The Evolution of Load Bearing Equipment, or, How I found the Best Kit from Commonwealth Troops

Recently someone commented on the fact that I have been gobbing on about a new pack, and this was disturbing, because it is not in common use yet, therefore is a disservice to the LF community.   In response, I'd like to say a few words.  

First of all, like the title suggests, I have found that commonwealth troops (i.e. UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada) are some of the most switched on troops, and have some of the best kit set ups on the planet.  I have been privileged to cross-train with the Brits and have seen this first hand.  My buddies went on Kangaroo floats and trained with the Aussies and Kiwis.  One of my CO's got to train with the Royal Marines.  In every case we came away with a new appreciation for soldiering, including load bearing equipment.

One of the things you notice is that their "belt kits" actually fit in with their "bergens".  Unlike USGI stuff, where the patrol harness fights the ruck frame.  So I have been a big fan of the Brit Bergen for some time now, along with their style of belt kit.  If you have read some of my posts, that should come as no great surprise.  But what is new is this pack from Oz, and even some Brit-style belt kit (finally) hitting the market, here in the states.

Since the G-WOT, many advances in LBE have been made, including rucks.  The US military has tried out Brit-style bergens.  Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons (untrained troops, body armor n shit) they have not worked out well.  Lots of back problems from over-loaded rucks that aren't rigid enough to support the load.  So many units have returned to the tired and true external frame.  Which works but has a down-side; the rigidity that supports the load also wears you the fuck out.

Enter Crossfire and the DG-16 ruck.  What if you could combine the comfort of the internal with the support of the external?  This would finally solve the riddle that has dogged military rucks.  My initial testing has led me to believe that Crossfire has done this.  It rides much like an internal, but also supports the weight, like an external.  This is huge.  For anyone who has humped heavy loads, over long distances, this is readily apparent.

Then you have Velocity Systems/Mayflower "jungle" kit.  Not only have they adopted the Brit style of carry, which sits pouches flush with the top of the belt, they have also added new fabrics which are much lighter, and shed water so they stay that way.  This too is an evolution in LBE.  

So, the combination of a Crossfire rucksack and VS belt kit gives you one of the best combinations of LBE I've ever seen.  This is truly ground-breaking work.  I have been dabbling in humping and sewing this stuff for over 40 years.  I have tried many combinations of rucks and belt kit.  This is the closest I have ever come to perfection.  That is a tall statement and I intend to continue testing this fall/winter and prove it.

So there are two factors at play here.  One is that lots of folks are ignorant of Commonwealth soldiers, and their kit.  Although that is rapidly changing.  There is an in-grown bias towards US-made stuff and the lack of interest in foreign-made kit.  The assumption is made that "our guys" have the best kit, so no need to look elsewhere.  In this day and age, you can no longer pretend that's true; all you have to do is open your eyes and look around.  

The other is my credentials as someone qualified to comment on this stuff and make these kinds of recommendations.  In this new information age, any wanker can get on line and gob on about anything he wants.  So some people might question your opinions.  And that's understandable.  The short answer is I'm nobody and you don't have to listen to a damn thing I say.  However, I will share my experiences here with you guys, and you can take it as you like.

So, it is my opinion that we are standing on the steps of a new era in load bearing equipment.  For those with enlightened chain of commands, there are rucks and belt kits that promise to improve our load bearing capabilities, which coupled with reasonable loads, may finally give grunts the world over the kit they have always deserved.  

Respectfully submitted,

M.S. Dismuke

Former Captain of Marines                        

"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

Just one point of correction, it's gobbing off  not gobbing on.

Carry on.

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If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together    -    African proverb

 

Joined: 2003          Location: At home pretending to be retired (again).

Diz posted:
... I have found that commonwealth troops (i.e. UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada) are some of the most switched on troops, ...

Quote by Napoleon seems appropriate: "the British Infantry was the finest in the world, and it was fortunate there were so few of them".

Tenui Nec Dimittam

 

"Ideals are peaceful.  History is violent"   -Wardaddy, Fury

 

Joined: 8/5/07         Location: Chester County, PA

Let's not keep everyone who cares in suspense.  It wasn't "someone", it was me.  A wanker who gobs off I believe is the proper description.

I see we haven't moved on yet nor has reading comprehension improved.  Oh well, maybe next week.

Respectfully submitted,

HRH (Ret.) J.L. DeMattia

Former Leader, Weeblos Troop 87 "The Fighting Asthmatics"

ETA:  At least in my CVS,  Vagisil (Extra Itch) is around section 14.  Yours might vary.

