The humble General Purpose pouch; Jack of all trades, master of none. Used by almost everyone, for every “thing”. But are all GP Pouches created equal? Spiritus Systems certainly doesn’t think so.
Within a market that has a multitude of pouches tailored for any conceivable role, and novel approaches to general utility such as Spiritus’ recent JSTA pouch (reviewed here) becoming available, what justification is there for a humble GP pouch? Let’s have a look.
I’ve had the pouch for about 9 months now, and I’ve used it to hold everything from grenades and first-aid kits to night-vision devices and food. It has spent most of it’s time mounted to a Spiritus Thing 2 Chassis (also reviewed here), but I’ve also mounted it directly to my belt to carry items that fall between “pack and pocket” in terms of convenience of carry.
Looking at the pouch, nothing immediately grabs your attention. It’s simple design could be considered boringly conventional, but in a market that is 90% MOLLE covered garbage, it’s simplistic design is actually rather refreshing.
The main body of the pouch is manufactured using 500d Cordura, Spiritus’ default choice for most of their pouches. Measuring 5.5 inches in width and height, it’s a little taller than the SACK, a little narrower too. But these differences in size don’t really have the same impact as the core difference… It’s depth.
From front to back, the small GP measures an impressive 3”. This might not impress some people, but it’s a whole half inch depth over the other GP Pouches or SACKs (SACK/Fanny SACK) within the Spiritus range. Ask anyone, an extra half inch is never unappreciated.
The back of the pouch uses the same laminate/webbing combination used on the JSTA. Designed to be mounted to a 3 x 3 PALS/MOLLE panel, Alternatively you can mount the pouch directly to a belt using the built in channel within the laminate backplate.
The main section of the pouch allows for the storage of items that you might otherwise struggle to carry in a lightweight micro chest rig or minimalist plate carrier set up. The aforementioned NODs, trauma kits and grenades are a few of the many things you could choose to use this pouch for.
A dual zipper runs along the top half of the pouch, pulltabs being provided through Spiritus’ own knurled cordage. Each end of the zipper run is home to a grab-tab, this feature helps you open the pouch without hassle and prevents any binding on the zipper track. It’s a feature that escapes most peoples attention, but it really does make any pouch that has it a lot easier to use.
The inside of the pouch contains a pair of loop fields, one encompassing the entire rear of the pouch and a smaller strip that is sewn into the front inner face. I’m not sure why a full panel wasn’t used on the front, but I will point out that it’s rare I’ll mount organiser inserts on that face anyway.
A pair of flat lace loops on the interior provide tie down points for essential kit such as navigation or optical devices. It’s not something that everyone will use, but they’re ideally placed to tie off those things you can’t afford to lose.
At the bottom of the pouch, a pair of drainage grommets can also be used to mount shock-cord loops for holding CAT Tourniquets or other items you need to access quickly.
The front piggyback pocket will be familiar to anyone who has owned one of Spiritus’ previous GP Pouches, although there is a slight change in this particular pocket’s construction; On the Small GP, this pocket is constructed using the same 500d cordura as the main body, not a four-way stretch tweave as with previous pouch pockets such as the SACK/Fanny SACK.
Beyond the nature of it’s mere construction, what exactly does the Spiritus Small GP pouch truly offer that I can’t get with cheaper pouches, or indeed other pouches within the Spiritus range?
Well you could argue that any random pouch can be used as a GP pouch, but what Spiritus Systems does do well, is offer products that are well thought out, designed and manufactured. The Small GP is a perfect example of their thoughtfully designed, flawlessly executed approach to tactical products, it’s a perfect example of what a GP Pouch should be… Adaptable, flexible and well made.
The Small GP is a pouch that’s designed for the items that you might need when using the rest of their gear, a pouch that flawlessly integrates with other Spiritus products, that also provides maximum flexibility without becoming a victim of over-specialisation or being weighed down with unnecessary gimmicks.
One final question I’d like to answer, and one that I’ve been asked a few times already by people struggling to choose between this and the JSTA Pouch: Why choose a GP Pouch over the JSTA? (Or vice/versa).
I’d answer that by asking a question in return; What are you using the pouch for? If it’s something you need to access using a single hand, perhaps the Velcro flapped JSTA is a better option. If it’s something you want to access stealthily, the zippered top of the Small GP is a far quieter option.
Alongside the JSTA, the Small GP pouch is a great addition for compact load carriage systems such as modular chest rigs or plate carriers, offering flexibility and secure storage for smaller items. I purchased mine in the U.K. from Tactical Kit where it’s available in all colours, alongside the rest of the Spiritus Systems range.