Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 25

Thread: Please tell me your opinion/experience of the ILBE main pack.

  1. #1
    Senior Member DSJohnson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    1,014

    Default Please tell me your opinion/experience of the ILBE main pack.

    Very Interested in what you think about it. Have you used it? By the way I doubt very seriously that I will ever under any circumstances be wearing G.I. issue body armor and humping this ruck so you do not need to spend any time telling me how much it sucks to try and use this pack wearing body armor. I would like to know all the pros and cons for using it as a general duty camping bag. Do you carry your sleeping bag inside of it or lash it to the outside. How do you use your "hydration bladder" with this pack? LOL..I still think and use canteens......But I am trying to "modernize" my kit. What upgrades have you tried? Is it a pretty water "proof" pack or do you need a rain cover?

    BTW if I have missed an existing thread on this pack just post the link.
    Last edited by DSJohnson; 09-10-2013 at 12:34 AM.


  2. #2
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Chugach National Forest
    Posts
    9,795
    Blog Entries
    11

  3. #3
    Not a Mod finallyME's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    4,227

    Default

    I don't have one.....that should tell you everything you need to know, ie....don't listen to me.

    I am looking at buying one, though...for two reasons.
    1. It would make a good BOB. It is big and comfortable, and can carry a lot of water weight. It is also really heavy duty and will last.
    2. As a loaner sherpa pack. When my dad or another adult comes backpacking with my family, they can use it, and carry a few of the kids stuff without much discomfort.

    I would not buy it for backpacking for me, for 2 reasons.
    1. It is a really heavy pack. If I am going solo, or only carrying gear for me, I would want a much lighter pack. It is also too big for my needs.......however, it might be good for winter when I need more volume.
    2. In the summer when I take my kids, I do need a pack that can carry a lot of weigh comfortably. However, in that role, this pack is actually too small. Next summer, I plan to take my 5 kids backpacking. I will end up carrying 4 sleeping bags, 2 tents, 80% of the food, a stove, 4 sets of clothes....etc. I need a LOT of volume, and the only thing that will do that is an external frame. The ILBE can handle the weight, but not that much volume.

    As for your other questions.....few packs are actually waterproof. The only ones that are, are basically dry bags strapped to a frame. A pack cover won't make it waterproof either, or any other pack for that matter.
    If you can't fit your sleeping bag inside, your bag is WAY too big, or you have WAY too much other crap in there. It is an internal frame pack....you should put your sleeping bag inside.
    I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/FinallyMe78?feature=mhee

  4. #4
    Senior Member DSJohnson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    1,014

    Default

    Thank you for the link Sourdough. FinallyMe thanks. I have been using an old Jansport D4 for the last 35 years or so for most of my hiking trips so I guess my first thought is just strap it on the outside no matter what I am thinkiing about. I have been carying a"soft" pack for my "just in case" kit in my vehicles for about that long also but I have rarely ever carried it more than 3 or 4 miles at one stretch and then just trying it out to see how it worked. I have probably actually only used a ruck as a main bag 4 or 5 times and that was when I went canoeing up in Minnesota at Ely. So my transisition to using an internal frame pack is proving to be quite the challenge for me. More that I had expected. Again thanks for your input and help.

  5. #5
    Live simple-Live free
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    I live in east TN.
    Posts
    73

    Default

    Howdy. I have to say I LOVE this pack! I went through a kelty, a north face, and a british burgen trying to find a pack that suited me. This pack is awesome. It may suck for Marines that have to wear body armor-as you've mentioned, but for backwoods/bushcraft use, it's great. This pack is super rugged, has a large main compartment that is dividable, 2 side zippers to get into the pack without undoing the lid, 2 large elastic pockets on the outside bottom, sleeves that i use for tent poles and an axe and a large lid that holds a ton of gear. I often load this pack with 30 to 40 or more pounds and it feels great, very comfortable to wear. Has great shoulder straps and hip pad. the hip pad takes awhile to get formed to your body but is very comfortable. All in all a great pack. you can load it with a ton of gear and, with all the moly webbing, you can customize it with all kinds of pouches and such, both military and civilian. I load all my bulky or heavy items in the main comp and close it up. then i put my sleeping bag on top and cinch the lid down over it securing it snugly. I don't use a bladder but there is a pocket on the outside made for one. I recently purchased the assault pack to go with it to use for a day pack once I got settled into camp. This pack would not be good for hikers looking to do the A.T. or other long trails as it would be too heavy. but for hunting or bugging out, bushcraft etc, it wouldn't be a problem to do a 10 mile stretch every other day. I've used this pack for several months and it's now my fav pack, period.

