Skull Hide's DIY Silnylon Alice pack mod and pack

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Skull Hide's DIY Silnylon Alice pack mod and pack

Post by Skull_Hide » Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:47 am

Finally posted, the Silnylon Alice pack, the first of it's kind as far as I know. :D
Note: The pictures have to be linked because of their size and quality is too great to post on this page, sorry for the trouble.

The Alice pack is rugged and simple, and many of us love her for that very reason, but like everything else it has a few flaws. Not being rainproof was always a gripe of mine in a pack, living in Western Oregon you can expect rain anytime during the year and lots of it during Fall and Winter.

I would like to thank Trout_Of_Death for his thread on DIY silnylon since he inspired me to do this. :wink: You can check his thread here
http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 14&t=75357" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

So I was determined to make my Alice rainproof, I do not say waterproof because of how Alice is designed, if you dumped her in a creek of body of water she will get wet, due to her drain grommets on the bottom and because of how she's built. I was tired of waterproof bags to put my gear in and wanted something permanent.

Behold, my Alice:
http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww31 ... AG0537.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I'll walk you through the steps it took to get her to shed rain.
All these supplies are on the DIY thread as well as more information.

Supply list:
1.Lower Odor Mineral Spirits is what I used but check on the DIY thread to see other solvents you can use.
2.A tube of 100% Silicon caulk, I used white and black silicon during my project with two separate batches. The white made is easy to see what I had coated when the MS evaporated and the black gave my OD nylon a nice darker tone.
3.A synthetic brush, I used a 4" as well as a 1'' but use whatever you can, make sure your brush is solvent safe.
4.Caulking gun, you have to get the silicon out somehow.
5.Container, I used a 5 gal bucket for one batch and a cleaned out coffee can for other. As long as it's solvent safe it's okay. Just make sure your container can hold hold a quart of liquid + a tube of silicon and be mixed in.
6.Solvent safe gloves and a place to paint on the batch and a place to dry it.
7.Glass measuring cup
8.A way to mix your batch, a electric drill works well, heavy duty zip ties work well to make a improvised mixer.

Alright we're ready to go. My work station:
http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww31 ... AG0479.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

First measure out one quart of your solvent and add it to your container, then add one tube of silicon caulk to your container, mix together until blended well "Note: it will take sometime to get them to mix together so take your time and do it right." Once mixed take your Alice pack and turn it inside out, we want to coat the entire seems so that so water will come through, coat the entire inside, you can try to coat the Radio pocket but I would advise not, it's too difficult to paint in there and well take care of it later. Once you have coated the inside leave it to dry a little bit, it doesn't take too long. Once it's dry you can wipe of any globs or excess that is on the fabric, the inside should look something like this, I used white:
http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww31 ... AG0563.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Now turn the pack back out how it is normal and coat the back section covering the radio pocket, like this:
http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww31 ... AG0481.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

With the back coated you can now focus on the front flap and coat it as well:
http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww31 ... AG0478.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Now you still might need to coat the area between the front flap and the back section depending how crazy you went with the brush, coat it so that when it rains it'll simply bead up and run off. Get under the section that connects the pack to the frame and coat.

You can also coat the three exterior pocket on the pack as well. I only coated the tops of the pouches but you can coat the top and bottom of them if you want:
http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww31 ... AG0480.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Here you can see how the coating makes a nice waterproof barrier on the fabric:
http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww31 ... AG0468.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Also how the black silicon give the OD green a nice darker shade, I highly recommend this:
http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww31 ... AG0571.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

So there you go, how to rainproof your Alice pack, or any pack with DIY silnylon. Now here's my Alice pack "medium" currently set up with a DEI 1606AC frame and Molle enhanced shoulder straps and Molle belt with a MSS carrier:
http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww31 ... AG0555.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww31 ... AG0547.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww31 ... AG0526.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww31 ... AG0542.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww31 ... AG0544.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww31 ... AG0549.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Me wearing it:
http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww31 ... AG0556.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww31 ... AG0560.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww31 ... AG0562.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Also my little mod I did to the main cargo straps for extra room:
http://i731.photobucket.com/albums/ww31 ... AG0552.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

That way I can hold more on top of the pack and overload the main area.

