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How To Use MOLLE Gear Innovatively and Effectively

Close-up view of tactical backpack strap

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If you’ve recently invested in a military-style backpack, then it most likely has MOLLE webbing.

However, having a MOLLE backpack is one thing and knowing how to use MOLLE gear correctly is quite another.

We’re confident that many people have MOLLE webbing on their backpack without even realizing what it is and what it’s for or how to get the most out of it.

What Is Molle Tactical Gear?

Tactical gear is essentially a marketing term used for military-style gear, without actually calling it military.

MOLLE stands for Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment.

Therefore, MOLLE tactical gear could refer to any military-style equipment that uses the MOLLE system for customization.

You’ll often see the MOLLE system incorporated into many daypacks and larger backpacks these days, as well as belts and vests.

MOLLE gear allows you to attach various accessories to it, including extra storage pouches, hydration packs, hosters, and sheaths.

The MOLLE system uses PALS webbing, which is the horizontal grid attached to the front of your tactical backpack or the sides of your vest.

PALS stands for Pouch Attachment Ladder System, which makes sense when you consider how much the webbing looks like a ladder!

MOLLE and PALS are often used interchangeably, but technically speaking, PLAS is the webbing, while MOLLE is the gear.

What Does It Mean To Carry MOLLE?

If someone is said to be carrying MOLLE, it means they have modular gear that they can customize to their needs.

MOLLE is commonly used by US and British Army forces, as well as special forces, law enforcement, and firefighters.

What Are MOLLE Straps Used For?

MOLLE straps are used to attach different accessories to your MOLLE gear.

No matter the attachment type, each should feature straps attached to the MOLLE webbing to hold your items safely in place.

How To Use MOLLE Gear

You may be surprised to learn just how many people are using their MOLLE gear in the wrong way, putting themselves in danger of losing some essential items.

Just imagine heading out on an overnight camping trip, only to find that your water bottle has worked its way loose from your bag on your journey.

How To Use MOLLE Straps

The first thing you need to know when it comes to MOLLE is that the straps are designed to be interwoven with the MOLLE webbing.

The key word here being interwoven!

We’ve seen a lot of people attaching their extra pockets and accessories by simply threading the straps down through the backpack webbing and then clipping them into place.

While this certainly will hold the attachment in place for a short time, if you give it a sharp tug, you’ll see how easily it could be ripped off your bag.

If you were out hiking and climbing and your bag got caught between two boulders, you could be putting yourself in danger of losing some essential gear!

The Recommended Technique

The correct way to attach MOLLE straps is to weave the straps back and forth before attaching them into place.

If you look at your MOLLE attachments, you see that they also feature PALS webbing on them.

  1. When securing an attachment into place, you want to start by threading the straps through a single line of PALS webbing on your pack.
  2. Next, thread the straps back through the upper line of PALS web on your attachment.
  3. Weave it back again to thread through a further webbing row on your backpack before finally threading it through the lower piece of webbing on the attachment.
  4. Finally, you just need to Velcro or clip the straps down.

The proper way on how to use MOLLE straps is a pretty fiddly job, but to be fair to the inventors, it’s not supposed to be done in an emergency.

We promise you, though, that it gets easier with practice!

If this is the first time you’ve used the straps properly, then you’ll immediately notice how sturdier the attachment feels than previously.

Essential Tips

Knowing the correct method of using MOLLE attachment isn’t enough to ensure your success.

There are also important considerations to keep in mind, including:

  • Have a Good Plan

Before you attach your MOLLE to your tactical backpacks, you need to have a clear plan on where to place the items.

You must also have a good idea of each of their weights and sizes.

Their location will ensure you distribute the weight properly and won’t get in your way while you’re walking, sprinting, running, climbing, and more.

  • Test It Out

It’s recommended that you test it out before proceeding to the next MOLLE attachment.

Doing so will ensure you make the necessary adjustments based on your needs and comfort.

If you’re unhappy, then all you’ve to do is disassemble the entire attachment and repeat the process.

If it has metal clips, it would be best to use a screwdriver to make the task a bit easier and less time-consuming.

The tool will help unsnap them or pull the webbing, so you don’t have to work on the insertion loop and outer loop.

  • Use the Loops

If you have MOLLE pouches or attachments without rows of webbing, they surely have loops that will help you achieve a sturdy fit.

