There are a lot of belt pouches available that are marketed toward EDC (every day carry) but there are very few that anyone actually wants to carry unless they like being called “Batman” by their friends. The typical EDC belt pouch has lots of buckles, zippers, flaps, and bulk which make them far too conspicuous for me.
The TAREINCO Survival Options Belt-Pouch (SOB-Pouch) is very different from most EDC belt pouches. The biggest difference is that you may actually want to use it since it can be carried fairly discreetly.
The SOB-Pouch is very simple at first glance but there are some neat features if you look closer. It is a belt mounted 3” x 5” pouch with a single zipper and no organization features. It also has a Velcro field for attaching patches or a red cross if the pouch is carrying first aid items.
The pouch portion of the SOB-Pouch is cleverly constructed from a single piece of 1000D nylon that is folded over, sewn on the ends (and bound with bias tape), and completed with the zipper. This construction technique minimizes failure points and makes the SOB-Pouch lay very flat against the belt. This low profile construction method and the quick release belt loop are what make this pouch special.
It features an ingenious belt loop system that can be mounted on belts up to 2” wide and can be released simply by pulling a short tab the protrudes below the bottom of the pouch. The belt loop is constructed from wide pieces of overlapping Velcro. When you pull the tab, you are simply separating the Velcro and allowing the pouch to release from the belt. It is a simple system and it works.
The quality of this pouch seems to be excellent. The stitching is straight and even. The quick release pull tab is box stitched to the belt loop. The belt loop is attached to the pouch via heavy double stitches. The seams in the pouch itself are kept to a minimum and are all bound so there are no cloth edges. All the materials are top notch.
Obviously, with a wide open pouch like this only the size of the pouch limits what it can carry. It is certainly a versatile pouch but I think it has some features that let it excel at certain uses.
It is designed to serve as a small survival kit pouch and it does that very well. It can carry a surprising amount of gear while still remaining quite compact. I have packed it with an EXOTAC nanoSTRIKER, water purification tablets, a small roll of duct tape, some cordage, a fishing kit, tinder, some tin foil, a small knife, saw, and more with room to spare. This one tiny pouch can cover your needs for fire (fire starters), water (purification tabs), and possibly even food (fishing kit) and shelter (cordage). A pouch like the SOB-Pouch lets you store these vital items on your body instead of in your pack where they can be more easily separated from you.
I also found that it makes a great small first aid or boo-boo kit. When you are in woods or training on the range, there are many medical issues that you can encounter that you won’t be able to treat with a blowout kit. Items like pain relievers, anti-diarrheal meds, adhesive bandages, and all the other mundane but commonly used first aid items should be carried separately from your trauma treatment supplies so you don’t have to root through your blowout kit to access them. These items are especially important when you are in a multi-day training class where you are, hopefully, more likely to suffer a scraped knee than a gunshot wound. The last thing you want is a case of the “quick steps” or killer headache to ruin your expensive training.
Observations from Use
I have already said it in this review, but I will say it again… This pouch is great in part because it has such a low profile. It disappears under an untucked shirt. Most people really won’t even notice it and if they do, it doesn’t look like you are carrying a rucksack on your belt.
The quick release belt loop system is also part of what makes this pouch work so well. Rooting around in such a small pouch would be difficult if you had to keep it on your belt. The SOB-Pouch can be easily removed from your belt. In fact, it is so easy that you can do it by feel. Just find the tab and pull. This means that you can mount it anywhere on your belt, even spots that you can’t see. It can be replaced on your belt just as easily.
I did not have any problems with the belt loop releasing unintentionally in 1 month of near daily carry.
The belt loop is constructed from raw Velcro without a backing. It seems very sturdy and has held up well so far but I wonder if it will start to fray over time. Some kind of backing sewn onto the Velcro material might prevent this if it is even an issue at all.
The belt loop is good for more than just belt carry. I found that it worked very well on a backpack strap.
The zipper is located part of the way down the front of the pouch instead of on the top. I thought that I would find that to be a pain but it actually seems to make packing easier because the items in the pouch are less likely to stick up into the zipper when you are trying to close it.
I was dubious about the Velcro field on the front of the pouch at first but it would be a great place to place a small red cross patch to indicate that it contains first aid items. TAREINCO would probably build a pouch without it if you don’t think you will need it.
The SOB-Pouch is handy, versatile, and well-made with clever features that make it better for its intended purpose. It is compact and low-profile enough that, if you look like a goof when you are wearing it, it isn’t the SOB-Pouch’s fault. Check out the TAREINCO SOB-Pouch at TAREINCO.com.
Disclosure: This pouch was provided to me for review, free of charge, by TAREINCO.