What is MOLLE?
The term ‘MOLLE’ and ‘MOLLE-compatible’ can often be found on our website. But what is MOLLE? How do you use this carrying system and what do you need to pay attention to?
MOLLE: Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment
The term MOLLE is an acronym for: Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. In short: a light-weight and modular carrying system for all your gear. It is a system that was first used in the American army where it was introduced in the nineties as the standard for mounting equipment, weapons, knives, ammunition bags and other gear that could be attached to backpacks and tactical vests. In our range the MOLLE system can be found on, for instance, Maxpedition tactical backpacks and pouches. In addition, we sell a lot of knives that come with a MOLLE compatible sheath. Most consumers use them for bushcraft and survival purposes, but it is also used by airsoft enthusiasts.
How does the MOLLE system work?
If you look at the MOLLE system closely you discover a system of loops. The PALS: Pouch Attachment Ladder System. These loops are 1.5” (3.8 cm) wide and located approximately 1” (2.5 cm) apart from each other. On both the bag and the sheath the space in between and width of the loops is similar. As such you can place the webbing on top of each other and weave a MOLLE-lock or TacTie through it. This leaves you with a nice connection that evenly divides the weight over the entire web.
As a result the system is incredibly modular. You determine what you place where. Practical for all those soldiers for who it was originally developed, but also for survival enthusiasts, hikers and bushcrafters. Today many backpacks are enhanced with this system of loops. Sometimes you immediately spot these loops, sometimes they are slightly hidden. Even bags that don’t immediately take the MOLLE system into account can be enhanced with a MOLLE compatible sheath. Think of the horizontal straps you sometimes find on the shoulder strap of a backpack. A popular spot for a fixed knife as it enables you to carry it close to your body, ready for whenever you might need it. Might seem exaggerated, but while climbing with ropes or in maritime surroundings you want to be able to quickly free yourself or others.
In addition to the standard ‘ladder’-system with the nylon loops there are also others versions on the market. Maxpedition, for instance, has enhanced its AGR collection with MOLLE compatible webbing that has been cut out of reinforced plastic with a laser. Slightly easier to weave and stronger than the standard stitched nylon webbing.
MOLLE and PALS
When you immerse yourself in MOLLE compatible products you will also come across the term PALS: Pouch Attachment Ladder System. This is basically the system of loops the MOLLE system is based on. Today the terms are used interchangeably making MOLLE compatible and PALS compatible also slightly interchangeable in our product categories.
Top-quality MOLLE clips
Finally we would like to point out that with a web system such as PALS or MOLLE the same principle applies as for a chain: it is only as strong as its weakest link. If you purchase a top-quality pouch and a top-quality sheath, but mediocre clips your system will only be as good as the mediocre clip. It is therefore wise to invest in the small or large Maxpedition TacTie-clips, or good clips made by another manufacturer.
Mounting non-MOLLE gear
When your entire bag is enhanced with PALS loops you want to be able to attach as much gear as possible. This will be slightly more difficult when you own a tool that cannot be attached to a MOLLE web. Fortunately there are ways to solve this problem. These Blade-Tech MOLLE locks, for instance. Solid plastic clips you can screw many different things on. Use multiple on the same piece of gear to be able to attach your entire survival kit to your bag.
Today MOLLE is incredibly popular amongst different groups of users. From airsoft to paintball enthusiasts and from preppers to survival nuts. But also hikers and campers appreciate the MOLLE system because of its solidity and versatility.