External Frame, ALICE bag rucksacks for Tactical Apps

There have been a few threads lately on ALICE-style packs and things so I wanted to share some stuff I've been working on, for your consideration.  First off, I have pretty much come full circle back to ALICE style rucksacks, after years of experimentation with all sorts of shit.  But I want to stress, this is for military or paramilitary ops, AKA "tactical" applications, not lolly-gagging with Sally Rottencrotch on a manicured trail.  

Very quickly, what I mean is that you are basically tactical the whole time, based on threat level, but always at a minimum of alertness.  So you need a ruck that's easy to work out of, carries a lot of heavy/sharp/pointy shit, and pretty durable to boot.  And the kicker is it will integrate with a full belt kit, if that's how you roll for hot weather ops (in lieu of a chest rig/BA type load out).  

So with this in mind, it's hard to beat the tried and true ALICE design.  And trust me, I've tried.  A lot.  But since I live in the southeast, it gets hot down here.  Really fucking hot.  Whether I'm up in the mountains, or down in the swamps, I've found that internal frame rucks, not to mention chest rigs and BA is, uh counter-indicated, if not down-right hazardous, to your health.  And while I realize a sucking chest wound could be a lot worse, at some point you just gotta weigh the consequences and drive forward.  For me (and this could not be you), I have found that 55lbs is about all I want to carry, consistently, day in and day out.  So adding another 8-10 lbs of armor subtracts from other needed gear.

So I have decided to kick it old school and run a classic belt kit, for basically 9-10 months out of the year.  But wait, Diz, didn't you make all those chest rigs back in the day?  Yeah, guilty as charged.  But things evolve.  I'm not wearing "deuce" gear anymore either; today's belt kit is light-years beyond all that shit.  So if this is you, too, then consider a good "short back" ruck, like the ALICE system, which is designed (sort of) to work in conjunction with it.  Lots of good stuff in that "jungle" LBE thread on this.  I'll try and stick to the rucksack.

Right now, if you want to jump in with an updated ALICE design, with maybe updated camo (OCP/MC), take a look at the surplus LBT 2657's right now.   They are 8-pocket Large ALICE bags, in MC, on GI ALICE frames but with LBT suspensions.  I just got one off ebay for 250 shipped.  This is an excellent base to work from, or just use as-is.

Then you have the TT bags, frames, and suspensions.  Really good kit, but now you're getting up there in price (around 500+).  But if you need the more robust welded metal frame, and want to really good bag and suspension to go with it, that's a good choice.

And then there's Jay Jay's "jungle" ruck, which is a cross between a short back Bergen, and a Large ALICE.  DE 1606 frame with a custom suspension (their shoulder straps are especially good).  Around 450.

Then you have MR's "Mountain" ruck.  Really good bags, frames, and suspension, but also price tags (5-700).

So all things considered, the LBT is relatively cheap and plentiful right now, so that's how I would go.  I am taking it apart and doing some mods, but that's just what I do.  Nothing wrong with it, as-is, but I have some improvements in mind.  I'm adding "yib-yab" tabs to rig into a 1606 frame (like a jarhead ruck), and also running the DE "mountain" suspension, which is one of the best commercial harnesses available.  I am also re-working the pouch suite into my own custom load-out, but that's just me again.  I like big, outside pouches for a "basha" in the middle, and long pouches for cold/wet weather gear on the sides.  In a tactical scenario, this makes it much easier to ditch and don kit, as conditions change, keeping an eye out, instead of burying your head inside the main bag.  

Some other projects in the works. I am also modifying an issue "short back" Bergen, to take an external frame.  I want to see how it works with a DE frame and suspension.

Also have a Molle 4000 torn apart and will re-build for DE frame and suspension.  

Between these 3 rucks I will see what I prefer in bag size/shape, and also pouch suite.  

But the bottom line is they are all "short back", meaning they will sit on top of your belt kit, not (hopefully) interfere with it.  If this is something of interest to you guys, let me know and I'll post updates as I go.        

          

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

Original Post

Great write up Diz.  

Does the cargo shelf fit into your plans?  Cargo straps?  

I use an A7A type belt to keep the pack bag steady and strap it down in a vehicle.  

 

 

 

 

....

Sincerely,

 

Trajan Aurelius

 

 

When violence is the local language, be fluent.

