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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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  #41  
Old 04-17-2013, 12:59 PM
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Grandpa Grandpa is offline
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Backpack: GoLite Pinnacle
Sleeping Gear: Moonstone Lucid 800 w/Neo Air pad
Shelter: Tarptent Sublite Tyvek & Tarptent Double Rainbow
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 430
I recall many years ago reading backpack ratings in a magazine. The ALICE was included in the write up. At the end of the descriptions was an opinion on each pack and information on where to get it.

They noted the ALICE was a very sturdy, rather heavy bombproof load hauler with all kinds of attachments for military gear and then ended the write up something like this:

"Unless you are planning and airborne assault as part of your next backpacking expedition, this might not be the pack for you.

WHERE TO GET: See your local Army recruiter."

Last edited by Grandpa : 04-17-2013 at 01:02 PM.
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  #42  
Old 06-03-2013, 04:09 AM
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deuterbackpacker deuterbackpacker is offline
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Backpack: Deuter Act Trail 24
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Sagamihara, Japan
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandpa
I recall many years ago reading backpack ratings in a magazine. The ALICE was included in the write up. At the end of the descriptions was an opinion on each pack and information on where to get it.

They noted the ALICE was a very sturdy, rather heavy bombproof load hauler with all kinds of attachments for military gear and then ended the write up something like this:

"Unless you are planning and airborne assault as part of your next backpacking expedition, this might not be the pack for you.

WHERE TO GET: See your local Army recruiter."

So true. I was in the U.S. Army for over 20 years and can say I never really cared for any version of the Alice/rucksack I encountered during my years as a soldier. They are heavy and hell on your shoulders. Just a month ago I bought my first civilian backpack in over 23 years (Deuter Act Lite 24, followed by the Deuter Freerider 30) and can say I have never had such comfortable packs either as a Boy Scout (before I joined the Army) or as a soldier. Why in the world doesn't the military invest in such comfortable packs? More than likely, they are too expensive.

Ed
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  #43  
Old 06-03-2013, 09:26 AM
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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
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,482
Quote:
Originally Posted by deuterbackpacker
So true. I was in the U.S. Army for over 20 years and can say I never really cared for any version of the Alice/rucksack I encountered during my years as a soldier. They are heavy and hell on your shoulders. Just a month ago I bought my first civilian backpack in over 23 years (Deuter Act Lite 24, followed by the Deuter Freerider 30) and can say I have never had such comfortable packs either as a Boy Scout (before I joined the Army) or as a soldier. Why in the world doesn't the military invest in such comfortable packs? More than likely, they are too expensive.

Ed

actually, they did. the marines are using a pack designed by arc-tyrx now, and the army redesigned the ALICE a few years ago, and they've got a big internal that's shockingly comfy. granted not everyone is built the same(which is the biggest reason the old ALICE has a spotty reputation, some just weren't built for it).

but the big challenge is, no pack is comfortable when worn with body armor. i've worn the marine pack, with and without armor, and yeah, it's okay but the armor makes it rough. on the upside the armor spreads the weight out even better than any suspension has EVER done.
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  #44  
Old 08-14-2013, 01:31 PM
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immadman immadman is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 8
So, to help an old man out that is wanting to return to backpacking after a 30+ year hiatus and not get too deep into my pockets (and I also have an affinity for military gear) , what is the general consensus for military style backpacks: ALICE (with modifications), ILBE, or CFP-90. I am aware that the ALICE pack is an external frame and the other two are not. My experience in the late 60's and 70's was with external frame packs, although I do own a MOLLE 3 day assault pack that is basically frameless that I use as a tote bag and for day trips, and hunting.
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  #45  
Old 08-14-2013, 03:50 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
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,482
the new MOLLE version of the ALICE gear is going to be a lot more comfortable than the old one, and it's still external-framed. it IS plastic framing, and there are some downsides to that(not as easy to fix).

the internal frame packs are pretty nice tho. one word of caution: they're HUGE.

the CFP-90 is one of the largest packs you can find, period. that's a serious expedition-level pack. something you'd take on a long trip, or hunting maybe.

the ILBE is really hefty too. very large, lots of space.

