Military Surplus Packs/Rucksacks (Alice Pack, USMC ILBE, etc) are a great investment for many reasons. Military Surplus Packs/Rucksacks are made to last and cheap, comfort might be low depending on the one you buy. Some people will want to use these as prepper or bug out bags, other just as a wilderness bag like myself. The USMC ILBE is highly comfortable, while some older vintage type bags are not. The price on Military Suplus Packs/Rucksacks is usually reasonable and much less than consumer packs, but you will give up some comfort. The Alice Pack for example is an example of a decent comfort level, yet high carry rate and very versatile with having an external frame. But something like a Swiss Mountain Ruck Sack (Rubberized) is highly weather resistant, but comfort is an afterthought, but still is cheap around $20 currently. When it comes to Military Surplus Packs/Ruck Sacks you just have to try them out and see which one works for you, trial and error really.
I carried the ALICE medium pack w/o a frame and still have it! I've seen and have always wanted a large with frame (just in case Santa is a viewer lol.) Just make sure you are getting U.S. government issue because I've heard negative reviews on the Rothco version of the ALICE packs.
This reviewer has clearly had misinformation from inadequate internet sites selling some of these crappy products.
Some are good but if people must still modify their packs in over the top ways, with all the choices now present, you've possibly made a wrong pack choice initially.
Don't get me wrong, Mods are great but it's better to make an informed decision than reinvention (albeit cheaper packs are economical to modify, logically).
You're talking nonsense. I can only speak in UK cost terms, but I spent £134.99 on a Karimor SF Sabre pack and side pouches three years ago, the 'go to' rucksack for people with a bit of spare cash, then last year spent £20 on a Swedish LK45 and a further £15 modding it (padded straps and waist belt + wax finish). It is by far a more comfortable pack for long journeys with no back sweat, haven't reached for Sabre since. So you still can't see the value in buying cheap surplus and modding? What about people who can't go dropping that kind of money on a pack? Should they just buy an inferior product or just not go outdoors? Use your common sense man.
My location causes me to be more likely to "bug in" , and I keep 2 packs in case "bug out" becomes necessary. I have 2 packs, the MARPAT ILBE with assault pack, and the 5.11 tactical rush 72. I have plenty of MOLLE packs, and make extensive use of compression sacks. '
The US marine core back pack i have been locking for that for many years i find some of them on Ebay but then many dont want to ship them and if they ship it its expensive to ship some charge a lot of money so you can buy 2 of them instead. and i want one whit all original complete component like the 3 day assault pack ect every part nothing missing...
I have had a couple of these packs.The Swiss was my least favorite.Dug in my side and hurt my shoulders.Gave it away to a friends kid,didn’t really like him anyway.The only plus was you could carry a k31 rifle in between the frame and pack with the butt down.Had an Alice pack but sold it to a friend when my kid gave me a ilbe gen 1 pack.What a mistake.The gen 1 will hold everything you need and some with add ons.The Alice was just the right size for a week outing or longer if you add other stuff.Like butt pack,m16 ammo packs,or any other small pack.I always told my friend I was sorry I sold it to him and when I found a deal for a new one I jump on it.I ‘m 62 and I’ll use the Alice most of the time.Also had the old Alice for 30 years and it still going strong with my friend.
ALICE Pack vs ILBE = ALICE Pack all day long. Personally I would go with the Medium ALICE Pack over the large because of how it carries. The ILBE has too many straps, it doesn't pack very well, and the waist strap doesn't stay tight. Personally, USGI is typically not the way to go when it comes to a rucksack (never thought I would say that until I joined the military). Save up some cash, go with a Hill People Gear pack. You won't regret it. https://hillpeoplegear.com/Products
The Alice is horrible for your back. I have a large and a middle one and both are like you mount a barrel on your back. You always have to hunch over. Just get a more modern rucksack if you value your health.
at 3:17, the pouch you metion is for an isolated matress like this one.
bw iso matte ,
maybe this helps :)
The Euros resent Americans even though we do the heavy lifting, military-defense wise. They strip their military to have money to give to muslim imams that immigrate to their countries that hate them and want to conquer. Anyway, their nations and cultures are being erased.
Broadsidejohn If that is happening it's thanks to americans for joining the villains (boksheviks and jews) and fighting the right side and the good guys of WW2 (the germans and their allies). The germans were rescuing Europe and freeing the world from the claws of international jewry, and americans came all the way from their land to Europe to kill german people. So is it any wonder that Europe is in the state that it is now? That if you even express any nationalistic sentiment or support for the european race and culture you're arrested for "hate speech"?