 

"It makes no difference what men think of war," said the Judge.  "War endures. As well ask men what they think of stone.  War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him.  The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.  That is the way it was and will be.  That way and not some other way.” Cormac McCarthy, "Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West"

I'm in, in spades.

I never bought Brit belt kit, and tried to configure US LBE to do the same thing -- without much luck.  US-style battle belts aren't considering this, either.  

Everyone wants to be a bad-ass assaulter in the apparatus, ignoring the nuts-and-bolts of the march to-and-from the objective.  That shit's not glam.  Just sweep away those details with the wave of a hand.

Yeah I think with mobility warfare being all the rage, and then BA being added to the mix, our LBE changed dramatically in the early days of the GWOT.  So "ruck marching" became something practically limited to stateside training evolutions.  Iraq was essentially urban warfare, while Afghanistan saw most patrolling done with "day" or "assault" packs.  The larger rucks were essentially "tactical suitcases" for initial movements into and out of operational areas.

With the wind-down of the op-tempo in these areas, emphasis is now being seen again on long range, dismounted movement/patrolling, especially in jungle environments.  SOCOM has led the way, with their streamlined, independent supply chain.  We are seeing solicitations for "jungle" rucks, which is kind of a code for "external frame, ALICE-type bag, short back rucksack".  TT, MR, and some new-comers I'm not familiar with have submitted designs, which basically combined some updated features from the ALICE with the frame and similar suspension from the Jarhead FILBE design.

Speaking of updated ALICE, you also have TT and LBT classic "schoolhouse" rucks, with 8-10 external pockets.  These generally have improved bags, which initially were optimized for selection courses, but then were pressed into service for "SR" or Recce work, along with various other rucks.   Although they still usually had the old metal frame and various suspensions.  The new generation of rucks generally have the newer Down East  polymer frame, but in some cases the welded and improved metal one.

So the upshot of it all is the ALICE has still been in use, all this time, but is now seeing a return to "center stage" as it were.  Many internal frame designs (and some external) were tried, but the conclusion was reached by many that they just don't work as well as  the tried and true ALICE.  And by ALICE I really mean any ruck inspired by it, in rough bag size (square vs rectangular), with updated frames and suspension, that is designed to sit on top of your belt kit (short back).  Starting with FILBE, then Molle 4,000, and including the MALICE and variations, MR "Mountain"  ruck and variations, and older LBT 8-10 pocket rucks.  And also some nice Commonwealth designs.

So back to rucking.  Yeah I think we're seeing a "renaissance" of sorts, with increased emphasis on ruck marching, in classic non-armor-friendly areas, such as jungles and mountains.   Many teams are now becoming "rucksack" teams, in response to threats in different theaters.  

With this renewed interest, I have been experimenting with different rucks and belt kits, on weekly ruck marches in varied terrain.  After a couple of years, I am narrowing it down a little bit to ALICE type ruck systems with hybrid Brit style belt kits.

If you haven't humped "the green tick" recently, you might be surprised at some of the recent improvements.  First of all, it's not green anymore.   But more importantly, the suspension systems have been vastly improved.  So if you are recalling all those hours of agony with shitty straps, you might be pleasantly surprised at the newer designs.  I mean it still sucks, but maybe a bit more bearable suck.  The frame is essentially the same, although you can save a lot of weight if you don't require the extra strength of the metal ones.  So if you are willing to go down this road again, I think you might find it actually works better, especially with Brit style belt kit.  

BTW I haven't mucked about with the cargo shelf and strap yet, but who knows; maybe have to look at that again as well.               

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

Diz posted:

We are seeing solicitations for "jungle" rucks, which is kind of a code for "external frame, ALICE-type bag, short back rucksack". 

...updated features from the ALICE with the frame and similar suspension from the Jarhead FILBE design.

So back to rucking.  Many teams are now becoming "rucksack" teams, in response to threats in different theaters.  

...I am narrowing it down a little bit to ALICE-type ruck systems with hybrid Brit style belt kits.

...the suspension systems have been vastly improved. 

... you might find it actually works better, especially with Brit style belt kit.           

WELL?!  We're waiting!

TAKE MY MONEY! Make the ALICE frame suck less!

Back before the Hill brothers came out with their own internal frame packs. They used to modify existing external frames (Dana, Lowe, Kifaru,  and Alice frames) with their yoke harness and belt. IMHO, the yoke harness is the most comfortable I've used. Another benefit is the harness can be taken off the Alice frame and used with a jungle belt setup if so desired. 

