Words and Pics: Rich Norman


The design of Spiritus Systems’ LV Placard helps correct issues some have experienced with the most popular brand of elasticated 556 mag pouch.

I say this based on the top two complaints I hear:

  1. Loss of contents due to ‘the toothpaste action’
  2. Could be easier to insert mags

Ostensibly, the LV Placard 556 is just that – a placard which attaches to a SwiftClip compatible platform like a plate carrier.

Seen below, it’s attached to an LV-119 Overt plate bag – an overview for which I provided here.

Not only that, but it can also be utilised standalone – as a low profile micro chest rig.

1. The toothpaste action

What’s the toothpaste action? Well, put the base of a tube of toothpaste under sustained pressure and the contents slowly ooze out.

Spiritus themselves call it ‘the birthing effect’. It’s where a mag (for instance) slowly is pushed out of a standard pattern elasticated pouch, because the base is both elasticated and tapered – thus exerting upwards pressure. It’s happened to me and it’s clearly widespread enough for Spiritus to bother with a solution. In fairness, as a standard pattern elasticated pouch ages and loses its snapback the risk lessens.

So, what’s Spiritus’ solution? Simply, the base is disaggregated from the body of the pouch so it doesn’t suffer the usual stresses when a mag is inserted. Therefore it is not induced to push upwards when a mag is inserted.

What’s the downside? For some, the open base. While this fixes a problem and allows ‘over the beach’ drainage, it also allows dust and crud into the pouch.

2. Inserting mags

The second drawback I hear about the standard pattern elasticated pouch is that mag insertion could be improved.

Spiritus’ solution for this is to position tabs at the mouth of the pouch.

These tabs serve two purposes:

  • They can be used to attach bungee retainers for maximum retention, or – crucially;
  • They can be used to open the pouch mouth to easier insert a mag

The tabs are prominent enough to use with gloved hands – which is a real bonus. In certain circumstances the user can insert a mag one handed – but I don’t want to commit to that as a solid positive, because it really does depend on a few things.

Other features

As mentioned in the introduction, the LV Placard 556 can be mounted on a SwiftClip compatible PC. This is achieved using male SwiftClips atop the placard and the Velcro backing.

It comes with four female SwiftClips. These can be attached to the perimeter webbing loops and then connected to a compatible chest rig harness and back strap. Spiritus also makes these items.


Spiritus’ choice of materials and stitching is second to none. While that’s reflected in the price, you get what you pay for with this brand.

Big thanks to Tactical Kit for hands on with this product.

Want more Spiritus Systems reviews? You can find a whole list of them here. The list is updated as more reviews are published.

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