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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a discontinued Mountainsmith Telemark 65L. Its pretty much just a big compartment w/ a small storage area on the lid. Theres not even a decent place to hold a Nalgene. I was thinking of maybe buying a MOLLE Load Bearing Vest (LBV) w/ hydration on the back. In theory, I would be able to have all my essential gear on the vest so when we setup camp I could just drop the pack and explore. I've thought about it for awhile and it seems like it could work but im just not 100%. The thing that worries me the most is maybe the hydration not fitting. Has anyone else done something like this or maybe has a different solution?

Example of my pack:



Example of vest:


* Btw for those who dont know, MOLLE is a webbing system that lets you customize your vests loadout. you can arrange different size pouches wherever webbing is available. This makes the system very versatile.
 

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I've wondered about this also. But I have no answer for you.

I know what you mean though: Does it work to have a hydration blader with a backup over it?
 

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........I was thinking of maybe buying a MOLLE Load Bearing Vest (LBV) w/ hydration on the back. In theory, I would be able to have all my essential gear on the vest so when we setup camp I could just drop the pack and explore. I've thought about it for awhile and it seems like it could work but im just not 100%. The thing that worries me the most is maybe the hydration not fitting. Has anyone else done something like this or maybe has a different solution?
Example of vest:


* Btw for those who dont know, MOLLE is a webbing system that lets you customize your vests loadout. you can arrange different size pouches wherever webbing is available. This makes the system very versatile.
Ok I feel I can provide you with some insigt into this matter.

1 I own a Camelbak model with a 3L resevoir that is the Delta 5 vest like you have provided a picture of.

2 It's use is for when I am called out with SAR. It has most of my essential gear that I need and use on callout.

3 I have used "Back packs" soft and internal and external frame models for a variety of purposes, not for SAR yet nor would I. The vest is the HOT TICKET item for me.

Take a look here.... Front and sides and Back









At this point I am quite satisfied with the vest. The fact it is designed for a hydration bladder makes it very versatile. I also carry an emergency space blanket in the main pouch a road flare, power bars and a variety of other gear. I plan to add more pouches on the rear for more gear, as I don't quite have enough pouches for gear needed.

There are two internal pockets on each side of the front halves of the vest one, zippered the other velcro fastened.

The vest is quite adjustable for sizing.

I have added my own 2" duty belt for waist support/control and more gear. I plan on two drop downs one for each leg for more gear.

All in all This for me is superiour for SAR and hiking as it provides a more balanced load than a pack as it's weight is on the back and hips only.

BTW 6' tall 235lbs for size so you have an idea of what this fits and there is a ton of room for more adjustment yet for both sides and the shoulders also adjust inside the main compartment for size as well and hydro tube routing.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Riot, if you were to minimize your vest loadout so that you had just the bare essentials would you be able to carry a backpack like the one mentioned? Im talking about a full size internal frame (2 tab design)

I dont really need all the equipment you have, but things like water, first aid, flashlight, ect would be nice to have without having to unmount the pack.

The 2 things im really worried about is the hydration not fitting with a backpack mounted (im hoping it will tuck in between the 2 tabs) and the shoulder straps not sitting properly. On your vest it looks like the shoulder area is a little lumpy. Im sure most of it is cushion and a hydration tube though. Sorry if my post is all over the place lol.
 

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I suppose you could just have a stripped down vest with bladder and basic essentials and wear it under the pack. I dont think it would work well personally. I think you should look into a new pack with hydration or dual pack that has a large main setup with a detachable day pack you could keep gear in or transfer as needed.

I am not saying it wouldnt work just maybe difficult. The LBV is designed to work with other gear perhaps adding more on the back would be an option and you could detactch what you don't need at camp.

Look into what the military uses, how they use it and duplicate that.

For me mixing equipment not designed to work together doesn't make much sense. That vest the one I have and you pictured is expensive to buy and find out it wont work for you.

If your up my way...PM me ahead of time I can strip it down fill the bladder and you can try it.

I have a 65L INTERNAL frame pack I can test with and take pictures...it will be a while I have to go to a funeral for my wife's lil bro in Saskatchewan. so I'll try it when I get back.


