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It is not by mere chance that so many components of the Canadian Forces 64 Pattern Rucksack and the U.S. Army ALICE pack interchange.
They are in fact siblings. The pack commonly known in today’s modern tactical community as the Canadian Army “64” was actually developed for winter operations by the U.S. Army in 1961! It was designated as the T62-1 Lightweight Rucksack.
The Canadians adopted the T62-1 with minor changes to suit their needs in 1964. Thus the unofficial slang designation as the 64 Ruck.
The U.S. Forces, used the 64, along with various other rucksacks throughout the Vietnam conflict. Production ceased in 1973 when the ALICE Pack replaced it.
At Drop Zone, we speculate that since the ALICE pack replaced the 64, it was a requirement that many of the textile components be interchangeable, at least until old 64 stocks were used up. Our speculation explains the high interchangeability of components between the two systems.
The Canadians replaced the 64 system with another ruck system known generically by the Canucks as the 82 Pattern. The Canadian 82 Pattern system has proven to be such a huge, flipping, disaster, that many “switched on” Canadian troops have resurrected their father’s old 64 rucksacks! As you can imagine these are quite old and wearing out.
Due to the high demand for a pack that hasn’t been built for over a decade we have decided to produce a 21st Century version of the 64 Rucksack which we call the 64/Alice. At this point we will caution the reader that all the components are sold separately. We do this as many who build their 64/Alice system have a dog’s breakfast of bits and pieces going and may not require all of the components we make available.
The T62-1 and 64 frames have been out of production for several decades now, so short of finding some forgotten warehouse full of them, the only current alternative is the ALICE frame. The ALICE frame is actually the improved frame, so this should not be a hardship. At Drop Zone we stock an extremely good offshore copy of the G.I. unit. About the only way we tell that it is not genuine issue is that it is painted rather anodized.
If you can find a new G.I. frame, buy it. If not buy ours.
THE MAIN BAG
Our main bag is made of 1000d Cordura®. It is slightly larger than the original. The base of the bag is double layered for durability. In the unlikely even you’re caught in a monsoon have to ford a chest deep stream, we have fitted mil-spec grommets for drain holes. The front of the pack features a low profile Velcro® secured document / wallet / key pocket. The flap, rear, and sides of the main bag are covered with Drop Zone’s MULES Mk2 bandoleers for modular pouch mounting. The MULES Mk2 system is compatible with MOLLE, Malice, ALICE, Zap Straps, Velcro One Wrap, and ITW Nexus Annex mounting systems. Side release buckles are provided to hold the flap down snuggly. Many users remove these buckles as they lash additional loads above the main bag. The additional load, sitting on the flap in effect secures the flap. To limit vertical movement main bag secures to the frame with two 1” mil-spec nylon straps and tabular buckles. Unlike the competitors’ product, our designers have provided webbing loops and steel d-rings, which when used with para-cord or zap straps fastened around the frame, will limit side ways movement.
POCKETS & POUCHES
The pack shown in our illustrations is built up with two Bren Gun Pouches. One on each side with our Bertha Butt Pack mounted in the center. As the Main Bag is fully MOLLE compatible, the troop can use virtually any of our MULES Mk1 or Mk2 pouches to build up his “custom” 64/Alice Ruck. The troop, although we do not know why he would want to, could use any of our competitors MOLLE compatible pockets and pouches.
Talk about your versatility!
HEAVY DUTY KIDNEY BELT
Load transfer from the pack frame to the hips is delivered via our well-proven Heavy Duty Kidney Belt. We have been using this belt design on our internal frame packs since 1997 with great success. To adapt this belt design to the 64 Alice frame our designers added two 1” mil-spec straps that tighten with tabular buckles. These straps limit sideways movement. To prevent up and down motion of the belt against the frame, we use the same movement limiting method that we used for the main bag mounting: webbing loops that will allow the use of para-cord or zap straps to literally ‘tie’ the belt to the frame. The belt secures to the wearer with 2” mil-spec webbing and a mil-spec side release buckle.
SHOULDER STRAP SET
Our shoulder strap designs have won praise from our customers for years. In fact, in the tactical sewing business, we pioneered the concept of making the strap wider rather than over padded. A concept that we are proud to say some of our competitors have now adopted as their own. While a thickly padded shoulder strap may look good or even feel good in the retail environment, in the real world of combat it has a disadvantage. Simply put, the bulk of a thickly padded shoulder strap amplifies the bulk created by body armor and web gear making bad situation worse. If the soldier can actually move his arms, to raise his weapon, his cheek weld has changed, due to the bulk of all the gear! At Drop Zone we found that by making the shoulder strap wider, spreading the load over a wider area, we could not only retain the comfort of a thickly padded strap, but increase the comfort factor without adverse change to shooter’s the cheek weld!
To accommodate the extra width of the shoulder strap our designers contoured the cut, perfecting the fit. To prevent the shoulder straps from sliding off nylon body armor, we added a fully adjustable sternum strap with quick release buckle. Fully knowing that soldiers like to keep gear handy, we fitted the shoulder strap with mil-spec d-rings. To finish the straps off, the tabular adjustment buckles are mil-spec as well.
Savvy troops with field time have discovered that when using any external frame pack, the load can be stabilized and secured to a much higher degree by wrapping Cargo Straps around the pack and frame. (essential if jumping) While any two to four meter accessory strap would probably work in most situations, if you are jumping with the ruck you will need two of our Drop Zone Cargo Strap. Each strap is 2 meters long and made with 1 ¾” mil-spec webbing with an aluminum mil-spec adjustable cargo buckle.
BUILD YOUR CUSTOM 64/ALICE PACK SYSTEM
With the Drop Zone 64/ALICE Pack System you can go whole hog with the latest in MOLLE compatible modular components or, if on a tighter budget, you can mix U.S. and Canadian G.I. components to build a 64/Alice system that suits just you and your bank account!
Don’t wait any longer, order now.
|17-13070501||64/Alice Main Bag, Olive|
|17-13042201||Kidney Belt, H.D. 64/Alice, Olive|
|17-13040901||Shoulder Strap Set, 64/Alice, Olive|
|17-13051001||Bertha Butt Pack, Olive|
|17-13021001||Bren Gun Pouch, Olive|
|17-13042301||Drop Zone Cargo Strap Set, 2 meter, Olive (2 Straps)|
|65-042418A||ALICE Pack Frame (imported)|
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