MOLLE, which stands for “Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment”, is a unique and advanced system of webbing or PALS (Pouch Attachment Ladder System) used to attach a variety of pouches and accessories to the surface of modular load-bearing equipment, such as tactical backpacks, chest rigs, plate carriers, combat belts, or other tactical gear.
They either appear as an array of heavy-duty nylon loops or a laser-cut panel with channels throughout.
MOLLE systems are widely used in military operations, law enforcement, and outdoor activities.
MOLLE gear is designed to be universally compatible, meaning that pouches and accessories from different manufacturers can generally be used together as long as they follow the MOLLE standard.
Origins and development of MOLLE
MOLLE traces its roots back to the late 1990s when the need for a more flexible and adaptable load-carrying system arose. It was created to update the older system ALICE (All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment). The development aimed to handle the limitations and enhance the mobility of soldiers. It has since become a standard in military and outdoor gear.
Key components of MOLLE
Pouches and attachments
MOLLE pouches are an integral part of this system. By using MOLLE pouches, they not only enhance the load-bearing capacities but also allow users to adapt their loadout to meet the needs of different missions or adventures.
MOLLE pouches are typically made from rugged material. These specialized pouches make it easy to organize and access your gear efficiently.
PALS webbing and straps
The webbing and straps on MOLLE gear provide the foundation for attaching pouches securely.
Pouches can be securely attached by weaving the straps on the back of the pouches through the MOLLE webbing.
These nylon straps are built to be strong to ensure a stable platform for MOLLE attachments.
You can rest assured that the pouches stay in place and won’t fall off even in demanding situations.
- Magazine pouches
- Utility pouches
- Grenade/flashbang pouches
- Radio pouches
- Flashlight pouches
- GPS pouches
- Admin pouches
- Dump pouches
- Gadget pouches
- IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit)
- Hydration Carriers
How to attach a MOLLE pouch?
Step 1: Choose the attachment point
Determine where you want to attach the pouch on your MOLLE-compatible gear, such as a tactical vest, backpack, or duty belt. Look for the rows of heavy-duty nylon webbing (PALS) on your gear and choose an attachment point.
Step 2: Weave the traps
Look at the back of your MOLLE pouch, you will find straps there.
First, push a strap through the top row of the webbing (the horizontal strips) on your gear (like tactical vests or backpacks).
Next, take the same strap and thread it down through the slot at the top of the pouch.
Keep pushing the strap up through the next row of webbing on your gear and then down through the next slot on the pouch.
Continue this up-and-down pattern. Make sure you pull each section of the strap tight before moving to the next. This keeps the pouch firmly attached.
Step 3: Lock the strap in place
Once you have threaded the strap through to the end, you’ll find a snap or button at the end of the strap. Press it closed where the strap ends.
Step 4: Make sure it’s secure
Gently pull on the pouch to check if it’s attached firmly. If not, re-tighten and secure the straps again.
See how to attach MOLLE pouches
Tips for MOLLE usage
- Different types of pouches are designed for specific items. So choose pouches that match your gear requirements.
- Arrange your pouches thoughtfully. Place frequently used items in pouches that are easy to reach when you need them most.
- Use the integrated straps on the back of each pouch to weave them through the PALS webbing on your gear. Ensure a tight and secure fit to prevent the pouches from shifting.
- Distribute the weight evenly across the MOLLE attachments to maintain balance and comfort.
- Avoid overloading or placing too much weight in your pouches, particularly on one side.
- Regularly check and readjust your MOLLE attachments to ensure they remain secure and functional over time.
New technology: Laser-cut
In traditional MOLLE systems, the PALS webbing is sewn onto the base material of the gear.
Laser-cut technology enables a more precise and efficient method of creating MOLLE webbing necessary for modular attachment. It represents a groundbreaking advancement.
Instead of traditional stitching, a laser precisely cuts the desired pattern into the fabric, ensuring consistency and accuracy in the placement of attachment points.
Laser-cut loops eliminate the need for seams and stitches that can be potentially loose. Its streamlined design also reduces unnecessary weight.
What are the differences between MOLLE, PALS webbing and laser cut?
MOLLE is typically associated with the PALS webbing.
MOLLE is an overall system used for attaching pouches and gear to backpacks, vests, and other equipment.
It includes not only the attachment method but also the design of the gear and pouches themselves.
On the other hand, PALS webbing is a part of the larger MOLLE system.
It consists of horizontal rows of strong nylon strips stitched onto the gear, creating loops for attaching pouches and accessories.
So, MOLLE is the overall setup that uses these nylon strips (the PALS webbing) to securely attach and organize pouches and equipment.
However, Laser cut is a newer technology that cuts attachment slots directly into the material of the gear.
Laser cut is a modern alternative attachment system used alongside or in place of traditional MOLLE webbing.
They provide a similar function but with a lighter, more streamlined design.
MOLLE provides an opportunity for individuals to customize their tactical gear for enhanced success. By investing time in learning the art of attaching MOLLE gear, you’ll gain knowledge and practical skills, leading to significant improvements in your tactical readiness. Elevate your tactical experience by embracing the versatility and reliability of the MOLLE system!