 

Here are a couple threads started by "Alpendrms" K. Galbraith, who served in the 10th S.F Group and is a brand ambassador for HPG.

https://hillpeoplegear.com/For...id/10833/scope/posts

https://hillpeoplegear.com/For...tid/6556/scope/posts

https://www.hillpeoplegear.com...did/6555/scope/posts

That's some nice R&D.  Obviously well thought-out and practical for mountain terrain.  Sometimes I forget I am mostly oriented towards "jungle" type terrain, where some back stand-off is highly desirable.  If not required, then these solutions are a good way of going.  The "Ali-pad" essentially converts an external design into an internal style suspension, by bridging the air gap.   Thus the added comfort of full contact along the spine.  

I experimented with this type of system, especially with Brit Bergens, for a few years.  I would say for cold weather or mountain ops, and similar, using a hybrid system like this, combining the strength and utility of an external, with the comfort of an internal suspension (and padding), would be ideal.  

For hot weather, or jungle ops, an external frame, with a hybrid suspension, but still some off-set for circulation would be optimum. 

The common denominator being the external frame.  It could be configured either way by swapping out suspension systems (and padding).  I think this trumps the Brit Bergens by allowing us to use it in either scenario.

So yeah, terrain and situation.  As much as I'd love to be up in the mountains, with the boys out west, and I do truly mean that, I am currently in the lowlands, southeast.  

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

Sinister posted:

I'm in, in spades.

I never bought Brit belt kit, and tried to configure US LBE to do the same thing -- without much luck.  US-style battle belts aren't considering this, either.  

Everyone wants to be a bad-ass assaulter in the apparatus, ignoring the nuts-and-bolts of the march to-and-from the objective.  That shit's not glam.  Just sweep away those details with the wave of a hand.

That was always a huge confusing argument.  "How come the COOL kids only carry 4-5 primary and 3 secondary mags and not much else?"  Everyone forgets mission dictates equipment.  Getting a ride on a little bird to an objective, an objective that is secured by a secondary force (Rangers or the like) is VERY different than humping in 15Km, with EVERYTHING you need to sustain you for multiple days, and then securing the objective yourself.  Don't forget the cameras and radios to send imagery back to the rear; don't forget the 240s and 249s (or equivalent) to pull your own security; don't forget the long guns, as well as your own M4s, etc.; and  Don't forget the body armor (when body armor wasn't "Cool") because these guys eventually would be entering the "fatal funnel".  

The mission sets SOUNDED exactly the same, maybe even LOOKED the same on paper.  BUT, the reality was about 70lbs per person difference, lots of Km walked, and a VERY different looking fight.  We all saw what happened when Delta had to fight their way OFF the objective with Black Hawk down and it wasn't pretty.  There were/are SF Companies that plan to fight their way off the objective every single time.  Gothic Serpent changed the way a lot of people did things; some units modified the way they did things, others just decided to carry MORE shit.  

BT

There IS a place for Molle.  In MY opinion, rucks aren't one of them.  I personally would like to see a ruck about the size of a medium ALICE, maybe a little bit bigger.  Then modified like the 10 pocket rucks.  I've got a 10 pocket large ruck.  With all that room, and ALL those pockets; I could very easily overload that bitch/tick to almost impossible to carry.  I would prefer that the pockets are fixed, as molle webbing just adds more weight.  Ultralight packs are coming it at +/- 2lbs.....10 pocket large ALICE rucks come in around 11+ lbs.  There has GOT to be a happy medium compromise.

I've also complained about COST.  One of the BEST things about the Large ALICE pack was the price.  ANYTHING a Soldier wears or uses should be considered EXPENDABLE.  Start talking about a $500+ ruck and it is no longer "expendable".  Less than 6lbs, 3-500 D, couple of extra pockets, improved frame, and under $300 should be the goal.  


If it's a Pain in the Ass....you're doing it WRONG

I don't make policy, only suggestions, take them as such.

 

Joined: 8/5/05    Location: 20 miles west of Gettysburg, PA

 

 

Ha- that's funny, my bud and I were just discussing this, taking a Medium ALICE into one of the sew shops in town and having a pocket set sewn on like a Large.  Makes a lot of sense; you are gaining a lot of extra room with external pockets, so why not cut down the volume of the main bag, to prevent over-loading and such.  Yeah, that's a valid point.  If you don't need the big artic bag and extra bulky clothing layers, you could probably get away with a Medium for a lot of missions.

