Are you looking for the best tactical backpack? You have come to the right place then.
Some outdoor equipment is given the name ‘tactical’ that usually means the product is made to the military or rescue services standard. The tactical backpacks are no exception to that.
Generally, they have superior functionality and extreme durability compared to regular backpacks. People mostly used them for outdoor stuff like hiking, camping, extreme adventure, military operation, rescue mission, etc. But with their multifunctional use and adaptability, it is increasingly getting popular as a daily use backpack.
Why waste time talking about it when you can see for yourself? Here we have reviews on the top picks currently on the market so that you can compare the backpacks and their attributes. Also, the ultimate guide will provide you information on everything you need to know about tactical backpacks. So that you will be able to make the smart decision to purchase the best tactical backpack for you when the time comes.
Best Tactical Military Backpack Review
5.11 Tactical Rush 72
The 5.11 Tactical Rush 72 is a heavy-duty large military backpack with multipurpose use.
If you want a sturdy backpack with ample space, then it’s made for you. This pack has 55L capacity of storage and is made with water repellent heavy duty durable 1000D nylon. You can even store your helmet or other bigger items in the space between the main and front compartment.
There is also a pocket for a hydration bladder and a fleece-lined top pocket for putting sunglasses, electronic devices, etc.
Because of the organization and direct access to the contents, you can use this pack in the most efficient manner. The MOLLE webbing covers the front and sides, allowing you to attach extra pouches of all shapes and sizes.
You don’t have to worry about putting a strain on your shoulder either. The adjustable shoulder, waist, and dual compression straps distribute and secure the weight evenly. Moreover, the four padded areas on the back allow airflow and ventilation at the back.
Due to its functionality and design, no wonder The 5.11 Rush 72 backpack is so popular among soldiers, hunters, and outdoor enthusiasts.
Pros & Cons
- Convenient Pull Tabs Zippers
- Ample Storage Space
- Good Suspension System
- Durable and Rugged Construction
- Easy to Access and Compact Design
- Multiple Flexible Compartments
- No Dedicated Laptop Compartment
- Bit Heavier to Carry
Maxpedition Vulture II Tactical Military Backpack
The Maxpedition Vulture II Tactical Backpack is extremely versatile in that sense you can use it as a 3 day BOB (Bug Out Bag) or as EDC (everyday Carry).
The Vulture II features three large compartments, a wide bottom design, and a 34L carrying capacity. The bottom of the backpack is abrasion-resistant so you can’t tear the nylon there easily. With a front pouch, slip pocket and throughout PALS webbing for MOLLE, you can attach a large number of accessories and gear.
Maxpedition’s Vulture-II is made of 1000D water and abrasion resistant light-weight ballistic nylon with a Teflon coating to keep grime. These qualities make it durable and suitable for harsh conditions.
Moreover, high-strength YKK Zippers and Duraflex buckles make it durable and strong. The double stitching really adds strength to stress points. Also, you can manage your load comfortably with all these wide padded shoulders, waist, and chest straps.
Due to its impressive features, ruggedness and flexible options, Vulture-II is popular with the BOB builders.
Pros & Cons
- Extremely Well-Built and Durable Construction
- Smartly Laid out Internal Compartments
- Ample Customizable Storage
- Concealed Carry Pocket
- Easy to Access and Operate
- Comfortable and Lightweight Design
- No Breathable Padded Back
- No Rifle Holder Included
Direct Action Dragon Egg Tactical Backpack
You may not use this to carry dragon eggs, but the Direct Action backpack is convenient for versatile use. You’ll get multiple external pockets lined with soft velour and expandable side pockets. The front pocket has an internal organizer for GPS and mesh pockets for storing gear. Whereas the zippered pocket at the top is fleece-lined and perfect for storing sunglasses.
Along with being hydration bladder compatible, the backpack holds up to 25L of storage. The front side is fitted with a unique laser-cut MOLLE/PALS system for attaching extra pouches.
The water-resistant coated Cordura 500D fabric equipped with YKK zippers and Duraflex buckles make the pack extremely durable. Additionally, this bag can avoid detection from night vision goggles so a perfect choice for a night op.