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IT'S A COLT.  THEY'RE LIKE THE HK OF GUNS.

HRH (Ret.) The Most Reverend Consig

Stupidity is not a skillset.

 

 

 

 

 Joined: 28 Nov 2004: 0037hrs        Location: The worst run state in the U.S

Duly noted.  I will now continue gobbing off.    

And yes, the light infantry of the British Empire has always been some of the finest troops on the planet.

We would do well to embrace some of that legacy.   

"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

No admissions, recriminations, call-outs required.  All wankers have gobbed off.  The reader is free to decide what's what.  All's 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

Consigliere posted:

 

Former Leader, Weeblos Troop 87 "The Fighting Asthmatics"

ETA:  At least in my CVS,  Vagisil (Extra Itch) is around section 14.  Yours might vary.

I'm fucking DYING dude...

PRAISE THE FALLEN

SSG Kevin Roberts KIA 7-May-08         SPC Peter Courcy KIA 10-Feb-09

1Lt Nick Dewhirst KIA 20-July-08          PFC Jason Watson KIA 10-Feb-09

CPL Charles Gaffney KIA 24-Dec-08

 

Joined: 2/21/04          Location: Seattle,  WA

We here in the north have all but abandoned Belt kit (institutionally anyway), and have mass issued the Tacvest, an abortion of load carriage. you still see belt kit with some guys personally issued, but its not "cool". All the "Cool Kids" wear chest rigs, and a few with plate carriers (without plates....stupid). We still get issued our soft armor and plates in a single vest, and must be worn together. NO separating the two, no plate carriers, etc.

We issue to front line troops the CTS ruck, a giant, internal frame, heavy ruck, which interfaces with nothing very well.

I personally wear belt kit, and a short back '64 pattern rucksack. If im mounted, a suitable chest rig. My first tour in Afg was mounted, so Battle belt and Chest rig (no rucking, I was in Kandahar City and mounted in an RG31) and second tour was almost all dismounted, so belt kit and short back ruck.  

I actually prefer having my armor separate from my fighting load. Allows me to doff my second line while doing tasking's where armor is needed, such as digging in, reinforcing fighting and defensive positions, filling sandbags, chainsawing down trees, whatever, where fighting load is not needed or a hindrance.

in my ideal world......*turns on fantasy goggles* We'd be issued a carrier for soft armor (with ability to add plates), a plate carrier, a chest rig and belt kit. Guys could wear soft armor only, or plates only, or both together, with a chest rig or belt kit over, or wear just the second line without armor, mission dependent.

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-We are the sheepdogs, bad people looking out for the good people by killing worse people
-Don't get PTSD, Give PTSD. Make the taliban wake up screaming in the night because he fears Canadians are coming to Kill him.

-Location - Canada - Joined - 2006MAR19

I've got a LF RAID in the HESM. Buying that could end a lot of consternation on someone's part.

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It's not that life is so short, it's that you're dead for so long.

The .45-70 is the only government I trust

"I was raised in a place called America...
It's gone now, I wish you could've seen it"
- a WWII vet

 

Joined: 1/30/06 3:34 PM - Location:MA

Consigliere posted:

...

I see we haven't moved on yet nor has reading comprehension approved.  Oh well, maybe next week.

 

...

Neither has proofreading (emphasis is mine).

Unless I misunderstood the good counselor (and unless he said something else over PM), I thought his point was that the consensus on the DG-16 thread went from "this is the greatest thing since blowjobs" to NFE in the blink of an eye -- and did so before more than about 3 of us had hands on the thing (and he's one of them).

Nah.  That's it in a nutshell.  I'd say I was over it but that would mean I cared.

What I do care about is my blind reliance on spell check. 🤣

Back to the gear.

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IT'S A COLT.  THEY'RE LIKE THE HK OF GUNS.

HRH (Ret.) The Most Reverend Consig

Stupidity is not a skillset.

 

 

 

 

 Joined: 28 Nov 2004: 0037hrs        Location: The worst run state in the U.S

I really don't get these references to reading comprehension, and spellcheck, but whatever.  

Just because I do a few mods on a ruck does in no way mean it's flawed/fucked up/unserviceable. That has nothing do to do with the overall usefulness of said ruck.   So this whole concept of  going from "hero to zero" I keep hearing has no validity.  

Two separate issues.  You have a ruck which I think is very good.  And you have the fact that I have yet to find a piece of kit that I haven't modified.  It's just what I do.  Some folks may find those mods suit them as well.  Some may not.  

I have always viewed it as a continuous process improvement.  I try and squeeze a little extra performance out of my kit.  You may say hey good enough and drive on.  Either approach is valid.  

