OD lumbar pack for MOLLE I waistbelt and V strap adapters

Built a large lumbar pack for the 1st generation MOLLE (MOLLE I) ruck waistbelt; as the belt is quite sturdy and has attachments which allows the user to attach an ALICE buttpack to it. Materials; 1000D Cordura Nylon in Tactical Tailor Olive Green; 1″ Nylon webbing in OD #7, ITW-Nexus hardware. Approximately 740 cubic inches, a little over 12 liters.

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The large MOLLE Lumbar pack on the 1st gen MOLLE belt

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Side view

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Upper view

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Shown with 1980s ALICE OD butt pack, and 1990s-2000s ALICE/MOLLE butt pack (really is ALICE but were issued with the 1st gen MOLLE items)

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Close up of the top 1.5″ triglide mounts to stabilize the lumbar pack to the 1.5″ webbing

I also made a set of V strap adapters to interface with Tactical Tailor’s padded MAV harness; and to enable users to attach to the 1st gen MOLLE waist belts, of both types

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Shown attached to the MOLLE I Ruck waist belt; You can see how the waist belt has the hardware for the ALICE butt pack, with metal loops for the woodland butt pack’s lashing straps.

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On a standard 3 piece MOLLE I utility belt; they are commonly found either missing the 1.5″ vertical webbing, or with a different belt attached (either SPEAR ELCS or MOLLE II). The outboard sleeves are nearly identical to the SPEAR ELCS H harness pieces, only they have 3 metal rectangle loops to connect the 1st generation vest panels.

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Close up of the adapter. I used ITW-Nexus’ Strap dividers for 1.5″ webbing, 1.5″ webbing tapered to points, and sewn to 1″ webbing.

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Close up of the lower ends of the V straps, using 1″ Tri-glides and utilizing 3 of the waist belt’s metal loops (There are a total of 12; 6 per side, for adjusting where the vest panels go)

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Pouch/pack attached, 2x Combat Medic Vest system triple ammo pouches, 2x canteen covers, 2x Tactical Tailor Large utility pouches, 1x Tactical Tailor Zippered medic pouch, and the lumbar pack.

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Showing the gap between the pouches for the 1″ webbing to go through.

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Upper view with belt standing up

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On Utility belt; with all 3 sections adjusted smallest possible; from outboard to center; 2x Grenade pouches, 2x CMVS triple ammo pouches, 2x Canteen pouches, 1x SAW 100rd pouch with old  ALCIE?M1967 Jungle First Aid Kit’s plastic box insert.  This set up is very similar to the ELCS H Harness, or Eagle DFLCS H harness, or any of the older PLCE/H-Harness rigs offered by Eagle, London Bridge Trading Company, Blackhawk! Industries, and British Tactical.

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MOLLE II Ruck on Large Coleman frame!

Picked up a vintage Large Coleman PEAK 1 backpack with the large frame; and then got a MOLLE II pack with Main Ruck and Modular Sleep System carrier on Gen 2 MOLLE frame; decided to see how the MOLLE bags interface with the large Coleman PEAK 1 frame…. it works beautifully! I have extra space on the frame for the lashing of other things, or if I remove the MSS carrier, another Main Ruck bag!

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Coleman Peak 1 pack, it is roomy, and very nicely made, just very old. (1989 date on the hardware)

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Side view of the thing.

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Suspension view, the straps and belt are not comfortable at all for me.

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So I put the MOLLE II suspension from the stock MOLLE gen 2 frame on the far right side, onto the large Coleman frame on the far left, in the middle is the small “Junior” Peak 1 frame that is useful with the ALICE series of bags but cannot interface with the MOLLE bags due to the MOLLE bags attachment points being much wider.

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Frames without bags, one could lash a lot of items to the frames if so desired.

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MOLLE Main ruck, with MSS carrier attached to the bottom, and MOLLE Sustainment Pouches attached to the sides, I’ve had the Sustainment Pouches for a long time, going back to my old bike packing system..a few years, and they are still holding up very well!

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bare side to attach to the frame

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Upper pack bag’s attachment points, a short strap on the top, and a metal tab thing midway

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Another view of upper bag’s attachment, mid tab, then bottom tab by the shoulder strap attachments

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MSS carrier bag’s attachments, all 4 of them are in use, and again, they are the metal tab system, and they fit the frame as if the frame was designed for it

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Complete MOLLE II backpack on the Large Coleman Frame; there’s about 9-10 inches of space between frame bottom and bottom of MSS bag for the lashing of items.

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Suspension side showing how the pack looks with the frame attached, theres another gap between top of frame and top of pack, again for lashing items, or as a very convenient carry handle.

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Sideways view of pack on frame, you can see how it is rather large and bulky, but should be excellent for winter trips or group camping! Or long travels as well!