The entire backpack is particularly lightweight and features padded shoulder straps, a sternum strap, and a hip belt. The patented Combat Vent System will make sure to keep your back cool and dry. Thus making the Direct Action Dragon Egg Tactical Backpack one of the most comfortable tactical backpacks on the market.
Pros & Cons
- Versatile and Multifunction Design
- Special Ventilation System
- Nice Paracord Drag Handle
- Velcro ID Panel on Front
- Detachable Waist Belt
- Perfect for Tactical Duties and EDC
- Size Too Small for Some Users
- Hydration Pack Not Included
3v Gear Outlaw Sling Tactical Backpack
The 3V Gear Outlaw II Gear Slinger is a quality tactical shoulder bag at an affordable price. The unique feature is that it is a sling-style pack and you can access your gear without taking off the backpack.
Here you’ll be getting 3 main compartments with built-in organizers for 15L capacity. The hydration bladder pocket can also be used as a concealed carry pocket. Being MOLLE and PALs compatible, you can also easily use the plastic D-rings to attach accessories and gear.
The medium-sized backpack is made from heavy-duty 600D PVC nylon with rust resistant nylon zippers. The zippers are threaded with para-cord for durability and noise reduction, which makes it perfect for stealth operation.
The pack comes with an additional strap to support the extra weight and you can carry it over both shoulders. When you are not using the strap, it can be contained by built-in elastic strap keepers. A molded EVA back panel with vented channels allows airflow and the single sling strap also uses air mesh for added comfort.
Despite being specially designed for military and tactical use, the 3v Gear Outlaw Sling Backpack is also one of the best Every Day Carry (EDC) bag on the market.
Pros & Cons
- Versatile and Comfortable Design
- Convenient and Easy Access to Gear
- Built-In Theft Deterrent Snap
- MOLLE Velcro Id Panel for Patches
- Reinforced Padded Grab Handles
- Lifetime Warranty
- Not Much Option for Organizing Smaller Items
- Sling Strap Only on the Left Shoulder
Blackhawk! Tactical Backpack – 3 Day Assault Pack
The Blackhawk! 3 Day Assault Pack is a solid reliable option whether you want it for an outdoor trip or daily use. With a 37L capacity, there is a spacious main compartment with fewer external pockets and a hydration bladder compartment.
Having no MOLLE or Velcro patches gives the pack a more understated appearance, which makes it an excellent EDC backpack. However, you can still attach and clip-on extra gear on the 4 heavy-duty D-rings on the shoulder straps.
Because of the heavy-duty 1000D nylon, YKK zippers, and sliders, the Blackhawk Backpack is extremely durable and water-resistant. Moreover, a reinforced carry handle, an elasticized sternum strap, and a padded, detachable waist belt enhance versatility, support, and comfort.
The patented Intercooler Ventilating System (IVS) provides back panel ventilation and doesn’t add any unnecessary strain to your back. Also, several compression straps keep the bag orderly and secure.
If you are looking for a quality durable bag you should definitely check this one out.
Pros & Cons
- Solid Durable Construction
- Voluminous Compartment
- Silent Zipper Pulls
- Additional Straps for Sleeping Bag
- Plenty of Accessories Available
- Perfect Size for Airline Travel
- No Frame
- Plastic Pull-Tabs Easily Come Apart
Hazard 4 Evac Series Plan-B Sling Pack
Designed for rather mobility than capacity, the Plan-B Sling Pack is suitable for professionals storing their gear and relocating in a hurry. The smaller and lighter size is ideal for storage and easier maneuverability.
The best feature is the ambidextrous sling strap and the ability to quickly sling the pack to your front for easy gear accessibility. Ambidextrous as you can wear the pack on both shoulders. The padded back panel along with the 3-d air mesh under strap allows more ventilation and comfort and puts less strain on your back.
With over 17L of storage, it has a main compartment with a padded, movable internal divider and multiple side pockets. It comes with full MOLLE webbing, an integrated port system, a stabilizer strap to hold large items and a hydration bladder compatible pocket.
