External Frame, ALICE bag rucksacks for Tactical Apps

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.   

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 a 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.

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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...

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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?            

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

 

 

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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.                 

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.  

 

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.      

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

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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.

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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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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.

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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

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

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