ALICE Packs

Discussion in 'Packs, Bags & Pouches' started by mangorockfish, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. mangorockfish

    mangorockfish Scout

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    Who is using large and medium ALICE packs and how do you like them? Which do you prefer and why? I have an unissued large with frame and am thinking maybe I should have gotten a medium. The large is HUGE, maybe too large for me to hike with. My bum knee kind of precludes me from hiking very far with any pack. I will probably do mostly car/truck camping as well as canoe camping so maybe I'll be OK, but I'm still thinking I should have gotten the medium. Maybe after reading about your successes and/or failures I can make a better informed decision. Thanks
     
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  2. Luzster

    Luzster Of course your opinion matters, just not to me... Supporter

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    I have the medium and love it. You can load it very full. The frame is great for keeping the pack off you back and distributing the load correctly between hips and shoulder as long as you load it correctly and have the straps adjusted properly. The large, for me anyways, is just too big. I've used the medium pack in the field in the Army before they switched over to the GEN 2 stuff. I still use mine for overnighters or 2/3 day trips too. It doesn't have MOLLE attachment points, but I consider that a plus. I have some of the old ALICE pouches that I sometimes use, but the outer pockets are usually enough for my needs.

    If you're doing extending hunting trips or something along those lines, then the large is probably what you would need. But for 'normal' camping type outings, I think the medium is perfect. It can also be used as a day pack, but might be a bit too big for that. Just my opinion on that of course. HYOH as always.
     
  3. Luzster

    Luzster Of course your opinion matters, just not to me... Supporter

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    I recently got a 55L internal frame pack that I haven't had the chance to use just yet. Once I do, by the looks of it, it might just give the ALICE a run for her money though...
     
  4. Scablands Bushcraft

    Scablands Bushcraft Tinder Gatherer

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    If you already have an Alice frame be sure to check out the Deep Woods ruck from The Hidden Woodsmen. I have a full review of it on my website www.scablandsbushcraft.com if you'd like more info on it! IMG_20180802_202523_211.jpg
     
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  5. scottmm2012

    scottmm2012 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I have both a large and medium with frame. During the winter hunting seasons, I use the large because I must carry my cold weather clothes. During the shoulder seasons spring and fall I use the medium. Summer, I use the MOLLE assault pack. It all depends when I what I plan on doing.
     
  6. HannahT

    HannahT Firebug Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I have the large and I'm regretting it. For me, it sticks out so far behind me that it feels even heavier. I wish I had the medium instead.
     
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  7. marbleman

    marbleman Supporter Supporter

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    Medium for me, with the Hellcat mod. I've built three of them, for family. Alice isn't the latest and greatest, but the Hellcat version compares very well.
     
  8. Bryan King

    Bryan King Supporter Supporter

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    I've had both but only the medium now, it seems the perfect size.
     
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  9. Kelly W

    Kelly W Love the Axe Supporter

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    My Alice med. is only "hellcatish" but for heavy load outs I've never used a more comfortable rig. Not the lightest, coolest, priciest but works damn good.

    IMG_1998.JPG

    IMG_1999.JPG
     
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  10. motman241

    motman241 Scout

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    As cheap as you can find them, you should just buy a medium and try it out. They shouldn't cost more than $20.
     
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  11. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

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    I have the un moded medium ALICE that lives in my vehicle fully packed for multi overnights and doubles as a supply depot for my also carried empty small pack and shoulder bag for day tripping and possible one night stands.
     
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  12. Young Blacksmith

    Young Blacksmith Supporter Supporter

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    I do a large when I need to carry a ton of stuff in the winter. Don't have a medium, I have other packs that take up that range of size. I like smaller packs anyway, it makes me creative on what I pack and how, because if there's room, I'll throw stuff in "just in case". :)
     
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  13. Blackhillz

    Blackhillz Supporter Supporter

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    I have a large, I don't use it much except for long backpacking trips. The last trip I used it on was a 25mile trip in the Big Horns. For the most part I can carry everything I need/want with my Tactical Tailor rucksack.
     
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  14. Cachersquirrel

    Cachersquirrel Tracker

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    I have medium and large. The medium is the better size between the two for me unless I'm carrying bulky clothing. The large allows you to easily overpack, which is often not a good thing. I have an unframed medium that hangs empty in case it would serve a need. My framed medium rides on the DEI 1606MC frame. I prefer the 1606 frame because it brings the center of gravity closer to my body while still giving me the ventilation of an external frame. It stays loaded and rides daily in a work vehicle, but I also use it for recreation. Recently, I backpacked again with one of my sons on the Ice Age Trail, and there are advantages and disadvantages to it for me.
    It's going to come down to what you want to use the pack for. Take a look at what and where you're trying to carry and how, and choose the appropriate pack. If the medium ALICE is what's fitting the bill, consider some upgrades to make it more useable. At a minimum, choose a better hip belt, either the MOLLE, FILBE, or a good aftermarket. With a good hip belt married to either the original or DEI frames, you can do a lot with it.
    And remember to not overload it. All the extra pouches and nylon adds weight. The MOLLE sleep system carrier itself is over a pound, and often overkill.
     
