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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know that there will be people stating that I should just use the search and look this up myself, but I have used google and ebay for ideas already and want people's input on this.

I have starting getting into hiking and backpacking recently, and would like to upgrade from my current bag.

I would like to find a top loading backpack around 3500 - 4000 cubic inches in size. But have molle panels at least on the sides to mount various pouches that I own. I want something like the Kifaru packs but I just cannot afford something like that at this time. I know that I could get a real nice bag that doesn't include the molle panels for less, and I do not want a molle rucksack.

I just got through looking at the Wolverine Monolith that was posted in another thread. I like it and hope it is within my price range, does anyone know how to order this bag to be shipped to the U.S.

Speaking of my price range, I said the Kifaru is way beyond my range. Iam trying to only allow myself with about $150 max on a pack. Starting price for a Kifaru around $300 for the smaller packs is just to much for me at this time.

I have gone through all three various molle rucksacks that the army has thrown through the pipe to us and they are to big, to heavy, and very clumbersome.

I am currently using the Molle II Assault pack with the waist pouch attached to the bottom with two canteen pouches on either side. it is serving it's purpose quite nicely, I just wish to have something with a frame.

Now a side step to this would be if anyone could show me some ideas on how to modify this pack to intergrate a external frame into the design, or even ideas on making my own frame. it has a pocket on the outside of the pack that goes up against ones back. at either bottome corner it has openings so a pole would be able to pass all the way through the pack from top to bottom extending beyond the pack.

Thank you in advance.
 

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What about the ALICE pack?? I have used one for years, you can attach MOLLE items on them and the Medium isnt very bulky. But its not in the 4000ci range however, if you are using the Assault pack and waist belt already, you can attach those to the ALICE and you will have 4000ci. You may have to stay away from the military versions and go with a pack from Lowe Alpine, REI, North Face or a company like that and spend a little more.
Keep looking though, search ebay you can find some deals eventually.
 

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best thing to do is get a ex military rucsac ... built to withstand total destruction from the squaddies that use them ... just get something that isnt too big as remember that when its full you have to carry it ...
 

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I Love Guns
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one thing i have found over the years the more u backpack...the smaller backpack u use ...well..most ppl i know that hike think along those lines ...but we are also gramweenies also lol...my winter pack is 16lbs 3100 cube inch ...if u are looking for a good ack cheap check campmor.com they have a good amount of brands ...than u can go with the ultralight setups out there the mom and pops brands ...do a search on ultralight packs...one brand i would check out is Moonbow ...the moonbow gearskin is a great pack and heck of an idea...check it out ...this is my next pack...and there custom made to your body and they can ajust to any size u want....

i know when i started hiking 15 years ago my pack was 45lbs 4500cube inch...that was my summer bag lol...my summer bag now is 14lbs 2800cube inch ....i look at it this way...less is more ....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
guess Iam going to have to break some old habits. I have a closet full of extra military field gear that I have otained over the four years that I have been in the army. I even have the new modular sleeping bag, that is way to big and heavy when all put together. thought about just going with the thinner patrol bag, its rated for around 30* and weighs about 2 lbs, yeah still heavy compared to the ultralight models. The main reason for the size of what Iam looking for is mainly I do not want to have to run out and buy new gear all at once. already have all this great military gear that I have picked up over the years. But I know everything is heavy, bulky, and way to much over kill compared to what the gear is intented for.

I never really like the Alice packs, was issued one at basic and it was terrible when we had road marches. but then again I think it was we were forced to have so much extra crap we didn't need, the packs were old and wore out, and I have found several companies that have replacement shoulder straps and kidney pads that are better built.

I found one bag from that link Cecil, the Argon 70. seems nice, its on the higher end of my size limit in cubic inches. has some of the key features that I want as in the sleeping bag compartment in the bottom.

I have been looking at a few other brands, but feel lost at sea with just looking at webpages of the gear, I still have about two months left in Iraq before I can go to the outdoors stores and try on the packs and look at them in person.

I have been batting the idea of adding a frame to the Assault pack fore the past few days, making a simple frame for it and then adding a better waist belt might get me by for alittle while longer. does anyone have any info on backpack replacement parts or supplies? like shoulder straps, frames, waist belts?