Thanks for checking out my pack and viewing the page. :D
My Silnylon Alice pack DIY w/ 1606AF frame Hellcat
http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 14&t=81955" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Sig 1911-22LR pistol
http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 10&t=82581" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

If my post contains a misplaced/ random word = auto spell is a bitch.

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Re: Skull Hide's DIY Silnylon Alice pack mod and pack

Post by Exploriment » Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:45 am

Skull_Hide wrote:Note: The pictures quality is too great.
Well I think some might quibble about the quality of your pictures. :|
Skull_Hide wrote:So I was determined to make my Alice rainproof, I do not say waterproof because of how Alice is designed, if you dumped her in a creek of body of water she will get wet, due to her drain grommets on the bottom and because of how she's built. I was tired of waterproof bags to put my gear in and wanted something permanent.
I still think leaving your stuff in waterproof bags is the smart thing to do.

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Re: Skull Hide's DIY Silnylon Alice pack mod and pack

Post by praharin » Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:43 pm

Why not just get a rainproof pack cover?
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Re: Skull Hide's DIY Silnylon Alice pack mod and pack

Post by Kutter_0311 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:09 pm

Neat! Thanks for posting this!
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Re: Skull Hide's DIY Silnylon Alice pack mod and pack

Post by Regulator » Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:25 pm

Looks great! I always hated having to pull a cover off just to get in a pocket. While I wouldn't throw my waterproof bags away, your system should keep most of the rain from getting in. Very cool :D

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Re: Skull Hide's DIY Silnylon Alice pack mod and pack

Post by Skull_Hide » Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:49 pm

praharin wrote:Why not just get a rainproof pack cover?
The reason I don't use a pack cover is they still aren't 100% rain proof and I find it a pain to always take it off and put it back on just to get a item, also if you mount items to the top of your pack or anywhere else so it sticks out extra wide like a sleeping mat or tent you can't use a cover with Alice because it would cover you webbing you need. As to the water proof bags sure you can do that but I went for a different route.
My Silnylon Alice pack DIY w/ 1606AF frame Hellcat
http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 14&t=81955" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Sig 1911-22LR pistol
http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 10&t=82581" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

If my post contains a misplaced/ random word = auto spell is a bitch.

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Re: Skull Hide's DIY Silnylon Alice pack mod and pack

Post by KnightoftheRoc » Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:35 am

I just FINALLY received my Woodland Camo Med. ALICE pack, that I ordered about 8-109 months ago. Having finally obtained what I WANT, I'd like an update on your pack. How's it holding up, so far? Have you had a chance to put it to use, and if so, what are your findings on your sil-nylon experiment with it? I'm considering doing the same with mine before I get it set up on the frame and start attaching crap to it.
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Re: Skull Hide's DIY Silnylon Alice pack mod and pack

Post by Skull_Hide » Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:44 am

I've done serval rain test, every time it starts pouring like crazy here I throw my pack on and go hike around our property till it stops, so far I'm still impressed with the Silnylon. As to actual continual hiking I have not, but season starts in a few days and I plan to test the pack during that time as well since I will be in the woods for a week straight. So field pictures are coming.
My Silnylon Alice pack DIY w/ 1606AF frame Hellcat
http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 14&t=81955" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Sig 1911-22LR pistol
http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 10&t=82581" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

If my post contains a misplaced/ random word = auto spell is a bitch.

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Re: Skull Hide's DIY Silnylon Alice pack mod and pack

Post by KnightoftheRoc » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:07 pm

I'll hold off on mine a while then, and let you do the heavy lifting for me on this one. Thanks for sticking with this, and getting back to me so quick.
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Re: Skull Hide's DIY Silnylon Alice pack mod and pack