  6. #6
    Senior Member DSJohnson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    1,014

    Default

    Nomad,
    Thanks for your input. I bought one and the assault pack also. So far I am learning to make the transition from a external frame to a ruck along with figuring out how to fit it to me. But I already can say it will hold way more than I ever need to carry. Still very interested in hearing from folks that have actually used it a lot. Again thank you for taking the time to respond.
    Last edited by DSJohnson; 10-25-2016 at 11:08 PM.

  7. #7
    Junior Member backup1911's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Oregon High Desert
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Glad I found this thread. I've been thinking about getting an ILBE pack as well but I have a couple of questions.

    Aside from the color of the material on the padding, what is the difference between the Gen 1 version and the Gen 2?

    If I am ordering it online, how do I avoid getting an inferior quality "knock off"?

    Thanks for the great info on the pack from those who have actually used it too!
    Take everything you need...nothing you don't...

  8. #8

    Default

    The only thing I really have to say is make sure you know how to use it. A lot of people don't know how to adjust it to their needs. You can flip the waist strap upside down, if it's to high or low for you comfort, as well as adjust it up or down. Stuff like that. I am a Marine and yes I hate it up without all the armor and what not its comfortable.
    Semper Gumby...

  9. #9
    Senior Member DSJohnson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    1,014

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by backup1911 View Post
    Glad I found this thread. I've been thinking about getting an ILBE pack as well but I have a couple of questions.

    Aside from the color of the material on the padding, what is the difference between the Gen 1 version and the Gen 2?
    Not really anything at all apparently....

    If I am ordering it online, how do I avoid getting an inferior quality "knock off"?

    When you say "ordering it online" you mean bidding on one on e-bay or buying one straight from a dealer?
    I have purchased three of these bags on e-bay, used and so far they have been exactly as advertised. Used G.I surplus with all buckles intact, all zippers working and all straps there and usable. I paid $45 (counting $15 for shipping)for the last one about 4 days ago. Use a good vendor with a known reputation and positive feed back is all I can tell you. There are a ton of them on several different auction sites right now.

    Thanks for the great info on the pack from those who have actually used it too!
    Yes I agree thank all of you for the honest feed back and insight.

  10. #10
    Not a Mod finallyME's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    4,227

    Default

    Well.....I broke down and bought one. So far, pretty nice. The only thing heavy I have put it in is my 3 yr old son. I am going to see if I can fit 4 summer sleeping bags inside, with clothes for 3 kids and 1 adult, plus food for almost 6 people for 2 days. It is a pretty big pack, and I can fit the military MMSS sleeping bag in the bottom with plenty of room up top for the rest of my solo gear. It might actually make a good winter pack.

    There are a few things I don't like about it, but they are personal things that other people might not care about. I think I am going to make a video comparing the ILBE with the MOLLE since I have both.
    I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/FinallyMe78?feature=mhee

  11. #11
    Senior Member DSJohnson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    1,014