Sorry, I am going around in circles... I really don't know what I want, I like the military pack construction, but the weight it horrible, I like the looks of the civiliam packs, but I know nothing about them and don't know where to start in deciding what I actually need instead of just wanting one. Going lighter on weight means in the end Iam going to have to redo most of my inventory because all I have in military gear.
 

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The Hammer & Anvil
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I went with the blackwater 3 day patrol pack a few sites have them on sale since they are now discontinued. They were 4-500$ previously being sold for $99

http://www.cdnninvestments.com/lorapapanewb.html

All in all once you get the bag packed and adjusted properly it is outstanding for the price. 3100 cui. Comes with all the bells and whistles for a realistic price.

Despite the 1" webbing I find it comfortable when adjusted properly. I will try for some pics later this week for you.
 

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Here's Johnny!
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Nice pack! Was checking those out on different sites, and they were going anywhere from $350 to $500 bucks! $99 is a steal! Thinking of picking one up myself.

:thumb:
 

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re: pack selection

i highly recommend blackhawk gear. link below is to the x3 (which is my hiking/hunting/bob and goes with me or my truck everywhere)

http://www.blackhawk.com/product1.asp?P=603D06&C=C1011

most blackhawk packs are milspec and approved for use by usasoc. had mine for over 3 yrs. its been in hostile fire zones and wilderness treks. not a rip or pulled seam. water resistant, internal 3l camel. raptors are approved for air ops so you know they will hold up to a lot wear n tear. x3 has few molle webs and if you choose black vs acu or wld cam, looks pretty civilian depending on your external gear selections. a bit larger than most packs at over 6k ci(pak itself bout 5lbs) but with 60lbs of gear, mine wears comfy and w/o bulging and is a breeze compared to the crap i use to have to carry.

ive never seen a blackhawk PACK (not med or weapon concealers) @ $500 as the x3 is one of the biggest and most expensive. list on the site for the x3 is $300. got mine yrs ago on ebay, nwt for 179 incl shipping. the x3 is on ebay now for bout $200. the 3 day and x1 can be had on ebay, nwt right now for less than $200. well worth it as the pack will last the average joe nearly a lifetime
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have found a pack, it is a Kelty Falcon. I actually stumbled across it when I found a Kelty Eagle on Ebay last night, went to their website to do some research on it and they had a link to this pack. its only about 2800 Cubic Inches but has PALS panels to add pouches. I wish I could find one cheaper than $300.00 But it is a little better than the $500 for a Kifaru pack.
 

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Improvise Adapt Overcome!
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Look through the attachments and see if you see anything you like.

If you do, let me know Via PM, and I will get you a better description, and a price.

NOTE: Picture sizes are a bit deceptive. For example, the first pic is the *BIG* CPF-90 Ranger Assault pack, and the second is a -small- ALICE pack.
 

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Most people select a pack based on how it looks not on performance. the military packs are made pretty well but really lack comfort on a long march. I had some mil packs and gave them away because of the fit issue. Expedition packs really should be considered instead. I've hiked the Appalachian Trail and the long trail end to end and found that you need comfort or it's just torture the entire trip. A word about fit : Make sure you get the right torso length with your pack and if you get an internal frame/stay pull out the stays in the pack and bend them until they will fit in the hollow of your back. They are bent somewhat when you get them but if you want a custom fit they must be bent. Some pack have load ajusters also they are valuable for climbing and decending and will take the load of your back and put it on your hips. North face, Mountiansmith, kelty ,Gregory , Lowe , DanaDesigns , MSR . All are good I use the contour 4 Lowe it's very comfortable and will take a lot of abuse My girl uses the ladies contour lowe pack and she is real tough on my gear.



Just my 2 cents
Mikey
 

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Looking ahead
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I'm looking for a pack in the same price range for pretty much the same purpose.

Right now I'm thinking about this Bargain pack for less than $100. It has 4,500 cu in of space which is really good for the price. I have tried this pack on at a department store and it wasn't bad on the back. The lumbar support is a must for a pack this size or any extended travel.

http://www.ems.com/catalog/product_...4442591908&FOLDER<>folder_id=2534374302881159

It doesn't have the molle panels though. The site has other styles so you may find something else to your liking.
 

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The Jansport Big Bear packs are an excellent value for the money. Most are available for $80 for 5000 cubic inches and under. You can find them on Campmor.com.
 
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