Gear spotlight! These posts are where I’ll introduce and review assorted pieces of kit that don’t necessarily warrant their own review. Not because they don’t deserve it – it’s more of a “there’s only so much I can say about a MOLLE pouch” thing.
Our first Gear Spotlight features three rugged accessories that have become part of my regular EDC setup, the Maxpedition Volta battery case (with Batuca insert), the Hazard 4 Mil-Koala multitool pouch, and the Hazard 4 Badger I.D. Lanyard with PVC window pouch.
Maxpedition Volta Battery Case
This is a pretty basic setup from one of my favorite gear companies. I purchased it because I needed a rugged solution for carrying spare GPS batteries and memory cards, and it worked out perfectly. The pouch is as robust as you would expect from Maxpedition, but the Batuca insert is where it really stands out. The clear- and smoke-colored halves slide apart so you can use them individually if you so choose, and the flip tops lock down securely (though these cases are not waterproof.) The Batuca case holds up to 8 AA or AAA batteries and also accommodates CR123 cells and memory cards.
At this point, I use the Batuca as a stand-alone and just toss it into my pack. The pouch has been re-purposed for storing other small items on the outside of my Pygmy Falcon II.
The Volta/Batuca combo sells for around $17-$35 on Amazon, depending on color.
Hazard 4 Mil-Koala Multitool Pouch
I turned to the Mil-Koala pouch when I needed a way to carry my trusty Gerber 600 multitool. The Hazard 4 pouch turned out to be a pretty solid choice. It’s every bit as well-built as the products I get from Maxpedition, with reinforced stitching and heavy 1000D Cordura construction.
I like that it has extra elastic on the sides which are perfect for holding a pen (or pen-sized object) of your choosing. There’s a heavy plastic D-Ring integrated into the back MOLLE strap, which I suppose could be used for a retention lanyard. The company says it’s for hanging the pouch from a lanyard, but I really wouldn’t want a multitool slung from my neck.
The pouch works very well when attached to MOLLE webbing, but I’m not as thrilled with its use on a belt. The MOLLE back strap isn’t rigid enough to hold the pouch perfectly steady, and the placement of the loops and snaps make it hard to find a belt-loop-appropriate configuration. It’s still a winner, because I like being able to easily move it between my belt and my packs.
The Mil-Koala is available in black, OD, and coyote (shown) and lists for about $17 on Amazon.
Hazard 4 Badger I.D. Lanyard & PVC I.D. Window Patch
This is a fairly specialized piece of gear, since not everyone has a need to display an I.D. or badge. If you’re one of the people who does need to do so, then I highly recommend the Badger. Between the military and carrying a press I.D., I’ve owned quite a few lanyards, arm bands, and the like, but this little gizmo beats them all. The construction is top-notch, and the back of the Badger has slots for business cards or credit cards. The MOLLE-sized Velcro strap on the back helps to hold your cards in place, but can also be used to secure the badger to your gear or belt if you don’t want to wear it around your neck. My favorite feature is the elastic pen loop.
Bear in mind that the Badger doesn’t actually have an I.D. window. The front has a velcro loop field, which means that if you wanted to display morale patches around your neck, this would be the way to go. More practically, it means that you can attach the Hazard 4 I.D.-Window-Patch (it’s the exact size of the velcro field on the Badger) and display your I.D. This might sound like an extra step for something as simple as displaying your credentials, but it’s actually pretty handy. Because the I.D. window is a patch, I can rip it off of the badger and attach it to a pack or reflective vest (such as the Icon Mil-Spec) with ease.
The Badger runs for $10 on Amazon, and it is available in black or coyote. The I.D.-Window-Patch is available in coyote, OD, and black. It sells for $8-$9 on Amazon.