What is Molle and How Does it Work?

What is Molle and How Does it Work?

Fasteners and tactical backpacks have evolved over the years where entire systems have come and gone based on the needs of the day. However, each system had its focus on helping soldiers carry all the equipment they need in field and make it manageable for them to carry everything on their back without hindering their fighting ability. Early straps and buckles had some drawbacks including one-point attachment which made the items to swing and dangle as the soldiers ran. Also, metal items and tin cups hanging on the outside alerted the soldier’s enemy on their position by because of clanking together. Today, updated packs such as MOLLE straps have come to terms with some of these issues. Here is an exclusive look at everything you need to know about MOLLE straps.

What is MOLLE?

MOLLE is an acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. It was invented by Natick Labs R&D US Army division in 1997. After its invention, MOLLE did not become widely used for several years. However, it underwent massive adoption from the US troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan following the 9-11 attack in 2001. Currently, MOLLE is used on backpacks, belts, bags and tactical vests. It is a standard item utilized by most military units, fire departments, backpackers and law enforcement worldwide. MOLLE is made of a horizontal webbing system, also referred to as Pouch Attachment Ladder System (PALS) that allows users to design their gear using a modular system for their own needs. Today, it is a standard gear accessory featured on the product of top tactical manufacturers.

Different Types of MOLLE attachments

MOLLE attachments are available in many different types and purposes. The fact that they are found over the entire length of all sides allows you to attach side bags for extra space. The most common types of MOLLE attachments include flare pouches, baton pouches, ammunition pouches, handcuff pouches, pepper spray pouches, hydration carriers, gas mask pouches, radio pouches, holsters, grenade pouches, first aid pouches and a variety of utility pouches made for different items. Most of the packs often include a hydration pouch that makes water carrying easier. Utility pouches have elastic straps or inner organizers while others are used in carrying any item that does not need extra organization.

How to Use MOLLE straps - Tactical uses of MOLLE

MOLLE straps enable you to attach multi-tools, magazine pouches, knives, holsters, canteen carriers, grenade pouches and other equipment to load-bearing compartments, military bags, rucksacks, and tactical backpacks. Pouch attachment ladder system made of heavy-duty nylon fabric is stitched on the gears so that you can secure your MOLLE pouches and accessories to your equipment for easy on-the-go access to the compartments. MOLLE attachment system has MOLLE specific straps that are made to weave between the attachment and the material you are attaching it to. The sticks snap shuts securely holding the attachments in place. Here are the steps to follow on how to use MOLLE straps.

#1. Choose Your Attachment Point

When it comes to using MOLLE straps, you should first locate the place you want to attach your MOLLE attachment. To help you choose the best configuration, you can try experimenting by placing your MOLLE pouches on top of your backpack or other equipment before you can attach anything. Also, the weight, size and the frequency in which you will require to access the item you are attaching will determine the location of your attachment.

#2. Insert Attachment Straps Via Webbing

After selecting the location of attaching your MOLLE attachment, its time to attach it. You should start by slotting in each add-on strapping through the webbing on the top first row. Pull the straps until the pouch is completely secured to the first-row webbing. Now here comes the tricky part, you should weave the attachment straps back onto the MOLLE webbing back onto the pouch accessory you are attaching.

#3. Weave the MOLLE Strap Back Through the Component

Instead of slotting in attachments through the many webbing rows, you should weave the strap back through your accessory pouch MOLLE webbing. Place both attachment straps through your accessory pouch webbing and pull them to get a secure fit and tightening as go.

#4. Interlock the Webbing and Your Accessory Continually

Dependent on the MOLLE attachment size you are securing, you are supposed to continue with this pattern until the attachment strap comes to an end. Continue weaving the strap through the webbing on your attachment and equipment until all that remains are the buttons or snaps at the top. In case your attachment has multiple straps, you should ensure you repeat this for every strap until the entire attachment is fully secure.

#5. Secure Buttons or Snap Closures

After you have woven the add-ons through the MOLLE netting on your accessory pouch and the MOLLE webbing on the pack you are attaching your accessory pouch; the last thing is securing the snaps to ensure your pouch will no go anywhere. Shake the pouch and feel how much secure the attachment is to your bag and if it has lesser movements. The attachment should be rigid and have the minimum movements on the accessory.

Using MOLLE straps is that simple. However, you should ensure you use every row as you weave your straps through to keep your gear ultimately secure. More so, when woven correctly, your MOLLE attachments will almost feel like they were initially built together with your MOLLE attachments for the backpack.


Thanks to the great success with the military that the MOLLE system did not take long to get into the world of civilians. Today, the MOLLE attachment system is available on bags and backpacks where customization has gone a long way in improving its efficiency. Everyone can now enjoy the expediency of having everything reachable and handy through the various MOLLE attachments. In fact, MOLLE compatibility is one of the essential features to have on your backpack. From campers to hikers, paintball to air soft enthusiasts, MOLLE has gained incredible popularity among different user groups for its versatility and solidarity.


- Tactical Peak

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