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No offense...
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Discussion Starter #1
Is the ALICE system frame really that bad? Can some old Devil Dogs (or soldiers) from the days of ALICE tell me their thoughts and some of the pros/cons on it?

I figure if it was good enough for Chesty, it's good enough for me...(figuratively speaking).
 

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Nadafinga!!
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2,996 Posts
Is the ALICE system frame really that bad? Can some old Devil Dogs (or soldiers) from the days of ALICE tell me their thoughts and some of the pros/cons on it?

I figure if it was good enough for Chesty, it's good enough for me...(figuratively speaking).
I have a long-standing love/hate relationship with ALICE. I packed one for a lot of years.

The ALICE frame is, simply, a military field pack frame. Like the ALICE pack as a whole, it does what it was intended to do. It is durable and functional. But, it is not built for comfort. And the older you grow, the less comfortable it gets.

There are some modifications you can make to a framed ALICE that improves the comfort. Hellcat modifications make a huge difference. Or, you can do your own using foam padding like a cut up sleeping pad or yoga mats.

Ultimately, ALICE may be a pain in the ass (or, specifically, the back), but she won't let you down.
 

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IT'S A MADHOUSE!
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1,191 Posts
Ditto on the Hellcat upgrade. The old straps cut into your fun and body with a heavy load. That aside, the frame alone can be used to pack water/fuel cans, radio, firewood, quarterd animals, the list goes on and on. The packs are cheap and tough as nails. With a few upgrades this pack will serve you well without breaking the bank.
 

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ALICE is a btch

I humped her through the eighties. I still use her camping because I am familiar with it, I have done some padding upgrades as I am an old fart now. But I have it, I use it. I like the exterior and interior pockets to organize crap.
Personally I have found keeping your load under thirty pounds and using without the frame is a good way to go, it rests better on your back that the frame. If you have a heavy load use the frame to keep it balenced better.
That being said there are better options on the market a good civie pack can be had decent that is worlds better. If you make a good investment it will last you a lifetime.
 

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MTMO
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114 Posts
I was using the ALICE for the last few years, I did some modifications, adjusted my kit etc. It still wasn't what you would call comfy by any means. This year I bit the bullet and bought an ILBE pack. Very much user friendly. I have been humping 60 plus pounds over the last few weeks. Bought a new bag and sleeping mat this week and dropped 10+ lbs. I still have my ALICE for back-up though.
 

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Lux in Tenebris
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6,607 Posts
sorry for being ignorant but what is a "ILBE" pack?
Individual Load Bearing Equipment..

A system made up of:

LBE rig, shoulder straps, h or y harness, butt pack, 2 canteens, 4 30 round mag pouches misc utility pouch..this was worn at all times, had everything soldier needed more or less, for a patrol and/or e&e in the field..

Add an ALICE pack, small or large, with or without the frame, usually with, as we carried the Large rucks..

this contained EVERYTHING else...food, water, radio (lucky me) extra ammo, claymores, etc. etc, etc...

now being replaced by bette rmolle vests ,etc and packs....

I still have scars on my back/shoulders from humping that schitt....
 

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For those still using the ALICE, what setup do you use for the waistbelt?? I replace the original with a MOLLE waistbelt/shoulder straps but have found that the MOLLE waistbelt "digs into" my hipbones after a few hours. Any solutions?
 

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Nadafinga!!
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2,996 Posts
I don't know about doing it with a MOLLE waist belt, but I have taken an army sleeping pad and cut out pieces bigger and longer than the original hip pad and then taped them to it to make a thicker, wider, softer hip pad. Not pretty, but it works.

You could try doing the same thing with the MOLLE waist belt, too, I suppose. A yoga mat can be used for this also. If it doesn't help, just take the extra padding off.
 

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the nice thing about ALICE that you might have trouble doing with a civilian pack...lay down on the ground and try to shoot.... it will explain a lot about why Alice, the sweet girl she is, looks like she does....
 