The Plan-B Sling Pack is made of water-resistant 1000D Cordura to ensure rugged durability. And the silent paracord YKK(R) zippers won’t make a sound while pulling. So no chance of revealing your position during operation.
Due to its multiple configurations, optimal gear carrying and comfort, the Hazard 4 Plan-B Sling Pack is one of the best sling backpacks currently on the market.
Pros & Cons
- High Capacity Compact Storage
- Small Top-Zipper to Pass Long Objects
- Easier to Shoulder A Long Gun
- Pockets for Weapons Accommodation
- Water and Weather Resistant Material
- Perfect for Quick Grab and Go Situation
- No Proper Pocket Organization
- Not Much Quality Zippers
Maxpedition Falcon-II Tactical Backpack
Another medium-sized military backpack, the Maxpedition Falcon-II is the perfect companion for a weekend trip, day hike or even everyday use. With a maximum capacity of 25L, the pack has got a layered design with multiple mesh lined compartments. There are also full PALS attachments so you can easily expand the storage capacity.
The Falcon II is constructed with 1050D water and abrasion-resistant nylon with dual-directional YKK zippers. The grime resistant Teflon fabric makes it sturdy but easy to clean. With durable buckles and double stitching all around, you can be rest assured of its strength and increased functionality.
The pack’s ergonomic Y-shaped midline compression strap helps distribute weight evenly at yours back. Also, the padded shoulder, waist, and sternum straps offer excellent comfort even with a heavy load.
All in all, the Maxpedition Falcon-II Backpack boasts an innovative design with enhanced comfort without compromising its durability.
Pros & Cons
- Highly Durable and Sturdy Fabric
- Ergonomic and Innovative Design
- Easy to Access and Organize Gear
- Space for CCW
- Various Color Options
- Suitable Size for Air Travel
- No Noise Reduction Zippers
- Buckles Easily Break Down
Best Tactical Backpack for the Money
It is hard to find a pack with snazzy features meeting all your requirements and yet costs less. While being on a tight budget, automatically you have limited options to choose from.
However, it doesn’t have to come to that. There are plenty of models nowadays on the market that is multipurpose and affordable. Here, we listed the best options available under 50$ and 100$ mark. Let’s look at which can provide the best price-performance ratio.
Red Rock Large Assault Pack
The improved version of the original, the Red Rock Large Assault Pack is ideally fit for both military personnel and hikers alike. It has four expanding compartments with two external pockets that can store up to 35L of storage.
Also, there are four quick-release compression straps on three sides and Velcro keepers for excess strap slack. You can add and customize taking advantage of the throughout MOLLE webbing and the hydration bladder can store up to 2.5L.
The padded shoulder straps, waist, and sternum straps are all adjustable and distribute the weight of the pack evenly. The reinforced carry handles and mesh ventilated padded back panel offer ventilation and support.
The fully contoured shoulder straps also have hard plastic D-rings attached for holding items. The pack is made out of 600D durable polyester with a PVC line to enhance the quality of the construction and withstand harsh use.
The Red Rock offers a fully adjustable pack with comfort and large storage capacity at a budget price.
Pros & Cons
- Large Storage Capacity
- Adjustable Multiple Straps for Support
- Mesh Padded Back Panel for Ventilation
- Expansion and Compression
- External Pockets for Easy Access
- Quick Release Straps
- Not Many Organizers
- Less Sturdy Construction
Reebow Gear Military Tactical Backpack
If you need a backpack that is both functional and durable, look no further. The Reebow Gear Military Tactical Backpack is a solid choice for people who are getting into the whole tactical backpack thing.
This pack can support up to 40L of storage and being hydration compatible, it is ideal for hikers too. Having the MOLLE system, you can attach extra pouches or gear to expand or customize the storage. Several compartments and pockets ensure sufficient organization.
The high-density water-resistant fabric offers durability and protection from the toughest condition. Moreover, the double-stitched, heavy-duty zippers and the utility-style cord pulls provide easy accessibility. The high-density fabric doesn’t feel rugged on your skin.
