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.

 

“Governments may think and say as they like, but force cannot be eliminated, and it is the only real and unanswerable power. We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.“   Lt. General Paul Carton de Wiart, British Army

 

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.

 

“Governments may think and say as they like, but force cannot be eliminated, and it is the only real and unanswerable power. We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.“   Lt. General Paul Carton de Wiart, British Army

 

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

 

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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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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.

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

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?

LBT is pretty slow about changing designs, they were way behind on getting on board the MOLLE bandwagon.  SSD had some photos up of the latest 6094 plate carrier.  It finally has a quick release and uses laser cut molle attachment instead of bartacking PALS webbing on the vest.  Their stuff is solidly built though.

"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

I would ASSume LBT is going the light weight route, seeing as how their legacy systems are for sale as surplus these days.  I know there have been solicitations for external frame, short back "jungle" rucks from SOCOM, so I don't know why they wouldn't throw their hat into the ring.  

Hmm.  2L bottles, sounds interesting.   

"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 submitted a ruck for that SOCOM solicitation.  It looked like a good size, outside was pretty slick.  I’ll see if I can dig up the photos.

"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

 LBT submission.  Not sure I like how it sits right on your back, even with that channel down the bottom ,  It doesn’t look like it would allow much air flow on your back. 

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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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Diz posted:

I would ASSume LBT is going the light weight route, seeing as how their legacy systems are for sale as surplus these days.  I know there have been solicitations for external frame, short back "jungle" rucks from SOCOM, so I don't know why they wouldn't throw their hat into the ring.  

Hmm.  2L bottles, sounds interesting.   

Ebay is lousy with the real thing or copies- some of which are rather dodgy.

One thing about them was they were compatible with the issue NBC gear - many alternatives were not.

 

Diz posted:

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. 

Timely discussion

I’m actually just about to take my medium ALICE pack into JayJays up in Brecon, along with my large ALICE

The large exterior pocket on the large ALICE im going to get stitched onto the lid of the medium.

The two slightly smaller exterior pockets of the large I want to get stitched onto the sides of the medium, after removing the ALICE loops.

This will give me 5 large-ish pockets around the base centre of the main bag and one large exterior pocket on the top flap

Also going to get storm collars added to every pouch, and possibly a hydration port on the lid as well.

I think the medium ALICE is almost the perfect size for a rucksack where the soldier needs to be completely self sustaining for around a 72-96 hour period. And since I’ve gotten my MR Mountain Ruck, I don’t mind donating the large ALICEs exterior pockets to just bump up the mediums capacity just a little bit

For a “big” ruck, the MR mountain ruck rocks.

I’ve attached the MR daysack lid to mine, and I’ve also gotten hold of some MR long pockets as well. Great pack, very comfortable with the NICE frame.

But the NICE frame has limitations. It’s designed to be worn with armour or a chest rig. The big padded belt sits EXACTLY where the fighting load on my belt wants to sit. 

If I were to run the pack with belt webbing (my beltkit is a JayJays set) then I would be considering putting the MR pack onto the ALICE frame, and using the webbing belt supporting the base of the frame as the waist belt. That’s for any activity where I’m using my webbing as my second line - temperate patrolling, jungle, mountain, whatever. If I’m in my plate carrier, the NICE frame stays on and I’ll figure out how to integrate the small amount on my belt (assaulter first line stuff - pistol mags, dump pouch, pistol) with the NICE belt.

I know Diz has been banging this drum of using the beltkit as the rucksack waistbelt. It works, but maybe at around 85%, compared to the 97% of the purpose built NICE frame. (97% because nothing is perfect). It still sucks, hauling a 70lb+ ruck over your 40-odd lb fighting load.

Jesus, big wall of text. I only intended to tell you I was getting extra ALICE pockets sewn onto a medium ruck.

__________________________

Gunner posted:

LBT submission.  Not sure I like how it sits right on your back, even with that channel down the bottom ,  It doesn’t look like it would allow much air flow on your back...

200A603B-19B5-4036-9CF4-471DA145294C

Better looking airflow than a lot of packs. The triangle at the bottom should help, as the central channel cannot get blocked as easily. But at least we're trending better: my 80s internal frames had just a few pads, so airflow akin to external frame. The 90s had the molded back panels with zero, so we're getting back to pads and gaps again, good. 

