The fielding of the Pouch Attachment Ladder System (PALS), a component of the Modular Lightweight Individual Load-Carrying Equipment system (MOLLE) led to an explosion of accessories and attachments for U.S. military equipment. MOLLE equipment was first fielded to Army units during October 2001 and originally PALS was intended for MOLLE ammunition pouches and the like. The ease, flexibility and security of PALS has provided the confidence needed for designers to freely specify PALS-attached gear as the standard way to add accessories to a basic item.
MOLLE Tactical Sling Bag with PALS webbing strips and an accessory pouch attached.
Hydration system, pouch and other accessories use Pouch Attachment Ladder System (PALS) to attach to Marine's body armor vest, Camp Pendleton, CA, 16 Mar 2009.
The adoption of MOLLE stemmed from an Army/Marine Corps survey soliciting opinions concerning its predecessor, the All-purpose, Lightweight, Individual Carrying Equipment (ALICE). ALICE dated back to the 1970s and was limited by the metal clips used to fasten pouches to load bearing equipment, which often came loose. PALS was far more flexible and secure than the ALICE clips, leading to its widespread adoption for all manner of load bearing equipment (LBE), packs, accessories and attachments.
Examples of PALS typical procurement requirements:
The cable shall be storable in a separate soft case that attaches using Pouch Attachment Ladder System (PALS) straps.
The case and strapping shall comply with PALS requirements to allow it to be attached to individual load bearing equipment.
MOLLE Pouch Attachment Ladder System (PALS) Description
The PALS grid consists of horizontal rows of one inch wide webbing spaced one inch apart and attached to the backing (pack, vest, etc.) at intervals of 1 1/2 inch. Here is a description of how to attach a pocket to an LBE vest using PALS:
To properly attach a pocket, choose the desired attachment point on the vest panel. Line up the top of the pocket even with the top of the nearest horizontal one-inch webbing that goes across the panels. Insert the pocket attachment strap down the 1 1/2 inch channel, then behind the 1” webbing on the back of the pocket. Continue weaving the attaching strap behind the horizontal webbing on the vest and the webbing on the back of the pocket until the pocket is secured along its entire length.
Do not simply place the attaching strap through the vest webbing without the interlocking weave. The pockets will not be secure if attached in this manner.
When used properly, this attachment system is extremely secure and stable.
The MOLLE Care and Use Manual is available at the linked page, with more information about PALS and attaching accessories to MOLLE equipment.
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