When it comes to tactical nylon, STRATAGEM Int. is one of the most traditional players in Germany. I remember looking at some of their kit as a private first class in 2009 and being fascinated by its design while also being depressed, because I couldn’t really afford it.
Using mostly US and UK made gear today I forgot about STRATAGEM somehow. It turned out they were up and running well, while basically performing a reboot. Some months ago STRATAGEM approached us for some product testing.
So they got rid of many older, obsolete products and just did a complete revamp of their product line, which is now lightweight, lasercut and precision engineered. You know the drill. When STRATAGEMs first package arrived I really had to think of what product I should review first, considering the fact that Iam working in a permissive environment as a CPO right now, my time to properly test mag pouches and the like is reduced to almost zero. So I wanted to show of STRATAGEMs contestot to a product category that almost every gear manufacturer has to offer. The GP pouch, zippered.
STRATAGEMs GP pouch is called the “General Purpose Pouch, Organizer”, it’s a basic half zippered pouch with dimensions of 19cm in height, 12cm in width and 7cm in depth. Which is as big as two ar15 double mags stacked beneath each other, just to give you a gripe.
The GP Pouch attaches to three columns of PALS webbing and lacks a belt mount. Attachment is done by lasercut PALSTEX laminate. PALSTEX is a milspec laminate which is made in Germany and one of the few laminates that don’t suffer the problems of delamination. It’s nice to know that your pouch won’t come apart, so if you go for laminate, use a proper one, like PALSTEX, Squadron, UltraComp or Airlite.
The pouch itself is made out of 500DEN Cordura which has become somewhat of the gold standard in tactical nylon. Opening the main compartment of STRATAGEMs GP Pouch Organizer is done by a two way zipper which opens to almost the half of the pouch. The zipper is covered by a zipper guard and uses dedicated zipper pulls. Because of the zipper guard the zipper isn’t inverted and doesn’t tend to catch up in documents or other papers you may store in the main compartment.
The front of the GP Pouch features a big square of velcro, just in case you simply like patches or you want to use it as an IFAK pouch. Even on the velcro square you can see how much effort STRATAGEM puts into manufacturing. The corners are rounded and the stitch per inch count equals that of the pouches main body.
Just above the velcro square you find a front zipper, it should be noted that this zipper is inverted because it lacks a zipper guard, so someone did apply some serious engineering here. Behind the zipper you find a small Admin Pouch, which holds a german traveler’s passport and similar sized documents with ease. It also lends itself to store valuables, reference cards, most multitools or a can of dip.
But let’s return to the main compartment, it’s capacity is enormous as you can store two STANAG. 223 mags without problems. I even tried to store my whole IFAK here and I succeeded, note that this isn’t an dedicated IFAK pouch, but it simply highlights the versatility of this pouch. It’s nice to be able to use a pouch not for just a single purpose. In fact this is what the term general purpose is about.
Now let’s do something unusual, I learned from our friends at The Reptile House, let’s simply turn the pouch inside out. Now we don’t only have a better view of the internal dividers and the lining, but we can also see what the person sewing the pouch is perhaps trying to hide.
Inside the pouch you’ll find a STRATAGEM label and what turns out to be a lasercut gear keeper. Using a laser cut asset as a gear keeper is not only economical smart, but also saves some weight and bulk. You can dummy cord several items here if you like to do so. The pouch is completely lined with coyote colored ripstop nylon, which also forms a flat divider on the inwards as well on the outwards facing side. This, again saves weight vs using Cordura for the dividers. Each divider accepts reference cards, a folded chest seal, a mobile device or even a .223 mag.
On both sides, just where the zipper ends you find some attachment points. Those aren’t plastic D-Rings, but paracord. This again saves weight and reduces noise if you want to hang a clip for gloves or similar things here. You may also use an old rifle sling to carry this pouch as a small shoulder bag.
Let’s talk about stitching for a moment, what STRATAGEM did here is some of the best stitch per inch count I have seen on tactical Nylon, someone here knows his game by doing solid craftsmanship instead of apllying double seams on every corners. I would go so far to compare the stitching quality to Velocity Systems and other top tier US manufacturers, so STRATAGEM definitely plays on the upper league when it comes to EU manufactured gear. In fact, the only item with a higher stitch per inch count I own is a custom made pouch, which is in fact produced by a rigger master for me.
The inside of the pouch has the same stitch per inch count as the outside, which is not a thing you encounter every time. The only drawback in quality I encountered is that the edge taping on the insides nylon layer is not entirely merged at one point. But this won’t affect the function of the product and is more or less a cosmetical point.
On the PALSTEX attachment system you, again encounter STRATAGEMs strategic approach to sewing, you got locking seams where the most force is applied to the attachment ladder and regular seams on other points, it’s again nice to see that someone put some thought into the stitching process. The PALSTEX attachment features some rectangular cutouts, to save weight. This is a good approach, but I like the Helium Whisper backers, that in fact replace the whole backside of the pouch more than simply adding another layer. On the other hand STRATAGEMs approach is more economic and adds a bit more ruggedness, so it’s not a big drawback at all.
Well, I never imagined to be able to put out so many words just to cover a zippered GP Pouch, but it was worth it, covering the stitching and manufacturing quality of STRATAGEM really gave me a good impression of this company’s abilities and I’m really eager to test and evaluate the other products they have sent to us. If you are looking for a zippered GP pouch that is not only versatile and organized, but also made to the highest standards you should give STRATAGEMs product a try. Aside from the missing belt mount im pretty impressed with the thought that got into such a, basically unspectacular product.
The GP Pouch Organizer is available directly from STRATAGEM Int.
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