Hello Fellow Worry Warts,
I just happened to stumble across a great deal at Copes distributing, here is the link:
But it does not end there; Once upon a long time ago, I was a real live Army Ranger.....During my time as a Ranger, we commonly did a lot of mods to our field gear to make it more better. My ALICE ended up getting the Siamese Mod......
This Mod very simply entailed taking your standard Medium Alice bag, and Siamese(ing) a truncated Alice bag to the bottom of it to hold a Sleeping bag, Tarp, and other such stuff. We would trade a carton of smokes to someone in supply to get us a thrashed ALICE bag. $25.00 and a seamstress later, We had our super ALICE...I made 16 jumps with my super ALICE. No issues.
But Wait! There's more!!!!!!
For an additional $35.00, we can now get this very cool and updated Frame for our Super ALICE, here is the link:
#1606 Pack Frame MOLLE - Down East Inc.
Make sure you specify the ALICE COMPATIBLE Version. Now I know that they say that you should use their straps and Hip Belt.....But this is not really true. You can use the current MOLLE Shoulder Straps and Hip Belt with NO modifications, here are links to the lowest priced ones I have found:
USGI Molle shoulder straps
Molle molded waistbelt
Just to add to the fun, I have always liked this as well, and it works with the Super ALICE:
Load Bearing Vest
A close second, but much better if you are getting in and out of a vehicle is here:
7 Pocket Chest Rig
I will get some pictures of the process posted soon. Currently, the bags are cut up and waiting for a sewing machine to get fixed. Leather Project killed it....
By my figuring, this setup cost:
$9.98 for two Medium ALICE Bags.
$15.00 for MOLLE Shoulder Straps
$10.00 for MOLLE Hip Belt
$35.00 for New Polymer Frame
And about two hours of deconstruction / reconstruction of the bags into the Super ALICE.
Add $15.00 or $27.00 for the Tacti-cool Vest and you are just about done.
I have done business with all of the above vendors, and they are all a real CLASS ACT.
Gunny Surplus has really good prices on a lot of stuff as well. If you are in the Mid-West, he is at a lot of Gun Shows. That is his major biz....Still, a very good guy to work with.
Copes is without a doubt the BEST vendor I have ever done business with. Give him as much of you dollars as possible. You will not regret it. I just wish Copes carried more Surplus stuff.
Down East is OK. They do what they do, and are not terrible. They do not hold a candle to Gunny or Copes. But, they are the only game in town for the cool frame. And it is worth it.
Look for some pics and additional dialogue in the near future.