The plate pocket variant I bought and tested is the 45lb Padded Plate Pocket (but they make other sizes) — it sells for $45.00, but you need to add MALICE clips to the purchase so that you can attach it inside your bag — which only adds maybe $6. I ended up with Coyote Brown and my goal was to use this to test rucking in many other packs I test (if nothing else but to pad the weight).
It turns out that this is a decently versatile, piece of kit and a really solid value. It can be a plate pocket, or it can be a device sleeve and more.
What’s This For
The idea of this is to make any bag into a rucking bag for use with GORUCK style ruck plates. To mate the pocket up securely inside your bag, you’ll need some manner of PALS/MOLLE webbing to attach it to. This works well in GORUCK bags, or something like the Mystery Ranch ASAP which was the bag I bought it for.
The thing is, this is a simple pocket. It is lightly padded, with a drain hole at the bottom and a very secure velcro flap to close the top. So you can really put anything in it and it holds it securely and decently safely. When not in use, it sits pretty flat in the bag, only taking up about a half and inch or so.
Alright, so here’s the deal. There’s PALS on the back of this pocket and on the front. It’s designed to use long MALICE clips to lace and secure into another PALS grid, and that works well. In fact with 4 long MALICE clips it is more secure than I would have guessed. This takes a little work to install and take out, so don’t assume this is something easy to take in and out of a bag.
From there the top flap secures with a very robust amount of VELCRO. Which means you can be confident the plate isn’t going to burst out of the pocket itself, as the amount is on par with how much GORUCK uses on the Rucker itself. The pocket flap has loop velcro on the outside of it, with another PALS grid cut into that. So there’s a bonus that you still get the PALS grid you just secured the plate pocket to, or use hook backed organizers if you like.
For me I used that area to attach my normal admin pocket to it, and it works very well. It’s one of the best features of this pocket and really adds a lot of value without any downsides I see.
This grommet hole at the bottom is a concern if you are sliding a device into the sleeve. It’s no issue if you are doing this with an iPad that has a keyboard cover/case on it.
Ok but there’s a caveat, because while the velcro is super secure for a plate, it’s complete overkill for a device. If you slide a couple iPads in there they will be safe and secure, but your are going to alert everyone within earshot of you opening that pocket to retrieve those devices. The only way around this is to really block the velcro with another piece of velcro to keep most of it from securing. That’s not a big deal, but it is something to consider picking up if you buy this and might want to use the pocket for more than ruck plates.
The two black spots are another section of velcro I use to keep to lessen the amount of velcro the pocket uses for carrying devices easier.
I’ve used this a few times now for carrying laptops and iPads to the office and have been very happy with it. It carries the gear well, and is big enough to hold a bunch of stuff without me needing to buy specific cases for each item.
Two 12.9” iPad Pros both with keyboard covers on them fit quite nicely. Note that the bottom of the sleeve tapers down, so thicker gear will not make it all the way to the bottom, and may negate the worry of the grommet rubbing on your device completely. Though the grommet is smooth on the inside of the pocket.
At $45, this is a great deal. You can make a simple tweak to the velcro to make it easy enough for use with devices. It holds ruck plates very well, and is awesome.
Hard not to like it, and recommended for anyone wanting to try and make a different bag Ruck Plate compatible, or looking to add a device sleeve into a pack that is more universal in design that most I have seen out there.