In an earlier review, we took a look at the jeans from Dynamis Alliance. In this review, we’ll be examining the pouch system that goes along with the jeans, called the IWS. Current pouches range from Glock 19 and SIG P365 holsters, associated magazine pouches (AR15 STANAG and handgun, even MP7), trauma kits, baton pouches, and even a small utility pouch for those slim minimalist wallets that are all the rage these days. With the exception of the handgun holsters and the knife sheaths, these pouches are made from either a thin, stretchy fabric in the case of the IWS EDC Pouch, or in the case of the magazine holsters, a smooth canvas-like material that collapses against your body when the magazine has been withdrawn.
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The important note about all this IWS pouch system is that all these systems connect internally to the pants. There is no belt or outside the waistband connection point. A user can put several of these attachments on the IWS belt segment, and then wear these pants without a belt and the systems will be in place against the waist in the same way that other inside the waist belt components would be with a belt system. Now, if users get the system and want to switch to a more conventional inside the waistband holster clip, or even transition the components to an outside the waistband configuration, Dynamis Alliance does offer the Zero Clips with new products. Because my interest and focus on the review was specifically aimed at the inside the waistband, minimal visibility configuration, I didn’t test and review these clips. However, the option is certainly there for purchasers of the components.
The IWS pouches connect to the system via two left and right tabs or wings that are attached to a circular slot opening on the back of the pouch. This is where the external outside the waistband clip can be connected to as well. Made from what appears to be a Tegris sheet, the tabs are extremely secure when slotted into the vertical cuts. I did notice that when continuously folded, one of the tabs has a tendency to permanently crease along the edge that has to be bent to fit into the vertical slat. At first, I was genuinely concerned and afraid of a material failure point. But that was several months ago and I’ve been repeatedly working the tabs with no issues with the crease at all.
The IWS System
The most important point about the IWS System is that it truly leaves an almost zero visibility footprint on the outside of the pants. This cannot be stressed enough in the crazy world of IWB attachments for all sorts of gizmos and gadgets out there. In terms of what else is out there on the market for item attachment contraptions, I believe this is the only one out there that really has this capability. You can literally wear these pants without a belt and have a holstered IWB Glock 19 that stays in the position you want it to be in.
Pouch retention to the waistline is not an issue. The pouches would probably have to be ripped out with a pair of pliers and worked over by the hulk before the tabs rip out of the slats. If you have longer tabs you can even weave them into the slats but that’s redundant by then. Even with a loaded handgun, when you take the pants off or put them back on, the holster isn’t going to be coming out of the IWS when it isn’t against your body.
For me, the Multicam texture was a turn off. Simply because I would like to distance myself from tacticalness if I have the opportunity to. For most people, this is probably not going to be a sticking point, but I believe I should mention it. If they were in a neutral blue-jean-like texture or even just a flat blue that might be better, but I can live with it.
There are two points on the IWS system where pouches cannot be attached and that is in the small/spine of the back, and at the 12 o’clock position in the front. This is due to the clothing tag in the back, and because of the way the jeans button up in the front, you just can’t go the full segment. The clothing tag could easily be repositioned to allow a full back segment, but the front section is tougher because of the geometry of the close and snap.
I would have appreciated it if the IWS system was somehow universal in that I could use my own holsters and pouches on the pants. In reaching out to Dynamis Alliance in regards to the answer to this, the response was that the company wanted to be able to control the end products in use with the pants. From a business standpoint, I can understand that. They know their products work well with the pants, but cannot speak to the reliability of other items out there on the market, thus not wanting to mix the two. Now, folks can make any sort of modification they want and attach the IWS tabs to their existing hardware but the company certainly wouldn’t cover a warranty or other issues if one should occur.
Possibly the largest turn-off for most about the IWS is that you’re now tied to the pair of pants if you want to use the system and the holsters. I’m sure everyone in the world has gone through an experience of ruining a decent pair of pants by spilling some crazy liquid on them, maybe a cigarette burn, wading through sewer filth in a flooded city, or accidentally getting them ripped or cut on whatever tool or instrument is out there. With a standard IWB set up, this isn’t an issue, you simply change into another pair of pants and transfer your gear as well. However, with the AdaptivX jeans, this is a serious problem if you’re only running the IWS setup without the Zero clips. That kind of situation would be perfect to simply change out the IWS tabs with the OWB clips but that has to fall in your particular context and lifestyle. If you can afford or want the redundancy of the clips, fair game, however, everyone is different in this regard. Some folks like having one system that works very well as opposed to different options.
One of the biggest advantages I saw with the IWS System was the possibility of essentially lining the inside of my waist with everything that a basic low-profile battle belt could have. Handgun, spare handgun magazine, AR15 magazine, med kit, etc… This was surely not the case at all, and nothing against the system but more with the geometry involved.
The Holster and Pouches
The Glock 19 non-light-bearing IWB holster is fantastic in retention. Probably one of the best-molded holsters I’ve ever inserted a handgun into when it comes to retention. When the handgun snaps into place, it has a very positive click letting you know that your gun is secure. The IWS attachment system is great, just phenomenal in terms of actual holster retention. Probably every other IWB holster clip and system out there on the market right now will fail a rigorous holster retention test before this one will fail. The thing just won’t move due to the simple construction of the IWS, with the slats being inserted into it. I should also mention that there is an adjustment screw where retention can be adjusted by the user. I, however never really touched it and the retention worked fine.
Now, can the pistol fly across the room if you do sling it away from your chest with your hand in a forceful motion while outside of your pants? Of course it will, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any Kydex or Boltaron-based holster where that won’t happen.
There are a few micro positions that you won’t be able to get the holster into, due to the IWS vertical slots. Not the most annoying thing in the world because you can easily adjust your pants and belt to probably match the exact point that you want the holster to ride in. I don’t know how much more the company could play around with the spacing, maybe if they reduced slots by half you’d have more positioning options, but I’m sure there is probably a logistical or materials strength reason behind the spacing.
As a side note, I do very much wish the option of using your own holsters would be there. Despite how well the holster itself does on handgun retention, everyone has a million opinions about what holster works better or why. Hence, why I would like the IWS System to become more mainstream so we can use holsters that we want.
The point that I will make about the IWS pouches is you are more or less limited to two pouches, maybe a third if you can position it correctly. One of my initial impressions of the system was that it was a concealed battle belt turned inside out. It turned out not to be the case as belts work better with the majority of pouches on the outside of the belt. If you are going to wear the AdaptivX pants, I would recommend choosing the pouches wisely. Pistol holster is one, magazine holster another, or replace the magazine holster with the IWB medical kit pouch, or the minimalist wallet pouch for example. But don’t be lining the inside of your IWS system with a multitude of pouches because when you put the pants on, you’re going to face some comfort issues. The other issue is that if you go with the AdaptivX pants and the IWS system, you’re essentially married to the pants the system. The pants will of course work with other IWB holsters on the market, but the IWS will only work with the MOLLE pant liner unless you install the attachments to it.
Another point here is don’t forget to take the pouches off when doing laundry with the jeans, especially the med pouch as it can easily be forgotten when you take the jeans off and are only using that mad pouch.
The IWS System is a very cleverly engineered one that is perhaps more reliable in terms of retention than most other IWB holster systems out there on the market today. I wish it were more universal and we weren’t tied to Dynamis Alliance in terms of the pouch options. But the company has their reasons why they want folks to use their proprietary system, some of it due to liability. I also wish we could somehow have more of a complete belt setup inside the waistband instead of being limited to two pouches, but I think that’s a very complicated problem to solve as well.