Mini -FILBE pack in 500D Cordura

Sewed up a Mini-FILBE (Family of Improved Load Bearing Equipment) Pack in 500D Cordura, Coyote Brown, Flame Resistant coated; using USGI webbing and hardware. The pack is a simple packbag, just one large compartment, no lid pocket, and covered in MOLLE and ALICE webbing.

Specs

19x12x9″, approximately 2,052 cubic inches

7 rows of MOLLE on main bag body

2 rows of ALICE on main bag body

3 rows of MOLLE on lid and bottom

Drawcord closure with flat black grommets and OD stripped paracord

Duraflex buckles from National Molding in Coyote Brown

ITW-Nexus Coyote Brown 1″ D rings; 1.5″ black D rings

ITW Nexus LadderLoc buckles

Black Oxide Tri-bar tabs for frame attachment and compression strap attachments

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Main pack in slick mode

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side of pack showing compression strap

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frame and suspension side

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Showing how side compression strap attaches to frame side horn via black tri-bar buckle

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bottom of pack showing MOLLE for additional lash points or pouches

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with frame and suspension removed. Pack can be used frameless via the 4 D-rings, using ALICE shoulder straps or similar straps available from Fireforce USA and Tactical Tailor

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Upper corner frame attachment point with black tri-bar buckle

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Detail of where the black tri-bar attaches on the frame upper corners behind the shoulder yoke assembly

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Lower frame attachment strap with D ring for frameless carriage

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Detail of how the upper 1.5″ D-rings interface with the load stabilizer buckles on the shoulder yoke assembly. I might add more webbing to stabilize the D-rings in those location to prevent twisting.

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Showing the interior. It is one layer of 500D fabric where the white side is the Flame Resistant coating, and double layer on the back/frame panel. Also you can see how I attached the paracord to the corners for drawcord closure.

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Detail shot of drawcord closure with OD paracord, 0.5″ hole diameter grommets, and USMC surplus duraflex chest rig webbing mount buckles for side compression straps

 

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Shot of pack with 2x USMC IFAK pouches, 2x SDS canteen pouches attached

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Side view of pouches on the pack, showing how close the webbing and fabrics are in colors.

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Comparison shot of Mini-FILBE next to Propper made USMC FILBE pack; yes the USMC pack is HUGE compared to the Mini-FILBE.

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Two shots of FILBE, Large ALICE, and Mini-FILBE packs; the Mini FILBE with pouches seems quite similar in size to Large ALICE, but is shorter in height.

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USMC FILBE next to Large ALICE rucksack. The FILBE is again, much larger than the Large ALICE rucksack.

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Stuffed the FILBE bag as much as I could to better show the size differences

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another view of size differences

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Also stuffed the Large ALICE ruck, again to show differences.

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Side profile shots of the three bags

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Lid size comparison; in these photos, none have frame and suspensions on, to better show the relative sizes.

I do not have an example of a Medium ALICE rucksack to compare against the Mini-FILBE; but I have a hunch it is just a teeny bit smaller.

 

 

Extra wide, Extra Large MOLLE belt

Sorry for neglecting this blog! I have been busy, what with being married and saving up for wedding reception and other things! Here is one of my projects; an extra wide, extra large MOLLE waist belt system; It is made of 1000D Cordura in Tactical Tailor Olive Green, with 3 rows of MOLLE, and 1 row of 2″ ALICE type webbing. The main belt is sized for 1XL-2XL dudes; about 40 inches and 6 inches wide on the padded, MOLLE/ALICE webbing section, with 2″ webbing belt for big bellies. I tried to make a set of MOLLE I style sleeves that extends the main padded section, but they are not very effective. Likely will redo them eventually.

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Shown with Tactical Tailor Medium Modular MOLLE belt

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Back showing 3mm air mesh padding

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With Tactical Tailor pouches and Bianchi holster; and Tactical Tailor X harness with custom front straps

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MOLLE I style extension sleeves; I think they need closed cell foam or plastic stiffeners to work better. Shown with MOLLE I vest panels attached

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MOLLE I with extensions; modeled by yours truly, wearing 1980s OD Extreme Cold Weather Parka with liner removed;

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LBE mode with extensions removed, just main belt, Tactical Tailor X harness and 1.5″ vertical straps. Same 1980s parka; the LBE equipment colors really blends with the parka color.