But dont be fooled thinking you americans are much better. In this current time the USA is the base from where jews operate and the USA is their personal puppet, so the situation is only going down there too.
But while there's a single one of us white European Aryans breathing, we aren't destroyed. And we will seek retribution againt jews and their supporters for everything they've done to us, every white person killed or wronged. And there's a LOT of karma to be paid.
We don't forget, and there will be retribution
Another technical question. Are there backpacks made from synthetic material that is significantly lighter than the canvas material, but which is made to be durable as well? Maybe even some expensive synthetic material. As long as it is not one of those Chinese plastic materials.
I want 2 one for school and one for a survival prep. I fear though the if I take o e to school they will ask if im.in. the military and I say no then they would be like why do you have this bag then, well. Because I wanted the bag
I added Tactical Tayler Super straps to my Alice packs ,both med and large, and it felt like a new pack in terms of comfort to me. I also added 4 viet nam era butt packs to the med Alice to add a substantial amount of volume.
I agree with everything in this video. I attached my Swiss m90 to an old 70's external frame and it rides great. The Alice frame was too narrow. I was hoping for more comfort from my Alice packs but the way the frame curves in at the top was killing me. I clamped it to a concrete wall and bent it straight. Much better now.
Great video! You covered a LOT of packs with pros/cons for each! Thanks...you confirmed my recent purchase...now to 'furnish' it and try it out, then improve on it! Thanks for an excellent and well thought out video!
After all the bags I went back to the versatile ALICE packs. I put Molle II shoulder and kidney pad an attached it to a USGI MOLLE II gen IV plastic frame. great comfort and load carrying. No new issue compares. IMHO. also, you can add Molle or alice pouches for extra uses.
I'm in the process of converting my large and medium ALICE packs to the Hellcat configuration. Molle II shoulder straps and waist belt on the aluminum frame. Also adding the Sleep System Bag Carrier to the both of them.
Don't forget that the ILBE is part of a system that includes an Assault Pack, a Hydration pack and side pouches that all can attach to the main pack. There are a ton of videos about this entire system, which can give you a lot of flexibility.
+l0lxlllxl0l Try eBay. That's where I got my MOLLE II pack, CFP-90 pack, all my ALICE packs, ILBE pack, I even got the assault packs for all the larger packs. I also don't have all the money in the world so I buy my packs by the piece and assemble them. Like the ILBE pack, I paid $70 for the main pack new. The rest of the components I bought used for lesser money. Then as I go along I'll try and buy the components for the ILBE pack new.
also ILBE pack straps are sewn on to the pack and have a tendency to rip off at the shoulder when they are really loaded down. Its not much fun carrying you pack with one shoulder strap through the mountains at night.. I have never seen the ALICE pack strap rip but I'm sure it happens. Good thing is you can just put a new strap on the ALICE.
I love my medium Alice pack for me. For now though. i have a large Alice pack I keep in the closet for me, my gf, and the three kids under 10. they each have their own little bags, but for big stuff i guess itll be up to dad lol.
+Thomas Styron You can replace the ILBE pack straps. They are removable without any tools. But, I do like the tried and true ALICE pack. I too have never seen anything break on an ALICE pack. When I was in the Marines (97-01) they were still issuing us the ALICE. My ALICE pack had to have been from the 80's and still worked no matter what. Even when they issued us the CFP-90 Pack, I still used the ALICE.
We got issued the ILBE when I went on my first pump to afghan. Its a great pack until you are wearing a plate carrier. All the weight of the bag really digs the bottom edge of your sapi plate into your back and rubs raw spots on your back. That happened to me nearly every ruck run or hike I went on. A lot of the senior guy brought their own ALICE pack over to use when we went on ops. I got an ALICE pack with an aluminum frame when I got home and it worked perfect when you have your kit on.
Sorry the Alice Pack has expression date to. I had one in Army in 92 same problems after padding wears out and aluminium frame rubs lower hip. No matter the system you have to replace parts. But as we all know military's recycle equipment. I have no idea of telling you number of years or hands my Alice Pack went through.
Thomas Styron That is great to know about the fit. I use both the med & large Alice depending on season but was looking into a ILBE but will be wearing my plate carrier half the time so the ruck digging in is a no go.
+TechysTechTalk The ALICE pack market has went up. There are some rare deals out there but not many. Your probably going to have to pay a little bit for one. You can try buying piece by piece then assembling the pack. Try going on eBay and see what you can find. That's where I get my packs.
