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How to Put an ALICE Pack Frame Together

ALICE pack on soldier in Viet Nam
Department of Defense, All other photos DD Bergman

ALICE packs come in three sizes. They can be used with or without their component frames. If you've removed your frame or acquired the frame and pack separately, it is relatively simple to reassemble them. ALICE is an acronym for "Advanced Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment" and describes an entire line of integrated load-bearing items.

Frame inserted into top of pack

Insert frame top into envelope at top inside of pack. Make sure the frame is snug and evenly placed.

Shoulder strap secured inside of frame bottom

Thread bottom of shoulder strap assemblies through bottom areas of frame structure and back through loops at ends to secure.

Thread the tops of the straps back through releases on the shoulder pads. Leave loose until assembly is complete.

Inside bottom of frame

Insert the bottom retaining straps on the bag through the frame and secure through hardware as pictured--in through the top of piece, out through the bottom. Pull somewhat tightly after both sides are installed, but not as tight as possible.

Push hardware through retaining rings

Push hardware on inside of the back brace through retaining rings on bottom of the frame.

Back brace and retaining strap

Thread retaining strap through hardware on the back brace. This strap stabilizes the brace under the load.

As long as you can pull the strap tight securely, it doesn't really matter which way the buckle faces.

The strap is, essentially, triple-threaded through the buckle.

Pull the strap somewhat tightly and, while still retaining stress, fold the buckle back and lock the strap into place. Test the strap and if it's not secure, rework the threading until you get it right.

Check all attachments on the pack. It is wise to load the pack with a test load and wear it around for a bit to make sure all of your contacts and attachments work correctly before you take it to the field. Make adjustments as necessary.

Things You'll Need:

  • ALICE pack
  • Frame


DeltaGear.us website points out ALICE clips can assist the warrior and hiker "carrying field loads, existence items and general camping needs." Ditch-strap hardware allows the ALICE pack wearer to push a lever, releasing stress on a shoulder strap and, by simply leaning, the wearer can drop the pack and flee more rapidly.

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