MOLLE Plate carrier Adapters for BDS Tactical chest rig

Made a set of MOLLE adapters for the BDS Tactical chest rig to interface with a MOLLE plate carrier. The chest rig came to me without shoulder straps/harness, and without buckles and one magazine flap, so I ordered replacement buckles and mag flap directly from the manufacturer. They came in coyote brown, which is a darker shade than the original Tan 499/ Khaki color.

The upper chest rig mounts are made of 1.5″ webbing with 1″ webbing for MOLLE; and 1.5″ buckles are sewn to them, while the side buckle straps are cut from Foliage Green 1.5″ webbing and 1/8″ shock cord is used for attachment to the MOLLE webbing on the back.

Overall, the plate carrier/Chest rig combination works pretty good with the interface system, which still allows the user to remove the chest rig quickly with the side release buckles

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view of the rig combination

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Back view showing the simple shock cord system with 4 straps

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Close up of the upper rig mount

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Back of the adapter, showing the Short MALICE clip used.

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Shown on a display mannequin torso with 6x AR15 magazines loaded, coyote brown canteen/utility pouch on one side

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With radio pouch in Coyote Brown on other side

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View of the rear, with a hydration bladder pouch covering the black shock cord.

 

I am aware I could have modified the BDS Chest rig to use 1″ buckles that are standard with most armor interface kits available on the market, however I wanted to maintain the ability to accept original manufacturer’s shoulder straps/harness kits should I decide to swap out.

Armor carrier is Diamond Back Tactical’s Fast Attack Plate Carrier, first generation I believe; without the cummerbund flap option that the newer version have.

 

 

Green and Black “Judy” Mountain rucksack loadout

So I decided to see what I could reasonably pack into the green and black rucksack that is a copy of the WW2/1950s+ US Army Mountain Rucksack; for a relatively cold weather.. The only information on it is a white embroidered tag saying “Professionally fabricated by Judy”. So it is now called a Judy rucksack by me, although I have never seen another one.

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Basic loaded up, missing a folding fire stove that would go into the 6×9 center pocket along with fire start kit.

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view of the back panel and painted frame

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The contents of the outside pockets, the blue 3/8″ Closed cell foam pad, and the cook pot carrier. Left to right;

My pyramid A-Tacs shelter with cordage and stakes from A-Tacs shelter tent, cook pot set, army canteen

The lid flap with a zippered pocket, the zipper is a YKK metal zipper. Contents of the lid pocket, missing are antibacterial wipes, 1/2 a toilet paper roll, granola bars and other snacks, likely would be carried on my person

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The contents of the main pocket which is a similar size to the USGI Large ALICE ruck. The stuffsacks and the Catoma Improved Bug Net System pop up bug tent are on top of a 1990s USGI Extreme Cold Weather Parka. Camo stuff sack has my 1970s Hirsch-Weiss (White Stag) goose down mummy sleeping bag, Stansports stuff sack has my BDU pants, and the Double Black Diamond stuff sack has the rest of my clothing.

I might acquire a stuff sack that is in between the two small sizes and the large sleeping bag size to consolidate my clothing.

Left, my 2 BDU pants out of the Stansports stuff sack. On the right, the rest of my clothing, poly-wool blend long johns, polyester underwear, normal socks, cotton t shirt, polyester long sleeve base layer shirt, wool socks.

 

It is not a complete load-out yet, I am thinking I want to make a few add-on pockets; one for the army tent poles coming in the mail, and a pair of either minimalist water bottle carriers/canteen carriers (elastic and straps like the cook pot carrier), or regular ol’ fabric carriers… I might add a couple D rings to the bottom of the main lid straps so I can securely lash the sleep pad on the bottom instead of the top. Water bottle carriers would be strapped to the frame horns on the rucksack frame, so that the heavy weight is closer to my back, and it would free up one of the pockets for carriage of other things. First aid kit is always on my person. The entire thing is not ultralight, or even lightweight, the USGI Large ALICE rucksack is far lighter with the aluminum frame and 420D pack cloth fabric.