Rather the backpack has a ventilated mesh padded back area which allows sufficient air circulation for comfort. The padded shoulder strap also offers support and comfort no matter how long you wear the backpack.
With its multipurpose application, the pack can be used for military uses, hunting, survival, emergency situations, even daily use and so much more. The all-round quality at a reasonable price makes it the default choice for some tactical backpack enthusiasts.
Pros & Cons
- Versatile and Multifunctional Design
- Multiple Pockets for Easier Organization
- High-Density Durable Construction
- Water and Weather Resistant Fabric
- Side and Front Compression System
- Breathable and Comfortable Use
- Maybe Not Ideal for Air Travel
- Zippers Not Sturdy Enough
Fieldline Alpha OPS Tactical Backpack
For outdoor enthusiasts, the Fieldline Alpha OPS Daypack is certainly a model worth considering. As it comes with extra-large compartments with zippered mesh pockets and gear organizer.
It also comes with regular fleece-lined sunglass pocket at the top, an accessory pocket with zipper closure, a pouch for digital media and an integrated port for your headset. In the back, there is a compartment compatible with a 2L hydration bladder, with Velcro closures at left and right.
Another useful feature is that with the amount of MOLLE webbing, you can attach any number of gear and/or additional pouches. The adjustable top handle and shoulder straps are yoked and well-padded for comfort and strength. Also, the mesh cushioning on the back leaves you breathing room.
The backpack is a 600D nylon construction and there are side compression straps to stabilize the gear. However, the bottom part can be susceptible to tearing.
Being a daypack, the Fieldline Alpha OPS is flexible enough to carry anywhere. Given the price and the functions it offers, this bag will definitely make you a satisfied user.
Pros & Cons
- Extra Storage with Multiple Compartment
- Built-In Gear Organizer
- Distinguished Velcro Name Tape
- Dual Grommet Bottom Drain Holes
- Lightweight and Comfortable to Carry
- Designed for Outside Use
- Poor Quality Construction
- No Internal Padding
CONDOR 3 Day Assault Pack
Perhaps the best model CONDOR has to offer, this backpack can be used for camping, hiking or as a Bug Out Bag, depending on your needs.
With a 50L main compartment, it comes with a total of 7 compartments including 2 radio pockets, 2 extra mesh pockets, and map/document pockets. Also, it can hold up to two 3L hydration bladders each. The front side has 6 individual MOLLE webbing strips and Velcro straps where you can attach tactical patches and identifications.
Not only great design and storage, but the CONDOR backpack also provides comfort. The contour shoulder straps on the backpack distribute the weight evenly. Not only that, the Sternum strap and waist belt remove much of the burden from your shoulders and back and the back padding provides airflow to prevent sweating.
It is made of 1,000-Denier water/wear-resistant nylon which allows the bag to be sturdy, durable and yet lightweight. Another noteworthy feature is the grommets for drainage that helps keep the bag free of sitting water at the bottom of the bag, saving other items from getting spoiled.
Functional, comfortable, huge storage with affordable price – the CONDOR 3 Day Assault pack is truly a great option to consider.
Pros & Cons
- Available In Multiple Colors
- Large Capacity with Multiple Compartments
- Great Support System for Highest Comfort
- Durable Construction with Impeccable Design
- Compatible with Hydration Bladders
- Perfect for Practical Camping Or Emergency Bug-Out Pack
- Less Durable Zipper Tabs
- Zipper Flaps Getting on the Way
mPac Military Tactical Backpack
If you are looking for a budget option backpack for hunting, hiking, and camping, then mPac Military Tactical Backpack is a great choice.
One of the best features of this backpack the heavy-duty MOLLE webbing that allows you to attach a variety of optional pouches, accessories, and modular tactical gear. That means even having 35L storage with five separate compartments, you can expand and customize the storage as you see fit.
The mPac is fitted with heavy-duty zippers, POM buckles, and double-stitched 600D high-density waterproof fabric. The fabric is designed to withstand exposure to heavy rain, snow, and extreme temperatures. Additionally, the pack is hydration compatible even though hydration bladder is not included.
