Combining maximum space, convenient access, relative comfort, ergonomic placement of weight, and versatile loading, the military CFP 90 (Combat Field Pack M-1990) backpack has become popular for hikers in the 21st Century. This compact, well designed carrying device has effectively replaced the ALICE pack with its suspenders and belt design. Originally designed for military, the CFP 90 backpack is still used in many military missions. It is especially useful in cold weather and expeditionary deployments.
This sturdy and adaptable backpack has many desirable and adjustable features, and therefore, many civilian users. There are many knock-offs which do not have all the features to be found in the fully equipped packs described below.
A well-designed suspension system based on two internal aluminum mainstays supports a two-chamber pack. This system with the padded shoulder straps and adjustable weight placement wins the approval of many who have deployed with this backpack. The main pack can be augmented by an optional attached patrol pack. In other words, a hiker or soldier can carry a major load to a base position and then detach the smaller and more convenient patrol pack to carry essential equipment and supplies in forays in the surrounding territory, leaving the major load behind at a basing point.
Other features include:
- A false bottom in the main compartment giving a upper compartment 20” x 14” x 8”. This allows placing the major weight components high in the pack.
- A lower compartment 10.5” x 14” x 10.5” for lighter components such as the sleeping bag.
- This false bottom can be removed to allow for one large compartment 31” x 14” x 8”.
- One large pocket on the right side, 18” x 6” x 3.5”.
- Two pockets on the left side, each 9.5” x 6” x 3.5”.
- Foam pad at the small of the back to enhance airflow and minimize sweating while providing comfortable support.
- Vertically adjustable shoulder strap attachment system.
- Hip belt with padding to provide minimize discomfort under heavy load.
- Draw strings, snap buckles, zippers, etc. for convenient attachments and closures.
Experienced hikers report the ability to use the CFP 90 to carry up to 65-70 pounds of essential load in the nearly 800 cubic inches of pack volume with relative comfort and stability. Padding on the shoulder straps has a mesh back design to permit airflow where the load tightens to the skin. Because of the design of the suspension system, the pack can be adjusted to the desired high or low position on the back. In this manner it can be adjusted for large people as well as for average size or for smaller people.
Specs for the CFP 90 backpack system are; the main upper compartment is 20” x 14” x 8”, the lower is 10.5” x 14” x 10.5”, if the false bottom is opened the entire main compartment will measure 31” x 14” x 8”. The one large right pocket measures 18” x 6” x 3.5” and the two smaller left pockets each measure at 9.5” x 6” x 3.5”.
Rain-resistant nylon provides solid construction and durability, holding up well in heavy use. Many are the testimonials from people who have used this pack in all sorts of situations.