What you should do is use the outermost extra pull loops to lock the item.

  • Purchase Compatible Accessories

On the other hand, if you are in the Armed Forces or other profession that requires you to carry a holster and magazine, you might want to purchase PALS-compatible magazine pouches and deep conceal ultra holster carrier.

Brown tactical backpack

How To Use Molle Webbing

There’s no denying it; owning MOLLE gear is incredibly useful due to its functionality and practicality, as well as the almost limitless customization it allows.

MOLLE has been getting progressively more popular over the years.

You can now find it on a large number of backpacks, even the more budget-friendly models.

Here’s how this MOLLE webbing is commonly bused by civilians, including one particularly innovative idea we came across for a daddy bag!

Bug Out Bag

Many people choose a backpack with the MOLLE system to ensure they have enough space and compartments for all their essential survival gear.

When it comes to a well-equipped and well-organized bug out bag, you simply can’t have enough pockets.

The more pockets and pouches you have, the easier it will be to access exactly what you need at a moment’s notice, which is vital in emergencies.

Items that you’re most likely to need access to in an emergency include your first aid kit, flashlight, and items for self-defense, whether it be a knife or pistol.

Once you have your ultimate bug out bag equipment together, start packing your bag methodically, starting with items you won’t need in a hurry.

Leave your most essential items for last and once you see what you have leftover at the end, you should buy attachments for them.

Adventure Pack

Another hugely popular way on how to use MOLLE webbing is for an adventure pack.

You can use as many attachments as you need for your next trip, whether for one or three days.

You can buy attachments that will secure your hatchet or ax to the side of the bag or your paintball gun and goggles.

It also gives you options to have your knife handy should you need one, as well as a compass and map if you’re doing a spot of orienteering.

Utility Vest

Many adventurers will go one step further than a MOLLE backpack by also investing in a MOLLE vest.

Hunters, fishers, and paintballers alike can benefit from wearing a MOLLE tactical vest when they’re out in the field.

For example, you may not always have your pack on you while camping.

Maybe you left your backpack at the bottom of the tree when you’re up in a tree stand hunting or on the river’s edge when out wading and fishing.

A MOLLE vest can be kitted out with all the attachments you might need in these specific situations, from extra ammunition or hooks to snacks and refreshments!

Daddy Bag

One of the most innovative ways we’ve seen MOLLE webbing used is to create a daddy bag!

Using a backpack or messenger style bag as the base, parents have been adding extra pouches on the side to store baby bottles, diapers and wipes, and toys.

MOLLE gear allows parents to stay ultra-organized and ready to tend to their baby’s needs quickly.

That is without leaving the baby crying while scrambling around trying to find what they need at the bottom of a traditional diaper bag.

Office Commuter Daypack

The supreme organization offered by MOLLE gear is popular among city dwellers, too.

Office commuters can take everything they need to work with them and find it easily, even on a busy commuter train.

Organize your kindle, laptop, notebook, and headphones with room to spare for your lunch and any lunchtime shopping you may have done.

School Bag

The military-style backpack is popular among school children, although due to the rugged construction of the bags, they may be too heavy for younger kids.

Older children can fill their bags up with their laptop, textbooks, and lunch and have their stationery in an easily accessible pouch.

They can also attach another pouch onto the side of their bag on the days they need a gym kit.

Tool Bags and Belts

Our final favorite way on how to use MOLLE gear is in the form of a tool belt or bag.

No matter how neatly you pack your tool bag, it’s always difficult to cram everything in.

If you want to add tools to your arsenal over the years, then you’ll probably need to buy another bag each time to accommodate the extra bulk.

But not with the MOLLE system! You can hang your bulkier tools from the side of the bag and carry nails and screws in pouches that can be found easily when you need them.

The tool belt works in the same way, and you can customize it to fit all the tools and supplies you need for each job you go on.

Full Customization Through MOLLE

Whatever you choose to use your MOLLE system for, once you’ve owned MOLLE gear, you’ll never be able to live without it!

There’s just no other way to achieve the customization level offered by MOLLE, short of having a backpack tailor-made for you!

Customize your MOLLE gear to work for you by giving some thought to the kind of attachments you need and where you’re going to place them.

One of our favorite ways of using MOLLE gear is to fully embrace the tactical gear look and opt for a utility vest.

A utility vest allows you to head out into the wilderness, hands-free, while always staying prepared.