Alpha Foxtrot Designs MOLLE System Review for 5th Gen 4Runner

Toyota 4Runner Equipped with Alpha Foxtrot Full MOLLE System

Alpha Foxtrot Full MOLLE System – Full Review on 5th Gen 4Runner

I recently wrote a post on the Cali Raised MOLLE shelf system, and although it was nice, it also lacked a couple of critical features that I needed for my setup.

The Cali Raised system lacked threaded holes for modular mounting solutions and adjustable placement of the shelf. Thus, I moved on to explore new options. In addition to the reasons above, Alpha Foxtrot’s price point was hard to beat so I pulled the trigger on their panels.

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First Impressions & Ordering Experience

Alpha Foxtrot Full MOLLE System

Adjustable shelf can be mounted anywhere along the panel

Despite the estimated 2-4 week lead time, I received my complete order in just over 2 weeks. The panels were packed nicely and there were no missing parts.

I was happy with the lightweight yet sturdy aluminum construction. Considering how much weight I usually carry for overlanding trips, I’m always looking for ways to keep weight down. As long as you’re not loading up the shelf with 100+ pounds you should be able to store almost anything on this setup.

The matte finish powder coat seems high quality. In terms of fitment, these MOLLE panels are right up there with the competition, the fitment is absolutely perfect! They also provide a lot of real estate to mount all your gear.

Installation Quirk

Alpha Foxtrot Full MOLLE System Installation

Passenger Side Panel View

The install was straightforward since mounting the panel is the same as most MOLLE systems. There are a few differences though. Alpha Foxtrot provides mounting brackets that secure firmly into place with the factory hardware.

I contacted the owner for installation resources and he said they were working on getting their media together. While they work on that, I wanted to provide some installation tips because there is a trick to getting the brackets to fit. The owner changed the original design of the panels in order to fit 3rd-row configurations, which in my opinion was a pretty bad design for non-3rd-row owners. There should be two separate panels offered for both.

For the hardware, this MOLLE system utilizes aluminum brackets to hold the panel to the body where other manufactures have aluminum spacers with long bolts. While the bracket near the hatch lined up perfectly, the one closer to the front of the car would not line up at all. I struggled with it for a while before contacting the owner who told me, “Yeah, it’s supposed to be crooked.”

The Solution

Alpha Foxtrot Full MOLLE System Installation Solution

Driver side – As you can see the bracket appears to be slightly bent.

Honestly, I was shocked by his answer. In the interest of accommodating 3rd-row seating, he shortened the height of the panel which compromised the bracket alignment. Luckily, he was responsive to my requests and was willing to hop on a call with me to walk me through the install.

The solution is to h nd tighten the bracket to the panel then basically force it to line up with the factory hole in the body. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it worked. When you look closely, it looks a bit janky. However, it has held up just fine after fully loading it and testing it on a 1,300-mile overlanding trip.

Shelf Mounting

Alpha Foxtrot Full MOLLE System Shelf Mounting

One of the main selling points of this system was the modular shelf mounting option. The brackets for mounting the shelf make it super simple. The channels allow for plenty of play with both the panel and the shelf. I placed the shelf as close to the hatch and low enough to store backpacks and small camping boxes. The main downside is that I lose visibility out of the rear window, but it’s a tradeoff I’m willing to make in order to maximize storage and organization.

The threaded holes on the shelf provide endless under-mounting possibilities while still leaving plenty of clearance for large items below. I also have a lot more room to move around when I’m sleeping in the back now. No more banging my knees and shins on the shelf when I’m moving around in bed.

If I ever need to make more space for cargo or want to adjust the shelf, I can do so with ease. All I need to do is undo the two bottom fasteners on the shelf bracket and remove the whole assembly as one piece. Compared to what I’ve heard about competitors like Rago, this seems relatively effortless.


Alpha Foxtrot Full MOLLE System Finished Installation

Despite the panel re-design flaw for 3rd row 4Runners, Alpha Foxtrot still made a solid product and I’m glad I made the switch from Cali Raised.

The threaded holes provide endless modular mounting options for quick fists or MOLLE bags. Additionally, the panel sits far enough away from the window so that you can reach your hand behind the panel to pull cam straps through with ease.

Since road noise is a major consideration for most people’s builds, I should mention this setup rattles a lot more than its steel counterparts. Especially over washboards or potholes. My initial belief is that aluminum is likely more prone to oscillation than steel. Shelf placement might also play into it since most of the weight and tension are loaded near the hatch end.

I can’t help but wonder if it would be better if the front bracket was squared off with the factory hole and not crooked ‘by design’. However, the majority of the time my shelf is fully loaded which reduces the vibrations, so it’s not a huge deal for me. I will experiment while driving without the shelf when I’m not using it to reduce the rattling and to get my rear window visibility back.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately for the price point, I am happy with this setup. Customer service was responsive, no issues with shipping, and the product is high quality for the most part. The main feedback I would give is on the panel redesign. It feels like the owner took a shortcut to push out a product for a broader audience, but sacrificed quality in the process. Given they already rolled out the new panel design, they are probably unlikely to revert back to the old one. However, if they would’ve just made the bracket mounting point slightly longer to reach the closest threaded hole, this product would be near perfect!

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John C
John C
6 months ago

Can anyone help out with dimensions?

  1. MOLLE Square Dimensions (Width and Height).
  2. Dimensions of a 4×4 grid (Four ‘cells’ vertically and horizontally).
  3. Height between the vertical cells (if available).
1 year ago

Is there any type of lip on the shelf to keep things from sliding off? It looks like there is, but it’s a little hard to tell in the pictures.

1 year ago
Reply to  Kelly

Yes there is a 7/8″ lip (measured on the inside.) It works well for on road use, but off-road you’ll want to devote stuff with a bungee or something.

2 years ago

I’ve been doing a lot of debate between this system and the Cali Raised system. I like the Cali Raised window panels better but the fact this shelf is modular and all the holes are threaded might sway me.

As an aside, is that a DIY platform to level the cargo area? Looks great and I’ve been thinking of doing something similar for sleeping.

2 years ago

I’m really digging this set up and in the market for a modular system but I hate the fact of exposing my contents in the trunk and I love my OEM trunk cover for that reason. I like the idea of how the shelf can be modulated with the quick and easy screws vs other comps where I’ve read the shelf can be a pain to remove and adjust. I would like set mines up similar to yours by having the end of the shelf towards the end of the hatch so if you were to tilt the back seats back all the way, how much space do you have between the seats and top portion of the shelf? I can easily place something on top the shelf such as a piece of black cloth to cover up the contents underneath so basically it’ll function as a shelf and trunk cover.

2 years ago

I have this set up and I like it far better than the one it replaced. I do have a little rattle, but it’s not constant. Occasionally on rough road it will rattle once or twice. It’s not a deal breaker for me. I love the ability to adjust the shelf easily to fit what I need, I want to order a second shelf because at certain heights you can fit it two deep. I highly recommend this kit.

2 years ago

I love the idea of the threaded holes on the panels. The price and free shipping for the set is great. However, I’m not sure about the bracket set up and the rattling. The rattling would drive me nuts.

2 years ago

I love mine and it installed easily. I don’t have much rattling, unless my can of skittles is attached. Either way, great product.

2 years ago

Hopefully the vendor sees this write-up and fixes things. I was super interested in this kit until I read about the wonky rear bracket and the rattling. Concept is really good as it allows for modular setup on the shelf but not sure I like the bracket setup.

Great write-up.

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