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Are alice packs comfortable for backpacking? I have read that they were comfy and that they were the worst thing on the planet. Also for 5 day or less trips which would be better, medium or large?
 

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The ALICE pack was designed shortly after WWII without a thought to usability or human factors and ergonomics (HF&E). Do yourself a favor and ditch the idea of using an ALICE pack for backpacking. The weight of the pack needs to be on your hips.

If you are looking for a cheap military type pack that is pretty darn good for backpacking try the USMC combat pack that you can find on Ebay. I do not use one for backpacking (I use an expensive Lowe Alpine Crossbow 90+15) but I have one as a bug-out bag and it is pretty darn comfortable.

Semper fi,

Bill
 

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IMHO, 50-70 liters.

By way of comparison, an ALICE Large ruck is 3800 cu in (or 62 liters) in capacity.

You can get by with something smaller if you know what you are doing or during warm weather, but if you need a sleeping bag or cold weather clothing, that size range will allow for carrying it.
 

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There are ALICE haters out there but I love it. Look into upgrading to MOLLE straps and kidney pad, aka the hellcat system. You will fall in love with the Alice system with those mods.
 

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I have both ALICE packs and several modern packs. Recently for fun I've been using my large ALICE pack (no mods) and have little complaints.

If you are on a budget they will get the job done. You can find them for under $20 if you are shopping-savy. Otherwise the modern surplus USMC ILBE would be the next best surplus choice at $100.
 

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I have both ALICE packs and several modern packs. Recently for fun I've been using my large ALICE pack (no mods) and have little complaints.

If you are on a budget they will get the job done. You can find them for under $20 if you are shopping-savy. Otherwise the modern surplus USMC ILBE would be the next best surplus choice at $100.
I am going to second the ILBE if you are willing to spend just a bit more. For about 70 bucks I got the ILBE and the assault pack with it. I use the assault pack for GHB for my car.
 

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I suffered with one for years when I was a kid. Then I bought a commercial backpack and never looked back.

I would suggest a Gregory Palisade.
 

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I was issued an ALICE in the early 90's. Carried well over 75 pounds on some pretty good humps with it. Can't say it was comfortable, but I am also not sure that there IS a way to be comfortable with that amount of weight (unless you carry that kind of weight a lot). Lol.

I own a "Lightweight" ruck that was issued in Vietnam. Would take the ALICE over that any day. The "Tropical" rucks from the 60's and early 70's (just before the ALICE was adopted) are more comfy to me that the lightweight, and look similar to the ALICE in several ways.

For the money, I like the ALICE in a medium size. Don't HAVE to use the frame if you don't want/need to.

Just my opinion

Lobo
 

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I own a "Lightweight" ruck that was issued in Vietnam. Would take the ALICE over that any day.
I have one of those, too. I just recently put it back together after being in storage for many years. I have one of the earlier welded frames and it seems like it would be very robust. It's just the original suspension system is absolutely horrible. I'm pretty sure a set of MOLLE shoulder straps and hip belt would work with it. The problem is that I couldn't really see myself using it unless I had no other options because they are somewhat rare.
 

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I have one of those, too. I just recently put it back together after being in storage for many years. I have one of the earlier welded frames and it seems like it would be very robust. It's just the original suspension system is absolutely horrible. I'm pretty sure a set of MOLLE shoulder straps and hip belt would work with it. The problem is that I couldn't really see myself using it unless I had no other options because they are somewhat rare.
Very true on the suspension system. And yes, they are pretty rare! I simply cannot believe what the damned things are going for. Have honestly thought about selling mine. Last one I saw sell on e-bay went for about $200.

Lobo
 
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