SHILO, Manitoba – At first glance, the new Clothe the Soldier (CTS) Rucksack looks like an expedition-grade internal-frame pack that you might find at a quality outdoor equipment store – only in CADPAT. While there are many similarities, it is distinctly a military rucksack.
"We realized that we had major problems with the 82 Pattern rucksack," said Lieutenant Leigh Mathieson, Requirements Officer for the CTS Rucksack project. "We had to develop a new pack that would provide soldiers the capability to conduct their missions with an effective load carrying system."
"There is a vastly increased capacity to carry load – between 80 and 90 litres – and we now have the ability to effectively transfer the weight of the load between the shoulders and hips with a large padded hip-belt," added Lt Mathieson.
The CTS Rucksack is designed to carry supplies for operations exceeding 24 hours, up to 72 hours. Some of the key features of the new rucksack are:
- Four frame and bag sizes to fit a wide range of torso lengths
- Four sizes of contoured padded waist belts, three sizes of shoulder straps
- Internal frame of aluminium stays, fitted to the user
- Bag, one large compartment with internal divider
- Internal radio pouch accessible by a zipper in top flap
- Two removable external pouches
- Compatible with all accessory pouches issued with Patrol Pack
- Access to bottom of bag on the front
- Waterproof compression sack for sleeping bag
- Load transfer rods to shift weight between hips and shoulders
"This is a huge leap forward over the 82 Pattern rucksack," said Sergeant Travis Jones of the Second Battalion, Princess Patricia´s Canadian Light Infantry (2 PPCLI). "It´s fitted to the user…that should solve a lot of problems."
"I like the load transfer rods," said Warrant Officer Robert Bertrand of 2 PPCLI. "My first impression is that it´s a good rucksack with some really good features."
Teams from Clothe the Soldier will visit deploying units for the initial issue. Soldier teams will be trained to ensure that every soldier is properly sized, fitted and familiarized with the rucksack. Training includes proper assembly, forming and fitting the aluminium stays and testing the fit, and adjusting for load carrying.
Article and photos by Sergeant Dennis Power, Army News, Shilo Manitoba.