Comparing ILBE Main vs ILBE Recon Pack

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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atod
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Comparing ILBE Main vs ILBE Recon Pack

Post by atod » Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:11 pm

Folks,

FYI, these packs are almost nearly identical in every way. I purchased an ILBE Recon just to see if the suspension system would be different then the ILBE Main. It's *exactly* the same. Very odd considering the Recon is designed to carry more volume higher above the head. The Recon's frame stay is the same height as the Main, however the pack height is taller when loaded. The ILBE Recon is essentially the ILBE Main, with the top draw string portion extended higher about 6 inches (it holds little extra volume), the unnecessary heavy mortar tube abrasion material is removed and extra strap toward the bottom mortar tube insertion pocket is removed. Other then that, save yourself the money and get the ILBE Main. Also note, if you're 6' or taller the frames on these packs are likely too small for proper weight distribution. Both packs are essentially copies of the Arc'Teryx Bora 95 with the frame dwarfed from nearly 26"+ to 22". The shortening of the frame reduces effectiveness of load lifters if you are near 6' or taller in height. After all this research, I'm puzzled how USMC made these decisions especially when the civilian version of the pack was already designed correctly and is nearly the same. It makes me wonder if there was an issue with body armor after all. I suspect it was body armor raising the height of the soldier's shoulders leading to reduced effectiveness of load lifters. Short soldiers? I doubt that. Hope this helps.

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ghostface
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Re: Comparing ILBE Main vs ILBE Recon Pack

Post by ghostface » Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:55 am

I'm going to resurrect this thread in the slim hopes that someone with hands on experience can help me out with some questions.

I am 6'3". Now that prices on the IBLE gear have fallen quite a bit, and I am looking at this mostly for outdoors usage (i.e. I don't care about compatibility with LBVs/body armor), I'd love to hear feedback on these packs.

I was told by an acquaintance that the Recon packs were "taller" and therefore would be better for me to get, but this post makes it sound like the opposite is true. That I'd be better off with the regular Gen 2 Main bag.

I have walked around a store with a Bora 95 but never actually used one out in the world. It seemed great, but I have no idea what it would be like carrying 60lbs of crap for hours in the woods.

Any thoughts? And if these are decent civvie packs, does anyone have any feeling about the assault pack add on, in terms of throwing off load balance, convenience of de/re-tachability, durability of the clips, etc.?
The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own...

dunamis
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Re: Comparing ILBE Main vs ILBE Recon Pack

Post by dunamis » Thu Dec 04, 2014 12:41 pm

ghostface wrote:I'm going to resurrect this thread in the slim hopes that someone with hands on experience can help me out with some questions.

I am 6'3". Now that prices on the IBLE gear have fallen quite a bit, and I am looking at this mostly for outdoors usage (i.e. I don't care about compatibility with LBVs/body armor), I'd love to hear feedback on these packs.

I was told by an acquaintance that the Recon packs were "taller" and therefore would be better for me to get, but this post makes it sound like the opposite is true. That I'd be better off with the regular Gen 2 Main bag.

I have walked around a store with a Bora 95 but never actually used one out in the world. It seemed great, but I have no idea what it would be like carrying 60lbs of crap for hours in the woods.

Any thoughts? And if these are decent civvie packs, does anyone have any feeling about the assault pack add on, in terms of throwing off load balance, convenience of de/re-tachability, durability of the clips, etc.?
I'm 6' tall and I liked this pack (ILBE) when I was using it. Most comfortable pack I had worn under heavy loads at that time. But, I think you misunderstood what Atod posted. The Bora has 4 more inches of shoulder lift than the ILBE. So, at your height, there's really no way the load lifters on the ILBE are ever going to lift the pack off your shoulders.

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ghostface
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Re: Comparing ILBE Main vs ILBE Recon Pack

Post by ghostface » Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:29 pm

dunamis wrote:But, I think you misunderstood what Atod posted. The Bora has 4 more inches of shoulder lift than the ILBE. So, at your height, there's really no way the load lifters on the ILBE are ever going to lift the pack off your shoulders.
Okay, gotcha. I see where I went wrong.

So then the question would be how much of a deal-breaker the lack of load lifter usage would be relative to the cheaper price, modularity, etc. you get compared to the Bora 95.
The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own...

dunamis
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Re: Comparing ILBE Main vs ILBE Recon Pack

Post by dunamis » Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:05 pm

ghostface wrote:
dunamis wrote:But, I think you misunderstood what Atod posted. The Bora has 4 more inches of shoulder lift than the ILBE. So, at your height, there's really no way the load lifters on the ILBE are ever going to lift the pack off your shoulders.
Okay, gotcha. I see where I went wrong.

So then the question would be how much of a deal-breaker the lack of load lifter usage would be relative to the cheaper price, modularity, etc. you get compared to the Bora 95.
A lot of the weight will still ride on the hip belt but you will never fully be able to remove it from your shoulders. The best you'll accomplish is to get the pack to sag backwards (unstable) but you won't be able to lift the straps above your shoulders. I'd look for an alternative if I were you. You can ruck with a pack like this, but it won't be very comfortable.

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ghostface
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Re: Comparing ILBE Main vs ILBE Recon Pack

Post by ghostface » Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:08 pm

dunamis wrote:A lot of the weight will still ride on the hip belt but you will never fully be able to remove it from your shoulders. The best you'll accomplish is to get the pack to sag backwards (unstable) but you won't be able to lift the straps above your shoulders. I'd look for an alternative if I were you. You can ruck with a pack like this, but it won't be very comfortable.
Cheers. I was about to tell someone that the ILBE was a possible gift idea for me for Christmas. So thanks!
The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own...

dunamis
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Re: Comparing ILBE Main vs ILBE Recon Pack

Post by dunamis » Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:04 pm

ghostface wrote:
dunamis wrote:A lot of the weight will still ride on the hip belt but you will never fully be able to remove it from your shoulders. The best you'll accomplish is to get the pack to sag backwards (unstable) but you won't be able to lift the straps above your shoulders. I'd look for an alternative if I were you. You can ruck with a pack like this, but it won't be very comfortable.
Cheers. I was about to tell someone that the ILBE was a possible gift idea for me for Christmas. So thanks!
I actually quite enjoyed owning this pack. I'm 6' and found it more comfortable than other packs with about 70+ lbs. even though I wasn't getting any shoulder lift. I just doubt that you'll have the same experience with the 3" height difference. I tried to figure out some mods to do to improve it (as well as another guy who posts here) but just nothing could really be done for it.

You should check a pack company called EXO Hunting. They have some very interesting stuff out now that is cutting edge and I haven't heard anything bad about the product. Could be just what you're looking for!

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