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If there is one point where the ALICE pack stands out in, that has to be its rugged durability. Whether its an overnight camping trip, or a 3 day trip, the ALICE pack is durable enough to go just about anywhere.

My first exposure to the ALICE pack was somewhere around 1992 or 1993 when a buddy of mine returned from the first Persian Gulf conflict and we went on a camping trip.

We loaded up our packs just like we used to. But instead of having a civilian pack, my buddy had a medium ALICE pack that he had bought somewhere around Fort Bragg. We hiked about 2 - 3 miles to our camping spot, which was along a marsh between Bridge City and Port Arthur, Texas.

The hike was a pretty easy one - we walked through this huge cow field that must have been 2 miles across, then we followed and abandoned road that went through a wooded area. Finally we came to an area that had marsh on both sides and was densely wooded - that is where we set up camp. The area was familiar as we used to camp there all the time a few years previous.

When my buddy started showing me the medium ALICE pack, one of the main selling points was how durable it was. There was no plastic parts to break, the frame was aluminum tubing, exterior pouches for rain gear or a 1 pound propane bottle for the camp stove, a large internal pocket for al kinds of stuff, and a pouch in the top flap of the pack.

Anyway, my buddy and I spent the night in the woods, next to the gator infested marshes - it was just like the good ole days. We got up the next morning and went home.

But one thing about it, that camping trip and seeing that ALICE pack in action for the first time left a lasting impression. It was only a few days later that I ordered my mail from a mail order catalog.

Video from a camping trip in 2010 where we brought our molle and alice packs


My first exposure to the MOLLE pack was a couple of months ago after I bought 3 packs off ebay.

The three packs that my son, nephew and I brought on the camping included - Large MOLLE with internal sleep system, MOLLE with external sleep system and medium ALICE pack.

Large MOLLE pack with internal sleep system compartment - digital camo, internal sleep system compartment, plastic frame, no external pouches or internal pouches, map case in top flap, no radio pouch inside of pack, no hydration pocket for water bladder. The shoulder straps and waist belt are desert camo because I bought 2 desert camo packs off ebay, and used one set of straps and waist belt on my large molle. I would really like to replace the desert camo stuff with woodland green, but woodland green MOLLE stuff is a little difficult to find on ebay. Also, the military is supposed to be releasing its new camo to the troops pretty soon. This might cause the price of digital camo items to drop.

After comparing the molle and the alice pack side-by-side, if I had to pick between the two packs it would be in this order.

If I had to re-buy any or all of the packs in this article, it would be in this order:

1. Large Molle - Well designed pack, the few things I do not like about this pack can be easily fixed with a few add-on pouches. I still wish it had a metal frame instead of that junk plastic.

2. Medium ALICE - Battle proven through military use for around 40 years. Metal frame, lots of webbing,,,. The only draw back is that its a little heavy.

3. Large ALICE - Lots of room, but when fully loaded can be un-comfortable to carry. The lack of compression straps makes this pack too fat.

4. Medium Molle - I dont know if I would even buy this pack again. For something that supposed to be used by the military, I'am really disappointed in it.

One of the things that I really liked about the large MOLLE is how much webbing it has. The pack also has webbing on the bottom of the pack to strap a sleeping bag, tent, tarp or anything else.

One of the things that I did not like about the large MOLLE - it did not have a radio pouch inside the pack like the alice pack does. Nor does the pack have pouches on the outside of the pack. The plastic frame is also a draw back. Nor do I like having to use the pack with a frame - if the frame breaks your just out of luck.
 

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I have at least a dozen different packs in my garage of various configurations, Every year in deer season I hike at least five miles a day into the area that I hunt, that might not be much as far as some are concerned or it might be to much for others, but most of the hike in, is up hill starting at about 1400 ft elevation and ending at anywhere from 5000 to 6000 ft. elevation. After years of testing packs I can say the Eberlestock gunslinger is the ultimate pack for back country hunting. When I go into the back country I have to take enough clothes for extreme temperature swings. I've seen days when a front came through at 5000 ft. elevation and the temp will drop from 50 degress to -15 below, this pack allows me to carry two ranges of clothing for cool weather and for frigid. It also has a nice rifle scabbord so you can have free movement of both arms. It has molle loops everywhere,has a hydration compartment and best of all, it's comfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have at least a dozen different packs in my garage of various configurations, Every year in deer season I hike at least five miles a day into the area that I hunt, <snip> It has molle loops everywhere,has a hydration compartment and best of all, it's comfortable.
Looks like you have specialized needs in a pack, as compared to what I need. My hunting pack is a maxpedition noatak - its only about 1,000 cubic inches and its just big enough for a water bottle, knife, meal, rain poncho,,,, and a few other things.

You hike 5 miles to your hunting spot? That is a long trip.

I might walk about 1/2 a mile to where I hunt at. Sometimes I might take an ATV, but I do not like the noise pollution the ATV gives off.
 

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I hike and camp on mountain tops in the Adirondacks whenever possible. Favorite is the medium ALICE pack fitted with MOLLE shoulder straps and waist belt. Very comfortable and plenty of room for a 12 pack in there too.:D
 
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