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Upgrade an ALICE pack

upgrade an ALICE packWith very little effort you can upgrade an ALICE pack, with modern straps and waist belt, making it comfortable, and giving you a great platform to utilize.

Upgrade an ALICE Pack

We all have our views on what makes the perfect Bug Out Bag.

The ALICE pack platform has proven it’s reliability and for ruggedness with the US military, but dang if those things aren’t uncomfortable. If you take some time you can upgrade an ALICE pack, with modern straps and waist belt, making it comfortable, and giving you a great platform to utilize.

Why would you want to upgrade an ALICE pack?

The ALICE pack has been in use since 1972, and has only recently been replaced with the MOLLE system gear. Even now the ALICE packs are still in active use by our military. This means that the ALICE packs are available almost everywhere. If something rips, breaks or gets ruined you can replace it easily, and at a manageable cost. The frame can be easily repaired using rivets and a rivet gun.

Alice Pack Specs



Large ALICE Pack:

  • Water-repellent 420D Nylon
  • Rugged military construction
  • Snap-closure pouches
  • ALICE webbing
  • Drawstring closures
  • Buckle-closure flap cover
  • Pack does not come with straps
  • CAPACITY: 3,800 cu.in. (inside storage capacity right at 2,800 cubic inches, including the outside storage pockets 3,800 cu.in)
  • DIMENSIONS: 22.00″ x 20.00″ x 19.00″
  • Made in the USA (Heck yeah!)


medium alice


Medium ALICE Pack:

  • Water-repellent 420D Nylon
  • Rugged military construction
  • Snap-closure pouches
  • ALICE webbing
  • Drawstring closures
  • Buckle-closure flap cover
  • Pack does come with straps
  • CAPACITY: 2,350 cu.in
  • Made in the USA (Heck yeah!)


Personally, I prefer the Medium ALICE pack, not because it’s better, but because it’s smaller, forcing me to pack smarter. It’s way to easy to pack too much into a  Large ALICE pack and end up with a 200lb pack strapped to my back. Not a great idea for bugging out…or camping.

The Upgrade

What does it take to make a ALICE pack into a Hell Cat ALICE PACK?

You take an ALICE pack WITH external Frame and then replace the waist belt and straps with MOLLE gear. This makes the ALICE pack a whole new beast. It’s comfortable and carries the load on your hips while gently cradling your shoulders with padded goodness. Ok it’s still a backpack but you know where I’m going.

What you need:

To see how to connect the new straps to the frame, head over to Building a “Hellcat” Hybrid Ruck from US Mil Surplus. This is a great site with lots of good pictures and info on routing the straps properly.

If you want a PACK with easy to find, easy to replace parts, that won’t cost you a fortune, an  ALICE pack or the Hell Cat ALICE pack mod might be a good fit for you.

If the ALICE gear just isn’t for you, here is another option: The ALPS OutdoorZ Commander Freighter Frame Pack (5250 Cubic Inches). It doubles as both a backpack and a Freight Hauler, to carry heavy loads to your camp or back to the road! Plus you can even strap your long gun, rifle or shotgun to the side of it (someone was thinking when they designed the ALPS OutdoorZ Commander Pack)!



  1. I just like the helpful information you supply to your articles.

    I’ll bookmark your blog and take a look at once more right here regularly. I’m
    moderately certain I’ll be informed a lot of new stuff right here! Good luck for the following!

  2. I am so doing this to my ALICE Pack!! I’ve heard about this MOD but never knew it had a name! Awesome article!

  3. Ex OIF vet who got out before all the MOLLE stuff, does this really make it more comfortable and let you have a higher weight carry on your back as I love the ALICE.

  4. I was wondering if anyone out there can recommend a good 2 man tent that’s lightweight, camo?
    The 2 man combat tent weighs a ton and the only other option seems to be the Rothco or Texsport 2-man trail tent. I’ve seen many good reviews for the Texsport 2-man, but I wish there was something out there of better quallity. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I built a Hellcat using a large alice pack. Thanks very much for the instructions on your website, much appreciated.

    • I can not recommend another two man tent for you as it would be a Chevy VS Ford ordeal.
      However I can help you with packing and the weight. Assumeinh that you have a molle or alice pack or any pack with top lashing straps… Take your two man shelter halve and split it. Place the stakes and rope in the center, fold the ends to the middle then roll it like a burrito. Place your new burrito in the center of your poncho fold, the ends to the center and roll like a burrito, place your double burrito in your sleep roll foam mat and roll again. Tie the ties and lastly lash to the upper/top lashing straps of the ruck. Feels very nice and makes a great chair/ recliner/ headrest.

  5. Do you know where to get these straps in green instead of desert camo?

  6. Finished building my HellCat tonight,I did have to dye my kidney belt from desert camo to dark. More upgrades coming!

  7. It’s easy! I didn’t know it had a name but I saw the mods on you tube for the straps & hip belt. Updated ours w/ molle II straps & belts. The author is right, sellers do take the 1″ load bearing straps off and sometimes the lower quick release straps too. I bought the shoulder straps on e-bay & ended up having to buy one set of lower QR straps separately. Tip: try and get the woodland or DCU shoulder straps because the straps that go on the frame are a little easier to work with when installing on the ALICE frame. I made a set of ACU straps work but I think the older style woodland straps are easier to install. I also converted the main flap straps to G.I fastex buckles. If you have the original ALICE shoulder straps, you can use the upper load bearing straps too. Look for some videos. Enjoy.

  8. I did this to my ALICE pack before reading this article! He 100% correct. I too am a Vet who got out before the Molle system. I use my ALICE pack with frame and this upgrade all the time. IMO, it out does most expensive packs/rucks sold now!

  9. Once the Hellcat is assembled, can one use the ALICE shelf and attach it under the carrier?

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