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Pale of ale
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563 Posts
Get the medium Alice, I have a large one also but its just not able to fill my needs so it just guards the corner silently in my War Cave. The medium is good for a 3 day trek and maybe a 5 depending on what you are doing.
 

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I compare it to a vinyl bench seat in a truck. Sure you can fit 4 across if you had to and repairs are easy with a strip of duct tape.
But for any long distance driving, give me bucket seats with lumbar support and side bolsters. I prefer to have feeling in my legs after I'm done driving.
 

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Thanks to member "LaserCool" :thumb: for turning me on to a Hellcat.

Saved me a ton of time, work & $. I have one on the way next week.
I'll give my personal review of it then, but I have a feeling it's not going to disappoint.

One thing I like about it is the aluminum frame. If necessary
(and if set up right), you could hitch a sled to it and drag a load or game.
I also see potential for having a nice firm place to attach Kydex sheaths
to and PVC pipes for long delicate equipment (rods, arrows, etc...).
 

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Live Secret, Live Happy
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15,620 Posts
Perhaps an Alice pack works for people with medium to short upper bodies. I am 6'2" with a very long upper body and the frame fits very poorly. Unfortunately the Alice pack frame does not adjust in any manner i could figure out.

I dumped it and went back to my Kelty Tioga. It starts out longer and adjusts well to the individual.

Like most thing in life, if the foo sh!ts, wear it.
 

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step 1. Buy an Alice pack. Load it with 50 pounds, wear it on a 20 mile trek.

step 2. Buy a high end pack (or just one over 100 bucks and of decent quality) of the same volume, internal frame. Load it with 50 pounds, wear it on a 20 mile trek.

step 3. After your testing of the packs, proceed to throw the Alice pack in the garbage. You now know that the Alice pack is a worthless piece of crap for serious backpacking / hiking.

HOWEVER...... If you are just going to use the Alice as a walk in, walk out (less than 5 mile) camping trip, save yourself some money and stick with it. If you are planning to use the Alice pack as a BOB, go for it. Once again, save yourself some money. Do not, however, use the Alice pack as an INCH bag.
 

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step 1. Buy an Alice pack. Load it with 50 pounds, wear it on a 20 mile trek.

step 2. Buy a high end pack (or just one over 100 bucks and of decent quality) of the same volume, internal frame. Load it with 50 pounds, wear it on a 20 mile trek.

step 3. After your testing of the packs, proceed to throw the Alice pack in the garbage. You now know that the Alice pack is a worthless piece of crap for serious backpacking / hiking.

HOWEVER...... If you are just going to use the Alice as a walk in, walk out (less than 5 mile) camping trip, save yourself some money and stick with it. If you are planning to use the Alice pack as a BOB, go for it. Once again, save yourself some money. Do not, however, use the Alice pack as an INCH bag.
That's like comparing a V6 Firebird to a Mustang GT.
Drop a nice crate 350 in the Firebird then compare them.
What you're doing is apples to oranges.

Take an ALICE Pack with $80 in upgrades "then" compare them and
compare them over half a century and let's see which will be standing.
I am in no way doom & glooming new stuff just because it's new,
but to shoot down a 40 year old $20 pack while comparing it to a
$100+ 2012 pack is like comparing two sticks of wood to a lighter.

:D:

But you know what, now that you mention it, there should be some
comparison of an upgraded ALICE to a brand new $100. backpack.
 

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Destroyer of Karen
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11,279 Posts
That's like comparing a V6 Firebird to a Mustang GT.
Drop a nice crate 350 in the Firebird then compare them.
What you're doing is apples to oranges.

Take an ALICE Pack with $80 in upgrades "then" compare them and
compare them over half a century and let's see which will be standing.
I am in no way doom & glooming new stuff just because it's new,
but to shoot down a 40 year old $20 pack while comparing it to a $100
plus 2012 pack is unfair is like comparing two sticks of wood to a lighter.

:D:

But you know what, now that you mention it, there should be some
comparison of an upgraded ALICE to a brand new $100. backpack.
You are one of those Hellcat guys right?
 
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