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ALPAKA Admin Pouch Review

ALPAKA’s Admin Pouch has a layout that’s a treat for those traveling with their small tools, though we wish it had the same bright liner their other gear has.

Our Verdict

7.0 /10
Good info






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  • Clear layout and easy access due to butterfly-style opening
  • Solid water resistance courtesy of X-Pac fabric
  • Optimized organization for small tools


  • No low-profile handle for quick grabs
  • Can be hard to close if you fully pack the pockets
  • Wish it had the same bright orange liner as other ALPAKA gear

Technical Details

  • Capacity


  • Weight (oz)

    3.88 oz (110 g)

  • Dimensions

    6.7 in x 1.18 in x 4.53 in (17 x 3 x 11.5 cm)

  • Notable Materials

    X-Pac, SBS Zippers

  • Manufacturing Country


  • Warranty Information

    Warranty & Repairs

Full Review

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If you’re a fan of the digital nomad lifestyle, chances are you’ve more or less looked into what tools you’d want to bring along when you travel. These could be cables, dongles, storage media, chargers, and maybe a pen in case you need to go analog. The key thing to remember is to tailor this toolbox to your needs. Unfortunately, everyone’s needs differ ever so slightly.

ALPAKA Admin Pouch Open 2
ALPAKA Admin Pouch | Its layout isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.

In this review, we’ll be taking a look at ALPAKA’s Admin Pouch. On the surface, it’s your standard pouch designed for everyday tech accessories. However, this pouch’s niche is for those who like to have tools with them, like a micro screwdriver, a hobby knife, and mini LED pen light. Is that all there is to it, though? Let’s find out what happens when it meets the Pack Hacker tech accessory loadout.

External Components

If you’ve read any of our other reviews featuring ALPAKA’s gear, then you’d know they have a penchant for X-Pac fabric. Honestly, we don’t blame them. It’s a tough-as-nails fabric with a distinct look that can turn even the most die-hard plain ballistic nylon enthusiast’s head around. The sight of the X pattern adorning ALPAKA’s tiny Zip Pouch makes it all the more serious-looking. Strangely, though, the effect is much more muted on the Admin Pouch.

ALPAKA Admin Pouch Brand
ALPAKA Admin Pouch | It’s hard to ignore X-Pac’s merits, even if you’re not a fan of its looks.

You’d be forgiven for not realizing that the Admin Pouch is rocking X-Pac at first glance. The pictures on ALAPAKA’s website make the pattern more visible. In reality, though, it’s much more subtle. Maybe that’s a bonus for those who want a more minimal look, and we totally get that. Even the logo at the front is all-black stealthy. In any case, you’re still getting the practical benefit of X-Pac’s best feature: waterproofness.

Peer into the front pocket, and you can see the last of the three layers that make up the X50 X-Pac. This is a thin film of polyester, followed by X-PLY, which reinforces the whole fabric, and then the 500-denier CORDURA nylon face. Apart from the fabric’s waterproofness, the multi-layer design gives the Admin Pouch a fair amount of structure, making it one solid-feeling pouch.

ALPAKA Admin Pouch Inner Material
ALPAKA Admin Pouch | This laminate is the last line of defense against splashes.

The zippers ALPAKA uses on the Admin Pouch are SBS zippers. SBS zippers don’t quite have the solid reputation of YKK zippers in terms of reliability. However, these have been smooth operators, and we’ve no complaints about them. Interestingly, ALPAKA’s own product page did initially say that the Admin Pouch comes with YKK zippers. We’ve emailed them about this prior to the writing of this review, and the info has since been corrected. A lot of their gear do come with YKK zippers, though they switch it up with SBS or Zoom from time to time, so we’ll chalk that up to human error.

Also worth noting are the Hypalon-like zipper pulls. These are the same ones that are on the Elements Tech Case and the later revision Zip Pouch. That last one is worth noting because the initial sample we reviewed had a longer version of the same pulls. This shorter type is much more fitting, as they’re easy to grab but not too distracting when they shake around.

ALPAKA Admin Pouch Zipper Pull
ALPAKA Admin Pouch | These are most definitely from SBS.

Take note that zipper pulls that use this Hypalon-like material can exhibit some fraying around the edges. The Zip Pouch we’ve been using extensively has signs of this, so we wouldn’t be too haphazard when handling these pulls. In our two weeks of testing, though, everything about the Admin Pouch still looks and feels pristine.

