need help alice pack med or large?

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twofless
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need help alice pack med or large?

Post by twofless » Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:40 pm

I currently have 2 large alice packs both were bought pretty cheap but was wondering if the med was any better.

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Re: need help alice pack med or large?

Post by oldsoldier » Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:55 pm

IMHO, no. The ONLY advantage is that you can use a medium frameless. The large has more pockets, and more room-I wouldnt downgrade if I were you.
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Re: need help alice pack med or large?

Post by twofless » Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:27 pm

Thanks for your input I will more than likely stay with the 2 pack I have

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Re: need help alice pack med or large?

Post by oldsoldier » Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:18 pm

If you want something smaller, I would suggest looking into a 3 day or assault pack, as a backup. My personal fave is the ATS Tactical RAID pack (I have the original, the newer model is a little different). There are other options out there though. Tactical Tailor makes a nice one, and, there is always LAPG....
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Re: need help alice pack med or large?

Post by PistolPete » Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:49 pm

I also have one of each, my wife has used the medium in the past. If I'm at a point where I don't need the size the large has to offer, I find I have other packs I like better in the same size range as my medium Alice. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if I took it to the next swap meet we have in STL. I don't foresee a time in the future I'll be using it.
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Re: need help alice pack med or large?

Post by Necrodamus » Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:51 pm

It really depends on the use.
A large that is loaded is really off balance (to me) but if you need the space its a fantastic pack.
If your not filling it full then the medium is better.

If I were building an INCH I would use a Large ALICE, for a BOB or GHB Medium ALICE.

My BOB is in an ALICE actually, equipped with a 1606 frame and MOLLE belt and LC2 straps.
My GHB is really my EDC and resides in a Maxpedition jumbo versapack.
If you commute a long distance and its going to take you a couple of days to get home, maybe more if your having to move slowly under the cover of night, then a small bag wont work. If your like me and work is a 15 minute drive, even in the worst case scenario I expect I could get home in 24 hours. A huge bag would be nothing more than a burden.

Its really dependant on how much stuff your carrying your expected time to use it and how much you can handle.
Typically everyone says to get your stuff together, figure out how much bag you need to hold it and go from there.

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Re: need help alice pack med or large?

Post by Silent Kube » Wed Aug 25, 2010 4:07 am

See what you can find if you use the search? I was just about to ask the same question but thought I should take my own advice and see if it has been asked before and lo and behold, someone asked the same question on the same day. lol

I have decided it's time to put together a serious BOB. I used to have a medium in high school that I carried my books in. Unfortunately some bastard stole it from me. Anyway, I remember it being pretty roomy inside. It seems like it would be plenty big enough to carry everything I need. Need being the operative word here. I'm afraid that if I get the large I would be tempted to fill it with a bunch of shit I don't really need to carry and thus burden myself with unnecessary weight. What do the rest of you think? Does a medium have enough space for a bob? I've seen a fully packed large and it just looks too damn bulky.
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Re: need help alice pack med or large?

Post by JRR » Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:07 pm

Unless you really, really need the space, I'd go with the medium. The bigger the pack, the more crap you'll pile in it.

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Re: need help alice pack med or large?

Post by Wastelander » Wed Aug 25, 2010 4:04 pm

I have a Large ALICE pack, but only because I thought I was getting a Medium (ordered online :P). I can't say that I would downgrade to a Medium, but I've never used one. I can say that setting the thing on the ground makes it fall over because it can't stand on its own, but I can cinch it down plenty to avoid that flopping problem people keep complaining about. Have you put your BOB gear in it? As it stands, all of my BOB gear but food, water, and clothes are in my Large ALICE and there is PLENTY of room. I know I won't come close to filling it, and I don't want to, but I like knowing that if I need the space I will have it.

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Re: need help alice pack med or large?

Post by 111t » Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:27 pm

I currently have a frameless med assigned to GF's car trunk as a 72hr kit. I have a large with frame in my trunk as a 'longer than 72 hr' type kit in my trunk. Honestly as a backpacker i'm not especially impressed with either. They're pretty well made and were both cheap as they were e-bay surplus. I do have confidence that they will survive in our trunks. I've used mostly kelty hiking packs in all sizes and found them to be more comfortable without exception. I would say that the frameless medium makes a cool "john locke" fashion statement. I have done a few hikes with the large. As i said, not as comfortable, as my more modern models... but it holds a ton of gear. I completely agree with the sentiment that you can overfill a large alice.

my $.02.
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Re: need help alice pack med or large?