The MOLLE Suspension system is very comfortable, and effective…although it is very heavy, it gives one a feel of being bombproof and able to take on just about anything short of shrapnel damage or flames.

I paid $10 for the Coleman Peak 1 backpack system, plus $50 for the MOLLE main ruck, and I think $15 for the pair of Sustainment Pouches, so the total invested would be around $75, for what amounts to two complete backpacks, and the results is that I now have a very comfortable, very sturdy backpack system, and due to the metal tab attachments, I can quickly remove the pack bags if I need to just lash things to the frame.

ALICE frame modular stuff sack pack system;

Decided to see what the MOLLE compression panels could take, and set up a backpack system in which the main bag is removable and contains all of my hammock camping gear cept tarp and suspension tree straps!

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Pack with everything loaded onto it

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Side view with hatchet mounted

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Other side view with knife and flashlight

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Bottom view, that is a vintage M1967 sleep system carrier being used as the bottom panel.

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Suspension view. Even though this frame is obsolete, and usually not comfortable with ALICE packs…it works pretty good for this load because of the packing system.

The pack contains the following items;

In the WW2 laundry bag stuff sack;

hammock

under pad

bug net

Kelty top quilt

In each of the 4x USMC Coyote brown pouches;

First aid kit (marked with red cross)

cook set and fire kit

food

back up hammock/gear hammock (Grand Trunk UltraLite)

In the MOLLE Water bottle carriers are the water bottles (self explanatory)

USGI M16 pouches carries my tarp in one, and hammock suspension in other

IDF revolver ammo/handcuff pouch houses my compass

Green Buttpack up top carries my clothes for up to 3 days

horizontal MOLLE pouch on very top carries my stakes, cordage, bandannas.

I do have room enough in the WW2 laundry bag to carry more insulation if I need to.

I notice that the MOLLE compression panels will likely need a 3rd buckle in the middle, and 2 more straps to attach to the frame, so that it compresses better around the main stuff sack.

External Frame packs and Vintage ALICE Goodness!

Decided to do redo my hiking backpacks and return the Improved Hellcat pack frame to stock format of Coleman PEAK-1 bag, original straps and all; and packed it with stuff for the Significant Other except her clothes….What is surprising is that the removal of the military equipment cut out around 5 pounds of unnecessary weight; though at the loss of modularity….right now with stuff except clothes and water, it weights 16 pounds overall. The big green Academy Broadway Jasper pack is full of stuff except water, and carries extra items for two people, weights in at 22 pounds, but empty, the pack weights around 5.5 pounds, still a significant weight loss compared to the MOLLE equipped Coleman pack frame before. I also decided to return one of my old ALICE bags to a like-new ALICE frame and stock straps/belt (all 1978-1979 vintage and NO SCRATCHES OR DAMAGE!) that was given to me by the S.O.’s mother, turns out empty, it weights 9 pounds….only 2 pounds less than the MOLLE version, and still almost double the empty weight of the Jasper pack and the Coleman PEAK 1 pack.  Also did the Bobcat Mod on a camo ALICE bag with camo LC-2 straps, its not bad but not good for heavy loads.

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The three external frame bags;

DSCN2081View of their suspension components;

 

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Bobcat modded Medium ALICE

DSCN2083View of Bobcat modded ALICE straps;

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Loaded up before I transferred all the crap in there to the Jasper pack; here, it weighted 32 pounds O.O (with a full 1 gallon of water and too much food, enough for like 5-6 days hahaha)

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showing the Bobcat mod, which consists of a 11″ long steel tube in the frame pocket and the straps attached around it to the metal rings of the pack. It works OK, but is best for lighter loads than whats shown here.

OK, people are probably wondering HOW is it I have so much stuff in those bags…..for the purposes of pictures, the ALICEs are loaded with extra items I have.

Academy Broadway Jasper pack list;

-blue CCF pad

-12×9 poly tarp

-10 stakes

-bug tent in lower compartment

-first aid kit in side pouch

-granola bars and chocolate packets in side pouch

-fire kit in small side pouch

-2 pairs of pants

-2 shirts

-2 pairs of underwear

-3 pairs of socks

-fleece pull over

-2 2qt canteens (empty right now)

-Kelty top quilt

-Food for 3 days

-canteen cup

-weight currently at 22 pounds without water.

Coleman Peak 1 pack

 

-Down 20 degrees mummy bag (too small for me, but perfect for S.O.)

