It’s “JuST A” pouch… Geddit? Spiritus Sustems proving once again they have by far the best sense of humour in the tactical gear world. But is there more to the JSTA than a mere pouch? Can it avoid the trap of being a “Jack of all trades, master of none”, or is it simply… Just A Pouch.
The concept of a modular pouch is nothing new, Spiritus Systems themselves offer several organiser inserts for their current suite of pouches. But modularity on a bigger scale has been slower as far as the actual pouches go, the humble GP (general purpose) pouch has been the mainstay of anyone who’s wanted a pouch for “stuff”.
However, until the release of the JSTA, nothing has been designed well enough and without compromise to be considered an ammo pouch, whilst also having the ability to also be an admin pouch at the same time.
The JSTA Pouch is comprised of two main sections; An open top rear sleeve with insert friendly loop fields on either face, and a more conventional flap covered section designed for general admin storage.
The pouch is predominantly constructed from 500d Cordura, a material that’s used in the majority of Spiritus’ other pouches (alongside squadron laminate) and has proven to be more than fit for purpose. Why not 1000d cordura? Well, it’s twice as heavy and only 20% tougher. Available in an ever-growing range of colours to suit your needs, from Ranger Green to Multicam, Woodland to Wolf Grey.
One area that isn’t made from cordura is the rear face of the pouch, instead using a laser cut squadron laminate to provide PALS/MOLLE attachment, shaped and stitched to additionally provide a pair of built in webbing belt loops.
A small section of laminate is also used as a pull tab for the main flap. Some people have commented that they’d have preferred a paracord loop or no tab at all, but the laminate material used offers an easy to grab tab without any risk of snagging.
The size of the rear section is wide enough to accommodate a single 5.56 or 7.62 and pistol insert (sold separately), or a double and single pistol insert.
The main section is divided into two parts, a built in divider provides a safe area to house your Phone/EUD or to house smaller items such as battery clips or a notepad. This divider can be pushed to the rear and out of the way when using the main section to it’s full capacity, something that’s good to know if using the pouch for large items such as NODs or navigation/optical devices.
So that covers the basic layout of the pouch, but what makes it worth buying?
The ability to be either belt or molle mounted is something of interest (although I will point out some limitations later on). Let’s say that you have a JSTA complete with a single rifle and pistol magazine, the main compartment loaded with a bare bones trauma kit, such as: shears, tourniquet, Israeli bandages, field dressings and chest seals. You can fit all of this within the JSTA, meaning that you could carry it on literally any belt or, supplement your chest rig/plate carrier with more essential supplies.
A single drainage grommet sits at the bottom of the JSTA pouch, I’d have liked a pair of grommets, purely so that I could attach a tourniquet under the pouch as with the SACK or Fanny SACK.
Spiritus Systems have a rather interesting approach to aftermarket accessories. Where most brands would be content with ignoring them or recommending against their use, Spiritus actively engage with a number of businesses that offer creative additions to the Spiritus range. Companies such as LumiMod, Unity Tactical, SierraTac and AXL are not only subtly endorsed, they’re available to buy directly from Spiritus Systems on their own webstore!
Why does this matter? Well it means Spiritus acknowledges that other people might find a way to use their product that isn’t exactly what they had planned, AXL’s zipper inserts being one such stand out product. It also allows those with a flair for design to develop new inserts, giving the JSTA an almost unheard of amount of flexibility.
So as an overview, what does the JSTA bring to the table? A highly capable and customisable pouch that fits within a similar footprint to their new Small GP Pouch, giving you the option of either a straightforward admin pouch, or something that adds an ammo carriage capability whilst not really compromising on it’s administrative abilities.
Putting it on a rig like The Thing 2 provides an already capable setup with even more flexibility, but as to whether I would choose this over a small GP pouch? It’s all about personal requirements. I’ve got both, and I’ll continue to use both.
Drawbacks? Well if mounting the JSTA to a belt, you’re very unlikely to get the same amount of stability that you would on a PALS/MOLLE panel. It does fit exceptionally well on my 2” TacBelts U.K. shooters belt, but certainly on your jeans belt you’re gonna get some wobble.
There’s a lot of people mistaking and using this pouch as a hybrid dump/ammo pouch. It’s not going to work as well as you’d think due to the limited depth, there are also dedicated dump pouches that would work far better.
On a shooters belt you’re also likely to start pushing the belt into a role it wasn’t really designed for, It’s not a drawback so much as a reminder to look at what each part of your gear does and how it affects the things around it.
Overall it’s a very capable bit of kit, something that I’ll be using for the foreseeable future and probably one of my favourite pouches to date.
The JSTA pouch is available in the U.K. in all colours from Tactical Kit, along with the entire suite of inserts.