    Default

    FinallyME,
    Since I started this thread I have bought two more ILBE main bags off ebay. The last one had a new lid, new radio pouch and a new hip belt. It cost me $31.11 plus $8.70 shipping. I have switched all my gear from the old Alice Med that I carried in my truck as a "just in case" type of bag to one of these and added a sleeping bad and more food/rations. I have used it twice so far for overnighters where I only walked a couple of miles in and then maybe 5 miles out. I am trying to keep the weight to less than 35 lbs total excluding water and still have what I need. I am still missing my old frame pack a lot and I can not get used to putting my sleeping bag inside the dang pack. All in all so far I have not found any real issues just need to learn more about some of the details and nuances of this system. I have short legs and a long torso and I have had to adjust the stays in the bag to get it to actually set against my back like it is supposed to. Once I got that figured out it really made a lot of difference on how the whole bag felt while I was carrying it.
    I am thinking about loading it up with gear, ammo and food until it weights 60 lbs just to see how it handles out in the woods. I cannot foresee ever needing to carry that kind of load nowadays but I am curious about if I can do it for 8 or 10 miles in a day.
    Last edited by DSJohnson; 12-10-2013 at 01:46 AM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member DSJohnson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    1,014

    Default

    So here we are about 15 months down the road. I have used the ILBE pack about 10 times in the past 15 months. Twice on week long walks and the rest on two or three night outings. I am very happy with my rig. I carry everything but my sleeping pad inside the bag. I use a bivy sack more than a tent. I did carry a tent on one of the three night trips and I strapped to the outside also. I also have been working on making it kind of a all in one bag. I keep it in my pickup most all the time for my "Get Home bag". I also have a smaller bag that I keep loaded to be attached to make it a BOB. However I have to tell you, except for going to the cellar I am just not much in the mind set of leaving the place. Even with a wildfire situation I think I would use the cellar as a last resort if needed. I do not have much fuel close to the house. (on purpose). Anyway What I wanted to say is that the ILBE is really working out for me. Very happy with it's flexibility and adaptiveness(sic) I keep it around 45 to 55 lbs loaded (that includes food but not counting water) In the right scenario I would add about 10 to 12 pounds of ammo I suppose. I have carried it with a 45 lb load for 12 miles in a single day, but with out much change in elevation, and 6 miles with a elevation change from 4500 ft to 10,500. The pack faired much better than my body did.

  13. #13

    Default

    i have a ILBE as we as a FILBE which relaced the ILBE for the Marine Corps.
    my FILBE is coyote brown and is a dream to wear.because of it,size i would concider it a ICNCH
    bag.more stuff =more back aches.i reall wonder if a more mid size pack for the long term would be better.
    just resup as you go.also a well set-up vest as well so if for whatever reason you lose the pack or
    have to unass the AO you still have some gear. the vest should have your absolute basics of survival on it.
    food water fire knife and so on.a real good molle vest is good for this with a battle belt attached.
    padded,molled, to carry canteens,and cooking set.

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DSJohnson View Post
    So here we are about 15 months down the road. I have used the ILBE pack about 10 times in the past 15 months. Twice on week long walks and the rest on two or three night outings. I am very happy with my rig. I carry everything but my sleeping pad inside the bag. I use a bivy sack more than a tent. I did carry a tent on one of the three night trips and I strapped to the outside also. I also have been working on making it kind of a all in one bag. I keep it in my pickup most all the time for my "Get Home bag". I also have a smaller bag that I keep loaded to be attached to make it a BOB. However I have to tell you, except for going to the cellar I am just not much in the mind set of leaving the place. Even with a wildfire situation I think I would use the cellar as a last resort if needed. I do not have much fuel close to the house. (on purpose). Anyway What I wanted to say is that the ILBE is really working out for me. Very happy with it's flexibility and adaptiveness(sic) I keep it around 45 to 55 lbs loaded (that includes food but not counting water) In the right scenario I would add about 10 to 12 pounds of ammo I suppose. I have carried it with a 45 lb load for 12 miles in a single day, but with out much change in elevation, and 6 miles with a elevation change from 4500 ft to 10,500. The pack faired much better than my body did.
    DS, thanks for taking time to follow up on your ILBE transition. I also have, use and love my med. ALICE, but I want to really stretch the limits of my ILBE this winter and try to make it my primary. I like the suspension and think that I can manage a heavier load for longer distances with the ILBE. In 2013 I carried a 55lb med. ALICE up the Three Rivers mountain area in NM, and the ALICE was a wee bit painful. The shoulder straps pressed a little bit too hard and the back strap was a shade too high on my back. But lowering it meant lowering my pack and I need it to ride high.