Will probably explore that concept in near future.

BTW I added a little more to this discussion in the new SOCOM ruck thread, which should have probably gone here.  

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

I’d be VERY happy with a kinda upgraded medium ALICE. Multicam, lighter material, ALICE webbing on the side removed in favor of MOLLE. Claymore pouch sewed onto the top flap with admin type sleeves sewn into it (pens, Nav gear, cheat sheets etc). Buckles instead of sliders for the straps. Maybe some kinda routing port for an antenna/ hand mic from the SINCGARS or hydro bladder. I’ve done nothing military wise so far I couldn’t accomplish with a medium ALICE, big enough to carry a load and small enough to keep me from over loading it. Real cold weather may be the limiting factor.

Yeah true dat, if you don't need all the snuggle kit for cold weather, the Medium rocks out.  Hey man you might have to send me your Medium if you can spare it for awhile.  I like to see wear points and so forth for future reference.  Learned a lot over the years this way.  Or at least photos.  

Yeah I'm looking around and seeing if anybody has one in OCP/MC/Scorpion.  The old Spec Ops ruck was pretty good, but needs updates.   Might also see if the Molle 4,000 would work, with some mods.  The big thing on a lot of these rucks is stripping off the Molle and other un-needed weight.  Probably end up just having to make one of these damn things.      

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

Forgot to add. The side MOLLE that replaces the ALICE webbing I mentioned. That may be an option for increasing its ability to work in cold weather. Slap the sustainment pouches off the MOLLE ruck on the side when needed and that can make more room in the main compartment for a good sleeping bag.

Gear talk reminds me of the better days here at LFer.  

I bought a large ALICE because all the cool kids had one, but in use I usually wound up cinching it down to keep it stable, often to the size of a regular ALICE.

Before ILBE, FILBE and the new USMC system, we only had one pack, an ALICE.  No assault pack, no three-day bag shit.  I think the buttpack solved most of our 2nd line problems.  

But did we experience a shift in the quantity of gear carried? I would offer that no, we didn’t, with the exception of leader planning tools. Well, we used to carry NVGs in the same lime green storage bag they came with, because it was all we had until PVS-14 cordura pouches and functioning mounts came into vogue, but for the basic grunt they stay on the helmet or get stuffed into a three-day bag when not in use.

 But we did get more motorized and buttoned up during the risk averse years of OEF/OIF than I would have ever imagined.  That reality prompted the shift to chest rigs, admin pouches, and ute pouches that rode on the side of the rig.  It never seemed  like someone one day dreamed up the awesomeness of a minimalist 2nd line and said, “Behold, I give you the answer to all our load carriage woes...the TT-MAV.”.  

Take away the need to be motorized during insert/patrol/offensive action, and belt kit truly makes sense.

ALICE was always good resting on the buttpack, over the flak jacket (just as thick and cumbersome as a modern plate carrier).  Without the buttpack, I always felt it was as much a PITA as any other pack when worn over armor.

The frame allows it to reign supreme in hot and jungle environments, but only sans armor, or with a cinch-tight strap if armor is worn.  We had grunts from 3rd Marines fighting in the hills of northern AFG and the only concession they got was the ability to wear a plate carrier specially procured from where I don’t know.  Yet they were still running around and sucking wind in an environment where the TB had better mobility because they weren’t wearing that stuff.   I don’t know that if we came down to a jungle fight, that the Corps would have the sense to relize that METT-S&L may dictate losing the armor requirement.

The Marines at the Basic Recon Course ran polymer-framed remakes of Large ALICE because it allowed them to ruck a metric ass-ton of gear for long duration ops, and every guy usually needed the ability to carry a radio set inside the pack, along with everything else.  The external frame was important in that case.  But those guys are not the norm.

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

POSREP: UAE

runningwolf posted:

Slap the sustainment pouches off the MOLLE ruck on the side when needed and that can make more room in the main compartment for a good sleeping bag.

Ooooh.  Medium with a Claymore top pocket and room for four sustainment pouches.  Hmmm.

In the old jungle ruck days we could go 3-5 days before requiring a chow/battery re-sup if you got your water in towns or from wells and streams.  Lots of halazone or iodine tabs or bleach.  Nowadays everybody goes through a planet's worth of quart and liter bottles per tour. 

