> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Review: Esstac Pistol KYWI Double Mag Pouch



Review: Esstac Pistol KYWI Double Mag Pouch

I'll admit it--I'm a big fan of kydex. Randy Church is probably already grumbling something about "blasphemy" or some such at this point, but kydex is excellent for retention, speed and consistency.

While 100% kydex pouches work well for belt rigs and competition stuff, they work less well for integrating into a chest rig, war belt or in my case, a plate carrier. Existing nylon offerings all generally need some kind of retention flap or elastic, which slows reloads. And, the mouth of the magazine pouch generally collapses in, which slows inserting a partially spent magazine during a tactical reload.

Previously, I've been running HSGI's very popular TACO magazine pouches, which use elastic around the edges for retention, which eliminates the need for any kind of top flap. They are fast for speed reloads, but still suffer the problem of collapsing inwards, which makes reinserting a partially spent magazine an often fiddly thing.

The Esstac KYWI line of magazine pouches is what I've gone too--first with rifle magazine pouches, and now finally to pistol mag pouches. The "KYWI" stands for kydex wedge insert--these are hybrid nylon/kydex sheaths, with a nylon exterior and a kydex interior. The kydex interior holds the magazines securely, yet releases quickly during a reload. The mouth of the pouch stays wide open, making reinserting magazines about as consistent and hassle free as you're going to get. As far as I'm concerned, these are the best option for use on a MOLLE rig. 

Kydex wedge interior. You can move the kydex around--it's velcro'd in--for a higher/lower ride.
KYWI pouches attach via MALICE clips, which you can see in the picture above. They will hold double stack pistol magazines--pictured magazines are for a Glock 17, and Glock 33-round "Happy Sticks" fit securely as well. I would guess SMG stick magazines like the UZI magazine would fit too. They're advertised to hold up to Glock 21 sized magazines--the 21 being Glock's full sized .45 ACP. The KYWI Pistol Pouches won't fit 1911 magazines, and they won't hold the odd-sized items that the TACO pouch will--pistol magazines only, no flashlights, multitools, etc.

If you're frustrated by your current pistol pouches, looking for an upgrade or looking to set something up for the first time, these are the way to go. Esstac makes 'em in single, double, triple and quad pouch formats. Mine came from SKD Tactical.


  1. I bought a KYWI short double mag pouch last month and I love it for 20 rd mags. Its a perfect mesh of both worlds.

    1. I've actually been thinking about switching my full size rifle KYWIs over to the shorties, to allow for a fuller grip of the magazine during reloads. Esstac says that even the shortie mag pouches will retain the big ol' Surefire magazines, so you don't lose anything by going to the shorter pouch, and gain quite a bit. Too bad they didn't have 'em when I bought my pouches late last year!

    2. I put together a hunting/scout belt rig with them, and I love it. I'm not a big chest rig fan, but I'm debating putting one together with just KYWI pouches, thats how much I support them.

  2. AnonymousJuly 02, 2012

    Cool beans. I'll check them out. The G21 magazine pouch can be hard to find, I can't imagine what would fit a .50 Desert Eagle magazine.

    I accidentally found out this weekend that the Russian SKS horizontal belt mounted stripper pouches fit the 20 round Ruger Mini-14 magazine like a glove. It might even fit two (2!) of them, I didn't have a 2nd one on hand to try that out, but it appears roomy enough.

    I know these can be found for not so much money, at least compared to other designs. A few of us already have them in hand.

  3. Should I??
    I'll let it go...this time..
    Kydex was first introduced in 1965...Almost 50 years so I guess it has earned it's place...
    VooDoo has a couple of Kydex holsters that he likes...maybe with fringe....

    Enjoying the new style of the blog Brother Wolf...and Lady Wolf contributions also.....Carry On!!