What is a Dump Pouch and Why Should You Use One?

A image of a foldable Dump Pouch

What is a Dump Pouch?

Let’s start our journey into the world of dump pouches from the beginning. So what is a dump pouch?

A Dump Pouch also known as a drop pouch is a container to store empty or partially empty magazines. Mainly used in between reloads, to store mags temporarily. 

Basically any pouch or bag can be used as one. Before actual dump pouches became a mainstream item, soldiers used their empty gasmask bags or random empty pouches to substitute the so-called ”real thing”.(An empty gasmask bag still does the job nicely, and many soldiers still use them for this)

As I mentioned, nowadays dump pouches have become mainstream and gained a lot of popularity. This is somewhat thanks to the airsoft community but also because many armies and military organizations have adopted them into their standard equipment. 

Today you can go out and buy ”the real thing”. By ”the real thing” I mean pouches that are created for the sole purpose of storing your empty magazines between your reloads.

The modern dump pouch in its essence is a foldable or rollable bag. That the user can keep either rolled up or folded (depending on the dump pouch) on their equipment. Usually, the rollup type pouch is made of a little sturdier, stronger material and the foldable is made of lighter, thinner material.

If not needed, it can be kept nicely packed up and whenever the situation requires the use of one, it can be quickly and simply opened (unpacked, unrolled). 

Why Dump Pouches are Good? 

Now that we know a little bit more about dump pouches, let’s look at why you should use one and how they can help you on the field.

So why should you use a dump pouch? In order to answer the question, we have to look at two follow up questions: Why not just drop your empty mags on the ground? and Why not place the empty mags back into the mag pouch? 

Why Not Just Drop Your Empty Mags On the Ground? 

So why not just drop your mags on the ground? Dropping mags has become extremely popular in the shooting and even the military community. I believe that the rise of popularity in IPSC and range shooting is behind this.

The biggest argument behind dropping mags is that it’s fast. And I completely agree with that. it really is! It is a lot faster to drop your empty mag on the ground rather than to try to place it back into the empty mag pouch.

In a real firefight speed is everything. Absolutely every second or even millisecond counts. 

Let’s get to the ”but” part now. But … I’m going to go through two counter-arguments against dropping mags.

Firstly, your magazine count is limited, especially in real situations and actual combat environments. You can’t afford to lose mags when its the real deal.

If you lose all your mags, you won’t have anything to reload with or shoot the baddies whit. Also, you can never be too sure when you might get a resupply. So every mag is worth its weight in gold.

This can be countered with something like:” I’ll just pick the magazines off the ground later”. In real combat situations, you have to move around a lot and keep changing your positions. So you just won’t have the time to go mag picking. 

Now for the second argument. Depending on the environment you are working in, the ground is full of dirt, sand, mud, snow, and god knows what more.

When you drop your empty magazines on the ground, there is a fairly good chance, that some of the particles or ”substances” on the ground will be transferred on and into your empty magazine.

Inconclusion, your mags will get dirty or wet. Dirt in the magazine can cause a whole avalanche of problems for you. It can start interfering with your shooting.

The dirt in your mags will go into your weapon. And can start causing different firearm malfunctions. This again will cost you a lot of valuable time. And can but you at extra risk. Plus its a real pain cleaning dirt out of your mags. 

Why Not Place the Empty Mags Back Into the Mag Pouch? 

There is a relatively simple answer to this question. And its speed. It takes extra time to put your mags in their pouches.

The time that it takes for anyone is relative. It depends a lot on the user, the type of mags you use and the mag pouch itself.

Placing empty mags back into their pouch in stressful situations can be difficult and fumbling around, trying to fit the mag into the pouch can cause a lot more stress. More stress means you are more likely to make mistakes. WIch again puts you at extra risk. 

It depends a lot on the type of magazine pouches you are using. It’s much easier to place mags back into pouches that have reinforced or thicker sides (if the mag pouch retains its shape, when empty). 

Plus it’s simpler to place the mags into open-top pouches rather than flap pouches. 

Why Use a Dump Pouch? 

Now to get back to the original question. Why you should use a dump pouch?

Well, as we discussed, dropping mags might not be such a good idea on the battlefield or in real situations (unless the situation really requires it) And placing empty magazines back into their pouches is quite a slow process.

A dump pouch is a good middle ground here. It solves the problems one might have when dropping mags, yet it’s a slower process. But it’s faster and a lot easier than trying to place your empty mags back to their pouches.

They are a lot more comfortable to use in general. Once you start using a dump pouch and really get comfortable with one, they become quickly an essential part of your loadout gear. 

Plus they make excellent utility pouches or temporary storage pouches for all your goodies. 

How To Carry a Dump Pouch? 

Let’s get down to the important stuff now. How and where to carry a dump pouch?

In general, dump pouches are carried either on your belt line (battle belt, duty belt) or on your plate carrier or tactical vest. 

I personally keep my dump pouch on my battle belt. This is for two reasons. 

First I don’t always wear a tactical vest or a plate carrier (if I do, then its a combination of the two) But when I’m at the range or on an operation I always wear my battle belt.

And the second reason is that, as I mentioned even if I wear a plate carrier I still have a battle belt.

With the combination of the two, when the dump pouch is on the plate carrier, it will start to affect your ability to access gear from your battle belt. 

Both, on the plate carrier and the battle belt, the placement of the dump pouch is more or less the same. You have two good options. One is to keep the dump pouch in the middle back area of your gear, the second is to keep it on your weaker side… (your loading side).

The placement itself depends a lot on personal preferences and your overall gear loadout preferences (aka your battle belt setup and so on).

But keeping the dump pouch in the middle back area will allow you better access to it. You will be able to use it with both of your hands. Wich will make your weaker shoulder reloads a lot easier. 

Example Dump Pouch

Like with all tactical and military equipment, there is a whole world of dump pouches to choose from. There are hundreds of different companies that sell and make dump pouches. Each stating that theirs is the best.

In reality, all of the dump pouches are more or less the same. They do differ by size, type, and material used… And of course price. 

I have been using the condor foldable dump pouch for a few years now.

People might associate Condor more with airsoft gear. Or low-end military gear. But at least the dump pouch has lasted quite nicely and is actually quite durable.

Also, it’s one of the cheaper products you can find. The pouch itself is on the smaller size. It takes 2 molle strip worth of space on my battle belt.

Unfolded, it isn’t too large as well. So it doesn’t fit too many mags in it. Wich works great for me because I don’t need a large dump pouch anyways. 

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