The ventilated mesh padding at the back offers breathable comfort and support. The shoulder straps and the ergonomic hip strap distribute the weight evenly and let you carry a heavy load for longer periods.
The pack is great not only for its features but also for its ability to adapt to a variety of uses.
Pros & Cons
- Extensive Storage System
- Durable Yet Lightweight Construction
- Convenient and Comfortable to Carry
- Designed for Action-Packed Activities
- Variety of Uses
- Easy to Organize
- Velcro Not Strong Enough
- Hydration Bladders Not Included
5.11 RUSH MOAB 10 Tactical Backpack
The 5.11 Rush Mobile Operation Attachment Bag allows easy access with plenty of storage space. The single strap sling pack is designed with a quick ‘grab and go’ approach. The single adjustable cushioned shoulder strap is also ambidextrous meaning you can easily wear it on either shoulder.
The backpack comes with several compartments such as coms pockets, a covert tactic pocket, and a secondary double zip pocket. The MOLLE internal and external webbing helps to attach additional gear and features a hydration pocket with a pass-through port.
The backpack is made of water-resistant sturdy, lightweight 1050D nylon making it durable. Other features include a sturdy grip handle, hook and loop flag patch, YKK self-healing zippers with a fleece-lined sunglass pocket.
This pack has a 5.11 Tier system, which enables its accessories to be attached to any of the packs in the RUSH series.
Even though different from traditional tactical backpacks, the 5.11 Rush MOAB 10 sling bag is highly convenient for multipurpose use.
Pros & Cons
- Excellent Construction and Durability
- Multiple Compartments with Hidden Pouch
- Water Resistant 100% Nylon Construction
- Ambidextrous Shoulder Strap
- High-Quality Modern Design
- Extremely Durable YKK Zippers
- No Hip Strap
- Not Suitable for Excessively Heavy Items
There are many things you should consider before buying a tactical backpack. A good backpack may not be the perfect backpack for you. Your personal preference and requirements matter a great deal. However, you need to consider certain factors no matter what kind of a backpack you are looking for yourself.
For that, we’re here to help you determine the best tactical backpack for your needs.
Usually, tactical backpacks are made for 72-hour use with a range of 35 to 40 liters of capacity. Although there are smaller and larger backpacks available on the market as well, depending on their use. To consider the storage capacity, you need to first think about your intention. Why do you need your backpack?
Will you be going to military operations or camping trips? Do you prefer hiking for multiple days or just a day hike is enough? What items do you need to pack?
Answering all these questions open up the purpose of your backpack. If you are going on a multi-day backpacking trip, you need a bag with around 35-40 liters capacity. However, going on a day hike, just a 20-liter capacity bag is enough to hold your items.
Similarly, for the tactical or military tour, you need a multifunctional pack that can hold extra gear. But for daily use, simple medium size design is sufficient enough.
If you want a backpack for multipurpose, it’s better to buy a large one. Even if your pack isn’t fully stuffed, the compression straps ensure the compactness and there is little to no movement.
Nonetheless bigger backpacks mean more weight and you should know your limitations. Consider how much you will be able to carry and for how long. If you can organize your gear smartly, even a smaller bag can serve your purpose.
Materials and Durability
Tactical backpacks tend to be more exposed to harsh conditions so durable construction is a must. Fabric, zippers, and stitching – overall the materials are responsible for a high-quality backpack. The choice of the material is critical as it not only decides how sturdy the backpack is but also determines the comfort and weight of the pack as well.
The fabric of a tactical pack has to be quite thick and sturdy to be abrasion or wear-resistant. Most backpacks are made of polyester, ballistic nylon, Cordura nylon, ripstop nylon, etc. Denier is a unit of measurement used for fiber thickness or strength. Generally, best tactical backpacks have a denier count ranging at least 500 to 1200. The higher the denier count, the more durable the pack.
However, certain fabrics with lower denier count can be more resistant to tear than other fabrics with a higher denier count. Therefore the material strength and quality depend more on the type of fabric used for the pack.
