Cutting the Fat: FILBE addition

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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RonnyRonin
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Cutting the Fat: FILBE addition

Post by RonnyRonin » Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:19 am

Sorry to disappoint, this will be anticlimactic compared to the ILBE version, but a useful data point.

Please refer to photos on the overview thread for reference: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=111828

Finally decided I would cut on my FILBE rather then wait to buy a second one:

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trimmed off the MOLLE laden side panels, 2 yip-yab tabs, the redundant bottom shoulder strap attachment points and two of the female assault pack mounting buckles. decided to leave the side grab handles this time.

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sides are now much slicker.

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Finally got a full Tactical Tailor ALICE setup,

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The results? A whopping 7oz. (which puts current bag-only weight around 3.7lbs)
Speculating you could trim another oz from the other two assault pack buckles, another 3 oz from deleting the interior compression straps (one at the front of the sleep system compartment, on at the top), and maybe 2oz+ from cutting out the interior divider flap. Probably a good oz to be had from shortening all the straps, something I am always hesitant to do. Radio pocket is quite light compared to the ILBE, but my guess is over 3 oz could be removed with it.
All told, just over a pound.

most weight savings beyond this get tricky, you could delete the waterproof radio access zipper, but that would involve quite a bit of sewing. The lid is sewn on so it is more of a commitment to remove, I might try converting it to a day pack at some point but for now it stays. Some of the MOLLE could certainly be removed, but this leaves either tiny stumps of webbing or wholes in the fabric from the bartacks.

Takeaway: Much less fat to be trimmed from this unit.
share your tobacco and your kindling, but never your sauna or your woman.

AK, Glock, Pie.

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VTPATRIOT
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Re: Cutting the Fat: FILBE addition

Post by VTPATRIOT » Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:57 pm

I'm sorry but the alice frame is an antiquated POS

nice work otherwise
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RonnyRonin
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Re: Cutting the Fat: FILBE addition

Post by RonnyRonin » Wed Sep 21, 2016 5:30 pm

VTPATRIOT wrote:I'm sorry but the alice frame is an antiquated POS

nice work otherwise
Its better then the 1606, which is about all I'll say for it.

It actually does have several advantages over most modern frames, the width of the belt-frame contact points, the standoff, the mostly flat nature of the frame and shelf compatibility, the whole thing is just crippled by the short frame height.

Surplus is generally the "good enough" option, not straight-up good.
share your tobacco and your kindling, but never your sauna or your woman.

AK, Glock, Pie.

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RonnyRonin
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Re: Cutting the Fat: FILBE addition

Post by RonnyRonin » Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:22 pm

doing some more Down East vs. ALICE vs. NICE frame comparison walks. since the female buckles on my stock FILBE frame had ripped off (and I cut off the assault pack buckles) i had to rig up something else. If the pack is full enough this will provide shoulder lift, unlike the three options mentioned...

Image

accessory straps routed through the lid MOLLE to the female assault pack buckles on the far side of the lid. Not supper consistent as tension compresses the load as well as lifting the shoulder strap, but a heck of a lot better then nothing. Placing something more rigid like a sleeping pad under the lid would firm up the ride considerably.

As a side note, my wife has decided that walking around town with a FILBE makes me look more like a homeless person then nearly any of my other packs.
share your tobacco and your kindling, but never your sauna or your woman.

AK, Glock, Pie.

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RonnyRonin
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Re: Cutting the Fat: FILBE addition

Post by RonnyRonin » Sun Oct 02, 2016 6:44 pm

More frame comparison walks reminded me of a flaw with the stock FILBE, the snap strap keeping the quick release mechanism on the shoulder strap was cut too short on at least the initial production run. This means that in order to be snapped it is under quite a bit of tension, and if curved too far in the other direction, if too much weight is in the pack or if it is bumped while adjusting the straps, it will disengage. This causes the quick release mechanism to be very easy to engage at this point, very much a problem.

