The other day I received a question asking which one would make a good 2 day pack – MOLLE II Rifleman pack, ALICE pack, MOLLE II pack, or something from Maxpedition. In my opinion, there is no clear cut answer. The large ALICE packs are big, but their too “fat” – meaning they extend off my back too much and make me lean forward to balance the load. For this discussion, lets just talk about the medium ALICE pack, 3,000 cubic inch MOLLE II with external sleep system, the Maxpedition Vulture-II and the Maxpedition
For a 1 – 2 day warm – hot weather trip, I would have to go with either the Maxpedition vulture-ii, 3,000 cubic inch MOLLE with external sleep system or a medium ALICE pack.
The large 4,000 cubic MOLLE would be good for cold weather – where you need to carry a large sleeping bag, coat, change of clothes, 4 season tent,,,,,. But for a 2 – 3 day trip in warm weather, the large MOLLE will probably be too big.
A lot of it depends on where your going, temperature, and how much gear you carry. During the summer months, I can usually get away with an 1,800 – 2,000 cubic inch pack for an overnight trip. During July and August, I can get away with a 1,500 – 1,800 cubic inch pack.
Here is a video about the Maxpedition Falcon-II Pygmy that I use as a hot weather pack.
My kids and I are taking the MOLLE packs out for camping trip during the first weekend of May – at least that is when we have the trip planned. I should be able to post a video about the MOLLE packs as compared to the ALICE pack at that time.
I have a friend that used the ALICE and MOLLE packs while in the Army. He told me straight up that he likes the ALICE pack better – and I understand why.
To be honest, I do not like how the large ALICE carries – its too “fat” and sticks off my back to much, this makes me lean forward while wearing the pack. So lets just talk about the medium ALICE.
The MOLLE packs lack small outside pouches like what the medium and large ALICE has. This means that small items, like a multi-tool, water filter, topo maps, gps, compass, bug spray – all have to kept inside the pack, or you have to install add-on pouches. And add-on pouches cost money.
The inside of the MOLLE pack lacks the radio pouch that the ALICE pack has. I really like having this pouch – why it was removed from the MOLLE, I do not know. This is where I kept my stove, FM 21-76, flashlight and other small items.
The Maxpedition Vulture-II is a good pack, but it lacks the small outer pouches as well. This pack a large outer pouch, but I like having a few smaller pouches as well. Also, the shoulder straps of the Vulture-II can not be replaced, like what you can do on the military packs – they are hard sewn into the pack. The Vulture-II has a place for a water bladder, while the ALICE and MOLLE II does not.
If I had to pick between the large ALICE pack and the 3,000 cubic inch MOLLE, I would go with the 3,000 MOLLE – just because of the way the large ALIVE carries.
If I was going on a 2 day trip (overnight), warm weather trip, then I would pick either the Maxpedition Vulture-II or the medium ALICE pack. I personally like the waist belt and shoulder straps on the Maxpedition Vulture-II better then I do the ALICE pack. The ALICE packs do not feel (or look) like they were designed for comfort.