For tactical and outdoor gear, YKK zippers are considered to be high-quality and getting increasingly popular. Seams are typically the weakest points of tactical backpacks. That’s why stitching is so important. Backpacks having nylon thread and straight stitching seem to be stronger compared to polyester thread and zigzag stitching.
Your best option? Look for a backpack that is durable yet lightweight.
A tactical backpack has to be sturdy to be able to carry your gear for at least 2/3 days trip. And the load can be pretty heavy and straining for your body. Because of that, comfort should be your top priority while buying a backpack. Moreover, you might be wearing your backpack for days at a time, so how the pack fits your body that’s another cause for concern.
Before buying the model, try on the packs and see how you feel wearing them. What looks great on paper, may not work right for your body. Find a balance between your requirements, body type, and comfort preferences.
There are some essential features of a comfortable backpack. Keep them in mind when looking for a new backpack.
Types and Sizes of Compartments
Another important factor to consider, compartments keep your load organized and distribute the weight across the backpack.
If you prefer to just stuff the backpack with items without much thinking, then a pack with a couple of large-sized compartments will be fine. However, if you like to keep your items organized and compact then you need to look for a backpack with extra compartments. So, your personal choice plays a large role in this.
The ideal backpack contains various compartments of different sizes. External pockets are useful for storing items you can easily access. Whereas smaller and hidden internal pockets have Velcro or zippers to keep your items safe and secure.
Padded compartment with Velcro straps is the best place for putting your laptop and the fleece-lined pockets are convenient for delicate items like glasses or electronics. Moreover, backpacks with expanding compartments offer more versatility with storage space.
Color and Design
Remember your choice depends on the utility of the back. Despite having military aesthetics, most tactical backpacks also come in various other colors and patterns. If you are going to use your bag for a tactical or hunting mission, you can readily choose the camouflage design.
However, using the same for daily use proves to be a bit trickier. For that, the backpack outfitted with a regular color and a non-camo design will be better suited to you. And if you want the best of both worlds, then choosing black can never be wrong.
MOLLE is short for “Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment”. It is the ability to add extra accessories to your pack so that you will be able to carry more gear. Tactical backpacks heavily use this feature for expansion and customization of storage.
Each outing requires a slightly different setup. With MOLLE you can mold your pack to fit your needs. Similar to outside, you can use the MOLLE webbing inside of your pack to organize and easily access gear. Moreover, all brands follow the same MOLLE standard so you can put accessories on the pack from other brands too.
Hydration System Compatibility
A hydration pack is essentially a large bladder that is placed in your bag and from there a drinking straw comes up to the top of the bag to give you access to water. A very convenient accessory if you want to drink water without stopping.
Most tactical backpacks come as hydration system compatible with up to 2.5-3 liters capacity. But usually, you will need to buy the bladders separately. As the compartment for it remains in the middle of the bag, it’s easier to carry than two large water bottles on the sides. In case you are not using the compartment, you can put other items there such as a concealed carry weapon.
Extra Wide Shoulder Straps
The padded extra wide straps distribute the weight evenly, so your back won’t strain easily.
These straps run from one shoulder strap to the other across your sternum. If you have a heavier load and a big backpack, even the load out and take the pressure off your shoulders.
Similar to the sternum strap but it runs across the hips. The function of this strap is to take the stress away from the shoulder and makes the backpack easier to carry.
These allow air circulation on the back panel making it comfortable to carry. Also these dry out moisture and sweat, ensuring your body will not stick to the backpack with enhanced breathability and ventilation.
A tactical backpack is your constant companion on trips. You need the one that is durable, comfortable, flexible, and capable of carrying all your gear without a hitch. Backpacks with high-end accessories and quality may come off as expensive but there are many affordable options out there as well. Stick to your budget and find something from that range.
Hopefully, you will be able to narrow down your options and select one from our recommended best tactical backpack list. If you are still feeling conflicted over choices, at least now you know what factors to consider before purchasing.
Here to wishing you the best luck for selecting the perfect pack for your upcoming adventure!