I’m extremely late to this hype train… Even in the UK we’ve had Spiritus Systems for quite some time and there are dozens of very good reviews out there on Spiritus gear in general and yet specifically on “The SACK” nothing really has come out review wise for this particular item aside from a couple of US YouTube videos.
Notable reviews of Spiritus gear, Indeed the ones that inspired this purchase are The Reptile House Rich’s review of the similar Medium GP Pouch and The Heresy Group’s review on the Micro Fight Chassis. (Edit: As I’m about to publish this, I’ve noticed that The Reptile House has released an excellent review on the very same item, Click Here for his review).
Looking for a pouch to hang under a plate carrier or chest rig, You can see there are a lot to choose from. Various options are offered by Warrior, Haley Strategic, Ferro Concepts and indeed Spiritus Systems including their other “Dangler” Pouch, The Lunchbox.
I’ve seen pros and cons to the design of all those pouches… I personally own a Multicam Ferro Dangler, But there’s two reasons… Possibly three that made me buy the Spiritus one instead of just sticking with the Dangler.
Firstly, The Ferro Dangler is designed primarily to hang below the FCPC and Slickster, the profile is more suited to that of a plate carrier. It’s width matches that of a Medium SAPI plate and the velcro on the back will fit perfectly in the plate pocket flap of either of these two rigs or that of a similarly constructed carrier such as the Crye Precision JPC. It’s also tapered at the bottom to ensure it doesn’t interfere with your legs, Even if hung low. A great feature for its intended purpose but not really an issue if used high up on a chest rig.
With the rear of a Chest Rig, The hook field is generally a little less wide, Certainly on the Spiritus Chassis and the Haley Strategic D3CR it’s a couple of inches narrower.
The SACK has a corresponding hook and loop field on a flap above the pouch, Designed to be sandwiched in between the chest rig and blanking panel, It’s a tried and tested system and one that allows for cross compatibility…
Cross compatibility is a great idea… Why be held to one manufacturer just because you love one item they make? I’ve paired the Spiritus SACK with my trusty Haley D3CR, now the main reason I didn’t buy the Haley Hanger wasn’t due to quality or any other reason apart from selecting the right pouch for the right need.
I was after a pouch that didn’t fully clamshell, That fitted beneath a chest rig correctly and that had a customisable configuration with a little bit of organisation built in. Most importantly though, It had to look good. Airsoft is a fashion show, Anyone who disagrees with that hasn’t been looking around at the money’s worth spent on nylon with funny little logos on it.
So, The SACK… Or S.A.C.K. (Sub Abdominal Carrying Kit)… Probably the worlds most forced backronym, But I’m not going to argue with a company who posted up this thoughtful insight into the mind of many a veteran;
Powerful words indeed… And like a few of the trusted tactical brands that have popped up in recent years, There’s a wealth of experience within the Spiritus team.
Knowing what is needed for a specific job and turning ideas into nylon isn’t an easy task, but they seem to have mastered the art of simple complexity… solving a complex issue with a simple solution.
The SACK is in its simplest explanation, A medium sized (7″ x 4.5″ x 2.5″) zipper pouch with a small zipper admin pouch on the front and a shock cord attachment positioned on the bottom, The whole thing being attachable to the bottom of a plate carrier or chest rig. Made from what I’d guess is 500d cordura, A Tactical nylon staple… Save for the front which is made from a 4 way stretch material, very similar in feel to that which you’d find on a pair of Crye combat pants.
I opted to go with Ranger Green, I like this colour for a number of reasons… It works well with other patterns and doesn’t look out of place wether I’m running a full TF loadout or a low profile opfor look. On a pure function side, Green works well in the majority of places I play and should I find myself in a situation it won’t blend in, it probably won’t matter anyway.
Starting with the top… A 7″ x 4″ velcro panel sits atop the pouch, loop on the front and hook rear. This will mesh with practically any chest rig or plate carrier on the market, those that do not have a corresponding hook/loop field could be quite easily modified to accept this addition (Arktis 42 rig anyone?).