Al
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thank you for all the info, This is probably something im going to try and make work. I really like the idea of having a LBV to do simple day hikes or even to explore the area after i drop my main pack and setup camp. The LBV wont need to carry alot of gear, it will be more like a BOB sorta setup (atleast thats how i imagine it)

If you have a chance to try that setup out, post what you find. Im sure it will be very helpful. Thanks for posting the other pictures to... it gives alot of perspective of just how much gear can be loaded on a LBV

Edit: After discussing with multiple people, It seems while viable, this might not be the best option. With a fullsize pack, the straps would get in the way, esp if outfitted with a sternum strap. Not only that but if worn under a jacket, the vest pockets would be a pain to access. Time to look for another solution.... maybe leg rig or a small sling bag lol
 

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After discussing with multiple people, It seems while viable, this might not be the best option. With a fullsize pack, the straps would get in the way, esp if outfitted with a sternum strap. Not only that but if worn under a jacket, the vest pockets would be a pain to access. Time to look for another solution.... maybe leg rig or a small sling bag lol
Ya this is what I have come to think without trying it. I still however feel that the LBV beats a pack hands down for a one day hike or one day + emergency say up to 3 day. You can customize with muilitple pockets and small packs that attatch and carry bout all you need. I know I need more on my rig...mostly the back area. The LBV has about 8L of internal stowage, 3L used by the hydro if filled. Currently I'm working on two hydro bladders a 1.5 and 3L the large for H2O and the smaller for Gator/Power type drinks.

All in all I can manage alot of gear on the vest, Binoculars, NV, compass, flash lights, saw, 2 radios, med kit, food, of course water...lmfao, fire starting material, "para" type cord, GPS, cell, machette. I would like to add a decent "butt" pack and some more packages for things on the back of the LBV less use or less important items. Also plan to get a couple drop down leg assemblies too.

I have used small day packs in thick woods and underbrush but this LBV for SAR at least for me is ideal. I won't be going to a pack any time soon.
 

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biggest thing i can say is you would be better off finding like a proper hydro pouch bag. and not try and fit yer water between your back and the frame.

i have the backpack style and i use the straps to tie it to my packboard
 

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The further out your pack weight is the more leverage it has on you..

Personally I have a load bearing vest with thigh drops, and 18L pack with 3L bladder.. on the front I have room for whatever molle pouches I want to put on but for the most part the leg drops do it pretty well.. keeps the gravity low, ALTHOUGH the leg drops do make your LEGS heavier (think stairmaster)

I recently got an operator belt with a hardened core for load bearing, reduces the overall capacity but my pack is covered in molle as well (http://www.camelbak.com/government-military/hydration-packs/mule500.aspx) there are various other ones (IE larger) too.
 

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Great thread. I joined this site specificly because of it. A little background: I own an auto repair shop, I'm an L1 ASE Master of 24 years. I'm also an avid hiker and a certified Wilderness First Responder.

OK, on to the LBV setup. The first thing to consider before buying a pack setup is to figure out exactly what you are going to carry before you buy. My 3 day pack for the AT weighs 17 pounds. My favorite small pack is an Ozark Trail pack I picked up at WalMart. It has no waist strap, I added a chest strap to it with a web and plastic quick release clip from a tent repair kit stitched to the shoulder straps with Spiderwire Kevlar fishing line. I have hundreds of miles in the mountains with this pack. A waist strap is not necessary for a light pack, especially if it is properly supported form the bottom. On the trail I carry a small fanny pack with my pistol and a spare mag in it. I typicly wear it around back, as it is not necessary to "quick draw" out on the trail. If you see or hear bear or wild boar signs out there you have plenty of time to spin that pack around and be ready. The fanny pack has a waist strap, and helps support the weight of the main pack. This setup works very well.

