My Current Load Carry System

I originally took these photos to illustrate my load carry system for a friend whom was disusing the details with me (photo quality excuse!). Since then I’ve had enough people ask similar questions that I just decided to toss them up here so they are easier to share online. What follows is my load carry system as of March 2016:


Here is the entire system laid out – it consists of an ILBE ruck, Mayflower gen 4 chest rig, FILBE hydration bladder and ILBE assault pack.

My purpose in choosing these items was to have a system that could change missions as quickly as missions change. With this method, I can clip/unclip 4 fastex buckles and completely change my loadout. My other requirements were the ability to lay prone on the ground with no gear between me and it (hence the split front rig), be multi caliber capable and be as “slick” as possible. I’ve found that while I may look super operator with kit hanging off my packs, zip ties woven in all my spare MOLLE and a mini sledge on my back that all those items are snag hazards regardless of the AO. Therefore I prefer to have my packs a little large so I can ensure everything can be carried inside (better for OPSEC too). Then I’m just left to fight the urge to fill said packs!

  • Mayflower gen 4 Chest Rig – The three main features that drove me to this chest rig were the front zip (for going “more prone”), the quick change magazine pockets (converts to carry m4, 308, or AK mags) and the swift clip system which allows me to carry it several ways.
  • ILBE Ruck – This ruck is a huge trash can that can comfortably carry a poop ton of crap on my person. I chose it because it is larger than the medium ALICE but holds loads much closer to the body than the large ALICE. Also, it’s easy to find for $100 or less unlike most of the other modern high quality rucks like Mystery Ranch, TT, etc…
  • FILBE Hydration Bladder – I picked this because it is small, lightweight and clips to my chest rig. Made by Source, it is compatible with all the Source goodies and includes a bomb proof bladder inside. Also easy to find on the cheap at surplus stores as Marines get out of the service.
  • ILBE Assault Pack – I looked at numerous small assault packs and even the brand new fancy designs just didn’t seem worth the price. All I need is some extra space to stash a jacket, bedroll and an MRE so this simple (and again, easily found for much cheaper than a new one on the surplus market) design won out. It also clips into the chest rig (a requirement).
Sustainment Load
Here is my sustainment/existence load. I wear the chest rig via included H-harness and simply run my ruck over it. The hydration bladder and assault pack ride inside the main ruck or in the little kangaroo pouch on the back. The chest rig harness is very low profile and does not create any chafing under the ruck shoulder straps.
Existence load “worn”. This set up enables me to keep my fighting and existence loads separate (rather than tossing the fighting load on top of the ruck which was once a popular route) in case we have to drop rucks in a hurry. I wear a pistol belt with sidearm, mags and dump pouch under this and these items fit in the voids between the ruck and chest rig on my sides. I do have a small conflict between the ruck waist belt and my holster but that’s being remedied by a spacer.


While the existence load is more or less self explanatory, I opted for two patrol configurations rather than a one size fits all approach. The reason for this is that over time I’ve done my best to learn to only carry what I absolutely must. Also, by keeping my hydration carrier slick I can be sure that it is quick to slip into my ruck or assault pack as needed.

Light Patrol Kit
Light patrol kit – FILBE hydration clips directly into the chest rig and replaces the H-harness. The lower hydration bladder clips attach to the lower (horizontal) chest rig clips, not the higher angled ones. I haven’t noticed any excess flopping due to not using the upper clips on the chest rig. Typically I keep everything clipped together and use the front zipper to don/doff but the kits are easier to photo this way.


Light patrol kit “worn”. Note, hydro tube is usually controlled by gear retainers and lack of floppyness of the chest rig corners despite being empty.


When armor is integrated, the chest rig simply clips to the front of my PC and the pack of choice can be clipped to the back (hydration carrier) or worn separately (all 3). While the ILBE is not the most comfortable pack over a PC, I don’t find myself wearing armor on a ruck march enough to warrant a pack change at this time.


Long Patrol Kit
Longer patrol kit – ILBE assault pack clips in just like the hydration carrier and the hydro can slide down inside the dedicated sleeve within the assault pack.


Long patrol kit “worn”. This wears essentially the same as the short patrol kit – only gripe is that the ILBE assault pack straps are attached to the pack a little too close together for my liking. I placed two repair buckles on the assault pack shoulder straps so I could adjust the height that the chest rig rides. The sternum strap is about to go – just haven’t cut it off yet.


Hopefully this gives you some ideas if you are looking for a modular, scalable, multi weapon load carry solution. Feel free and drop me a line if you have any questions.