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Old 10-12-2005, 17:44   #31
Warrior-Mentor
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A number of places sell a chest strap that can be used to pull the shoulder staps forward across your sternum. They can make the issue shoulder straps more user friendly.

Pro: Helps shift the weight...I liked using them when my arms would start to go numb.

Con: Felt like it restricted my breathing some...so I'd alternate using it and not.

JM
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Old 10-12-2005, 18:02   #32
Surgicalcric
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oorah4jc
Speaking of mods, anyone here use shoulder straps that they find to be better than the issued ones? Mine are in need of replacement, and besides that, they kill!
Ditto what W-M said with regard to the sternum strap.

I have replaced my issue straps and kidney pad with aftermarket ones from Tactical Tailor. They make wearing an ALICE much more comfortable, especially given my shoulder troubles. I carry the load on my hips now...

Eagle Industries also makes aftermarket shoulder and kidney pads. I dont have any experience with the Eagle ones so I will leave commenting on them to those that have...

YMMV,

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Old 10-12-2005, 18:23   #33
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I use the sternum strap on my camelbak and i feel the same problem, restricted breathing after a bit. I looked at the Eagle shoulder straps, and they seem to be the best, but I could buy 2pr of TTailor straps for the price of one of theirs...
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Old 10-12-2005, 21:19   #34
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I only used the issue shoulder straps with a sternum strap, but one other point of consideration if choosing an after-market strap is the adjustment buckle. Eagle makes very high quality gear, but I'm really not crazy about their use of a side-release buckle connecting the upper and lower halves of the strap. Its just another possible failure point, that will leave you in a bind if it should break and you still have miles to go with an infil ruck. TT uses a solid tri-glide buckle. Drill a small hole in the tab, run a loop of gutted 550 through it, and yank on that if you need to let out the strap to dump the ruck quickly. Almost as quick as a side-release, but less likely to fail. Just my personal preference, of course.
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Old 10-12-2005, 21:33   #35
david_reeves
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Ruck..

I bought a Kifaru EMR based on the reccomendation from a couple guys on LF.
I can say that I wish this ruck had been out there 20 years ago when I first started my career. Handles weight very well, its comfortable, and built like a tank. We've got several guys here in my unit that have isince bought them. They are convinced as well.

For what its worth, I used to rely on my large ALICE, and then my 100lb test monofilament re-stitched CFP-90. Now, I cant even look at them the same way.



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Old 10-13-2005, 14:01   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polar Bear
Para have you looked at Dana Design?

PB
I once owned the Dana Design Astralplane Overkill which was the ruck that the cadre of US Army Northern Warfare Training Center used when I went through BMLC. It was far and away better than proto-type rucks that I've been thrown under. It was a great ruck, but not at all suited for carrying the load or type of loads we do in SF.
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Old 10-13-2005, 15:36   #37
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So, coming from a guy who likes to ruck for the fun of it, my CFP-90 (brand new thanks to DRMO) will eventually fail me sooner than later if I consistently put anything in it that is over say 90+ pounds? I enjoy using it however as it rides nice on my hips. I also had one of the first Lowe Vector packs in the 70's and that lasted a hole season then took a dump. I do notice though that my 90 was made by a plastics company in 96 and is loosing some of its stitching especially along the top flap. I also have a Blackhawk 3-day pack but that thing can't hold much. In anybody elses opinion does any of Blackhawks other long "range packs" hold up nicely?
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Old 10-13-2005, 17:43   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longtab
It was a great ruck, but not at all suited for carrying the load or type of loads we do in SF.
Longtab or someone else could you please go into more detail. I have loaded my DD many a time above 100+ and never had a problem.

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Old 10-13-2005, 18:08   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polar Bear
...I have loaded my DD many a time above 100+ and never had a problem.

PB
Just because you have loaded it with 100+ lbs doesn't mean it was designed to carry that much weight or carry it often/well. The frame and construction may handle the weight, but if it's not designed to handle that much weight, as most civilian packs aren't, in my experience, you are asking for back/hip/knee trouble in the long run not to mention risking the thing blowing out on you at some point on a trail; not that this doesn't happen with military designed packs.

Dana Gleason has designed some very good packs and continues to do so, but as Longtab stated earlier they, for the most part, aren't SF or oytherwise military friendly by design. There is more to a military pack than just carrying the load. You must have access to what you need when you need it.

Not that I am an expert...just my .02. YMMV.

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Last edited by Surgicalcric; 10-13-2005 at 18:10.
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Old 10-13-2005, 18:09   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longtab
I once owned the Dana Design Astralplane Overkill which was the ruck that the cadre of US Army Northern Warfare Training Center used when I went through BMLC. It was far and away better than proto-type rucks that I've been thrown under. It was a great ruck, but not at all suited for carrying the load or type of loads we do in SF.
Do you think one of the top companies (Dana designs, Gregory, Mountain Hardware) would do a custom design for SF?

