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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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  #31  
Old 04-04-2011, 02:28 AM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Senior Member
Backpack: Mountainsmith Maverick 65
Sleeping Gear: ALPS +20 mummy
Shelter: Kelty Noah 9x9
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,482
Quote:
Originally Posted by GWyble
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.

at the time, comfort and durability didn't necessarily meet, especially if you wanted bomb-proof.

but just like modern military packs, the troops often wore armor of one form or another, which went a long way in the comfort direction. an ALICE hardly wears on you if you're wearing kevlar+alloy plate.
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  #32  
Old 09-04-2011, 02:53 AM
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garethw garethw is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 20
Hi there,

alice10.jpg

I've been using this large Alice for years now but this year decided to make it more user friendly by modifiying it. I love the retro look of the pack. It has a large capacity and lots of outside pockets which is great for organising kit.
In its standard form the pack is pretty uncomfortable to carry any distance. It is heavy and all the weight is on your shoulders and it moves around a lot. The kidney pad is quite hard and it digs in small of your back.
Enter the Molle ll kit. New straps and kidney belt are far more modern and padded, they transform the carry and as a final touch a plastic Down East frame has just replaced the heavier alloy version (cheers Trunks). Set up this way the pack is very comfortbable to carry. The weight is well distributed and it no longer moves as you walk.
Finally I've added snap clips on all the pockets and flap to make access quicker.
This is not a pack that will appeal to the ultra light boys, but it is robust, practical and as I said I just love the design. The Molle bits and new frame make it into a modern pack.

cheers
Gareth
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  #33  
Old 10-14-2011, 07:33 PM
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Hanr3 Hanr3 is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Regular Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 138
I carried a medium ALICE pack for over 3000 miles in full combat gear.
Never once did I have a problem with it.
Many 25 mile battalion humps I carried another Marines fully loaded combat pack on top of mine. I'd hook his shoulder straps over the M60 machinegun tripod I carried.
I never used the hip belt, it was to restrictive on my hips.

Being Marine Corp Infantry Machingunner, I beat the heck out of my pack. Needless to say, I had the same pack all 4 fun filled years.
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  #34  
Old 11-04-2011, 06:06 AM
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garethw garethw is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 20
Update on my pack:
Hi there
I've been messing around with the ALICE/MOLLE hybrid pack since I first saw it on this and other forums. After using a large pack without a MSS carrier, I've finally gone for the medium with the carrier. Mostly beacause it is less voluminous and doesn't bulge out from your back as the large pack does.

Front view of the finished pack.



A side view with frame and sleep system carrier in place.



The DEI 1606AC frame makes a big difference, lighter, flexible and fits the MOLLE stuff better.



I hook up the shoulder straps just like on the Aluminium frame, using only the lower set around the frame, and tucking the upper straps in behind. With the loads lifters, and central webbing, they are very solidly attached.



I added a webbing loop to make a handle on the top... an essential addition for me.



Here you see the MSS carrier cinched up to the pack. There is absolutely no bounce when fitted like this.



I copied the way the MOLLE ll pack has its fastex buckles fitted. I can thread these through the first set of loops on the front of the MSS carrier to cinch it to the main pack.




The MSS carrier is fitted with 4 toggles to attach to the MOLLE frame. As the DEI frame is shorter I used just the top set to attach it to the 1606 frame. Like this is is held firmly to the frame, and doesn't come undone when you loosen the straps. The webbing straps ( you can se one on the right of the image), go around and under to compress the carrier when its full.



So there you go. After several attempts with different configurations I've got the pack modified how I want it. It carries well, has enough space for all my gear, and has a retro look that I like. I was never a big fan of the way the original Alice carried, but this is a totally different beast.

cheers
Gareth

Quote:
Originally Posted by garethw
Hi there,

Attachment 888

I've been using this large Alice for years now but this year decided to make it more user friendly by modifiying it. I love the retro look of the pack. It has a large capacity and lots of outside pockets which is great for organising kit.
In its standard form the pack is pretty uncomfortable to carry any distance. It is heavy and all the weight is on your shoulders and it moves around a lot. The kidney pad is quite hard and it digs in small of your back.
Enter the Molle ll kit. New straps and kidney belt are far more modern and padded, they transform the carry and as a final touch a plastic Down East frame has just replaced the heavier alloy version (cheers Trunks). Set up this way the pack is very comfortbable to carry. The weight is well distributed and it no longer moves as you walk.
Finally I've added snap clips on all the pockets and flap to make access quicker.
This is not a pack that will appeal to the ultra light boys, but it is robust, practical and as I said I just love the design. The Molle bits and new frame make it into a modern pack.

cheers
Gareth
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  #35  
Old 08-15-2012, 01:27 PM
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DHknox DHknox is offline
Practical Backpacking™ New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1
I plan on going after the AT next year. I have an REI 45UL and a large ALICE pack. Suggestions on which one to use or should I get a different pack altogether? Money is an issue.
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  #36  
Old 08-15-2012, 10:16 PM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Senior Member
Backpack: Mountainsmith Maverick 65
Sleeping Gear: ALPS +20 mummy
Shelter: Kelty Noah 9x9
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,482
Quote:
Originally Posted by DHknox
I plan on going after the AT next year. I have an REI 45UL and a large ALICE pack. Suggestions on which one to use or should I get a different pack altogether? Money is an issue.

for those long trips the REI pack will most likely wear/carry more comfortably. the ALICE was designed to packmule and be bomb-proof. ergonomics were secondary to the design.

