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Not really used any longer. You might see them in training situations but that is about it.
You can find them all over the internet, ebay and military surplus sites.
Prices vary but less than $100 is very common.
All of the parts can be switched out and replaced.
Frame can be used on its own for different hauling possibilities.
The Large ALICE Pack with Frame has long been the standard for comfort and durability. officially adopted by the military in 1973. The medium sized ALICE can be used without the frame but the LARGE is meant to be used only with the frame.
ALICE stands for;
All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment
The pack features a large main compartment with a cinch closure, an interior radio pocket, six external pockets, padded kidney belt and waist strap. The padded shoulder straps are the wider camouflage version designed to better distribute the additional weight that this pack can hold. Pack must be used with ALICE frame (included).
Issues : The biggest issue with the ALICE pack is that when they are packed full, the weight will pull away from your body.
• Main compartment: 13″ X 22″ X 8″ (over 2200 cubic inches of space)
• Radio pocket: 10.5″ X 11″ X 5.5″
• Three top pockets: Hold 2 M16 magazines
• Lower side pocket: 5.5″ X 9″ X 2.5″
• Lower center pocket: 8.5″ X 9″ X 2″
Total capacity: 3800 cubic inches
Water-resistant nylon with 2-strap top flap
9″ x 3″w. shoulder pads
Lower and upper back pads
Exterior measures 22″ x 20″ x 14″h.
Weighs a sturdy 6 1/2 lbs.
Designed for longer trips and heavier loads up to 70 lbs. Same construction and features as medium pack plus three additional 3″ x 7″ x 1″ external pockets and larger 20″ x 20″ x 8″ main compartment. Complete includes pack, frame, shoulder pads and kidney pad. Cannot be used as a backpack without the frame and shoulder pads.
ALICE packs can be used with or without a frame but the external frame definitely helps balance the load – otherwise, these packs get pretty center-fat.
What’s bad about ALICE?
The pack can be uncomfortable especially with heavy loads and some of the straps for lashing gear to the bag get in the way. The old style of metal strap adjustments make closing the compartments a bit tedious. There is no easy access pockets for things like water bottles although with the external frame, you can rig something up pretty easily.
Built with rugged materials designed to withstand the rigors of extreme conditions. The large storage compartment is great for hauling bulky equipment. People who demand the most from their equipment will appreciate the toughness of this bag.
While in use with military forces in the US, it would be common to hear of a soldier referring to his ALICE as Old Faithful. Not elegant by any means but it will get the job done!
Story of my ALICE Pack : This is not the ALICE pack that I grew up with as I had a medium size pack that my Unlce who was a marine gave me. I carried that pack everywhere I went and it never let me down. When I got old enough to drive, I had a chevy corrisca which had a faulty lock on one of the doors. One day I had the back in the back seat, thought that the doors were locked and came back to find that I was mistake and it was stolen.
Alice Tips :
The large ALICE Pack is just that, large and if features a large center area for gear. I have found that it really helps to pack your gear into sacks and then load up the pack. It makes organizing simple and gear acquisition very quick
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