The Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment (MOLLE) backpack is the latest innovation in combat packs designed with maximum protection, ease of transportation and accessibility for the active soldier. The combination of function, technology and convenience exhibited in the MOLLE military backpack is the result of elite research and development.

Soldier equiped with a MOLLE pack

MOLLE backpack systems are highly customizable to suit the needs of soldiers in any climate or terrain. The pack is designed as two separate functioning parts: the MOLLE vest and the MOLLE backpack. By separating the two with a simple pull-cord mechanism a soldier is able to drop the pack in combat for quicker reaction and ease of mobility while retaining the vest’s contents. The system as a whole is extremely flexible, though the pack (being mainly used to store equipment rather than ammunition) becomes expendable in a firefight.

Research for the MOLLE hit heightened levels after the Gulf War. Combat in Iraq exposed many faults with the previous ALICE pack and indicated there me be a better way to equip soldiers without encumbering them. Enhancements were made to the ALICE system which eventually refocused on an entirely new product development. The military emphasized mobility, ergonomics, efficiency in storage and quality of materials when putting together the MOLLE system. It was imperative that this design retain the heartiness required of a military pack while being flexible enough in its storage to accomodate different types of soldiers.

Soldiers with Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment (MOLLE)

In addition to the spectrum of uses for the pockets on the vest and in the storage pack, the MOLLE was designed to accomodate body armor. Previously, the introduction of armor into a vest or pack already bursting at the seams with supplies constricted the soldier and grew increasingly uncomfortable while in the field. The military recognized comfort in this design as a necessary catchpoint and focused efforts to ease transportation with such a unit. Breaking the MOLLE system into two distinct pieces eliminated many of the cumbersome zippers, clips and latches that often added discomfort to the skin of a soldier already burdened with a load.

Combining comfort, technology and combat research has resulted in this military backpack system that is currently aiding troops on fronts throughout the Middle East. The MOLLE systems now offer the Universal Camouflage Pattern to minimize visibility in a desert environment. This latest design corresponds with the camouflage on a soldiers garb and headgear.