OTOH, I do not like this trend of not putting load lifters on packs. By the time you get to this size, you need the straps to wrap down and around your shoulders. Direct attachment only doesn't make me happy at all. 

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

Ha, Sky Spud, that's funny but true; your percentages are pretty close to the bone.    Fortunately for me my weights are much lighter these days (typically under 20 for a belt kit, and under 40 for a ruck), but you're spot on, rucking, humping, yomping, etc. still sucks no matter how you kit up.  

Good Lord man, it must be nice to just pop into Jay Jays for few mods and maybe a cuppa from the roach coach out front.  One small suggestion, I would see what they could whip up in the way of pouches before I ripped up a good Large for parts.

Yes I do gob on about the belt kit versus the PC or chest rig.  In my neck of the woods, it's like you guys in Borneo; fucking hot and muggy.  For us, in a possible WROL sit, if we do any kind of long range recce, I don't think BA is going to be very practical, or for that matter, anything on your chest.  So in this scenario, I think returning to belt kit makes a lot of sense.   Along with a short back ruck.   As you say, it's not perfect, but it does work the best of anything else I've tried, along these lines.  

But to your point, if the terrain and situation lends itself to it, then PC's and/or chest rigs are used.  Along with long back rucks. So yeah, depends on where you are, and what you're up to.  

My point is most guys are oriented to the last methods of carry used; I think many could benefit from looking at updated and modernized ways of doing things from the past.  Maybe even looking at what the Brits have done, and see how that would improve the deal.

BTW have you had a chance to look at the Jungle ruck yet?            

"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:

Ha, Sky Spud, that's funny but true; your percentages are pretty close to the bone.    Fortunately for me my weights are much lighter these days (typically under 20 for a belt kit, and under 40 for a ruck), but you're spot on, rucking, humping, yomping, etc. still sucks no matter how you kit up.  

Good Lord man, it must be nice to just pop into Jay Jays for few mods and maybe a cuppa from the roach coach out front.  One small suggestion, I would see what they could whip up in the way of pouches before I ripped up a good Large for parts.

Yes I do gob on about the belt kit versus the PC or chest rig.  In my neck of the woods, it's like you guys in Borneo; fucking hot and muggy.  For us, in a possible WROL sit, if we do any kind of long range recce, I don't think BA is going to be very practical, or for that matter, anything on your chest.  So in this scenario, I think returning to belt kit makes a lot of sense.   Along with a short back ruck.   As you say, it's not perfect, but it does work the best of anything else I've tried, along these lines.  

But to your point, if the terrain and situation lends itself to it, then PC's and/or chest rigs are used.  Along with long back rucks. So yeah, depends on where you are, and what you're up to.  

My point is most guys are oriented to the last methods of carry used; I think many could benefit from looking at updated and modernized ways of doing things from the past.  Maybe even looking at what the Brits have done, and see how that would improve the deal.

BTW have you had a chance to look at the Jungle ruck yet?            

I’ve got more than one large ALICE- and like I say, since I got the MR Mountain, they don’t get used. At least by donating the pockets from the large, the modified medium should look at least kind of like it’s supposed to look like that, rather than having a patchwork quilt of a rucksack.

I would say I’m in body armour proper at least 80% of the time, which is why I leave the mountain ruck on the NICE frame.

Another 15% of the time I’m in a slick plate carrier with a chest rig on. Usually vehicle mounted. Again, NICE frame.

But that last 5% of the time? It’s worth planning how to skin that elephant in advance, because if you plan properly, it’s gonna suck balls a lot less. That last 5% is belt kit order with a bloody great big rucksack. Body armour will be carried and worn when contact is expected (the grown up way) - or just worn under the belt kit from the outset (the career course / schoolhouse way).

This stuff was generally a little easier in the past. Blokes had one set of belt kit and one rucksack and that was it, you made it work for everything you did. And body armour was nowhere near as prevalent as today.

Today, we have ALL the gear choices. And for the 95% of modern soldiering tasks, the gear is great. Just needs some planning for the final 5%.

