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  1. #1
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    Default Alice pack with coleman frame

    Does anyone have instructions on how to attach a large US Alice pack to the Coleman plastic/Kevlar packframe? I have the chance to buy the Coleman parts, I already have the Alice pack. Is the Coleman frame an improvement over the Army issue frame?

  2. #2

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    Big improvement over the issue frame. Thqat said, the ALICE pack, especially the large, is a torture device where hiking is concerned. It is built for marching off trail and keeping the load behind the silhouette. Thus the load tends to be stacked outward from the back, forcing you to lean further forward to bring the weight over your hips. By contrast, backpacking packs, build the load up to keep the weight closer to the back and allowing you to put it over your hips by leaning only a little forward. So if you are going to use the Large ALICE pack. don't load anything heavy in the external pockets, try to keep the weight close to your back with heavy items high on your back.
    Andrew "Iceman" Priestley
    AT'95, GA>ME

    Non nobis Domine, non nobis sed Nomini Tuo da Gloriam
    Not for us O Lord, not for us but in Your Name is the Glory

  3. #3
    Registered User neo's Avatar
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    them dar thangs are heavy lol.i carried a large alice combat pack and frame on the ga section in 2001 neo

  4. #4
    Slow and steady does the trick... AbeHikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icemanat95
    Big improvement over the issue frame. Thqat said, the ALICE pack, especially the large, is a torture device where hiking is concerned. It is built for marching off trail and keeping the load behind the silhouette. Thus the load tends to be stacked outward from the back, forcing you to lean further forward to bring the weight over your hips. By contrast, backpacking packs, build the load up to keep the weight closer to the back and allowing you to put it over your hips by leaning only a little forward. So if you are going to use the Large ALICE pack. don't load anything heavy in the external pockets, try to keep the weight close to your back with heavy items high on your back.
    Amen. This felt like it almost killed me.

    http://www.geocities.com/davidachastain/IMG_0585_25.JPG

    I was just starting out and hadn't bought new gear yet, except the tent and clothes. Could not believe the difference when I did.

  5. #5

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    The Army issue frame can't be improved. It is the typical Army bigshots opinion of something that they know nothing about. That frame will kill you on the AT because it swings as one walks. The Alice heavy backpack is also the result of big money buying the govt. for profit. Forget it. Frame it and use the govt. products as a lesson on what not to do. If you need any more proof, look up how they cook their products. Try them out at home and expect to have dietairy problems within a day.

  6. #6
    I smell like New Jersey... SGTdirtman's Avatar
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    uhh... The alice pack was designed in the late 50's, and its been replaced. I've seen some hiking packs from the 80's and I'd rather wear an alice. So that means this useless peice of equiptment made by US army bigshots who dont know nothing, was a good 25 years ahead of its time. And it survived things that your pack would disinegrate from.

    Its also been replaced.... so what the heak are you insulting a vintage peice of military equiptment for again?


    The thing still works, and still has new upgrades available for it. You can make one cool pack with all the lil modifications they sell for them now. I never understood why everyone curses them as uncomfortable, Ive been wearing one for years and feel snug and safe in my big green turtle shell.

  7. #7
    Registered User greentick's Avatar
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    I agree, after over a thousand miles under grossly overloaded lg alice ruck everything feels lightweight now.

    I never carried the MOLLE ruck, heard some liked it some didnt. Heard rumors in Afghanistan of the frame breaking in cold weather. I used some of the modular pockets on my other gear.

    The SPEAR ruck made by gregory/bianci (AKA UM21) is a major improvement over the alice but you have to use a chest harness to carry your bullets and forget traditionally mounted canteens. It is very versatile but has like 80000000 straps and configurations.
    nous défions

  8. #8
    I smell like New Jersey... SGTdirtman's Avatar
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    I've used the Molle and its lighter, comfort is in the fact the straps and kidney pad are better designed but there are companies who make extremely good straps and kidney pads for the alice, Mine has a modified kidney strap and I made shoulder straps myself out of LBE suspender straps, extra padding and sewed a sternum strap on. I also put a shelf on my alice frame which adds a few ounces but keeps the load from bouncing... I didnt like the molle in hot weather because my back would sweat not having the large gap between you and the pack like on the alice. The molle attachments are also lighter but I didnt think they were as strong as the original alice equiptment.

    The crap you carry in the military can weigh 75+ pounds, I dont care what pack you use 75 pounds hurts... My pack loaded weighs in at 30 pounds which is heavy compared to alot of your gear but I have no comfort issues with it.

    I've also used the new SOF ruck which is a modular system that mounts on the alice frame. I liked this alot and may one day be willing to retire my alice ruck for one of these when I get the money. I like it soley for the fact that you can remove parts of the pack you dont need.

  9. #9

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    i used to have a coleman frame for my alice. damn, i cant remember how we attached it. as i recall it didnt slide over the top of the frame like it did the alice frame. we may have used tie-ties.


    the alice pack frame, for its time was incredible. i still have one i keep in case i ever need to hump cargo. i have a cargo shelf that we used to carry 5 gallon water cans on, with the alice strapped on top of that. anyone who doesnt see the genius...yes, genius of the alice system for its time has another agenda.

  10. #10
    Registered User greentick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SGTdirtman
    The molle attachments are also lighter but I didnt think they were as strong as the original alice equiptment.

    The crap you carry in the military can weigh 75+ pounds, I dont care what pack you use 75 pounds hurts... My pack loaded weighs in at 30 pounds which is heavy compared to alot of your gear but I have no comfort issues with it.

