It may seem counter intuitive but simplicity is really hard to achieve. This is doubly true in gear design where stacking feature upon feature often seems like the only way to set your gear apart from a competitor. Dunamis Gear went the other way. They have taken the idea of quick detach pouches and stripped them down to their bare essentials in most impressive fashion.
I recently had the chance to spend a few months with their Medium Top Zip Cargo Hangers. I’ve come away extremely impressed with the design, workmanship, and above all the simplicity of these pouches and the Dunamis Gear approach. Many of the most noteworthy design features in these pouches are shared across the Dunamis Gear line.
The Medium Top Zip Cargo Hangers are aptly named. They have a zippered top loading layout, are not too big and not too small (650 ci each), and they hang from a host pack to hold additional cargo. Its a simple name for a simple pouch but all that simplicity belies the elegance of these pouches.
The Cargo Hangers use G-Hooks to attach to 1″ webbing on a host pack. Typically this is PALS webbing. This is a major departure from other similar packs that use more complicated side release buckles that require staging the female part of the buckle on the PALS webbing. G-Hooks are super secure and just as fast but they connect directly to the webbing. This saves weight, reduces complexity (and therefore reduces failure points), and adds flexibility.
The pouches are constructed from your choice of 500D or 1000D Cordura nylon. Both choices are DWR treated on the exterior and urethane coated on the interior for water resistance. Amazingly, the entire pouch is constructed from just two pieces of nylon. One piece makes the back, top, and bottom while another wraps around to create the rounded profile sides/front. There is that simplicity again. This design reduces weight (7 ounces per pouch), reduces water ingress points, and created a streamlined shape that hugs the host pack.
Other standard features include anchored zipper tabs, paracord dummy cord points sewn inside, and dual compression straps that are retained so they don’t slip down the pouch when loose. The same little anchor point that serves to retain the compression straps also manages the extra strap when it is pulled tight. There is that elegant simplicity again.
How is this for attention to detail… If you purchase the Cargo Hangers in pairs, Dunamis Gear constructs them with compression straps running in the opposite directions on each pouch so that they can be mounted on either side of your pack.
There are also some custom features that can be added like grab handles, PALS webbing, or other features depending on which model of Cargo Hanger you are looking at.
Observations from Use
I had two main goals in the testing. I wanted to see if the attachment method was sufficiently secure and if the pouches offered a demonstrably better experience than similar buckle based pouches. The answer was yes on both counts.
I’ll just say that these pouches aren’t coming off unless you take them off. The G-Hooks are very secure. They are very easy to place on the webbing and easy to remove but the movement required to remove them is specific. It requires an intentional movement to take off the pouch. They become even more secure when they are full and cinched down because the G-Hooks are mounted at the ends of the compression straps so it draws the whole system tight.
These pouches are so much easier to use than my buckle based QD pouches. It is easier to hook in with the G-Hooks versus a repair buckle. The repair buckle can be removed slightly more quickly but not much. However, with repair buckles, you end up with the female part of the buckles hanging all over your pack and you can only place your pouch where there is a buckle to support it. Dunamis Gear’s G-Hook system stays on the Cargo Hanger and is self-contained so it can be mounted anywhere there is webbing.
The system is also flexible enough to be mounted across as few as 4 columns of MOLLE and as many as 8 or 9. The wider you can mount them, the better the compression straps seem to stabilize the contents. The compression straps works to compress the contents no matter how narrow or wide you mount the G-Hooks but they stabilize especially well when mounted across 5 or more columns.
The rounded shape of the pouch is ideal for the application. It lets the pouch hug the host pack and have a sleeker profile. The flat bottom and top loading lid make the pouches easy to load. The flat tops and bottoms make it so you can stack the pouches right on top of each other and because the zipper runs from one side to the other, you can still access the bottom pouch reasonably well.
The quality of these pouches is excellent. The attention to detail and dedication to simplicity is over-the-top. All the cloth edges are bound and thanks to the 2 piece construction, there aren’t many clothe edges. The round edges at the top and bottom are cleanly executed. The stitching is straight and clean. The materials used are well vetted at this point. These are quality pouches.
I used these on a Kifaru MOLLE Express (MOLLEX) and ZXR. They worked perfectly on both. They are just the ticket for bumping up the capacity just a bit. For instance, the MOLLEX is not a huge pack and it may not be enough pack for a winter overnighter but with some additional capacity from the Cargo Hangers, it can be made to work. These pouches are really handy for expanding the capability of your pack.
They can be mounted on any MOLLE surface so you may also find uses for them on larger chest rigs or plate carriers. They work quite well for adding some carrying capacity to the back plate pocket of a plate carrier and they are easily removed if you don’t need them. They also work great for adding organization in packs that have a MOLLE compatibly interior. These are the kind of pouches that, if you have them available, you will find many different ways to use them.
If I could change one thing, I would add a rain flap on the zipper. I know they can be a pain but they do serve a purpose. Either that, go with a water-resistant zipper.
These pouches are elegantly simple. Their attachment system is just head and shoulders better than anything else I have used. If you own a pack that has exterior PALS webbing, I can’t recommend Dunamis Gear highly enough. Their gear will help you squeeze every last bit of versatility out of your pack.
Disclosure: This product was provided to me free of charge for review by Dunamis Gear.