Water is a hugely limiting factor, and also one of the things that makes a small pack on a capable frame so appealing. It's nice to know that you can add a chunk of temporary weight (in this case, water) to your patrol pack without totally crushing yourself.

One of the biggest issues I have with the LBT/Eagle assault packs of the 2000s is their volume combined with so-so suspension. If there's a good thing about the CFP-90 assault pack we DIY'd onto our ALICE packs, it's that it's tiny volume kept the weight reasonable for it's straps. I have to wonder what might have been if there was an improved small/medium ALICE pack available at the same time.

Sinister, as LF's resident SOF historian, how did the assault packs (like the Ranger one and the "Devil") become the thing to have instead of smaller ALICE packs? I still miss the Ranger one that was stolen from me and I replaced it with an LBT jumpable assault pack, but I wonder if I'd be better off with something I could jump with the regular HSPR.

 

Know what you know; Know what you don't know. -Paul Petzoldt

Sinister posted:
runningwolf posted:

Slap the sustainment pouches off the MOLLE ruck on the side when needed and that can make more room in the main compartment for a good sleeping bag.

Ooooh.  Medium with a Claymore top pocket and room for four sustainment pouches.  Hmmm.

In the old jungle ruck days we could go 3-5 days before requiring a chow/battery re-sup if you got your water in towns or from wells and streams.  Lots of halazone or iodine tabs or bleach.  Nowadays everybody goes through a planet's worth of quart and liter bottles per tour. 

Water bottle to newer troops means a 1 liter purified water bottle.

Water bottle to older troops means canteen, 1 qt, plastic or metal arctic model.

Lister bags are historically ranked with steel pots and field executions.

The Alice is a very functional frame, what gets put on it, well that's up to user defined preferences.  I liked the Tactical Tailor rucksack mods to the Large Alice Ruck that many would either get done at the Stitch-Witch off base or the Riggers for a favor.  The unit I was in had a specific SOP load plan for each position & rank.  Which of course went out the window on field ops when people were tasked out, TDY or otherwise sick-lame-lazy and not field ready...

~Will

 




 

 

   Anybody can blow something up, but to disarm anothers bomb, this is when talent, skill, bravery & LUCK will all determine "Success or Failure".  

 

Location: UTAH              Joined: 2003

I remember Army (not hatin’ on the USA but I found it humorous) logistician AAR bitching about not getting the proper allowance of bottled water per man during the March Up.

I thought, “Are you shitting me?”. Just having a bottle to be able to put rowpu water in and wrap with a sock was heaven.

Water intake is indeed a reality that can hobble ops.

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

POSREP: UAE

Yeah man it is cool to be back here talking shit about rucks n stuff.  Lots of water under the bridge since the old days.  As a cold war, black boot Marine I felt kinda out of the loop, as the GWOT kicked off, and LBE changed so quickly.   But working at the brick and mortar LF store in Fayetteville helped to get up to speed on where things were going.   But then these wars have mostly run their course, and other hot spots are brewing.  Guys are preparing to go into my old stomping grounds, so it's interesting to see what's changed, and what hasn't.  But the fact that teams are choosing to use the same ruck I used (albeit much improved), is an interesting commentary on war, and what things are eternal, and what things are constantly changing.  And being able to tell the difference!

Case in point, human bodies are basically the same since my time.  Rucking still sucks.  But is also still required in mountainous terrain.  We have gone through a period of mobility warfare, although selected troops still rucked right along.   Maybe because of our success at it, our enemies have scattered into urban and mountain terrain.  Not to mention jungles and assorted other shit-holes.  Be that as it may, I think we will always be rucking in the last distances to close with the enemy, or in some cases to avoid contact with him.   Returning full circle to the ALICE system and upgrades is pretty cool because we can finally un-fuck what was wrong and make the damn thing work better.       

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

Big Army may have issued the Medium ALICE but Ranger and SF issue has been ALICE Large by MTOE and Common Table of Allowances 50-909 (where "TA-50" comes from).

In the early days of hard-plate armor back in the 80s through the early 90s the first 3-Day packs were made by Lowe.  Lowe discontinued them and Eagle and Blackhawk knocked them off.  ALICE was too big, and 3-Day was "Just right."  Until you started adding SATCOM (PSC-3s and then 117s).  Enter Geronimo and other packs.

GWOT rolls into town and Leg Army reads and watches Blackhawk Down (as a movie).  Everyone starts getting Interceptor and MRAPs.  ALICE is no longer cool, and in comes that whore MOLLE, truly an abomination.  Marines adopt ILBE, but that ain't the fix.

