Difference Between ALICE Packs and MOLLE Packs (With Table)

Military backpacks have seen a comeback in popularity among civilians searching for tough, long-lasting packs for camping, hiking, or survival. One of the most often debated topics among army personnel and hunters is which backpack to bring into the field. And the majority of them are torn between MOLLE and ALICE. These aren’t your typical backpacks. Each is a unique system capable of withstanding physically demanding actions and conditions in the field.

ALICE Packs vs MOLLE Packs

The main difference between ALICE Packs and MOLLE Packs is that how the gear is stored. Smaller goods go into the side pockets of the ALICE, which has one big compartment. The MOLLE primarily employs tiny pockets to contain gear and zippers on each compartment, whereas the ALICE relies on a strap system to keep everything in place.


In 1973, the United States military created ALICE, which stands for All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment. With the exception of a few persons, this style has been phased out of the service. It’s a two-part system with a lot of outer pockets and a big inside compartment.

MOLLE is an acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment, which was developed by a US military R&D branch in 1997. The US army, as well as NATO armed forces, continue to employ it to this day. Until the early 2000s, it did not enjoy widespread acceptance in the military. However, it has now supplanted the previous.

Comparison Table Between ALICE Packs and MOLLE Packs

Parameters of ComparisonALICE PacksMOLLE Packs
Year of InventionInvented in 1973Invented in 1997
BenefitsCarrying large and moisture resistant.It contains a number of locking compartments for transferring small goods safely.
DifficultiesDifficulty in closing the compartments as they are of old style metal strap adjustments.When trekking through heavy vegetation, exterior pockets may get in the way. The majority of these backpacks are also not waterproof.
Volume rangeCubic inches range from 1456 to 3800.Between 2000 and 4000 cubic inches are available.

What is ALICE Packs?

ALICE stands for All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment, and it’s a new addition to the ALICE family. In 1973, the US military purchased it in Vietnam. It hasn’t been utilised as often in recent years. The Alice pack has a minimum capacity of 1456 cubic inches and a maximum capacity of 3800 cubic inches. It’s a two-part system with a lot of outside pockets and a big inside compartment. The belt system, two tiny boxes for first aid dressing and small weapons ammunition, entrenching tool carrier, canteen cover, and suspenders are all included in the Existence load component. The cover, frame, and bag itself make up the Fighting load component.

Because of its strength, this rucksack type is useful. Because it is made up of robust frames, it can handle heavy loads. It may be utilised with or without the frame since it is made up of an external frame that controls the entire load. This pack is water resistant and does not require zippers for containing a big amount of stuff in a single huge bag, making it quite practical. The drawback of the Alice rucksack is that it can accommodate hefty loads, which makes it difficult to carry on the back.

What is MOLLE Packs?

Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment (MOLLE) is a term that refers to a type of load-carrying equipment that is modular and lightweight. In 1997, the US military employed it for the first time in Afghanistan, and then in Iraq in 2003. The US military and many other military units continue to utilise it, and it is currently the most widely used. MOLLE packs are available in a variety of capacities, ranging from 2000 to 4000 cubic inches. The three main components are a hydration bladder, a fighting load, and modular pockets for securing gear and equipment.

The MOLLE system is based on PALS, which stands for Pouch Attachment Ladder System and is a nylon webbing system utilised on current gear. The dependable strap system makes gear attachment straightforward, fast, and simple, and it can be adjusted to meet specific needs. It features many locking compartments that may be used to store a variety of objects. With the hydration bladder, transporting water is simple.

Zippers are used to enclose the gear in this arrangement, and they are extremely unreliable. And its flimsy plastic exterior frame is a serious flaw that reduces the product’s longevity. Its exterior pockets are also likely to hamper visibility when trekking.

Main Differences between ALICE Packs and MOLLE Packs

  1. ALICE Packs uses a strap method to encase the gear, in the contrary, MOLLE Packs uses zippers.
  2. ALICE assures you of safety and strength, whereas, MOLLE assures that information is accessible, that it can be modified, and that it can be customised.
  3. The ALICE pack is believed to have remarkable longevity because to its ruggedness, which includes metal straps and a robust exterior frame. The MOLLE backpack, on the other hand, has a plastic frame, which makes it less dependable.
  4. Pockets for items such as water bottles are unreachable in the Alice pack, but the Molle pack is known for its modularity, or the fact that it includes many pockets for transporting various items.
  5. When compared to MOLLE, ALICE is less expensive.


These military backpacks come in two different designs, each of which is well-suited to its own case. ALICE backpack is composed of tough material and is ideal for army personnel, hunters, and adventurers who need to store big stuff in its huge compartment, whereas MOLLE backpack is ideal for short journeys, such as hikers who want to enjoy their trip without suffering from back discomfort.

To summarise, MOLLE backpacks have invaded the civilian world with a wide range of adaptations due to their mobility and accessibility. Because of its robustness and longevity, ALICE is well-suited to the needs of military groups and survivalists.


  1. https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/citations/ADA365448
  2. https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/citations/ADP010993