SIG Sauer Academy

Natick Seeks A Jungle Ruck

We’ve seen interest in Jungle Boots and fabrics for Jungle Uniforms. This time it’s Jungle Rucks. In fact, earlier this month, the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research Development, and Engineering Center (NSRDEC), Natick, MA issued a Request for Information (RFI) for a Jungle Rucksack.


The U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research Development, and Engineering Center (NSRDEC), Natick, MA is seeking information and sample materials for test and evaluation purposes of available Jungle Rucksack that are capable of meeting the following performance requirements:


1. Jungle Ruck will have a volume threshold of 2000 – 2500 cubic inches.

2. Must be acceptable and interface with current Body Armor (BA) and plate carriers: the Crye AVS and Eagle MMAC 2012.

3. Environmental conditions cannot degrade the system to the extent that is cannot be used for its intended mission.
a) Must withstand the effects of the full climatic range of jungle operations (generally 0-40 C, 32-104 F).
b) Must be rot, mildew, chlorine, salt water, UV light and petroleum, oils and lubricant (POL) resistant.
c) Must have a shelf life of not less than three years as a threshold and five years as an objective.
d) The backpack system must provide flame resistance equal to that of the current Ballistic Armor Load Carrying System (BALCS).
e) Pack should have better ventilation than legacy pack systems measurable by user evaluations. The pack frame MUST provide standoff from the back of the user for ventilation ability. Either an external frame or internal contoured frame should meet this requirement.


1. Pack can be attached to personnel to be flown under Parachute operations without causing increased risk of injury (HALO & Static Line).

2. Must be capable of supporting the weight of an attached loaded Butt Pack with a weight of 20 pounds.

3. Items must be capable of being made in Multi Cam, AOR1, AOR2, and Coyote.

4. Pack weight of 4 pound as a threshold and 3 pounds as an objective.

5. Must be compatible and interface with BALCS components to include Low Visibility Body Armor Vest (LBAV) and Load Carriage System (LCS).

6. Use an Internal, external or hybrid frame style. The Pack suite is expected to fit 5 – 95 % males with built in torso length adjustability from 14 – 21 inches and 3 sized waist belts (S 28-34, M 34-40, L 40+)

7. Jettison capability that can be done quickly under 10 seconds and not causing harm to personnel who are standing or running during jettison maneuvers.

8. Integral load carriage system padded and reinforced so that personnel can carry heavy and/or irregular shaped loads and capable of carrying/supporting a maximum of 90 lbs.

9. The frame and/or its supporting elements shall be ergonomically efficient and sized to optimize compartment and equipment placement (minimum number of sizes with minimum number of adjustments). Provide adjustments (straps, cords, or other mechanisms) to allow the shifting of the load from the shoulders to the hips and vice versa to minimize discomfort/muscle strain in those areas while wearing the system. The majority of the weight should be placed on the hips. The shoulder straps will provide a quote mark clean quote mark surface to the front which will not interfere with the shouldering and firing of a weapon.

10. For minimal interference with individual movement, Pack should utilize a minimum amount of MOLLIE compatible webbing on the back of the Pack for the attachment of external items.

11. Sides of pack will be slick with no webbing or attachment points in order to reduce snagging in operational environments.

12. The back pack shall be compatible with the current Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) hydration suites (100 oz standard bladder) providing a method of retention to secure the bladder.

13. The pack will have a removable (quick release) top/closing flap that is a light backpack/bolt bag 200-500CI.

14. The pack will provide a means for communications pass through.

15. The pack will contain a removable inner pouch with keeper capable of maintaining a radio (PRC117 size) at the top/back part of the backpack for accessibility with drainage.

16. Must withstand delivery by parachutist as part of the main pack or as a standalone item. As a threshold the patrol pack must be deliverable by the Single Point Release Harness, H – Harness, Spider Harness or parachutist drop bag.

17. The Pack must have a top and side carrying handles rated at 105 lbs.

18. Personnel must be able to easily manipulate the adjustment and release mechanisms while wearing cold weather and wet suit gloves during the day and night.

19. The shoulder straps will provide a quote mark clean quote mark surface to the front, which will not interfere with shouldering and firing of a weapon.

20. The pack shall be comfortable and not cause hot spots, chafe or discomfort to the wearer. It shall allow for full range of movement of all appendages.

21. The pack must be of water resistant design (material) and incorporate drain holes/grommets in all the components to include pockets and pouches.

22. Must be compatible with other items of individual equipment both fielded and emerging.

Materials must also meet the requirements of the Berry Amendment, 10 USC 2533a.


Vendors who believe they have product(s) capable of meeting the above requirements are requested to submit a short (no more than 3 pages total) summary, including description, performance information, pictures and website (if available). Vendors are also request (but not required) to submit a sample of one (1) yard of material with their response to this RFI (see below). The three (3) page summary must include Company name and address, point of contact with phone number, DUNS number, Cage Code and a statement regarding any small business designation (if applicable), by the date and to the address noted below. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code is 315990 – Apparel Accessories and Other Apparel Manufacturing and the small business size is 500 employees.

