Gunner’s Fact Or Fiction – Does The Marine Pack Frame Hold Up?

There's been a lot of scuttlebutt about the integrity of the Marine Corps' pack frame. If you tell a Marine he can't break something, he's going to prove you wrong and then tell his buddies how to do it as well. But, this time MARCORSYSCOM is one step ahead, as Gunner Christian Wade demonstrates in this video.

16 Responses to “Gunner’s Fact Or Fiction – Does The Marine Pack Frame Hold Up?”

  1. Chris says:

    I think that guy has the best job in the world!

  2. redbeard says:

    Certainly entertaining, but hardly tests whether the new, even heavier, reinforced plastic frame holds up to ACTUAL use. Then we can move on the real issue – this frame carries loads poorly.

    I think a lot could be accomplished by DOD or lower establishing some objective human performance metrics with different pack types and frames. Besides the standard measurements like pulse, V02, tremor, foot placement, etc, there are sensors now that can sense shear, like you might actually feel on the waistbelt.

    • Dev says:

      I’m 159cm tall (and 65kg at my peak, now more 60-62). To wear a pack properly with belt kit and a plate carrier I need an external frame. The ALICE did OK until the 1606 came along. I used to train myself to pack march 45kg at least once a week pack weight alone. I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with the 1606 frame.

      • redbeard says:

        There are recent frame offerings that are lighter, more durable and carry a load much more comfortably.

        • SSD says:

          And the Marines bought this one.

          • grunt says:

            No derogatory intent here but the vast majority of Marines will rarely if ever carry a ruck after they leave boot camp/ocs-tbs and if they do, it’s an annual admin hike along the road with a lot of singing, guidons out, etc. and some manner of “warrior bbq” at the finish…or it’s used twice during deployment from tarmac to FOB/fob to tarmac. This pack frame is far from the best gear available but when most of the Corps is populated with MOS’s that allow women, an expensive ruck designed for long range foot movement across the spectrum of weather/terrain/use is overkill and wastes $$$ better spent elsewhere.

            • SSD says:

              Point taken

            • SSgt O says:

              I’ve never understood why we don’t have GP issue (aka current issue) and combat arms issue (IMHO Kifaru but others work). I guess no one is smart enough to figure out the logistics. I tried all the down east frames on allice and molle they suck. Anything that’s made for everyone really works for no one! Try on a Kifaru frame/pack (what I currently use bought with my own money) that is set for your body and you will notice a world of difference!!

  3. Lasse says:

    Wasn’t a lot of the issues reported related to cold weather when being used in Norway?

    • SSD says:

      Yes, a guy figured out how to break the frame by doing things to it that don’t happen when it’s used as a frame and then showed other guys how to do it. Next thing you know, it’s a trend. They don’t have to carry their pack if the frame is broken, right?

  4. lcpl1066 says:

    How about a static line jump with 140 lbs in the ruck followed by a 10k infill? Then put a 250 lb (average service member with a true fighting load) casualty on top of the ruck and have a man or woman walk another kilometer? This reminds me very much of what rifle companies do: show some very tough stuff, but not the actual stuff that replicates the issues that cause failure.

  5. Dan says:

    Wait, so you want a pack that can carry upto 390lbs? Without being too rude, these are the sort of ‘capability’ requirements that f##k up and compromise designs. You do not need a pack that can carry 390lbs… you need to utilise some sort of casualty device to fit that requirement separately.

  6. DSM says:

    Is this a ruck they purchased with their own funds or an otherwise unserviceable piece of equipment?

  7. paul says:

    I took my modified ALICE pack, put it on a MC1606 frame, and carried it through the Q course…IUW, SUT, SERE, and SAGE…never had an issue. I’ve jumped it, rucked it, and carried guys on top of it. I even did a couple of those events twice…

    It works.