Words and Pics: Rich Norman
Back in 2014 I bought a shed load of Blue Force Gear pouches.
Some made the cut, some didn’t.
One casualty from this era was the Ten-Speed M4 Pouch (remember this packaging?)
Through a combination of doctrine and implementation, I didn’t get on with Ten-Speed first time around.
However, I was persuaded to try it again by Jay Taranis during conversations about the Crye Precision CPC. Jay is a massive Blue Force Gear fan, with a professional’s eye for quality design. For some time, Jay has also been a strong proponent of the CPC and his voice was a big part of the reason I bought one earlier in the year.
Mounting a Triple Ten-Speed M4 Pouch on the front of a CPC – or any plate carrier’s kangaroo pouch – is a popular configuration because it works.
It’s also a great way to showcase the attributes this pouch.
Blue Force Gear’s Ten-Speed pouches are characterised by their heavy duty elastic.
When empty, the elastic lies flat and discrete – adding little bulk or snag hazard. Even when full, clever and minimalistic use of materials means that there’s little stand-off between what you’re carrying via Ten-Speed and the platform you’re wearing,
While attempting to reindex mags one-handed isn’t their best use, Ten-Speed pouches are adept at consuming and retaining both regular and irregularly shaped items.
For me, replacing a magazine is a two-handed job, but once reinserted the retention is excellent. And, with no need for bungees or kydex, drawing a mag is smooth and easy.
You’ll notice after a while that the elastic becomes worn and loses its colour in areas which are regularly under tension from angular objects. That’s completely normal and while during the life of the pouch the retention does deplete, it isn’t catastrophic. The pouch itself will wear through before it loses all of its grip.
As can be seen below, irregularly shaped objects are easily stowed and M4 mag size pouches are pretty versatile – although other sizes are available. The number of pouches available per unit varies from one to three IIRC.
The backing of modern Ten-Speed pouches comes in the form of Blue Force Gear’s dependable, PALS-compatible Helium Whisper. Composed of a proprietary laser cut laminate called UltraComp, it’s extremely light, making Ten-Speed some of the lightest pouches out there. Ten-Speed does pre-date Helium Whisper however, so there are still some old gen units around with the older PALS backing. These are still super light.
Some don’t bother writing reviews about well known, tried and trusted pouches like Blue Force Gear’s Ten-Speed; but I only draw the line at stuff I’m not genuinely enthusiastic about.
Who knows? Some readers may not have tried these revolutionary pouches or – like me – some may have eschewed them early on.
Give them a go!