Tactical Tailor

Mystery Ranch WELBE

Imagine a NICE frame and an ILBE had a baby. Well they did and it is called the Working External Load Bearing Equipment or WELBE. Unveiled last week at Marine South, the WELBE is the brain child of Mystery ranch founder Dana Gleason. It takes advantage of the NICE frame’s external design and Bolstered Ventilation System (BVS) technology to keep the load stable even wearing armor with a rear plate.

Mystery Ranch WELBE

Game changing? Quite possibly. The Marine Corps continues to browse for a new pack and the industry is abuzz with speculation over what direction they will go. While the Marines like the ILBE, it was designed before armor with an integrated rear plate was standard issue. The interface between armor and pack bag needs some improvement and the WELBE may be just the solution. Not only would it allow the modification of the thousands and thousands of packs already in service, specialized pack bags could be also fitted to the WELBE. Additionally, odd shaped loads can be carried when the WELBE is used as a stand alone mode in a manner like the NICE frame. The ILBE pack is an Arc’teryx design manufactured by Propper. A move to modify in service packs would be good for both companies as the ILBE would remain in service longer and the Marines would be more likely to purchase more of the packs in the future.

An added bonus for the market is that the WELBE is also compatible with the Canadian issue pack which suffers from the same issue as the USMC’s ILBE.

Mystery Ranch

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