This problem was officially recognized, and there are two easy fixes;

1) purchase an official modification kit from OVI: http://ovinnovations.com/collections/fi ... filbe-mods

2) Cut 'em off.

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Thankfully the designers put a redundant strap attachment point right above the heavy QR mech. It is a two-handed affair to tighten the thick webbing through the ALICE pack-style metal ladderlock, but it is very secure.
Weight saved cutting off the QR mech: 3.5 oz.

If I ever decide I want QR capabilities I can splice in an ITW repair buckle or a QASM down the road.



While I was playing around with the stock suspension I decided to chop off the lumbar pad behind the belt. I didn't remember any problems with the very similar MOLLE II belt bottoming out or hitting the frame, and the FILBE seemed to be suffering from low-end stability problems; it seemed to roll side-to-side quite a bit.

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Weight saved: 2 oz

For the curious, the pad contained a Mystery Ranch standby; thin crazy stiff foam for structure and thick fluffy foam for comfort.

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My suspicions seem to be correct, the belt does not bottom out on the frame and seems to still pivot freely up and down. With the center frame attachment straps (not present on the MOLLE II) I was able to suck the belt in nice and close to the fame and so far have apparently eliminated the huge majority of the side-to-side sway.

Despite this the chief sin of the belt remained, the unfortunate hip-eating corrugated foam. At 46 lbs I can barely make it a half mile before I have to take the belt off, and for several miles I will continue to futz with it, moving it around before finally giving up a slogging along grunt-style with shoulder straps only.

Simplest fix in the world:

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Duct tape and sleeping mat foam. This confirms my other suspicions; the general shape and structure of the belt is quite sound, and that only by avoiding the simplest possible solution did the designers create such an insidious torture device (one wonders if the military ASKED the designers to make the belt so uncomfortable that Soldiers and Marines wouldn't be tempted to use it and come into conflict with doctrine).

Once fixed and combined with the shoulder lift from the previous mod the stock suspensions becomes quite comfortable. I will seek out a more permanent padding solution for the belt, but the shoulder straps (more then likely engineered to support the whole load the majority of the time) are if anything overkill. The padding immediately beneath the main straps in the above picture vexes me, they make unnecessary contact with your back inhibiting ventilation and body armor compatibility. My suspicion is that this was in reaction to the shape of the 1606 frame (possible back contact when hunched) and could have been avoided if the superior (in my mind) 1603 frame had been used. If it weren't firmly attached to the hard plate giving the 1606 the badly needed extra 2" of height I would immediately chop it off. I suspect that the shoulder straps if freed from the whole plate arrangement could be made into truly superior ALICE or MOLLE II straps. If I can source a second harness cheaply enough I will certainly try it.
share your tobacco and your kindling, but never your sauna or your woman.

AK, Glock, Pie.

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woodsghost
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Re: Cutting the Fat: FILBE addition

Post by woodsghost » Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:48 pm

Nice job on the belt. My MOLLE II belt has currently been cursed to Hell. I added 1 then 2 layers of sleeping pad foam to make that belt more comfortable and I now hate it even more. But I"ll have to try your solution where you place it on the corrugated part of the belt and leave the back area clean of foam. Thanks a ton for the idea!!!!
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RonnyRonin
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Re: Cutting the Fat: FILBE addition

Post by RonnyRonin » Sun Oct 02, 2016 10:48 pm

I think skinny guys are best served by the thinnest lumbar region possible on pack belts, this isn't the first pack I've intentionally had more padding on the wings then the lumbar pad.

I started to pick apart a MOLLE II belt ages ago but quit as soon as I saw how much plastic was involved (only had a home machine at the time), now I'm scheming on removing as much of the existing foam as possible and just sewing little fabric pockets to the edge binding on each side that I can wedge foam into.

The FILBE belt has a few advantages over the MOLLE II belt, but until prices come down I doubt the upgrade cost is worth it.
share your tobacco and your kindling, but never your sauna or your woman.

AK, Glock, Pie.

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