    It was all uphill for a coupld of days, but the ALICE did carry everything quite well. I love the three outside pockets. I put fast food in the middle, water purification on the left and fire/cooking gear on the right. Makes it easy to get stuff on short stops without having to open toe bags top.

    My bivy and intermediate bag I rolled up on top/outside. A long roll, as wide as my sleeping pad, which I carried on the bottom. My axe, an Estwing purchased at Lowes, rode tied to the left side of the ALICE. I'm gonna miss that ALICE.

  15. #15
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Fort Matanzas
    Posts
    449

    Default

    I guess I'm heading in the wrong direction? My large ALICE packs out at 22 lbs and I converted to the updated frame from the Old Aluminium. I'm not even interested in lifting 50+ lbs of gear into the bed of the truck. Perhaps the fit of the Old ALICE gear is more comfortable on folks in the 5 1/2 (5'8") foot range, as troops grew taller ILBE might be a more comfortable fit, but I never grew to like it. Physical size/or maybe what time you where in service may have some input on what each individual prefers? The fact that Uncle Sam has field tested and issued all these packs means that there will be advantages/disadvantages to all of them.

  16. #16
    Senior Member DSJohnson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    1,014

    Default

    In a perfect world I can make do with a 25 pounds or so load, and have many times, if it is not winter time and I do not have to pack water. I loved my "old" Alice rig and I still have it. I am just interested in seeing what all the fuss is with an "internal frame" ruck. I actually used my D-4 Jansport on the last outing just because I am so comfortable with it. The biggest problem I have with the ILBE is how dang big it is (Hey Rick, see what I did there?) I end up doing the whole "Just in case/may need" deal and all of a sudden my pack weights in at 40 + pounds! With the D-4 I am limited by space at about 28 or so pounds unless I chose to carry rocks, ammo or water.

    What I am doing these days is carrying the ILBE in my truck and a smaller bag also. If I end up "truck camping" I am good and if I need to leave the truck for some reason I just use the smaller pack for the "essentials" that I picked based on season, event and other pertinent issues.

  17. #17
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    56,124

    Default

    I saw what you did there.

  18. #18

    Default

    I am somewhat fond of the ilbe I have two one that stays packed all of the time. And one that I use for hikes I I need that much room. It is heavy and cumbersome but I know what it can do and how it will carry in many many situations.

    Something like this is very personal. I know that there is lighter and maybe better suited packs but I like what I like. Now with that I don't use it all the time some hikes call for my camleback mule. Another great day pack. Lol

  19. #19
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Fort Matanzas
    Posts
    449

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DSJohnson View Post
    In a perfect world I can make do with a 25 pounds or so load, and have many times, if it is not winter time and I do not have to pack water. I loved my "old" Alice rig and I still have it. I am just interested in seeing what all the fuss is with an "internal frame" ruck. I actually used my D-4 Jansport on the last outing just because I am so comfortable with it. The biggest problem I have with the ILBE is how dang big it is (Hey Rick, see what I did there?) I end up doing the whole "Just in case/may need" deal and all of a sudden my pack weights in at 40 + pounds! With the D-4 I am limited by space at about 28 or so pounds unless I chose to carry rocks, ammo or water.

    What I am doing these days is carrying the ILBE in my truck and a smaller bag also. If I end up "truck camping" I am good and if I need to leave the truck for some reason I just use the smaller pack for the "essentials" that I picked based on season, event and other pertinent issues.
    I've carried 60+ pound sea bags ( Gov Issue duffle bag http://ads.midwayusa.com/product/742...FQmOaQodGAELwg ) that were more comfortable because they ride lower than ILBE. If your going to leave the ILBE in the truck, wouldn't a sea chest be more secure? http://www.thepirateslair.com/images...flat-front.jpg

  20. #20
    Senior Member DSJohnson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    1,014

    Default

    Yes but it won't fit in the floorboard behind my seat.Guests can not see images in the messages. Please register in the forum.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •