Simple large capacity modular pouches are still a bit on the rare side these days so it was refreshing to see a whole line from Dunamis Gear. Although a small company, one can tell a lot of care goes into these pouches with attention to detail and use of quality materials. They take the end result quality very seriously by guaranteeing Duramis Gear products for life.
Starting with the Front Zip style pouches, they are log like in shape with a 2 slider zipper going down the front side, kind of like having a duffel bag as a pouch. G-Hooks are used as the main attachment method to attach to larger military packs with good doses of PALS webbing. The connection straps also form the compression straps using ITW SRBs (Side Release Buckles). As a nice touch looplocs are sewn into the sides to help guide the webbing and to manage the slack. When first seeing the pouches I did have concern what to do with the webbing slack when the pouches are empty and cinched down. Rather than getting into any fancy slack rolling, I found it quick and easy to just tuck the slack behind the pouch.
Normally I'm not a big fan of having to release compression straps to get to a compartment, but the G-hook / SRB combo works well on these Front Zip pouches. When all cinched down it causes a snug fit mounting wise so things aren't bouncing around and when released the connections become fairly loose making getting items in and out of the pouch easier. Depending on the item, sometimes one can get away with just releasing one SRB; thanks to the long zipper with double slidders, one can move them up or down to get to items on either end easier. As a bonus the compression straps end up helping with zipper placement retention as well.
Pull tabs are integrated into the zipper ends to help zipper operation and also double up as attachment points for an optional shoulder strap. Pull Handles are another add-on option as seen on my Front Zip Large sample. Stored in little pockets with velcro closure, they stay overall low profile and out of the way until needed. Between the two options, they add grab and go features to make the duffel-like pouch, literally a small duffel bag. A big reason to consider these what normally may be quirky options is how easy the G-hooks make mounting and unmounting the pouches. The G-hooks also help out a lot on mounting flexibility so as long as you have enough PALS webbing in the ballpark of the pouch size you will be ok instead of a very specific column count needed to mount. If you do have a more unique setup, Dunamis Gear even offers custom attachment point placement free of charge with standard Cargo Pockets.
The Top Zip Pocket has a similar foundation, but has noticeable differences starting with the main opening being up top. Using a double slider zipper again, now since up top the compression straps are out of the way. Since less likely to have a shoulder strap added, the pull tabs at the ends of the zipper zone are binding tape instead of 17337 style webbing. To further save on weight and bulk the compression strap setup is also a little different using ladder-locks instead of SRBs. I think this worked out well where it cuts down on the amount of hardware and webbing slack fuss to worry about yet still works great come compression and release time. With this setup the looplocs hold the webbing slack when the pouch is empty and when full there usually isn't much slack left to worry about.
500 D Cordura is used as the main construction material which makes for a great balance of durability and weight for the intended items to be held. These are meant to be general gear use pouches as opposed to something heavy weight specific like a SAW ammo pouch. ITW hardware is used as well so you can count on good durability and colors. Heavy duty #10 YKK zippers are used to not only offer the good functionality and durability, but adds some rigidity as well to make operation smoother. Although Dunamis only had black zippers for my samples, he has since found other color options. When first looking at the G-hook connection method, some may have some durability concerns, but don't worry the connection points are bar-tacked to hold up quite well. Duramis even made a pull up test video only using 2 connection points to put it all in perspective. Pouch retention is also surprisingly good considering it is just G-hook based, proven with an amusing "toss a pack down a mountain" video. Even though G-hooks are easy to remove, with just a little tension as provided in the compression straps they stay put quite well.
Different folks will have different preferences, but offhand I like how the zippers don't have rain flaps. It makes them a lot easier to use and one has to be in some serious bad weather before you need to worry about rain making it through a normal zipper anyway. Having some grommet options would be nice for those doing frogmen stuff or even if just for container leaks drainage. I bet Duramis will offer this option soon as a nominal cost option.
For some alternate uses I found the pouches also great for internal use on packs with internal PALS webbing. Since overall lightweight the pouches are reasonable for internal organization and can even be removed /moved without too much fuss thanks to the G-hooks. Also many vests and battle belts are a PALS webbing party these days offering more platforms for these pouches. The compression setups are a particularly valued attribute to keep the pockets secure to ones body so not flopping around with movement.
Between all the different sizes and opening types, there is a match for the vast majority of holding needs and platform considerations. I'm definitely finding them to be great modular large pack additions, with the easy attachment system makes it very quick to switch from packs as your holding needs change day to day. Having modular pouches at all is nice, but most of the connection systems still make a person second guess if they want to go through the effort to change things up at times. Off to a great start, it looks like Dunamis is also working on new backpacking gear solutions and I'm looking forward to what all they come up with in the future!
Front Zip Medium: 13" x 7" x 5" approx 600 cubic inches
Front Zip Large: 15" x 8" x 6" approx 900 cubic inches
Top Zip Small: 8" x 6" x 4" approx 400 cubic inches (not shown)
Top Zip Medium: 8" x 8" x 5" approx 400 cubic inches
Top Zip Large: 12" x 8" x 5" approx 400 cubic inches (not shown)
http://dunamisgear.com/ (under construction)