For the Swedish/Swiss (sic) ruck I would go with the "Sandpiper Pack Mule frame." I use one with my Large Alice pack and love it. Plus they have a strap kit that will retrofit any pack. They are pricey, but it's that or let a beloved ruck gather dust.
It's an underarmor brand olive green cotton fleece with water resistant coating. I think this is his video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOLFMq7vuYI
It's sold out supposedly, but I suspect there will be better alternatives available today.
It's $80 for surplus ILBE from MidwayUSA, but it is at least $180 for packs that supposedly have never been issued. I'd assume it would be very expensive to get one shipped out there, especially with the Euro having greater weight on the continent. I'm having trouble finding good modern Flecktarn, I'd especially like to try the light colored desert version because I think the beige will blend in better during the winter in the woods where I live.
Did you or any of the other critics here actually watch the video? You see, I thought the video was about military surplus rucksacks. Am I mistaken? Is this really a major concern in your life? If so, you might think about seeing someone before you end up walking into a schoolhouse and killing a bunch of people.
Anyway, he wasn't saying that Sweden and Switzerland are the same... that's why he used two demonyms for two different countries. Had he said Sweden/Swiss then you would be correct, but he said Swedish/Swiss. Now, where the confusion lies, as to why he thinks that the bag is used by both Sweden and Switzerland, is the nomenclature of the bag. It is an M90 bag, which is Swiss, but M90 is also the name of a camo pattern used by the Swedes. So to most of this thread, don't be twats that are so quick to judge.
Great review Thanks! I think i like the Marine ILBE best... I don't have a pack yet so.... I was in the Army and Infantry 11B so i have done a lot of humping with that US Army alice pack and i have to think back a long time but i seem to remember my back hurting around 12 miles... Something on it felt like it was pinching a nerve. And i don't have any back problems..
Test the German Army Battle rucksack (Kampfrucksack). It is cheap, lots of space (65 liters). The only drawback is that your sleepingpad has to go in the pack, because the backpack lacks an internal/ external frame. That takes up some space.
Do the Swedish and the Swiss use same packs? or is that just a slip of the tongue they have some similar cold climate challenges but I think separated by military traditions not to mention Germany and the Baltic sea, good steer on mil surplus packs seem there does seem to be some good stuff available, and some interesting rugged vintage designs
It was a slip of the tongue in the sense the nomenclature of the bag is M90 and is Swiss, just as the name of the camo pattern used by the Swedish is M90, hence why he probably thought that both countries use the bag..
The large ALICE ruck sack can withstand torture like you said,l just love it.I have modified it to take fastex snaps on the straps so opening and closing is easier.I have used the ALICE in the snow,jungle,and in the desert for years with the same pack issued to me in 1989 and still going strong.I have 2 extras i bought because the original issue is kind of fading after years of use and abuse.
That's exactly what I was thinking, but they're EXPENSIVE! The frame from what I understand is also significantly better than the Vietnam era frames that have a stigma of popping out.
What I'm thinking for an ultimate Alice pack is getting the TacTailor frame, belt, straps, and then attaching them to a Spec Ops Recon Ruck ALICE pack which is made entirely of 1000d Cordura and has MOLLE webbing around the entire bag.
Liked the vid. I'm old Regular Army INFANTRY and humped this bad boy for over 15 years. It's what I'm used to and comfortable with... at age 59! A couple of points ladies and gentlemen... Always get and use the frame! 1. Plan your pack well! You don't want to be digging for ammo, trauma kit/IFAK or toilet paper in an "EMERGENCY"!
First have liners, even heavy duty trash bags to line the outer pockets and the main compartment. Next fill the big barrel first... first with a change of clothes... later your wet/dirty clothes and trash (have extra trash bags... serve various purposes...water carrier, bivy cover, etc.).
Next, other stuff, you don't want to dig for until you stop for the night or an extended emergency (fell into an icy river/change clothes, etc.). Light first, then heavier towards the top and stuff you want to protect. Water filter, breakable survival gear, extra chow, batteries, mini survival books, porn (kidding), fill in the blanks, etc., I think the radio pouch is great for two bladders, but TFS makes a good point and he has a bladder carrier already.