 

I’ve seen the JayJays jungle ruck.  I tried not to look too closely at it because I know I would have bought it!

Now I’ve got the MR and have absolutely 0 requirement for another pack, I’ll have a proper look when drop the ALICEs off

 

 

__________________________

Huh, so much more fun talking to adults here.   Sierra Papa I appreciate your input here (along with all the other pirates hanging around this place).  Fucking refreshing to hear from guys with actual experience and common sense T,T,P's.  I actually had some guy on another website brace me up for daring to suggest that taping up your ALICE waist belt was a viable technique.  Like what guy didn't get through jump, selection, and follow-on without being exposed (if not actually doing) that.  Insisted that the waist belt MUST be done up, OR ELSE!  Not quite sure what the OR ELSE! might have been.  A write up from your CO?  Dunno.    

I like your common sense approach,  or rather, your good sense approach.  I think you really hit the nail on the head with your comment about "school house" technique, vs "common sense" technique.  That is probably the source of so many arguments on line.  Many people who went through the courses, but perhaps had limited experience on actual deployment, will tout the party line about how to do things.  Not that they are actually "wrong" per se, just never had the opportunity (or the inclination) to explore other ways of doing things, as you said, that actually make sense.  Sometimes a rather rare thing in military circles.      

This issue of wearing BA under a ruck is a classic case in point.  Everyone(?) knows it's a non-starter, but it is still insisted on by the powers that be.  If it must be carried, why not put it in your ruck, until, I don't know, it might be actually needed.   Again, on another website, this guy is doing some run and gun comp, where he wanted to wear BA under his ruck.  I said why do that shit if you didn't have to (I think he just wanted to imitate the big boys).  So this dude pipes up about wearing a ruck with BA 30+ times a year, like it's a good thing.  And actually defends doing it (because he was made to do it), so how dare I question it.  Uh, I don't know, because it's fucking stupid.                 

"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

So yeah, you get these endless arguments about things, and guys get a lot of bum scoop.  The thing I really think gets lost is that guys don't tie the technique to their particular situation.  For instance, SF troops may have SOP's (or actual ways of doing things) that make good sense, for them and what they're doing.  But the average guy, who may be prepping for hard times, has no way of evaluating them, and figuring out what will work best for him, in his terrain and situation.  Case in point, belt kit with full ruck.  For various reasons, maybe not used much by Specialist Troops.  But.  Not to say that in your particular situation, it would make a lot of sense.  

 

"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

Well two things.  First is 500d MC is back-ordered right now.  Secondly I'm still struggling to find a way to get pics up.   It will happen eventually.  

I think what you have is a small place above the 3-pockets for maybe some admin pouches, dunno, will have to see, but plenty of room on the sides for two "long" pockets-or the ones from the Large.  And then  "claymore" pouch on top.      

"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

Erick posted:

Regarding the mod of adding pockets off a Large ALICE pack to a medium, anyone have pictures of that set-up? I'm trying to envision it. Thanks. 

Great thread. 

I’ll get photos but it’ll be a couple of weeks mate

__________________________

In the meantime, twenty bucks says SP ends up with a jungle ruck. 

"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

Dont know why this didnt post earlier.  

Ive been eyeballing a pack Platatac makes called the Spur tropical pack. Basically a plussed up 3 day assault pack with an external frame.  Looks like it might hold about what a med ALICE would.  Black and tan are on sale for ~$130 right now.

B5D8CB8A-BC20-4E65-94D8-CE530AE19A8DA7C19A92-A5A4-40B3-86EF-6D57D2E112BE

"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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Gunner posted:

Dont know why this didnt post earlier.  

Ive been eyeballing a pack Platatac makes called the Spur tropical pack. Basically a plussed up 3 day assault pack with an external frame.  Looks like it might hold about what a med ALICE would.  Black and tan are on sale for ~$130 right now.

B5D8CB8A-BC20-4E65-94D8-CE530AE19A8DA7C19A92-A5A4-40B3-86EF-6D57D2E112BE

I already asked them about this.  They don’t make it anymore, so the Black and Tan on sale are the last of them.  I think there’s a random Australian survival gear site that sells ranger green ones at full price.