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  15. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    Have 2 old Alice packs, a large and medium .
    I consider the large for bulky items that can't be left to the elements and under bug out conditions a cart is involved .
    The medium I used for S&R operations and weighed about 70 lbs I was young and dumb then,, now i pay for it.
    My EDC now is a Swiss army computer back pack roughly 40 lbs, probably the toughest pack I have ever owned .
     
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  16. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Medium here, hellcatted and on a DEI frame. Stays in the truck all week loaded for an emergency 2-day, then pulled out on the weekends when an overnight is expected.
    Absolutely love it; since getting it from the benevolent @Kelly W my Arc'teryx Bora hasn't seen the light of day.
    The Bora is lighter, more comfortable, and a "better" pack in almost every way, but I simply bonded with the ALICE the minute I opened the box.
    IMG_20180624_112937.jpg
     
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  17. Tangotag

    Tangotag Field Gear Junkie Supporter Bushclass I

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    I've got a Medium both with and without frame, Large, and CFP-90 all mainly for nostalgia with my time served. The Large is a lot like the Frost River Isle Royale medium being decent for more winter outings where extras are needed. The Medium is like the Frost River Summit Expedition pack for comparative sizing.
    The Medium Alice can work for 3-5 day summer trips beyond that I need a little more space.
     
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  18. never.truly.lost

    never.truly.lost Timber Cruiser Supporter

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    I have a couple mediums and a large. The large for me is just sitting in the closet; I use my medium on a 64 frame for all my bushcrafting day trips; overnight + goes to a Sarma RP80.
     
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  19. SpookyPistolero

    SpookyPistolero Slow learner Lifetime Supporter

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    Love that image. Fine load out.
     
  20. CowboyJesus

    CowboyJesus Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    [​IMG]
    i received a medium from hooty crow, i think, several years back....

    [​IMG]
    and have really made it my own. holds more than i need for the trips that i've done (over night has been my longest, and i over pack it every time!)


    [​IMG]
    i've put a DIY pvc pipe frame on it. feels better than the loose bag to me!

    [​IMG]
    but i'm quite happy with it. i'll keep tweaking, but i love it.

    for the record, i have another medium that i'm setting up for a GO bag too, so just making it clear i am quite happy with it. i actually have a large that was given to me recently, but haven't done anything with it yet to know for the sake of comparison.

    i also have another medium alice. i learned that y straps are not for me....plus that pack needs some work-the snaps on some of the outer pockets have come out. anyone willing to do some work on it that and try it all at, give me a holler and maybe we can work something out.
     
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  21. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Supporter Supporter

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    Very streamlined load out!
     
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  22. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Supporter Supporter

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    Like most here, I have a medium and find it plenty big for 2-3 days. I can see where you might want the large with winter clothes & bedding due to bulk, but that's it. I have a 65L Coleman Peak 1 with the poly external frame and it's good for hiking, but for bushcraft, canoe trips, etc, I go with the med ALICE on a frame.
     
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  23. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Supporter Supporter

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    Hannah, based on your posts, I'd say that large ALICE is at least half your size!
     
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  24. HannahT

    HannahT Firebug Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I think it is! :4: It's handy for light, bulky things like hammocking stuff, but I'm not very good at travelling light so my bags get stuffed full! I'll eventually get the MOLLE straps on it - I have the MOLLE waist belt and it helps.
     
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  25. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I'm looking to pick up a second medium to put together a go-bag. I really like them... simple, rugged, cheap, and hellcat-able.
     
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  26. outkastblast

    outkastblast Scout

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    Medium for me as well. I've got 3 now, but only one complete. One with straps only, no kidney belt, and one with no straps or belt, but I made a DIY PVC frame for it.

    I did buy a large MOLLE pack complete a few years ago, but it is way too big so I play on salvaging the straps, belt, and frame from that for a hellcat mod.

    I'd like to have one for all four members of my family not only for camping but BoB/72 hour emergency prep type setup.

    I don't think you can get a better value than the medium ALICE.
     
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  27. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Truer words have never been spoken.
     
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  28. Gizzybear

    Gizzybear Tracker

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    +1 for the medium Alice with Hellcat mod.
     
