The A-Frame "Assault Pack" was designed as a means to enable the soldier to carry a substantial amount of equipment without having to use the entire rucksack or tornister pack. When the need for speed required a lighter load still, the "Assault Pack" could easily be removed from the Y-straps and left to be picked up later. In theory, it held all the soldier's non-combat critical items and gear. The A-frame, was designed to carry the zeltbahn, mess tin, and a blanket or overcoat. A small bag was usually provided to hold a few personal items- such as iron rations, change of socks, underwear, gloves, cleaning kit, etc..
A few examples of original A-frames. There are literally dozens
of variations in shade, fittings, and materials.
Original A-frames: Like most German WWII gear, A-frames were made from a wide variety of materials. Our reproductions duplicate the most typical or "textbook" pattern. However, examples can be found in tan, green, gray, and mustard. Several weaves of webbing exist, and it's not uncommon to find them made with recycled internal suspenders. The first frames (bottom right in the pic, dated 1939) had aluminum hardware and no stiffener. By 1940, the "standard" pattern had appeared- steel hardware, leather or web straps, and stiffeners in the sides. The rectangular loops vary in size, leather straps can have roller or non-roller buckles (but always 2 loops), and the web straps come in every shade and style the Germans made. A few even have woven holes and a roller buckle rather than the slide. Thread can be white, tan or olive- some are completely hand sewn, others machine. It makes your head hurt doesn't it?
ATF and A-Frames: A-frames are actually the first thing I ever made: the lack of a good repro is what led me to start making stuff in the first place- and consequently stated ATF. We also now offer "Imported" Aframes for those on a budget. They aren't "farb", but they are not quite as exacting in materials as our regular models.
Originals vs. ATF
There are no other reproductions like these. Compare for yourself.
ATF A-frames: These are closer to originals than any other reproduction. Even the Czech made fakes which are pimped as real everywhere aren't even in this ballpark. The rest, mostly made in Pakistan or China are "A" shaped but that's about it. Weird webbing, fat straps and bizarre hardware abound.
Originals vary quite a bit in shade, weave and assembly details. Most are machine sewn, but others are hand-stitched. The webbing is usually khaki-olive, but gray and green ones exist. The equipment straps are either leather or web. (A-frames with web straps are usually called "Tropical" but they were widely used in all theaters.) The two riveted straps are not tornister or mess tin straps- they are longer and have 2 loops.