The main compartment has an interior capacity of just under 1.3ltrs… (1290.48ml to be precise), Plenty big enough for what I intend to carry… But if your looking to supplement your ammo carriage then there are other, bigger options on the market. As you can see below, A Baofeng UV5-R can be shoved in the pouch, but it’s not advisable.
On the inside of the main pouch you’ll notice it’s lined front and rear with a loop field, this allows the insertion of a number of different organisers. Spiritus make their own, as do Haley Strategic and Blue Force Gear… I already have a couple of BFG Dapper loops and can confirm they work well with the SACK.
A pair of retention loops can be used to secure sensitive or essential gear… A nice little addition and probably not one I’ll need but it’s nice to know I can clip on my NVGs if I’m feeling particularly clumsy. Also note the use of what appears to be Multicam Tropic material on some of the interior trim… Not sure why they’d use this, I’ve either got something that slipped by QC or more likely it’s just a cost saving measure… Doesn’t really bother me and it’s only on the sides, But it has got my interest piqued.
On the very bottom, A pair of retained barrel locks can be used with the supplied shock-cord to hold a tourniquet or similar to the bottom of the pouch. When not needed you could simply remove the Shock cord and if your a real madman you could cut these off… but I’ll keep mine where they are for now.
On the front of the pouch, Sits an old idea that has been given a modern twist… A small organiser pocket with a double zip. Despite it appearing the same material at a glance, It’s actually made from a 4 way stretch material. An interesting choice… I initially wondered if it would be tough enough, But an almost identical material has served me well enough in the stretch panels of my Crye G3 Combat Pants.
The pocket is large enough for a mobile phone or compact digital camera, It’s a highly adaptable pocket and one of the key reasons I chose this over the other hanger type pouches. The pocket sitting on the outside of the main compartment material also means that any ingress of water or dirt shouldn’t penetrate from one compartment to the other.
The zippers are smooth and made to a high standard, the pull tabs however are not something I like… Well, Initially I didn’t like them but I’ve actually grown to like them. Cord pull tabs are a great idea, they eliminate noise and increase your ability to manipulate the zipper even when wearing gloves. I’m used to either moulded pulltabs or even 550 cord, these are a more rustic feeling braided cord in black. I thought initially that they looked a little odd, but I’m not convinced it’s cheap cordage. They are a little more grippy than 550 paracord due to its braided design, And it’s the functionality that’s won me over.
I’ll be using this for mostly odds and ends, A phone/camera for SSE work (Secure Site Exploitation, Or on-site Intel gathering to you and me) and a notepad/pen will probably live in the front.
In the main compartment, I’ll stick in a little pyro (Unfortunately not in the coming weeks due to a drought induced ban on Salisbury Plain) and other little bits such as anti fog, spare batteries and hydration tablets.
It’s hard not to like the simplicity of the pouch, But… As with all tactical gear it seems to live in its own pricing ecosystem, £60 for a pouch seems mental until you look at the market as a whole and consider that Crye 330d pouches fetch triple figure sums for what is in actuality a very simple pouch.
My only slight criticism, and bear in mind I’m an airsofter… Not their primary Mil/LEO audience is that the main pouch zipper is slightly too far rearwards to be easily opened whilst under a loaded chest rig as it’s effectively blocked by the underside of the chest rig. A zipper on the front seam might have made accessing it a little simpler, Although I’m sure they have their reasons. (An update below on this, and an answer to the aforementioned interior colour! Goes to show they actively take an interest in feedback!)
This item is simple where it needs to be but it certainly has enough innovation for what I was looking to do with it to justify the additional cost over say a Ferro Dangler or Haley Hanger at £20 less. It also has the distinction of appearing in that favourite of mine… SEAL Team. It’s been seen both under the Spiritus Chassis and under a couple of the teams AVS Plate Carriers.
So, overall… A very well made pouch, Unique enough to stand alone from the pack yet retaining that cross brand compatibility that’s sure to be required from the majority of end users. I’m looking forward to putting it through its paces over the coming months.