Just mulling over some ideas..Bergens

  • Hey Guest, For sale we have Hultafors Outdoor Knives with Firesteel PLEASE LOOK HERE for more information or use the Pay Now button in the sidebar

Fallschirmwomble

Tenderfoot
May 11, 2009
56
7
Tennis Town
Do the long back PLCE Bergen have parts of fabric that delaminate if they are old?
Do they become sticky inside?
I've had the same nylon butyl SAS/PARA rucksack since 1983 and it's still going fine, although the waterproofing has largely been worn off. I had a newer one which began going sticky. I've seen snow cuffs delaminate on some and on PLCE rucksacks.

With PLCE, I've had the same PLCE longback since 1990 and I use it several times a week. No problem. I have a shortback which I bought cheap because the waterproofing was going sticky. Longback versus shortback is irrelevant: they're made in the same factories with the same materials. If only I knew what made the lining go sticky - I suspect it's just the concoction of waterproofing substance they used at the time of manufacture.

The fabric in DPM PLCE kit varies. On the inside, I've seen some to be a cream colour, others being see-through. So far, I've never seen a DPM lining go sticky. I think these ones are laminated, the older green ones having been waterproofed by liquid solution - but I can't guarantee that.

I've seen similar with ponchos. It looks like the early ones deteriorated because thay had insect repellent mixed in with the waterproofing. Some factories used latex for waterproofing, others used what looks like a type of laminated plastic film or silicone/silicon. It's possibly the same on PLCE fabrics (less latex, which is NOT used).

Are the British army Bergens made of 100% Cordura (1000 den) and have no delaminating parts, or is that a problem here too?

1000 Denier Cordura, correct.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Erbswurst

Fallschirmwomble

Tenderfoot
May 11, 2009
56
7
Tennis Town
Although im going more and more away from relying on weight on my hips, Something I will be getting, just to test more than anything really, is this hip pad. A couple of mods I tried didnt work and ended up with rash burn around my waist. However this does look good and reasonably priced.


Very similar to the waist belt on the second version of the PLCE ECM (Electronic Counter Measures) rucksack. Now I know why there are so very few of the things sold with their detachable belts!

See second pic:

 

lostplanet

Full Member
Aug 18, 2005
1,829
126
50
Kent
Yes, most likely seeing as they are free. I'm looking forward to trying the padder not that its absolutley essential for the loads im carrying, more for interest.
I tried using a Condor Molle battlebelt over the top of the standard hip pads but it didnt work for me and actually made things worse.

What I have found though is threading the straps through the extra loops lifts the belt up and inch or so and makes it a tighter fit on the hips if needed.
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
2,503
965
Berlin
@Fallschirmwomble
That means olive green British army bergens become sticky inside, DPM bergens do not become sticky?

MTP bergens are too young to know it for sure but I guess they have the same waterproofing as the DPM versions and will not become sticky?

All is 1000 Denier Cordura Nylon but the snow skirts not and they delaminate, the rest of the rucksack stays fine but of course in professional use the waterproof coating can be worn off by the time, what most hobby users will not manage to achieve in decades if they bought a rucksack in good, not so much used conditions

Is it like that?

------------------------------------------


Pardon, I didn't really follow this thread.

@Scottieoutdoors

You are a 2 metres high man of approximately 105 kg, is that right?

The US Army Alice pack seems to be not made for such giants. It can be less good adjusted and is made for usual tall men as far I am informed right. I do not recommend you to buy it, especially because you ask for a low budget solution and are probably not experienced enough to realise immediatly if the rucksack doesn't fit.

Your stuff is larger than the stuff of other people. You need more capacity than others. For example if you want a warm sleeping bag it will become pretty bulky.

But if you have no health problems with your back you can carry such a large 120 litres pack easily. And it will fit to your body size.

You don't need to join ultra light trekking forums where 160 cm small secretaries discuss equipment that fits in their handbags...

Quality sleeping bags are made in several sizes. If you read down in this link you will see that this UK made sleeping bags exists in a version up to 190 cm body size (what I comfortably use, I am 185cm tall) but also in an extra large version, made for guys like you.


My complete system needs approximately 50 litres rucksack capacity if I don't want to break off my fingers if I stuff it into its compression bag.

Of course it's far easier to put a waterproof rucksack liner into the Rucksack (for example a relatively waterproof British army large insertion bag, or a large usual garbage bag) and to stuff the sleeping bag in its bivvy bag simply to the ground of the rucksack. Than you twist the garbage bag, or close the army bag with a draw string and fold it over a bit, and put the other stuff on top of it.

Snugpak also sells the fitting XL Special Forces bivvy bag.

This looks expensive in the first view.
But you can get the parts of this system separately. If you want to use the sleeping bag usually down to 5*C, exceptional to 0*C you can just take the SF1, if you will use it mainly between 15*C and -10*C you just take the SF2.