They did say that they could do a run of 100 though.

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I think TT once offered a 3 day pack very similar to that Platatac pack but without the frame.  Maybe in the 05-06 timeframe.

"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

Hmm yeah interesting stuff.  If that's what you got as issue, then it makes sense to mod up.  If I was starting from scratch, I'd prefer a top loader, ala Medium ALICE.  

"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, concur on top loader opening, and I think for your jungle focus the external frame is important. But to mimic the way the Brits do it with internal frame Bergans and the great article Arctic1 did on his Norwegian Army personal set up, I've seen Brits use the Camelback BFM (I think) for this. I have one as my range bag (found it on the side of the road, no shit) and I will throw it on top of my belt kit to do range stuff occasionally. Fits closer than the upgraded ALICE we've been discussing, but it is a plug and play solution.

You'll get a kick out of this: I'm on a work trip to California, and in the chow hall there's a UK Royal Army Medical Corps Sergeant Major who religiously keeps his (new, issued) MTP belt kit by his side during every meal I've gone to so far. I asked briefly about it and he immediately went on a brief elocution about it's virtues for light infantry, especially in this heat here.

-Von

So I dropped the medium ALICE off at JayJays yesterday to get modded. Also took a large ALICE in as a donor pack. Cheers life, for getting in the way - I wanted to get it done last week really.

 Here’s a quick rundown of what work is getting done to the medium: 

  • Medium lid is being removed completely and being replaced with the large lid.
  • The new lid is getting the large base centre pouch from the large pack attached
  • The crappy rubber on the underside of the lid is getting replaced with cordura
  • The map pocket on the lid is having a zip closure rather than Velcro.
  • Female fastex buckles attached on the lid, with the closure straps attaching on the top (so basically inverting the standard closure straps)
  • Wide short zip pocket attached above the 3 medium pouches
  • I wanted the base left and right pouches from the front of the large put onto the side of the medium - so ending up with 5 pouches across the base of the medium. It turns out that there wasn’t enough room to use the pouches from the large ALICE, by about 3 inches total. If I’d used the slightly smaller medium ALICE pockets as donor pockets, then they would JUST have fitted. However. Getting MOLLE stitched down each side of the medium pack now in place of the standard ALICE webbing.

 

Guys head in the workshop almost melted when I turned up yesterday with a big list of everything I wanted to do. To be fair, he is used to my difficult little requests.

Should be done in about a week, so I’ll get some pictures when I get it back. 

Out of interest, what’s the preferred photo hosting website now photobucket doesn’t work?

__________________________

Hey cool can't wait to see this.  

And thanks for the pic hosting site.  

"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

As an update, while I'm waiting for my Crossfire frame and suspension, I'm finishing up the LBT bag.  Decided to go with 1" loops for the external pouches, so they are removable and have slots to stuff behind them, especially on the sides.  Will then put tabs on the pouches.  Since I've got the 1606 frame and "mountain" suspension, I'm gonna keep these as a comparison to the Crosssfire system.   Should be interesting.  

For those of you that might be wondering, taking a bag completely apart isn't really that hard.  Just a lot of little steps that eventually add up.  I use a #11 x-acto blade knife (very carefully) in lieu of a seam ripper.  A lot depends on the mfg, and how the tensions are adjusted/ balanced on their machines.  Most are fairly easy; LBT and Arc'Teryx are some of the hardest, because their machines are so well adjusted.  

Once you are down to the back panel, I would recommend modifying the frame sleeve, by "squaring" it off a bit, making more room in the middle for load stabilizer straps.  With a DEI "mountain" or Crossfire DG-16 suspension, you don't need a pad in the sleeve anymore, so leave it out if you want.  Remember to reinforce it with at least 1" webbing, running all the way across the back.

I then measure off where the tabs for the frame will go, and run a continuous piece of 1" webbing all the way across the back.  These go into the side seams (either folded or cut) and end with the tabs.  This way the bag is hanging on webbing, not just cordura.

On the inside, I add 2 x 1" loops to hang a water bladder on.  The 3L bladder will have a sleeve with 2 x 1" tabs. 

