The best mag pouches for plate carriers

Keep your plate carrier mission-ready with these handy mag pouches.

Best Overall

High Speed Gear Taco LT

High Speed Gear TACO LT

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Best Value

Condor Triple Mag Pouch

Condor Triple Mag Pouch

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Editor’s Choice

Haley Strategic Single Rifle Mag Pouch

Haley Strategic Single Rifle Mag Pouch

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Selecting the best magazine pouches for your plate carrier can be like finding a needle in a stack of needles. In 2007, I bought my first MOLLE-capable mag pouches to upgrade my standard-issue kit without knowing what I was doing. I quickly learned to tailor my gear to the mission. After all, MOLLE allows for complete adaptability, so you just have to use a little foresight. 

A breacher will need gear to accommodate shotshells, but the guy with a pistol needs secondary mag pouches. The recon team operating in the jungle will need camouflage gear, but the assault team working in the desert might want coyote brown. What you’re doing and where you’ll be doing it determine what you’ll need, and it’s vital to have the right setup and gear on your kit before stepping past the line of departure. 

If you’ve read our review of the best magazine pouches overall, then you’re probably wondering why this article exists. Well, many feature MOLLE attachments that are great for plate carriers, but some are intended specifically for or have a general design that wouldn’t be ideal for use with armor. Let’s take a look at the best mag pouches for your plate carrier and how they’ll maximize your combat effectiveness.

Best Overall

High Speed Gear Taco LT

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Best Value

Condor Triple Mag Pouch

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Editor’s Choice

Haley Strategic Single Rifle Mag Pouch

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Best for Breachers

Chase Tactical Shotgun Strip Mag Pouch

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Best Kangaroo Mag Pouch

Tacticon K Series

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Best Admin Mag Pouch

High Speed Gear Mini MAP V2

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Best for the Assault Team

Shellback Tactical Triple Stacker

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Most Low Profile

Blue Force Gear Ten Speed Triple Mag Pouch

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Why you should trust us

While serving in the Marine Corps from 2006 to 2011, I personally bought thousands of dollars worth of gear in search of the right kit. Many of my fellow Marines were doing the same and we shared knowledge and experience. Since leaving the Marines in 2011, I haven’t had as great of a need for tactical gear, but I still make purchases to keep bug-out gear actionable. In preparation for this article, I spoke with industry experts and conducted in-depth research into materials and designs. 

Types of mag pouches for plate carriers

When we’re looking at mag pouches specifically for attaching to a plate carrier, there isn’t a lot of variety. 

Basic

Basic mag pouches are one, two, or three magazines in a single row that rides close to the plate carrier. These are the basic design of mag pouches and prevent unwanted bulk. Many of these feature MOLLE webbing on the front for you to customize the kit with. Where basic mag pouches excel is that they keep mags close to your body and help spread out the load. 

Stackers

These are bulkier than basic mag pouches because they feature a second row of mag pouches in the front. Two-by-one, two-by-two, or two-by-three, these increase the number of magazines you can carry in a consolidated form. The mags can be staggered at different heights, or ride at the same height with different levels of fabric on the pouches. These are ideal for anyone needing to carry a large number of magazines. 

Kangaroo

Named after the marsupial that carries its young in a stomach pouch, kangaroo mag pouches have additional pouches integral to the front. These are commonly pistol mag pouches so that warfighters with secondaries don’t have to find more accessories. However, the kangaroo feature could also be an admin, radio, or grenade pouch. These are versatile-styled pouches for anyone with wide mission scopes. 

Key features of mag pouches for plate carriers 

Attachment method

Probably the most important feature of any pouch attaching to a plate carrier is the method of attachment. Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment (MOLLE) webbing is the industry standard for tactical gear. This means any mag pouch you buy for your kit needs to be MOLLE-capable. Many manufacturers use simple nylon straps and metal snap buttons to achieve this. Other styles include strips of plastic with locking edges or the Helium Whisper design used by Blue Force Gear. 