Interested parties have until 4:00PM EST 2 February 2015.

26 Responses to “Natick Seeks A Jungle Ruck”

  1. Angry Misha says:

    Obviously from PEO-SOF Warrior.

  2. Ray says:

    Sounds like they have described the ALICE Pack…granted, it’ll be used as a baseline but it’ll be interesting to see what they come up with and/or how close in comparison it’ll match with the ALICE.

  3. Hodge175 says:

    Sounds like a Mystery Ranch design with some upgrades.

  4. Mick says:

    Some great bureaucratese in paragraph 19… typing “quote mark” out instead of just using the appropriate keys.
    I think that’s quote mark inefficient quote mark.


    • Jbgleason says:

      I know it’s RFP base language and all but: 10 seconds to jettison? That seems really excessive. 10 seconds is a long, long time when things are breaking bad.

  5. Rob says:

    “3. Items must be capable of being made in Multi Cam, AOR1, AOR2, and Coyote.”

    Who’s not down with OCP?

  6. Aaron says:

    Sounds like Mystery Ranch…but they don’t want to spend that kind of money. Also, 2000-2500 Cu In is not a lot.

    Based on 13 you probably want the SATL but it’s volume is at 3600 cu in.

    When I went into the jungle we carried a lot of shit and I took my NICE 6500. It’s obvious these guys are not thinking a long slog into the jungle and makes me think of Air Assaults from Vietnam.

    • Rick says:

      We already have the SATL and a Tacticiplane (I think?) as part of the SPEAR equipment issue. This request is not due to a lack of funds. Im not Natick, but this is obviously designed to fill a different role.


  7. jose says:

    Large ALICE pack worked really well in the jungle, I’m sure a few tweaks here and there, and you can have the ultimate jungle ruck. TT Malice pack comes to mind, just as mollie webbing here and there..

    The one question they need to ask themselves, what is there estimated time spent in the jungle, because there’s a few packs right now that are COTS that can be used for a short duration ops (3-7 days), if you are going to spend more time, then there’s other items that need to be looked at (operational items).

  8. zach says:

    How is shelf life determined? Is it use life or sitting on a shelf? I know it is a dumb question, but is there something I’m missing?

  9. Riceball says:

    I’m curious, what makes a jungle ruck so different from a regular pack that they need one specifically for the jungle? Also, is a jungle something so specific to a jungle environment that it’s not very useful outside of a jungle or can’t the Army use this eventual jungle ruck as the basis for their standard issue pack?

    • straps says:

      Standoff for temperature management, construction for moisture management and design for moving through bush.

      We’ve refined a lot of gear but we’re still a ways from perfection (or even a 70% solution) in load carriage/load management for the armor-wearing Soldier.

      I don’t get this enthusiasm for the MR gear; nice people and all but their armor solution works absolutely no better than ALICE (side stabilization bolsters are a solution in search of a problem, the packstraps sit RIGHT atop armor straps and until Oneiros did the lumbar pad, there was nothing to close the void between the SAPI plate and the pelvis.

      Someone had an Eagle setup on eBay the other day that may be a contender. Price was so low that I thought it was a scammer so I didn’t bite but the pics were interesting. VERY basic setup that worked. Yes, I said Eagle…

      Kifaru’s Bikini could be “AG’d” and shortened–as it stands the stays are probably too long for jungle work.

      • SteveB says:

        Agreed. The MR NICE frame isn’t ideal for hot-humid conditions. A Kifaru Bikini shortened to 22in might work. Engineering good gear and clothing systems for humid tropical environments is challenging.

  10. Aaron says:

    Cordura is heavy. Also when I spent time in the jungle, I never saw the French with Body Armor. When I was there it was the dry season, and it rained everday probably 10 inches or more.

    • straps says:

      First time in a long time I’ve seen the French cited as an example of best practices for anything other than expressions of affection. Refreshing.

      I’m not sure we’ll ever run expeditionary ops sans armor again. Sans. French. See what I did there?

      Back on topic, we can limit ourselves to fights EVERYONE believes are worth mounting, or we can continue developing (lighter AND more effective) ballistic technology. Blood or treasure. Our choice.

  11. Luke says:

    So a question on A-3-e: Aren’t pretty much all the legacy pack systems external frames dating back to the 60’s?

    Also will they have to wear armor all the time in the jungle as well, making extra ventilation moot?

    And lastly, 4lbs is pretty optimistic for what sounds like a serious frame with an attached assault pack, even granite gear didn’t hit that threshold and they make crazy light packs for a living.

  12. balais says:

    Go back to the big green tick. Problem solved.

    • z0phi3l says:

      It was barely OK in the 90’s, now a days it’s it’s barely acceptable, time to move on to better

  13. Graham says:

    4 pounds seems kinda heavy for such a small pack.