Post by glaston » Sun Oct 30, 2011 2:41 am

I've done that on a smaller scale. With small pouches that go inside one of my packs. I used Xylene as a thinning agent though. It thinned the silicon well and seemed to work. The problem was that it didn't stand up to continued abuse of the coated surface. It began to crack and peel because the thinned silicon solution wasn't absorbing properly. It seemed like it was while I was applying it, and even after it dried at seemed to be pliable and all but after being used and abused it ultimately didn't stand up like I wanted it to.
The thing that ended up working the best was to take black landscaping fabric and coat that with the thinned silicon solution, then apply that to the inside of the pouch/bag. The lanscaping fabric is very porous and serves as a better matrix for the silicon because it can fully penetrate it and then cure as a solid film within it, effectively becoming impregnated in the fabric. You just can't get the silicon to break down into small enough particles to penetrate ballistic nylon. So it only slightly penetrates, then cures as more of a film on top. So as the nylon folds and unfolds it allows the silicon to pull away, then moisture gets in and destroys the adhesion completely.
I'm not big on ALICE gear at all so I don't own an ALICE pack. Thus, I never tried it on 420D nylon so it could be porous enough to allow it to impregnate. I'm just sharing my experience.
I have been tempted to get some of that rubber spray that you use to seal gutters. They show it on late night commercials, Flex Seal it's called. It might adhere well to nylon. But most nylon used for gear has a fire and abrasion resistant treatment applied that can get in the way of things like this.

Best of luck...
Last edited by glaston on Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Skull Hide's DIY Silnylon Alice pack mod and pack

Post by Sckitzo » Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:20 am

Exploriment wrote:
Skull_Hide wrote:Note: The pictures quality is too great.
Well I think some might quibble about the quality of your pictures. :|
Skull_Hide wrote:So I was determined to make my Alice rainproof, I do not say waterproof because of how Alice is designed, if you dumped her in a creek of body of water she will get wet, due to her drain grommets on the bottom and because of how she's built. I was tired of waterproof bags to put my gear in and wanted something permanent.
I still think leaving your stuff in waterproof bags is the smart thing to do.
Think he meant the quality of the picture to byte.

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Re: Skull Hide's DIY Silnylon Alice pack mod and pack

Post by Skull_Hide » Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:13 am

I did originally mean that the dimensions and bits were too high but someone was being too smug for their own good. As for the flex seal, I have a can of it and have thought about the same idea of coating it however I'm not sure just how thick of layer you'd need in order to create a water barrier, plus I don't believe the product would flex enough and the pack would retain being rigid. As for it coating I'm pretty positive that the fabric has absorbed the mixture and is locked in there. There's nothing to wear away on the outside and the movement of the packs contents is very limited.
My Silnylon Alice pack DIY w/ 1606AF frame Hellcat
http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 14&t=81955" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Sig 1911-22LR pistol
http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 10&t=82581" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

If my post contains a misplaced/ random word = auto spell is a bitch.

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Re: Skull Hide's DIY Silnylon Alice pack mod and pack

Post by Skull_Hide » Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:22 pm

Over night hike placed for Saturday night, if plans follow through will have pictures and more results.
My Silnylon Alice pack DIY w/ 1606AF frame Hellcat
http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 14&t=81955" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Sig 1911-22LR pistol
http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 10&t=82581" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

If my post contains a misplaced/ random word = auto spell is a bitch.

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Re: Skull Hide's DIY Silnylon Alice pack mod and pack

Post by buck85 » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:27 pm

I have two alice packs , may try it out on one of them.
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Re: Skull Hide's DIY Silnylon Alice pack mod and pack

Post by bltjr1951 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:30 pm

Skull_Hide wrote:Over night hike placed for Saturday night, if plans follow through will have pictures and more results.
Is he still out there? Never to be heard from again?
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Re: Skull Hide's DIY Silnylon Alice pack mod and pack

Post by Skull_Hide » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:38 am

I'm always here, problem is I start too many projects then get 3/4 to finishing them. It looks like we have some heavy heavy rain storms this week so as long as I actually get myself to do it I can still test it.
My Silnylon Alice pack DIY w/ 1606AF frame Hellcat
http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 14&t=81955" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Sig 1911-22LR pistol
http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 10&t=82581" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

If my post contains a misplaced/ random word = auto spell is a bitch.

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Re: Skull Hide's DIY Silnylon Alice pack mod and pack

Post by bacpacjac » Sat May 04, 2013 7:29 am

You're making me miss my Alice pack. It suffered the unfortunate fate of living in a garage that some big boys decided turn into a range to test their paintball guns. :vmad: It's still serviceable but ugly as sin. My 13 year old nephew loves it.

I loved that pack, but was never happy with the waterproofing. I pack my gear in waterproof bags inside my pack, but think waterproofing the fabric makes sense too. After my paintball experience though, I'd be nervous about applying stuff to the pack itself, for fear of ruining it. Thanks for showing me it can be done.
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Re: Skull Hide's DIY Silnylon Alice pack mod and pack

Post by bltjr1951 » Sat May 04, 2013 10:04 am

bacpacjac wrote:I loved that pack, but was never happy with the waterproofing.
Which is why they made waterproof liner bags for main section and pockets.

