What does MOLLE mean?
MOLLE (pronounced molly, yes just like the drug) is an acronym which stands for Modular Lightweight Loadbearing Equipment. Now over the years since this invention everyone has seemed to forget about the gear being lightweight. The military keeps buying more and more gear adding it into larger and larger kits for special operations units. As I like to say, “I have on 65 pounds of lightweight gear.” The point is that regardless of manufacturer or materials, weight is weight. It’s the total modularity of pouches for the individual user and more options for mission configuration, which makes this system dominant over permanently sewn pocket systems.
A common mistake that people make is referring to the 1” webbing sewn onto vests, plate carriers, full armor carriers and belts as MOLLE webbing. In fact, this layout is actually called PALS which stands Pocket Attachment Latter System. Over the years this system went from having a strip of plastic sewn in between 2 layers of 1” webbing with a snap closure to a single layer of webbing with small plastic tuck tabs to keep the pouches and pockets on. The future of this attachment system will be very lightweight rubberized products like Hypolon laser cut into single pieces, all but eliminating 1” nylon webbing. All major manufactures will need to eventually switch to this as a permanent attachment solution or be left behind in the non-stop ever changing nylon landscape.