-2 1qt canteens (also empty)

-canteen cup

-kitchen items; forks, spoons, skewers and pot holder

-2-3 days of food

-granola bars

-weight 16 pounds, no water or clothes

Green Medium ALICE pack

-empty weight; 9 pounds (EEK)

-twin air mattress

-one old sleeping bag

-two empty canteens

Camo Medium ALICE pack; Bobcat mod

-MOLLE straps inside

-MOLLE belt inside

-2x MOLLE sustainment pouches and MOLLE panels

-2x USGI 3 day training packs

-Hex tarp

-Bat-wing tarp

-extra stakes

-hammer

-total weight; 18 pounds

 

Out of all the packs, the Jasper’s modified waist belt fits the best, 2nd only to the MOLLE hip belt, and the Coleman Peak 1 straps are the most comfortable, 2nd only to the MOLLE shoulder straps… the belt it has is too small for me; so its ok for the S.O. for now. The worst straps is a tie between the Jasper straps and the ALICE LC-2 OD straps on the stock ALICE pack. The Jasper straps’ metal buckles are right in front of my armpits, where they should NOT be…..however, the upper mounts is at the perfect 45% angle, so I think I only need to modify the straps by extending the upper mount somehow. Not sure how to best proceed….There is the option of making complete new straps with a set of cannibalized LC-2 long straps similar to the woodland ones in OD, with which I would mount the bottom of the backs to the lower cross bar between the top and the bottom, and have load lifters to the original strap cross bars, this would give me 6 points of adjustment. Ideally if there was another bar below the cross bar, that would be the perfect place for new straps…I am not sure what model Kelty is closest to this frame… Or Jansports for that matter.

As for the Hellcat mods; I think I want to do it again with a DEI 1606AC frame, and probably with new, lighter materials similar to the set up on the Coleman Peak 1 pack, but in Olive or Camo…

For actual bug out bags, it is hard to beat the practically indestructible ALICE packs, especially with the Hellcat mods…..When one considers the need for the fabric to actually stand up to abuses such as dragging in the mud, tossing in the truck, or whatever vehicles have you, and so on….the ALICE and the MOLLE equipment are pretty good for that… BUT….unfortunately, it can also make you a target, hence my decision to pack these two civilian hiking backpacks, which are pretty tough, and also pretty much common everywhere (the Kelty/Jansport style one, not sure of the Coleman but…)…and so will aid greatly in the “gray man” thinking. Out here in the PNW, people do not give second thoughts or focus on the bearded guy wearing surplus winter jackets and a civilian hiking pack; nor do they focus on the obviously large hunting camo wearing guy with the old army backpack and old hunting rifles….In some areas, people are more attracted to the guy who wears 5.11 everything and has a black or coyote backpack with miles of MOLLE; but they do not really notice the guy with woodland/desert MOLLE; nor do they notice the guy with the 30+ year old framed hiking backpack.

Hellcat Pack Take 2; Woodland Voodoo Boogaloo!

Sorry for the silly second part of the title….. hahahahha anyways! since I could not find the DEI Quick Release hardware for the original MOLLE II straps; I decided to cut them off and attach ITW-Nexus Side Release buckles, the same kind of hardware used on the MOLLE gear and SKS gear I made in the past; they are effective, and field repairable, without needing to scrounge hard to find parts.

So after having modified the straps, I mounted them to my Woodland ALICE pack with the MOLLE belt already attached, I am not sure if I put the Load Lifter straps on correctly; since I had disassembled the parts from those straps a long time ago…I hope what I did is OK….but will find out… anyways, since the MOLLE waist belt have the 2 First Aid Pouches already attached, I used them for my hammock suspension tree straps and tarp guy lines and ridge line in one pouch, and my first aid kit in the other pouch, thus freeing up the two ALICE side pockets for foods and such….and also freeing up the top part of the ALICE pack for whatever small gear I might need to lash to. Also, I chose to not reuse the M1967 Sleeping Bag carrier and used the two dark green 1″ cargo lashing straps I have that were formerly on my bicycle rack for lashing bulky items. This saves weight a bit by not having an additional piece of fabric or having metal hardware (1″ Fastex buckles as usual). That is how I have my camo compression stuff sack attached to the bottom. otherwise, packing list is virtually the same as the OD version, with the tarp stakes now sharing the small interior pocket with the hammock.

 

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Close up of the Fastex buckle modification; I cut the stitching below the end of the strap where the original DEI Quick Release buckle hardware was, and folded it under the Fastex buckle, and bar tacked it in two lines for security.

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The pack loaded upDSCN1688

Right Side view, Kershaw fillet/fishing knife placed above 2 qt canteen, which is modified to now have a CamelBak strawDSCN1690

Left side, same as OD version, but without pouches or gear up above the 2Qt canteenDSCN1692

back of pack, with the MOLLE II shoulder straps and Waist belt, and showing the CamelBak straw threaded through the open spaces of the strap; I am considering getting a yard of Coyote tubular webbing or Brown or Green tubular webbing to serve as a straw cover.