    I've also used the new SOF ruck which is a modular system that mounts on the alice frame. I liked this alot and may one day be willing to retire my alice ruck for one of these when I get the money. I like it soley for the fact that you can remove parts of the pack you dont need.

    I still have a lg alice - once you find a durable one they will last for a long time. Unfortunately I have had a half dozen (at least) come apart on me under big loads, usually where it hooks on the frame. I have 2 old school SAW pouches hooked to it. Former team leader mandated carrying up to 30 x 30rd M16 mags "just in case" (official army "basic load" is 7 x 30 mags) That amount of weight alone would give an ultralighter spontaneous regularity!

    Which new SOF ruck are you talking about? The SPEAR gear has the gregory/bianchi system: that monster UM21 ruck, a daypack and a buttpack with a pile of detachable pockets and stuff sacks. The ruck is internal frame. Are you talking about aftermarket blackhawk stuff or has that much changed in the 2 yrs I have been out? In light of some of the prices I have seen for civilian gear that ole alice compatible blackhawk ruck seems like a bargain. A few guys on my team had it and liked it. I could never bring my self to spring for it because I didn't think it was THAT much of an improvement. I have had about 65# in the UM21 and tho I definately noticed the weight at the end of the day I was not as sore as I would have expected.
    nous défions

  11. #11
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    I carried a large ALICE attached to the Coleman RamFlex II from into battle in 1991. Everyone in my compnay thought that I was looney to forgo the standard frame... that is until we had to hump all that gear. The one problem I found was that the frame had a tendency to bend too much under the weight of an 85 or 90 lbs pack when you put it down.

  12. #12
    I smell like New Jersey... SGTdirtman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentick18d
    I still have a lg alice - once you find a durable one they will last for a long time. Unfortunately I have had a half dozen (at least) come apart on me under big loads, usually where it hooks on the frame. I have 2 old school SAW pouches hooked to it. Former team leader mandated carrying up to 30 x 30rd M16 mags "just in case" (official army "basic load" is 7 x 30 mags) That amount of weight alone would give an ultralighter spontaneous regularity!

    Which new SOF ruck are you talking about? The SPEAR gear has the gregory/bianchi system: that monster UM21 ruck, a daypack and a buttpack with a pile of detachable pockets and stuff sacks. The ruck is internal frame. Are you talking about aftermarket blackhawk stuff or has that much changed in the 2 yrs I have been out? In light of some of the prices I have seen for civilian gear that ole alice compatible blackhawk ruck seems like a bargain. A few guys on my team had it and liked it. I could never bring my self to spring for it because I didn't think it was THAT much of an improvement. I have had about 65# in the UM21 and tho I definately noticed the weight at the end of the day I was not as sore as I would have expected.
    I've never had a problem with the military issue ALICE packs coming apart, but aftermarket companies have been making "replicas" for years and they arent made nearly as strong... The ROTC company from the college I live near was issued the "knock off" packs and most of them fell apart.

    The SOF ruck I'm talking about is the one made by blackhawk, My brother in law uses one and he said they are pretty well loved. I borrowed his last year on a short hike in NC and thought it was great. for hiking I've never carried a load over 35-40 pounds, the blackhawk SOF was alot more comfortable even using the ancient alice frame. I've carried 80 pounds in my alice while at camp and after that like you said you carry a real hiking weight on it and it seems like nothing. thats why carrying an alice never bothered me, with 30 pounds in a medium alice pack with good straps and a shelf it doesnt phase me at all.

  13. #13
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    My large ALICE w/issue frame are drawing dust. I even added the aftermarket shoulder strap pads and couldn't bear carrying it longer than a weekend. Biggest problem I see is that you end up shouldering the entire load. Painful memories every time I used to pull it on and I remember hiking with my thumbs under the shoulder straps in an effort to keep the pack more forward.

    Mine is now a keepsake from a time that history likes to forget.

    'Slogger
    US ARMY 1968 - 1971
    The more I learn ...the more I realize I don't know.

  14. #14

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    The biggest improvement a civilian can make to the ALICE pack system is to replace the kidney pad/with a real hipbelt system. Replacing the whole suspension would be an even bigger improvement. That simple addition will allow you to shift the weight to your hips where it ought to be. The Army kidneypad and belt system doesn't allow this sort of weight transfer. I used to try to hook my packbelt above my LCE gear to help keep the packweight high, but it didn't do anything for weight transfer as the LCE is hanging from your shoulders too.

    For the soldier there are damned few options as most standard pack suspensions would interfere dangerously with second line combat load gear, whether that be an LCE or an LBV. Which is one reason why the ALICE system lasted so long despite better civilian pack systems and suspensions being available. For civilians, a soldier's gear is divided into three general classes, first line gear is in your pockets and on your body. It may include a pocket knife, a map, some snack food, and other survival items. The second line is your combat gear. Helmet, body armor, LCE or LBV (Load Carrying Equipment/harness or Load Bearing Vest) which carries canteens, grenades, ammunition for the primary weapon, bayonet, first aid dressing, compass, flashlight, and maybe a small buttpack with additional first aid gear, a poncho, some food, etc. Your third-line gear is your pack with all the extra ammunition, changes of socks, chemical suit, spare batteries for the radios, claymore mines, food, squad equipment, etc. The design of the equipment must be rationalized so that the soldier can readily jettison his third line kit without affecting the accessibility of the second line combat gear. Likewise the third line gear must be carried in such a way that it doesn't compromise access to ammunition and such. This is a TALL order, and is why the ALICE system has stayed around so long.
    Andrew "Iceman" Priestley
    AT'95, GA>ME

    Non nobis Domine, non nobis sed Nomini Tuo da Gloriam
    Not for us O Lord, not for us but in Your Name is the Glory

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