Do you ever get the feeling you’ve seen it all before with tactical gear?
With each new release, you take a quick look at the product and maybe skim its description, only to pronounce it a clone of X or a variation on the theme of Y.
I have to fight that feeling, even though I’ve been proved wrong many more times than I’ve been right.
I certainly didn’t buy Spiritus Systems’ Small GP Pouch because I thought it represented something different. I was quite happy with a competitor product (hint: 6x6x3).
I bought Spiritus’ pouch, without checking the spec (or the hype), because I needed a solid Ranger Green utility and Tactical Kit had just got them in. Needless to say, I wasn’t that excited about the purchase – it was simply expedient.
That is, until I opened the packet.
I still marvel at Spiritus’ ability to surprise me – similar to what they did with The Thing 2 (which I’d 100% encourage readers to buy if they are on the fence – my preview here, prior to full review).
And that’s where I’m going to start, because this pouch was bought for The Thing and it just so happens to be optimised for it.
Optimised Form Factor and Harmonisation with The Thing 2
We’re all used to fitting contents to pouches where stitched chest rigs are concerned – ones that don’t have removable pouches, the current generation of which was pioneered by Mayflower.
On the other hand, I’ve never before fitted contents to a pouch on a MOLLE platform. That’s because the whole point of a modular system is choosing the pouch which fits the contents. So, I can’t decide if using a specified pouch with The Thing 2 is a little like the tail wagging the dog.
Nevertheless, when compared to the utility pouch I normally favour, Spiritus’ marginally more compact 5.5” x 5.5” x 3” Small GP is a perfect fit for me – both in terms of the space it occupies and its ergonomics in use. It’s not too big and not too small, therefore adequately voluminous for my needs while relatively unobtrusive.
Ironically for a MOLLE platform like The Thing, once fitted this pouch feels seamlessly integrated – almost stitched on. It’s little wonder then that the Small GP was released at the same time as The Thing 2.
Blithely conflating it with that platform represents an injustice, however, because Spiritus’ pouch is feature-rich and capable of so much in its own right.
One thing worth noting whilst talking about dimensions is that this pouch doesn’t feature the signature stretch Tweave of Spiritus’ other products, such as the Medium GP or SACK. With that said, given that its depth is 3”, the pouch would simply stand too proud with the Tweave maxed out.
For a ‘small’ pouch, it’s almost a medium. In fact, in its product description Spiritus mentions that the item is built with extra depth and underlines its compatibility with “15s, 31s, and DTNVGS”. But I don’t want to dwell on stuff you can read for yourself in the product description. That’s just lazy.
500D Vs. 330D
Use of fabrics comes down to appropriateness, as demonstrated by dropping Tweave from this design. I was glad to see that the Small GP pouch is mainly composed of 500D, however.
While slightly heavier than 330D, it’s apparent how much more structure 500D lends to this pouch – another welcome feature over the competitor product.
Belt Mount and MOLLE
Aside from the expected 3 PALS column MOLLE compatibility, the pouch also features a pass through for belts up to 2” wide. On the face of it, this isn’t a new thing and the competitor pouch I was using features a comparable system – as do some others.
With that said, if you use the belt method with jeans or similar, you can effectively lock the pouch to a belt loop using the slot in the ‘Hank’ (laminate) backer.
That’s going to stay put.
The backer looks like laser cut, 1000D laminate by the way. It’s tough and easy to thread, with stiffened webbing ends.
Twin Zips Throughout
While twin zips on a utility pouch main compartment is perfectly normal, twin zips on the slip pocket is not – but it’s abnormal in a good way and I was pleased to see it (having completely missed it prior to purchase).
At each end of the main zip, webbing tabs are provided for leverage. A feature I really miss when not included.
Both zips are satisfyingly smooth and are accessorised with braided paracord. Zoom in on the pics and you’ll see the texture easily enough. Needless to say they’re quiet.
Drainage Grommets Widely Spaced for Sub-Load
Like Spiritus’ other pouches the Small GP features wide spaced drainage grommets in its base.
So, the user can hang something like a TQ, using a knotted bungee/cord loc combo – although these items are not included with the pouch.
Here’s how it looks with the SACK:
Internal Loop Velcro
Spiritus and other companies market pouch organisation accessories which standardise on hook Velcro. Like the SACK et al, the Small GP comes complete with internal loop Velcro in order to benefit from such a system.
It did fox me, initially, as to why the Velcro field situated away from the user is narrower than the one next the user. It could be because Spiritus’ current Pouch Divider has a smaller footprint than the original from some years ago (below, which I have to hand).
That possibility apart, I’m surprised the Velcro isn’t the same width each side, because not everyone wishes to attach larger footprint accessories to the face nearest the user.
Internal Lanyard Loops
Again, like their other pouches, Spiritus’ Small GP features internal lanyard loops at each end, together with the usual brand tag.
While the brand tag is a nice to have, the loops lend real utility as attachments points for small stuff you just don’t want to lose.
- Composition: 500D Cordura with Hank laminate backer
- Dimensions (approx): height 5.5″ x width 5.5″ x depth 3″
I didn’t want to over-egg this review and bore the reader by re-telling what they can read perfectly clearly in Spiritus’ product description.
Nor did I want to make a big fuss about granular stuff like textured paracord – or spend ages on quality, for that matter. That’s because it’s suffice to say construction is to the benchmark you’d expect.
At this level it’s more appropriate to say if something isn’t right than dwell on marginal gains.
- You may be interested in: Full List of Spiritus Systems Reviews
Instead, what I want to impress is that the ridiculous hype around all things Spiritus aside (many will buy this pouch as blindly as I did), the Small GP is a designed product.
I’ve italicised ‘designed’ because it’s the most important thing to me (aside from the nice shade of Ranger Green, obviously). If you’re not into design (a) I’d question why you’re reading this blog and (b) I’d suggest buying something cheaper, because you won’t derive as much value from the differences – intrinsic or practical.
I started this piece with a bonfire of my assumptions. The reason for that admission was because Spiritus Systems has not lazily made permanent some field expedient optimisation bodges, they’ve really thought through what innovation in such a seemingly rudimentary and generic form can be; including but not limited to harmonisation with The Thing 2.
And that’s the money shot. I honestly thought that just prior to this new clutch of products – with the excellent Thing 2 as its centrepiece – Spiritus had stopped for a bit to let the competition catch up. Instead they’ve issued amongst other things a cool little utility pouch, which I think will become a firm favourite and de facto choice when an upgrade is due, or a new kit is built.