Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Review: MazoFactory MOLLE Single Mag Pouch (HSM1)

MazoFactory is a new Melbourne based tactical gear manufacturer, who currently is focusing on clip (mag) pouches and holsters. Though not officially launched yet, they are currently making some items for sale, and products are still in development so prices may change in the future. I purchased a pair of "High Speed (Modular) Mag Single" (HSM1) Pouches just in time for use in MHvZ.

The MF Single Mag Pouch is a fairly standard design, a pouch designed for use with the MOLLE/PALS mounting system, and so has PALS webbing on the front and back and a pair of straps on the back.
The mag pouch is made of a Cordura material, like that of the BSUK tactical gear.
The mag pouch uses a fairly standard shock cord for holding in clips (mags), with a large tab at the top for easy removal.
Looking into the pouch itself, note that it retains its rectangular shape without a clip (mag) loaded, and doesn't squash flat as easily or naturally as some others might.
Here's the pouch with an 18 clip (mag).
The mag pouch is designed primarily for 12 and 18 dart clips (mags), however will fit 10 and 15 dart banana clips (mags). 6 dart clips (mags) will fit fully inside the pouch as well, which makes retrieving them a little difficult.
A sort of look into the pouch with the clip (mag) in, there's a small amount of wiggle room but with the retention cord over the top of the clip (mag) it's irrelevant.
Note that the clips (mags) can also be inserted and store upside down. Compared to having the darts exposed, this position has the advantage of being able to pull out the clip (mag) and load it in with one smooth action, as well as protecting the darts from being knocked out of position or getting affected by the elements. However the disadvantage of this position is not being able to top up your clips (mags) easily, and there is a slight chance of the top dart getting caught against (for instance) the side of the pouch when removing it. It's mostly personal preference.
12 dart clips (mags) also fit and are exposed enough to pull out easily, however the cord is too long to retain the clip (mag) as it is by default set up for 18 clips (mags). Thus some cord shortening is needed as such:
...which retains the clip (mag) just as tightly as the full length cord retaining an 18 clip (mag). Naturally you can adjust the cord for other sizes of clips (mags) as necessary.
MazoFactory recommends tucking the excess elastic band into the front PALS webbing to keep it out of the way.
The mag pouch attaches via a MOLLE/PALS webbing system, and on the back has two straps and two of its own rows of PALS for maximum retention.
The straps are secured back to the pouch at the bottom simply by two small flaps of velcro.

To attach the mag pouch, line up the two straps with the PALS webbing at the desired location on whatever gear you're attaching it to, and slide them through all the way.
Then pull the straps up and thread them through the pouch's first row of PALS webbing.

The pouch is now only partly secured. The lower end of the pouch is not secured at all so if you run the pouch as is it'll flop around much more than ideal.
So get the straps again and repeat the process of alternately threading them through the PALS webbing on the gear you're attaching it to and the PALS webbing on the back of the pouch itself.

Eventually you'll have used up all of the PALS webbing available in that column, and the pouch will be fully secured. Finish by securing the straps back to the pouch using the velcro flaps at the bottom.
Due to the size of the pouch you can use up to 3 PALS rows on the gear you're attaching it to.
Here's an example of a pouch mounting with a clip (mag) stored.

Removing the pouch is a simple matter of first detaching the velcro flaps, then brute forcing the pouch upwards. Some persuasion of the straps may be required.

Slowly but surely the straps will retract through the PALS webbing, eventually allowing you to pull the pouch straight out of the PALS webbing on the gear it's attached to. It's not easy to do in combat as it requires a lot of force applied for an extended period, and is practically impossible to do with a clip (mag) inside, so the mag pouch is very unlikely to come off during combat unless you've attached it incorrectly.

By using one row of the mag pouch's own webbing, you can make the mag pouch fit onto belts if needed, however it'll be quite loose so it's not recommended.
The single mag pouches will also stack on top of one another very neatly.

I bought two single mag pouches in red to match my Battle Belt. Above is how I currently have them attached, on my right side one row lower than the BB's natural clip (mag) holders.
The standard mag pouch would of course be in full black.

My pair of mag pouches first saw use in the recent MHvZ event, and served admirably where I was easily able to remove the stored clips (mags) and load them, and insert and secure the now-emptied clip (mag). Especially compared to the Battle Belt which has more of a pocket design, inserting the now emptied clips (mags) was much easier thanks to the MF mag pouch's box design. The motions felt very easy and fairly natural, and the pouch was extremely secure and felt like it was part of the Battle Belt.
The tab is very nice to grab and pull or even just flick away with a deliberate action, but due to fitting on the small ridge at the top of 12/18 clips (mags) is not easy to accidentally pull off, though I haven't tried actions like going prone or combat rolls.
Overall the MF Single Mag Pouch is a very well made product. The stitching is of pretty good quality, as is the overall quality of the materials and construction. The PALS straps in particular I quite like as they're easy to insert as well as remove (with the right technique), and aren't likely to break any time soon. Compared to the Battle Belt, I like how the mag pouches retain their shape when not loaded and so don't change shape when loaded with a clip (mag), though that applies to most mag pouches anyway.
A single mag pouch costs 25AUD each currently (HSM2 double mag pouches are currently 40AUD, and HSM3 triples are currently 60AUD). It's certainly not something that you'd buy on impulse like a blaster, since quite a significant financial investment is required to produce a usable rig. However it is a very high quality piece that is very secure, quite tough and does its job very well.
If you're looking for a high quality MOLLE/PALS mountable mag pouch specifically designed for Nerf clips (mags) then look no further than the MazoFactory Mag Pouches. MazoFactory products are handmade right here in Melbourne, so for me and other Melbourne based Nerfers, it's also rather convenient to pick them up at major Melbourne based events.
I do intend to get a couple more, as well as a pair of proper drop leg holsters for my Sweet Revenges. Check out MazoFactory's FB page for more pics of their products and prototypes.

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