What is the MOLLE system?

What is the MOLLE system?
What is the MOLLE system?

Anyone who is even remotely connected with the military, tourism or hunting must have heard of the MOLLE system. For professionals, this mysterious abbreviation has long become familiar, but for those who have just begun to get acquainted with good equipment, it will certainly be interesting to learn more about what it is. You will find answers to many questions in our article.

molle system

What does the word MOLLE mean

The name of the system is of English origin. It is formed from the first letters of the phrase Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment, which translates as "Modular lightweight (lightweight) unloading equipment."

The MOLLE system is a set of lines sewn in a certain way onto the base. In military equipment, it can be used for unloading vests and belts of various types, tactical backpacks; in some cases it is sewn directly onto body armor.

molle attachment system


The need to create equipment that allowed a fighter to localize a number of military items on the body arose a long time ago. in battle canuseful not only personal portable weapons, but also many other goods: ammunition, first aid kit, flask, optical equipment, compact ration, map. At the same time, the soldier's hands should be free, nothing should restrict movement. At the same time, everything you need should be accessible.

One of the first solutions can be called a belt, on which they first wore cold, and then firearms.

The global development of weapons also required the modernization of their carrying systems. The US military industry is seriously concerned about solving these problems. The result was the LCE system of the 1956 model, which is a belt, a system of belts and several pouches fixed permanently. In 1967, MLCE was developed specifically for the realities of Vietnam.

In the mid-70s, the existing models were replaced by the ALICE system, consisting of a belt with pouches and shoulder straps supporting it. Unloading could be completed with additional parts (for example, a raid or landing backpack). The modules were fastened with special clips.

The IIFS vest was developed in 1988 and is still in use by some US military units.

It is difficult to name the exact date of creation of MOLLE unloading systems, because the work was carried out in secrecy. Experts say that this idea was implemented in the late 90s.

Features of the MOLLE system

After the development, about two decades have passed, but this technology is the most popular and widespread in the world. Today it is used not only by developers,Americans, but also specialists from many other countries. In most modern military conflicts (for example, in Syria and the Donbass), such uniforms can be seen on both sides of the barricades. It is this fastening scheme that was used to develop the latest Russian Ratnik uniform.

The following photo clearly shows what a tactical vest equipped with a MOLLE tactical system looks like.

molle unloading systems

We see that the vest itself is a base on which any fighter can attach the necessary pouches in a convenient order.

Types of mounts

One or more straps (depending on size) are attached to the pouch, which are threaded into the unloading loops. Today there are 3 types of fastening modules to each other:

  • Natick Snap (the sling passed through the cells is fixed with a button);
  • Malice (a clip serves as a retainer, which can only be opened with a special tool);
  • Weave & Tuck

The last type of attachment is the most common. It is convenient, easy to use, reliable. It may seem that the fixation is insufficient, but in fact, such a mount perfectly withstands even the weight of heavy pouches, for example, with machine gun boxes.

In all cases, the sling is sewn as follows:

molle tactical system

This is necessary to improve the compatibility of variousMOLLE fastening systems between themselves. For example, a pouch from a utility vest can be fastened to a backpack or bag, and parts can be replaced as they wear out.


If necessary, pouches designed to carry the following loads can be added to combat equipment equipped with the MOLLE system:

  • automatic and rifle magazines of various calibers and capacities;
  • grenades, grenade launchers, explosives;
  • packed in packs of cartridges;
  • first aid kits;
  • flasks and rations;
  • multitool;
  • sapper shovel.

In addition, you can easily attach a walkie-talkie equipped with a clip, carabiners, a flashlight to the slings. There are special holsters for pistols that are compatible with the MOLLE system. In addition to the unloading vest, you can attach a thigh platform, starting at the waist and reaching to the knee, or a compact backpack.

Civil MOLLE compatible systems

The system, which has proven itself in the army, has found application outside the barracks, training grounds and hot spots. Such equipment is currently used by rescue units, search parties, geologists, hunters and representatives of other professions who, by the nature of their service, have to face the need to carry a certain amount of equipment.

tactical bag with molle system

Tactical bags with the MOLLE system are often used by outdoor enthusiasts, photographers, and tourists. There are various goods for builders: aprons, belts, vests.A similar system was used in the production of organizers for cars, allowing you to fix the platform with any set of pockets on the back of the front seat. It is not surprising that successful military development has found application in civilian life.

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