BUT the alice will most likely make it through the entire trip no prob.
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  #37  
Old 08-26-2012, 07:06 PM
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Benwaller Benwaller is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Associate Member
Backpack: Camelbak RimRunner, Osprey Volt 60, Kelty Redwing 50
Sleeping Gear: Kelty LightYear Down 20 / ENO Doublenest Hammock
Shelter: Granite Gear White Lightnin' tarp
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Sonoma County, CA
Posts: 285
Doubtless an American military pack would more than suffice for a walk in the woods, but were I contemplating a strenuous recreational hike (and I usually am) I would look for a more suitable bag than an Alice or MOLLE or whatever. Lighter. No intention to be flippant here but I think it common understanding that neither bombs nor machine gun paraphenalia are required equipment on the AT or any other domestic trail for that matter and so backpacks capable of hauling such stuff around, heavy packs, are not optimal.

Now a bush walk, where thorns and scrambles and roping gear down cliff faces and fulfilling other critical expectations as well is a different matter entirely and for one of those excursions a more hard-core approach using highly durable gear is entirely appropriate, an imperative actually. The utilitarian advantage of a military bag in conditions more stressful than a walk in the woods is clear enough.

But the AT is not a remake of The Guns of Navaronne.

There are plenty of good backpacks out there today, many of which are quite affordable and adequately durable for trail walking. It is my practice to encourage folks to consider light, affordable 60-70L bags competently constructed of sufficient materials, practically configured for rational use, suspended well enough to manage the planned loads and that fit the body as comfortably as possible.

Lots of bags, lots of bodies, lots of solutions. For example Kelty is a decent brand that makes good packs for reasonable price. There are others who build adequate packs for a walk in the woods that weigh at or below 4 pounds empty, which is in my view the practical starting weight for a 3 season recreational pack commissioned to haul a week's worth of grub, a comfortable sleep/shelter system and all the other necessities, on trail. You can go down a few ounces, up a few ounces but you'll likely be hovering at 4 pounds empty. It's just physics.

Now, I do understand the romance of the military bag and yes, there is a trace of nostalgia in me, too, but it is my view that the military pack stands in poor comparison, for the use intended which is simple trail walking, to many other backpacks available in the market today.

That being said, HYOH remains the fundamental first principle so carry what makes you happy. For me that means less weight, more happy.

Enjoy your trip, and as always ,

Ben
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  #38  
Old 09-02-2012, 07:41 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
PBF Administrator & PB Podcast Host
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Oregon
Posts: 4,954
I'm not sure where each person hikes. And I do realize that there are military personnel who are PBF members.

But I have to say that most military gear, leaves a lot to be desired for use in combat and military operations much less for backpacking.

I'm in agreement with Benwaller: HYOH and personal desire plays a large role. If the military pack works for you, that's about all that matters.

Reality
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  #39  
Old 09-26-2012, 11:30 PM
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rero rero is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 11
I enlisted in mid 2000, Infantry, over the years I had a number of issued with the alice pack. Ranging from the frame buckling in and rubbing the skin off my spine, scar from that, to the emergency releases on the shoulder straps giving way mid march causing the whole ruck to flop down to my thighs while still attached to me via the waist belt, throwing my back out. I also always felt like it just never held enough.

I finally got one of the new molle packs just before I deployed to Iraq in late '06 I like it for the most part, more space, more comfortable frame, better shoulder straps. However the frame squeaks, on both of mine, I'm always worried I'm going to snap the plastic, its still a bit heavy and I'm sure it could be more comfortable, and I wish I could have one in MultiCam or anything other than UCP, worse camo ever.

The heaviest I ever went with the alice was a manpack radio, the big ones before the ASIP, four spare batteries, bear suit, old school down mummy bag, change of clothes and about a gallon of water. I was 18 or 19 at the time, and I couldn't pick it up, had to get a hand to get it up onto a table and then slide into it from there. didn't do any distance really with it, just a few hundred feet.

The heaviest for the molle was probably around 120 pounds, clothes, sleep system, tent, e-tool, 100 rounds of .308, 14 enblocs full of .30-06, helmet, 6 liters of water, IBA, web gear with 12 mags, wet weather gear and poncho, I think I had some books and pieces of metal in there too, I have 4 of the sustainment pouches on the sides instead of 2 and 2 SAW pouches for even more space. My last march at that weight was 3 to 3.2 miles in 45 minutes, my feet and ankles ached for days afterwards.

even though I had done a number of marches in the weeks leading up to that last one, building the weight up gradually, I decided that the weight was just too much for my body to handle, structurally. I think once I completely heal from my accident I want to get back to it and hope to get up to 80 pounds, I think thats a more rational amount and I'll go further distances.

Back in May I was on my harley and was hit head on by a drunk driver, bruised lung, ribs, serious concussion, laceration to the head requiring staples, road rash, and a fractured ankle. lost roughly 26 hours of memory, I don't remember the crash or the hospital at all. But, I'm alive and slowly but surely healing up.
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  #40  
Old 04-16-2013, 12:25 PM
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Robislookin Robislookin is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Junior Member
Backpack: 55L molle pack
Shelter: Kelty Noah 16
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Panama City Beach, FL
Posts: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsuursoo
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.


Thanks for the info on this pack it’s just what I wanted. Two packs in one so that I can loiter away the afternoon at a campsite and explore the area with a day pack. And it fits my price range you can find them for as low as $70.







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