Military Backpacks: ALICE vs. MOLLE

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Which Rucksack is worth using? When it is regarding military backpacks, constant argument is there over which among the 2 primary systems should one use. All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment (ALICE) is old-school styled that dates back to Vietnam War. This is loved much by several old hats in military. It is also having few fans among younger folk in prepping and survival circles. MOLLE is new kid on block that utilizes modern design and materials for much convenient and ergonomic system appealing to customizing mindset. We will be taking a quick peek at these 2 systems as well as find out which is the best among them for carrying all important gears when one is caught in survival situation.


ALICE_PackIs it old yet faithful designing? ALICE packs are old in design as well as in material used and the way it looks. On one hand, users have not much convenience as compared to what one expects from even average civilian backpacks, as maximum compartments are closed and opened by loosening metal straps instead of simply unhooking clasp or button. One would also find external frame heavier for their pack as its designed using metal instead of lighter plastic. As ALICE had been designed without keeping in mind Camelbak-styled water bladders, users are forced at either rigging-up something themselves or using old-fashioned canteen to hydrate on long trek in heat.

On the contrary, old materials tend being pretty durable as well as its metal strap designing isn’t likely to break even under heavy stress or pressure. External metal frames are not just rugged but they can assist you in putting some airspace in between the heavy pack as well as the user thereby keeping them cooler through additional flow of air. External frame has made it simpler to customise in many ways if one has creative ideas as it offers many strong points for users to hang heavy items off of.


Is it New Gold Standard?

Molle_backpackMOLLE packs come in new designs as well as have tighter fitting with internal plastic framing. When compared to heavier, older ALICE packs, these MOLLE packs have been designed to offer maximum customization and comfort. Various materials including modern plastics make this pack pretty lighter overall and its internal frame will mould to the body for finer mobility. Latest MOLLE packs that are available make heavy usage of potent Velcro-like system so that users can attach small packs, flashlights, and several other accessories rapidly to the primary system. Though some users find this Velcro system annoying especially when in heavy forest or brush, maximum say that MOLLE gear hangs the gears in such a way so that even when lots of obstacles and branches are there, finding them is easy for ripping things away. With the help of these strips, it is possible using single pack for wide range of missions as each time one heads out all they require doing is detaching all unnecessary items and moving on. It is pretty simple as compared to trying loosing straps as well as emptying compartments just like done in ALICE pack!

On the contrary, there are several users who complain that internal frame is having tough time with heavy loads as well as it tends becoming heavy and hot because pack hugs your body thereby leaving little cooling airspace between the pack and user. Further, huge amount of plastic has resulted into some inferior durability accusations when compared to heavier canvas and metal of ALICE packs. It seems in this regard to depend exactly on what every soldier requires from this pack but those who generally have heavy loads as well as much rough-and-tumble actions witnessed greater damaged caused to their MOLLE backpacks as compared to those who carried out general frontline tasks with lighter loads.

Which Military Backpack should be selected?

BackpackThough it may sound similar to cop out, fact is that MOLLE as well as ALICE have their own place. For deciding one thing, habits of the user will dictate whether or not lack of simple customization through MOLLE Velcro would matter to them. Those who carry similar load all the time, what’s the requirement of customizing? On the contrary, those who like packing and planning depending on having quick access to their items, ALICE pack’s metal straps can slow them down during crucial times thereby making MOLLE better option. I would in general say that ALICE system is best for rough treatment, long-term, and heavy loaded excursions. Those who are walking three weeks towards their destination with all water, gear, and scrap of food, then possibly ease of transport and greater durability is the prime concern. On the contrary, if one needs instant access especially in dangerous regions, like while patrolling near retreat or when heading towards town for scout or trade, then much rapid deployment of MOLLE packs would be a better option. As one reaches closer and closer to middle of road between MOLLE and ALICE backpacks, their personal needs and habits would become prime deciding factors.

To conclude, generally ALICE packs tend being cheaper as compared to MOLLEs as they are largely being abandoned by US Military hence surplus quantity is available. On the other hand MOLLE packs still are actively used but their supplies are pretty limited. This I am leaving at last for you all to decide based on utility and quality of military backpacks that you want instead of price whenever possible. Those who are operating on shoestring prepping cost, this can be vital decision to consider.

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About the author

Learn More About Being a Survivalist. My name is Jack and my blog is a great way to get new and useful tips on how to get your house ready for anything, whether its a terrible storm or a really long power outage.

1 Comment

  1. Elisa Ruth

    Thank you so much for sharing us such a good infornmation.

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