You can buy later the other. And if you get the adapter too, you can connect them both and you get an extreme warm "third bag" which you can use down to -20*C and together with warm clothing in even colder conditions.

That means, you spend now a bit more for 1 bag, but invest perhaps later in a second and you get with it the third for free. Because summer and winter sleeping bag together are a sleeping bag for extreme cold weather.

But this complete system in your size fills up approximately 60 litres of your rucksack if you just stuff it comfortably into your rucksack.
65 litres is the usual size of usual trekking rucksacks for usual men.

And a large 120 litres army rucksack is already half full with it. It usually has 80 litres in the main compartment or two connectable main compartments, 10 litres in the lid pockets and 2x10 to 15 litres in the side pouches.

In the side pouches belong water, kitchen and food, in the lid belongs small stuff and waterproofs, in the main compartment(s) spare clothing (in an extra drybag that can be used as a pillow) and the sleep system with shelter, each in it's own waterproof bag.

(Of course one can organise it a bit different too.)

Every army uses and sells used sleeping bags in all different sizes. Boots and sleeping bag I recommend to buy new, but if there is no money one also can get it used. It isn't easy to get used XL versions but it's possible if one calls the good surplus shops and ask them.

The British army uses a similar 2 bag sleep system and the other European armies as well. Most continental armies currently use the same system an Carinthia is one of the makers.

In my opinion for you would be a good recommendation the Lowe Alpin Saracen in the Dutch army version, the Berghaus Crusader, especially the Berghaus Atlas, because it has compression straps at the sides to reduce the volume, perhaps the large pretty ugly Belgian Army rucksack, and perhaps the British army Bergen which I don't know personally. This seems to be sold for the lowest prices.

(Attention!
The large Berghaus Rucksacks are NOT ADJUSTABLE. They are sold in different sizes like jackets! Perhaps not every surplus seller knows about this fact!)

I easily can tell you how to fit a 3 seasons equipment in your body size into a 65 litres rucksack.
But if you want to buy a high quality equipment as cheap as possible, you should simply get a pretty complete equipment of the British army.
Every piece you get fits well together with the other stuff. You don't need to invest in try and error games, where buyers of civil equipment loose a lot of money.

Some of the stuff they throw behind you on flea markets, the rest of the system you can get regularly in the British surplus shops, next corner as well as via pretty low shipping costs.

If you get the stuff in good conditions it surely will last you a life time.

In your position I mainly would stick with British army equipment.

And if something of it shouldn't convince you, you can sell it later for the same price that you payed yourself.

Would you buy new civil equipment it would loose half the value when you leave the shop.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: BoomerangBob

Scottieoutdoors

Tenderfoot
Oct 22, 2020
64
29
Devon
Trying not to go to far off topic, but which sleeping bags have you looked at? and owned?
Oh sorry, I completely missed this. I've been advised to consider new sleeping bags over 2nd hand, but honestly they are all quite costly when I add up everything else as well, so I'll probably aim for some sort of surplus stuff...

Historically, I can't remember brands, some v toasty ones when younger (and smaller!) and most recently a double sleeping bag which is quite toasty, but that's probably more to do with the human hot water bottle (wife) in there as well!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Erbswurst

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
2,503
965
Berlin
The sleeping bags changed immensely during the last 20 or 30 years, especially the better ones.
Most people who followed my recommendation and bought a Snugpak Special Forces sleeping bag were really shocked when they opened the package.

:)
 

Scottieoutdoors

Tenderfoot
Oct 22, 2020
64
29
Devon
The sleeping bags changed immensely during the last 20 or 30 years, especially the better ones.
Most people who followed my recommendation and bought a Snugpak Special Forces sleeping bag were really shocked when they opened the package.

:)
I'd love too, problem is whoever did the calculations for its price put the decimal place in the wrong place!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Erbswurst

lostplanet

Full Member
Aug 18, 2005
1,829
126
50
Kent
I havent had too many sleeping bags because fortunately the ones I have seem to work pretty well.
By no means is this The best option for you, as you say, I like plenty of fidget room so means a big bag is required.

Started with British Army issue Bouncing bomb but found this simply too big and bulky to carry about. Had a couple of lesser smaller bags before I was happier.

My Go to is snugpak Merlin Softie 3 with the expander panel. It works well in most weathers I have found, unless its going to be below and a significant windchill and dependant on what im sleeping under and on. I use a bag liner for better hygene all the time and sometimes a baselayer. The merlins Zip together if you have left and rights.

My Cold bag is a Carinthia Defence 4 200 cost £76 I bought from ebay used. This bag I find the majority of the time is too warm and have to vent.
I slept in a tent for a month in my sisters garden with this bag and it was pretty roomy but would have liked an expander which they dont do, It wasnt super cold outside but the bag did everything expected well.

