Choosing the right pouch attachment: comparing MOLLE, belt, and Velcro systems

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When it comes to carrying extra equipment or accessories, tactical pouches are essential for anyone involved in tactical activities. Whether it’s a magazine pouch, admin pouch, medical pouch, dump pouch, or any other type, the way these pouches attach to your tactical gear can make a difference.

Now, let’s discuss the most common methods and see how they work and their pros and cons.

MOLLE attachment system: pros and cons

If you have a backpack or a vest and you want to attach extra pouches to it. This is where the MOLLE system shines. It’s like a secure way of adding pockets to your gear.

It uses a system of straps and loops. These straps are woven through the loops on both the pouch you want to attach and your vest or backpack, then snapped back onto themselves. This ensures that everything stays secure. See more on How to attach a MOLLE pouch.

Pros:

  • MOLLE systems allow you to place pouches exactly where you need them. Need an IFAK within easy reach on your left side? No problem. Want to distribute weight evenly for a long hike? You can do that.
  • Once attached, MOLLE pouches are not going anywhere. They stay firmly in place, which is great if you’re moving around a lot and don’t want things bouncing around.
  • MOLLE is a standard system used on a wide range of equipment, so you can easily move your pouches from one piece of gear to another.
  • With MOLLE, you can attach a wide range of gear, from small pouches for personal items to larger equipment. It’s all about what you need for your specific situation.

Cons:

  •  Attaching and detaching MOLLE pouches requires a bit of learning. It can be a bit more complex and time-consuming compared to belt-attached pouches.
  • MOLLE pouches and the compatible gear can be a bit heavier due to the extra straps and fabric.

MOLLE pouch attachment is widely used in military, law enforcement, outdoor activities, and even everyday use.

MOLLE attachment bag

Belt attachment (belt loops or clips): pros and cons

Imagine you’ve got a belt around your waist, just like the one you might use for holding up your pants. Now, think of pouches, but not just any pouches. These are special because they have either built-in loops or clips.

These loops or clips are designed to slide right onto your belt. It’s simple: you just slide the pouch onto the belt through these loops or clips and it stays in place.

Pros:

  • One of the best things about this belt-mounted method is its simplicity. You don’t need any specialized equipment. They can be used with a wide range of belts, whether it’s a standard or a tactical belt.
  • Adding or removing pouches is easy and quick. You can slide them on or off your belt whenever you need to. This means you can customize what you carry based on your needs for the day.
  • These pouches can carry a variety of items. Whether you’re carrying tools, personal items, or specialized gear, these pouches can handle it.
  • Without the extra fabric and straps needed for MOLLE attachments, belt pouches tend to be lighter.

Cons:

  • Unlike MOLLE, you’re a bit limited in where you can place these pouches. It all depends on how much room you have on your belt.
  • If you’re moving around a lot, these pouches might shift or bounce. This isn’t ideal in situations where you need everything to stay tightly in place.

This belt-mounted method is favored by law enforcement officers and utility workers but is also handy for everyday use by just about anyone.

belt attachment
tactical pouches

Velco (hook and loop) attachment: pros and cons

Instead of clips or straps, some pouches have Velcro backings. Velcro is pretty familiar, right? It’s that material that has one side with tiny hooks and another with a soft, fuzzy surface. When you press them together, they stick.
When you need to remove or reposition the pouch, you just pull it off. It’s easy!

Pros:

  • The use of Velcro pouches can’t get much simpler. It’s ideal for when you’re in a hurry or on the go.
  • Since it’s just a matter of sticking and un-sticking, you can move your pouches around as much as you like, easily adjusting your setup.
  • If you have items you need to get to often, like medical supplies or everyday essentials, Velcro attachments make it quick to access them.

Cons:

  • Velcro pouches can be noisy when pulled apart, which is not so great in situations where silence is important like tactical or hunting settings.
  • Velcro gets less sticky over time, especially with dirt or frequent use.
  • Velcro isn’t ideal for heavy items, as it has a limited weight capacity before it starts to become loose.
  • Velcro’s effectiveness decreases when wet, with the loops becoming matted and hooks less engaging, which can be a problem in rainy or humid environments.

Velcro attachment method is often used in everyday carry (EDC) gear, medical pouches, and some tactical vests.

Conclusion

Each of these pouch attachment methods has its upsides and downsides and is suited for different settings and needs. MOLLE is the most secure and versatile, while belt clips and Velcro offer ease of use and quick access. Whichever you choose, It’s about matching the right method to the right situation and making your tactical gear for best performance.

Got any thoughts? Please leave your comments below!