Post by Chris@MTCT » Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:32 pm

Same with vehicles power to weight ratio.. Your build also determines to a extent which is better and how much you can hump.
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Re: need help alice pack med or large?

Post by 111t » Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:50 pm

:shock: ??? what are you saying ??? :wink:
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Re: need help alice pack med or large?

Post by TacAir » Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:30 pm

Just a short note - the ALICE Large has a set of 'strings' in the bottom that allow you to reduce the volume of the ruck. Having humped the large ruck, I would suggest you carry it for some distance with a full 5 gal water can. If you can stand it, make it your BOB ruck.

If not -

At that point, you may be happier with a commercial rig - but for car carry it is a nice item.
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Re: need help alice pack med or large?

Post by KnightoftheRoc » Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:29 pm

I have to agree with Necro on this- the first thing to consider is what you want the bag FOR. As a BOB, and INCH bag, or weekend camper use. I own both the large and medium ALICE packs, both on frames, and I see benefits to both, and shortcomings to both. First shortcoming, and many will echo this, is that the belt line is not designed to go around the waist, where your hips can share some of the load weight. For this reason, I try to keep the weight on either pack as low as possible, even more so because I have a lower back injury. YMMV on this.

The medium pack, on a frame, is quite comfortable for me at 35 pounds target weight, and I manage to keep mine spot-on. I find the smaller volume helps me avoid the temptation of loading more crap than I need, which is a plus, to me. All three outside pockets have a hollow behind them, allowing storage or attachment behind the pouches (hint- load these before filling the pack, it's MUCH easier). The ALICE attachments above them are located in a pretty versatile location, leaving room for most pouches I'd want above the outer pockets, and longer items like a machete can be attached on the sides with no trouble. I can fit an entire change of clothes, a week's worth of underwear, toiletries, first aid items, and a week's worth of food in mine, and still have room for niceties like a stove and fuel, some snacks, etc. On this, I also add a sleeping bag and tent.

The large pack has a greater volume, and three extra, somewhat smaller pockets- this is pretty much the major difference between the two, aside from the medium being able to be used without a frame and still be comfortable. The large pack was intended for colder climates, according to the army manual pertaining to these packs (Sorry, I don't recall the TM # offhand, but it's pocket sized.) The larger volume is intended to accommodate the bulkier clothing needed for colder weather. Unless you cinch up the bag volume adjustment, it is very easy to overload the large with warmer weather gear, extra "stuff", etc. and end up with a much heavier bag than you intended. I also find that the large pack tends to swing around a bit more on my back, which is an extra drain on your energy as you hike- your body tries to adjust to the motions of loose gear in order to keep it's balance, expending energy it could have saved. I also found on mine, that the large outer pockets are only 'hollow' behind the outer two, and not the center pocket. These hollow spots are to accommodate skis or poles, by the way. I've never tried using them for these.

I recently took my fiancee out camping with these packs, giving her the medium, because of her smaller build, and I found that I would rather have the medium pack, personally. Even trying to resist the urge to do so, I overloaded the large pack, and it still was loose enough to make hiking harder, from the swinging weight. There are small differences in the attachments designs between the two packs, also, and I find that for MY set up, the medium pack has a better layout. Again, the pack that is better for YOU, is something you'll have to figure out by trying it out- all I can do is share my experiences with them and offer MY opinions as "food for thought". What I would SUGGEST, is buying a medium ALICE pack and trying it out, using one of the frames you already have. Determine your target weight, and see how close you can get to it. Then go out with it, and see how it rides, how the load works for you, and keep track of what ranks as fail or win- take a notebook and pencil with you for this, so you don't forget things.

I use the ALICE rigs with a cargo shelf attached to the medium pack- I probably don't NEED it, but I find that the potential usefulness of it justifies the negligible weight it adds, and the rolled tent under the medium pack holds it in place nicely, while the shelf helps support the tent and pack- it also affords a level of protection for the tent when the pack is set down- I hate a leaky tent.
I also use the ALICE packs in combination with the LBE suspenders and pistol belt, which holds a butt pack on it as well as the standard ALICE layout. So, for me, the two work together well, as they are intended to be used together.

How many people are in your bug out group? While the cost of a medium ALICE pack is usually only 12-15 dollars plus shipping, rather than count the expense as a waste, you might decide to pass one pack, large or medium, to another member of your group- maybe trade them for something else you want. I'm planning on buying another medium for myself, and setting the large pack up for a cold weather BOB, where the volume can be used to it's potential, but without feeling like I filled it with cast iron skillets. Waste not, want not!
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Re: need help alice pack med or large?

