The ESSTAC KYWI pouch offers many of the benefits of a traditional Kydex mag carrier, but also the benefits of a traditional MOLLE pouch that only takes up two rows of PALS webbing on your belt or plate carrier where a standard MARS carrier or other similar kind of Kydex rifle mag carrier will take up something like three, just because of where all the screws and the eyelets and everything are. With sewn nylon, you can get everything much tighter to the dimensions of the magazine and have more stuff on your kit while taking up less real estate. Now, the ESSTAC KYWI is one of our favorite pouches out there because it has this integrated Kydex insert. It is removable. Although the only reason to really remove it is to adjust the retention on the Insert itself.
Uses and description (00:54):
So what you have is the nylon pouch right here that has loop on the inside, it is slick on the other side, and then you have your two rows of MOLLE, and then you have this little Kydex insert that has velcro on one side to adhere to the loop on the inside. And it has this you know, this bend up here at the top to keep the pouch open for re-indexing your magazines with this taper here in the middle for retention on your PMAG and your standard STANAG style magazines. Now these do ship pretty tight as far as the retention goes. So if you wanna loosen it up, it's on a plate carrier or something like that, or a chest rig, all you have to do is take a hair dryer or a heat gun. I sometimes do it without even taking these out, but you literally just pass heat over on one side, and you can start to sort of push the indention sort of away from the magazine. And that will give you looser retention. You get the retention pretty loose with these, but they're quite tight right from the factory, right from us, right from ESSTAC. So just something to be aware of. So we're gonna reinsert this guy, make sure the velcro adheres, and there we go.
Attaching the ESSTAC Pouches (02:09):
This will be attached via MALICE clips or another style of polymer MOLLE clip these, the new MALICE clips—One thing to take into consideration—It has this new, what I like to call squiggly pattern. It's a little more flimsy if you're using a single pouch with one of these versus the traditional that was flush these are easier to thread onto MOLLE. So that's pretty cool. And they're a little bit lighter but the traditional MALLICE clips are now discontinued. They're now gone. I preferred them. If you do want something that's a little more rigid than one of these, you can, there's lots of other options on the market. Some from China, some made America this is a Blade-Tech that more or less does the same thing, although it is a little more bulky and I believe also more expensive. These work just fine. If you're using a double, if you're using something like a single that's where it can get a little flimsy kind of rocking on the literal squiggles of the pouch itself or of the clip itself. But if you're using a double, you got two points of contact on the belt or on your kit. So that really doesn't happen as much. So we're gonna thread our MALLICE clips through from the bottom. We are going to have the receptacle, for the clip itself facing outwards.
Attaching the ESSTAC Pouches Continued (03:28):
And ESSTAC does sew the MOLLE strips here in the back pretty tight. So you may want a tool such as a flathead screwdriver to kinda pry it up. And there you have it. MALICE clips come over the top, and now you're ready to attach this to whatever MOLLE gear that you have. Let's go ahead and attach a couple of these to this AWS belt. So this is a, you know, traditional looking two piece velcro belt that has MOLLE on the front. There's a few ways of attaching the pouch to a belt like this. This one does have a MOLLE interface, so we're gonna take advantage of that. So again, taking my… I'll do a double pistol and a 5.56. The AWS belt has two slots of MOLLE at the top with a center large slot to swoop in and out of here in the center. So we're gonna put our rifle pouch all the way here next to our dump pouch. So we're going to index both of these here. Because of how tight the MOLLE spacing is on this belt. We're not gonna be able to do the traditional MOLLE mounting method, which is go inside on one, come back through here, go back in, come back through. We're gonna have to descend the MALICE clips all the way through the PALS webbing. This can be okay though. It might not be as tight of a fit.
