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FILBE - Marine Modular Backpack System

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by 3M-TA3, Mar 17, 2019.

  1. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    There are a lot of references here on SM about ILBE (Improved Load Bearing Equipment) but there are only a few references to it's successor FILBE (Family of Improved Load Bearing Equipment.

    There are many similarities between the two systems as they are both designed for similar specifications, however, there are some key differences:
    • ILBE/ILBE2 is an internal frame design using bendable aluminum stays that can be adjusted to fit the wearer's back. Internal frame designs are great for keeping the load close to the wearer's back and thus more stable in rough or steep country. It has some key drawbacks in military usage. The first is that IF systems don't integrate well with body armor. The second is that there is no cooling between the back and the pack, so they aren't as comfortable as an external frame.
    • FILBE resolves the two main drawbacks of the ILBE system by using an external frame design. The molded external frame allows for the load to be closer to the wearer's back than a classic external frame while still allowing for a cooling space. Because the pack itself is not in direct contact with the wearer's back it does not interfere with the use of body armor.
    • The original FILBE external frame, while very durable, does have a weakness when it comes to severe, arctic style cold, so a stronger more cold resistant frame is being distributed to troops as a replacement. I expect these to show up in the surplus market over time, but they are relatively new.
    • FILBE is shorter and wider compared to ILBE and has a bit more internal volume. Both systems are designed for a max load of 125 pounds, and both are large enough to accommodate far more than is needed for BOB or GHB needs.
    • Both systems incorporate a smaller 72 hour type assault bag, but the smaller bag is stored unloaded internally in FILBE where it stored externally and can be loaded in the ILBE system. That is likely why the FILBE main pack is larger than ILBE, andI would bet that total ILBE volume with assault pack is the same as FILBE main pack volume.
    • On the surplus market ILBE comes in MARPAT camo whereas FILBE comes in Coyote Tan.
    Here is a video from the Marine training corps that shows how to assemble and adjust a FILBE system and also covers main pack features (at 10:40) and assault pack features (at 22:10)

  2. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

  3. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    At 81, I can no longer realistically expect to use a pack for over about 40 or so lbs. I find a 2 wheel game type cart, though it limits your mobility, as the only way I can move enough to last for more than a few days. Small pack for bugout, get home, etc, but cart for any thing over a couple days. Body and back just will not hold up to 70 lb pack anymore. Looks like a nice system though and interesting. Thank you for the information. Been tempted to try 1 wheel cart like the Chinese use with 1 person in front and one behind. Wife has no interest in finding out if it would work.:rolleyes:
    chelloveck, oldman11, techsar and 2 others like this.
  4. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    You might consider the FILBE assault pack. It's a smaller sized 72 hour type bag and also integrates with the hydration system. My days humping a week long load are pretty numbered.
    oldman11 likes this.
  5. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    The thing I do like about the new packs that my old ALICE doesn't have are the hydration systems, but then I find it hard to not use my canteen cup for heating water, cooking etc, and I still carry a mess kit. Guess that makes me old school, just cant quite figure out how to boil water over a dakota fire pit in a hydration bladder.
    oldman11, Tully Mars, techsar and 4 others like this.
  6. Oddcaliber

    Oddcaliber Monkey++

    Another vote for the ALICE pack. Keep a large one for my BOB. Though at my age I won't get very far! LOL
  7. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    Due to my own aging I anticipate the need for wheeled assistance and built this.. DSCN4154.JPG
    I periodically move material around the property and have and well over 300 lbs in it .
    It is made using steel conduit and corners used for making flea market covers/tents , the beauty here is that this can be reconfigured in several ways depending on the need. no tools required. it all breaks down and can fit in a car's trunk .
    Cargo netting can be use for enclosing the gear ,but I'm working on something a bit more universal in function.
    Using a little imagination one could hang a hammock in it , or more depending on the limitations of your imagination. . The wheels are from a failed wheel chair solid wheel tires so no fear of flats. In the worst of situations one could easily haul an injured friend and gear in this cart which is a reality.
    Oddcaliber and oldman11 like this.
  8. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Instead of a FILBE that looks to me like a FILLME. Have you ever thought about adding some fencing to the bottom and sides? Even the orange plastic safety barrier would help to keep things contained.
    oldman11 likes this.
  9. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Alice-ILBE-FILBE review:
  10. Beckerbrain

    Beckerbrain Monkey

    I could be wrong, but I believe the FILBE assault pack can actually be loaded and still integrated into the system. It looks like it attaches across the top/lid area of the main pack instead of directly on the front of the main pack like with the ILBE beaver tail system. I looked into both for an international pack that could carry all my luggage for a month long trip, but I went with the ILBE mostly because of price. I have seen reviews where the ILBE was designated more comfortable when heavily loaded, but body armor was not considered. I’m a massive fan of big heavy volume packs, and I plan on upgrading to an eberlestock battleship as soon as I take another trip. Definitely look into the battleship if you’re in the market for a large pack.
  11. oldawg

    oldawg Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Still using the ALICE medium and frame with load shelf. Tried a lot of different packs over four decades but this one just does the best all around job for me. Easy to customize to my taste.
  12. Tempstar

    Tempstar Praeclarum Site Supporter+

    Me too. Handled a buddy's FILBE, have owned an ILBE, keep going back to the medium ALICE with a shelf. Just hard to beat.
    Oddcaliber and oldawg like this.
  13. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    Years ago when I as in search and rescue, I had an idea for a back pack like no other I have ever seen.
    Basically starting with an aluminum pack frame and sets of rings on either side for fanny pack size bags to hang horizontally.
    All the bags would be color coded so the constance is specific to the color. FAK would in red .
    In this way team members can reach for things needed with out digging through a big bag . Stuff remains organized and if necessary a particular bag can be removed and left with members on the trail .
    I really need to get my sewing machine out and make it my self .But this way one can expand or reduce at random ,knowing exactly what is in each bag. and if only the FAK is required , then that's all you cary as a fanny pack.
    3M-TA3 and ghrit like this.
  14. We sent ours to US Cav and they modified them with different outside pockets! I sold my large but kept my medium. Plus I use a butt pack and a black hawk/camel back small pack
    chelloveck likes this.
  15. Wildbilly

    Wildbilly Monkey+

    Hell, I can make-do with a blanket roll, haversack and canteen... "with an old coat for a pillow and the earth for last night's bed.".
    chelloveck likes this.
  16. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Don't forget your portable 'hip hole'. ;)
  17. Wildbilly

    Wildbilly Monkey+

    No kangaroos here in Dixie, we usually just make do with hay, straw, leaves, or grass. Had to look that one up and choose the best definition from several options. How did I do?
    chelloveck likes this.
  18. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Probably getting away from the OP a bit, but..a shallow hole in the ground to accommodate a human hip when sleeping. It helps keep the spine straight and makes for a better night's sleep.

    Hip-Hole | Definition of Hip-Hole by Lexico
    Error - Cookies Turned Off

    The term does have more recent meanings unrelated to sleeping rough on the ground. :eek:

    The FILBE should include a small light weight trowel.

    New Mini Folding Stainless Steel Hand Shovel Survival Spade Garden Hiking Trowel | eBay
    it beats digging with a stick.
    3M-TA3 and oldawg like this.
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