MOLLE: OUR FAVORITE BOMBPROOF ATTACHMENT
FHF Gear Team
The ARMY acronym MOLLE stands for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. If it sounds intimidating don’t let it be. MOLLE simply refers to an attachment system that secures one item to another by way of weaving. It’s that simple.
But- the best part isn’t just the simplicity of the system. In our opinion, the modularity and control that MOLLE provides to attach gear and equipment where you want, when you need it, can’t be beat. Additionally, the security and stability that the system offers users is second to none. Knowing gear isn’t going to shift- or worse, fall off- allows users to be confident in the field, knowing equipment is going to be exactly where it should be, regardless of activity level.
Over the years, military gear has no doubt changed- but one thing that has stayed consistent is the overall goal of the gear. In short, that goal has always been to provide a soldier/user with a gear system that would carry everything he needed to survive in the field. From the leather strap and brass buckle gear designs of the 1700’s to the more modern day load bearing and carrying systems, military gear has changed with needs of the times.
In the late 1990’s, the ARMY brought another gear modification to the table, that would eventually change the world of tactical gear, and have an impact on the way that gear companies design gear- including FHF Gear. In 1997 the Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment (MOLLE) system was introduced. This system, which utilizes a basic weaving technique to attach a pouch to a panel, produces a multi-point attachment between the pouch, and the item it is attached to (back pack, battle belt, plate carrier, etc) ensuring gear remains stable, and will not move or fall off. This feature was highly beneficial for military personnel and tactical operators in combat situations where running, jumping, or crawling would be common and required.
As troops were deployed following the September 11 attacks, the US military began issuing gear with the MOLLE system on a much larger level. In the field, MOLLE proved to be a more comfortable system, allowed users to carry more weight, and above all else, provided modularity that allowed users to create a specialized gear set up to accommodate specific equipment for their needs, whether a gunman, grenadier, or medic. Since the early 2000’s, gear designs that incorporate MOLLE have been adopted by law enforcement operations and civilian markets because of its reliability, ease of use and versatility.
TACTICAL INFLUENCE - FHF GEAR
In the mid-2000’s, Paul Lewis was working as a full time Sheriff’s Deputy and SWAT Leader in Bozeman, Montana. Never one to doubt himself, Paul was convinced that he could make some of the gear that he needed for work- despite never having operated a sewing machine. Over time, Paul found he had a natural knack for designing and building tactical gear, but more specifically gear that solved problems in the field, was low profile, and thanks to his knowledge, experience and implementation of MOLLE- modular.
Living on a frugal LEO income and doing custom gear jobs as he could, Paul was always looking for ways to use his gear for as many activities as possible. In his mind, if someone was going to invest hard earned dollars in gear, it didn’t make sense for it to sit, stashed away for the majority of the year and only be used seasonally. Getting the most out of gear was a priority, and Paul began exploring ways to improve and even repurpose the gear he was using for other activities including hunting, hiking, and fishing. Recognizing that the design, build and attachment technique for most of his tactical gear products was superior to most of the outdoor gear he had bought over the years, he meshed the two worlds together to produce unique and highly versatile outdoor gear that was added to his growing product line. A few years later, in 2009, Fish Hunt Fight (FHF) Gear was founded- an American Made gear company with tactical roots and a passion for the outdoors.
FHF GEAR DESIGNS
Today you’ll find that FHF Gear continues to incorporate the MOLLE system with most of the products we manufacture. In fact-it’s become one of FHF’s signature features and is more prominent now than ever before. After reading through this article (If you skipped to this section to read the summary, we won’t hold it against you) you should have a solid idea as to why as gear designers AND users, we think MOLLE is truly a bombproof attachment system…but just in case, we’ve included our top 3 points below:
- MODULARITY: We’re gear junkies and always looking for ways to use gear for multiple applications. Having the ability to quickly remove and attach gear, or create custom setups across different activities allows us to not only stretch our dollar and get the most use out of our gear, it also allows us to feel confident that we can attach our gear where we feel most comfortable and confident.
- SECURITY AND STRENGTH: As users of gear, we value the security and strength that MOLLE offers. It’s nearly impossible to have gear fall off or become detached, especially when you consider the “locking tab” we (FHF Gear) have incorporated with even some of our earliest products, such as the RINO/Radio Pouch and Bear Spray Holster. The strength of our MOLLE system, paired with the high end build techniques and materials we use, ensures our gear will easily hold, carry and secure the equipment it is made for.
- FHF TECHNIQUE: MOLLE systems historically and often use nylon webbing, however at FHF Gear, we’ve graduated to a more modern design using Squadron- a waterproof, laminated nylon that is a cousin to Kevlar. We laser cut each of our Squadron MOLLE panels and attachment systems to exact specifications for each product to produce a precision fit, build and finished product. Squadron is lightweight, less bulky and stronger than webbing.