User Review: U.S. Armed Forces ALICE Pack
Price Paid: $30
If you're going to be shlepping an ALICE pack fully loaded, I strongly urge you to make sure you have the frame attached regardless if you have a medium or large pack. Even still, the ALICE is not a very comfortable pack. At the price point they are hard to beat, they average around $30 - $40 on ebay.
If you order one make sure it comes with straps too, often they are sold separately. They are durable and hold a lot of gear. There are no organizational compartments for smaller items such as pocket knives, multi-tools, pens, flashlights etc., but you can purchase an organizational pouch like a Maxpedition EDC or Spec-ops version for $20 - $30 and it will hold all your smaller items nicely. Toss it in a front pocket of the ALICE or inside the bag.
If you like external frame packs I would recommend a Kelty over the ALICE. They can be had for a bargain used on Craigslist and the like.