The Best tactical backpacks come with compatibility for a hydration bladder and other external ports for nozzles, radio antenna, or earphones and tactical knife.
Who Uses Tactical Backpacks?
Tactical backpacks are used by law enforcement, soliders going on military deployment, hikers going hiking, or other ventures involving high activity.
Tactical Backpack Brands
The Top tactical backpack brands include 5.11, Mystery Ranch, Maxpedition, and Atwood among others.
American Made Tactical Backpacks
Some of the best-known US-made backpacks are Atwood Rope, ATS Tactical Gear, BDS Tactical Gear, Beez Combat Systems, Blue Force Gear, and Boston Leather among others.
Best Tactical Backpacks
Our Top Picks
- 1 1.RUSH72 Military Backpack – 5.11 tactical backpack
- 2 2.Tactical Rush 24 Backpack – Comes With Compression Straps
- 3 3.Maxpedition Falcon II Backpack – Extra Padding
- 4 4.Maxpedition Vulture II 3 Day Pack – Suitable For Heavy Load
- 5 5.Condor 3 Day Assault Pack – With D Rings Attachments
- 6 6.Vanquest Javelin Pack – Two Hydration Pouches
- 7 7.Rush MOAB 10 – with headphone ports
- 8 8.Eberlstock Halftrack Backpack- Military Tactical Backpacks
- 9 9.Hazard 4 Evac Plan B Sling Pack – Flexible Bag
- 10 10.Blackhawk Cyane Dynamic Tactical Pack
- 11 11.Tactical All Hazards Prime Backpack
- 12 12.Red Rock Large Assault Pack – Best Military Tactical Backpack Look
- 13 13.Tactical Tailor Removable Operator Pack
- 14 14.Sandpiper of California – Long Range Bugout Backpack
- 15 15.Blackhawk S.T.R.I.K.E Cyclone Pack
- 16 Zippers
- 17 Compartment
- 18 Accessories and Add-Ons
1.RUSH72 Military Backpack – 5.11 tactical backpack
The Tactical Rush Backpack is one that can be used for military and civilian use. Suited specifically for 72 hour travel, its water repellant design makes it versatile for all weather.
- The RUSH72 military backpack features bug out bag design, built from high strength, water-repellant rucksack made with 1000D nylon; 3342 cubic inch / 55 liter total capacity
- This Molle backpack is ready for patrol. Dual-zippered front and main compartments with glove friendly molded grip pulls. admin organization pocket to store maps, pens and documents.
- This heavy duty large military backpack features a front pocket - 15.5 x 11.5 x 2 inch, main compartment - 23 H x 13.5 L x 8.5 inches, hydration pocket -21 x 13.5 inches, left and right side pockets - 16.5 x 6 x 1.75 inch
- Adjustable dual density closed-cell foam shoulder straps; cinching waist strap and dual compression straps keeping your rucksack pack secure and comfortable.
Its design includes a large dual-zipper back compartment, a secondary front compartment, and pockets that help you organize the interior.
On both sides, there are holding pockets for 2-liter water bottles, while a pouch along the top of the rear compartment can hold a hydration bladder. To improve convenience for travel, it features locking zipper tabs and easy access sunglasses pocket.
To accommodate for more accessories, it has bottom lashing straps and MOLLE webbing for added gear attachment.
2.Tactical Rush 24 Backpack – Comes With Compression Straps
Unlike the Tactical Rush 72 Backpack, this daypack is suited best for 24 hour travel. It comes in at 2,275 cubic inches.
- Quite simply the best tactical military backpack on the market. This Rucksack bug out bag features a roomy main storage area, dual zipping side pockets and a stuff-it pocket with integrated draw cord and glove friendly pull tabs
- Rush24 Tactical Molle bag has a reinforced grab-and-go handle, hydration pocket, zippered fleece-lined eyewear pocket and wrap-around MOLLE/SlickStick web platform
- Military Backpack has 2275 cubic inch / 37 liter total capacity with Twin drainage grommets, and self-repairing YKK zippers. Perfect to use as a patrol backpack or trekking pack
- Also has three mesh admin compartments, zippered side water bottle pocket and a hook and loop area for nametape and flag patches. Water-repellant coating and has two external compression straps and a contoured yoke shoulder strap system
- The Rush24 tactical military backpack can be used as a multipurpose pack, bug out bag, range bag, hunting backpack, survival back pack, army backpack, sling bag, hiking rucksack, or every day outdoor backpack
Its features include a reinforced grab-and-go handle, a hydration bladder, a fleece-lined pocket for sunglasses, and MOLLE webbing that allows for more gear attachment.
