Whether you want a utility pouch organizer for survival supplies, everyday carry or work essentials, it’s important to know what to look for. Not every EDC pouch has the same features, quality materials and craftsmanship, so it’s important to choose one that meets your needs.
What to Look for in an EDC Pouch
A utility pouch, also referred to as an organizer pouch or an EDC pouch, can be a handy way to keep your EDC gear, tools and supplies organized. But with such a huge variety of products to choose from, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the options.
An organizer pouch is one of the smallest types of EDC bags. Compared to a larger backpack, sling pack or lumbar pack, an EDC pouch is designed to hold your day-to-day essentials while being easy to stow and carry. These are the 10 most important features and characteristics to look for when you’re choosing an EDC pouch.
Take a look at the dimensions of any EDC organizer you’re interested in to get an idea of how big it is and how much gear it can hold. The Ember Pro EDC Utility Pouch from Roaring Fire, for example, measures 8.3" x 7.08" x 1.97" which makes it a good size for a generous assortment of everyday carry or survival gear. Be sure to also measure the larger items you want to carry in your pouch, so you know they’ll fit.
If you’re looking for something smaller, consider the Picofire Pocket Pouch. There are plenty of larger options too, although if you really want to haul a lot of gear, you might want to look for a backpack or sling pack instead of an organizer pouch.
2. Durable Construction
Whether you intend to take your utility pouch on hiking trips, bike rides or urban adventures. It needs to be able to take a beating without tearing, breaking or wearing out. Look for rugged fabric and durable materials like high tensile strength webbing and binding tape.
Look for Deniers (abbreviated D) to get a sense of the thickness of the fibers in the fabric used to make your pouch. Higher numbers indicate thicker fibers and, usually, a more durable product. The Emper Pro Pouch, for example, is made of 1,000D Cordura fabric.
3. Ease of Use
Look for an EDC pouch with user-friendly features that make it easy to operate. Intuitively designed compartments and easy-to-grab handles are a great start. Another perfect example is the High Contrast Yellow low-drag fabric inside the Ember Pro, which makes it easy to identify and remove items inside.
A great utility organizer pouch has more than one use, and infinite ways to pack it and arrange its contents. Look for a pouch that works equally well to store tools, first aid supplies, electronics, EDC gear and other essentials. Some folks use them to carry everything from fishing tackle to art supplies.
5. MOLLE Compatibility
MOLLE is an acronym for “modular, lightweight, load-carrying equipment” and it’s system by which various pieces of equipment can be attached to backpacks, rucks and vests. It’s a handy system of universal compatibility that’s commonly seen on tactical gear.
Now, not every EDC pouch is MOLLE compatible, and not everyone needs their pouch to be MOLLE compatible. But it’s a very useful feature, and definitely something to look for in a quality utility pouch.
You might have your own preference when it comes to how you want the pockets, pouches, loops and attachment points of your EDC utility organizer pouch to be laid out—which is totally fine! That’s up to you, but be sure to carefully consider the number of compartments and their arrangement. In general, avoid pouches that simply have one large compartment.
7. Water Resistance
Few EDC utility pouches are truly 100% waterproof, but it’s a good call to select one that has some degree of water resistance. 1,000D Cordura fabric sheds water very effectively, keeping the gear inside the pouch safe when you’re out in the rain.
8. Tough Zippers
As you probably know, the zippers are the first thing to break on a lot of low-end EDC gear. Cheap zippers simply aren’t made to stand the test of time, which is why you should always choose a utility pouch with rugged, reliable zippers.
YKK Zippers are often considered the gold standard, and many of the best packs and pouches use them. They’re renowned for their impressive construction and reliability, and for their resistance to abrasion and corrosion. The YKK Zippers on the Roaring Fire Ember Pro come equipped with user-friendly paracord loops for easy grip.
9. Low Profile
Ultimately, you’ll need to choose the right sized pouch for your specific needs. It’s often a struggle to find one that has room for all the gear you want to carry in it, but isn’t too big and bulky. A pouch that’s too big to comfortably carry can be more trouble than it’s worth. You should be able to easily fit it inside a larger bag.
If you plan to use your pouch for everyday carry, keep in mind that EDC isn’t about carrying gear for every potential scenario (that’s what a bug out bag is for). Roaring Fire has designed the Ember Pro EDC pouch with this in mind, but there are other, larger products for when you want to carry more.
Appearance may be a far less important consideration than functionality, but it’s still worth considering. Most folks prefer an EDC pouch that looks rugged and dependable, but also approachable. A pouch with an overly militaristic look that announces itself as a tactical piece of gear isn’t for everyone.
Get a pouch that looks like it means business, and appears well-suited to the tasks you intend to use it for. Choose one with muted colors if you want it to blend in with your other gear, or a high visibility color if you want it to stand out.