Gosh, 2012?
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Re: Skull Hide's DIY Silnylon Alice pack mod and pack

Post by bacpacjac » Sun May 05, 2013 2:12 am

Yup, I know. I'm a late bloomer. :-). I got sucked away from it by a shiny new Jack Wolfskin pack probably a decade or more ago, and gave it up too easily. I've been contemplating getting a new one, actually.
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Re: Skull Hide's DIY Silnylon Alice pack mod and pack

Post by crypto » Sun May 05, 2013 2:50 am

What makes you guys like the ALICE packs more than a more modern pack with a better suspension? 40lb in an alice is murderous on your shoulders or back, but much more tolerable in a pack with load lifters and more reasonable shoulder straps.
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Re: Skull Hide's DIY Silnylon Alice pack mod and pack

Post by Jeriah » Sun May 05, 2013 8:04 am

crypto wrote:What makes you guys like the ALICE packs more than a more modern pack with a better suspension? 40lb in an alice is murderous on your shoulders or back, but much more tolerable in a pack with load lifters and more reasonable shoulder straps.
The answer to this question is almost always "price."

That being said, an ALICE pack with a frame and a MOLLE2 belt added isn't too bad, even if you don't go any closer to going "full Hellcat" with it. I rigged one up and it felt good; haven't taken it on a real hike but just trying it on (loaded up) it felt good. I built it basically so I can keep my BOB ready-to-go, freeing up my fancy Kifaru shit for backpacking and camping and so on. I was tired of having two amazing backpacks I was reluctant to use because I didn't want to have to unpack my BOB to go on a trip.
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Re: Skull Hide's DIY Silnylon Alice pack mod and pack

Post by Kutter_0311 » Sun May 05, 2013 8:42 am

crypto wrote:What makes you guys like the ALICE packs more than a more modern pack with a better suspension? 40lb in an alice is murderous on your shoulders or back, but much more tolerable in a pack with load lifters and more reasonable shoulder straps.
I'll admit that ALICE in her original form leaves a lot to be desired, even if you use it with the other web gear. The DEI 1606 and MOLLE waistbelt do a lot to change the suspension, though, and the whole ruck is still very light. A nice side effect of the old WP bag insert is that you can empty your ruck in half a second, stash your WP bag full of gear, and go on a resupply. When you get back, dump out your resupply, drop in the WP bag, take your share of supplies, and carry on.

And yes, cost is a factor, almost as much as trust.
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Re: Skull Hide's DIY Silnylon Alice pack mod and pack

Post by cap6888 » Thu May 09, 2013 3:40 pm

Jeriah wrote:
crypto wrote:What makes you guys like the ALICE packs more than a more modern pack with a better suspension? 40lb in an alice is murderous on your shoulders or back, but much more tolerable in a pack with load lifters and more reasonable shoulder straps.
The answer to this question is almost always "price."

That being said, an ALICE pack with a frame and a MOLLE2 belt added isn't too bad, even if you don't go any closer to going "full Hellcat" with it. I rigged one up and it felt good; haven't taken it on a real hike but just trying it on (loaded up) it felt good. I built it basically so I can keep my BOB ready-to-go, freeing up my fancy Kifaru shit for backpacking and camping and so on. I was tired of having two amazing backpacks I was reluctant to use because I didn't want to have to unpack my BOB to go on a trip.
This^^^^^

I had my EStock Halftrack all packed as my BOB, then had a camping trip. I said to myself, "self, why the hell is your big pricey bag gonna sit here and do nothing." Amazingly enough, everything I had in my Halftrack easily fit in my medium Alice. Now it sits in its place on standby so I can ruck around my super comfy Eberlestock.

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Re: Skull Hide's DIY Silnylon Alice pack mod and pack

Post by nyarlotep » Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:48 am

Sorry for the thread necro, but I'm in the process of putting together a Hellcat pack and the MSS carrier I have didn't come with the metal toggles for attaching it to the frame. Is there are good alternative, or a source for these? I'm not having any luck finding them online. All suggestions are welcomed. Thanks in advance!
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