I've been goofing around with my C20M, which is on a 1606 AC frame with an HSGI Alipad. I had an HSGI Battle Belt on it in lieu of a Prairie Belt, and an HPG V1 Shoulder Harness. I have reconfigured it in preparation for some training I'll be conducting soon down in Latin America...wanted to make it into my standard "jungle ruck". So, I pulled off the Alipad, replaced the HSGI Battle Belt and figured out a good way to marry up a Prairie Belt to it so that I could fairly quickly detach it and use it as a stand alone belt for any river crossings or steep angle work, that way I could harness-up and safety-in on a rope using a pair of leg loops and 5000# test buckle equipped 1" tubular threaded through the appropriate spots on the PB. I used four spare G-hooks, a couple Grimlocks, and some spare strappage to create the necessary connections for belt to frame. Turned out good.
After I got it all back together and docked my Tara to it, I tried it on. For some reason, the ruck didn't feel as good as when I had the Alipad on it. Guess my back's just too used to internal frame packs. I re-attached the Alipad, taking care to ensure that I'd still be able to pull off the PB easily, if I needed to. Yep...no problem....just detach four G-hooks, two Grimlocks, and two 1" straps that go around the PB off of the Alipad...no big deal. The likelihood of needing to pull the belt off the pack isn't huge, but I wanted the option. I also kept the other V1 harness and stuck it in the bottom of the packbag, so that I could easily detach the Tara and use it as a side journey pack while out away from what will be our jungle basecamp.
It's kind of interesting that right while I was messing around with this pack...I got a PM from another member here on the forums, asking for some insight, as that he is working on some mods for his own C20M and wants to use either a NICE frame, 1606 AC, or old school ALICE frame.
He asked for some pics once I got it all back together to my liking, so as requested...here they are! JW...hope these help.
Hope this helps any of you other folks out there that are trying to figure out different mods or adjustments for your own 20 series HPG packbag. Even though this packbag technically is rather small in volume (~1900'ish), it looks big inside and holds quite a bit! I'm looking forward to using this set-up down south! Of course my Ute remains my main go-to!
The Tarahumara docks to the C20M just perfectly. Seems like it does so on this pack better than any other.
All kitted out for doing battle with jungle flora and fauna. I also like how the 1606 AC frame gives a lot of choices and options for how straps can be set up on it. I ran the bottom pair of compression straps at an angle from the frame up to the Tara, which afforded me the ability to thread the web tabs on my HPG canteen pouches right through the strap. It keeps the canteens at a nice angle that allows me to reach them while wearing the pack.
My Prairie Belt is set up for use as part of a High Angle Kit (HAK), along with leg loops (not pictured).
I like how the Alipad turns the pack pretty much into a hybrid, versus a standard external.
One of my favorite features about the Alipad is the big pockets that allow you to make use of otherwise wasted space, without "growing" the pack outward off the back. These are perfect for power bars, soft items, or an MSR Dromedary (the only water bladders that I still semi-trust). Having plenty of potable water along wil be key to where we'll be training.
Even though the Alipad adds quite a bit of padding, it feels really good to me on this frame. I pulled out the thick pads from my Prairie Belt, and kept in the thin ones, to keep some shape to the belt.