I use the FILBE/MR top flap design as a pattern for the top lid.  It is semi-fitted, with one large zippered pouch on top.  I use mesh for the bottom wall.  

"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,

On the pouches, is it pseudo-Kifaru-esque in the you have the 1" loops sewn onto the bag at, say, the corners of where the pouch will go? And the pouch will have a tab for just that spot, right? If so, that's what I think is the most efficient replacement for MOLLE/PALS for adding pouches to rucks.

-Von

Ja, mon, that's exactly the deal.  Gregory did it before that with 1" loops and flat metal buckles, just reversed from the way Kifaru did it.  I am going the Kifaru style, only using web tabs instead of metal hardware.

I also think it's the best option to molle.   But I am reinforcing the sites with Ty 12 doublers, which will spread the load into the surrounding bag.      

"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, when are you going to be able to post some pictures and diagrams?

I'm not as well versed as some, and it would help me a lot more if I could see what you're doing.

This info is awesome! Thanks for posting these threads.

_____________________________________________

 

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!

Oy veh, my Achilles heel.  I will try and get my younger buds to sort me out on this soon.  

"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

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.

OK, I modded a Medium ALICE with PALS around the body.  Three GI multicam sustainment pouches fit but there's no room for anything else around the girth.

I kept the legacy upper webbing strap to mount GI 2-quart canteens.  The rubberized coating on the lid fabric dry-rotted off so I fabbed a new lid pouch of 500 denier multicam from Rocky Woods.

Pictures tomorrow maybe. 

OK sports fans, I'm gonna give you some notes on rucksack mods.  Depending on what you need, there's lots to choose from.  I went with a LBT 2657 cuz I wanted something in OCP to put on a 1606 frame.  Still plenty of Med and Large ALICE bags out there.  Large Molle, Molle 4,000, not to mention the FILBE.  I will give a generic description of breaking down the LBT, but it pretty much describes all of them.  

First of all decide which frame you want.  I started out with a DEI 1606 but ended up with a  Crossfire DG-16.  I would pretty much stick with either of these frames over metal.  Whichever you chose will determine where the "tabs" you add are going to be placed.  If you do chose a 1606, and set the bag up for that, you can upgrade later to the DG-16, as the tab pattern will still fit.  

Now you are ready for the tear down.  At the very least you will have to open up the main side seams to insert frame tabs.  If you pick the DG-16 you also have to decide whether to keep the top sleeve, or go with the Crossfire style "jockstrap".   I like this arrangement better because it gives you total access to the top of the frame, which allows you to put your top load stabilizer straps exactly where needed.  With a top sleeve you can't use to two most outboard positions, which is what I prefer.  

To open up a ruck.  It looks like a huge task.  And it may be but if you take it one step at a time, it is doable.  I use a no. 11 x-acto knife.  Yes it can be risky, but with a little practice I find it is much quicker and easier than a seam ripper.  But just like the Boy Scouts (used to) teach you, keep your holding hand in back of the cutting hand.  That little bitch is sharp.  Put tension on the seam, until you see stitches, and careful pick them with the blade.  Once you make an entry, choke up on the material, keeping taunt, and continue to rip the seam.  

With this particular ruck, you remove the top flap.  Then you remove the "storm" collar, which gives you access to the side seams.  With an ALICE you go right to the side seams.  If the seam is taped, you find an entry, and work the tape off first.  I will work both stitch lines, back and forth, as I go.  Once the tape is off, you go to work on the seams themselves.  Be careful where webbing is inserted.  The material will tear here because it is sucked in so tight to the webbing.  Be sure and pull tension so the blade stays on the thread only.  

At this point, you are probably wondering if you can get away with just opening up the seams enough to get the frame tabs in.  The answer is yes, but I will esplain why I don't just do that.  Over the years I have found that it's just easier to break the damn thing down, into component parts, work my magic on them, and then re-assemble the damn thing.  Trying to do something, with the rest of the ruck hanging onto it, moving all that crap around to sew something in, well it's just a lot harder IMHO, than just opening it up all the way up.  But this is an individual technique; you gain experience, may find you like to do it another way.

