PALS Vs. MOLLE – What Are The Differences Between Them

We often get confused when we are talking about PALS Vs. MOLLE. You must know that they are not the same thing. They are interconnected but they do not represent each other. In this article, I will discuss what they are and what is the benefit of knowing about them. They are different concepts that are complementary to each other. It is important to know about the tactical gears as you may use it to survive. Governments should consider introducing PALS and MOLLE for the military purposes.

The full form of MOLLE is Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. It is pronounced as Molly as a female’s name. The full form of PALS is Pouch Attachment Ladder System. The use of MOLLE is one of the greatest solutions to those people who wants to carry extra gears. Usually, it is used by the military people, but it has greater use. Even normal people like us can find it very useful. Manufacturers are coming up with new ways to incorporate both the systems for new uses. The usage of both PALS and MOLLE system are now adopted in every countries military. It is made in a way to increase the durability and modularity of the item.


It is important for people to know the basic difference between PALS Vs. MOLLE. Often they are confused. The concept should be clear to the anyone who works in a military. Even the outdoor and survival enthusiast will find this handy. Some of the differences are given below for better understanding.

1. Definition

PALS is the grid of webbing. It is sewn on the load bear equipment such as vest or rucksacks. And MOLLE is the corresponding for attachment items. The invention of the webbing system was by the USA. Also, they patented the rights of this so that no one can copy it.

The army of UK and USA use the MOLLE system as a survival gear attachment. It describes the current system of the load-bearing system in those countries. Also, it is known as a modular system that allows you to carry pouches. You can attach these pouches to you bags, vests, and other compatible items. On the back of the pouches, there are straps for interlocking with the PALS grid.

For example, you want to go camping in a remote area. So, you need to carry a lot of items. If there is a PALS webbing in your bag then you can use MOLLE compatible accessories. It will help you to take carry more and essential items for spending few days outside you home.

2. History

When discussing PALS Vs. MOLLE, it is best to learn about their history. It will help you to have a better background knowledge about the discussion. PALS webbing system was first used on MOLLE rucksacks. At that time, PALS was only compatible with MOLLE. In 1997, the MOLLE system came into light. At that time, it was not popular. But later, around 2001 it gained more popularity when the US Army started using this system.

There were some complaints that the plastic frame was fragile and prone to breaking. Also, stuffing the bag with too many things made the zipper break. Even the straps were not long enough to support oversized or heavy body armors. In the beginning, it was heard that the MOLLE system injured many people’s back. The injuries were due to the use of Ball & Socket system. After this, the whole they redesigned the whole thing by eliminating such features. They included other elements to make the system work better.

3. Specification

When talking about PALS Vs. MOLLE, it is important to know the specifications. It means what the webbing grid looks like. A standard PALS grid consists of nylon straps that are of 1 inches wide. Then, you will see that they are horizontally sewn 1 inches away from each other. The strap is then divided into box-like shapes that have 1.5 inches intervals. You cannot detach PALS from the item as the item is sewn. In today’s time, there are so many accessories available to support the webbing. They are available in the super market. You can buy the ones that customize and supports the grid system best.

You can detach a MOLLE compatible accessory whenever you want. Untangle the interlock between the straps for detaching them. Anything that derives from modular attachment system is called MOLLE compatible. It has different types of pouches. And among those, the best one is hydration pouch. It helps you to carry water in an easier manner. The system is found in many types of tactical equipment and gears.

MOLLE has different modes of attaching system. The first one is Natick Snap. It uses a plastic reinforced strap with a snap. It helps to secure it in its position. Then comes the Malice Clip which is like Natick Snap. The only difference is that it uses a semi-permanent polymer clip. You can remove the clip with the help of a screwdriver. And at last, there is Weave & Tuck where most of the accessories fall. Here, it uses the interweaving of straps. As soon as the pouch is attached, the strap is tucked on the back of the pouch.

Final Words

In the end, I would say that the PALS Vs. MOLLE is not that confusing. You only need to understand the basic differences to understand their characteristics. I have heard from many people that they think MOLLE and PALS are the same things. But, they are not, it is a big misconception. They represent two different things. PALS are sewn on to the bag, vest, or any other item. And MOLLE is the system with which you will interlock an item on the PALS grid. At present time, the use of PALS webbing grid became popular. It is not only used for MOLLE compatible products. But for other locking systems too.

Before, MOLLE came people used hooks and loops for attaching accessories. But, it turned out to be noisy as they were not tight in their positions. Also, when you are in extreme condition, you do not want the items to fall off. When MOLLE was first introduced, it was bulky and caused discomfort to the user. Then they redesigned it, by removing and including some new features. The interlocking system of MOLLE and PALS made sure that they are in secure position. Even in the toughest weather condition, people managed to keep their belonging safe.

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