Marines fix theirs with FILBE, while Army tries MOLLE II and now the MOLLE 4000 for jumpers.

Occasionally we fight at 5,000 to 10,000 feet and it snows.  Have to carry sleeping bags, bottled water, and 7 layers of ECWCS to include Happy Suits.  SOCOM buys Keltys and Mystery Ranch Terraplane derivations.

"One universal camo pattern should fit 95% of all requirements" instead of distinct jungle, woodland, and desert patterns and suites.  Then we buy something that doesn't work anywhere.

Big Army gives us the light foliage and tan Universal Camouflage Pattern, and SOCOM tells Army, "We fight in jungles, too."  Army has to stock, maintain, and issue 4 sets of woodland BDU pattern for every USASOC Soldier.

SOCOM is looking to other possible campaign venues and suddenly remembers some places on the planet are hot and humid.

You can't make this shit up.

The modern military is now vehicle-centric and its bases are fed and sustained by road.  Modern US logistics is like German WWII logistics into Russia -- tied to roads, rail, or (expensive) air cargo.

Back to topic, SF has always been a ruck-centric organization.

I've got a 1944/5 mountain ruck(among way too many other packs) other than material looks alot like a large ALICE. Which I believe was a copy of Scandinavian/european mountain ruck/bergan.

Joined  4/5/03  Location Maine

Where can a non-mil guy go and learn good info about the belt kits and such?

_____________________________________________

 

Doug

If I mention Corona, I ain't talking about beer.

 

"It's your turn to do until it's not."  TA

 

"Afterall.... if you get yourself into a fair fight.. you really haven't learned anything in all the time you have spent on Lightfighter, your tactics suck, and you don't deserve to breed."  David Reeves

 

JOINED:  9/20/09     LOCATION:  Outside of KSA Finally!

runningwolf posted:

Forgot to add. The side MOLLE that replaces the ALICE webbing I mentioned. That may be an option for increasing its ability to work in cold weather. Slap the sustainment pouches off the MOLLE ruck on the side when needed and that can make more room in the main compartment for a good sleeping bag.

I’ve been thinking of basically the same thing.  Unfortunately, the medium Alice can fit 2, maybe squeeze in 3 columns of MOLLE webbing in that space.  The sustainment pouch is 4 columns.  However, if you can squeeze in 3 columns, there are still a good number of decent size utility pouches that can go there.  As a heads up, TT custom shop puts in 2 columns on medium alices when that mod is ordered.

On the plus side, there is a lot of space between the bottom of the frame and the bottom of the pack when mounting a medium Alice onto a DEI 1606 frame.  This is space that can be used for a compression sack in the event of cold weather.

---------------------------------------------------

You guys must be some tall SOBs to consider ALICE a short back ruck.  If I could do anything to change ALICE it would be to make the frame adjustable for height.  I did find something of a solution by accident.  A few months back I picked up a used ruck from a MARSOC guy.  it had been designed by LBT and was definitely made with wet environments in mind.  Picked it up thinking it would be a good jungle bag (looked about the same size as a medium ALICE).  When I picked it up the seller showed me that the shoulder harness, attached to an ALICE frame was adjustable for height.  So my short ass body can wear the waist belt on my hips and have it sit on top of the belt kit.  The only drawback to the system is the back is padded, so it cuts down on airflow but I think the design could be tweaked to fix that.  Its a pretty nice pack, made of a mix of 500d cordura, Hypalon and soft shell material.  the storm flap is like a thin rip stop poncho material.    

I tried one of the LBT rucks when I was doing LRS stuff and ended up giving it away.  I thought the main compartment was undersized.  I prefer not to use a lot of pockets on the outside of the ruck.  I just use small stuff sacks in the main compartment to separate items.  One of the tips that came out of the Jungle thread was using stuff sacks with tie downs using different color 550 cord and knots to identify what sack your pulling out.  I really liked technique.  That thread pretty much led me to decide on a medium ALICE if I ever get tapped for the jungle.  Plan to send a pack I have out to get a claymore pouch sewn on the top and the storm flap added.  

I replaced that LBT ruck with a HSGI trashbag.  Main compartment is probably pretty close in size to the large ALICE.  With a couple sustainment pouches slapped on the sides it looks similar enough to the issue MOLLE ruck but uses an ALICE frame.  It's overbuilt, and heavier than it needs to be but I have no doubt it could probably survive a couple careers worth of use.  If HSGI came out with an updated lighter weight version, I'd give it a look.  But I don't think they're interested in doing anything that doesn't involve TACOs anymore.