An unmodified DG-16 frameset will serve you well.  Or you can tinker with it and see if you can't improve it a bit.  Bottom line, get out and ruck it.  Did a nice little yomp with my bud last Friday.  When I get a new Crossfire frame and bag, and I will be humping that.  And probably doing a few tweaks. 

So if you guys want to get out from behind the key board, do a little rucking, and compare notes, let's do 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

I've been browsing the NATICK photo archives today.  Ran across an experimental LCE/rucksack.  Looks like they started to toy with the idea of the British style of load carriage.  External pouches from the ruck are detachable and meant to fasten to the web belt.

exper 2

 

Exper 4

 

exper 1

 

exper 3

 

exper 5

"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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Looking forward to hearing more about this combination. I've deployed to Australia and trained with the Aussies and I was blown away by how much better their gear was than our USMC issued stuff. I was actually inspired by them to start running belt kit with a harness and I love it, but I can't get my issued belt and plate carrier to play nice with a ruck on. My usual solution is to take my belt off and stick it under the top flap of my pack while I'm rucking and then put it on once I drop my pack.

“My usual solution is to take my belt off and stick it under the top flap of my pack while I'm rucking and then put it on once I drop my pack”

this is far from ideal.  Do you have a photo of your belt setup?  I’m  sure theres a workable solution.  Are you using the FILBE ruck?

"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

Gunner I am using the FILBE but unfortunately I don't have any pics and my pack's currently stacked inside a tractor trailer with all of my gear in it.

The problem I run into is when wearing the issued plate carrier I have to let the pack ride a little lower so the hip belt can sit under the rear plate bag and this causes the hip belt to sit right where my "war belt" would normally be. I could lengthen the harness and let my war belt sit lower around my upper butt, but then I get into issues with it bouncing around once I've dropped my ruck. Most of the guys in the line companies of my battalion just don't use the hip belt if they're wearing a war belt but when I'm carrying a Javelin or a 50 cal receiver I'm going to wear the hip belt on my pack.

If I'm not wearing my plate carrier I'm able to seat the FILBE on top of my war belt and both of them get along splendidly, the problem only occurs when I'm wearing the PC.

The problem should be resolved soon enough once I'm back stateside and I get my Crye JPC, it's purely the length of the rear plate bag on the issued carrier that causes the problem. Thankfully most of my operations nowadays are mounted anyway, but I will be attending a few schools this upcoming year that will require a lot of humping a ruck, which is what inspired the purchase of the JPC.

Are you wearing suspenders with the belt?  If you are, are you running them over or under the armor?

"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

If you run them over the armor, depending on how tight your belt is, you may be able to hike the belt up and let it sit on top of the ruck waist pad.  I used to do that with the FLC, wore the waist portion loose sitting on the ruck belt then when I would ditch  the ruck the FLC would fall free to its normal position.  Probably depends on how bulky the back of your belt is and how much space the FILBE frame has to work with.

"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

Ns0mniac posted:

I wear suspenders under the armor, I've never thought about trying them over, always thought it would interfere with the camelbak I run when I'm not running a pack.

AFAIK, the official way to wear the LBE at least used to be integral-with/over the armor. Here's me in PASGT with LC2 some time after someone in the know actually gave us a mini class and made us re-rig everything. 

This is also high enough I can wear a ruck belt. If it doesn't work well — like when wearing PASGT or IBA, then the pack still rides right, with the belt pads below beltline. But...

Gunner posted:

...Probably depends on how bulky the back of your belt is and how much space the FILBE frame has to work with...

...not if you have a well-stuffed buttpack. I never did so fine. But if not then see the DIZ thread on short-backs and the above thing on wearing a ruck where the buttpacks serve as an ad hoc lower support. 

 

FWIW I have a camelback and either alone (as when I had to wear ALICE a lot) or in a carrier on the back of my modern rigs, and never have unbearable issues wearing a ruck over that.

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

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My suspenders are much lower profile than a classic LBE, they're just 1.5" webbing shaped like a Y with 1" webbing on the ends to go through the loops on war belt. The belt can be run without the suspenders too, it's a modern MOLLE belt.

 

I never thought about trying to seat the pack over the back of my belt though, perhaps I'll fiddle around with the pattern of my pouches. That way I could unbuckle it and ride it up high to clear the hip belt and when the time comes to drop the pack I could simply let the belt fall down to my waist and buckle it. I'd even still have access to the gear on the belt with my pack on. Once I'm back home and I get my gear back I'll give it a shot and see if I can't figure something out. Thanks all for the input.

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