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  29. Alex Blain-Laider

    Alex Blain-Laider Tracker

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    I have had both Medium and Large. Both have similar features, however I preferred the Large for most applications. I use it as a work bag instead of a giking pack, so this may not pertain to you. The large has the room for your gear not to be compressed, but practice self-control when packing it. ;-) I do recomend the shelf and a small trash can if you plan on putting this thing to work though.

    $0.02
     
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  30. Manzi1

    Manzi1 Tracker

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    A decent mod for a frame is using the old PRC 77 Radio frame, slides right up inside that sleeve on the front ofthe bag. Has a couple stays in it.
     
  31. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I use the medium with the frame and also the load shelf but only in winter and even then just when there is snow on the ground. I read that tall people find them less than comfortable but I’m pretty long in the torso and I find it very easy to carry.

    The only trick I can relate is if you want to really get the max capacity load the outside pockets first them the main compartment. Done the other way the outside pockets get so distorted that you will be hard pressed to get the max in them.
     
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  32. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Supporter Supporter

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    Here's a picture of mine loaded for the Central PA Gathering this weekend.
    IMG_20190110_244157976.jpg
     
  33. JKR

    JKR Scout

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  34. hicountry

    hicountry Blue Granite Bushcraft Vendor Bushcraft Friend

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  35. Howie

    Howie Guide Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Love hate relationship with Alice. Med is good for frameless day trips. Stash a jacket chow and few extras. With the frame it has just enough metal for a good ground when playing with some coms. Don't overpack the outside pockets and your rifle will tuck in tight for a nice rest.
    The only other use for a frame is addition lashing points for rifle when on skis or shoes

    20181227_130613.jpg

    20180916_115330(1)~2.jpg

    IMG_20180418_132640_357.jpg
     
  36. bigfoots

    bigfoots Scout

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    I'm kinda kicking myself for passing up a med Alice pack with frame in good condition at the flea market for 15 bucks but the frame looked pretty short.
     
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  37. clueless on the delaware

    clueless on the delaware Scout

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    That's what spray paint and welding machines are for!
     
  38. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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  39. riokid87

    riokid87 Scout

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    I have a large w frame. I don't overpack it. I put specific items in specific outside pouches and like the extra ones on the lrg vs med pack. Inside is for bag, clothes., and food. Lots of room. I think the whole thing is under 20 lb w/o food.
    Top left pouch has fire, center has lrg trash bag, paracord, fishing kit, right has 1st aid, glasses, flashlight. Larger 3 below have left Stanley pot, center poncho, rt coghlan saw, fork, spoon, soup can gasification stove.. Inside pouch has boonie hat. Attached to outside is a whistle, compass, 1 qt ss canteen / cup, sleeping mat. 15 lb total with poncho liner, 18 with my sleeping bag.
    I just like to be able to organize my stuff that way w/o cramming it into separate little sacks then in to the main compartment.
    But I don't pverpack anymore. I had a med w/o frame in the army and it was always jammed bursting full and I wished I had more room.
     
  40. NorCalBigAl

    NorCalBigAl Supporter Supporter

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    Anyone have experience using both DEI 1606 and 1609 frames?

    I tried a MOLLE ruck on with the 1606 frame and while comfortable it was CREAKY as heck. I also tried on an ALICE with the standard tube frame and it was surprisingly comfortable as well. I have a med ALICE in woodland with the better straps (not sure which ones but they don’t have the load lifters and I recently got a MOLLE 2 waist belt). I’m thinking of getting a 1609 frame and trying it as a light duty day ruck/over nighter ruck and then perhaps getting a USGI tube frame later on.

    I do have a modern internal frame pack so I’m willing to experiment with the ALICE for fun. I figured if I find a combo that works for me it’ll be a killer little pack.

    I noticed some people use the yoke straps that look like they have more padding between the user and pack, anyone have success using just a normal straps and not have the frame or bag contents grinding a hole in your spine?
     
  41. Eugene

    Eugene Tracker

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  42. leghog

    leghog Tracker

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    I humped an ALICE in the Army. I consider it one of the worst pieces of gear I was ever issued. Just uncomfortable as hell. I called it the tick. It dug into your back, and you could feel it long after you dropped it. There's a large with frame taking up space in the garage. My wife and kids can deal with it when I'm dead.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2019 at 7:21 PM
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  43. Lonewalker

    Lonewalker Tinder Gatherer

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    I, also logged many miles humping a large A. While not,the worst its a far way from,best other than maybe for,shear durability. I have mine also,in garage its packed it would keep,ya alive in a jamb as set. BUT it aint what I'm,hauling, nope,uh uh. Would I ever again ? If it was what I had to,get outdoors or to survive sure. But not by choice anymore.
     
  44. HK Forest

    HK Forest Tracker

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    I would like to know if a medium Molle rucksack frame will fit a Alice pack or not?
     

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