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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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  #21  
Old 03-31-2011, 07:08 PM
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Ralph Ralph is offline
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Look along the top of the top pad. There should be two narrow 1" welded steel loops there. Run the 1" strap on the top of the strap through the loop and secure with the buckle on the strap. I prefer to snug the strap pretty close to the loop to avoid the straps twisting. That's for the medium pack only. The large really doesn't carry well without the frame. If there are 3 small pockets along the top of the pack you have a large.

Take info from the surplus dealers with a grain of salt. They are experts in selling stuff, but don't necessarily know how the gear is used.

Last edited by Ralph : 03-31-2011 at 07:13 PM.
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  #22  
Old 03-31-2011, 08:39 PM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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Backpack: Mountainsmith Maverick 65
Sleeping Gear: ALPS +20 mummy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAChuckhunter
I got 2 ALICE packs with frames for a good price. The add said they can be used with or without the frame. How do the straps attach to the pack once you take them off of the frame? So far I have just looped them around the big top pad of the pack, but that does not seem right.

that whole sizing thing was a clever move on the military's part, as the large pack would be murder to carry loaded with no frame. at the same time, if you don't know how to use it(like many civilians and even some veterans, since the ALICE went the way of the dodo), it's absolutely confusing to set up.

i've been thinking about making a pack from medium canvas on the pattern of the old norwegian army packs from the start of the 20th century. they were among the first framed packs, sporting a wood frame(often birch or ash), and they carried well according to kephart.
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  #23  
Old 04-01-2011, 02:06 AM
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Ralph Ralph is offline
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As packs go, the ALICE packs are okay and are certainly cheap and readily available as are aftermarket accessories like contoured shoulder straps. They also lend themselves to DIY modifications. A few mods worth considering are to turn the bags inside-out and bind or overcast stitch the raw edges to eliminate fraying, adapting the belt for better load transfer, and adding pockets, tie-on straps and such. One maker had a pocket that used the empty space behind the belt on the pack frame, for instance, a simple project to make. I also added 1" elastic/Velcro straps to the top of the pack for poncho/rain gear.

The ALICE packs are being phased out so won't be available forever. If you want one the time is now.

A complete set is: frame (the green anodized version is the best), frame shelf (provides a step for holding jerry cans and the like), shoulder strap set (the contoured ones are better and a lot more comfortable), belt set with the kidney pad, medium pack bag, large pack bag, waterproof bag liner(s) and a set of three waterproof pocket liners. With a few well-thought-out modifications this will equip you with a pretty good set of gear at very reasonable price.

I'm sure that somewhere in the Pentagon s a file folder with the plans for a small pack, though one as never issued nor made as far as I know. There are small ALICE packs available, mostly Korean made, scaled-down versions of the medium pack that make good day packs. These are also short enough to fit over the combat (butt) pack carried on the pistol belt. If you are going to use the small or medium without the frame consider adding a frame sheet of some tpe.

I also notice that sets of the MOLLE packs are becoming available at good prices. When these first came out a "rifleman" set was nearly $1,000 so consider that when browsing.
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  #24  
Old 04-01-2011, 04:47 AM
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PAChuckhunter PAChuckhunter is offline
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Backpack: REI Flash 65
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You are right about the connection points, that's why I had to loop the straps around the top pad, which usually slides down over the top of the frame. Maybe I misunderstood or saw the info for the Medium size pack. Anyway, the mil surplus packs are nice and heavy duty, and in great shape.
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  #25  
Old 04-01-2011, 08:11 AM
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Ralph Ralph is offline
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I suppose you could scrounge up a couple of loops, cut a couple pieces of webbing from a strap and sew, or have sewn, the connectors in the same relative location as the medium. Lugging the large pack around without the frame is tough but if you really want to do it ...
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  #26  
Old 04-02-2011, 06:20 AM
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Hanr3 Hanr3 is offline
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Being a Marine Corp Infantry Machinegunner I carried the large ALICE for about 4 years back in teh early '80's. Being the gunner and then Squad leader not only did I carry the usual gear I also carried a ton of ammo, and either a 20 pound machine gun or 20 pound tri-pod. With teh tri-pod strapped to the top I could attach the shoulder straps of another fully loaded alice pack to it. Many a forced marches I carried two fully loaded packs. Point being they had to be strong and rock hard.

Having said all that, the ALICE is not my first choice. Yes they are functional, however they are not comfortable by any stretch of the imagination.
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  #27  
Old 04-03-2011, 05:19 PM
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PAChuckhunter PAChuckhunter is offline
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Backpack: REI Flash 65
Sleeping Gear: U.S. MIL modular sleeping bag- Patrol
Shelter: Coleman Tents
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Western PA
Posts: 28
Hanr3, With the large alice setup- with frame, is the weight carried on the shoulders? The kidney pad is decent, but you only get that narrow belt that goes around the waist. The pack is not as well padded as my REI pack, that is inteded to have the waist/hips carry most of the weight.
Thanks for your help and your service for our great country!!
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  #28  
Old 04-03-2011, 05:44 PM
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Hanr3 Hanr3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAChuckhunter
Hanr3, With the large alice setup- with frame, is the weight carried on the shoulders? The kidney pad is decent, but you only get that narrow belt that goes around the waist. The pack is not as well padded as my REI pack, that is inteded to have the waist/hips carry most of the weight.
Thanks for your help and your service for our great country!!

Dont remember about the hip belt, I never used it. To this day I still dont use a hip belt. Not on my internal or external frame pack.
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  #29  
Old 04-03-2011, 05:50 PM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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Backpack: Mountainsmith Maverick 65
Sleeping Gear: ALPS +20 mummy
Shelter: Kelty Noah 9x9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAChuckhunter
Hanr3, With the large alice setup- with frame, is the weight carried on the shoulders? The kidney pad is decent, but you only get that narrow belt that goes around the waist. The pack is not as well padded as my REI pack, that is inteded to have the waist/hips carry most of the weight.
Thanks for your help and your service for our great country!!

if you're wearing it right the transfer is decent. the alice is definetly one of those packs where a well-balanced transfer is best. item placement is make or break with these packs.

the belt was intended partly, to ride on the ALICE pistol belt. that's why it's kind of under-built compared to a civilian pack's belt. if you're handy you can pad the belt out more. you can, in truth, pad the entire frame out better, though you lose some of the cooling effect of the frame.
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  #30  
Old 04-03-2011, 08:31 PM
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GWyble GWyble is offline
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Backpack: Mariposa Plus / REI Flash 65
Sleeping Gear: Eureka Silver City / Lafuma WnL 600
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Location: St Charles, MO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsuursoo
the belt was intended partly, to ride on the ALICE pistol belt. that's why it's kind of under-built compared to a civilian pack's belt. if you're handy you can pad the belt out more. you can, in truth, pad the entire frame out better, though you lose some of the cooling effect of the frame.

I bought an aftermarket padded hip belt that made a world of difference. I paid as much for the padded hip belt as I did for the pack.

The pack is a real work horse but it was not built for comfort.
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