The All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment (also know as “ALICE Pack“), was first introduced by United States Army in 1974. The ALICE pack was intended as a replacement to the aging M-1956 Load-Carrying Equipment [LCE] and M-1967 Modernized Load-Carrying Equipment.
The ALICE pack has become popular with the players of airsoft and paintball. The popularity of the ALICE pack is due to the quality of the materials it is made out of, its easy to customize, and the packs area easy to find in most military surplus stores.
This video gives a description of the large and medium ALICE packs. After watching the video, be sure to visit the forum. More information can be found there on gear like the ALICE pack.
The ALICE pack in the video is about 12 to 13 years old, and has been on more hiking and trips then I care to count. The overall comfort of the pack is a little lacking, but its designed for military service, not the civilian market. If you are looking for a go anywhere and do anything pack, its going to be hard to beat an ALICE pack.
With the introduction of molle packs on the market, there has been a shift from the ALICE pack to the molle pack. Personally, I think the alice packs are more durable then the molle packs. The alice pack frames are aluminum and will not break like the molle pack.
The military service people that I have talked to prefer the alice packs over the molle pack, mainly due to the plastic frame of the molle breaking.
I also like the amount of pockets on the alice, as compared to the molle. The Large ALICE pack has 3 large pouches and 3 small pouches on the outside of the pack. On the inside of the pack you have the radio pouch – which is great for storing all kinds of small gear.
The molle packs lack an internal radio pouch like what the alice packs have.
With the MOLLE packs, I like the size of the sustainment pouches that can be mounted to the outside of the pack.