A note:  I work on hard wood floors because it's easier to sweep up all the thread fuzz.  It makes a fucking mess.  If you are on carpet, I would advise you to lay some sheet plastic down (or newspaper), under your work area.  When you are down on your hands and knees, trying to vacuum all those little fuckers out of the carpet, don't say I didn't warn you.  

Ok at this point, we have taken the seams completely apart.  This usually the point where my wife comes in and says "Is that the new pack you just bought!?"  Just flash you best "gay adventurer" smile and say "Yeah, no problem."

Now we are gonna clean the parts.  Get some small curved and straight hemos.  These are the best tools for picking all that cut thread out of the parts.  It's kind a PITA but you'll get the hang of it.  Work over your trashcan as much as possible.  I use a beer case box, lined with a plastic bag, which gives you a nice wide mouth.  Work one stitch line at a time, top to bottom, left to right; find a pattern that works for you to systematically remove all that crap.  

Once the thread is completely gone, examine the base material.  Any small rips or tears can be repaired with McNett Seam Grip.  Dab a little on, let it set, shape it with your fingers, and let dry completely.  If you have a big tear, you'll have to repair it.  I'll cover that later.  Now you may notice you have all these little fine holes in the material.  What I do, is lay out the part on a flat surface, like your lay out table, and then "rake" the holes with the blunt nose of the hemos.  What you're trying to do, is move the individual fibers around, and minimize the punctures.  This sometimes takes several passes, on both sides, to clean up.  Some materials work better than others, but in general this will close up the holes enough to be cosmetically if not structurally repaired.  This may sound a little goofy, but it works.  Also good technique for just regular sewing, when you take something out and want to re-do it.  If you leave the perforations, the needle will want to track in the old holes, again, instead of where you want it to go.

Holy shit, the piece is ready for re-work.  Now we gotta figure out what new stuff we want to add.             

   

"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

OK, let's work on the back of the bag.  I removed the top sleeve, cut it down a bit, as previously mentioned, then resewed in place.  I also replaced padding with something a lot smaller (1/4" closed-cell foam).  Measure and sew 1" reinforcing webbing across, where your tab slots on the frame will line up.  In this case we've done a 1606 pattern, with just two slots per side.  Allow approx 1/2" for shrinkage (add to measurement between top and bottom tabs).  Sew tabs directly on top.  I would recommend waiting to fold tabs until you see how much is needed, between bag and frame, then trimming to length, folding over, and sewing.  In this case, these were un-done and shortened considerably.    

"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

Notice how 1" webbing is sewn across sleeve back, before sides are sewn down.  This is a critical step for a top sleeve ruck because most of the stress was traditionally on the sleeve.  It still is here somewhat, although with some tabs helping out, not as much as before.  This also acts as an anchor point for any 1" loops you may add to the inside for back panels.

Look at all those holes on the top of the piece!  As an option, you may brush some Seam Grip into a really perforated area like this, especially on a load-bearing seam.  Another option is to trim these areas off, making the piece slightly smaller, but also fresh for a strong joint.  In this case, this is what was done on the sides.     

"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 the back panel.  It is a one-piece, wrap-around style.  After cleaning and trimming, I laid out where I wanted 1" loop attachment points for the external pouches.  In this case we have two long side pouches, and a center paneI, which can be a single basha pouch or two medium pouches.  I used Ty 12 webbing, which is probably over-kill; base material would probably work just fine.

 

"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

And here's the front side.  Can you believe this was a 2657?  Lots of stuff came off this thing.  The 1"loops were superimposed on the doublers and box "X stitched.  

"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

And here is the back and main panel sewn back together.  In this case, the bottom was part of the back, and the sides are part of the front.  I didn't take any pictures but what you do is line up the edges, with the pieces placed "outside to outside", meaning the outsides are placed together (with the insides showing), and clamped/pinned together.  I use small document clamps and quilting pins to hold everything together until sewn down.  The first pass is approx. 1/4" from the edge, just to stitch everything in place.  Once you are satisfied, then the seams are taped.  In this case I use 1" binding tape.  Since the build ups can get thick, it works the best.  And since these pieces interlock, like a puzzle, you can run a continuous piece of binding tape down one side, around the bottom, and up the other side.  I use a double row of stitching on the tape, so each seam is at least triple stitched.  Since you are still working "inside out" , you then turn it outside and check seams.   

