Orion Defence also make pouches, that can be used specifically on the TYR PICO platecarrier or the Brokos belt.
The most interesting is the elastic 3 magazine front panel, designed to replace the one that comes standard on the issued TYR PICO MVW DA M/12.
Compared to the for instance Blueforce Gear TENSPEED 3 mag pouch, the Orion Defence panel is designed to fit into the3 slots, where the front panel attaches to the carrier.
The panel is designed to carry 3 x 30 rds 5.56mm mags and nothing else.
There are no pulltabs across the top of the mags like on the TYR panel, since these are not needed for retention. The inside has a non-slip material, which combined with the elastic outer provides excellent retention of the magazines.The outer fabric is elastic material with some laser cut laminate on the front for attaching a similar panel on the outside, so you can stack pouches. Personally I don’t like or recommend stacking pouches on the front of the carrier, but the option is there.This also provides a small tab for pulling the opening of the magazine slots out, to insert the mags, something that can be a bit more difficult on the BFG version.
Underneath the panel, there is a small flap with 3 holes cut to provide grip traction, if you have to pull the panel up, to get in or out of the carrier.
Advantages of the Orion Defence front flap:
- More streamlined profile, which makes it easier to get through tight spaces or over a wall.
- Faster reloads from the platecarrier, as you don’t have to fiddle around with pull tabs.
- Less movement of you gear during movement, which leads to less fatigue.
Some might argue that the last bullet point sounds silly, but pouches and gear which is not moing in unison with the body, counteracts this movement and the energy you excert. This will fatigue the body faster than if the gear was fitted to follow the bodys movement in unison.
Back in the day, we used to tie down pouches with webbing straps and bungees, to stop pouches on our beltkit to flop around when moving. The old respirator pouch was a prime example of a pouch most of us tied down with bungee cords.
If it was possible all my pouches would be made out of an elastic material. There is a reason why I have several BFG TENSPEED pouches mounted on mine. They weigh minimally and lie flat if not needed for bangers, breaching charges and other equipment you need to carry for a mission.
My only gripe with the Orion front panel is that the bottom has openings, so sand and mud can enter into the magazine openings. I spoke with Orion Defence about this when I got them and the explanation was, that they were not intended primarily for a line infantryman, that involves a lot of laying around in the prone, but more tailored for SOF specific requirements or turret gunners to lower their profile in the hatch openings, or Guardian Angels or security personel.
Another issue with elastic fabric as the main pouch construction is that they are not as durable as regular cordura pouches. That’s just the way it is, if you want weight reduction, it comes at the price of durability and shorter lifespans of gear. Orion Defence has tried prolong this lifespan by adding reinforcement on the front of the panel.
Lets talk about weight.
I believe there is more weight savings to be made on the Orion panel, by removing some of the non-slip material on the inside, maybe reducing it by 70% or so. Just my initial thoughts.
TYR panel weighs 138g
Orion panel weighs 120g
In comparison a Blueforce Gear TENSPEED 3 mag pouch weighs 87g.
I’m sure they can shave off more weight on that Orion panel.
To geek around a bit more in the weight department, I calculated a bit more with the Orion parts as an complete system.
The Orion Defence cumberbund with quick release and the 3 mag front flap gives a total weight savings of 18g compared to the TYR PICO solution, without the softarmor pouch. So not only is the Orion system upgrades more streamlined, faster to get in and out of especially in an emergency situation, it is also light overall. Win Win!
Volume of the 2 different solutions mounted:
First of all, I would like to state that I think double stacking of magazines on the front is a bad idea. If you cant climb a 2 meter wall alone or get through tight spaces fairly easy, its time to reevaluate your setup. All things equal, its easier to get over a wall with only one layer of mags that 2 layers of mags. Lying in the prone position is also a lot easier and comfortable with only a single layer of mags.
So stop stacking magazines on the front and carry them on your hips instead, that is also a more efficient way of carrying weight.
TYR panel with 3 x 30 rds 5.56 mags inserted, sticks out about 8 cm from the body.
Orion Defence panel with 3 x 30 rds 5.56 mags stick out about 7 cm from the body.
(The picture is not as clear as I didn’t capture the correct angle with my phones camera)
Note, there is only softarmor inserts in the carrier. Once you insert hard plates, they will obviously stick out more. Then it makes even more sense to have the Orion panel.
The elastic pouches lie near flat when empty.
Note the difference.
I am actually really happy with the front panel, but would like to see a closed bottom solution in the future, so the intake of sand and mud is minimized if you are crawling around on your belly in the prone. But if your primary job doesn’t entail that in your daily life, this panel is just what you need. Combined with the cumberbund with quick release, its a worthy upgrade to your gear.
99% Tactical.dk approved and recommended 😉
Orion Defence can be reached through their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/oriondefence.eu/