02 May How to MOLLE + Tips & Tricks for Military & Airsoft
How to MOLLE + Tips & Tricks for Military & Airsoft
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As for today we’re talking about the tactical MOLLE system.
What is MOLLE?
MOLLE is an acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment and is used in conjunction with a PALS or Pouch Attachment Ladder System.
Whereas PALS refers to the mounting system or webbing on for example your plate carriers, war belts and backpacks.
While MOLLE refers to the pieces of gear that attach on this webbing, like M4 magazine pouches or any other sort of pouches.
MOLLE Connection/Closure styles
When it comes to the MOLLE system there are many different connection styles for pouches some brands have come up with due to the original “Natick” snap being patented.
All these connection styles have their own advantages and disadvantages, but have in common that they replace the old ALICE clips.
Besides the ALICE-system, all these systems have in common that:
Advantages of the MOLLE system
- They’re an extreme secure way of attaching pouches and similar stuff.
- They’re modular systems so your setup can be changed.
- They form a great way to organize your stuff.
All these features even make MOLLE and PALS begin to become more common for outdoor usage as well these days.
Conditions to use MOLLE
In order to properly make such a system work, they need to comply to a few conditions, namely:
- The platform that carries the PALS must be rigid.
- The platform must be durable enough.
If not, the platform will not withstand the weight of the pouches.
The materials that meet these specifications are Cordura and Nylon and have both become the military standards. For tactical usage 500 D or denier which refers to its density is more than enough.
Classic stitched MOLLE vs Laser cut MOLLE
You nowadays also get the choice between the classic stitched MOLLE or the newer laser cut MOLLE.
They both have their strong and weak points and it’s up to you to make a decision between the 2.
Classic stitched MOLLE
If we look at the classic MOLLE, it is known for being very robust which means with even heavy loads it stays tense over time. Above that it’s also easy to clean.
Laser cut MOLLE
On the other side, the newer laser cut MOLLE is much thinner and doesn’t require any stitching in the manufacturing process, because it’s cut with lasers. This makes it lighter in weight compared to the classic MOLLE. But the slits in the material might become bigger over time and usage.
Also dirt can easily get caught inside which makes it harder to clean out.
Configuring Your Setup
Before you start attaching your stuff, you first want to figure out how you you will configure your setup.
For this the first tip we can give you guys is to count the space of the webbing grid to get an idea of how many pouches will fit, so you don’t spend money on too many pouches.
You also only want to use the pouches & webbing you really need. So don’t overdo this stuff, because it will only make you less effective.
The second tip is to plan your setup and mind things like the size of your pouches, their weight and how their position might limit your movements. Think like with running, crouching and even going prone.
Furthermore, things like how you want to access your pouches and whether you will need to access them a lot or not is something to think about as well.
You might even want to fill the pouches, so you get a better idea of what works for you. Once you’ve figured that out, you’re ready for the full assembly.
To help you figure this out, you either want to construct your setup by laying it out with the pouches onto it or making a “quick assembly” by attaching the pouches in a very simple way by just making use of one single piece of webbing.
The Actual Assembly
For ease of use, you first want to empty all your pouches.
Then you want to take the loop or loops from your pouch and get them through the first horizontal row of webbing. This is the part that most people do correct but that’s not the case for the next step.
Step 3 (The wrong way)
What most people tend to do then is to put those loops all the way through the whole webbing. Then they lock it and done.
But this is actually wrong and makes your pouches not sit very secure and tight.
So, what’s the right way?
Well, it’s actually a weaving process which means you alternate between the webbing of both the pouch and like in this case, the carrier.
Obviously by doing so, you don’t want to skip any webbing for the best performance and when dealing with more loops you rather want to weave the loops at the same time by alternating between them. This will make the process a lot easier.
After that’s done, you just have to lock the system.
Step 4: Closing/locking the system
Like mentioned before, there are lots of different closure systems, but the most common ones require you to either snap a closure or use a piece of stiffened material and put it back upwards through the webbing. And by doing so, your pouch is very securely attached and won’t go anywhere.
Now the fact is, when weaving this stuff a lot you will hurt your fingers. So, you might want to look for a speed-threader to ease the process a bit. Do notice that a speed-threader can not be used with every closure system!
Step 5: Testing & disassembling
After you’ve assembled everything, you best put it to the test and yes it’s highly possible that you still want to make some changes after you’ve fully assembled everything.
And yes, we know that sucks especially with hurt fingers. But, we have a neat trick to save yourself some pain for the disassembly and it involves a flat headed screwdriver.
With such a screwdriver you can easily unsnap the closure or help pull up webbing to ease working with the loops.
Extra tips & tricks
Tip 1: Double MOLLE loops
You sometimes might find a pouch that’s equipped with a double MOLLE loop on the bottom. There’s a reason for that and it has to do with belts.
If you’re using a belt that’s not equipped with a webbing, then this extra MOLLE loop allows for that sturdy fit.
For this, you want to use the most outer loop first and lock the system by going upward in the inner loop.
Trick 2: Mounting holster on MOLLE belt
It’s possible that if you’re using a belt equipped with PALS, you can’t fit certain holsters even with their specific MOLLE adapter.
To solve this, you can bring the inner belt out over the piece of webbing and attach your holster with its belt mount in that way.
After that you can bring the remaining belt piece back inwards and you’re ready to go.
The importance of MOLLE sizing & brand choice
As probably already seen MOLLE and PALS form a quite tight fit with not a lot of margin.
And our personal experience with both real-steel and Airsoft brands made us conclude that some Airsoft brands don’t really mind about the correct mil-spec fit for both the MOLLE and the PALS, besides their already poor quality and stitching.
Which makes them sometimes not fit or align properly with other brands, while the real stuff can easily be interchanged from one brand to another without any problem.
And again, this is one of the reasons why you should always go for the real stuff in the first place. If you already have gear from an Airsoft brand we suggest you to stick with that brand for the fitting of those pouches otherwise it’s just guessing whether other stuff will fit.
Thanks for reading our blog
“How to MOLLE + Tips & Tricks for Military & Airsoft“
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Let us know if you prefer the classic stitched MOLLE or the newer laser cut MOLLE. What’s your opinion on them?