What is MOLLE gear?

What is MOLLE gear?

MOLLE Vests MOLLE Backpacks MOLLE belts  MOLLE drop leg pouches
MOLLE vests MOLLE backpacks MOLLE belts MOLLE drop leg gear

The word MOLLE (pronounced “Molly”) is an is an acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. MOLLE was introduced in 1997 however wasn’t widely used for several years until adopted by troops serving overseas following the 9-11 attack. Designed for rugged use, MOLLE is currently utilized on belts, backpacks, tactical vests, bags and more. It is a standard item with most military units throughout the world as well as law enforcement, fire departments and backpackers. MOLLE is now a standard gear accessory offered by the leading tactical manufacturers including 5.11 Tactical, BlackHawk Tactical, Condor Outdoor, Maxpedition and many more. MOLLE appears on their bags, backpacks, pouches, belts and more.  You can now find MOLLE webbing offered on many different items.

MOLLE car organizer MOLLE K-9 organizer  MOLLE barbecue apron MOLLE Christmas stockings
MOLLE vehicle organizers MOLLE K-9 vests MOLLE barbecue aprons MOLLE Christmas stockings

MOLLE compatible gear normally has webbing on the front and/or sides of the equipment. Generally the webbing consisting of horizontal rows of 1” (2.5 cm) webbing, spaced 1” apart, and reattached to the backing at 1.5” (3.8 cm) intervals. The webbing also known as PALS (Pouch Attachment Ladder System) allows the users to configure their gear to their own needs using a modular system.  On previous vests and backpacks the user was limited to the amount of storage the gear came with.  Now users can modify their vests, bags and backpacks to fit the specific needs of a certain mission or application.

MOLLE Straps MOLLE Straps MOLLE Straps MOLLE Straps
These pictures show various examples of different types or methods used to secure pouches to the MOLLE straps.


Pouches are attached to the PALS webbing via buckles, snaps, clips or straps.  Each manufacturer has their own system to attach the pouches to the MOLLE webbing.  Some pouches come with it's own attachment system, while others might require the user to purchase MOLLE straps separately.  The MOLLE webbing permits heavy pouches to be attached to the equipment without the risk of losing the pouch even in challenging terrain.  Some users will use MOLLE attachments to secure weapons and other critical gear.

MOLLE holster MOLLE holsters MOLLE pouch MOLLE gear 
MOLLE holster attachment Standard MOLLE Holster MOLLE pouch Tactical operator wearing MOLLE gear on vest

Prior to the use of MOLLE, the ALICE system was the standard for military units. ALICE systems are now considered mostly obsolete. The latest innovation is laser cut PALS/MOLLE which is a grid of laser cut slots through the face which boasts a 20 - 40% reduction in weight compared to normal MOLLE webbing. The use of laser cut PALS/MOLLE is slowly becoming an industry standard.

Laser cut MOLLE Laser cut MOLLE Traditional MOLLE webbing Traditional MOLLE webbing 
Laser cut MOLLE webbing
Laser cut MOLLE webbing
Traditional MOLLE webbing
Traditional MOLLE webbing

MOLLE pouches are available in many different sizes and purposes.  The most common pouches include ammunition pouchesbaton pouches, flare pouches, grenade pouches, handcuff pouches, hydration carriers, pepper spray pouches, radio pouches, gas mask pouches, holsters, first aid pouches and a variety of utility pouches for different shaped items.  

Because MOLLE gear has the ability to be customized to each users needs, the MOLLE concept is now widely used by many professions specifically EMS, firefighters, police officers, hikers, campers, utility workers and more.

.308 MOLLE Pouches

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AK MOLLE Pouches

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AR MOLLE Pouches

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M14 MOLLE Pouches

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M4 / M16 MOLLE Pouches

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Misc MOLLE Ammo Pouches

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MP5 MOLLE Pouches

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Pistol Mag MOLLE Pouches

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SAW MOLLE Pouches

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Shotgun Ammo MOLLE Pouches

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