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Been shopping online for a couple of ALICE packs. How can I tell if the pack I'm looking like is of GI quality or better? Are their specific sites or brands that are of known quality? I'm looking at ALICE packs only...not $400 alternatives. Also, what are some MUST HAVE accessories that I need to get w/ my ALICE packs? TEOTWAWKI always in mind. THANKS!!
 

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I hope others chime in here as well - Although I own about five ALICE packs, I haven't used one for a few years.

Here's what I remember about separating a MIL Issue one from the "MILSPEC" (read: CHICOM) chaff...

1. Frame - It should have "U.S." and a manufacturer's name stamped into one of the cross bars. The bottom of the frame should also be plugged. If it's not, it's a CHICOM frame that WILL fail on you when you need it most.

2. Pack - Check the underside of the metal buckles on the frame. They may have an anchor stamp or they may have another manufacturer's mark. CHICOM ones have nothing. Another giveaway with the buckles is that they should be well finished with few if any burrs from the factory. If the pack is dirty it is probably genuine surplus. You don't need a brand new pack as long as it is serviceable and not damaged you are GTG. If it's dirty, chuck it in the wash on a gentle cycle and drip dry on a clothes line.

You are probably aware that there are two types of issue ALICE packs - the medium which comes in OD and Woodycam and the Large which comes in OD only. You can elect to not use the frame on the medium. I often used it with a folding german army sleeping mat slipped into the frame pocket. A rectangle of velcro hot glued onto the sleeping pad and the pack itself completed the "dual-use framesheet". The large ALICE NEEDS a frame. It won't work without one.

Mods & Accessories -
- get the woodycam ALICE shoulder straps (surplus) off of ebay. They are softer than the OD ones.
- Do what I did and replace the metal hardware (buckles, etc) on the ALICE with fastex side release clips - makes getting into and closing up the pack less of a pain in the arse.
- If you can find one, get a cotton claymore bag and sew it onto the lid of the ALICE pack - use it for carrying a brew kit, binos, a couple of mags, etc. use it for Anything that you don't want to squash under the lid or that you need to get at in a hurry. Or anything you don't want to have to dig out of the ALICE pack's single large sack
- Get some kind of waterproof pack liner. You can get issued sets dirt cheap, but I prefer a nylon cascade dry bag.

That's about all I can think of at the moment. Hopefully others will be able to add to this.

Cheers
 

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alice packs

I roll with an alice pack, as it is large and i can fit alot in there. On the Large alice packs I have. There is a built in pocket on the top flap. With velcro closer, and there are opentop pocket behind the three/two large pockets.
As far as straps, I have the long straps that go around the arm when worn, and straps that have a 4 in. pad. I love the shorter pads, as they dont "dig in" as much.
I recommend the snap on the pack's back straps. Not only is it faster access, but its easy, say in the event you get mudd all over your straps. Make sure when you cut them to leave enough space in the event you wanna carry something with the top straps, be it folding chair, sleeping bags, bed roll, etc...
If you wanna store bungee cords, you can hook them on the frame, and wrap them around. I guess you could go all the way up your back for cushioning. But it may interfere with heat escapeing. Don't be afriad to bend out the center bar in the frame. Better into the gear then your back.
If you have or get an extra Gi sleeping pad, you can tie or duck tape it to the butt pad so the pad does not rub on your hips so hard and causes abraisons,(OWWW, trust me) from sliding as you ruck. You can use the waist belt to help keep the pad in place.
Sternum straps may help also. They go on the straps, and when snapped together, they keep the straps off your shoulders alittle. Make sure your straps have working quick disconnets, and learn how to use them. The ability to undo yourself from your ruck, quick, fast , and in a hurry may save you.
I know I use a water bladder either on the side in a molle hydration poouch attached via the alice on the side, or if i have my camelback, I'll toss it on top before i snap closed. Hoses are wonderfull. You can also get a two court canteen, with cover. They make hoses for the canteen. But IMO, you can get a bladder at wal-mart for $8 new.
Hope this helps.
 

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The majority of ALICE packs sold at army navy surplus stores are the real thing. ALICE packs are not made of canvas, so that is one way to tell. Other than that, MCLMM stated above the other ways of telling them apart.
I have used an ALICE pack for years, they are durable and tough. Get some better padded shoulder straps, and hip belt, like the Super Straps from SPECOPS Brand. I also wrapped some foam from and old matress around the center bar of the frame to give my spine some extra padding. As far as other mods you can have additional pockets added, the straps changed to quick release, heavy duty stitching and other mods from Tactical Tailor, but that will begin to run up the cost. I would definitely go with the Super Straps though.
Hope this helps some....
 