"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

Fit check the frame.  Notice how it's a little tight.  That's why I said to allow about a 1/2" for shrinkage.

"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

And here's two inside loops for a water bladder pouch.  I would recommend putting two more in the corners if you want a heavier panel for radios or what-not.  

"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

And finished up on a Crossfire DG-16 frame.  You will notice since I switched frames in mid-mod, I did not add compression straps into the side seams, because I planned on using the frame for this.  If you use a 1606, be sure and add in side compression straps when putting frame tabs on back panel.   Notice how 1606 pattern will fit onto a DG-16 frame.  So any ruck with tabs, like the FILBE will fit.

Also I didn't mention a couple of details.  Like a carrying handle added to the top cross webbing.  And another compression strap for the top opening.  And I didn't take any pics of the lid build.  I will add these next time.    

"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

The Medium ALICE fab I wrote of earlier.  Added six rows of PALS across the bottom, enough to replace the issued pockets with (larger) MOLLE sustainment pouches.  The rubberized waterproofing had dry-rotted off the lower part of the issued flap so I fabbed a pouch with additional PALS for laser rangefinder and binos.  I have to figure how to rig a day or 3-day pack to the lid or pack itself.

I left the legacy webbing near the ruck's mouth to rig GI 2-quart canteens.

With space to put stuff into ready access on the outside there's now more room inside for jungle, summer, or temperate-season packing.

The ALICE bag and frame pretty much stay the same.  If I change anything it'll be a longer and higher pack rather than grow outward (to the rear) like a large ALICE, creating a moment arm to torque on the lower spine.

I'll probably put this pack on the Down East FILBE frame once I upgrade the FILBE.

Am I not seeing you describing what you did for the lid, am I? Looks nice. Like, somehow less bunched up and bullshitty than the normal lid, entirely aside from having the PALs. 

Anyway, sorta love how you've effectively made an MC ALICE pack. 

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

I made the lid big enough to cover a stuffed main compartment without having to build a snow collar.  Nothing special except a little tapering toward the zipper (just a simple zip from JoAnn's fabrics, nothing special like a full waterproof or anything).  I could have sworn I had some 1" velcro to close it off like the factory flap, but no.

Hey looks good.  Damn near a MC ALICE.  I knew running wolf would hit that.  

"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

Yeah that kinda sucks but par for the course.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how light it is, even compared to a Medium ALICE.  

Which kinda brings up the point, of what your priorities are.  While the older ALICE rucks certainly work, and are even superior to some newer models, you have to determine whether cost is a determining factor for you, or getting some other features, such as lighter weight, newer materials, and more modern design.  If the ALICE is all that is available or what you can afford, then it will work, there's no question about that.  But if you have the wherewithal to get something better, then there are some interesting things in the works.  The basic principle of a light weight, external frame pack has proven to be a winner; when updated with new materials and design, you have an even better deal.

As I look back on the past twenty or so years, we went from 1,000d and molle and hardware everything, to 500d and minimum webbing and hardware.  A 11-12 lb ruck to a 5-6 lb one.  Either one will work, but we are getting a lot closer to an optimum system of LBE; if you can get it, why not use 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

Diz:

Instead of sewing the carrying handle on to the pack itself, is it possible to make one with tabs (like your mounting tabs) that insert in to the top slots of the frame?   I would think that would put less pressure on the pack cloth or is that not an issue? 

x/S

¿Si no nosotros, que quien?

@Diz, I love what you did with that LBT ruck! 

@Sinister I'm diggin that medium ALICE 

The medium ALICE with a better frame is really the perfect the pack IMO. 

I've got one that TT modified, I think I picked it up here, the only thing I would change about it is a claymore pouch on the lid instead of the two smaller pouches that are on there. And a better frame. 

Who's got time under the Tyr Tactical jungle ruck?  I'm loving the idea of that frame but geeeeze that price tag! Just the frame is $250 no straps or belt! Add those and you're over $350 for the frame set. I've got the TT straps and belt I could use, but I don't know if they're compatible.

