Maharishi incorporates a functional approach to their Pacifist Military Design ethos, developing a selection of bags and small accessories which pay homage to the design language of ‘70s US Military carrying systems.
The ALICE system dates back to the mid ‘70s - a harness based design which allows for weight to be distributed evenly across a soldier’s shoulders, waist and hips. These carrying systems served the U.S. Military for over 20 years. The original silhouettes have been reconstructed with updated fabrication and utility fit for the city or in nature.
From leather straps with brass buckles to canvas straps used during WWI and WWII to the M-1956 Load-Carrying Equipment (LCE) setup used in Korea to the upgraded M-1965 Modernised Load-Carrying Equipment (MLCE) from the Vietnam era, fasteners have changed over the years and entire systems have come and gone based on the needs of the day. But throughout, each system had two goals in mind:
1. Carry all the equipment a soldier will need in the field
2. Make it manageable for soldiers to carry everything on their backs without hindering their ability to fight
Early buckles and straps were limited in what they could carry and how. One particular drawback was the way items were typically attached by only one point, allowing items to dangle and swing when soldiers marched or ran. Not only did this constantly shifting weight cause back problems, it proved to be more than just inconvenient when tin cups and other metal items that hung on the outside of the pack clinked together, alerting the enemy to the soldier’s position.
The ALICE system grew out of a series of changes in the MLCE system before gaining its own identity in the mid-1970s. Based on an upper body harness design, the biggest innovation with ALICE was its ability to spread out the weight across a soldier’s shoulders, waist and hips, with multiple attachment points throughout the belt line and shoulder straps to fasten magazine pouches, canteens and other small but necessary items onto the straps. ALICE also allowed a soldier to separate his combat needs – weapon and mags – from his living needs, such as his tent, entrenching tool and rations. ALICE accessories attached through a combination of snaps and straps. In all, ALICE and its evolutionary predecessors served the U.S. military for over 20 years.