the medium alice is about 2350 ci and the large is about 3800ci. the large has to have frame and the medium can be carried with or without frame.
though i havnt done it i have a project in the pipeline to extend the alice frame for taller folks like me. guess i should get on it.
through designed and tested the small alice was rejected and there was no production of the actual small alice. there are some small rucks out there that were in the field that closely resemble alice but they are very very rare.
Well you can hang one HELL of a lot of extra gear off an alice pack with the alice clips or molle attachments.
My medium alice pack on molle frame with molle straps and waist pad setup carries two two quart bladders or two one quart canteens on the side of the pack, E-tool in carrier above the middle pocket(which cannot be loaded very bulky because of the carrier) ecws stuff sack for bivy and green bag or poncho and poncho liner in a carrier below the pack, sleeping pad on top of the pack wrapped in a poncho and held on by the main flap straps, another two quart bladder in the top flap compartment, first aid kit on one side above the canteen. thats all external.
This particular rig is for when I am going to hike in to overnight at rockhounding areas when I dont expect it to be much below freezing. The partial ecws with poncho liner added under a poncho shelter should work down to well below freezing with a space blanket fire reflector and small campfire.
Note its heavy on water, gallon and a half, but this is arizona. If it was my east texas stomping grounds I'd only take half gallon of water cause that is mostly lowlands with lots of streams and ponds.
The large ive not loaded up one in years, but many moons ago I spent 13 days in the smokey mountains on foot with one and a flyrod and came out with food still in the pack.
I've managed to get a large onto the molle frame, but I was not very sastified with how it sat, it seems to be too low on the frame and it precluded the use of the sleep system carrier below it because it is so tall. something to fiddle with at an odd moment!
if you dont plan on throwing it off a moving train the molle frame would work well for you, either with alice pack or the big molle pack(which is quite expensive and the reason i went to scheming on all this hybrid stuff).
I've been using an old large Alice pack that i just threw on some MOLLE II straps,and damn those straps make it nice to carry around and its very comfortable for a measly $20 id do it again,mind you i am 6'4 so i can carry plenty of crap if need be and it won't bog me down much as im use to it.If i had another $15 id get the MOLLE kidney strap/pad as well,but what i did with the stock pads was i taped em to the stock kidney pad and that has drastically improved the comfort as well.
I love and hate my ALICE system pack. Mostly love it, it does work.
I have had mine for about 5 years. The pros it, Its heavy duty, looks bad ass. And you can cram a lot of shit in it. (I have the medium). I love that you can attach anything it, they are cheap I have seen $5 for the bag, and $20 for the frame.
The bad, the kidney pad is annoying. I have done some military type training SERE stuff with it and it worked great. I recommend them.
I have found an ALICE medium and large over here in the U.K at a local surplus store. Both with frame. Both within my price range.
Should I Buy one or wait until something else comes along? If so should I go for the med or large.
Yeah, totally. I have an older, more beat-up medium that barely fits my shit. I'd have to ditch my medkit or my other pair of pants or something to make it work. But the large one pulls everything forward so it's hanging down and away from my back and putting more strain on my shoulders. I think I'm gonna try wrapping my belt around the middle...like a girdle. You can compromise by putting the heaviest shit in the inner pocket and having all of the lighter shit in the big pocket. It's best if you have the absolute lightest shit, or nothing at all, in the outer pockets.
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