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Does anyone use an alice pack? I am looking at getting a back pack and wondered what the pros and cons were of these military packs vs buying a more expensive kelty or north face or something along those lines. Looking at something to use for 2-3 day trips. I like the alice because it could double as a hunting backpack.
Thanks for any advice.
 

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I have not used an alice in years. I got some pretty strong feelings about that pack and all those forced marches we used to....
To me the alice is the most comfortable when used with the issue web gear( suspenders, cartridge belt, 2 canteens) to rest upon. The alice frame rides on top the two canteens and the suspender/ belt carries the weight of the pack. It's not adjustable at all and can't be balanced well unless you pack it a certain way.
I would go for the Kelty or North Face and be glad I did. The Kelty will carry more gear, will balance your load comfortably, and might be as durable as the alice. The alice would make a good second pack if traveling light but I'd go for comfort first.
 

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If you get one, get the LC2 (better clearance) rather than the LC1 frame. I have a couple and although I do not use them for backpacking (don't do it anymore) they are used for packing out meat.

Works well for that especially with the shelf. They seem more rugged and heavier than the civillian frames I have but are not nearly as comfortable.

When used while actually hunting I like their quick release straps to get out of it quickly and quietly to drop the pack.
 

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I highly recommend taking a look at internal frame vs the ALICE. Most any high quality internal frame pack will be much more comfortable and maneuverable than the ALICE. Most I-frames ride much lower and hence lower center of gravity. Also, the good ones have much more comfortable and adjustable suspension systems.

I have a Gregory that is nearly 15 years old with many miles on it and it is still in great shape. You'll pay more but the quality is worth it. Nothing worse than broken zipper or even worse a critical clip or strap when you are miles out in the boonies. The Gregory is top notch in quality.
 

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I have an alice I have had for I dont know how long,I would not trade it for anything, I have taking it all over the country even when i am not hunting or hiking, for the record, people do give you second glances sometimes, when you use an alice instead of a suitcase, but anyway, I love the quick release straps also and the zipperless design, I actually bought mine used at a surplus store and believe me since I have had it its been "roundtheworld"(truthfully I dont see how its still together) the US stamped on it is almost illegible but other than that it is in perfect condition, I guess it has served me very well for at least 15 years, just an estimate but.......If something ever happens to this one I would buy another without a second thought.
 

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ALICE packs have one thing going for them....durability....but that's ALL. THey are the most uncomfortable packs anywhere. Backpacking suspensions have gone through many generations of development since the ALICE was first made. You CAN get by with an ALICE, but it'd be like living in Dixie without air conditioning. By the way, Kelty packs aren't top-o-the-line packs. THey are considered a midling models by those who wear Gregory, Mountainsmith ArcTeryx and a host of other top-end packs.

Your best bet...try many on (weighted) before you buy.
 
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