop to secure them together. The outer most flap has a red pull tab, as does the inner top flap.
Like the HSGI Bleeder pouch, this pouch also features pals channels on the sides. It was from John that I learned about mounting the C.A.T on these channels, as the US Special Forces do. This pouch does flatten out when not filled.
There is not a specific sleeve for shears built into this pouch, but like all other medical pouches, shears can be placed down a pals channel in between the malice clip and the pouch itself.
This pouch amazed me. I was able to get everything I stated at the beginning of the this comparison. Like the HSGI bleeder pouch, I tried to add more things to my list. I tried the same items as with the bleeder pouch. The only thing I was not able to get into this pouch was the duct tape. You can't see it, but the crinkle gauze is in the flap with the quikclot sponge.
Once filled the pouch does expand to the size of the bleeder pouch. It has almost the same width and depth, with more in it.
10-1-09 Guess what finally showed up today?
To say the least i was overly anxious to receive today's package. I've heard about Ice Tactical's Attention to detail and quality. Initially I had asked Paul Cordick of Ice Tactical to get me Ice's vertical ifak pouch. Much to my surprise he included the horizontal pouch in his shipment. I suppose that I will start with the pouch that I really wanted to see, The vertical pouch.
Upon opening the bubble mailer it came in, the first thing i noticed was that these pouches were significantly more robust than any of the other pouches i've reviewed in this thread. The stitching is on par with what I would expect from a major player in the tactical gear industry.
The vertical Pouch, like the previous two is a two column pouch. Meaning it only takes up two pals channels on whatever kit you are mounting it to. I've got one more picture to take of the back, so that you can see what i'm going to tell you about; one with the malice clips inserted and folded over. While i have no doubt that the stitching will hold, there is some fold over of the top row of webbing; once the malice clip is inserted and folded over. it's like the channels are a few millimeters to tall to adequately fit a full sized long malice clip.
unlike the bleeder pouch and the compact vok, this is a tear off pouch. it utilizes a fastex buckle to secure it in the front, and a generous portion of hook and loop to secure it on the back. The bright red pull loop makes it readily identifiable as a medical pouch. Something I had not expected was how the fastex buckle is secured. Some companies use staples and stitching, others just stitching, but this one is unique. it's like it's clamped through the material
Ice has incorporated a new idea with their pouch, and to be honest with you; one that I'm surprised hasn't surfaced by now. It's something that I have always felt was needed on a clamshell style pouch; and that is a tab to help yank it open, without having to use the zipper pulls. yes it does leave a bit of a gap between the zipper pulls, but not in such a way that one has to worry about debris entering the pouch. Once secured to the outer mounting, the gap is completely covered.
At first glance the interior disappointed me. It has two "pockets" and that's it. Notice I said at first glance. As soon as i started stuffing this bad boy i quickly realized that it wasn't such a bad thing after all. This pouch exceeded my expectations when it comes to how much it can hold. Somehow I managed to "knick" the packaging to my h-bandage, and it became uncompressed. Even with the expanded bandage I was able to fit the h-bandage, Cathader, Nasal airway, lube, crinkle gauze, quik clot, duct tape roll, and (not pictured) gloves into this pouch. The bottom pocket had a little more room to go (ie: the contents were loose) but once closed you quickly realize that I had filled this pouch to capacity.
On the bleeder pouch, as well as the compact vok; i had secured a c.a.t. to the side pals channels via rubber band. Being that this pouch is a clamshell style pouch, there isn't much room for side mounted pals; however, there is a front pocket that readily accepts the c.a.t. While it does poke out the top a good bit, don't fret. once mounted to the outer shell, and the fastex buckle is secured. it's not going any where.
I mounted this pouch next to the hsgi bleeder pouch, and the horizontal pouch next to it. The vertical pouch rides on a first line belt in about the same position as the OSOE compact vok; almost perfectly centered
So far i'm impressed. fully stuffed it is a tad fatter, and extends off the belt a bit farther than OSOE pouch does, but I don't see it as a big concern. I plan to mount this, like the others, on my first line; but is the perfect size to fit on the side of my MWRL as well. This particular pouch will probably be added (once i buy the appropriate color) to my collection. this particular one has to go back as it was a loaner, and came from paul's personal stash.
This spot reserved for Maxpedition. awaiting arrival of product.
This spot reserved for Ice Tactical. Waiting for product submittal.
Do you have product coming? I have both the ICE Tactical vertical and horizontal med pouches. :cool:
paul is supposed to be getting me a horizontal pouch. just waiting on it to get here.
Regarding the spacing in the HSGI pouch, could you replace the kerlix and the Quikclot for the "combat gauze?"
i'm sure. i had the quikclot sponge already on hand. i pieced the other together. the difference between the sponge and the guaze is another thread though. one that i would be interested in reading should anyone want to start it.
Good reviews; useful too. Looking forward to the rest.
Accompanying the vertical pouch, from ICE Tactical, was the horizontal pouch. This was not one that I had <expected> to see this one.
Surprisingly this pouch is not much wider than the vertical pouch is. It's a three channel pouch, and unlike the vertical pouch, it uses short malice clips.
Following suit with the other ICE product, this pouch is a tear off pouch as well. It features the same fastex buckle, hook and loop, and bright red pull handle.
The internals also vary from the vertical pouch as well. Where the vertical pouch utilizes "pockets", the horizontal pouch uses one piece of inch and a half elastic. There is a small pocket to the rear of the pouch, on the side that mounts to the outer shell. The horizontal pouch does an excellent job of holding all the required items, with the exception of the duct tape roll. I just couldn't find a place to cram it in, and still be able to shut the pouch.
due to the design behind this pouch, it does expand outward a good bit. it almost becomes an egg. I found that I had to hold the pouch shut while zipping it shut, but thanks to the ICE pull tab, it was very easy to open.
This would make a great E&E pouch. for a medical pouch, i'm not liking it as much as the vertical pouch. It does provide for easy extraction of the contained goods, but seems crowded and unorganized. it doesn't provide for <as good of> organization as the vertical pouch, or the OSOE compact VOK.
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