Austrian Army Backpack - Large Pack with Harness
Austrian Army Backpack
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Description / Austrian Army Backpack
The Austrian Army Backpack is a large sized rucksack that is similar to the US Army ALICE pack. Designed to serve as a main pack for troops in the Austrian Army, this pack brings with it a variety of features and tons of storage space. In addition to these features and storage space it is constructed from Nylon with a water resistant coating applied to all surfaces.
- Three Large Exterior Pockets - These pockets can be used to store gear you need to access regularly in the field, and they are large enough to put vital equipment in them.
- Exterior Pocket Drain Holes - Each of the exterior pockets features eyelet style drain holes to deal with rough weather which will allow any accumulated water to drain from the pack by force of gravity.
- Main Interior Compartment - This massive interior compartment has room for large items like helmets, sleeping gear, extra clothes, and also features an interior pocket to keep important gear sorted from main routine gear
- Padded Harness Straps - These included padded harness / shoulder straps can be arranged to offer maximum comfort when carrying a fully loaded pack.
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The whole ensemble is very similar to the ALICE system, especially in terms of how things attach. The Austrian system makes extensive use of metal hooks (which I call "meat hooks.") and eyelets. There are eight pairs of meat hooks on the harness. The two at the bottom of the rear of the harness attach to eyelets in your Austrian Web Belt. Alternately, you could use an ALICE belt.
The second set of hooks are located on top of the harness, where it crests your shoulders. These hooks attach to the two eyelets at the top of the Austrian backpack. This allows the backpack to use the same shoulder harness that you have on as part of your LBE. While this is rather ingenious, it has the distinct disadvantage of making it impossible to shed your ruck quickly. I will be modifying this system for a follow-up.
The bottom two sets of hooks on the front of the harness hook into the eyelets at the bottom of your rucksack, and the second set allows you to hang a butt pack from (as seen in the SwissLink video). However, I find that arrangement to be quite uncomfortable, as the front bag keeps flopping about while I'm walking.
The entire system goes well together, giving the user a web belt to attach magazine pouches to, a butt pack and a rucksack. The downfall of the system is that it isn't really modular. If worn all together, time must be taken to remove the rucksack. If you make contact with the enemy, you're not going to have time to stop, take off your entire system, and unhook the rucksack before reacting. Also, the suspender yoke/harness only attaches to your belt at two points in the back, making it less than ideal for having much gear on your belt.