I think the next best bet is the FILBE suspension, cause the little time I had under the FILBE the suspension is actually pretty good. So I'll check the oceanside shops for one cheap. 

Not a fan of Tyr.

For what you're describing, check out some other threads concerning the new Crossfire kit.  The DG-3 on a DG-16 frame is the shit (if you're 5'11" or taller; if not stay with the DG-3 frame).  Good Medium ALICE sized bag, in a "tri-zip" shaped config, on the best frame I've found yet, and a hell of a better price tag.  Last I heard they had DG-3's on contract over run sale for 325 AUS, which is 237.18 US.  Shipping ain't bad either.  Maybe twenty bucks.  

Compare that to MR,Tyr, First Spear, etc.   Even TT.  Like a sore dick.   

"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

So just got back from the field. It’s getting cold and wet out so snivel and wet weather is getting thrown in the mix (suprisingly when you are use to 120 weather 65 is freaking cold. Did get in the 40s some as well.

LBT mod is still doing awesome and will hold the following comfortably in a wet weather bag that fits it like a glove:

-Gortex Bivy

-Snugpak Jungle Bag

-Waffle top

-Silk top

-Wet Weather top and bottom

-Shorts and t shirt to sleep in

-Travel pillow ( I may be infantry and supposed to love the suck but by god I’m having a freaking pillow)

-NVG bag

-VS-17

-Tyr Gunfighter belt kit

-Pogey bait

-Eye pro case.

then admin stuff in the top flap and the double canteen pouch on front with nalgene and Gatorade in it. This all fit with plenty of room to spare in the main compartment, top flap, and canteen pouches. The main pack itself is awesome and the frame rides great. Small enough I can get it in and out of a MAT-V much easier then a issue ruck but big enough to carry 3 days worth of kit. And I can bump that up to about 5-6 days by slapping on the added sustainment pouches. I got it up to 80-100 pounds in Iraq carrying a crap ton of 7.62 and comms gear so it will definitely hold some weight for its size.

runningwolf posted:

So just got back from the field. It’s getting cold and wet out so snivel and wet weather is getting thrown in the mix (suprisingly when you are use to 120 weather 65 is freaking cold. Did get in the 40s some as well.

LBT mod is still doing awesome and will hold the following comfortably in a wet weather bag that fits it like a glove:

-Gortex Bivy

-Snugpak Jungle Bag

Hmmmm...Snugpak enough for 65-40F?

Use a Carinthia troppen bag & they are pretty good.

 

Linz,

Never said comfy but I’m alive with all my digits. Add some snivel and 40-60 is doable but not great. The Bivy is key with the wind here and if you add a woobie to it you can sleep pretty comfy in the 40-60 range. I like the junglebag as it works for 3/4 seasons where I’m usually at and has the built in bug net around the face to keep all the critters out. Wake up cuddling with Jake and you will be happy for the full enclosure. If I know I’m gonna be freezing I’ve got a -10 snugpak bag or the issue MSS.

Thanks.

Every so often I get a surprise & end up somewhere cold by m local standards.  Luckily the Carinthia distributor is a friend & I got an affordable deal on vests, jackets & a sleeping bag set.  The big one is warm...but bulky: one reason I have a outsize heavily modified Alice style pack- I do Astronomy's trick of stuffing it into the available space rather than roll.  Way quicker & apparently damages the bag less.

Playing around with pairing the Troppen & a biv bag, possibly a liner is something I've been looking at.  I suspect the Woobie is superior to the local liners.

Yes indeed, lots of different ways to skin this cat.  I learned that trick as well, from a former blade when I did the Fan Dance.  You were given a packing list and then shown how to fit it all in a Bergen.  In fact the technique was to actually stand inside your Bergen to tamp the bag down into the nooks and crannies.  I think it makes a lot of sense because with a stuff sack, there is a lot of dead air space in the bottom of your bag.  With this technique you get a nice solid pad around your waist for the hip belt to cinch up.  And not by chance, it doesn't have as much chance to shift around on you when you are doing gymnastics up the side of a mountain in Wales.  

"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

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