Something that we feel is missing from the Admin Pouch is an exterior handle, specifically one that’s along the spine. Since it opens up like a book, this would help you clutch it better when you’re using it while standing up or on the go. It’s a lowkey feature we appreciated with the Trakke Laggan Mini Accessory Organiser, and we wish it was here as well.

Inside The Pouch

Switching gears and into reverse, let’s take a second look at that front pocket earlier. There’s nothing particularly special in here. There are no additional pockets for organization, nor are there extra goodies like a key leash or key ring. That’s understandable, given the relatively small size of the Admin Pouch. It’s not really a day sling or clutch that’s meant to carry your everyday items like a phone, a wallet, and keys.

ALPAKA Admin Pouch Pocket
ALPAKA Admin Pouch | Flat items suit this wide pocket since it lacks horizontal depth.

Space-wise, there’s not a lot of depth to work with if you want to fit something bulky. Flat items, on the other hand, will fit nicely. Think of items like a cable, cards, thumb drives, or memory cards. There’s some headroom underneath the lip if you want to fit tall items as well. For the most part, though, you’ll want the pocket mostly for items you really need fast access to.

The Admin Pouch opens up butterfly-style, granting you a full view of everything inside. This type of opening has that benefit, but it also takes up a relatively large amount of space on a desk. Compared to a standing pouch like the Moment MTW Tech Organizer or the Aer Slim Pouch, it’s like having an open notebook on your table.

ALPAKA Admin Pouch Comparison
ALPAKA Admin Pouch | Accessibility is better, but it can take up a lot of desk space as well.

As for the organization itself, you get a sideways-facing slip pocket on the left side with two pen pockets in front of it. The right side is more densely packed, with a vertical slip pocket, three pen pockets, and a drop pocket divvied up by elastic loops above it.

Those “pen pockets” we just mentioned technically aren’t pen pockets, by the way. They’re too large if that’s their sole purpose, and it isn’t. ALPAKA designed the Admin Pouch to fit electronics, cables, and compact tools, so these pen pockets have been beefed up in size—which is a bit of a problem for us.

Because of our focus on tiny travel-sized items, the relatively large pockets of the Admin Pouch tend to swallow them. For example, passport-sized items may fit nicely into the slip pockets, but credit card-sized items like the Cold4ged Forkanife Travel Set get covered up completely. Regular-sized pens and multi-tools stick out of the pen pockets. However, a compact pen that’s ¾’s the size and something as small as the Leatherman Style PS Multi-Tool feel just a tad too tiny.

ALPAKA Admin Pouch Pocket Interior
ALPAKA Admin Pouch | Tiny travel-sized items are too small for these large pen pockets.

As an aside, while the rightmost pen pocket has a lot of room for even a large Swiss Army knife, fully filling it can cause issues. Once you close up the Admin Pouch, that pen pocket can bump against the opposite side, which can make zipping hard, if not impossible.

As for those items too small for the pen pockets, though, you have the option of relegating them to the front pocket. However, we wish that ALPAKA used their bright orange or blue liner to help interior visibility in case you wanted to do that. Fortunately, our go-to travel cable, the Rolling Square inCharge X, isn’t too small for the smallest drop pocket (the one with the elastic loops), so it can stay in the main compartment.

ALPAKA Admin Pouch Stuffed
ALPAKA Admin Pouch | Lengthier items make the best use of these oversized pen pockets.

While the Admin Pouch isn’t always a good fit for us, that doesn’t make it a bad pouch—far from it. You can’t judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, after all, so you have to look at it based on your needs. That is, if you’re the type who hasn’t already invested in really small tools and accessories, then the Admin Pouch may just suit those needs.

Usage Timeline

Initial Usage

Condition: Excellent

  • Nice organizational layout, but there are a lot of pockets & places for gear, so flat, considered packing is needed
  • The organization is a little large for travel-optimized items
  • Interested to see how the SBS zippers hold up
2 Weeks of Use

Condition: Excellent

  • This pouch works best for traditional EDC items—we struggled to use our smaller, travel-sized items effectively in the pouch
  • Dig the butterfly opening for easy access
  • Large multi-tool pocket is great—we don’t see that in many other organizers
  • Excellent choices for organization
By Tom Wahlin
Created December 19, 2022 • Updated December 19, 2022
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