The winner of our Admin Pouch Death Match for 2013 is the Tactical Tailor Admin Pouch Enhanced. Tactical Tailor is a very popular brand with soldiers because their gear is rugged, affordable and designed with the operator in mind. So what makes this pouch the last one standing? Read on.
The pouch that I received from Tactical Tailor was more like what I’ve come to expect from the brand. Yes, the morale patch hook and loop panel was still sewn on crooked. Am the only one who notices these things? But, the rest of the stitching was straight and the overall finish was better than the MSM Stealth Pouch we reviewed earlier (also a Tactical Tailor build).
The outside of the pouch is non-coated 1000D Condura nylon and the inside of the pouch is also fully lined with nylon fabric, which gives it a more finished look and helps with sliding items in and out of the pockets. The zippers are YKK and the pulls are real 550 paracord. Everything is made in the USA. Overall, the quality was very good – especially for the price point.
The Admin Enhanced is similar to the TAD OP1 in the simplicity of it’s design. Like the OP1, one zipper accesses the main compartment. It’s not silent because Tactical Tailor opts to include the metal pulls in addition to the paracord but removing them would be a simple mod. Unlike the TAD pouch, the zipper does not catch on the corners because Tactical Tailor went with a more rounded shape.
The pouch’s storage is split between two facing panels that have slip pockets and elastic loops of various sizes. One superior aspect to this design is the elastic loops are arranged vertically on one side and horizontally on the other. This has two benefits: 1) you have less metal grinding on metal when the pouch is closed, and 2) you don’t have to stagger anything for fear of adding bulk to the overall package.
The pouch can lay out completely flat when open offering unfettered access (pictured above). However, the Admin Enhanced includes a paracord retention system that can be adjusted to control how far the bottom panel opens when unzipped. The result forms a shelf which can prevent the pouch from restricting access to something underneath it and allows the user better visibility of the contents (especially if mounted to a plate carrier). It really works well. And the retention system is user serviceable – if the paracord wears out then the user can just replace it.
Aesthetics wise, the design isn’t as clean as other pouches we’ve evaluated, but the horizontal layout allows the Admin Enhanced to be mounted onto panels with fewer rows of PALS webbing and where more squarish shaped pouches might not fit. It’s also very thin and holds it’s shape very well not adding a lot of bulk to whatever it’s attached to.
The back panel has a 4X4 PALS arrangement, with the outer rows being slightly wider. The pouch includes two color matched Tactical Tailor malice clips for mounting. There are also two elastic loops on the bottom that can be used to attach something to the underside of the pouch.
At 5.0″ H x 8.0″ W x 2.0″ D, the Admin Enhanced is the smallest pouch in the evaluation in terms of capacity. It forces you to just carry the essentials and keeps things very compact as a result. If you need a ton of storage, this is probably not the pouch for you.
On the positive side, as I mentioned, the pouch can fit where others can’t and it still holds a decent amount for it’s size. In our opinion, the trade-off is worth it and it’s great to have an option like the Admin Enhanced when space is at a premium.
The top panel of the main compartment has four 2″ elastic loops and two slip pockets. The slip pockets fit my Leatherman Bit Kit and compass perfectly. The elastic material used for the loops was thick enough to hold up against the tight pocket clip of my Zero Tolerance 0350 folder (which has a tendency to eventually shred anything it comes up against). They also provided decent retention for the smaller items.
The loops on the opposite panel seem tailor made (no pun intended) for pens, but I was able to fit smaller items like my smaller Coast flashlight and Exotac firestarter. The larger single slip pocket behind them held my Rite in the Rain Memo Book perfectly.
Another advantage to the paracord retention system is that you can attach other items to it – like the Tom Bihn card holder pictured below. It can also be used to lash smaller items to the inside of the pouch so they don’t fall out and get lost.
Overall, the design is straight forward, allows for easy access to all the contents and effectively optimizes all the available space. Outstanding.
COST AND AVAILABILITY:
At $45.00 retail, the Tactical Tailor Admin Pouch Enhanced isn’t the cheapest or most expensive pouch in the test. It falls squarely in the middle. Availability is good. The pouch is sold on Tactical Tailor’s website but also available at distributors that sell other Tactical Tailor products. Some of the colors can go in and out of stock but usually they are available – somewhere.
The Tactical Tailor Admin Pouch Enhanced is the best overall admin pouch among the products we tested due to it’s unique features, compact size, moderate price, and rugged build quality. Of all the pouches in the test, this is the one I keep coming back to and the one I will keep among the pouches tested. If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend picking one up. The Admin Enhanced is available here and from other online retailers.