Summary: The ALICE pack can be said to be the MOLLE backpack’s counterpart during the earlier years. It has had its share of glory moments, but the MOLLE pack has obviously prevailed in terms of being able to recognize the improvements and needs of having a backpack that is light and holds all the soldier’s belongings.
The MOLLE backpack is known to be one of the most popular bags that are used by both the Army and the Military today. Its lightweight features allow the soldier to carry all his essentials with him during combat, without having compromise his ability to perform during a mission. MOLLE, pronounced as “Molly”, stands for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment, and is comprised of a three-part system (butt pack, load pack, and vest) that ensures the safety and security of the soldier’s belongings, without having to sacrifice his mobility and readiness. The MOLLE backpack has a lot of compartments, allowing for a maximized use of backpack space. It also comes with compartments that are easily accessible by hand, in the event that the soldier needs to carry grenades, tazers, ammunitions, and other handheld things that will aid him in combat.
The ALICE (All-purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment) military backpack can be said to be the MOLLE backpack’s counterpart in the earlier years, as it was frequently used way back in the 1970’s and early 1990’s. Just as the MOLLE pack, it was designed to lighten the load carried by soldiers in combats and missions to up to three pounds. This has posed a considerable difference compared to older versions of military backpacks whose lightest weight was five pounds. The material is made out of a nylon material that is waterproof and lightweight, and the other heavy steel components were also replaced to aluminum, thus making the ALICE pack less burdensome and more lightweight to the soldier.
But of course, the MOLLE backpacks are now the preferred military backpack nowadays. ALICE packs are still excellent backpacks, but they are used more now for camping and hiking purposes. Some reasons why the MOLLE has replaced the ALICE is because the latter seems to stick far off the soldier’s back, making it fat, as compared to the MOLLE. Also, the ALICE does not have any compression straps, probably the reason why it becomes to fat and bulky, as compared to the MOLLE.
Also, as compared to the MOLLE backpack, the ALICE contains 6 external pouches, while the MOLLE has none since all its storage compartments, apart from those that should contain grenades and ammunition that are all located in the vest area, are internal. This helps reduce the risk of having your pack bulging. Lastly, MOLLE packs have a built-in canteen and sleeping bag compartment.