I am thinking like a marketing guy here. You guys help in the design, then you get a near perfect ruck and the company can then sell it to idiots like me as the "ARSOF designed and approved ruck".
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Old 10-13-2005, 20:15   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sten
Do you think one of the top companies (Dana designs, Gregory, Mountain Hardware) would do a custom design for SF?

I am thinking like a marketing guy here. You guys help in the design, then you get a near perfect ruck and the company can then sell it to idiots like me as the "ARSOF designed and approved ruck".
They have: one was an utter failure, one a shining success. See the posts above about the overly complex and heavy SPEAR ruck, and the rugged, well-built, military-oriented (albeit a little pricey) Kifaru. One was a govt-sponsored catastrophe, the other a private venture that turned into a spiral design process with lots of feedback from the military user.
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Old 10-14-2005, 00:01   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razor
They have: one was an utter failure, one a shining success. See the posts above about the overly complex and heavy SPEAR ruck, and the rugged, well-built, military-oriented (albeit a little pricey) Kifaru. One was a govt-sponsored catastrophe, the other a private venture that turned into a spiral design process with lots of feedback from the military user.
x2 Razor! My SPEAR (Gregory) ruck is the ruck that holds all of my WET items in the team room... and thats ALL I use it for.

Polar Bear my AstralPlane Overkill was killed by humping too much Army crap in it. I think the PRC-104, DMDG, and GRA-50 combo along with my WET gear finally did it in. My team was pissed off having to divide my ruck up to a more manageable weight to get off the mountain. It almost blew my back out when it failed and it did hurt my knee [naproxen-therapy... whew]. If I was just humping clothes, a camp stove, Nalgene bottles, and tent... it would probably be my choice ruck. But carry a couple radios, few batteries, DMDG or KL43, antennas, laptop, ammo, NODs... well then just give me my ALICE. Its an easier rig to jump. Sure we have the "jump anything pouch" now, but that alone weights 8-ish pounds.

MAB32 the CFP-90 was a failure when I first evaluated it as a PFC in 1993 in Alaska. I blew out ruck #1's sleeping bag compartment just packing it. Ruck #2's seams on the front panel blew out after a few days in the field in -30° weather. And ruck #3 ripped off my back along the aluminum stay's plastic track while we were ski-joring out. Three rucks... and that was just me. All together I think the platoon went thru over 30 rucksacks that FTX. The other test platoon in Fort Drum went through more rucks than us. I'm sure Natick made some improvements, but I'll forego the retest thank you.
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Old 10-14-2005, 10:33   #43
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Sten, check out Mystery Ranch. Their military pack(s) are designed for and issued to a component of SOCOM (so they say). It looks like it's based on Dana's Astralplane, with mods to carry fins and snowshoes on the outside. Your marketing idea sounds good... might want to start small, though, like maybe a Dive watch that's "Official Issue" to the SEALs

The Astralplane WAS (supposedly) designed to carry 100 lb+ loads, and the AP Overkill was made w/ 1000 dernier cordura (vice the 700 dernier on the regular model) in the hopes of keeping things like radio btrys, ammo cans, etc. from poking holes in it (why would you carry the ammo can, not take the ammo out? Well, in the USMC ammo techs get aggravated when you hand them back 10,000 rounds of linked 7.62, and nothing to put it in to). I think Dana Gleason sold Dana Design, and only has Mystery Ranch as his pack company.

I use an Astralplane for long climbs. Been tempted to add "one more thing" to it. It is BIG.

Mountaineering means carrying a ton of gear. Add mission esential gear for a military operation, and what surprises me is not that there are so many gear failures, but that there aren't many, many more.
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Old 10-22-2005, 19:03   #44
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Comparison Photos of Kifaru-CFP-90-Alice

Here's a couple pics for comparison of size and suspension systems.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...r/DSC01395.jpg


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...r/DSC01394.jpg
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Old 11-02-2005, 00:02   #45
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I saw a post with some info on Mystery Ranch in Bozeman, and for what's its worth, I have found the military pack they make (http://www.mysteryranch.com/catalog/...products_id=28) to be top notch. I've only carried it in civilian law enforcement missions, though, so I can't speak to its military usefulness.

In the Corps, we had a few Royal Marine bergens lying around and I found them pretty sturdy, but the Mystery Ranch pack I have is truly awesome. So far, its been down on the SW border, humping radios, sensors, gear, etc. (60 lbs that felt like 40) and all over the Wyoming mountains on backcountry patrol. The only danger is over packing it, and the coyote brown/OD green color has worked well in temperate forests and the high desert.

Expensive as a Kifaru, though - but made in the USA, right in my hometown.
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