Interfacing with MOLLE (05:06):
So using our flathead, we're gonna… And then I'm gonna take the MALLICE clips, weave them through as much of this as we can to get down to the receptacle. Wanna make sure it clicks in there. Sure has. And we're set. Now, this isn't quite as tight as if it could actually go in and come out and come back through, like, I'm gonna demonstrate on the Orion. But as you could see this pouch, it's not gonna go anywhere. It's locked into place. But the little squiggly clips, as you can see, do make the pouch a little more malleable as far as, you know, moving around on the belt. I haven't noticed too much of an issue though with the double pouches, especially the main issue is when you have like a single pistol pouch like this one, then it can really move around on there. So there's that we can always add the pistol pouch right here to the front, but let's go ahead and demonstrate what this looks like on a belt that has a little bit more MOLLE than one of these two piece belts. So we've got our Orion right here. I already have a 5.56 pouch already attached, as you can see, there's a lot less movement on the pouch itself because it's actually using much more of the MOLLE on the pouch itself and also on the belt. So I've got my double pistol, exact same thing index from the top. But then because I have enough room on here with the MOLLE spacing, I can actually swoop through the middle section of the pouch on the back, like tradit… Like the way you're supposed to attach MOLLE, the traditional method. Sometimes using a flathead screwdriver to (oh, okay I went too far) to guide it back through, And then we're gonna swoop back in this section. And then we just drop these in here, make sure they click And we're set. And as you can see, this is a lot more stable because you're actually using the MOLLE on the pouch itself, as much as you can. And when you're attaching MOLLE gear to, you know, other MOLLE gear you wanna make sure you're actually weaving through both the pouch and the item that you're fastening it to. You don't wanna just swoop through and miss/bypass all of that webbing if you're able to use it. So with the ESSTACs, it's the exact same thing, make sure you're using the middle section of MOLLE as much as you can. If you have a skinnier belt though, that doesn't have as much spacing with the MOLLE or traditional spacing with the MOLLE, it's not gonna work. And that's where you're gonna get a little more shift in play.
Wearing on Plate Carriers (08:39):
Now let's talk plate carrier. So this is a Crye CPC. This is a load bearing plate carrier that can take quite a bit of weight and I can have a decent amount of ammunition on the front. If that's something I want to do something that I like to have is a speed reload pouch of some sort on the carrier because a traditional Crye carrier has all these little bungies and they're a little slower to reload with. So in this case, the ESSTACs are really awesome. You could also do something like the 10 speeds. So I could either run this 5.56 ESSTAC right there on the front, here on the far right side. Or if I really wanted to get fun, I could run the double pistol. But in this case we're gonna use the rifle pouch. So traditional MOLLE, it's the exact same thing. We're gonna be positioning this here at the bottom because a 30 round magazine obviously comes all the way up to, you know, be flush with this one. If we attached it up to here, the pouch is gonna now be extending quite a bit higher into the plate carrier. So we're gonna fasten it here at the bottom. So exact same thing. I'm gonna swoop through the MOLLE and this is traditional MOLLE. This isn't lasered. It's not, you know, it's traditional MOLLE that is hard sewn to the carrier.
It's gonna be a little trickier. Swoop through. And then, like I said earlier, as much as possible, utilize the webbing on the inside… On the backside of the ESSTAC, proper MOLLE weaving. You'd be surprised how many people don't know how to properly weave MOLLE. It's incredible really. Then run this guy through. And then we're gonna swoop back through. It would be easier if I didn't have the magazine inside, but I'm doing it anyway.
All right. Got that one. Got that one. Then same thing. Make sure you go back in, click into place. Back in, click into place. So now I've got a Kydex.
Circumstances to Consider Adjusting Retention and conclusion (11:20):
Speed reload option. It's pretty tight and on a plate carrier. This is where I would definitely consider taking a hair dryer and actually heating up that Kydex. Because when you go to defeat the retention of a pistol mag carrier such as this one on your plate carrier, you're gonna find your entire carrier generally, depending on the retention is gonna actually be lifting up into your throat/jaw. So I would probably loosen that a little bit so that that mag is a little bit faster to grab and isn't gonna affect the, you know, how I'm wearing the plate carrier itself. But that's how you can attach the ESSTACs to traditional MOLLE, slim MOLLE on a competition, you know, two style, you know, belt and then also the Orion. There's all sorts of other attachments out there. And if you have any other questions, you can email the guys at [email protected].