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4/18/2021 9:59:29 PM
Posted: 3/27/2017 10:34:20 PM EDT
Hey guys, been looking into some different packs for camping and I'm kind of interested in this set up. My budget isn't the highest so this seems like a real price point warrior. I have two questions. The first is would the Hellcat system be big enough for say a 3 day, two night outing, and what would expected price be for an already assembled unit in all woodland. Thanks for any replies I get.
Link Posted: 3/28/2017 9:55:01 AM EDT
Check my response to the other thread you posted this in.
Link Posted: 3/28/2017 8:20:35 PM EDT
At this point I'd avoid anything ALICE for real use (i.e., not just dressing up for halloween or cluttering a closet).

The pack was originally manufactured around '72 or '73 with improvements in '77. The early MOLLE stuff was 1997. (all dates per wikipedia).

That means you're looking at buying a pack that's somewhere between 20 and 40 years old. Assuming you find a genuine pack, things like wear, rips, mildew, rotting fabric, rusted buckles / snaps / fittings, etc. are going to be pretty common. Also, the fabric isn't the greatest and the stitching where the two main straps go through the top cover (above the map pouch) is a real weak point in the design if you try to strap a tent or sleeping bag to the outside (which I've done...carefully).

There's also a huge amount of knock-off Chinese stuff on the market. I bought one of knockoffs, and after one 5-day backpacking trip (in 2006) and sitting vehicle trunk since ~2011, that pack is in nasty shape.

Either way, buying ALICE stuff now is a real crap shoot. You might luck out and get something genuine, new, and well stored to prevent rust/mildew/etc, but probably not.

For about the same price as a hellcat (probably less) you can get a newer MOLLE pack in UCP, or a modern commercial pack from Kelty.

Also, keep an eye out for deals. A few months back some 60L arc'teryx packs went on sale for $100 on lapolicegear, and I recently picked up a Source Double D (45L) for $160 on Amazon.
Link Posted: 4/18/2017 9:49:48 AM EDT
FWIW, I know that ALICE packs were made well into the 90's, with minor variations.  Some of us used ALICE packs in Iraq, and I'm sure AFG. ALICE is KISS. The new MOLLE packs are more,comfortable, but ALICE is virtually bomb proof.  ALICE is still cheap, just get surplus, and not knock off gear.
Link Posted: 4/18/2017 9:56:06 AM EDT
First there's not a lot of difference between camping for 1 night vs 10.  You only need to carry more food. The tent, sleeping bag, etc is all the same.

Second, unless you have need of shooting prone while wearing a helmet, use a civilian pack. A Kelty will last many years.
Link Posted: 4/18/2017 1:53:54 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/18/2017 8:56:08 PM EDT
My ALICE pack has TT shoulder straps and waist belt. I also sent it to them for their reinforcements. Its a good although somewhat heavy pack. But for the price point a very good deal...That Old Grouch deal sounds stellar as well.
Link Posted: 4/19/2017 12:30:23 AM EDT
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Quoted:
FWIW, I know that ALICE packs were made well into the 90's, with minor variations.  Some of us used ALICE packs in Iraq, and I'm sure AFG. ALICE is KISS. The new MOLLE packs are more,comfortable, but ALICE is virtually bomb proof.  ALICE is still cheap, just get surplus, and not knock off gear.
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They were sold at Clothing Sales well past 2005, along with a ton of other ALICE gear.  What you find on the market today usually knockoff crap from companies like Rothco.  I still have a well used large ALICE in the garage, on its 3rd or 4th frame and carries a 35lb plate just for PT.  A surplus MOLLE or ILBE is what the OP shoulod look for.
Link Posted: 4/19/2017 2:22:06 AM EDT
I've seen camo green Large ALICE packs dated 2005. There's still some new unissued ones floating around out there.
Link Posted: 4/19/2017 5:52:33 AM EDT
OP, the A.L.I.C.E pack is still a good reliable pack IMHO.

I have a large alice pack that I have attached the MOLLE II  shoulder straps & kidney belt to, and have used it many times with very heavy loads for extended outings for more than 3 days ( to include National Guard training rotations. ) .

It has taken a beating and asked for more! Is it the perfect pack? No, but for the price, and how well it built, it's still a very strong contender for a reliable pack.

The MOLLE II straps and waist / kidney belt is a HUGE improvement! A must!

I also have a medium alice pack that I have made into a hybrid Hellcat-ish type thing. Also works very well.
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