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Backpacks The Backpacks forum is for the discussion of backpacking packs (including front packs and pack accessories: hipbelt pockets, pack covers,...).


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  #1  
Old 01-13-2009, 04:53 AM
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ThermalShock ThermalShock is offline
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Military Style Backpacks

Most discussions are about well-known international makes. I'd like to start a thread about backpacks that are not necessarely recoginsed all over the world (yet) but are of good quality, available online and worth recommendation (there's no point of recommending sth that cannot be reached).

My personal recommendation is Arizzon Wolverine brand.
Mine goes in Muliticam and 50L - IMHO, the optimal capacity.



This is a military style pack no metter the colour, however it's more comfortable then a typical military one. It's definately for men (ladies no offence, please), and I don't mean military-man I mean body built-man.

The reason I'm writing about it is beacause:
- it's tought,
- it's functional (bottom access, molle & alice webbing, etc.)
- it's compressable,
- it's comfortable (good carrying system),
- it's available online,
- I own it am satisfied with it.
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  #2  
Old 01-13-2009, 04:53 PM
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bombernbr bombernbr is offline
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The ALICE pack is just about the easiest to find pack out there. Most anyone who has been through the military (until about 3 years ago) will have carried one.
The frame is heavy, but it holds the pack off of your back, which is nice when it is hot.
They are 2500 ci, which is a nice size.
If you get the kind with the extended strap pads (get what I am saying?), it is very comfortable, but I have heard complaints about the standard lengths.
The outer pockets are huge, which is helpful when packing, and if you don't mind about an hours work, you can upgrade the straps to buckles (what I did). There are also websites that will upgrade your pack in many ways.
This pack is also really durable, and all of the seams are well reinforced.
The hipbelt is kind of uncomfortable, as compared to my expensive pack, but I can deal with it.
I love my ALICE, and am very happy with it. It is really versatile, and there is a lot of info on it out there. If you are planning on getting one, you shouldn't pay more than $40 for one with a frame. Some places sell new ones for up to $100, but unless they are made out of a better, lighter material, with more features (not necessary, btw), I would ignore it.
Although heavy, it's a great pack.

Last edited by bombernbr : 01-13-2009 at 04:55 PM. Reason: added pic
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  #3  
Old 01-13-2009, 07:59 PM
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SSDD SSDD is offline
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Bombernbr, Well the US used two sizes most were Med at 2500 CI and Lg at 3800 CI

The pic above is of a Lg A.L.I.C.E. pack as the Lg has three extra small pockets above the other pockets.

The good is you can beat them till the cows come home and they will still work great and you can find them for cheap at surplus stores or garage sales and you can add all kinds of pockets and things to them and swap out the shoulder straps and hip belt.

BlackHawk makes good packs also

But one thing I found is that the Mill packs are heavy and tent to stick out a bit from your back and that means more leverage or means you will feel it more and your center gravity is not as good.

Last edited by SSDD : 01-13-2009 at 08:03 PM.
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  #4  
Old 01-13-2009, 08:57 PM
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ultralighthiker ultralighthiker is offline
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Backpack: ULA Conduit
Sleeping Gear: Marmot Atom and Thermarest Neoair
Shelter: Custom 9x9 Tarp
 
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I've got both the large and medium Alice packs. I have mine attached to external pack frames and have carried some pretty big loads with both. They are great for bushwacking or in areas where the UL packs could stand a good chance of getting shredded. Like someone said above, you can beat these things to death and they still come back for more.
Not the lightest but certainly one of the most durable. Well worth the money if you need that kind of pack.
UL

Last edited by ultralighthiker : 01-13-2009 at 09:01 PM.
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  #5  
Old 01-14-2009, 03:21 PM
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Wayback Wayback is offline
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The large ALICE pack was nearly indestructible --it handled night airborne ops better with less wear than I did. The inside radio pocket is great for keeping the heaviest gear close to your back, the mix of huge pockets and small pockets were great for keeping stuff quickly available, and lots of good spots to strap on gear. Unfortunately, 25 years later, the frame just doesn't cut it for me -- it is too short and needs some padding for my old bones. I might still use mine from time to time if it were on a decent frame. Any suggestions?
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  #6  
Old 01-14-2009, 06:58 PM
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SSDD SSDD is offline
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Wayback, You could add some stays and a thin foam pad and a new hip belt and shoulder straps you would have a total re-vamped pack but I would have to dig out one of mine to see what would work or just how to do it. but if you have or can find a pack to take the parts from and add them to the A.L.I.C.E. pack you may be in love all over again


Travis
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  #7  
Old 01-14-2009, 08:04 PM
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bombernbr bombernbr is offline
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My buddy told me that Cabela's made a good frame for the ALICE, and good call on the large one in the picture. it was the first pic in a google image search (My bad).
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  #8  
Old 02-28-2010, 01:36 PM
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ThermalShock ThermalShock is offline
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I don't see the reason to torture myself with a heavy pack. Mine (the same Arizzon Wolverine a wrote about) costs more than 40 bucks, true, but it doesn't weight a ton, it's comfortable, looks good and is tough. I understand the money thing, though.
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  #9  
Old 02-28-2010, 04:27 PM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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Backpack: Mountainsmith Maverick 65
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the CFP-90 pack is available to the tune of about 120-180 dollars online. a whopping 6600 CI make it one of the largest packs available no matter what the maker. it's internally framed and follows close. indestructible, tremendous volume and easy use make it a heck of a pack.

8.5 pounds empty, fits most bodies.

considering that there are only two or three civilian packs that match its capacity, and those cost at least four times what the CFP-90 does... it's one heck of a deal. there's a reason the place i went through tends to have a backorder wait of a month or two.
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  #10  
Old 03-02-2010, 07:39 AM
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RBrownkatz RBrownkatz is offline
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Backpack: Granite Gear Nimbus Meridian
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Suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayback
The large ALICE pack was nearly indestructible --it handled night airborne ops better with less wear than I did. The inside radio pocket is great for keeping the heaviest gear close to your back, the mix of huge pockets and small pockets were great for keeping stuff quickly available, and lots of good spots to strap on gear. Unfortunately, 25 years later, the frame just doesn't cut it for me -- it is too short and needs some padding for my old bones. I might still use mine from time to time if it were on a decent frame. Any suggestions?

It depends on how much work you want to do and/or how much money you want to spend.

My wife and I have two mediums, two large and two frames. I stripped one of the mediums of its outside pockets, extra strap, some of the attachment points. I replaced all the metal harware with plastic. I rigged the dismounted outside pockets like MOLLE pouches so they can be attached if I need extra room.

I re-routed the shoulder pads so that they attach lower on the frame and loop over the shoulders, like modern packs, and attached load lifter straps to them. I added ladder locks to the top of the pack frame and ran the load lifter straps through them.

I took some old foam and nylon, plus some old shoulder straps, and added padding to the waist belt.

My wife loved it. Everytime I tried to get her to get a new pack she'd say, "It has to fit as well as my ALICE."

But...she's short. The top of the frame rises above her shoulders. The same deal with my large ALICE did not work so well. The top of the frame is below my shoulders so the load lifters don't work.

I found the solution on another site I can't locate now but I intend to use it. Basically, you remove the bottom part of the flat vertical bar. Then you cut the frame's tubing so that you can add a piece of aluminum tubing. You drill holes in all the tubing to run screws through and you can adjust the height of the frame.
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