So not really offering info on temp rating and weight size etc, more that the bags I have are roomy enough for a decent nights sleep.
If you would like some dimensions I can post them up no problem to help with your decision. Carrying the D4 around also leads onto the size of rucksack I would use, In this case the good old long back does the job leaving plenty of room for other stuff. Sticking a compressed D4 in a sting would take up half the bag easily.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: punkrockcaveman

Scottieoutdoors

Tenderfoot
Oct 22, 2020
64
29
Devon
@Erbswurst

Honestly I'm not too sure. I do love Dartmoor, but I'm not sure I'm daft enough just yet to venture up there in snow... That being said, I'll definitely look to do some camping during the winter and won't leave it strictly to summer months...

I suppose I could always get a winter sleeping bag and a wool blanket, more to carry, but then cold/dead Vs weight....
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
2,503
965
Berlin
But I would invest another 70 € and buy a new olive green Snugpak Special Forces 2.

And I would save the money somewhere else.
Somewhere else it's easily done.
 

Tonyuk

Settler
Nov 30, 2011
911
62
Scotland
Issue bergens are durable but not ideal for civvy use.

You could get either the long or shortback, but remember that both are designed for use with belt kit and as such neither have a hip belt, since the bottom of it would be sitting on top of your pouches. You can have a belt added, but by the time you do that your in the range of very good civvy kit.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Erbswurst

Davey569

Native
Jun 18, 2008
1,185
81
Off the beaten track
Have you had a look at the fjallraven Singi?
I’m looking at getting rid of my old ones in favour of one of these. I tried one in a shop a few months ago and it was great, it has all the features of a military pack (side pouches, green, bombproof) but with more of a civilian look about it and not to mention an ergonomic design.

 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
2,503
965
Berlin
And surely only a civil quality...

This rucksack is made of a polyester-cotton mix jacket fabric! That's just slightly above WW2 standard. But current Fjällräven products are known to fall in pieces after a pretty short time of real outdoor use because they use a far too weak thread.

I own a still swedish made Fjällräven rucksack since nearly 30 years. I payed approximately 1000 German Mark for it.
The buying force was comparable with today 2000 £ or €.
These rucksacks made the old good name of this brand. That was incredible good, incredible tough, incredible long lasting, but also incredible expensive expedition material.

FR doesn't make such stuff any more.

They nowadays don't make anything than papers and e-mails in Sweden.

Nowadays the China made stuff they sell isn't much better than most Aldi outdoor offers, it's just overpriced because they had been known for quality stuff 30 or 40 years ago.

If you don't like military surplus equipment and want to invest money you should have a look at Savotta rucksacks, Karrimor SF, Berghaus military equipment, Heim, Fährmann, Aiguille Alpine, Kifaru, Norröna, Haglöfs, Helsport, Mammut, Defcon 5, or even Tasmanian Tiger.

Bergans, Gregory, Ortlieb and Marmot are also worth a look.

And if you look for low budget rucksacks perhaps Essl and Millet, Wisport, Helikon Tex, Snugpak, Osprey, Lowe Alpine, Bach, Salewa, Vaude or even Tatonka or Deuter. There are a lot of civil American quality brands too.
Of course they don't last as long as the 1000 Denier Cordura nylon rucksacks that are made according to NATO specifications, but they are pretty good too. And here it doesn't simply rain through the fabric like in the case of the rucksack you tested in a shop.

The G-1000 fabric was developed for clothing. That's similar to usual NATO field uniforms, of course in a lower quality, but comparable. Everything else than meeting the needs of a modern trekking rucksack for rainy conditions.
 
Last edited:

Davey569

Native
Jun 18, 2008
1,185
81
Off the beaten track
Wow, calm down a little I’m only giving a suggestion. And experienced one at that.. I’ve played around with most rucksacks from issue ones I had when I served to various ones through my personal life too. Most of the ones you’ve listed I know of but they’re still too military-esque for my liking, thanks all the same though.

I’d disagree with the build quality of nato stuff being quality though, being as it’s sold to the lowest bidder I wouldn’t say they’re built to last forever granted it’s tough materials but I’ve known a few guys who have gone through a lot of gear during their time. ...And those old army issue packs definitely leak I wouldn’t kid yourself about that!

the FR pack I tried in the store seemed ok to me, no better or worse than any other pack they had. I just liked the design characteristics of it and the fact that it was somewhat customisable. I have heard that their gear is made in China but they also have pretty good customer service (especially if you buy it from say cotswolds etc) and heck if a few stitches tip then I’d probably sew them up no matter what pack it is?
 

z_bumbi

Tenderfoot
Apr 22, 2016
78
42
Linköping, Sweden
Fjällräven backpacks is often suprising heavy even compared with old surplus packa. They maybe fit well but if a similar pack weights 1-2kg less its a lot of extra effort to use the FR Ones.
 

Hultafors Outdoor knife for Sale

We have a a number of Hultafors Outdoor Knives with Firesteels for sale.

You can see more details here in this thread OUTDOOR KNIVES The price is £27 posted to the UK. Pay via the paypal button below.