Retention method

A strong contender for the most important feature, how the mag pouch retains your mags is very important. This is probably not as important if your mission doesn’t involve aircraft, watercraft, or climbing in and out of vehicles. That being said, losing ammo is bad juju. Older mag pouch designs used a large flap that went over the mags and secured to the front via hook-and-loop Velcro. Many mag pouches now use bungee straps with nylon tabs over the top or elastic straps around the front of the mags. Pouches like the Taco use more than one method of retention. 

Joeys 

Since this is what baby kangaroos are called, we’re gonna run with it. For a kangaroo mag pouch, the joey is what it’s designed to hold. These could be pistol mags, multitools, flashlights, radios, smoke grenades, stun grenades, death grenades, and so on. The joeys are what you need to get the mission done right. 

Benefits of mag pouches for plate carriers 

Mags at the ready

First and foremost, you put mag pouches on your plate carrier so you have ammunition with you at all times. Ideally, these pouches are placed so that you can access them quickly and easily, no matter the situation. This is the foundation of your kit and vital to get right. 

Mission modular

Not every mission is the same and it can be crucial to adapt to each one. Having modular mag pouches for your plate carrier gives you options. A no-knock raid might require more ammo than recon missions or pulling security. 

Mag pouches for plate carriers pricing 

Budget

Generally, anything under $20 is budget pricing. Doubles, triples, stackers, and kangaroos are harder to find in this price range. The budget pricing for non-single mag pouches is under $30. Mag pouches in this category tend to be simplistic in design. The materials used are not always the best, but there are some durable options out there. MOLLE attachments in this category are typically nylon straps and snap buttons. 

Mid-range

A step up from budget pricing often gets you a better product. Moderately priced mag pouches can be found between $30 and $50. Single-mag pouches in this price range tend to be of premium quality. Doubles, triples, stackers, and kangaroos in this range will be of expected quality. This category is where you’ll find plastic MOLLE attachments or other designs. 

Premium

Single mag pouches above $40 are of premium quality, whereas doubles, triples, stackers, and kangaroos will begin premium quality around $50. What makes these pouches so expensive is generally the material or a proprietary design. Laminates and laser-cut MOLLE are an example of premium materials. Helium Whisper is an example of a proprietary design. You shouldn’t be spending more than $60 to $70 for mag pouches.  

How we chose our top picks

Since we were looking at mag pouches for plate carriers, each product had to be MOLLE-compatible. All mag pouches had to be easily affordable, and outrageous prices were not considered. The mag pouches were assessed on availability, capability, and functional criteria based on different categories of usage. While there are mag pouches for a submachine gun (SMG) and AK-style magazines, we did not include them since we focused on standard-issued weapons. 

FAQs on mag pouches for plate carriers

You’ve got questions, Task & Purpose has answers.

Q: What is a mag pouch?

A: “Mag” is short for magazine and is the nomenclature for the ammunition storage and feeding device for a firearm. A “mag pouch” is a piece of gear designed to hold a magazine. 

Q: What should you have on your plate carrier?

A: At the bare minimum, I recommend mag pouches and an Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK). Anything in addition to that will depend on your job and the mission.

Q: How many mags do you carry on your plate carrier?

A: The typical loadout for infantry is around six rifle magazines. Again, this depends on your job and mission. SWAT or Special Forces may carry more ammo while Motor T carries less. 

Q: What mag pouches do the military use?

A: The standard-issue mag pouches depend on the branch. Each branch has its preference depending on its mission, but typically the pouches are made by companies like Eagle Industries and are approved by the Berry Amendment. 

Q: Are mag pouches universal?

A: No. Some are capable of carrying many different types of rifle or pistol magazines. Most are specifically designed for certain styles of magazines, though.

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Scott Whisler is a Marine Corps veteran and family man. He’s an avid student of philosophy who strives for self-growth and challenge, both found in his outdoor adventures.  As a new Okie, his focus is on exploring the South Central region. His lifetime goal is to have excursions in all of the National Parks.

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Scott Whisler

Contributing Writer

Scott Whisler is a Marine Corps veteran and family man. He’s an avid student of philosophy who strives for self-growth and challenge, both found in his outdoor adventures.  As a new Okie, his focus is on exploring the South Central region. His lifetime goal is to have excursions in all of the National Parks.