Post by Jeriah » Mon May 13, 2013 1:38 pm

I'm going to necro this bitch to add a couple of points in favor of the Medium, for some roles:

1. The Medium ALICE pack is a good college bookbag (rugged enough to handle those hefty $200 hardcover textbooks, with room in the external pocket for your burrito and hackeysack and whatever college kids tote around. In this role, you'd use it without the frame.

2. Also frameless, as a daypack for hiking or around town, it's got decent capacity but isn't TOO big. I've used mine for day hikes, and for lugging various crap like art supplies to/from jobs, etc. It's handy, and cheap so you don't mind it getting paint on it, or other filth if you work a dirty job.

3. With a frame, the Medium ALICE works better, in my view, than the large, as the foundation for the Hellcat. The reason for this mainly is that the Sleep System Carrier fits better underneath the Medium than it does under the Large. Both work, but under the Large it's a bit more floppy than under the Medium. Right now I've got a Medium Hellcat set up with the SSC, and a Large with a butt pack in the same place. This works, but then you've got to find somewhere else to put your sleeping bag or whatever. (The buttpack contains a poncho liner but in cold weather, I'm skeptical of relying on just that.) I'm still playing with this system.
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Re: need help alice pack med or large?

Post by maine1 » Thu May 16, 2013 11:08 pm

the medium alice is the pack that just keeps on keepin' on, at least in my stable.

The pack i have now was bought at a surplus store more than 20 years ago, and went out for the TT mods a few years ago, despite being a bit rough in places.
I run it with the frame, and either the Eagle or BH S straps and kidney belt- i forget wich one.

Despite having other packs, mostly internal frame jobs, i go back to the alice for about everything, BOB, hiking, travel, whatever.

Some people hate the alice with passion, and i believe that has to do with torso size. average sized guys like me are GTG. taller or shorte guys are not, evidently- I am not sure, not having been taller or shorter.

I like the alice because:

- it holds enough, but not too much, making one chose gear carefuly
- external pockets of a useful size. I always carry the same items in them, and when using an internal frame, these items are moved from thier "homes" and its a PITA for me to find..one reason i keep sticking with the alice
- Its almost ubiquitous in society
- its OD green....the right color
- desinged to carry weapons with, not like most civillan packs
- frame is handy for many things- holding duct tape, zip ties, seat, ect.
- easy to work on, repair and modify. The TT grab loop and fastex mods are good.
-I have used it for a while, and i am used to it.
i trust it.

LARGE alice packs...have a couple....meh.

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Re: need help alice pack med or large?

Post by KnightoftheRoc » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:47 pm

One thing I think people overlook, is that the large pack is essentially the same arrangement as the medium. Just... you know, larger. But WHY? It's larger because it's for colder weather use, and cold weather gear is bulky, thereby needing more room. Another difference between the two is the outside pockets- on the large pack, they are designed to hold a pair of skis. Yes, a pair of skis. They slide, one each, behind the two outer pockets to the left and right. A neat idea, although somewhat limited in use if you're not going skiing. I have seen medium packs with this feature, but seldom, and I'm not sure why or when they made them this way. I have found it useful for storing cordage/rope- make a long roll, fold it in half, and tuck each half behind the pockets for secure storage, easy access.

Also, before I forget it, for the frame users, there is a 5 liter soft canteen that ties into the frame just above the kidney belt, that works really well. I have one which I have designated for water gathering, since it is designed with a screened opening. Once purified, I can refill my canteens, and still have a quart or so for washing up with.

ETA: Since we are discussing the packs, let's include the equipment that is designed to go with them, it's a seldom discussed topic, yet the packs themselves get quite a bit of talk. There's at least one sleep system carrier, the 5 liter canteen, the 2 liter canteen, the radio, the cargo shelf, cargo straps, and a couple shoulder strap designs. Those are all items I have, except for the radio, because screw that 40 pound hunk of F U.
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Re: need help alice pack med or large?

Post by ROCK6 » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:22 pm

I was issued the medium ALICE many moons ago and as soon as I could, I purchased my own Large ALICE. We used the medium for road marches and ruck-runs, but field use was reserved for my Large ALICE. My pre-Kifaru deployment pack was my Large ALICE and the best investment was sending it off to Gene at HSGI (late 90's, very early 2000's) and he built in some extra expansion, reinforced it and added some top lid pockets; his Ali-frame system made a huge difference along with the two IV-sized packets behind the frame. The bottom could be compressed or expanded and my HSGI modified Large ALICE was deployment pack I could live out of for 30-days easy. Of course, fully loaded, it was short range pack...from one form of transportation to another :mrgreen:

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