Summit Equipment: Another ILBE Loser?

Author: Beta-TNT


While I was hanging around on eBay, a used, named woodland rucksack caught my eyes. The manufactory of the pack is “Summit Equipment”, a brand that I never heard about. The pack looks like a militarized civil outdoor rucksack with several external pockets and an ILBE-like internal frame support and suspension system. According to the dealer, the pack is involved with the Marine ILBE program.


I didn’t see anything like this while I was digging in the Marine ILBE Program in 2019. Maybe they failed at the very beginning of the program, along with many other brands. As a outdoor equipment brand, Summit Equipment has gone for long, I’ve to check their archived website.

Summit Equipment archived official website homepage, 2005

They have four product lines: Law and Rescue, Sportsman, Outdoor Recreation and Military.

Summit Equipment MAKALU 2 leg fanny pack system, named after a snow peak in Himalayas
MAKALU 2, red color for rescue
Hunting camouflage
How it looks like

The large leg fanny pack system with cummerbund is the key. The system can be used standalone or integrated with backpack. The critical idea is transferring part of the burden from the backpack to thighs and free the arms. Not like other ordinary leg drop pouch, the Summit Equipment got very big ones which even like small backpacks.

archived Summit Equipment Military homepage, 2004

There military line has four available color: Desert, Woodland, Black and MARPAT. Almost every main buckle of their military products is lightweight ITW NEXTSUS AIRLOC.

Summit Equipment The Raptor. Source:

The problem is, anything you hang on your thighs swings with your steps and tires you quickly. You should only attach the least and necessary gears on your thighs. The Raptor is the military version of MAKALU which has two large thighs bags, obviously, it runs against to this rule. Maybe it works well in hiking or hunting, but no good to military or tactical use.

Said to be a Marine Force Recon, notice he lifted the pack very high, made the thighs pack a waist pack, to prevent it from swinging. Source:

To me, maybe the Marines did tried the Summit Equipment, but they abandoned it and turned to Gregory And Arc’Teryx. And the Summit Equipment itself gone after that.