My LBV is the tactical type with the pockets on the front, but a straight up web type is every bit as effective, maybe even better. I carry a small medical bag with this one that has a waist strap and is clipped in to the bottom of the LBV, so it is a structural part of it. I also have a MOLLE camelback bag mounted on the LBV. The pack I carry for the rest of my gear is a medium ALICE without the frame on it. It does not have a waist strap, and doesn't need it. The bottom support is the medical bag that it sits on. And it doesn't need a chest strap because the LBV has it. I also eliminated the shoulder pad straps on the backpack because the LBV already has them. The pads from the ALICE pack feature quick disconnect clips for "drop and go" capability. Without the pads, what I have done is to invert the lower 1 inch web straps and loop them thru the lower adjuster straps, then feed them thru the straps and loops over the shoulders of the LBV. There. Now you are fully padded and the straps will not shift off the pads. Now, the inverted straps have loops on them at the top. Stick them thru the rectagular buckle clips that were attached to the shoulder pads (at the top of the pack). Hold them in place with clevis pins. You know, like the clip you use to secure the receiver hitch pin for your trailer, only smaller. I got them at the local hardware store for 23 cents each. You can tie them to the LBV with zip ties or fishing line so you don't loose them. The idea is you can reach up over your shoulders and pull these two pins, and the main pack falls off. I mean falls off. And boom, you are mobile. And you still have all the essential gear on your LBV, your water, and medical bag. A truly awesome, cheap, and very good fitting usable setup.
 

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Great thread. I joined this site specificly because of it. A little background: I own an auto repair shop, I'm an L1 ASE Master of 24 years. I'm also an avid hiker and a certified Wilderness First Responder.

OK, on to the LBV setup. The first thing to consider before buying a pack setup is to figure out exactly what you are going to carry before you buy. My 3 day pack for the AT weighs 17 pounds. My favorite small pack is an Ozark Trail pack I picked up at WalMart. It has no waist strap, I added a chest strap to it with a web and plastic quick release clip from a tent repair kit stitched to the shoulder straps with Spiderwire Kevlar fishing line. I have hundreds of miles in the mountains with this pack. A waist strap is not necessary for a light pack, especially if it is properly supported form the bottom. On the trail I carry a small fanny pack with my pistol and a spare mag in it. I typicly wear it around back, as it is not necessary to "quick draw" out on the trail. If you see or hear bear or wild boar signs out there you have plenty of time to spin that pack around and be ready. The fanny pack has a waist strap, and helps support the weight of the main pack. This setup works very well.

My LBV is the tactical type with the pockets on the front, but a straight up web type is every bit as effective, maybe even better. I carry a small medical bag with this one that has a waist strap and is clipped in to the bottom of the LBV, so it is a structural part of it. I also have a MOLLE camelback bag mounted on the LBV. The pack I carry for the rest of my gear is a medium ALICE without the frame on it. It does not have a waist strap, and doesn't need it. The bottom support is the medical bag that it sits on. And it doesn't need a chest strap because the LBV has it. I also eliminated the shoulder pad straps on the backpack because the LBV already has them. The pads from the ALICE pack feature quick disconnect clips for "drop and go" capability. Without the pads, what I have done is to invert the lower 1 inch web straps and loop them thru the lower adjuster straps, then feed them thru the straps and loops over the shoulders of the LBV. There. Now you are fully padded and the straps will not shift off the pads. Now, the inverted straps have loops on them at the top. Stick them thru the rectagular buckle clips that were attached to the shoulder pads (at the top of the pack). Hold them in place with clevis pins. You know, like the clip you use to secure the receiver hitch pin for your trailer, only smaller. I got them at the local hardware store for 23 cents each. You can tie them to the LBV with zip ties or fishing line so you don't loose them. The idea is you can reach up over your shoulders and pull these two pins, and the main pack falls off. I mean falls off. And boom, you are mobile. And you still have all the essential gear on your LBV, your water, and medical bag. A truly awesome, cheap, and very good fitting usable setup.
:worthless_without_p

So there post some pics of this neat setup you speak of! I am very interested in the drop off the back quick release pack of LBV myself, I could maybe make a couple different packs....first aid / survival etc for task specific calls.
 

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Right. I'll try to get that together this weekend, but it may take a little more time. Wife's birthday is Saturday and Sunday is range time for an upcoming shoot. The latest addition will be (when it arrives next week) a Gerber saw back machete (sleeve) that I'm going to mount on the back of the LBV if it can be done without compromising maneuverability. Right now the gear is all over the basement floor unassembled. Again.
 
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