Thus, this pack is best for mobile travelers.
Its storage space includes three mesh compartments, a zippered side water bottle pocket, and a hook and loop area for flag patches. Its design includes a durable 1050 nylon material with a water repellant coating.
Meanwhile, compression straps ensure that the pack doesn’t become too bulky.
Overall, this is a great choice for a 1 day backpack.
3.Maxpedition Falcon II Backpack – Extra Padding
The Maxpedition Falcon II is a durable, organized pack.
- Category name: gear-bags-and-accessories
- Country of origin: Vietnam
- Brand name: Maxpedition
- Main Compartment: 18"(H) x 9.5"(W) x 4.75"(D)
- Secondary Compartment: 16"(H) x 8"(W) x 3"(D)
Its modular design is created with 1050 Denier nylon for water and tear resistance. Meanwhile, a Y-shaped midline compression strap distributes the weigh-bearing load evenly.
Extra padding on the shoulder, waist, and sternum straps increase comfortability.
In addition, side compression buckles give easy access to the central compartment.
Meanwhile, a rear zipper pouch can allow the holding of two 100-ounce water reservoirs.
The multi-layer compartments give the user an exceptional amount of space to organize their belongings as they travel.
4.Maxpedition Vulture II 3 Day Pack – Suitable For Heavy Load
At a hefty size of 2,100-cubic inches, the Vulture II is suited for a heavy load.
With three large compartments, a 100-ounce (3L) hydration bladder, it can carry a wide range of items. Additionally, PALS webbing along all sides of the pack are compatible with MOLLE accessories for further customization.
To help with comfort, padded shoulder and waist straps are featured, while the waist straps can be folded into the bag when not in use.
An abrasion-resistant bottom improves the durability of this pack.
Meanwhile, a front slant catch-all pouch and Y-shaped compression strap with D-ring attachments add versatility to this 3-day pack.
5.Condor 3 Day Assault Pack – With D Rings Attachments
The Condor 3-day pack is for those who wish to carry an excessive amount of supplies.
- Large load cargo capacity compartment
- Designed for easy access and organization (7 pockets)
- Hydration-pack compatible (2L or 3L bladder
- Body contour shoulder straps with D-Ring for equipment attachment, sternum strap and removeable waist belt
- Individual foam pad back panel for extra comfort and maximum airflow
Overall, it contains a total of seven compartments, with two compartments serving as main storage areas.
These main storage areas include internal gear compression and sorting pockets. Additionally, it can hold 3-liter hydration bladders.
Overall, with a storage space of 3038 cubic inches, this is a backpack that can store enough supplies for a whole week.
Other features include horizontal and vertical webbing, D-ring attachments, shoulder straps, and foam-cushion back panels to add ventilation and comfort.
Meanwhile, compression straps on both sides reduce your profile and keep the load relatively compact.
Overall, this bag is built with quality material. The bag itself is light and allows you to move out quickly.
6.Vanquest Javelin Pack – Two Hydration Pouches
An exceptional pack, the Vanquest Javelin Pack has an incredible 30 storage compartments.
- Interior Size: 16" (H) x 10" (W) x 5" (D) / Exterior Size: 16.5" (H) x 10.5" (W) x 9" (D)
- Padded main compartment holds laptop / tablets, cameras, and CCWs. / High-visibility, lightweight 210-D Ripstop nylon interior
- 1,000-D Mil-grade Cordura fabric with DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating
- Total 35 organizing compartments, slots, and holders, including hidden shoulder strap pocket
- Padded internal sleeve for tablets / laptops up to 13" / Two compartments for accessories and CCW's.
Meanwhile, it includes a laptop sleeve and two hydration pouches to increase storage. It is also quite flexible: this convertible pack allows you to store and access your gear from the top or side.
The Vanquest Javelin Pack is designed so that you can spin it quickly for simple access to segmented compartments.
It is also incredibly durable, with 1000-D Cordura nylon, a heavy-duty neoprene padded handle, and an s-shaped zipper tread.
