Hi everybody. I bought this backpack in the late 80's from a military surplus store. I found that the store never included the strap that holds the backpack to your waist (not the kidney pad). I need to get this, but where?
I have the two padded shoulder straps that attach to the top of the metal frame but each strap ends with a closed black nylon loop, so I can't figure out how to attach these two closed loops/straps to the two horizontal slots in the bottom of the aluminum frame. Can anybody assist me with this?
OK. Will do. Usually I call up some surplus store and I wind up talking to some woman or teenager who has no idea of what I am talking about or has no clue where to get help. Such is the state of affairs in the kwa.
There is no way to attach a waist strap to a med sized Alice Pack, the strap attaches to the Frame Only. Large Alice packs can't be used without a frame, there is no way to attach straps directly to the Pack. The loops on your shoulder straps attach to loops on the top front edge of the Alice, undo the loops on the shoulder strap and thread them thru the top loops of the the pack and re-attach/re-thread the shoulder strap. Do the same for the bottom of the strap attachment points to bottom sides of the pack. If you posted a image of your pack it would be much easier to describe.
That looks like the kidney pad I described. I have the kidney pad with the small strap that attaches it to the frame. I don't see where the strap is that goes around your waist on the picture so I don't think I need this piece.
As I have stated I have the large Alice military backpack. I can't attach the closed loops to the top part of the frame as you suggested because they are sewed together -meaning I have a four inch diameter circle of strap at the end of the strap. Picture of my alice frame
Yes, this is a good picture representative of my frame. I see that it includes the straps that go around the waist. I need to get that. Although, I still haven't found out how to attach the bottom straps (with the closed sewn loops) to the two horizontal slots in the frame.
Edit: I just realized that I already contacted the people at this website and they said they just sell the backpack and not the individual parts.
Edited by fightlivefree (09/29/1105:01 PM) Edit Reason: add info
The bottom end of the shoulder straps are looped thru the small round opening on the bottom of the frame and then re-attached to the shoulder strap. IE pass the free end thru the hole and the web loop then back re-attach the free end to the shoulder strap. If there is no way to open the top end of the straps for the top attachment point you have a choice to make. split the sewn loop and add your own ladder buckle or loop the top strap like the bottom one onto the frame. the straps for both top and bottom attach to the frame only not the pack.
frediver, that is something I never thought of. I thought the large holes on the side of the frame were lightening holes - meaning removing excess non stressed material from the frame to make it lighter.
Ok. so I will try it, but just for curiosity what are the two horizontal slots that are in line with the straps and at the bottom of the frame for?
If you are set on using an ALICE frame, then ditch the normal suspension and buy some MOLLE suspension. You can buy the shoulder straps for $10 online, and the waist belt for $10 online. Much more comfortable than the original issue ALICE suspension. See how good your googlefu is and look up "hellcat modification".
MOLLE is what replaced the ALICE system. MOLLE Wiki Here is a place to buy with a decent price. Molle gear You can find better prices on ebay, but watch our for shipping costs.
A bunch of old timers don't like the new MOLLE packs, preferring the older ALICE packs. The guy that came up with the "hellcat" claims that the ALICE pack bag and frame are great, but the suspension is lacking. But, if you add the MOLLE suspension, then it is perfect. I bought some MOLLE suspension and put it on an old external frame, and it was very comfortable. Personally I think the MOLLE frame is better than the ALICE frame, but that topic seems to be a flash point among many.
At any rate, I think it is all just too heavy. The MOLLE frame alone weighs 2.2 lbs. The straps are 2.5 lbs more. The ALICE frame is even worse. Plus it doesn't put the weight where you want it. There are much better options that are cheaper and lighter.
Edited by finallyME (09/30/1106:09 PM)
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.
finallyME: Not yet an avid backpacker.Just trying to get the gear that I have ready and servicible. Perhaps you could answer a guestion that came up while I gathering information. I thought that I had a military surplus item, but when I looked to find any miliary type identification on the Alice pack I discovered there wasn't any. But the straps, metal attachment stampings and the frame definitely look US made and not chinese. I wonder why there was no identification. Maybe it was cut off.
Loc: California (southern)
Military surplus is the beginning backpacker's friend. My first backpack was a WWII molded plywood packframe, to which I lashed a duffel bag. The ALICE was a dream, compared to that contraption, although it could be rigged to carry anything short of a Sherman tank.
Way back when BQM offered a nylon/plastic frame for the Alice system. IIRC it was a Coleman frame, worked fairly well and really improved comfort and reduced overall weight. IMO weight is what kills the MOLLE system. A complete frame, 2 bags (cargo & sleeping bag) and suspension weighted in at 8 pounds, IMO about 4-5 pounds to heavy. Just guessing but the Alice on a Mil frame is more like 5pounds. A CFP-90 without a patrol pack is 6 pounds. Many of the modern Civi Pak's today weight 5.5-6.5 pounds. IMO still to heavy but many people consider that a reasonable empty pak weight today.
The Coleman enduroflex frame will accept MOLLE suspension, and an ALICE bag (with some mods). Airborne units used to commission Coleman to make them the frame because it didn't break when loaded with an ALICE pack and jumped with. Outdoor Products uses the frame now on their Dragonfly pack. There are people out there who buy the Dragonfly, then take off the lighter pack and suspension, then put on the MOLLE suspension and ALICE pack. For the OP, if you really, really want this frame, buy the pack at Walmart, and then don't change anything. Crazy people . DEI, the makers of the MOLLE frame, now make a smaller, lighter frame that accepts MOLLE shoulder and hip belts, and an ALICE bag. It is also suppose to be airborne friendly. Also, you can buy a NICE frame from Mystery Ranch (It's a pack company, and Michael never lived there )that accepts the ALICE pack as well. I hear this is the most comfortable option, and most $$$.
Edited by finallyME (10/03/1112:46 PM)
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.
I got my waist strap from the website that finallyME gave me, http://www.gunnyssurplus.com/ and found out why my black Alice backpack didn't have any military ID on it although the metal fame and metal buckles were definitively US military. A representative from this website told me that my back pack was almost certainly made in Korea. He said they he had received hundreds of them in time period mentioned (1985) and they were all high quality and made with black nylon and mostly likely made for ROK army.