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PALS VS MOLLE la différence

PALS vs. MOLLE: what is the difference?

Survival gear is very often a bit of a hodgepodge of words filled with slang and acronyms. So, at SOLDAT.FR we take every opportunity possible to demystify terminology and dispel any misconceptions that might exist in the military world .

Learning survival skills and equipment should be accessible to everyone, (and we are working on it), rather than an exclusive club where members are left out if they are not familiar with all the terms used .

PALS and MOLLE system Military tactical vest


The two biggest terms we hear frequently in the military world, and used in the world of survival and combat readiness are MOLLE and PALS . Very often you have to hear that a backpack has a " PALS strap " or that a pouch is " MOLLE compatible ". Confusingly, you sometimes hear quite the opposite: “MOLLE” and “PALS” are often used interchangeably.

So, what is the difference between “ MOLLE webbing ” and “ PALS webbing ”? Are these two systems really the same thing with two different names? Not necessarily, but read on to understand where the confusion comes from.


Let's first define these terms. MOLLE (pronounced like the name Molly) is the acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment . It is a proprietary form of military equipment designed by Natick Labs, produced under contract by various manufacturers, and used by the United States Army and other NATO forces. MOLLE gear is typically based on a Tactical Assault Panel (or TAP), which is a load-bearing chest rig or vest.

Backpack with PALS & MOLLE system

Remember that the M in MOLLE stands for modular, so it is: a system of modular equipment components made for your equipment such as tactical vests , backpacks , pouches , etc. that attach to each other .

Now this is important: the MOLLE system includes PALS webbing. PALS stands for: Pouch Attachment Ladder System , it is the horizontal grid of bands, with repetitive fabric straps that are often found on backpacks and vests . According to the PALS standard, these strips are spaced 1 inch apart and sewn to the backing at 1.5 inch intervals.

MOLLE VS PALS Difference


So, in a nutshell, PALS is a type of webbing, and MOLLE is a type of modular equipment that attaches via that webbing. Given this information, it is technically incorrect to say that the equipment has MOLLE webbing , as it would actually have PALS webbing and therefore be MOLLE compatible . There is no such thing as " MOLLE webbing ", but most people will know what you are talking about despite the confusion some people may have about it (the type of webbing found on MOLLE gear).

It is likely that the terms MOLLE and PALS will continue to be used interchangeably, but now you know there is a difference between the two. Don’t hesitate to refer to our article to teach you how to equip your tactical vest!

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