Pissed off with MALICE clips? We’ve all been through it.
In fairness, nothing has threatened to push them off the top spot of third party attachment systems, so we have to give them their due. A contributing factor to this is the way in which they are bundled with many products.
They arrive with a pouch.
You shrug at the inevitability and mild ballache ahead.
The rather good news nowadays, however, is that there are credible alternatives out there. And not just clone plastic clips, which merely ape the MALICE clip’s flawed but market-leading form factor.
That being said, many manufacturers have come to eschew altogether a separate attachment system for their MOLLE pouches, reverting back to integrated straps; some of which are made of Hypalon.
Sure, it’s at risk of overuse in tactical applications, but I do like Hypalon. It’s super strong and durable, so you don’t need a deep layer to add reinforcement or to form a strap.
Incidentally, I’ll be referring to all Hypalon-type materials simply as Hypalon. Hypalon is actually a trade mark – like Hoover or Sellotape – which has become a generic name for CSM: chlorosulfonated synthetic rubber. Branded Hypalon itself was produced by DuPont, but is no longer available. However, the name lives on in reference to CSM, even if it isn’t technically correct. Custom and practice, and all that…
Back to attachment systems and Crye’s Smart Pouch Suite (SPS) backer, for instance, is great. It’s made of Hypalon – which is super flexible – but with stiffened ends. Blending these features together, it weaves through PALS like a dream:
C2R uses a tried and trusted formula, similar to the old Paraclete pouch backer – thin flexible webbing, with stiffened ends:
Blue Force Gear’s Helium Whisper attachment system uses Hypalon and Velcro. The Velcro section stiffens the flexible Hypalon, like the Crye SPS, and makes it easier to thread:
Notice a pattern? Thin, flexible straps with stiffened ends.
All the solutions above also cut down on bulk, which means – amongst other things – pouches stay flush to the platform. MALICE clips are bulky and make pouches sit less flush; then there’s the weaving. It isn’t always easy with MALICE clips, because their entire length is relatively stiff (they do become pliant with repeated use). Not only that, but MALICE clips are quite deep (thick) in cross section. That doesn’t help weaving, either.
Hypalon WTFix strap, left, compared with plastic MALICE clip, right:
Now, while I do tend to prefer flexible integrated straps, some companies still rely on a separate third party product.
So what’s out there? What if you could retro-fit the wonder that is Hypalon to a pouch which previously used MALICE clips?
Once they’re in situ they are a great solution – offering little to no bulk and the flush, lo pro fit that I’m after. Like all Hypalon products, they don’t soak up moisture – although neither do MALICE clips. That is an advantage over webbing, however.
WTFix straps are also really easy to remove, if you change your mind on a pouch or its placement. Just unfasten, grab one end and pull.
No solution is perfect, but here’s the worst case scenario: lacking a degree of stiffness at the ends, WTFix straps can be difficult to thread through the very tightest PALS. So, you may need to work a needle-nose pliers through applicable webbing to open it up a bit.
That said, I’ve now replaced all my MALICE clips with WTFix and they are very tough. If you’re having trouble threading them by hand, grab the tip with needle nose pliers and drag it through. Hypalon can take it.
Equally they lock up securely and easily, with a kind of tongue and dual slot solution. Release is conveniently tool free.
The straps are available in short and long lengths, and I’m reliably informed that Tactical-Kit is looking to bring both sizes to the UK.
Long, left, and short, right:
Compared to long and short MALICE clips:
Turns out EssTac recommended WTFix to Tactical-Kit. EssTac already bundles the straps with its products – replacing a long tradition of using MALICE clips.
It’s the future.