U.S. Military ILBE Pack



A little heavy, but very versatile and affordable.

Rating: rated 3.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $118 with shipping and the ILBE Assault pack (both in excellent condition)


A little heavy, but very versatile and affordable.


  • Price
  • PALS webbing
  • Durability
  • The Assault pack attaches to the main ILBE pack
  • Amazing comfort
  • AMAZING COMFORT (worth saying twice. the shoulder straps are amazing.)


  • Weight
  • Lack of storage pockets
  • Lots of extra material
  • No bladder sleeve on the inside, but has ports
  • A little bulky for my taste, but managable

I just bought the Arc'teryx ILBE pack with the Assault pack included for $99 + shipping. I was originally just looking for a rigid day pack for fishing, and the ILBE Assault pack caught my eye because it has the internal frame and pals webbing for attachments if ever needed.

Everywhere I looked the Assault pack and similar packs were $40 +/-; then I found the combo deal that gave me a top notch hiking pack for an additional $60. I couldn't pass it up, even though i didn't really need another hiking pack, and this one is advertised at over 8.5 lbs. I figured after I use it for a while I'll figure out what military add-ons I don't need and I'll start stripping it down to necessities and see what I can get the weight down to (they say this is a militarized version of the Arc'teryx Bora 80).

The material is thicker than average hiking packs, and the seams are reinforced a little more, so no matter what I do the pack is going to be heavier than average, but it's advertised to hold up to 120 lbs (I normally don't go over 35 lbs), so I expect it to last a lifetime.

If you get one used, make sure you know what condition it's in. These were U.S.M.C. issued, and some have been severely abused/altered from what I read online. The reason the military has stopped using these is because it doesn't fit well over body armor. As a hiker this is not an issue to me, so this bag that the U.S. government paid $400 for seems well worth the $100 I paid.

Shop around and you can get a good deal on a bomb proof hiking pack, if you're willing to sacrifice a little weight for durability.


If anyone wants one of these, they are available on…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it used


If anyone wants one of these, they are available on eBay and Amazon as ILBE packs. The Marine Corps is discontinuing this pack and it is their version of the Bora 80 having been designed by Arc'teryx.

I bought one these off Amazon for $55 and the supplier was Allegheny Surplus. It was in fantastic condition.

bought two Molle canteen pouches and attached them one to each side. They are small but will hold various small items. I also bought a Molle containment pouch that I attached to the back in which I can store the bigger items I might need quickly such as my tarp and rain gear. The containment pouch was $8 and the canteen pouches were $3 a piece. All used, but GI stuff is rugged.

There are some YouTube videos about this pack and they walk you around and through it. One interesting facet is a way of using your hydration pack with this pack.

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