Diz I might have to send you that LBT pack to see if you could do  some kind of variation of the adjustable shoulder straps for hot humid environments.  I'll try to post photos of the setup tomorrow, my computer is being uncooperative tonight.

I saw a guy on FB that put the new issue medium ruck frame into an old ALICE ruck.  It looked like it might actually work pretty well.  I can find the frame itself cheap but can't find the kidney pad on its own.  I'll see if I can dig up that photo too.

"A pirate is not the sort of a man who generally cares to pay his bills...and after a time the work of endeavoring to collect debts from pirates was given up."

          -Frank R. Stockton

 This is the new/old Medium ruck combo I mentioned.E3F9C0B0-8BE5-4CD3-BBA3-D350B0E8DB278D67E0D4-B792-4698-9F4B-274A8C12BF58

 

I also ran across this awhile back, I dont remember the exact details but I think its a HPG pack with a Kifaru pack attached.  Looks handy and a reasonable size.

 

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"A pirate is not the sort of a man who generally cares to pay his bills...and after a time the work of endeavoring to collect debts from pirates was given up."

          -Frank R. Stockton

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Do a search on the term "Marauder ALICE pack".  You'll get things like this:

ALICE/FILBE Hybrid Pack - ALICE LC-1 Large Field Pack - New FILBE Frame Assembly | eBay

An ALICE bag on a FILBE harness.  There a lots of variations but basically the train of thought is trying to drive the ALICE pack harder with a more comfortable harness.

 

 

 

 

 

....

Sincerely,

 

Trajan Aurelius

 

 

When violence is the local language, be fluent.

 

"It makes no difference what men think of war," said the Judge.  "War endures. As well ask men what they think of stone.  War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him.  The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.  That is the way it was and will be.  That way and not some other way.” Cormac McCarthy, "Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West"

Ding, Ding, Ding!  Tango Alpha gets the prize.  The ALICE bags themselves are really good.  Especially with some upgrades.  If you take the DE 1606 (ALICE and FILBE frame) and a new suspension (I like the DE "Mountain" suspension), you can build a pretty kick-ass pack system.  Especially if you have both Medium, and Large bags.  Kinda like a summer and winter system.  

Sinister gave a nice synopsis of LBE/ruck history.   After Molle, ILBE, and some MR stuff, we are pretty much coming around back to ALICE with some good improvements.  I think the FILBE is essentially an ALICE with improvements, Molle 4,000 as well, with the newer TT line being improvements over the MALICE system.  And I think MR is working on something as a follow-on to the NICE system.  Not to mention Jay Jays and Platatac's Jungle rucks.

Gunner:  Yeah man love to see that LBT set-up; we could probably rig something up with good lumbar adjustment for ya.  That's the beauty of the 1606 frame and the newer suspensions; you can vary the torso height and just use the top attachment points for load stabilizer straps.

There's a shit-load of stuff you can do with these older bags, although some newer bags in OCP/MC would be nice to play with, too.  One option may be to take the Molle bags and convert them for ALICE frame use.   The Brit short back Bergen is a nice platform, too.  If taken apart and cut down some, you get a nice Medium ALICE size.  Which come to think of it, might be a good option with a Large Molle as well.      

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

Man I love that thing 🤣 with a good kidney belt.  

"A pirate is not the sort of a man who generally cares to pay his bills...and after a time the work of endeavoring to collect debts from pirates was given up."

          -Frank R. Stockton

Yikes, that's a monster.  I patterned out something very similar to that for SOE, but only made one prototype, which I believe ended up with BDS in that debacle, but anyways, yeah liked the concept of extending it upwards, to include an artic sleeping system, instead of just cobbling something on the bottom, which just bumped into your ass (or belt kit) on the move.  But I think the better solution was to add external pockets to allow more internal volume for all that shit.  

Also, I look at all these full Molle packs like disco pants and shirts, with platform shoes.  So Two Thousand and Five.     

