Designing 2023+ Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon Bedside MOLLE Panels

In a recent video from our workshop, Matt delves into the intricate process of crafting our signature bedside MOLLE panels for our 2023 Chevy Colorado R&D truck. These panels, designed to optimize storage and organization in the truck's bed, represent the culmination of meticulous design iterations and tried-and-true engineering efforts. Follow along as we take you behind the scenes of this fascinating journey from concept to creation!

At the heart of our endeavor is securing your gear for safety, off road and daily use. Despite being the original inventors of bedside MOLLE panels back in 2017, we understand the importance of continuous innovation, sometimes based around competitor's efforts to recreate our products. With others entering the market early for storage solutions for the Colorado/Canyon platform, we are determined to quickly expand this truck's organization capabilities with our full line of products, while ensuring our customers receive the most rugged, functional parts possible.

Our prototyping journey begins with 3D scanning, planning and research. Leveraging 3D scans and OEM CAD data, Matt analyzes the truck bed's dimensions and design requirements. This truck sports many design features and parts as GM's larger trucks, so we are in luck when it comes to sourcing mounting hardware and mocking up the first prototype. After tapping holes in the 3D printed mounting brackets, Matt gets the first iteration of the driver's side set up.

Prototyping is where the magic truly happens. Armed with the second set of 3D printed mounts and a more refined MOLLE panel prototype, Matt addresses key challenges with this specific bed design, such as sloping lines, triangulation mounting point positioning and swinging structural integrity, all while maximizing coverage and functionality. 

We never know how many tries it will take to get through the prototyping phase. The prototyping, reiterations, testing and redesigning, testing, reiterating, repeat... for some more complicated products it can take months - but for others we can be wrapped up and into the production phase within hours. Check out one of our product design/prototyping sprints by clicking here! From non-functional aesthetic concerns to usability requirements, Matt carefully scrutinizes every aspect of the panel's design. Balancing form and function, we iterate repeatedly to ensure functionality, durability and visual appeal.

One of the most intriguing aspects of our design process is the exploration of different mounting options. In our quest to minimize panel movement within the bed, we experiment with vacuum suction cup technology - an unconventional yet promising solution to enhance stability for these panels. While we did identify a solution that could be a good option for adding excess rigidity to the bedside MOLLE panels, it proved to be overkill and Matt was able to omit the need for it in the third iteration of the panel. We will be opting for the same solution we use for GM 1500 and HD trucks, reliably springing the panels off of the bedsides with our rubber bumpers.

Matt is always innovating and designing products intelligently, thinking of the needs of truck owners across the board. He added 'Accessory Clamp Space' cutouts to the panels (with nifty 3D printed plugs) so you guys can secure bed caps, racks and tonneau covers without needing to make any modifications to your gear mounting racks. This is one of the best reasons we iterate on our designs until we can't think of further improvements. There's always something that can add functionality to a design. With each iteration, we're one step closer to making the most rugged, commercially viable product that will hold up to daily use and abuse. Strength testing, FEA (Finite Element Analysis), manufacturing feasibility assessments, and refinement are our next stages in the journey towards bedside MOLLE perfection. 

In addition to intelligently placed bedrail clamp cutouts, Matt added notches to the 3D printed mounting blocks for those of you interested in wiring up some bed lights behind the panels. It is a design feature we've been discussing for some time, and this might be the first set of bedside panels that incorporates it! He even went a step further and designed a cutout into the panel for what looks like a Baja Designs S2 light... this could be a game changer for you overlanding guys! Looking ahead, our focus shifts to a final revision and manufacturing feasibility assessments - every decision is made with one goal in mind: to reliably secure gear in the bed of your Colorado/Canyon. 

Creating these bedside MOLLE panels for the 3rd gen Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon is exciting! It's a testament to our unwavering commitment to constant innovation and design excellence. Through meticulous prototyping, function analyzation and refinement, we are shaping the future of truck bed organization - one panel, make and model at a time. Thank you for reading, watching and joining us as we continue to push the boundaries of what's possible with functional gear storage and deliver unparalleled solutions to our customers!

Watch the full prototype development video below:


  • Cory @ BuiltRight

    Thanks for the love Adan! The packout stuff is really popular so who knows!

  • Adan Cortez

    Great Products. Good quality. I’m still waiting on the Milwaukee Packout Molle Panel and I hope more stuff for Packout

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