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What does MOLLE stand for?

Updated: Feb 17, 2021

MOLLE is an acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment, otherwise

called MOLLE gear. It consists of a bag with special webbing on the exterior that is often

called a ladder. You can anchor multiple pouches or PALS (Pouch Attachment Ladder

System) onto the bag. These pouches are attached to the exterior webbing system,

otherwise known as a ladder. The terms MOLLE and PALS are interchangeable. The

MOLLE system is best known throughout the world for its use in the military and law

enforcement and the R72 Grab&Go Vest + Modular Bags provides the opportunity for anyone to use it to prepare for both adventures and emergencies, like natural disasters.

How do MOLLE bags work?

The MOLLE system utilizes several rows of heavy-duty nylon fabric otherwise known as

PALS (acronym for pouch attachment ladder system) stitched onto vests, backpacks,

and other gear. You can attach MOLLE pouches and accessories securely to the ladder

for a grab-and-go bag for emergencies or other activities.

What is the MOLLE used for?

The MOLLE modular bag is useful for:

  • Emergency preparedness

  • Outdoor sports

  • Medical trauma

  • First aid 

  • Baby bag

  • Car survival kit

  • Car Utility gadgets

  • Toolbag

  • Backpack

  • Duffle bag

  • Hydration carrier

  • Camera bag

  • Weapons and magazines

  • Musical instruments

  • Communications (Walkie Talkie)

  • Adventures

These are just some of the uses of the MOLLE Modular Bag. The possibilities are


What are the advantages of using a MOLLE?

The MOLLE load-bearing system has one massive advantage in that you can attach

numerous pouches to carry all of your necessary gear. Some of the bags have large

interior spaces with plenty of space for everything you need. The system provides a

framework for affixing pouches that allow for individual customization. If you can think it

up, it is most likely available, or you can create your variation by using various pouches

attached to the ladder webbing. You can even connect two or three bags for multi-

purpose uses.

What is the difference between the MOLLE and older systems?

The main difference between the MOLLE and older systems is that there are two straps

on each pouch to make a tighter connection. 

The MOLLE is very successful in the military and is now available to the civilian world.

The attraction is the customization. Everyone now has access to this convenient and

practical system.

What types of MOLLE are available?

The MOLLE modular bag is very durable, lightweight, waterproof, and customizable. It

comes in many different shapes and sizes. Here are some variations of the MOLLE:

  • Vest 

  • Shoulder sling bag

  • Shoulder strap bag

  • Case

  • Satchel, which is often called a Bug Out Bag or mini-go bag

  • Fanny hip holster

  • Leg strap

  • Crossbody shoulder bag

  • Belt system

  • Roll-up pouch 

  • Magazine dump

How do you attach MOLLE pouches to the bag?

There is a specific way to attach the MOLLE pouches to the bag that makes them very secure. Each pouch has a certain number of vertical webbing (depending on the size of the pouch). The pouch itself may have velcro or a snap at the bottom. When securing the pouches, you weave the vertical straps onto the bag's ladder system before fastening the snaps or velcro closure. When the pouches are correctly attached to the bag, they cannot fall off or be removed without effort. It may take a bit of practice to learn how to fasten the pouches to the main bag, but once mastered, the bag and pouches are

virtually one. 

What are the goals of the MOLLE?

The main goals of the MOLLE Modular Bags are to:

  • Allow the user to securely carry everything without the bag shifting or becoming burdensome.

  • Make it manageable to carry the bag on their backs without hampering their ability to move swiftly and quietly.

How do you attach other items to the MOLLE?

There is an accessory attachment system that hangs on the webbing exterior of the

MOLLE bag. They consist of strong, sturdy, thick plastic that does not easily rust or

break. These tools secure needed equipment to the MOLLE bag. These attachments

are made by different manufactures and often come in kits. They include:

  • Tactical 360 Rotation D Ring Clips 

  • Tactical Gear Military Tube Clips 

  • Key Ring

  • Tactical D-Ring Locking Hanging Hook

  • Elastic Strings (hydration tube, knives)

  • Tool Buckle

The MOLLE is highly adjustable to meet your specific requirements. You can attach

various tools to the webbing, including keys, flashlights, knives, GoPro, or other items

related to your activity. 

Other items you can attach to your MOLLE include:

  • Canteen or flask

  • First-aid kit

  • Food

  • Slings

  • Holsters

  • Flotation device

  • Tent

What is the history of the MOLLE?

Before 1776, military bags were fitted with brass buckles and leather straps. They

changed to canvas straps during World War I and II. The military upgraded them to the

M-1956 LCE (Load-Carrying Equipment) used in the Korean War and the M-1965

MLCE (Modernized Load-Carrying Equipment) during the Vietnam War. The fasteners

have revolved over time, and entire systems were developed and eventually became

obsolete. In the 1970s, ALICE (All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment)

was used before being phased out. MOLLE was invented in 1997 by the Natick Labs

R&D division of the US Army and adopted by every military branch of the United States.

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