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

 Here is that adjustable suspension system.  The padded back piece is velcroed in, it flips up then you pull open those two darker flaps that are also velcroed in place.  That releases the shoulder harness, you slide a panel up and there are three slots the panel can slide into.  So ylu have about 3” of adjustment in the height of the shoulder straps.  At the lowest setting its just about right for me.  At least it fits me better than any ALICE or MOLLE suspension system IVe used in the past.  Im not sure how mich weight it could bear, the pack its mounted to is about the size of a med ALICE so somewhat limited in how much you would load.  Im not sure if it would handle large ruck sized loads.F2C4B2E1-10E3-4EBF-9E67-8A38A7FB5A52

 

ABA4FBAD-C794-4883-A7C0-E147BA6A771A

"A pirate is not the sort of a man who generally cares to pay his bills...and after a time the work of endeavoring to collect debts from pirates was given up."

          -Frank R. Stockton

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Its some pack that LBT made up for the MARSOC guys, dude i bought it from said LBT came down and worked real close with them on the design.

a good portion of it is hypalon or some thing similar, 500d cordura and some of the outer pockets are a softshell type material.  

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"A pirate is not the sort of a man who generally cares to pay his bills...and after a time the work of endeavoring to collect debts from pirates was given up."

          -Frank R. Stockton

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Right on, nice ruck.  Yeah I think that suspension would probably hold up to more weight, at least Medium ALICE, and probably Large ALICE.  Just to make sure, I'd extend the Velcro beds with some webbing to tie off to some part of your frame, whether you run a ALICE or DE polymer.   That way the strain is anchored to the frame, not dependent on Velcro staying mated.  Even though you could argue, from an engineering standpoint, that it would take a helluva load to fail; I would still like to see it anchored to the frame, just cuz.  And yes, I realize that's exactly what's at the heart of the MR "Futura" harness, but I am actively trying to reduce all Velcro in my builds, so I would use webbing in this app.

Also, you could extend the range of adjustment with webbing, past the limits of the Velcro.    

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

Diz posted:

...  rig into a 1606 frame (like a jarhead ruck), and also running the DE "mountain" suspension, which is one of the best commercial harnesses available. ...      “ 

Looking at DEI’s website, it looks like the mountain suspension system sits higher on the frame than their “performance” suspension/straps.  Are the mountain straps adjustable for me to lower where the straps are mounted?  I have a short torso  and also want to get the belt higher.

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Roger that, the mountain suspension has a "y" strap, that runs from each shoulder strap, down to a single strap that anchors to the frame.  It is adjustable for a wide range of lumbar measurements.  A lumbar pads fits around it, which can also be set at the desired height (either up high by the frame pocket, or down low towards the hip pad).  The two top attachment points are used for top load stabilizer straps.  I really like this arrangement because the weight from the ruck is wrapped around your shoulders, instead of being concentrated on the front half of your shoulders.  So yeah if you have a shorter torso, then this is the one you want.  I would even look at shit-canning their lumbar pad and just running an ALICE style pad, which takes up less room, letting you get the bottom of the pack on top of the belt kit easier.  

I don't really get the "performance" suspension.  It rigs into the top attachment points, giving no advantage over issue straps.  You can't get any lumbar adjustment out of it.  Nice pads but that's about it.  

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

LBT has always made purpose-built gear to awesome standards.  I’m not surprised they had a MARSOC collaboration. 

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

POSREP: UAE

Yeah the LBT stuff was/is good kit, but could be pricey, unless you pick it up surplus.   I thought they would punch up their over-seas division for those not requiring US-made, but not yet.  I mean 800 bucks for a 8-pocket ruck is a bit steep, but 400 might have been doable.  But 250 surplus is even better.    

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

All the LBT stuff I have seen is still bombproof. Great, except heavier than even old school Eagle. Have they changed their designs of late to lightweight everything? 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

Wild_Willie posted:
Sinister posted:
runningwolf posted:

Slap the sustainment pouches off the MOLLE ruck on the side when needed and that can make more room in the main compartment for a good sleeping bag.

Ooooh.  Medium with a Claymore top pocket and room for four sustainment pouches.  Hmmm.

In the old jungle ruck days we could go 3-5 days before requiring a chow/battery re-sup if you got your water in towns or from wells and streams.  Lots of halazone or iodine tabs or bleach.  Nowadays everybody goes through a planet's worth of quart and liter bottles per tour. 

Water bottle to newer troops means a 1 liter purified water bottle.

Water bottle to older troops means canteen, 1 qt, plastic or metal arctic model.

Lister bags are historically ranked with steel pots and field executions.

 

Used those South African 2l water bottles?

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