View Full Version : Medium ALICE pack?

07-30-2003, 11:52
Would it be unwise to use one of these without a frame for a thru-hike? I currently have one, and I plan for a early-may NOBO AT departure. Wondering what I need to purchase.

07-30-2003, 12:11
I have come to understand that my participation in this forum is counter productive. In an attempt to ammend this I am deleting my posts and have requested to have my account deleted

Trail Yeti
07-30-2003, 15:42
I assume you are talking about the small ALICE, the one that you can carry with or without the frame. The ones you see on frames are usually called mountain rucks and cannot be carried without the frame as they have no place to attach shoulder straps.
With that said, I am sure you could use it. I thought about using mine on my thruhike but was sick of lugging around ALICE packs, so I used a commercailly made pack.
I imagine you could use your sleeping mat for stability like in a go-lite pack and it would be fine. I would however make some modifications to it such as adding quick clips instead of the pull throughs. PM me if you want some ideas on how to do this.

stormin norman
07-30-2003, 19:27
Speaking of military packs. Have any former military personnel used the vest system that was supposed to replace the LBE system. What type of carrying capacity does it have, comfort level, etc. When I was in, we used the LBE in addition to the mountain ruck system. Just a curious idea.

07-30-2003, 19:41
I used an Alice pack for years and loved them....I never knew any better and had no other option. How ever the frame is very heavy and to be honest the load bearing is "crap". The are designed to fit in to modular system designed 30-40 years ago.

Personally I would rahter cary 2 kgs of food or water than 2kgs of frame!


B Thrash
07-30-2003, 20:06
Earl Shaffer used a pack similar to the Alice Pack and as far as I know it served him well on all his thru-hikes. I have met several hikers on the AT using military ruck sacks, Alice Packs and just ordnary old sacks what looked like a pillow case. If you want to try it, go for it, you may like it.


purgamentum init, exit purgamentum

Garbage in, Garbage out

07-31-2003, 10:18
The new MOLLE system is an interesting concept, it still has some bugs that are being worked out. The frame unit looks a lot like the old Peak 1 plastic frame of 10 years ago and troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have had soem trouble with breakage. Of course that is dealing with military loads in the 70-150 pound range including carrying hundreds of rounds of ammunition, radios, mortar shells, extra machinegun barrels claymore mines, and all sorts of other implements of destruction. Comfort is reportedly very good, but keep in mind that most troops are wearing body armor under the vests and pack system, the armor is fairly rigid and spreads out some of the pressure. The system is extremely flexible at the cost of extra weight for all the modular attachment points.

From a strictly theoretical perspective, the system intrigues me because it meets some of my ideals for a good mountaineering system allowing you to carry a first line survival load plus second line sustainment gear that'll keep you going in an emergency, plus a jettisonable main load. So if you are scrambling or something happens causing a fall, you can blow your main pack to lighten your load and get out of trouble without having to get rid of all your gear. The weight of the system is prodigious and the cost borders on astronomical.

I'm waiting for some MOLLE kit to hit the surplus market, then I might give it a try, but at new costs....


Trail Yeti
07-31-2003, 10:50
don't waste your money. The MOLLE system is a piece of $&*t.
Trust me on this one.

11-16-2003, 23:42
I've been in the Marine Corps for 17 yrs now and i have used both the ALICE pack and the MOLLE pack. The MOLLE system sucks! I have hiked many times with the large ALICE pack on hiking trips and LOVE it! It affords u lots of room, very durable and u can attach ur gear to the nmerous attaching points around the pack. The med ALICE pack, with or without frame, is to small for longer hikes, but is just right for shorter trips or day hikes. The MOLLE pack is to heavy, the frame is very prone to breaking and the only thing i liked with it is the small detachable day pack that comes with it. Ive seen a few being sold in surplus stores and the prices are OUTRAGEOUS! Dont be fooled by all the hooplaa about the MOLLE being the latest and greatest pack on the military market. U cant go wrong with the large ALICE pack (mountain ruck). As far as the frame u must have it to carry the LARGE ALICE pack, but its not a necessary item for the MED ALICE pack. U can add additional padding to the pack straps and waist belt as i have done in the past, for the additional comfort. Military packs were'nt designed for that! Any questions please feel free to write me and I'll be happy to answer em.


11-17-2003, 00:14
In the armed forces I was in they looked at many many different packs. Guess what they decided on........ A bigger Alice pack! Yeah baby. More pockets, more attachments but still the same old beast!


The Weasel
11-17-2003, 01:05
I've been in the Marine Corps for 17 yrs now


No matter what else I thought, I would go with Goldwngr's advice, particularly if Ernest ("Sgt Rock") Engman, one of the founders of this forum and a 1st Sgt in the 2nd Division, currently in Iraq but still VERY active here (and in his own forum, check it out!) agreed. Ask him directly. And thank him a LOT.

The Weasel

12-05-2003, 08:45
with drawn

12-07-2003, 19:54
i use a medium alice pack for warmer weather hikes and a large alice for colder weather where i'm carrying more bulky stuff. i have a plastic coleman ram flex external frame that i use for both. the plastic frame has to be modified a bit (cut with a knife) to accept the alice pack bag. i cut a lot of the extra lash straps, radio pocket and some other stuff off the pack bags which cut the weight down considerably. the medium alice with external frame, all straps, waist belt and a mesh back band weighs about 4 lbs. after i cut it down. you can also have a seamstress change the metal buckles for fastex buckles cutting even more weight.

the system works for me. i've tried commercial external and internal frame packs and this is the most comfortable/functional setup i've found.

12-07-2003, 20:09
here is a link with instructions and pictures showing the alice pack with plastic coleman frame. this is an airborne modification they came up with because the aluminium alice frame kept breaking on impact with the ground. i used coleman shoulder straps and hip belt which are much lighter than the ones shown in the pic. enjoy.


12-07-2003, 22:17
I think ALICE packs suck. They are ok for a day or two but I wouldnt want to put that thing on for 6 months. The waist belt is too small and thin and a lot of the weight hangs on your shoulders. Not to mention that the bulk of whats inside the pack tends to roll on your back unless you stop and just punch the crap out of it to smash it all in. Our unit has traded the ALICE for the infamous Kelty 3 day pack.Being in the Navy I know about these things. Those Jarheads will lug anything!! I guess Id better smile when I say that.

12-14-2003, 17:35
Speaking of military packs. Have any former military personnel used the vest system that was supposed to replace the LBE system. What type of carrying capacity does it have, comfort level, etc. When I was in, we used the LBE in addition to the mountain ruck system. Just a curious idea.
yeah i used MOLLE in baghdad; good for peacekeeping ops but for out and out combat LBE is tops....MOLLE keeps you from getting completely in the dirt when you need to

12-14-2003, 17:51
specopsbrand.com......recon ruck ultra 2800 cu in of space same as med ALICE. can be used w/Alice frame. very nice setup. S.O.B. buttpack 800 cu in and will attach to ruck. packrat organizer will hold odds and ends. total price 210.00. using this you will have to scrimp on luxuries but then isn't that part of what it's about? this would be longer and more polite but my daughter just deleted my original reply!

12-14-2003, 18:23
I have both a medium and large ALICE left over from my previous life. I tried them both with and without the standard ALICE frame and found them to be pretty uncomfortable over a long haul. I even beefed up the shoulder straps with some sponge pads. That helped a bit but they still cut in after while.

I really believe that in order to be comfortable on a distance hike, a pack needs to have some means of shifting the weight from the pack to your hips. Otherwise you end up carrying the load on your shoulders which again ...may be fine for a short patrol but not for a distance hike of several months.

Just my .02