Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by cpunk, Sep 5, 2005.

  1. The issue PLCE infantry rucksack

  2. The old issue GS frame SAS/Airborne bergan

  3. Some other fandabbydozy piece of kit which I describe below

  4. None of the above


Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    I recently had to carry a whole lot of heavy stuff - mainly books - from London up to the Welsh borders and, as the glamorous Mrs cpunk had made off with the family car, I had to go by train. I went into the garage and dragged out my 'rucksack, infantry, PLCE' and loaded it up, but when I tried it out, it felt bad. Then, my eyes alighted on my old 'rucksack, SAS' which was sitting quietly in the corner, unassumingly biding its time, and I thought: 'Why not give the old boy a try?'

    Now I hadn't actually put anything in or carried this rucksack since 1992, but I remembered being quite fond of it. Anyway, it was a revelation: the load was much higher up my back, comfortable and sort of poised there, rather than just weighing me down like a soggy lump which is my experience with the PLCE. I had to walk a mile or so from home to Paddington station, simultaneously managing an unruly bull terrier, and really it was easy, comfy and effortless. It doesn't feel as 'moulded' with my body as the PLCE bag, but I'm not sure that's a bad thing.

    Opinions, folks?
  2. A big thing in load carrying is the frame. Most all rucsacs in the last 20 yrs have gone towards internal frames - they look 'smoother', less to get caught on etc.
    However, a good external frame will always enable heavier loads to be carried better. Fjalraven (sp) did some stuff on this years ago. Basically, for anything really heave, a frame is best - where your SAS one came in if I'm remembering them correctly. The best load distribution is to try and get a good hip belt properly positioned, putting much of the weight straight through your hips instead of shoulders. So, a good frame, with a good hip belt (that lets you move naturally) would be the best for really heavy loads.
  3. Which neither the sas or plce bergan have .
  4. I have a Macpac job, a bit smaller than the PLCE bergan, and I have used a Macpac daysac. For ease of carrying, they are the best I have come across, though mine is a full-on climbing sac, apparently and comes with all sorts of climbing loops and straps and stuff which I can't bring myself to cut off - yet.

    The other disadvantage is that it is in highly unmilitary colours, which I have toned down a bit, though.
  5. Woody - from the ARRSE-pedia - cos I can't be bothered to search any further:

    In the 1970s, the rucksack GS and the rucksack SAS began to be issued as above, but also to units conducting rural patrols in NI. These rucksacks featured a butyl nylon sack mounted on an external GS manpack frame which was also used for Clansman radios and ECM equipment. The GS rucksack had a capacity of about 60 litres whilst the SAS rucksack could hold about 120 litres. They carried the weight high on the back above the '58 pattern kidney pouches.
  6. In my time I've tried the GS, the SAS, the ALICE and the Aussie SAS bergens , but never really got on with any of them. About 14 years ago, I purchased a Lowe Alpine "Vector" 65-80ltr rucksack in mil-spec olive. Its a beauty, it has a fully adjustable "ladder-back" harness which allows you to site the main sack high to go above webbing, or drop it for climbing or if wearing a vest. It has a plethora of compression/attachment straps, and after many years of use it still looks almost new. For some inexplicable reason they went out of production years ago, but if you find one for sale second hand, grab it, you wont be dissapointed.
  7. Should have made myself clear neither bergan has a proper weight distrubting hip belt like on a civilian rucsac. Which you couldnt use if you wore webbing .As much as I liked the sas bergan when i had one the cyclops roc was more comfotable .If they could update/improve frame I 'd be intrested .
  8. PLCE bergen is designed to "sit" on the webbing so the webbing pouches act as a sort of belt.
    if worn correctly the "hip belt" on the PLCE bergen is above your hip, and is to stop the bag falling off rather than supporting weight..
  9. I still have a Berghaus Crusader for trekking. I really rate it. I tried the Cyclops 2 version and Vulcan, both even better (couldn't afford em at the time!)
    The PLCE Bergen is a cheaper version of the Crusader (I think!)
    the problem is going to be the hip belt. Correctly sized a good hip belt is a god send. As soon as belt and pouches are added forget the hip belt, it won't work. That's the root of any problems with the present Bergen.
    I have a 60-80 litre Lowe Alpine which is better still, but again relies on the hip belt. Any webbing is going to mess it up.
    Perhaps an Ops vest instead of webbing, leaving the back and hips clear for the Bergen to be correctly worn would be best?
    Just to throw another spanner in. Osprey!
    I've yet to see a pack or Bergen that fits properly with Armour. The US get close.
  10. I can remember my first big trek with my old man in the late 80's. He had his SAS bergen and I had his ancient A-frame bergen. It had these narrow canvas shoulder straps and the main bag was made of a really porous, thin nylon. The A-frame was ok but the straps cut in a fair bit. And most of my stuff got soaked inside! All good character building stuff I'm sure. He bought me a Berghaus daysack not long after that, which I still use.
  11. I have a multitude of rucsacs in my cellar, including short & long back PLCE, SAS bergan, Vaude and Lowe Alpine civvy jobs, However I just keep coming back to my trusty Cyclops Roc (circa 1980 and refurbished twice by a friendly rigger). It's the most comfy rucsac I've ever used and carries the load seriously high - if you can remember a well known 1982 picture of one of 'Them' walking past a Scout as a stretcher case is carried towards it then you'll see what I mean.
  12. Were you using a Longback or Shortback?

    I use the shortback with webbing and Tabs, but for anything longer I'd switch to a longback to save my shoulders.

    My old man has just given me his Berghaus 120L from the late '80s which is essentially a PLCE one with internal frame but in OG, way ahead of its time. Its outrageously comfortable, and still has padding left in the straps, unlike my issue bergen.

    Edited to add: Impressive thread revival!
  13. The Berghaus (Crusader?) was certainly ahead of its time and your Dad's - I think I was issued one in 1980! It came into service for Army units in the AMF(L) around that time, replacing the little Norwegian bergan and the dreaded manpack frame. They were easily as big as current PLCE and, as you say, outrageously comfortable. The Cyclops Roc was the little brother of the 120L version.
  14. Fair enough. The one I'm talking about is literally a clone of the PLCE one but only 5/6 years before it. Differences include a lack of the internal lid pouch and top lid zip is front rather than side placed. It has the same rocket pouch design but with a "fixed" internal frame, meaning that it smells a bit musty as I can't wash it easily.

    It's still mega though.
  15. Fixed? You're just not trying hard enough!