For those of you who read my blog about readily available alternatives to the micro rig hotness, we’re going on a bit of a trip back today to talk about a piece of gear I mentioned – the ATS Tactical Gear Low Profile Medical Pouch. This is a particularly handy piece of gear that can help you convert a utility or mag pouch into an organized medical pouch if you don’t have a purpose-built pouch for your IFAK.
The insert is incredibly simple in its design. It’s really just a big folded taco with elastic loops to hold your med gear, but it does have a few things that drew me to it.
First, the grab handle is large and easy to use even with gloves. This is important because if you are converting a pouch, the fit between the insert and your pouch could vary greatly depending on measurements. Having a solid loop to pull the insert from the pouch is a big plus.
Second, it has a strap to secure the insert closed, which assists in keeping things organized instead of having everything fall out into the pouch.
Third, the elastic loops are oriented horizontally instead of vertically. I personally prefer this because of what I carry and this is why I chose this one over other available inserts that have vertical orientation.
I carry a pair of shears, pressure dressing, chest seals, and a hemostatic dressing in my IFAK, and this insert carries them easily. It could actually hold much more if I so chose.
Now, given ATS Tactical Gear’s reputation and what I’ve seen of the product, the quality is in absolutely no doubt. Your implementation, however, will be key to your success.
The insert itself is approximately 7″ tall, 3″ wide, and 2-3″ deep. The depth of the insert very much depends on how you pack it. With my minimalist load, it’s at 1.5-2″. I could definitely fit more gear in and keep it under 2″, but again, what you pack will determine the final dimensions. These dimensions are key to converting a pouch. The closer your pouch is to the dimensions above, the tighter the insert is going to fit. The tighter the insert fits, the more difficult it will be to remove from the pouch. The more difficult it is to remove in general, the worse it will be to remove one-handed or under stress when you need to.
This is going to be another example of my mantra of “test your gear.” If you choose to use this insert, please, for the love of all things lifesaving and tactical, test it to make sure it actually works.
I always prefer a purpose built pouch for specialty tasks, such as IFAKs and radios. However, it’s not always an option. If you find yourself in this scenario, the ATS Tactical insert could be just what you need. But please, test your gear and ensure that it does indeed meet your requirements.
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