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I recently purchased two ALICE packs (a medium and a large) and a few accessories. I brought them from a surplus site on E-bay. This site has a green circular seal that says Genuine US Gov’t Issue, items are made in the U.S.A., may have a NSN # or a picture of a tag , or a printed tag directly onto the item.

The items were:
Lg ALICE Pack & Frame ($24)
Med ALICE w/o frame ($15)
Molle 2 Pack Shoulder Straps Woodland Camo ($9)
Molle 2 Kidney Pad Woodland Camo ($8)
5 large waterproof G.I. laundry bags ($8)
5 Alice cargo straps ($8)

As MCLMM stated:

1. Frame - It should have "U.S." and a manufacturer's name stamped into one of the cross bars. The bottom of the frame should also be plugged. If it's not, it's a CHICOM frame that WILL fail on you when you need it most.
2. 2. Pack - Check the underside of the metal buckles on the frame. They may have an anchor stamp or they may have another manufacturer's mark. CHICOM ones have nothing. Another giveaway with the buckles is that they should be well finished with few if any burrs from the factory. If the pack is dirty it is probably genuine surplus. You don't need a brand new pack as long as it is serviceable and not damaged you are GTG. If it's dirty, chuck it in the wash on a gentle cycle and drip dry on a clothes line.

I found the above true about the packs. The Molle 2 replacment Shoulder and kidney belts are excellent. The shoulder and kidney pads that come with the packs are inadequate period. The Molle 2 pads are an affordable, very well made alternative to aftermarket replacement pads.

In general all of the items are extremely well made and sturdy. I brought the G.I. waterproof laundry bags for pack liners and stuff sacks for my king size sleeping bags. They are great as pack liners but not the best for stuff sacks as the closures are not great.

The cargo straps are sturdy but too heavy and not very easy to use. Modern camping heavy duty straps with good plastic buckles are better and more appropriate for camping. You probably could lash a small appliance to the ALICE pack frame with the Alice cargo straps!

What mamashouse said is a good observation :

If you are looking for genuine US Military surplus. DO NOT buy anything that says GI Type or MIL-Spec as a description. It is NOT military surplus.

This language is a dead giveaway that something is not kosher.

Kev’s videos on the large and medium ALICE packs are excellent and convinced me to pull the trigger on these packs.

The ALICE packs are probably not made anymore for the US gov’t, they have been replaced by the Molle system. Therefore you are probably buying unissued (new like/ new) or used. Molle makes a lot of accessories that are compatible.

The ALICE packs are great for people who want sturdy, highly customizable packs. They will not win fashion contests but will take whatever you throw at them.
 

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:( I got a knock off Alice medium from http://store.nexternal.com/shared/S...2=512687325&Keyword=alice&Target=products.asp

It is only 43 bucks, made me think that I got a god deal. When it arrived last night, I was so excited until I found a label said "MADE IN CHINA" inside the bag. The bag is produced by Condor Outdoor (http://www.condoroutdoor.com/default.php).

Even thought the store I bought from saying its quality is very close to the original American one. But I am still disappointed. Do you think so if I am going to return it? But I just don't want to waste another 15 bucks on the shipping to ship back to them.

I hate that why they do not state it clear on the web so that you can consider better.

I just feel disturbed every time I see the phrase "Made in China"
Any advice?
 

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DUDE. The place is GONE. I'm pissed...it looked like an awesome store. :mad::confused:
Darn .... you're right. I was about to order some more stuff from there, so is Apex Outfitters another good spot.

That is odd, they both had the same design for their store fronts on Ebay. Maybe they were owned by the same company.

There are other spots on Ebay but not ones with such a comprehensive collection of things.

Regardless you will not have a hard time finding good surplus Alice packs, maybe not at those great prices but they are out there.

Good luck in your search.
 

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The Army isn't still using those things, are they? I got out in '92, and we still used them, but I have to confess, I kind of hated them. There really isn't a newer type of military pack that you can get surplus?

I have to admit, I haven't actually looked into any type of ALICE pack just yet, so maybe I'm just uninformed.
 

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The Army isn't still using those things, are they? I got out in '92, and we still used them, but I have to confess, I kind of hated them. There really isn't a newer type of military pack that you can get surplus?

I have to admit, I haven't actually looked into any type of ALICE pack just yet, so maybe I'm just uninformed.
Army uses M.O.L.L.E. now and you can get molle packs they are just really expensive. The alice packs are really affordable and hold up well.
 

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I have a Tactical Tailor Malice ruck,( http://www.tacticaltailor.com/malicepacks.aspx), i bought 5 years ago and beat the hell out of it in Afghanistan. The only part of the pack that looks worn is the shoulder straps and kidney pad, if you're looking at investing in a piece of kit that will last a lifetime, thats the way to go. I was disappointed when we were issued the MOLLE rucks, personally I think its a piece of ****.
 
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