Micro Rigs… Whilst they’re great for providing a small and very high speed ammo carriage option, don’t you sometimes wish you had just a little more storage?
After more than a couple of months the with the Haley Strategic D3CRM “Micro” (Reviewed Here), it’s become apparent that I’m in need of something to carry my radio in.
Haley purposely never designed the micro to incorporate a comms capability, I can understand the reasoning of scalability but without offering an option to expand their rig laterally I’m left with the choice of either slinging the radio in a mag pouch (cutting down my available mag carriage from an already bare bones three to two) or slinging the radio in the flatpack, an option I’ve used before with mixed results.
Looking outside the box, there’s two other options for wing type pouches… Spiritus Systems with their Micro Fight Expander Wings but simply due to the only colour I could source in a hurry being Multicam (with my D3CRM being Ranger Green) I’d decided against it, what had slipped my attention somehow until spitting it on Tactical Kit’s site was that Ferro Concepts had updated their ultra simplistic wingman pouch design to a v.2, with the welcome addition of optional shock cord retention and S&S Precision type pull tabs on said cord.
I’m going to keep it brief on this review, it’s a simple design and there’s only so much even I can waffle on about a pouch. The truth is that if you need a wing type pouch then you’re either in need of a bigger rig or there’s a very specific requirement that you’re looking to address.
The wing pouches made by Ferro are designed to work with their FCPC or Slickster Plate Carrier (Reviewed Here) but should work with any carrier or rig that has a velcro type cummerbund or backing plate.
The idea being that you can add a little more carriage capability to a plate carrier under the cummerbund right where there’s a little room aside the plates, this obviously is dependant on personal fitment and compatibility. The concept also works for chest rigs that are designed to be used as placards on plate carriers, admittedly though, when it comes to compatibility… It’ll depend on the size and shape of your carrier.
Spiritus Systems were one of the first chest rig manufacturers to realise that there was a gap in the market for a low profile pouch that could sit aside their micro chest rig and offer an additional carriage capability, their . The premise is exactly the same, the Velcro hook field situated on the rear of many chest rigs that allows a dangler pouch to be attached to the rig or indeed the whole rig to be stuck on the front of a plate carrier. However, it never takes long for a good idea to become commonplace and thus… The Ferro Concepts Wingman pouch came to be.
The basic design of the Ferro Wingman is an elastic panel folded over on itself to form a taco type pocket, a sheet of hook and a sheet of loop Velcro are stitched to the closed ends to form a way of attaching to your Rig/Plate carrier.
On the bottom of the elastic there’s a 1″ webbing loop to stop items falling through to the bottom, whilst not interfering with the pouches low profile and modular capabilities.
The construction of the v2 differs from the original Wingman by having a small shock cord retention loop built into the top of the pouch.
The shock cord is included as are a pair of S&S precision pull tabs, in my opinion the best pull tabs on the market and ones I’ve used for a number of years now.
Sizing wise, it’s an elastic pouch so much alike the Blue Force Gear Ten Speeds (Reviewed here) it’s limited by only your imagination. Anything from a 6″ Israeli compression bandage to a pair of 5.56 magazines will fit well, a PRC 148/152 is about the limit of its carriage capacity and a Baofeng PRR being in the Goldilocks zone of good fitment.
Wing pouches are generally only secured at one side, this begs the obvious question of security and movement, so far it’s early days but I’ve not noticed any undue movement. The pouch being held to the rear of either straps or a cummerbund it’s often held relatively stable by everything around it.
Removing items is dependant on the item itself but using a pair of mags as an example the first one will come free and the elastic will snap into place preventing the other from falling out or becoming too loose.
Re-Indexing isn’t the easiest or quickest job in the world but much alike the BFG Ten Speeds, it’s built for speed of extraction at the expense of all other factors. If you need to do admin reloads I’d suggest using another pouch on your rig.
Quality, these are well made as are all the Ferro bits I’ve had over the years… I joked a while back when reviewing the Ferro Slingster that “sooner or later I’d be buying Ferro again” and it’s happened a lot sooner than I’d anticipated. The reason I can confidently buy Ferro is that despite their minimalistic approach to design it’s never at the expense of quality, the stitching is bar-tacked on the top and bottom loops, a very welcome touch given the nature of the elastic it’s stitched to.
The colour options are the basic four you find with most tactical manufacturers, Ranger Green, Tan, Black and Multicam… this allows these pouches to work with most other colour-ways such as MC Black or Woodland.
One thing to bear in mind is that the elastic nature of these pouches means that there’s little protection offered to anything within the pouch… Radios can suffer from NDs on the buttons, the Baofeng in particular is notorious for buttons being pressed even whilst the key lock is on. A little tip is to make a Kydex case to prevent unwanted button presses.
Comfort, it depends on what you have within the pouches and your personal build but sticking a Baofeng or a couple of mags in a Wingman pouch has meant that the straps on my D3CRM have had to be loosened a little to accommodate the additional bulk behind the straps, not an issue for some but certainly something to be considered. Also, the shock cords might do more harm than good for certain items, I’ll probably leave the cord off on mine as the elastic is more than up to the task of holding a radio or a magazine without additional retention.
Overall, a good pouch for a variety of situations… Not just for ammo carriage but allowing comms or medical kit to be carried in a subtle but user friendly position.
Some rigs such as Crye’s JPC and LBT’s 6094 have a similar solution either built into the cummerbund or have an additional pouch available. However, on a micro rig or a low profile plate carrier you could do a lot worse than to check out Ferro’s Wingman pouches.
Why Haley Strategic are yet to jump into this market I don’t know… I’m not saying I’d buy a Haley wing pouch on its name alone (I chose the Spiritus SACK over the Haley Dangler after all) but I’d be interested to see what differences they’d bring to the market.