Note: Due to its popularity, copies of this bag have been made in China. These "new" alpine bags are not to be confused with the genuine issue article.
The German Alpine rucksack once roamed the forests of Germany in herds of 1,000 or more. Before human over-hunting in the early 2000s, an adult Alpine ruck feared no predator; its thick canvas hide and powerful buckles placed it at the top of the animal kingdom.
Ultimately their abundance would be their downfall. Years of $5 and $10 rucks lead to complacency in the milsurp research community. By the time population studies were ordered, the alpine ruck was already teetering on the brink extinction.
These original Bundeswehr issue packs are German Engineered for soldiering through the Alps. Their classic military design is simple, practical, and extremely durable; they're the military equivalent of your favorite middle school backpack from the 1990s that somehow made it through college.
In our five years in business we've gone through a lot of military backpacks. This is by far the most overbuilt, over-spec'd, beast of a bag we've seen. The Germans who designed the alpine ruck doubled the specifications for the canvas, webbing, stitching, and buckles relative to other military bags. In fact, later generations of German equipment actually reduced these specifications.
The main body of this bag is constructed of sturdy OD green canvas with a rubberized "foot." This is paired with lightly-padded adjustable shoulder straps and a reinforced carry handle. The ruck features several hardy D rings for use as lashing points, as well as an adjustable buckle-fastened waist belt to help distribute weight.
The main compartment is about 17” deep, 13” wide, and 8” front-to-back. Internal volume is about 33-liters, 2,014 cubic inches, or approximately 279 sticks of butter. On the inside wall closest to the wearer, there is a divider meant for a folding sleeping mat. When carrying heavy loads, the mat acts as a soft frame, protecting and distributing weight across the back.
A drawstring and storm flap closure allows for a huge range of expansion, up to around 45L if you're in a pinch. Two large exterior side compartments are secured with adjustable snap buckles. There are handy pockets behind them for carrying skis, tent poles, or whatever your protrusions of choice may be.
The packs are in good issued condition and are practically indestructible. Unless you custom mold a 45L lead block, you cannot put enough weight in the bag to break it.
(If you do custom mold a 45L lead block, please send us pictures)