It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a pouch. I’ve been really diving down the rabbit hole of ATAK/iTAK for a hot minute, but I just ran across two pouches and wanted to take a break to review them. Up first is the Esstac Baofeng Radio Pouch.
Obviously, I’m a fan of Esstac and their gear. I’ve been using it for years, and my YouTube channel really got its start from my video of the KYWI conversion. But Esstac has really expanded their line of pouches recently, and since radios and accessories seem to be a hot topic, I was excited to see that they have jumped into the Baofeng pouch game.
At first glance, this seems like a fairly simple Baofeng pouch – and it is. It’s a top-load pouch that nicely covers most of the radio’s exposed surface. It has a cutout on the side for the accessory plug and it closes with a fairly standard hook and loop closure. The top strap also happens to cover the obnoxious flashlight that Baofeng insists on putting on their UV-5Rs for no apparent reason. Attachment is via whatever type of strap or clip you want (they offer multiple options including WTF straps, Malice clips, One-Wrap, and belt loops). The only odd thing is that the hook and loop closure is on the back instead of the front of the pouch. Oh, and it comes with a random piece of hook and loop and only one WTF strap, even if you didn’t order WTF straps. Overall, it looks like a well-executed, slick radio pouch that will keep your radio tight to you without the danger of snagging the closure on something.
To be fair, this isn’t actually a surprise, since it’s literally in the item description and the pictures. But hey, if you’re in a rush and maybe not the brightest reviewer on the web, you could miss it. Once everything clicked, it explained another reason for the closure on the rear, as well as the random hook and loop and WTF strap.
It’s become very popular to wear “wings” on micro rigs and plate carriers. If you aren’t familiar with the idea, it’s basically a pouch that is worn to the side of the carrier underneath the cummerbund. It keeps the pouch tight and streamlined while allowing you to still have use of the attachment points on the cummerbund if needed.
You can probably already see where this is going (you know, if you didn’t already read the description). The hook and loop with WTF strap is designed to turn the radio pouch into a radio wing if desired. And because it is removable, you can switch the pouch to either side as needed. I personally think this shows a lot of forethought in the pouch design, instead of just copying a basic radio pouch – but in laminate – like they could have.
Retailing at $40, it’s not the cheapest option for a basic Baofeng pouch. But when you consider that you’re basically getting two pouches (a standard “slick” pouch and a wing pouch) for only $10 more than the Specter Gear pouch we previously profiled, I think it’s a great deal. And it’s made by Esstac in the USA, so you know it’s quality. Definitely keep this one in mind when you’re deciding which Baofeng pouch to choose.
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