Say Good-Bye to Surplus ALICE Packs
Kevin Felts 06.29.17
Guys and gals, it is time to call the game on ALICE gear. It was fun, but it’s over. Sources have been drying up for years and prices are going through the roof.
The early 2010s may have been the heyday for ALICE gear. Sometime around 2012, two of my sons and I were planning a camping trip. They needed a good solid backpack, so I got on Ebay and ordered two complete large ALICE packs with frames. The packs were bundled together and cost around $46. Chances are we will never see a complete large ALICE pack selling for $23 ever again.
Certain merchants on Ebay used to have hundreds of large and medium ALICE packs for sale. As of mid-2017, those same merchants have no ALICE packs listed.
Several months ago, I spoke with a guy who works at a GI Surplus store in the Northeast. When asked about ALICE packs, he told me, “Sources have dried up.”
As sad as it may sound, MOLLE is the new ALICE.
Here To Stay
Guys and gals, MOLLE is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. For well over a decade, MOLLE has been the go-to gear. It is only us older people who are trying to hang onto the ALICE packs.
The U.S. military has invested considerable amounts of money into MOLLE. This will have a trickle down effect through decommissioned gear.
Surplus MOLLE is cheap, almost as cheap as ALICE in its heyday
- Looking through Ebay as I write this article,
- Complete large MOLLE II rucksack – $35 + shipping.
- Canteen pouch – $9 with free shipping.
- Medium rucksack with frame – $36 with free shipping.
With prices like that, there is no reason to pay for the more expensive ALICE packs.
ALICE gear was not designed with comfort or ergonomics in mind. Let’s face it, when compared to modern gear, ALICE packs are heavy.
For the time era and their intended purpose, ALICE gear was okay. Times change and better gear is designed. The honest truth is, ALICE gear is a hold over from a bygone era when little or no thought was given to comfort.
Well guys and gals, the sun is setting on ALICE gear, but there is no reason to be sad.
A new dawn is here and its name is MOLLE.