MOLLE: How To Utilizing Its Power To The Max

By "Just In Case" Jack | Updated: 11/01/2023

MOLLE- What IS it - medical pouch attached to a backpack with molleToday I’ve got something really important to share…

A Complete Guide To MOLLE (what it is, how it works, why you need it)

Because MOLLE can be confusing…

  • And perhaps your wondering how to use it.
  • Or just heard this term and need to know more.

The bottom line is:

  • It allows you to expand the usefulness of your pack
  • And make your gear more accessible

IF you know how to use it…

TOPICS IN THIS GUIDE…    ↓(click to jump)
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What Does MOLLE Stand For?

If you’re new to survival or tactical gear, let’s get you up to speed fast.

MOLLE is an acronym that stands for MOdular Lightweight Load carrying Equipment

Ok, great, but what does that mean?

Gear Clipped To Backpack With MOLLE

What Is It & How It Works

Think about ALL the gear you need in a bug-out crisis.

OR how about ALL the equipment you use in outdoor adventures, such as:

  • Hunting
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Camping

Well, all that gear adds up fast, and often, you’ll run out of room in your pack.

And that’s where a MOLLE system can help you expand what you can take.

It allows you to add extra supplies and gear outside your backpack, rucksack, vest, or belt.

Whether it’s an EDC bag, bug-out bag, get-home bag, go bag, survival pack, etc.

It makes all the difference between:

  1. Taking ALL the critical gear you need or
  2. Leaving something important behind

It allows you to pack more and keep your hands free to operate weaponry properly.

During the Civil War, soldiers used straps to carry their loads in combat.

But it wasn’t very effective.

Why? Because it wasn’t sturdy.

Equipment would swing around, get damaged, and make noise to give up their position.

In the 1970s, ALICE Systems – The All-Purpose Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment emerged.

This system was set up to help stow gear more effectively.

It helped to distribute weight better across the shoulders and body.

It was used until the ’90s, after which MOLLE took over.

How IT Works

MOLLE-compatible gear includes nylon webbing known as PALS (Pouch Attachment Ladder System).

PALS webbing is sturdy, woven straps that give attachment points for any MOLLE-compatible gear.

These loops are 1 1/2″ and laid out 1″ apart, so you can customize your carry setup.

And balance out whatever gear you attach.

When setting up your MOLLE pack, make sure to plan it out.

You want even distribution of weight and easy access to important items.

Layout your tactical gear and find a suitable place for everything.

How To Attach Molle Accessories

While it’s easy to use, it’s not like decorating your Christmas tree.

You can’t just hang gear off it and head out into the bush.

Instead, you must attach your items securely to stay where you put them.

You also don’t want things too loose, so they dangle or swing around.

Anything that makes contact with something else makes noise.

That can blow your cover when hunting (or being hunted).

Anyone can put attachment straps through the webbing and carry stuff.

But to effectively stow your survival and combat gear, you must use a more robust technique.

Doing an interlocking weave is best to secure your load.

Feed the straps through the row of molle webbing where you want that gear attached.

Then weave the straps back through the webbing.

Pull it through tight, close the snaps, and you’ll have a secure bond.

Always test it to make sure it’s secure and retighten as needed.

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4 Reasons Why IT Matters

Medical Pouch Attached Via MOLLE1. Ability To Expand Your Bug Out Bag (Or Survival Pack)

I believe EVERY responsible adult should take time to prepare.

And that includes a possible bug-out situation.

If you THINK you’ll never bug out, check out this article.

It provides 7 reasons you may be forced to bug out (even if it’s only for a short duration).

The bottom line is:

If you must stay off the beaten path for a while, you’ll want as much gear as possible.

MOLLE is the best way to meet that need.

2. Hands-Free Combat

Essential items include an IFAK pouch, TFAK kit, hand weapons, tools, and other tactical equipment.

How will you carry all this and still have your hands free to operate a firearm or combat tactical knife?

Well, if you have a plate carrier vest or a battle belt system, it’s easy.

It allows you to keep your hands free during all life-threatening situations.

3. FAST Access to Critical Gear (i.e., Medical Gear)

A Medical Pouch is one of my favorite supplies to add to the outside of a pack.

Why? Because with medical emergencies, every second counts.

So having a medical pouch on the outside of a pack means you don’t need to rifle through a bag.

Instead, you can rip that medical pouch off and open it up FAST.

4. Easy Access to High Use Items

There are certain items you rarely use, and then there are those you use ALL THE TIME.

Gear such as:

Removing your pack to get at such high-frequency gear is cumbersome.

Instead, you can attach these high-use items for easy access.

List Of Gear That Works With MOLLE

When buying backpacks, plate carriers, belts, vests, and pouches, be sure they use MOLLE.

Keeping everything within the same system allows everything to work together better.

And saves you the frustration of attaching different types of tactical gear.

Here is a list of the essential gear you can secure:

  • EDC – This is your Everyday Carry and includes a basic first aid kit, knife, and flashlight.
  • IFAK Bag – An extensive medical and trauma kit may be the most critical gear in your pack.
  • Magazine Pouch – One thing is for sure. If you need extra rounds of ammunition, they better be handy to access.
  • Canteen Carrier – Water is essential for any outdoor adventure. You must stay hydrated, so include a water carrier. That way, you can get to it quickly.
  • General Purpose Pouches – You’ll always need extra space to carry “must-have” items. You can get gear pouches of different sizes to stow any small items you want to take with you.
  • Holster Pouch – This allows you to carry more complementary weapons to your regular holster. You can have a knife or gun holster, or grenade pouch.
  • D-Rings – D Rings allow quick attachment points for various items.
  • Flashlight – A flashlight is always needed, and you don’t want to root around your bag for it.
  • Radio Pouch – Communication is vital in a survival situation. And having a radio or smartphone in a handy, easily accessible location is crucial.

Once you’ve attached all this gear, try on your vest or backpack.

Double-check that the weight distribution is correct.

If not, adjust it to your comfort level.

It’s always better to set it up RIGHT before you head out.

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Situations & Activities

Here are a few scenarios where it’s highly advantageous:

  • Hunting – When tracking your prey, you need a hands-free way of carrying your gear. You also can’t have items rattling around.
  • Fishing – There are so many things to take while fishing. Having the ability to store all you need on your person is handy.
  • Camping – Camping is all about outdoor adventure. And anytime you’re outdoors, you should keep life-saving gear nearby. Items such as a survival first aid kit, a flashlight, a knife, and even water and snacks if you get lost.
  • Survival Training – A backpack is essential to your survival equipment.
  • Bushcraft – Bushcraft is all about acquiring and practicing your outdoor skills. And to do that, you must take all your bushcraft gear with you.
  • Crisis Situations – A fast getaway and quick access to critical gear and supplies will help to survive any real crisis.
  • Airsoft/Paintball – Playing war games requires the right gear and plenty of it. Using it allows you to bring what you need for success.

Best MOLLE Backpacks On The Market Today

Now you know what it is and why you need it, it’s time to gear up and equip yourself.

We’ve done all the research here at Skilled Survival, so you don’t have to:

1. Top Recommendation
EVATAC Combat Bag With MOLLE

The first MOLLE backpack on this list is the one I use as my EDC bag (everyday carry) AND my Bug Out Bag.

It's got MOLLE all over this thing – from the sides to the back to the cover flap.

This is good because you never want to run out of MOLLE when you build your bug-out bag.

So, it's a pack that's rooted in MOLLE.

In addition to MOLLE, this is an all-around high-quality pack. It's got:

  • High-quality non-snag zippers
  • Double stitching at all high-stress points
  • Abrasive resistant fabric
  • 10 individual compartments for smart organization
  • And it's not TOO BIG or TOO SMALL

And that's important.

If your bug-out bag is too big, you'll add too much gear and become a back crippling 70 lb. pack.

Yet, it's also not too small, so you can still carry all your most necessary items.

And with the MOLLE system, you can expand the amount of gear you choose to take over time.

If you're looking for a quality all-around pack, you won't regret picking up the EVATAC combat bag.

I believe it's the best MOLLE-based pack on the market, especially at this reasonable price point.

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↓ Bug Out Bag Review – The Combat Bag By EVATAC

G4Free 40L Military Tactical Backpack

G4Free makes a tremendous outdoor tactical bug-out bag.

It's ideal for fishing, hiking, and camping.

And gives you lots of space for various pouches and its multi-compartment setup.

This backpack is comfortable to wear with its cushioned shoulder straps.

And is made of high-density fabric with a polyester lining.

Inside, you find many compartments.

The compartments include a padded laptop area along with 4 other compartments.

On the outside is where your webbing system lives.

It is on all sides of the backpack with additional D-rings and straps for all the gear you need.

You can strap on your tent, sleeping bag, and fishing pole.

2-way zipper closures make sure all your gear is locked and loaded securely.

And the whole pack is water-resistant and very durable.

This is a decent backpack for all your outdoor adventures.

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↓ G4Free Multipurpose Tactical MOLLE Backpack

EMDMAK Military Backpack, 42L Molle Bag

If you are looking for a 3-day assault pack, EMDMAK has what you want.

Their MOLLE rucksack comes with plenty of compartments, both large and small.

And it can hold most laptops of reasonable size.

Inside the compartments are mesh pockets and straps.

These keep everything secure, so they won't shift when traversing your environment.

The top of the pack also has a Y-strap to keep your bedding high and dry.

This versatile backpack functions as a 3-day carry and a bug-out bag.

