Submitted by Eric Daniel
After doing the piece on the Army's new shoulderbag, and reading the feedback that it got, I decided to go on walkabout to the garage and do a little dumpster diving to see if I could dig this gem up.
After a week or so I found it; my old, Vietnam-era (M1961 Combat Field Pack) "butt pack" I used to use with my LBE back in the late 80's.
Now, to be sure, I've newer BPs in my collection, including the camouflaged nylon variant of the M1961, as well as the MOPP suit bag, but the reason I went looking for the canvas M1961 was because, in addition to the ALICE clips on the "back" of the pack (to clip it to your pistol belt) the M1961 has a pair of "tabs" on the top, which most folk used to attach the back clips of their LBE to.
Well, take away the pistol belt and LBE, and clip the shoulder strap from the 2-quart canteen to those tabs, and voila, you have a CLS-sized shoulder pack that you can sling too and fro to your heart's content.
Another nifty feature the M1961 has is a couple of ALICE capable "slots" on either side of the bag, which are good for holding on to a pair of canteens or what have you.
Be forewarned though, the M1961 is strictly "old school." It's made of OD green canvas and is not MOLLE compatible. It will, however, survive a drop from 6' onto concrete and total immersion in salt water for 30 seconds, so it's pretty durable.
A question for you "old timers" though. What's the purpose of the rubberized nylon "throat" in the bag and what are you suppose to do with the row of eyelets on the right side of the bag flap? I usually stuff the throat down into the bag before I fill it and use it as a liner for additional water protection, but I've no clue what those eyelets are for.