Down Range Gear PALS Belt Platform: Solutions for Mounting MOLLE to your Belt - ITS Tactical

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Down Range Gear PALS Belt Platform: Solutions for Mounting MOLLE to your Belt

By Bryan Black

Down Range Gear PALS Belt Platform

A few years back you may remember us reviewing the PALS Belt Stabilizer from Down Range Gear, a sturdy way to mount pouches that rely on MALICE Clips to your belt. This was and still is a revolutionary product from DRG, as at the time trying to mount a MOLLE compatible pouch on your belt was and still is less than ideal.

While the PALS Belt Stabilizer was certainly ahead of its time, it could be less than ideal for pouches that had their own proprietary MOLLE/PALS interface versus utilizing MALICE clips, as there was some play in the stabilizer channels. Down Range Gear once again stepped up with their PALS Belt Platform and gave everyone an option for mounting these type of pouches to the belt.

PALS Belt Platform

Keeping in line with the rigid nature of the original Belt Stabilizer, as well as the non-slip material to keep it from sliding on your belt, the PALS Belt Platform adds a 2 x 2 PALS grid to weave two pistol magazine pouches in tandem. This can also be used to mount a single rifle magazine pouch.

Down Range Gear PALS Belt Platform

Overall the platform measures 3″ wide and 3 1/2″ tall and something great to note is that when DRG sews the PALS webbing into channels, there’s space left so that it’s nice and easy to weave pouches.

Down Range Gear PALS Belt Platform

I’ve been running the PALS Belt Platform with two single pistol magazine pouches and it’s worked very well for this application. The non-slip definitely adds a high-friction coefficient to an otherwise slippery nylon material. I’ve noticed that the platform seems to hold even better when you start adding sweat and heat. This may seem contrary to the non-slip material’s ability to do work, but it’s an observation that I’ve seemed to substantiate.

Down Range Gear PALS Belt Platform

If you’re looking for an alternative to kydex mag pouches or want to utilize your existing MOLLE compatible mag pouches, definitely give the Down Range gear PALS Belt Platform a look.

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  • Bryan,

    Thank you for the generous write up.

    Couple of notes I would like to put on the record about the PALS Belt Platform:

    1. Most importantly, I don’t want to take credit for the design, the concept was instigated by a customer who was trying to make regular MOLLE pouches work with the MALICE Clip Belt Stabilizer. MALICE Clips are semi-rigid, closed loops and conventional MOLLE pouches have to be woven into their backing to work correctly (or else the only thing holding them together are snaps or whatever end closure.) I didn’t really see a need for it at the time, fortunately for me, a customer was able to point me in the right direction. If you’re reading this, thank you for bringing it to my attention and letting me run with the concept.

    It’s pretty obvious in retrospect that the best and most innovative designs are being built for dedicated modular (PALS/MOLLE) systems. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to run some of those pouches on a belt without having to buy a belt specific pouch? That’s the niche the PALS Belt Platform fills. It’s no longer the only one out there (I don’t know of any others when it was conceived) but if you need a short section of MOLLE to put on a belt, it’s an option.

    3. The version you’re showing was discontinued about 18 months or so ago… The new ones are functionally the same but with about half the mass and much flatter. The “contoured” webbing went away, although it was a nice feature. All the changes were made in the name of slimming down the design and giving it a lower profile.

    I’ll stop wasting your bandwidth.

    Thanks for spotlighting the PALS Belt Platform and letting me talk about it a little bit.

  • J

    Awesome idea!

    Is there anything out there that does the opposite? I have some standard belt holsters I would like to rig up to a MOLLE belt. The only design I’ve seen that allows that is the VTAC belt, great design but bloody expensive!

    Anyone come up with something clever?

  • Something clever or cheaper?

    Something more clever would imply you need a piece of gear to do something in a way that isn’t currently being done, which is a matter of design to meet a specific function. But you also stated that something already on the market already does what you need it to, you just don’t want to pay for it. They’re not necessarily mutually exclusive but they are different.

    The topic of paying for quality (and innovation) has been beat to death but there are only so many ways to say it. Tactical gear that’s worth having isn’t cheap to design or produce. Nor are these typical, everyday commodity items for the price sensitive consumer. I hope that never changes. Customer demand for quality and innovation at lower prices, is a need that certain companies are ready to exploit and it’s easy to do if you cut corners, say by skipping the burden of R&D and appropriating an existing design or concept, reverse engineering it, running it through a reduced wage assembly line and slapping your label on it.

    There are companies that fill the niche along with legions of customers to keep them in business. I could invoke “buy American” at this point and while it’s a valid argument, there are more meaningful reasons to do so (never mind the fact that there are more than a few American companies guilty of the same practices…) It’s not that it hurts the domestic industry’s ability to produce here in the States or hire American workers but it also erodes the intellectual and industrial center of gravity.

    The reason the industry is so vibrant is that it is largely built on military experience designed by end users, often with recent combat experience or heavily influenced by it. Viking Tactics would be a great example! Our industry leads the world in terms of quality and innovation and that means it’s very good to be a consumer in this market today.

    We have quality, we have quantity, there are variations to suit (almost) any need and a cycle of innovation which really benefits the end user.

    Everybody wants quality and they want it cheap, but what’s it REALLY worth?

    Someone is bound to bring up the beneficial aspects of market competition and I won’t argue the point. I believe in a free market. But I also believe in taking a long term and strategic view of the impact of how I spend my money. There are many things today that I HAVE to buy that are made overseas with no good domestic alternatives. Tactical gear isn’t one of them. Yet. When and if that happens, the choices and quality I enjoy will be greatly diminished.

    Short term thinking for immediate gratification is kind of endemic of our society today.

    If you’re looking for a better mousetrap, that’s one thing, and a valid point. You have a need, someone should step up and meet it. If you’re looking for a cheaper mousetrap, I’m sure that will be provided for you as well…

    • J

      Dude, did I say something to rub you the wrong way?? I’m not knocking your product AT ALL or saying it is too expensive or anything like that. I’m simply asking if there is a binary opposite to the same concept, a way to take regular “belt” gear and adapt it to the MOLLE platform.

      From a financial perspective, if I can figure out a way to “make due with what I have, where I am”, then that is what I will do. The rig have is already doing most of what I want it to, so rather than buy an entirely new system, it makes sense (to me at least) to see if I can make what I have work before throwing even more money at the problem. Frankly, I would love to spring for a VTAC belt, and might do so some day. The modularity of the design and quality are top notch. But as with most people, cash is finite so I must choose my priorities, and a new “war belt” isn’t one of them right now. I don’t tote guns as part of my profession so getting the perfect piece of kit isn’t a “need”. The money is better off going to ammo and training.

      You get what you pay for, I totally agree with you.

  • J,

    Absolutely no hard feelings on this end. Sorry about the rant. I didn’t take any offense over your initial post and didn’t read any critique or criticism, not that it would have mattered if I had. I just saw an opportunity to discuss a wider issue that is of concern to me both as someone who has a vested interest in how customers see the industry and as a consumer myself. Too many people out there expect custom gear to come at Walmart prices…

    So I was thinking about the belt/ holster issue you brought up. At first I didn’t get it but I let the idea gestate. What you want to do is put a short section of belt webbing onto a MOLLE platform essentially. It’s a really messy solution because you’d basically be layering a belt + some sort of MOLLE attachment hardware over a PALS grid and then adding a holster on top of it… all in some sort of stable package. You might be able to accept the added bulk associated with what you’re trying to do but I think instability would be a deal killer. Then it occurred to me that you might be able to loop a short length of elastic over the top of it to hold it tight against the belt. I’ve been doing a lot of work with elastic lately and finding more and more uses for it.

    • J

      No worries, glad we are on the same page. And yeah, it would be very difficult to not make it a sloppy set up. I have one Uncle Mike’s holster that I *might* be able to rig up with some zip ties and make it reasonably stable. I don’t know how durable that would be over the long run. Would have to give it a shot.

      Oddly enough, I was cruising around the DownRangeGear site and saw the “Tactical Holster Platform -Safariland” which might solve my problem too. If I am looking at this right, it allows you to attach a 6004 to a molle platform and also helps the holster ride a bit higher correct?

      One of the articles on ITS talked about holster placement and it made me realize that I should try to either mount my pistol directly on the molle belt or raise up the thigh rig. My biggest gripe about thigh rigs is they render pant pockets on that side pretty much unusable.

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