ALICE Gear MODs 101
by Tire Iron
There is a ton of ALICE equipment out there in the surplus market, and for
some folks, it makes a lot of sense to utilize it. What we will do here is
to explain and show the best way to modify the ALICE LBE so that it is
more comfortable, lighter in weight, and more practical/tactical too!
The first thing is to take off ALL the connectors, such as the black
connectors that come on the ammo pouches, and everything else. Next cut
off the connectors on the Y or H harness. These connectors are heavy, they
make noise (the actually squeak ) and they get very shiny.
To my way of thinking that is three strikes!! So get rid of them. (I
added up the weight of all these connectors that I took off/cut off and it
equaled nearly a POUND! I would rather carry another loaded mag for my
M4gery than all those connectors (the loaded weight of an AR 30 round
magazine with 55 grain ammo is 1 pound).
Now it is decision time. One can use 550 cord, electrical flex ties or
MALICE clips. If you already have 550 cord B that would obviously be the
least expensive route, with the flex ties coming in second, and the MALICE
being the B high cost option (but still relatively inexpensive). I used
all three on my set-up so you can see what all three look like. As far as
utility goes, they all three work great. I used 550 cord and flex ties
while on active duty and they both worked. I have used the MALICE for
about a year now, and they also work. However, the MALICE clips are by far
the easiest to use because they allow you to take them off and put them
back on with no trouble. The electrical flex ties must be cut off, and the
550 cord is a pain to untie and re-tie.
Once you have decided, attach the butt-pack first in the middle of the
pistol belt. Then attach the canteen carriers on each side of the
butt-pack, and then the magazine pouches. Notice I have 4 magazine
pouches, cause I like to have lots of ammo on hand. Once those are tied
on, then attach the Y or H harness to the butt-pack and magazine
pouches using 550 cord. Notice that the excess straps are secured using
the supplied elastic strap and a length of 550 cord. This allows one to
adjust the load if necessary and to re-secure it. Some people use riggers
tape to secure extra webbing, but if one must adjust the webbing in the
field it is a pain to dig out the riggers tape. I find it easier to untie
and re-tie the 550 cord. Here are some pictures.
Using these mods, your gear will be lighter, more comfortable (these
'connectors' are WAY more comfortable against your body than those metal
connectors are!) and more 'tactical' (you got rid of those 'noisy/shiny'
connectors!). Plus you have the satisfaction of just having 'customized'
your gear! Every six months or so you must go over your gear, and check
out the 550 cord and zip tie connectors, because they can get old and
break over time. But if you just maintain your gear, you never have to
worry about it breaking in the field, because you will have switched it
out while at home.
Anyhow, I hope this helps those of you that use ALICE.