Esstac Kywi Pistol Mag Pouch Preview
Updated: Nov 8, 2020
Traditionally, magazine carriers have come in a few flavors: open top carriers made of leather or plastic that use friction to secure the magazine in place, or pouches made of nylon that use a flap or elastic cord to secure the contents.
Open top types of magazine carriers are most popular with competition shooters and persons concealed carrying. They offer quick access, and ease of inserting the magazine back in the carrier. They also have some downsides, as leather offerings loose their retention with use, and the plastic carriers are stiff, loud, and shiny.
Nylon mag carriers are ubiquitous with just about every modern military in the world. These pouches are great when you need good retention on your magazines because there is a physical piece of material holding them in. The nylon is easier to wear because it isn't as stiff as plastic or leather, it's less abrasive on things your might come into contact with in the environment (like vehicle interiors), and doesn't have the shine or hollow noise of plastic. These pouches can also match uniforms patterns and material which can help with concealment in a field environment (not to be confused with concealing a magazine on one's body). Nylon carriers biggest down fall is the difficulty and lack of speed at which to access the magazines inside.
You'll quickly notice the difference between these two pouches. The nylon pouch requires a second step of pulling the Velcro flap away before drawing the magazine.
Esstac is attempting to solve some of these problems with a hybrid carrier called the Kywi. The idea is pretty simple; Esstac combines a nylon exterior with a plastic, Kydex, insert. This gives these pouches the benefits of a nylon pouch with the ease and speed to access of an open top carrier.
The Kywi line of magazine pouches have a plastic insert that is bent in a way that provide interference between the body of the magazine and the pouch. These "bumps", for a lack of a better term, push against the fabric of the pouch creating the tension to securely hold your magazines. These pouches work with most double stack pistol magazines. I was able to use both 9mm and .45ACP double stack Glock mags in this pouch with no problems. The larger double stack magazines were initially pretty tight to insert though.
The back of the Esstac Kywi pouches is webbing which means you'll need something like malice clips to lace the pouch to molle webbing. Fortunately these are pretty inexpensive. Esstac also offers belt loops that thread through the webbing on the back of the pouches. These come in sizes for both 1.75" and 2" belts.
Esstac has a number of magazine carriers for pistols, rifles, and shotguns. They also make several other products like belts, plate carriers, and range bags.
Look forward to more extensive testing and durability reports on this pouch, and other products.
Check out the combination of two pistol mag holders and one 5.56 mag holder: