Increase Your EDC Capacity with a MOLLE Pouch

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Winter is here, and one of the things that means is that the presence of winter coats means one can comfortably bump up their EDC. And as we’ve seen from past experiences here at TOP, this is a wise move to consider this time of year as well.

I’ve been wracking my brains for a comfortable, discreet, and easy means to increase an EDC without having to carry a bag on one’s immediate person and without feeling as if your pockets look like MC Hammer’s parachute pants.

I think one of the potential ways to do this is through the use of a general-purpose MOLLE pouch.

What is a general-purpose MOLLE pouch?

A general-purpose MOLLE pouch is simply a little bag that attaches to a plate carrier in which one stores odds and ends. If you don’t need to keep some food, a map, or other gear nearby, one of these pouches serves as a great catch-all to help keep you organized.

The cool thing about these is that they’re a fairly good size to fit a bunch of stuff, but they can squish down pretty flat as well.

Here’s one I picked up from

Food for thought here…

What if you’re looking at carrying an IFAK on your person as you go about the day? You don’t want to have to stuff and empty your pockets every time you come and go from your house, an ankle IFAK has just never felt comfortable to you, and some locations look at carrying a backpack as socially unacceptable (consider a grocery store). Yet you still really like the idea of adding a tourniquet, pressure bandage, QuickClot, medical shears, and whatever else on your person.

Perhaps you just want a means of keeping a mylar blanket, emergency poncho, and some other basic survival supplies on your person every time you go out with minimal fuss.

Regardless of which situation you may find yourself in, I think this method may be of benefit.

A MOLLE coat

One of my coats has MOLLE webbing on the inside of it. A pouch can strap to that perfectly. I experimented with a couple of different kits within the pouch and did find that the skinnier the gear I stuff in there, the better off I am.

When I pack this thing to the brim, there’s too much of a profile with the coat I have. It looks like I have a book under my coat. You’re only going to attract unwanted attention in a store if somebody sees you walking around with a coat like that.

“Uhhh, sir? Why do you have a bag full of medical gear under your coat? Is there something going to happen here you know about that I don’t?” – Mr. Police Officer

You want to avoid that.

If I put in four elastic gloves, a mylar blanket, a box cutter, a Bic lighter, instant coffee (dark roast, of course), and a tourniquet, I can keep the profile pretty slim. With the pouch in the front of the coat, it’s still relatively noticeable, but not as bad.

A perfect fit? No, I don’t think so. Not with this pouch and my current coat anyway.

Here are my thoughts, though…

For starters, I think a pouch around one’s kidney region would be less noticeable. Unfortunately, my MOLLE doesn’t run all the way back to there in this particular coat.

I think there are much better coats out there available for this though. Consider Carhart (yes, this was written before Carhart decided to betray its customer base).

Anytime I’ve ever seen somebody wearing a hooded Carhart coat, they look like they’re stuck in a limp balloon. I think one could easily sew on a few MOLLE strips within one of these coats and attach a dump pouch with zero profile whatsoever.

The only thing anybody would see from the outside would be the stitching, which truly shouldn’t be that noticeable. If a Carhart is your daily coat of choice, this could be a great way to drastically up your EDC ability.

Are there other potential benefits of a dump pouch?

I think so. And I think this revolves around the size of these little bags.

Here’s another scenario for you:

You’re driving down the road when you suddenly come across a communist-run roadblock manned by men with AK-47s. Don’t laugh. It’s happened before, and you’re bound to see a heck of a lot more of it in America in the near future.

It’s early spring, and so it’s cold outside. As you slam on your brakes, preparing to ditch the car, you wonder about how you’re going to make it this far out from home in this kind of weather.

Sure, you have your bug-out bag in the trunk of your vehicle, but you seriously doubt you’re going to be able to unlock your trunk, open your door, get out of your car, open your trunk, grab your bag, and then take off before you’re accosted.

Would this be an uncommon problem?

(By the way, if you’re looking for advice on building a bug-out bag, I recommend checking out our free QUICKSTART Guide here. After that, you’re going to want to read this book.)

How fast can you grab your BOB from your trunk and hit the road? You probably won’t have it in the cabin of your vehicle so as to avoid attracting attention when you park and go into a store. As such, I don’t think your BOB is going to be readily accessible in all situations.

But a pouch filled with basic survival supplies can easily fit under a front seat.

You could easily hit the brakes, grab the pouch as you open the door, and take off. You’d then have what you need to survive the elements for at least a little while until you can reach some form of resupply.

Yeah, it’s not your full kit, but it’s most certainly better than nothing. Just food for thought.

What are your thoughts on a MOLLE pouch, though?

Keep in mind there are all kinds of pouches out there that could be used for any of these effects, many of which may have much less profile than the one I was using here. Personally, I’m a fan of the last option best.

What are your thoughts? Are there other ways to discreetly increase your EDC ability without carrying a bag? Let us know in the comments below!

About Aden

Aden Tate has a master’s in public health and is a regular contributor to,,, and Along with being a freelance writer, he also works part-time as a locksmith. Aden has an LLC for his micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has two published books, The Faithful Prepper and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.

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Aden Tate

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    • Every Day Carry.
      Usually it is a small bag or “kit” of things useful in a emergency situation. Can vary depending on the person, where the live, the weather conditions (as Aden points out). Could be a handgun, pocket knife, first aid kit, small food stuff, water purifier.

    • Every Day Carry.

      Those items which we should always carry with us throughout the our day. It varies depending on the person. I’m a Concealed Carry Licensee, so I’ve always a gun concealed on my person, spare magazine(s), and any other tools I deem as needing kept on hand in case of emergency.

      There are two schools of thought concerning EDC. One is the Minimalist approach, the other is more Prepped for the eventualities one might face without warning.
      The problem is, past a certain point it’s difficult to keep some of these items on your person. So usually a pouch or bag is needed to keep your pockets from looking stuffed.

    • I thought it meant “Emergency Duck and Cover”, even though I have heard the term Every Day Carry! Maybe a glossary of prepper acronyms would make things easier for writers and readers.

  • My little MOLLE Pouch is from Voodoo. It’s about 4″ to 5″ tall, 3″ wide, and accordions to 3″ deep. In it, I keep a Swat T tourniquet, 4″ Pressure Dressing, E Blanket, Bic Lighter, Shorty Pen, Band AIDS, Chapstick, small 2″ knife, ferro rod,, and a Streamlight Nano flashlight. There’s also room for a spare 12 round magazine for my P365. A small aluminum pill vial holds some extra meds.

    Looks very like an older phone case when threaded over my belt. I usually slip it on if I’m going to be away from the car for an extended period, otherwise I keep it in the console most of the time.

    I’m retired, so the number of times I’m “away from the vehicle for an extended period” I can count on one hand. The “Rona” keeps me home these days.

  • My personal favorite EDC item (after several knives, a multi tool and a compact .45) is veterinary tape. Available at farm co-ops and various pet supply stores as well as Tractor Supply (TSC) on line. 4″ wide and 5 yards long. Multiple uses for this very light weight item – Hold a large bandage in place, especially knees and elbows. Use as a sling. Use as an Ace Bandage for a sprain, Use to improvise a splint with some scrounged corrugated cardboard. I know some ski patrol folks who carry this (and cardboard) for that exact reason. It stretches and adheres to itself. Won’t stick to skin or hair. No residue left behind. Only downside is that is use once.

    It is in my BOB, first aid cupboard at home and at my BOL. My primary vehicle has the BOB accessible from the drivers seat, so no problem grabbing it if stuff goes sideways as the article depicted.

  • What I see about that MOLLE bag is two-fold. The dark blue color is ideal for minimum visibility in low or no light conditions. What’s not good are the external MOLLE straps screaming “tactical wannabee” which destroys any gray man illusion.

    I’ve spent a lot more time with the VA med center in recent years than at the grocery stores, and what I can carry in pants pockets has been more than sufficient. For more extensive stuff (especially records), an ancient zippered laptop bag with a shoulder strap has been more than sufficient and has never ever attracted any unwanted attention there. The VA also has stern signs posted about the unforgiveable crime of bringing a gun or knife (presumably they mean a full tang cutter) onto the premises.

    County court houses are even worse. When I had to do some records searching there some years ago their cops (with their metal detectors) insisted that I go back outside and leave my 2-1/4“ swiss army “classic” knife in the car. At least the VA is not that stupid.

    So destination makes a huge difference in what you can carry and what attracts attention — whether reasonably or stupidly.

    Where I live most of the usual destinations are within easy walking distance (grocery stores, post office, barber shop, shipping and receiving service, etc) and none of them are as paranoid as the court houses or the VA. All three of the local grocery stores could care less if I wore or otherwise brought along a backpack of whatever size — which works fine for small loads. For larger loads I can bring along a cheap $22 Aldi 2-wheel folding luggage cart that’s rated for up to 150 pounds capacity. With a huge duffle bag-sized backpack, I can bring that combo into any of those groceries and stuff it all folded up underneath the grocery cart until I’m ready to load that system up after checkout for the walk back home. Even with a full load in that system, I could still wear a small innocent looking backpack for whatever security needs I might sense — which could also be stuffed under the store’s grocery cart until after checkout. No MOLLE straps needed and nothing to attract unwanted attention. I’ve used that system for many years now with no regrets.


  • Want to add capacity without all the grayman/tacticool concerns? The humble(but dorky) fanny pack will provide what you need. You can have on your person anywhere and any season of the year without anyone giving it a second glance.

  • I gor tired of thr things in my pockets being loose so I ordered some Maxpediton pocket organizers. The miceo and mini are small enough to look like a wallet in your pocket, but big enough to hold a flashlight, multitool and a few other essentials.

    If I swap pants grabbing my esentials is easy. And I don’t have those small items falling out of my pocket if I’m doing something on the ground.

    A small 10 or 15 liter (600 to 900 cubic inches) backpack goes unnoticed most places and will carry a fair amount. When it’s about the same size as a large purse, and smaller than the biggest, stores tend to give it a pass. The stores that have signs against backpacks generally don’t like “large”. A messenger bag is overlooked as well.

    If you’re going to go into places with metal detectors there are ceramic knives. A two inch ceramic knife will do most tasks you’d ever need in those places.

  • Well…my job requires tools and a computer which is in my back pack. LA Police Gear “Rush 24” knockoff. I also have the “72” knockoff. I have had the 5.11 versions and I do like those, but dang! They are expensive!
    Yes I have an IFAK and Raptor shears on the outside, but as a member of a CERT team, storm chasers etc. it’s an easy explanation for whyI have have it.
    No one here where I live gives it any thought.
    I’d say it’s all situationally dependent.
    With the advent of being at “war” for over 20+ there is a huge selection of choices for MOLLE. I have a mixture of “High End” and “cheap” MOLLE. Tactical Tailor, TAG, Viking, etc. make great stuff. I have VooDoo, Maxpedition, 5.11, FireForce, Condor, etc. Basically for me it’s about what am I trying to carry. Pick the size of the MOLLE pouch based on that. Also color. I have every color under the Sun! Just keep in mind one company’s Color (including OCP or Multicam) might not match a different company. Generally Crye Multicam is the exception (more expensive). I usually tried to buy from one or two companies to keep color match, but it’s almost impossible. 800 or 1000 Denier for the material. YKK zippers if you can and Fastek buckles. Love Cobra buckles on the belts (pricey).

  • Sorry, Daisy, but seems like over-kill to me for EDC. I’ve never ventured out when I felt the need to carry instant coffee, and I’ve never had need for a tourniquet or a battle dressing although I do have a band-aid or two in my wallet which has a more likely use. More unique things I would access from my vehicle. (I like the veterinary tape idea someone had and I’ll check in to that.)

    Should I see someone out in a public non-wilderness setting and they seem a bit, er… lets say over-equipped, they would stand out and I would think to myself, what sort of (add your description) is that? Just use a fanny pack. No one pays any attention to those if its non-tactical.

    EDC (Every Day Carry)… those ‘things’ I have on my person that people don’t even notice because I am not over-loaded and the items are mostly hidden from view – carry piece, wallet (CC, cash, band-ads, P-38 can opener, I.D.), Bic lighter, multi-tool, keys, cell phone, pen/notepad, SAK, folder w/pocket clip. EDC. Should I need more then thats Level II stuff.

    • I always carry some heavy-duty medical stuff in my EDC. In my opinion, your EDC should focus on life and death things: defense, fire, life-saving medical supplies, allergy meds, mini water filter. So I have a tourniquet and pressure bandage in my kit.

      Think about this scenario. You’re in a car accident and you are unable to extricate yourself from the car. You have a serious wound and risk bleeding out. Wouldn’t you want to have a pressure bandage at hand to save yourself until the fire department gets there?

      • Matter of fact, I have an Israeli battle dressing and a quick tourniquet within arms reach in the driver’s side door. There is also a well supplied first aid kit in the console. I just don’t see the need to carry all that stuff on my person while shopping, eating out, or like activities. Why would I need a mini-water filter? To me none of that is EDC.

  • A Fishing vest works well. It typically has alot of pockets. It is sturdy . Weather resistant.
    And the extra weight is easily and evenly distributed across the back and shoulders.

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