Have you ever noticed how most tactical gear sports the nylon grid system on the exterior of the packs and equipment? These are called Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment and are also known as Molle attachments. The Molle system is the attachment found between modules and pouches to tactical gear such as backpacks and belts. But this isn’t the only system on the market – the PALS (pouch attachment ladder system) is an option, too. This is a grid of webbing that’s used to attach smaller-sized equipment to load-bearing platforms like backpacks and vests. But what’s the difference between the two, and which system is best? In this post, we’ll be comparing Molle vs PALS and explaining how the attachment systems work for everyday carry.

Molle vs PALS: What’s The Difference?

Figuring out the difference between Molle and PALS can be confusing, but we’re here to clear the air and give you a legitimate explanation. Molle attachments are a military specification used to define the load-bearing design used by NATO armed forces. Today, they are typically used to attach extra carabiners, keychains, or additional gear. They’re the current attachment used by most military units due to their ability to make gear attachments pretty quick and simple. Users can easily swap smaller packs in and out when necessary, as long as there’s a grid on the gear.

PALS (pouch attachment ladder system) is the actual nylon grid of webbing used to attach the gear or equipment. This system consists of webbing that’s sewn onto the load-bearing bags or vests, and also webbing and straps that go on the item that’s being attached. Those straps are interwoven with the webbing on both pieces of equipment (the larger, load-bearing one and the smaller items being attached) until they’re secured in place. The design was patented by the United States Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center (NSRDEC).

The main difference between the systems is that PALS is the webbing and Molle is the actual attachment. The attachments found on any piece of equipment are the Molle system, and PALS webbing is used to secure the items together.

How Molle Accessories Work With PALS

The best thing about these attachment systems is that you don’t have to choose between one or the other. PALS webbing can be used with Molle attachments; they’re actually designed to be compatible. PALS has become the standard method of attaching Molle accessories to tactical gear, so it’s not often that you’ll be using these systems separately. You’ll usually see them working hand-in-hand, which is why so many people get confused about which system is which. It doesn’t help that a lot of people use the terms PALS and Molle interchangeably, either. We hope this explanation has helped you understand the difference between the two!

How These Systems Work For Everyday Carry

You’ve seen how these systems can work for military personnel, but they can be beneficial for improving your everyday carry, too. Maybe you use a backpack to carry your belongings around with you as you go to work or run your errands throughout the day. Your bag is probably full of regular work-related items, like your laptop, pens, or notebooks. But what happens if you have plans shortly after work, or you’re headed out on a weekend road trip?

Instead of unpacking and repacking your bag for another purpose, you can use the handy Molle attachments and PALS webbing. All you have to do is pre-pack smaller bags for different occasions, and swap them out when necessary. You no longer have to waste time packing your bag and rotating out individual items – just switch out the packs, and you’re ready to get on your way. It’s that simple!

Now, you don’t have to worry about buying different backpacks for work, leisure, and travel. You can use the same go-bag, and simply adjust it to meet your needs. When you make these attachment systems work for you, you can save a ton of time when switching from daytime use to outdoor adventuring. Plus, it’s guaranteed that every piece of Molle-compatible equipment you purchase will be able to be used together. You’ll always get a high-quality piece of tactical equipment, but more importantly, you’ll have peace of mind that you’ll always be able to customize your gear the way you want.

Is Molle-Compatible Gear Right For You?

You’ve seen the many benefits of this type of gear, which is why it’s a popular choice for many. Molle gear allows you to easily increase storage and organization while featuring a flat, non-bulky grid system designed to be extremely secure. You always know that future additions to your EDC will be compatible, and you can remove packs and modules to reduce weight.

However, there are a few cons to this design that you should take into consideration. The design itself is very tactical-looking, which makes sense given its military origins, but can be a no-go for some people. The PALS webbing is super secure, and while it doesn’t take too long to remove and attach pieces, it’s still a process and can be a liability if you need to detach modules quickly. Finally, because there’s so much room to attach packs, you can end up making your backpack or vest too heavy for you to handle. This can strain your body if you’re not careful.

The pros seem to outweigh the cons, but we’re all about full transparency around here, so we think it’s important to give you all the facts. Now that you know more about these systems, you can make an informed decision on whether or not you’re going to use them for everyday carry!

Jesse Curtis