Shaw Concepts gear is now available at Tactical Kit and they sent over (I begged for) The RAID Pouch. They also sent the 5.56 Elastic Placard – which is shown in the pic below, and is discussed in a separate article.
The following review is by far the longest of the two, The RAID Pouch being the more complex product – in a good way.
Shaw’s kit is impressive, but with tactical gear at this level it bloody well should be. Both items have the feel of being iterated from the ground up, which is not a great surprise given the originator’s experience:
After some years spent in the Marine Reconnaissance Community and frustration with the gear found on the market, Shaw Concepts was formed. What started as just a Marine with a sewing machine in the barracks has flourished into a custom gear shop that serves to design gear that Marines and other service members require that isn’t currently offered on the market.
However, unlike some implementations, the pouches don’t lack the finesse of professional design.
I’ve written about Tubes on many occasions but as a quick primer readers can watch FirstSpear’s video:
I’ve never owned an applicable item that the addition of Tubes didn’t improve, and it’s no different here.
The single Tube which is fundamental to the RAID’s design transforms this hanger pouch’s capabilities, relative to others on the market.
Think about it. With the Tube you have the ability to detach the pouch in all sorts of circumstances; from going prone for extended periods, to simply accessing the contents without fumbling about with the pouch in a fixed position.
Not only that, but you can run your platform RAID free until the pouch is required, keeping the male section of the Tube in place.
No flaps and no velcro to mess around with, and with the PC or chest rig in situ on the wearer. A simple sliding action, and the female section of the Tube is back in place and the pouch is reattached – and extremely secure.
An ITW TacToggle is used as a tactile indexing point, making the Tube lanyard easy to locate and pull for pouch release.
The rear of the pouch features a really nice touch in what is presumably a high wear area.
There’s an abrasion resistant webbing bulwark in tan, which prevents the female Tube from flopping backwards on its hinges (composed of the same fabric) when you need to get the bugger on in a hurry.
It also helps keep the pouch hanging vertically, when suspended.
You can buy additional RAID Pouch Flaps, to equip other platforms. Then just move the pouch itself from platform to platform.
The Flap is hook on one side and loop on the other. Given that it doesn’t matter which way around Tubes are connected, the Flap (and thus the RAID Pouch) can be used on platforms with hook or loop backing.
As an example, in the name of research I went for a run with the RAID Pouch attached to a Crye Low Profile belt; this has its velcro reversed when compared to my Crye AVS’ placard area.
The face of The RAID Pouch exhibits a shock cord lattice which is tensioned by a cord loc. Items can be piggybacked on the pouch using this tie down system – a TQ or a water bottle, for instance.
The lattice is positioned over a loop velcro field which is organised into PALS columns, for the attachment of velcro hook-backed items or MOLLE-backed items.
Below the lattice, on the base of the pouch, is 1. an elastic TQ garage and 2. two shock cord loops.
These features are used interchangeably as preferred, with the removable shock cord tensionable via cord locs on the inside of the pouch.
There’s a reverse zip slip pocket above the shock cord lattice, the mouth of which opens with a branded FirstSpear zip pull.
The pouch’s main compartment is served by twin zips, each with branded FirstSpear zip pulls.
The pouch is easily and extensively filleted using the two main zips which run around its perimeter. At the zips’ extremes, the pouch can be laid flat.
However, G-hooks within the main compartment allow the user to decide how wide they wish the pouch to open. This is a fantastic feature, bridging the gap between a conventional utility pouch mouth and a full clamshell opener.
Basically, it means stuff doesn’t go everywhere if it’s not tied down and the user rips the pouch open. The user simply can’t open the pouch far enough for that to happen, when it’s restricted by the G-hooks (which are held by elastic on one side for some give).
The RAID Pouch has a lot of internal organisation and my only criticism is that it’s optimised as an IFAK, instead of being designed as a more generalist receptacle. That said, anyone who doesn’t realise this prior to purchase shouldn’t be in control of their own finances.
In future, I’d love to see an internally slick version, with loop velcro walls for the user to organise accordingly – or not at all. I’d guess it would reduce the unit price slightly, too.
The G-hooks, though, would absolutely be in the mix – as would the slip pocket; the mouth of which can be seen in the pic above, at the same level as the G-hooks. I’m told this slip pocket is good for crib cards, pens etc.
The organisation within the pouch is elastic, which of course does a good job of tying everything down rattle-free.
Shaw’s website shows the IFAK heavily laden with medical supplies – if you’re into that sort of thing – and to be fair it takes a lot of stuff.
There’s a solitary hard point – a lot like the ones which mate with the G-hooks – located at the top of the front inside wall of the pouch.
Prior to use, I did worry that the overhang of my AVS’ mags (and TQ) would obscure the main zip and make it difficult to open. The zip is set at the midpoint of the pouch’s depth, and fillets it equally on both sides; and it’s not massively deep.
However, it’s really easy to feel your way to the goal; and the pouch pivots freely both ways at the Tube, so the mouth can be angled as desired. Another win for Tubes.
Once the mouth is open enough to get a finger in, the pouch will pull open. The zip pulls are free running and seem very much equal to this action.
Again, I was able to feel my way into replacing the pouch on the male Tube when detached; and detaching is an absolute breeze. Security is not an issue. As mentioned earlier, when a Tube is on it stays on unless you want it off – which is deliberate, but quick and easy.
I couldn’t find quoted dimensions for the pouch but it’s approximately 8” wide, 6” tall and 2” deep (though it pushes out wider). It’s not a regular shape, however, so I wouldn’t like to guess volume. The slightly tapered shape is actually quite useful with small, loose items inside, as it funnels them towards the midpoint of the base.
This has got to be the raddest pouch I’ve seen for a long while.
I don’t use the term lightly or in the modern sense, but in the not-cool-to-say-outside-of-your-skate-rat-mates sense circa 85-90.
As mentioned earlier, I’d love to see this pouch with slick internals – velcro lined so the user can choose the type and level of organisation as required.
The RAID Pouch is not cheap in price, but you’re not getting a cheap system. A lot of thought has gone into it design-wise, and FirstSpear’s execution is (as usual) almost unparalleled.
The RAID Pouch is available at Tactical Kit