Continuing our review series of magpouches we will this time take a look at Velocity Systems .223 shingle in its Helium Whisper Variation. Velocity Systems is known for its expertise in creating no-nonsense gear which has its focus on weight saving while maintaining maximum functionality. We got some samples from Velocity Systems to evaluate how the systems works in various uses and environments.
Generally speaking, a good triple shingle is the very foundation of many non-placard-based load bearing systems, be it plate carriers, chest-rigs or even assault vests. You can somehow see the overall quality of a manufacturer in the execution of their triple magazine shingles, which are in the best case whole engineered systems, or – in the worst case, merely an afterthought co “complete” the product variation of a manufacturer.
Velocity Systems triple shingle doesn’t really stand out after a first look. Its basically a PALS compatible open top magpouch which accepts three magazines that are retained by bungee cord and pull-tabs. It has a six by three footprint which covers 6 columns and three rows of MOLLE webbing. The face is also completely covered in PALS webbing to add pouches, electronic devices or knifes to you chest area which is always the second most easy to reach area, right after your weak- or strong hand area. This triangle of easy to reach spots is also called the “divers triangle” which we will cover in a future TACHACK article.
Looking at the overall construction we see many different materials, intended to be working in concert with each other. We see 500DEN Cordura fabric used for the pouches box-shaped construction. 500DEN Cordura has proven to be superior in many ways to 1000DEN Cordura which was the industry standard by 10 years ago and still is used by some of the more non progressive manufacturers. It is almost 50% lighter than 1000D Cordura nylon fabric while being almost as rugged and abrasion resistant.
The half box shaped construction is closed with a slightly bigger piece of 500DEN Cordura on the back to give it the right fitting to any chestrig or platecarrier front and to add some stability. A full piece of Helium Whisper attachment System, designed by Blue Force gear is added to the back of the pouch, to cut the overall weight and bulk of traditional webbing-based attachment systems.
On the back you also find three small grommet holes that serve as anchor points for the shockcord-based retention system. This ensures that you can adjust the overall tension of the pull tabs that will retain your magazines. The only downside or big question mark that rises here is why velocity Systems didn’t cut the Cordura backer and just rely on the Helium Whisper backer which would completely do the job in conjunction with a platecarrier or chestrigs surface.
Speaking of 500DEN Cordura the last time, it is not without its disadvantages as it has less stiffness and an overall more instable feel to it, which could cause some troubles related to shifting while performing tactical reloads. Velocity Systems solved this problem on the Triple Shingle (HW) by adding a system of relatively stiff milspec webbing dividers to the inside. The stiffness provided is just enough to prevent the fabric from warping while drawing or indexing a magazine. The inner dividers are applied in a “S-Shape” style to the inside to use only two lines of webbing.
The PALS compatible surface is made out of traditional webbing and accepts pouches and devices flawlessly, it features just two rows of webbing to further reduce weight and also preventing the user to do weird things like attaching a belt fed pouch or something along those lines to the shingle.
On the front you will also observe three 20mm loops of webbing, sewn on vertically. Those loops serve as the front anchor point of the shock cord which features webbing pull tabs. Those webbing pull tabs are also 20mm in width and feature a suede like, non-slip fabric on both sides to increase the grip. The use of the non-slip material is a very important point as there are still manufacturers that use plain-webbing for this application, which can turn out to be very slippy in conjunction with rain and gloves.
One thing that is missing for me are drainage grommets on the bottom, this is not a problem for general purpose usage but excepts Velocity Systems pouch from maritime and heavy amphibious applications in my eyes.
We used the Velocity Systems Triple Shingle (HW) in different training applications like flat range training and CQB/CQV exercises and for a lightweight magpouch it performs very well. A tactical reload is possible without looking at the pouch for a single time. However, it isn’t a speed reload pouch and isn’t intended to be one, as plastering your platecarrier with HSGI Tacos and other tacoesque systems isn’t the way to cut down weight.
Its up to you to decide how many speed reload youll propably need to perform and also how important a speed reload is to you. I remember a great excerpt of Henning Hoffmanns book “Feuerkampf und Taktik” (“Gunfight and Tactics”) which says that “there are no recorded cases in history of a speed reload deciding a battle”.
We also liked the low bulk and the adjustability of the retention, which – combined with the webbing stiffeners; makes the magazine really glide into the pouch. As I use CAA windowed and countdown magazines, which are pretty bulky, I can assure that P-Mags and USGI mags will fit without problems. Velocity Systems also offers a .308 version which will not only take the magazines of the most common NATO DMR rifles, but also various AK magazines.
The Helium Whisper attachment system works flawlessly with all PALS System that we tested it on, be it traditional webbing or laser cut solutions. I personally prefer it above all other Systems that are currently available on the market, because it proved to be reliable, securing pouches bombproof to every platform, while its low profile almost makes one think that the pouch is sewn to the respective platform.
The Velocity Systems Triple shingle is a solid, well thought and built lightweight magpouch that is a great option to start with for a basic fighting load setup.