Improved Load Bearing Equipment

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A Marine wearing the ILBE during a training exercise.
File:L company 3rd Battalion 3rd Marines search house.jpg
The Assault Pack component of the ILBE pack is visible on the Marine at the very right

The ILBE (Improved Load Bearing Equipment) is a United States Marine Corps program that had included individual load carriage equipment, individual hydration systems (Source One Hydration) and individual water purification.

Since the rucksack was the first component of the program to be issued to Marines, the rucksack is commonly referred to as simply the ILBE. The ILBE rucksack was designed to replace the long existing All-purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment (ALICE) and newer Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment (MOLLE) packs.


The ILBE was designed during the Law Enforcement and Armed Forces (LEAF) program by Arc'teryx, and later manufactured by Propper Inc..

The backpack is made from 725 Denier Cordura material (725 D), with the MARPAT camouflage pattern printed onto it. The pack is also covered with a wide grid of the Pouch Attachment Ladder System (PALS), for the attachment of smaller modular pouches. It includes a main pack, a detachable assault pack and a 100 ounce (3 litre) water reservoir as part of the hydration system.

The ILBE can hold up to 120 pounds of weight, and has room for both 60mm and 81mm mortar rounds outside the main pack. Specialized bags and pouches for corpsmen and reconnaissance units are also available.[1][2]


Because the ILBE was fielded before the creation of the Modular Tactical Vest (MTV), the pack does not integrate well with the fighting system, and excessive stress in conjunction with the wearing of body armor can cause discomfort and injury.


The Marine Corps Systems Command (MARCORSYSCOM) announced that a replacement was forthcoming in 2009,[3] with possible replacements, including two entries from Mystery Ranch, Granite Gear, and the United States Army improved variant of MOLLE.

In the year 2011, the Corps had finished testing and evaluation, releasing a solicitation for prototypes under the designation Family of Improved Load Bearing Equipment (FILBE), outlying design requirements that are similar to the improved MOLLE system.[4][5][6][7]

See also


  1. "Advanced Planning Brief for Industry" (PDF). 2007-05-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Gordon Rottman The M16 2011 Page 71 "The Marines used MOLLE until fielding the Improved Load Bearing Equipment (ILBE) in 2005 with three two-magazine pouches and a.."
  3. McCullough, Amy; Curtis, Rob (December 14, 2009). "Replacing Your Pack: Corps to consider range of rucks for ease of use, better wear". Marine Corps Times. pp. 22–23. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Solicitation Number M6785411R3019; USMC Pack". Marine Corps Systems Command. Federal Business Opportunities. April 8, 2011. Retrieved May 6, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Lamothe, Dan (December 8, 2010). "Corps looks to field 100,000 new packs". Marine Corps Times. Retrieved May 6, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Breaking News – USMC to Buy New Pack". Soldier Systems Daily. April 8, 2011. Retrieved May 6, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Sanborn, James K. (May 9, 2011). "Your New Pack: Testing Finished for Unpopular ILBE's Replacement". Marine Corps Times. p. 16. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links