I have a penchant for organisation, well actually it’s more of a fetish if I’m honest. So when I saw Magpul had released a line of document storage wallets many years ago, I just had to have one.
But as with many things, I looked at the price and thought it wasn’t something I could really justify. However, given enough time I’ll generally weaken enough to part with my money.
Having a number of trips planned over the next year (pending the potential coronavirus lockdown), I was eager to find a way to keep my travel documents safe without resorting to sticking it all in a polypocket or other useful yet boring pouch.
The other (main) reason is mostly because I’m a sucker for tactical tat, the kind of things that probably see more use with flat range LARPers and airsofters than the actual guys at the tip of the spear. It’s all a little bit cringe, but we’ve all got our vices. One of mine just happens to be spending money on things like this, instead of a nice car or pair of decent jeans.
The final straw was seeing Ryan (from @backcountryworkshop and Rich (from The Reptile House) both using theirs at a recent game. After getting hands on with theirs, I simply had to buy one for myself.
The Magpul Daka Pouch is constructed from a grippy rubberlike plastic material that closely resembles Hypalon in its texture, but is a little softer in its feel than other Hypalon items I’ve owned in the past. One of Magpul’s key talents has always been in their development and use of “best in class” materials, I’ve no doubt that a lot of thought went into this particular material and much like Hypalon, it offers three primary benefits.
Water repellency; The pouch itself is not technically waterproof (as no zipper item ever really can be), but the material itself is fully waterproof and retains its other key qualities whilst wet.
Durability; The Daka can be folded, twisted and squashed whilst not compromising its integrity. The skin of the material is moderately puncture resistant, whilst a sharp blade would almost certainly pierce it with relative ease, a pen, ammunition or other potentially semi sharp item shouldn’t do more than leave a slight scratch in its interior or exterior surface.
Grip; The Hypalon’esque material feels rather similar to the more generic Hypalon you see in some other outdoor and tactical gear, but a little thinner and softer. This has a benefit of having the same “grippy whilst wet” texture that helps stop you roll around the inside of a RHIB (well, it helps a little), whilst not being too rough on delicate items in or around it.
A dot matrix marking panel is debossed into the lower left surface of the pouch, in the same manner as the PMAG M3 design. I’ve not used the dot matrix as yet (because I’m loath to mark it), but I’ve seen it used to great effect to mark IFAKs and such. If I ever become so senile that I can’t remember what’s inside my own pouches, I’m sure these will be a massive help.
There is a hole formed into each of the four corners, this being perfect for either a small carabiner or clip to secure the pouch to a larger bag or panel. The small and medium Daka pouches only have a pair of holes at the top, bear this in mind when deciding which is best for you.
The two sides of the pouch are RF (high radio frequency) Welded together, this process forming both sheets into one virtually inseparable piece of material. The pouch is then seemingly laser cut (an educated guess) into the correct shape, and the zipper is fitted to the top within the pouch itself.
The Japanese giant YKK are the veritable zipper masters, literally a world leader in their field. Whilst there are great American made alternatives, I’ve not seen anything so far that surpasses their Aquaguard water resistant zipper line, and that’s exactly what you’ll see fitted on the Daka.
A short section of 550 paracord with an excellently knotted and welded end, forms an easy to grab pull tab. This is then finished with Magpul branded heat shrink tubing, which offers a durable, easy to grab and ultimately eye catching touch to an already impressive item.
Sizing is bang on with Magpul’s listed dimensions, as for internal spacing, you’ll find the large pouch frustratingly a half inch too small to fit a sheet of A4 paper, without damaging the corners. There is however room for Apple’s 7th generation iPad with an attached keyboard “smart” cover, although you’ll have to feed it in by a corner first and give it a wiggle.
The zipper is the sole reason why this pouch isn’t classed as waterproof with an IP67 rating, as with practically all zippers there is a small open section at the end that you can’t quite eliminate. That being said, I’d happily carry my iPad through the heaviest of storms protected solely by this pouch. It’s more than enough for rain, snow, sleet and the occasional spillage of coffee.
Should you buy one? Well, if you’re the type of person that holds their travel charging cables and camera batteries in Maxpedition EDC organisers then yes, this is is exactly what you’ve been looking for.
If you’re of the mindset that a £1 zip lock poly pocket is just as good, spend your money elsewhere.
As for negatives? The lack of a “just right” size for A4 is a little disappointing, although it’s hardly the first and only choice for paperwork storage.
The cost is also another serious consideration, this pouch cost me £30! Not cheap at all. But in fairness, the only real concern I’ve seen (but not experienced myself) is the heat shrink tubing bunching up a little due to its lack of adhesive backer, not a massive concern and easily fixed with a fresh tube if need be.
As a wise man once said, this is the type of product that appeals to the “latte tactical hipster” in us all. I’ll undoubtedly grab another as one is never enough, there’s also the choice of translucent windowed Dakas in certain sizes.
The main UK stockist (and where I bought mine) is www.tactical-kit.co.uk where they stock practically the whole Magpul Daka range (alongside their equally impressive phone cases) in a selection of colours.