they're a little heavy but not outrageously so. it's going to come down to what sort of trips you'll be taking. the ILBE is probably going to be a little more in-line with typical backpacking needs.
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  #46  
Old 08-14-2013, 04:17 PM
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immadman immadman is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 8
I really was not too crazy about the ALICE for several reasons but they are pretty rugged. The ILBE, as you said, looks to be a little more of the run of the mill backpacking genre. One of the things I did like about the CFP-90 was the detachable patrol bag. For a bugout bag, it is a neat idea. However, for a routine backpacking bag I am not too sure it would be useful. Thanks for the input. My old Svea is yelling at me to find something so we can hit the trail again.
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  #47  
Old 08-29-2013, 12:58 PM
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immadman immadman is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 8
Well, I decided to invest in a Gen II ILBE. As they seem to have flooded the market of late, I did not have to invest much money. I was pleasantly surprised to find it in very good condition. It came complete with lid, radio pouch, divider for the main compartment, and a detachable, small assault pack. It is rather large, to say the least. Much more so than my old Kelty frame pack. However, it has enough compression straps to bring it in tighter with smaller loads. I will have to play around with it and wear it a bit to get the adjustments down. I guess one of the downsides to it, as with all internal frames, is that it will be hot on the back. Hmmm...may have to get an external frame with a mesh back for the summer (like the old Kelty and JanSport) and use this in the winter...oh well.
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  #48  
Old 06-03-2015, 04:37 PM
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tacbear tacbear is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 17
My first pack was a Alice Pack. I was forced to use it because that is what the US Air Force issued. The Alice pack SUCKED! Before I got out we were issued the CFP-90 which is a Lowe Mountain systems design. I really liked that pack. I used a Military Molle II pack and I think it was probably the best Military Pack...until I got a USMC ILBE Pack. I have one of the Marine ILBE Packs (designed by Arcteryx) and I really like it ..except for the weight! With 40 pounds it is extremely comfortable! These days I mostly use a Kelty Military Pack...

The Falcon 4000! Full of features (removable lid that makes it a 3500 ci pack, removable lid is a fanny pack, built in reversible white/desert tan rain cover, thickly padded hip belt,etc.).

Packbag Features:
  • Compatible with Kelty satellite radio and battery holders that are sold separately
  • Top-load and front-panel access
  • Lid converts into fanny pack or shoulder-strap pack organizer
  • Lid has two U-shaped zippers and one map pocket
  • Internal divider unzips into one main compartment
  • Key clip
  • Zippered stash pocket inside top lid
  • Large zippered mesh pocket on the bottom side of top lid
  • Secondary low-profile hood stows into storm collar pocket
  • Large zippered mesh pocket under low-profile hood
  • Dual hydration ports and reservoir sleeves for hydration bladders
  • MOLLE on front and sides
  • Large front pocket with internal organization
  • Extra-large, fleece-lined pocket accommodates wrap-style sunglasses or goggles
  • Internal zippered mesh pocket
  • Double haul loops on backpanel
  • Side compression straps
  • Spindrift collar
  • Ice-axe loop
  • Drain holes
  • Rain/sand pack cover stows away in zippered pocket
  • Removable pack cover is two tone
  • Coyote Brown pack has desert tan and white raincover
  • Desert Tan pack has desert tan and white raincover
Suspension Features:
  • Adjustable suspension
  • Aluminum stays
  • HDPE frame sheet
  • Breathable backpanel with Spacermesh
  • Padded backpanel
  • Two-layer padded waistbelt
  • Padded shoulder straps
  • Load-lifter straps
  • Adjustable sternum strap
  • Quick-release shoulder straps
  • Belt stabilizers
  • Scherer Cinch (US Pat #5,465,886) waistbelt adjustment
Specifications:
  • Weight: 6 pounds, 14 ounces
  • Weight without Lid: 5 pounds, 15 ounces
  • Dimensions: 32 by 14 by 12.5 inches (L x W x H)
  • Volume: 4000 cubic inches
  • Volume with Low-Volume Hood: 3620 cubic inches
  • Torso Fit Range: 16 to 21 inches
  • Body Fabric: 500D codura and 1000D nylon codura
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  #49  
Old 08-27-2015, 11:53 AM
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JohnHenry JohnHenry is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 14
Eberlestock - good but not cheap or light

I have an Eberlestock Gunslinger II (2700 ci) and really like it, though it's not particularly light nor is it cheap. It is tough and extremely well laid out, and expandable with MOLLE or clip on outer sacks. I wouldn't use it for a long trip in the mountains, as I'd go with an Osprey 60-70 or similar, but I have carried it a little and keep it loaded as an emergency bag, since it contains some hardware I don't normally carry in a backpack. The nice thing about this design is the compartment between the main bag and your back, where you can put a full sized rifle and it won't be visible, because of the extensions at the top and bottom that cover the rifle. If you're not carrying a long rifle, the extensions stow away and it looks like a regular pack.

Eberlestock makes this for military applications, but they have the same thing in a hunting pack that is essentially the same, hence the rifle carrying. High quality.

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  #50  
Old 10-15-2015, 09:36 PM
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GingerSnap GingerSnap is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Junior Member
Backpack: Kelty Redcloud (temporary)
Sleeping Gear: Kelty Corumel
Shelter: Nemo Losi p3
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Cincinnati Ohio
Posts: 47
I acquired a military Arcteryx pack for my exchange student son to use. He loved it, and other friends I have lent it to have loved it as well. Great weight distribution, lots of storage and cinch options. Very well designed!
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