What is PALS/ MOLLE gear and how do you use it?
The PALS system allows you to configure your equipment however you want. There are a wide range of pouches available suitable for almost any use.
When it comes to living the BushLife having the right equipment easily accessible always makes life easier. While PALS/ MOLLE webbing and pouches were originally developed for military and law enforcement use, they have become increasingly popular among civilians as well. The adaptability and durability of the system make it an excellent choice for a wide range of outdoor activities and hobbies, from hunting, hiking and camping to airsoft and paintball. In essence it allows you to configure your equipment as you like it and is an ideal choice for anyone who needs to carry and access a variety of gear and accessories in a convenient and efficient manner.
Different types of PALS platforms. On the left is traditional 1 inch webbing, the example at the top is laser cut and lastly a minimalist example using 1/2 inch webbing.
PALS/ MOLLE webbing refers to a system of webbing and loops used for attaching pouches and accessories to backpacks, vests, and other equipment. The system originally consisted of rows of heavy-duty 1 inch nylon webbing that is stitched onto gear at 1.5 inch intervals. A recent development is the use of laser cut laminates that help to reduce weight and bulk.
PALS stands for "Pouch Attachment Ladder System," while MOLLE stands for "Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment." Both systems are functionally the same, with MOLLE being the version of PALS equipment used by the US Military. The two terms have become inter-changeable.
There are many different types of attachment methods from straps that fasten with velcro, tuck tabs or press studs to polymer MALICE clips.
PALS Pouches typically feature a backing made of durable nylon that has a series of straps on the back. These straps are designed to be woven through the webbing on the gear to attach the pouch securely. This system allows pouches to be easily swapped or rearranged to suit the user's needs. Pouches come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including magazine pouches, medical pouches, water bottle and utility pouches.
The attachment strap is woven through the webbing on the pack then back through the pouch, through the pack again until you reach the bottom when it is tucked back into the pouch. When done correctly this is very secure.
One of the main advantages of PALS webbing and pouches is their versatility. The system allows for the user to easily customize their loadout to fit their specific activity or hobby. For example, a hiker may choose to attach a hydration bladder, first aid kit, and GPS pouch to their backpack, while a airsoft player may choose to attach magazine pouches, utility pouches, and holsters to their vest.
In addition to their adaptability, PALS pouches are also known for their durability. The heavy-duty nylon webbing and pouch materials can withstand harsh conditions as well as wear and tear from daily use. This makes them an ideal choice for those who participate in outdoor activities or hobbies that involve rough terrain or challenging conditions.
PALS pouches also provide a convenient way to carry equipment and accessories. By having pouches attached to their gear, users can keep essential items close at hand and easily accessible. This can be particularly useful for activities like hiking, where stopping to dig through a backpack for necessary items can be time-consuming and disruptive. It's not hard to see the benefits of having medical supplies quick to hand.
Utility pouches are an easy way to increase capacity or add organization to your gear.
Some of the key advantages of PALS equipment include:
- Versatility: PALS webbing is designed to be modular, which means that it can be easily customized to fit a wide variety of gear setups and configurations. The system allows for the user to easily attach and detach different pouches and accessories depending on their specific needs and preferences.
- Durability: PALS equipment is made from heavy-duty nylon and is designed to withstand harsh conditions and heavy use. This makes it an ideal choice for outdoor activities, military operations, and other demanding situations.
- Accessibility: By attaching pouches and accessories to PALS webbing, users can keep essential items close at hand and easily accessible. This can be particularly useful in situations where quick and easy access to gear can make a significant difference.
- Interoperability: The standardized spacing and placement of the webbing loops on PALS webbing allows for interoperability between different brands and models of pouches and accessories that use the system. This means that users can mix and match different products without having to worry about compatibility issues.
- Customizability: PALS webbing allows for a high degree of customizability and flexibility in gear setups. Users can choose to attach pouches and accessories in a variety of configurations and orientations, depending on their specific needs and preferences.
Pouches with a PALS backing can be easily adapted to use with a belt.
Overall, PALS gear provides a versatile, durable, and accessible system for attaching and carrying gear and accessories. Its modularity and interoperability make it an ideal choice for a wide variety of contexts and applications, from military operations to outdoor recreation and beyond.
An urban admin pouch being used as a binocular pouch on a Foxtrot MK2 belt rig.