Ladies and Gentleman, today we are gonna take a look at a newbie on the German market that aims to manufacture serious gear. Terra-B is a brand we heard of a few weeks. They are a small business but already do some serious laser cut stuff. After having a look at their discreet pouches we decided to give them a go and test them during daily duty, but also during this year’s international Bodyguard conference.
The discreet pouch is basically an improvement on blue force gears tenspeed pouches. Adding a laser cut PALS bridge to the surface makes the pouch not only more modular but also more abrasion resistant. This is executed very well but I would like to see more laminate coverage on the lower corners of the pouches, as this is were most of the wear and tear happens on mag pouches.
Speaking of mag pouches, there are two basic advantages in elastic magpouches. First is that they offer you a very low profile compared to Cordura pouches. This is especially true when they are empty and are used as a backup pouch. When the pouch is loaded we talk about millimeters regarding the differences in thickness of the fabric compared to traditional pouches, those days many items that are slick are sold as LowVis, but it’s not the structure, but the shape that gives away the nature of an hidden object. So when operating low vis I would still prefer IWB solutions. The real advantage of elastic pouches lies in the flexibility of the fabric and that you can put not just mags inside.
The discreet pouches shine a real jacks of all trades here. For the IBC I combined a small and a large discreet pouch as a micro traumakit. Putting a TQ in the small pouch and a four inch emergency dressing in the large pouch. It worked until operating in confined spaces like vehicles, during a shooting drill in a car I ripped out the tq out of the pouch, so I couldn’t really recommend to fit TQs inside the small pouch. Everything else was kept in place really well. For the small pouch this included: pistol mags, torches, several Multitools, ASP cuffs and batons. The big pouch even fits: .223 mags, 4″ bandages, RATS TQ, Radios and a can of dip.
What I really liked is how well the pouches fit to a belt and also how well they fit to PALS. You can just slide them on a belt to fit them, or use the laser cut PALS. I personally would prefer a solution that relies on velcro one wrap, as sliding pouches on belts can be a pain in the ass. Also I would like to see a lower profile when mounted to PALS, as the belt loop creates a big gap.
As with all elastic mag pouches, reinserting mags can be a problem. So you either ditch your mags or you use your pants pockets as a dump pouch. Tactical reloads can become a problem here. I thought that the laser cut Bridge helps as an index points, but on the range and even during the photoshots it was a PITA to reinsert mags.
Construction of all elements is made with, what seems to be milspec grade fabric. The elastic material could be a little bit thicker but during the last weeks nothing pierced or chaffed the fabric. The laser cut PALS is a bit filmsy and isn’t fun to assemble, but once in place it will stay. I won’t go into stitching and seams here. They seem to be well made and do their job, thats what counts.
Some small critic points aside, the soft pouches by Terra-B are a solid choice when you are either looking for a minimalist mag pouch as a backup solution or a GP Pouch for several small items. I don’t think that elastic pouches will replace conventional mag pouches anywhere soon, but they have a niche and Terra-B just makes them very well. I will definetly fit them as a back up to my cummerbund.
The discreet pouch is available directly at Terra-B’s online store.
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UPDATE: Blue Force Gear released a very similiar pouch, which our mates at The Reptile House Blog did a great review on. It’s interesting to see that we came to very similiar conclusions on this kind of product.