MOLLE has been around for quite a while now, and that is simply because it works. MOLLE finds its way onto just about every kind of tactical gear out there nowadays, but having a few MOLLE attachments on your belt can be a lifesaver. Tactical belts come in all shapes and sizes, but our MOLLE-equipped battle belts are perfect for the range or everyday carry. That is what is great about MOLLE belts, they can be used for just about anything!
Today we wanted to talk a little more about MOLLE and get you good and familiar with it before you use it on your own Blue Alpha belt. We will start off by defining MOLLE, go on to MOLLE attachments and how they work, and then how to correctly connect MOLLE attachments to your belt so they will stay secure. We will finish up with a few different MOLLE belt configurations, and talk a little more about our battle belts as a whole. Let’s get started!
What is MOLLE?
MOLLE is an acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. MOLLE was created as an update to ALICE (All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment) in 1997. ALICE was more focused on storing the majority of gear in one compartment and having smaller gear readily available inside pockets. This kind of packing style is still used by the hiking community but has long been phased out of military use.
Now the United States Military uses the MOLLE system. This system focuses on having smaller pouches attached to an array of webbing. Instead of having a tourniquet or flashlight pocket on your pack, you will have an individual tourniquet or flashlight pouch/holster in the MOLLE system. The whole idea is to make your gear more readily available, but still, keep it secure.
There is still a rucksack in the MOLLE system, and it is made to hold large things like your tent or provisions. However, things that you need during a fight like magazines, water, and first aid will have their own pouch or attachment on your belt, plate carrier, or on the rucksack itself.
So now that you have a good idea of what MOLLE is, let’s look at how you can use it. There is a MOLLE attachment for just about everything out there, but I thought we could cover the most used ones here. Just know that all of these attachments do not need to be on every belt. Let’s start with arguably the most important, a pistol holster.
OWB Pistol Holster
For most belts, having a sidearm is a great idea. Outside the Waist Band (OWB) holsters generally work best with these belts. You can also get MOLLE-specific holsters that will be especially secure on your MOLLE belt, but most OWB holsters will fit on a MOLLE belt, so get the one that is most comfortable for you.
Depending on what you are gearing your MOLLE belt up for, you might want some extra magazines. If you plan on having a pistol on your belt, then a couple of extra magazines is a no-brainer. Although if you plan on using your pistol as a sidearm and want to use an AR as your main weapon, adding an extra magazine or two for your rifle is a great idea.
Speaking of all those magazines, you need somewhere to put them when they are empty. Of course, if you are in a high-stress or self-defense situation, you do not need to worry about keeping your magazines nice. Although if you are taking your belt to the range, a dump pouch is a great place to keep spent mags until you reload them. Check out Blue Alpha’s dump pouches on this page.
Sometimes it is just good to have a miscellaneous pocket to put random gear in. Maybe a piece of gear you like does not have a specially made MOLLE pouch. Whatever it may be, a basic MOLLE pouch is a good thing to have on a lot of battle belts.
Having a small, but powerful flashlight is always a good idea. If a situation requires you to be in the dark, a flashlight is the number one tool you are going to want. Some people prefer to have a light attached to their firearm, but if you do not like that, put one on your belt.
A tourniquet is a great piece of gear to have for any serious battle belt. If you truly want this belt to be ready for a firefight, then being able to plug holes is just as important as making holes. We have our own tourniquet holders that you can find right here on Blue Alpha.
If you want to carry some heavier gear on your belt, it may be easier to hang it by a lanyard than to attach it to the belt. These lanyards also work well on our EDC belts to hold your keys or wallet. In general, these are good to have when you want to keep gear close but do not have a specialized pouch for it.
The canteen pouch makes its way onto just about every military belt. Of course, you may not need this on a range belt, and certainly not on an EDC belt. However, if you plan on wearing your belt for a long time in a not-so-nice environment, a canteen pouch is a must-have.
Correctly Connecting MOLLE Attachments
MOLLE gear connects with a series of nylon webbing, which allows you to connect components with woven nylon straps. This creates a powerful connection that stays in place during even the most chaotic of movements. Regulation MOLLE gear has at least two straps per attachment to supply a strong enough connection.
To correctly connect your MOLLE pouch to your MOLLE belt, you will slide the straps on your pouch under the straps on the belt, and then secure the straps back to the pouch. Most commonly, the straps on your MOLLE pouch will be secured with a snap button. This is a relatively simple process that keeps your gear extremely secure, which is the reason for its popularity.
MOLLE Belt Configurations
Now that you know a bit more about MOLLE and the attachments that use it, which ones do you need on your belt? Well, as we have already seen, there are plenty of MOLLE attachments to choose from. Although, not every belt should have every attachment out there. Let’s look at some of the most common uses for a MOLLE belt, and what attachments they need.
The Home Defense Belt
Just about every firearms buff has a dedicated pistol for home defense. It may be in a drawer, on the nightstand, or locked in an easy-to-get lockbox. Although, having just a pistol with a single magazine is not the best we can do. If someone is breaking into your home, they are likely prepared for it. So they could have all sorts of gear, and you would just have a pistol and your boxers.
Enter the home defense battle belt. This is a belt that you especially make for a “bump in the night”. Sure you can have the same pistol on this belt, but in a holster, with three extra magazines. You can also add a flashlight to this belt to light up the night. Since the probability of shots being fired is higher than normal when you plan on wearing this belt, it may also be a good idea to include a tourniquet on your belt.
If you choose an AR for home defense (I like a shorter AR pistol myself) then you can still keep a handgun on this belt for a sidearm, but you can also include an extra AR mag or two. Pile that on top of the extra pistol magazines you will have, and you have enough gear to take on anything that walks through your door in a matter of seconds.
The EDC Belt
EDC belts are a bit more low profile. These belts usually go through your pants belt loops, so the gear you include here needs to come on and off every day. The best thing you can include on this belt is a holster. You can use an OWB or an IWB depending on what you prefer, but a pistol is crucial. You can also include things like a small fixed-blade knife if you do not prefer a folding pocket knife in your back pocket.
Like any other tactical belt, there are plenty of things you could add to an EDC belt. However, their purpose is a bit simpler than that. These belts are meant to be ridged and sturdy enough to hold your pistol comfortably. I know after carrying a regular leather belt for years, that a saggy belt is not the way to go.
The Range Belt
Range belt is a bit of a wide term. You can make a belt that is super casual that you just take to the range to have a good time with, or you can make a super thoughtful belt that is used during competitions. As you have seen throughout this article, there is plenty of customizability to any tactical belt.
In general, there are a few things you will want on a range belt. For starters, just like every other belt, you are going to want a holster. This is likely going to be an OWB holster because it will be much more comfortable, and we do not need to conceal carry at a range. If you are a competition shooter, you will want a holster that you can use very quickly, but that is a different article.
Then you will likely want a few extra magazines for your pistol, AR, or both. If you are on the more casual or training side, you will want a dump pouch to put your empty magazines in so you can keep up with them and keep them in good shape. Competition shooters do not want to waste time messing with empty magazines and rather let them fall.
A holster and magazines are just about everything you need on a competition belt, everything else will just get in the way. Although for a regular day at the range, a dump pouch, a miscellaneous MOLLE pouch, and a lanyard to hang your gloves on are all good ideas.
Your Next MOLLE Belt
As you can see, you can make a MOLLE belt for just about anything. There are plenty of belts out there on the market, but we believe that Bule Alpha belts are the best there is, and so do our customers. Our products are made by hand right here in America and they have gotten hundreds of five-star reviews, and we have not had a customer we could not make happy in one way or another yet. So check out our MOLLE belts and figure out which color you like best!