Usually I have to buy what I review, and it’s rare that I’m given something to review, not helped in part because I don’t like to ask. But winning something that’s worthy of review? Well that’s never happened before!
I was recently lucky enough to win bundle of prizes from Evos Media, as one of the winners in their new year giveaway. Nestling amongst the prizes was a magazine pouch from a company I’d never heard of before, Minerva Tactical.
Minerva Tactical are a U.K. based business started in 2021 by serving British Army reservists, specialising in kit solutions for soldiers who want to supplement their load bearing gear with items that are not readily available through the official supply chains, with one of their most innovative and popular designs being the piggyback pouch.
The basic premise of the piggyback pouch is that it’s a single open topped magazine pouch, with an additional section of elastic over it’s surface that allows for “piggybacked” carriage of an additional magazine or similarly sized item.
The main body of the pouch is laser cut from Squadron laminate, with the Multicam pouch (as reviewed) having a coyote brown inner colour. The primary retention of the pouch is provided by a 5.56 Kydex insert, Minerva have said that the majority in the past have and will continue to be genuine Esstac inserts.
The piggyback portion of the pouch allows for an additional magazine to be carried without increasing the overall size of the pouch when not in use. The piggyback section also provides an additional magazine to the shooter at a position they’re already used to grabbing a magazine from, without compromising the retention ability of the first magazine.
This can only be a good thing, making reloads that little bit faster, and allowing you to place a pair of magazines in exactly the right place on your belt line. It also frees up more space, giving you the ability to place pistol magazines etc in a slightly more optimal position.
On a standard piggyback pouch, there’s an option to attach a length of shock cord and pull-tab. Minerva actually supply an S&S pull-tab for that very purpose, one of the better options on the market. It might be superfluous to many end-users needs, but for airborne, maritime and vehicle based operations, it provides an often required additional layer of security.
The attachment system on the pouch I’ve reviewed is the short PALS/MOLLE type. Minerva Tactical offer this pouch in two additional options, Full PALS and Onewrap.
Full PALS is the standard design, used for placards, belts and general use. The Onewrap option provides a secure attachment (o sing onewrap Velcro) to virtually any belt, but in particular; two part belts such as those offered by TacBelts, C2R, Ronin etc.
The Short PALS version has been specifically optimised to work with the aforementioned two part shooter belts that have become incredibly popular over the last decade. Measuring 3 rows high and two columns across, the Short PALS option is perfect for users like me who are primarily looking for a belt mounted pouch.
A sports version of the piggyback pouch also exists. Lacking the option of a shock cord over the top of the magazines and designed primarily for competition shooting. Available only in Wolf Grey, the sports version doesn’t have all the features of the standard pouch, but would probably work very well for someone whose interests are purely competitive shooting.
There isn’t much more to say about the pouch aside to say that in use, it works exceptionally well. Drawing and re-indexing magazines into the main section is straightforward, and anyone who’s used an Esstac Kywi or similar will find this very intuitive.
Drawing and re-indexing with the piggyback section is similar to using one of Blue Force Gear’s Ten-Speed pouches, although re-indexing is aided massively by the laminate strap running up the front of the pouch.
Are there faults? Well not really. I will say that I tend to use the piggyback section for temporary carriage of magazines (generally for the first magazine I load into the rifle), mostly because I don’t really like double stacking my magazines in general, and specifically because I like to keep my belt line relatively clean.
I’ve run mine for range shooting and airsoft regularly alongside my Haley Strategic SRMP since receiving it 6 months ago, and although it still retains magazines as it should, there is a noticeable amount of wear on the elastic, and it doesn’t snap back quite as fast as it used to.
That being said, this isn’t to be considered a fault. Nothing lasts forever, and the trade off for elastic’s shorter lifespan is the ability to flex your magazine carriage up and down at ease, not a bad trade if you ask me.
At the point of writing this review, Minerva Tactical are relocating to the USA, and are hoping to be fully up and running for an expanded customer base. It’s a bold move for a small British tactical gear manufacturer to enter the big leagues of the US market, but Minerva Tactical have already become somewhat of a cult hit.
Big names such as T.Rex Arms’ Lucas Botkin are showcasing Minerva placards above and beyond their own products, when quite simply, they really don’t need to. I genuinely hope this forward momentum continues, as they deserve to do really well and offer products that are simply brilliant.
Minerva Tactical products are currently available in the U.K. from Tactical Kit and also directly from Minerva’s own website. Be sure to also follow them on Instagram for new products and updates on availability etc.