It is also suitable for hunting, camping, or as a travel bag.

All the shoulder and chest straps are adjustable and padded for comfort.

And they're made of high-density, double-stitched Oxford and nylon fabric. That way, you know it's both durable and water-resistant.

The MOLLE system is integrated very well into this rucksack.

It has 3 rows on the back to attach all your tactical gear and additional MOLLE pouches and bags.

This purchase even comes with add-on gifts.

You get a MOLLE water bottle pouch, 2 US flag patches, 4 D-rings, and a Paracord lanyard keychain.

That terrific addition makes the EMDMAK military backpack a great choice.

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↓ My Get Home Bag Review – The EMDMAK Tactical Backpack

LA Police Gear Atlas 72 Hour Tactical Backpack

This pack from LA Police Gear is perfect for your next wilderness adventure or bug-out bag.

The Atlas 72H is a mega-tough bag made from 900D polyester with a PVC coating.

It measures 24" H x 19" W x 10" D, so it has plenty of room for all your gear.

On all available areas of the backpack, there is laser-cut webbing.

This gives you a more subtle look while being very functional and modular.

It also has quick-access pockets and lots of storage in the bottom compartment.

This helps to store oversized items such as jackets and helmets.

It comes with shoulder ports for a hydration setup.

And it even has a flees-lined compartment for safely stowing glasses or delicate gear.

It's designed for add-ons with other LA Police Gear, including straps to attach their chest pack and additional accessory pouches inside and out.

This bag will allow you to go for long hikes, camping, and work on your bushcraft skills.

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↓ LA Police Gear 72-Hour Atlas Backpack Review

MT Military 2 Large Rucksack

You'll appreciate this pack if you understand the difference between a backpack and a rucksack.

Their tactical army rucksack is an entire system within itself.

It has individual components, including your main military bag made of canvas, 2 sustainable smaller bags, and a tactical waist bag.

The whole kit gives you over 4000 cubic inches of storable space.

This kit has a robust polymer gen-iv frame, a molded hip belt, and reinforced shoulder straps.

This makes this rucksack easy to get on and off and gives you a comfortable carry for long durations.

This is a superior army tactical backpack.

And it allows you to get the modular PALS system with lots of webbing for attaching your equipment.

YKK zippers and UTX buckles round out this rugged tactical pack.

So you'll have everything you need in a crisis or an off-grid camping trip.

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↓ ACU II RuckSack Review

Hannibal Tactical MOLLE Assault Backpack

Here's another large-capacity rucksack.

Hannibal Tactical's assault pack gives you a 36L of pack volume.

It's also made from water-resistant 600x600 density fabric and is durable.

First, you get 2 main compartments for more extensive storage and 2 smaller ones in the front for hand weapons and gear.

Within each compartment, there are pockets for separating your items.

This helps give you easy, direct access to all the necessary supplies.

All the pockets have dual zipper pulls, with one compartment able to open fully like a suitcase.

This bag is both rugged and tough.

It uses heavy-duty Oxford fabric.

This material lasts, and the padded shoulder straps offer additional comfort.

You get a Y-strap on the top and straps on the bottom for jackets, sleeping bags, and your tent.

There is ample webbing for adding extra pouches and tactical bags.

That way, you can remain hands-free at all times.

It's a great 3-day pack and beyond. And includes 2 D-rings, a US flag patch, and webbing dominators.

Hannibal Tactical gives you 2 year of warranty for this kit.

And they're recognized as a world leader in their gear, both in development and design.

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↓ Hannibal Tactical 36L Backpack Review

5.11 RUSH24 Tactical Backpack

5.11 Tactical has an excellent line of tactical backpacks, but this is their most popular.

If you want high performance, look no further.

This rugged backpack is ideal for active duty, hunting, camping, and recreation.

This option should be on your list as a bug-out bag!

You get a wrap-around MOLLE system with their SlickStick compatible web platform.

Inside, it has 37L of capacity with ample storage.

And has 2 zippered side pockets and stuff-it pockets with drawcords and pull tabs.

You also get a hydration pocket, fleece-lined glasses pouch, and self-repairing YKK zippers.

It also has a water-repellent coating.

So the elements aren't going to affect your carry.

And with the padded, adjustable shoulder and sternum straps, you have comfort for the long haul.

Use this military backpack for your hunting, hiking, survival, and bug-out bag.

It's the everyday carry that you won't want to put down.

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↓ New 5.11 Rush24 2.0 Backpack Review

Final Thoughts

In the bush or on active duty, transporting all your tactical gear is key.

You need comfort and design, and these MOLLE backpacks are ideal for the task ahead.

It’s vital to equip yourself and remain agile in an emergency.

Take it from us at Skilled Survival…

The proper knowledge and the right gear will make a difference in your quest for survival.

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