Regarding the Alice / 64 frame. The 64 frame is actually a U.S. Army frame developed and adopted by our southern neighbors in 61 and officially abandoned in 67. It was designed for winter warfare to prevent sweat and overheating of the soldiers. The theory at the time was..being an "open" frame the sweat would evaporate and the soldier would stay drier and warmer.
The 64 was pressed into service in Vietnam where its weaknesses became legendary, forcing the ALICE frame to replace it in 67. The ALICE frame designers were given design parameters that insisted that existing textile components interchange as there were thousands of pieces still in the system. The ALICE frame is essentially a beefed up 64. Its younger brother if you will. Given the choice between a used issue 64 (or an unused one for that matter) and an issue ALICE, buy the ALICE. It is stronger.
Any clown that claims the 64 is more comfortable that an ALICE is an idiot as the mounting dimensions are near identical ... so don't listen to these "experts".
Modular? Modular packs allow the user
to select the pockets and to arrange the pockets as they see fit..not what the "designer" thinks is ideal. If you think the designer knows more about what you are
packing... then go with the designers idea.
Unfortunately he will not be there with you to pack it
With the current MOLLE/PALS system, properly made, the system is stronger than a "sewn on pocket". Remember, a "sewn on pocket" is only held on by stitching around its perimeter. A MOLLE/PALS pocket has stitch points all over its footprint, spreading the load over a larger area, hence more strength.
How many 64 packs does Drop Zone sell? We have 15 people working here and four independent sales reps...so some one is buying them along with alot of our other products. We do production runs of 50 at a time and do at least
four runs a year.
Expense? One point to illustrate why we charge more: Unlike the photo's shown above, we use mil-spec webbing to run through our nylon buckles, not herring bone seam binding tape. Notice the faint line down the middle of the tape. This is a special weave that allows the sewing machine operator to fold the tape over an exposed fabric edge. This tape will eventually exhibit a tendency to "rollover" or "fold" when running through buckles at its designed in
fold line! Very frustrating when you are in a hurry to get moving!
While the binding tape shown in the photos, to the builders credit, looks to be mil-spec tape, it will fuzz up and fray when run repeatedly through buckles. This binding tape has no resin to reduce fraying. Did the builder get a deal on this stuff? Hell I do not know his motivation for using it, but I do know it is wrong item for that application.
Oh, but what the hell.....its a great deal
Yes, there is no doubt, compared to garage and basement operators Drop Zone Tactical products are expensive, but at least we
know what materials should be used for what applications.
My staff and myself rest easy knowing that our customers are the ultimate beneficiaries of this knowledge.
Right now we are getting "rush" orders for chest rigs, pouches, and packs, to replace failing "bargain" brand gear the lads bought before deployment to the combat zone. Hardly a day goes buy when a soldier on leave doesn't come in to our showroom with a shopping list for him and his buddies........
I guess the old adage still holds true......you get exactly what you pay for.
Drop Zone Tactical division of
Spike Camp Wilderness Safety Supply Ltd.