 

Kidney pad, Cook pot carrier, and Hi Point 995 Redball satchel

Sewed up a few things over the last few days;

First up, a narrow kidney pad (not waist belt) for the WW2 rucksack frame being used on a much newer, unknown manufacturer custom rucksack that is basically a copy of the WW2 Mountain Rucksack;, and then a cook pot/pan carrier that attaches to the rucksack via the M1910 wire hook. Lastly, I sewed up a simple black 500D Cordura satchel for 5 Redball 20rd magazines and 6 10 round Hi Point 995 magazines, with velcro patch panel, 1.5″ center release buckle, 1.5″ shoulder strap. The magazines are retained by 3″ elastic webbing

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Kidney pad, made with 500D Cordura, 3/8″ Closed cell foam, 1.5″ webbing, 2 D rings, a tension strap

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Close up of tension system using a plastic cam buckle

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Another view of the tension system, lifted from the ALICE rucksack system

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Cook system carrier, 3″ elastic band for the perimeter, 2″ black strap for M1910 hook, 1″ buckle strap with center open buckle

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view of the closure system

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The back of the carrier, showing how it all ties together to maintain positive retention of cook pots

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Showing how the carrier attaches to the rucksack via a M1910 wire hook on the grommeted tabs

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995 carbine magazine bag, made for a customer.

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Interior shot of the magazine bag

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The back of the magazine bag, You can clearly see the diagonals for the Redball magazines on the bottom half of the bag.

Redid the A-tacs tent fly closure

I redid the A-Tacs pyramid tent’s fly/door closure, so that there is an overlap to keep inclement weather out. I used US Military herringbone patterned 1″ binding tape with button holes cut and sealed with a lighter, it may look slightly crude, due to not having a buttonhole attachment and proper zig zag stitch Fashion Disc for my old Singer 328K machine…but it works pretty good… Easiest to open and close from the inside, although it closes OK from the outside

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3-quarter view in direct sunlight; there’s a slight slack on the sides, but it could be made taut by using the back pull out to another pole or to a tree, or to a ridge line.

 

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Another 3 quarter view, mostly in shade.

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Side view, please excuse the reflective glare; It shows how the crossed poles are leaning forward instead of being vertical.

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Head on to the closed door; The way I set the whole thing up, I staked the back corners and the center door tie down first, then raised the tent with the poles, then staked the last corners down… it might have been better to do the door corners and doors first before the rear corners…. I may add a couple center panel pull outs to the sides if I feel it is necessary.

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With one door out of the way, and other door staked down. There is room enough for 2 skinny people in there, or one person with equipment.

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Close up of the herringbone tape with buttonhole slits melted into the tape and sewn to the door panel.

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Close up of the Army BDU plastic buttons. I used the machine, with a riser plate, and a special button foot, hand cranked using the L and R needle positions on the machine.

 

A-Tacs FG pyramid tarp tent

Sewed up this pyramid shelter out of 5 yards of  Polyurethane/silicon coated waterproof 1.9oz Ripstop Nylon in A-Tacs FG camouflage colors. Final measurements are 7 ft 10 inches long, 4 ft, 7 inches wide, height at peak, 50 inches. I will have to redo the door closure system to get the overlap needed for further weatherproofing.

There are a total of 11 tie out loops, I may add a few more if it would enable one to do more variety in setups like a blind or an observation post, or something similar to that.

Right now the support it uses are 2 standard aluminum adjustable tarp/awning poles lashed together… it will be changed out for something more low visibility later on.

On to the photos!

 

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Progress photo; door triangles cut and laid next to edge of front of main body, it is folded here, it should show how it looks when laid flat and folded in half.

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front view of the shelter; You can see how the doors have no overlap, and a serious gap that would allow weather to go in….so it is being redone right now.

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Side view, please pardon the USGI poncho peeking out, the poncho is  quite a bit wider than the shelter; The slight inclination of the door panels is evident here. One could add a rectangular tarp or poncho awning here for more space and for cooking/dining/general activities.

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The back view of the shelter, You can see the additional tie outs in the center of each of the 3 edges, and the center of the primary seam line on the back panel. The roof tie out is in case the user wants to have additional space inside the shelter, and the other tie outs are for more secure staking of the shelter in high wind areas, or for alternate shelter layouts to make up for space restrictions.

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Inside shot of the shelter with the doors folded back. The extra length is apparent here compared to the USGI poncho, and the relative narrowness is also evident here. I chose this width and length for a single person with room enough for gear/equipment/furred partner (dogs!), although two persons can snuggle up in there if needed.

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Close up of the door closure system, 1st try. It is simply 6 US Army BDU buttons, and elastic loops that fits on them. The loops will be replaced by something else that would provide me with the overlap needed to keep weather out. This is one of the lightest, most silent methods of closures that I can think of for the purposes of this shelter.

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Shown rolled and wrapped with the single peak line. The Coyote Brown  roll is the Bushcraft USA 10×10 Coyote tarp made of the same type of fabric (1.9oz PU coated Ripstop nylon). The pyramid shelter rolls into a smaller package, and is a bit lighter, even with the door closures being included.