One more time... use each pocket for a specific category i.e. The lower middle pocket = an MRE/one meal and extra spices, plus ebits/alcohol stove, plus fire starters (Bic lighter, dryer lint, etc.)... maybe a pistol!. One lower pocket for your first aid kit, one for your hygiene kit (don't forget tooth pics). One upper pocket for magazines for your assault rifle or extra ammo (don't forget chest and thigh ammo rigs). One for a CB Radio Keep the top cover pouch for maps, documents, spar cash, a pistol! etc. ( All on freezer bags... not the pistol :-) ).
Shovel...Speznats style Non-folding, a kukri!!!, two 1 qt canteens, with cover and canteen cup and Canteen Shop cooker and lid. Bow saw, etc. Attach a Knife and Flash light to the Shoulder straps. Also a Compass and carry binos around your neck.
ALSO REMEMBER! The pack should NOT exceed 25% of your body weight. 60-70% of the pack weight should be carried on your hips (Get a 6' tall walking stick from a fallen tree) and lean forward at the waist a little :-) . Have a good sleep system and small tent... it's worth the weight and give you something to look forward to... a good, dry, comfy night's sleep :-) Yeah, carry the sleeping pad attached to the bottom of your ruck! It light. Use the outer straps to attach your rain gear and Jacket/ Parka, wet/cold weather gear!
BUT REMEMBER... ounces = pounds and pounds = pain, they don't call your pack a tick for nothing (a tick will suck the life right out of you)! What's the purpose of this pack? Bug-Out/ 72 hrs? INCH BAG? = I'm Never Coming Home... what? Oh, and just because you have lots of room in this bad boy... doesn't mean you have to fill it up cause you may not be able to carry it very far, without a shopping cart... a good car and/or a couple of strong backs!
Yes, I live in a city and plan to Bug-In, but I still have this bad boy packed and ready to go into my 4 wheel drive SUV :-)
Good Luck and keep Prepping! :-)
Hey CaptainBerz, I recently purchased the Swiss M90 rubber rucksack and am having a tough time finding a smooth way of "packing it out". It doesnt really have the needed molle straps and the 2 side pouches arent huge. Your tiny review on it is the only one I have found. You wouldnt have any old vids with that thing packed, would you? I am trying to get some ideas but there isnt a lot of reviews on this pack at all. I love it and would love to "find its groove". It has kind of a weird shape to it. Thanks for the informative vids and all that you do, brother!
The pocket in the german pack, which you described as a place to put a hydration pack or so, actually is the place, where the german military officals want the folding sleeping mat of the Bundeswehr to be put.
This gives you additional backpadding, thats why so many people moan about german packs :D
I have had my alice pack since i was 16, I have had a frame, a med, and a large pack to put on it for decades. and nowadays I just take the frame, with a MSS bungied to it, and a small ruck. and also have a molle butpack, it is really handy to be able to hike to camp, drop the packs ruck, and bed, and be able to go scout, track, gather, with just the buttpack, and empty alice frame. never know what you may find to strap to it
good video! only thing I would add is the flap pocket on the alice is a map pocket only. that's all that is supposed to go in it. the opening is made so that you can rip the Velcro apart and pull your map out without disturbing the straps. cramming this pocket full of stuff would be a bad idea. it wouldn't do its job correctly as a top cover and its not made to hold a lot of stuff. just maps. maps only. so....maps.
Alice pack frames seem to be a good way to get a frame on a pack that does not have one , I did that with my flecktarn 3 day german pack , pluss with shelf and mods , you can make it a pretty decent rig .
I picked myself up an ILBE pack which came with the ILBE assault pack as well for $99 shipped on eBay. If you're really looking for that delicate balance between comfort and durability without spending a whole lot, the ILBE pack is the way to go imo.
People mis-understand the ALICE pack on how it is meant to ride on the body. It was meant to ride high as it was meant to be used work with the web belt and harness. The pad on the frame was meant to ride high on the hips padding the kidneys not hips. This makes accessing gear on the web belt possible.
the trick with the german mountain backpack is the pocket in "notebook" size. actually, you don't put a notebook in there. it is used to put the "all purpose mat" in it. that's an isolating mat, used to sleep on it. you don't roll this mat, you fold (!) it. it fits exactly in the pocket, and it is very robust. it is also quite thin, but it keeps you warm, even in winter.
Yes, that's right. But, while making for a great sitting pad or even a windstopper, is a horrible mat. You cannot sleep on that. Tried a few times outdoors and indoors. It doesn't insulate a thing. I still don't understand how can they issue that for "sleeping"...
It also adds rigidity to the back of the pack, so it sits more comfortably. This is no accident but a very German efficiency oriented way of integrate all of the pieces of equipment you are providing to soldiers anyway.
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