What am I doing wrong here, or missing?
I have a medium ALICE pack and frame and I THINK I have all the necessary straps, etc. that goes with it.
My problem is this:
When I put the pack on and cinch up the straps to bring the top pad in contact with my back, the belly belt gets pulled way up to my ribs no matter how tight I make the belt.
If I loosen the pack straps so the belt sits on my hips, the pack falls several inches away from my back.
I was never issued a pack during my time in the Air Force, so I have no military training on how to handle this rig, which is intended for use as my BOB.
It seems to me that either there's something I'm missing that will keep the belt pulled down (For example, is it supposed to be attached to my web belt? I really don't know...and if that is my problem, what is the usual method of attaching the pack belt to the web belt?) or maybe I'm missing a strap that holds the pack against my back?
Any help would be appreciated. Help with clear photos would be even better!
I'm not sure about your main problem, but the hip belt does not attach to your web belt.
It sounds like you may have the straps attached incorrectly. Also, when you put on the pack and use the hip belt, fasten and tighten the hip belt before you cinch up the shoulder straps. Weight should sit on your hips (transferred through the belt).
Perhaps you can snap a picture to show how your straps are set up.
As with most USGI gear, ALICE is a "one size fits all", that rarely delivers. If you have a long or short torso, it's not going to ride in the same place as it would on a person with an "average" torso length. As that portion of the pack isn't adjustable, what you get is what you get.
As noted, you may not have it set up correctly, but it's not like it's a $400 backpack or something that's really designed to carry all sorts of weight, comfortably. It's designed to fit 85% of the soldiers close enough to get the job done. Even those 85% won't fit it all too well.
ALICE is a great ruck, and unless you want to spend real money it's the best buy around for what it does. But it's NOT a pack that's desinged to fit you, carry alot of weight, or even be light. It's a pack that's designed to be "good enough" for "most" people, survive some brutal use, and be cheap enough to buy in the millions.
Try different postions on the shoulder straps. That may have some effect. Also forget the idea that you're going to use the wasit strap to hold any of the weight. Unlike civillian backpacks, the frame on the AKICE isn't designed to actually work that way. In a civillian pack (or the SPEARS or CFP-90), the waistband takes most of the weight and puts it on your hips. On the ALICE, your shoulders carry the weight, with or without the frame. The frame stabilizes the load, allows better cooling for cold weather operations (so you don't get wet from sweat on your back, which can kill you in the Arctic), and might bear a slight amount of weight, but not much.
If you aren't going to carry that much weight in it, you might think about going without the frame. It will clear LBE much eaiser that way as well.
As for sizing, medium-regular size BDU's fit me properly. I'm six feet tall and about 190 pounds. Not exactly a remarkable size.
I'll play around with the setup and see what happens. I've verified the setup against other alice packs and it looks right...and the other packs ride correctly.
I don't know.
Yeah, you're Mr. Average. It should fit you fine. Try to place the top straps as far up as they'll go first. So that the shoulder pad is as high as possible. Also make sure the lower half of the straps are connected to the frame and not the ruck itself.
The tops of the straps go around the frame, through the loops, and back to the buckle. The bottom of the straps loop through the round hole in the bottom side of the frame (the big hole with the plastic gromet). You put the loop through it, then pass the strap through the loop. Once the straps are attatched to the top and bottom of the frame, there's only so much the frame itself can move.
If it's set-up the same as other ALICE packs though, I dunno what to tell ya.
PACK IS NOT HEAVY ENOUGH!!!!!
I just had to say that.
Ross is right on about the ALICE 'hip'belt,it is more of a kidney pad,which it is called too.
If you have a long torso like me,(even shorter folks can have a long torso),tho I'm 6'-4",the 'waist belt will ride high above my waist(frame length=20"),that's why I like the ALICE,it rides above my 2nd line gear,some of the weight actually 'taken' by my buttpack.The belt is closed when I want to stabilize the load,most of the time I clip it back to itself,out of the way.
The top of the frame is bent towards the body,this not only helps with padding but gives a nice angle to the shoulder straps if worn correctly.
For some youths and shorter friends and my "patrol pack" I have shortened the frame.
There is considerable posting by myself and others at geardo.com forum if you want to try and 'dial in' your ALICE.When free to make a few mods and change some straps ALICE can be made 'perfect' for anyone.
A member there showed how to hook up a MOLLE shoulderstrap set to an ALICE frame,which seems to me like the solution to the problems you are having.
Also the gear forum at assaultweb and lightfighter forum have extensive ALICE posts with pictures if you're serious about learning some tricks and tips.
There is alot more to wearing a pack than straps,,,Loading an ALICE pack is an ARTform,especially in the .MIL,where the load is usually heavy,oddly-shaped and hard.As soon as you add webgear,or concealable armor or a shoulder rig,etc.under the pack,the 'fit' will change.
I personally would use a frameless ALICE only in an emergency,if I was planning a frameless pack for any purpose,it would be a pack that was designed for frameless use.
Even tho your BOB might be 'light'(mine sure ISN'T),if you are foraging,or plan to hit a cache,be ready to pack a monster load.
I show how to doubleruck an ALICE,which works if you want to split a larger loadout between 'sustainment' gear and 'combat' gear,if you think quickly caching a pack might be in your 'scenario'.