Guides, Tactical Gear

Guide: How to Pick the Right Mag/Ammo Pouch

How To Pick The Right Mag Pouch/Ammo Pouch - Tactical Guide - Plate Carriers

If you have a plate carrier vest, not only do you have a great piece of body armor, but you also have a versatile platform that you can deck out with different accessories.

One of the most useful attachments for a plate carrier is a mag pouch or also known as an ammo pouch. Mag pouches are designed just to hold your ammunition. They are the best resource for having your ammunition easily accessible. 

If you go looking for mag pouches on sites such as Chase Tactical, you’ll see that we have a massive selection. It can be hard to figure out which type is better for you, so here is our guide to all the different mag pouches out there.

Table of Contents

What Makes One Mag Pouch Different from another?

There are as many magazine pouches out there as there are plate carriers, weapon types, and more. You can filter for different factors when you search for the right ammo pouch, for example, on Chase Tactical.

Here are some of the different types of ammo pouches and mag pouches you will encounter.

Choose Magazine Pouch by Weapon.

Mag pouches are different from general pouches because they are shaped and sized specifically to hold ammunition. The design means that your ammunition fits in the pouch snugly and is easily accessible—you don’t have to root around looking for your ammunition. 

Since the magazine pouch is supposed to hold your ammunition securely, it makes sense that you will need a different type of pouch depending on the ammunition you need for your weapon. A flashbang is different from a bullet, which is different from a grenade. You can get pouches that are tailored to different weapons, such as this mag pouch just for pistols.

Choose Magazine Pouch by Size.

Another factor affecting which magazine pouches are best for you is the size. Think about how much ammunition you will need when you take your plate carrier and equipment out on a mission. Different pouches have slots for different amounts of ammunition. 

You can get a pouch with enough space for a single mag if you’re trying to minimize the weight, you’re carrying on your plate carrier, or get a triple pouch if you know you’ll need a lot of ammunition without much time to search your gear and reload.  Each loadout will vary on the mission or operational requirements.

Choose Ammo Pouch by its Design.

Chase Tactical Single 5.56Mm + Shotgun Strip Mag Pouch
Chase Tactical Single 5.56mm + Shotgun Strip Mag Pouch

Lightweight 5.56mm + Shotgun Strip Magazine Pouch available in black, coyote tan, ranger green and multicam colors.

When we’re talking about the design of magazine pouches, we’re not discussing the appearance. Instead, we’re thinking about the practicality of the design features, which will be very important once you’re out in the field and you need to retrieve a magazine quickly.

For example, most mag pouches come with either an open or a closed top. Closed-top pouches have a flap, often secured with hook and loop technology, that folds over the magazines inside.

This prevents moisture and debris from getting into your ammunition. However, open-top pouches make it a lot faster to access your ammunition, and in the field, split seconds do matter.

Another important design factor that you should consider when buying a magazine pouch is if it is an open or concealed carry pouch. While open-carry pouches offer easy access, concealed-carry pouches are more discreet.

If you are not a law enforcement officer, this will depend on the laws around carrying weapons in your state.

Color_Swatch_Mc MultiCam
Ranger Green
Swatch Image FDE (Flat Dark Earth) Color
Swatch Image Grey
Color_Swatch_Od OD Green (Olive Drab)

What is the Best Material for an Ammo Pouch?

Another important factor in determining which mag pouch to buy is the material—it’s so important that we’re dedicating a separate section to it. Ammo pouches usually come in one of three materials: leather, composites, and nylon. 


Leather is the oldest material for magazine pouches and other weapons accessories such as holsters. It is definitely the most attractive. Who doesn’t want to put on a supple leather pouch and pretend he is a cowboy or a soldier of yore?

However, leather is by far the most expensive material for ammo pouches. It is also one of the least practical because it doesn’t attach easily to plate carriers. If you’re into historical reenactment or want a pouch for show, get a leather one; otherwise, don’t bother.


Thermoplastic composites such as Kydex are becoming more and more popular for pouches, holsters, and other firearm accessories. The main reason for the popularity is that thermoplastics are extremely durable.

Composite ammo pouches and holsters are used often by law enforcement due to their rigidity and strength. If you are a civilian, they might be a bit too bulky to wear comfortably—and with such a material, it will feel like silly overkill. Still, this is a good option to have.


Nylon is the best option for mag pouches. It is extremely affordable, making it efficient for law enforcement departments buying in bulk and for the average civilian. It is lightweight and breathable, so it doesn’t add too much weight to an already bulky plate carrier. You don’t sacrifice anything in durability, either. 

Plus, nylon mag pouches are MOLLE compatible and come with several different fastening options, including bungee cord, hook and loop technology.. For example, the Single Kangaroo 5.56+ Pistol Mag Pouch from Chase Tactical uses both bungee retention and hook-and-loop technology for its different compartments.

Nylon is more versatile than the other materials, so manufacturers can create multiple compartments, utilize various attachment technologies, and even allow you to adjust the pouches by size.

How To Pick The Right Mag/Ammo Pouch - Tactical Guide

Choosing Your Ammo and Mag Pouches

When you’re shopping for plate carrier accessories, don’t forget about pouches to keep your ammunition. As you browse the pretty massive selection of pouches out there, don’t forget to think about your ammunition type, pouch size, and material (we recommend nylon). If this guide helped you, let us know and share it with a friend.

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