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View Full Version : The Common GI Duffle Bag - My Mods


Aoresteen
10-09-2014, 18:55
Everyone knows what a GI duffle bag is. I got my first ones at Basic in 1971. I can remember doing the "Bag Drag" in the company area after getting our gear from CIF. Lots of fun! :) I still have those "vintage" bags that did not have the shoulder straps.

I first modded my duffle bags in 2007 for my deployment to Iraq. I added name tags above the side pocket and 4 loops: one each on the shoulder straps and one each on either side of the handle. With a pair of snap lings and loops of 550 cord I could carry a second duffle bag hung horizontally across my chest with the snap link & 550 cord. Worked well and I could move the bags around quicker.

I also added a name tag in contrasting tan to the bottom of the duffle bag with a strip of a reflector PT belt. Makes it easier to find you bag among 200 others at night. Came in handy at Ali Al Salem at 2:00 AM :).

In 2009 while at Ft. Bragg I made a second set of mods. I added name tags that said "BAG ONE", BAG TWO" etc. Helps finding stuff if you know which bag it is to start with.

When deploying through the CRC at Ft. Benning your bags are limmited 70 pounds or less and to 62 linear inches: Hight plus Depth plus length. Most airlines also use the 62 linear inch standard as well. The GI duffle bag bottom is 12 x 12 inches and when fully packed stands about 32 inches tall. That's a total of 56 linear inches which means that the duffle bag could be 6 inches taller and still meet the 62 inch standard. Thus I decided to extend two of my duffel bags 5.5 inches each. I shaved off a 1/2 inch just to be safe.

While 5.5" doesn't sould like much it's a 16% increase in size and between the two bags that is 1,584 extra cubic inches of space.

While at Ft. Bragg in 2009 I took two duffle bags to Willie at General Jackson's on Yadkin Road and had him extend them 5.5 inches. While he had them I also had him install a 20" side zipper with a protective flap to give access throgh the side of the bag. He also installed dual zipper closers so the side zipper can be locked. It's the bee's knees!

I used the extended duffle bags when I deployed back to Iraq in 2010. By carefully eliminating stuff I knew I would not need in Iraq I was able to get all my stuff into two extened duffle bags and a third regular duffel bag. Not having to drag that 4th duffel bag around was a big help!

These mods have made the common GI duffle bag a lot easier to use and were well worth the cost to have them done.

PSM
10-09-2014, 19:18
(W1AJO: Whiskey Juan Garlic! Great call sign. ;))

Pat

TOMAHAWK9521
10-09-2014, 22:24
Interesting application of 550 cord with full sized carabiners. I can see how easy it would be to clip onto your front bag. However, I would worry about some lowlife absconding with my snap links. Plus, there would be less chance of getting hooked onto someone's gear in the pile. How hard was it to unhook the front bag?

Personally, I might have gone with loops of 1 or 2-inch webbing with side release buckles and tri-glides. It would be much easier and faster to drop your front bag when you reach your destination.

I did something like that with the shoulder straps on my ALICE ruck for MFF. When it came to lower the 18E boat anchor of a ruck, I just reached down and clicked the buckles instead of trying to loosen them enough so they would slide down my legs. As the shoulder straps released, a secondary set of 1-inch straps uncoiled, allowing me to hold my ruck with my feet until I got lower.

Aoresteen
10-10-2014, 09:09
I store the snap links in the small outer pocket of the duffle bag. 6 trips through Ali Al Salem and I never had an issue with theft of the snap links.

Why full size snap links? 'Cause that's what I had handy at the time ;)

For sure it can be improved. Best improvement would be to have a personal porter carry the dang bags for you :D

Loadsmasher
10-15-2014, 14:10
I store the snap links in the small outer pocket of the duffle bag. 6 trips through Ali Al Salem and I never had an issue with theft of the snap links.

Why full size snap links? 'Cause that's what I had handy at the time ;)

For sure it can be improved. Best improvement would be to have a personal porter carry the dang bags for you :D

I think the Army might owe you some money for intellectual property theft. The new duffel has a lot of your ideas incorporated.

http://www.armytimes.com/article/20110321/NEWS/103210333/4-Army-clothing-bag-changes-2013

I've heard there are some issues with build quality though.

Aoresteen
11-11-2014, 10:06
I think the Army might owe you some money for intellectual property theft. The new duffel has a lot of your ideas incorporated.

http://www.armytimes.com/article/20110321/NEWS/103210333/4-Army-clothing-bag-changes-2013

I've heard there are some issues with build quality though.

Thanks! I wasn't aware of the new duffel. Not likely to happen! But if I do get any "reward" the money will go to the GBF.