This bag comes in a left shoulder and right shoulder sling pack option. The one pictured here is the left shoulder option.
7.Rush MOAB 10 – with headphone ports
The Rush MOAB 10 is a compact daypack that comes in at 1093-cubic inches.
- This product combination is an Amazon Exclusive
- A high performance sling style tactical go bag with plenty of room for gear and accessories
- Concealed Back-Up Belt System pistol compartment; Coms pocket with pass-through for mic/earbuds; hydration pocket (1.5ltr) with pass-through port
- Includes 5.11s Tier System - attaches to RUSH backpacks; ambidextrous cross-body shoulder strap system
- Organizer holds pens, keys and small accessories; includes Rite in the Rain #935T all weather notepad
The defining feature of this pack is the single ergonomic cross-body shoulder strap, which can be switched for ambidextrous purposes and also contains quick access zippered shoulder pockets featuring headphone ports.
The dual compartment opening ensures that there is easy packing and unloading; meanwhile, the rear pocket let you store items covertly.
The pack also comes with fleece-lined sunglass pouch, a hydration pocket with an external port, and a MOLLE–compatible exterior webbing that allows you to arrange accessories.
Finally, if you already have a RUSH-series bag, the Rush MOAB bag can be attached to it for pack integration.
8.Eberlstock Halftrack Backpack- Military Tactical Backpacks
The thin Eberlstock Halftrack backpack comes in at a compact size of 2150 cubic inches of storage.
With a panel that has a variety of PALS compatible webbing, Velcro badge attachment, and a tall zipper front pouch, you can easily customize the storage structure of this pack.
Featuring a top modular pouch to go along with dual hydration pouches, this allows for quick and easy access even when you are mobile. Meanwhile, side compression straps help control your load-bearing.
This helps minimize your profile. To combat weather, a rain cover can be pulled out from a bottom compartment to reduce water damage.
9.Hazard 4 Evac Plan B Sling Pack – Flexible Bag
The slim Hazard 4 Evac Plan B Sling pack is a flexible tactical backpack.
- The total-customization Evac(TM) w/ full modular accessory strap (M.O.L.L.E.) coverage. Includes padded, movable internal divider like those in photo bags.
- Compression-straps also cross to secure large objects; relatively large volume - will hold bulky items with ease.
- Full hydration bladder compatible - fits up to 67 oz./2 L. Can fit 3 L hydration bladder up to 2.5 L capacity.
- One large pocket for access while on chest w/ organizer, and small top-zipper to pass long objects like antennas/barrels.
- Main Material: Invista(R) 1000D Cordura(R) (500D Camo models).
With an ambidextrous shoulder strap and a high-capacity carry potential, you can use the Hazard 4 in multiple conditions.
It comes in at 1,080 cubic inches of gear storage, with MOLLE webbing on both sides of the pack that allow for accessory customization. Meanwhile, a 3-liter hydration bladder allows for cool refreshment.
Comfort is also a selling point. A padded thermos back offers a comfortable fit, while a clip-on stabilizer strap keeps the pack in place during heavy activity.
Its design also ensures that the pack spins forward for comfort and easy-access.
The Blackhawk Cyane is a unique backpack in the tactical backpack industry.
Created with tear-resistant 500 Denier nylon, it is a tough daypack that can endure for a long time.
Additionally, it has a beaver-tail style front design that allows you to store objects that are irregularly shaped.
The Cyane features front zipper pouches, open-air middle storage, and a central real compartment as its main storage ares. Gear such as bedrolls, jackets, and helmets can fit with ease into this day pack.
It also has MOLLE webbing along the side, front, and straps for customized attachments. Additionally, it can carry a 100-ounce water pouch with elastic-covered tube ports for the hydration hose.
A mesh padded back piece with a sternum strap keeps the load easy to secure and manage.
The Tactical All Hazards Prime Backpack prepares you for all situations.
- 1050D Nylon
- Country of manufacture: Viet Nam
- Manufacturer: 5. 11 Tactical
Recommended for professionals, it has 1,768 cubic inches of storage that can hold many irregularly shaped items.
With side-mounted lanyard and three sided MOLLE webbing, you can have it customized for your preference. Meanwhile, the interior compartment has a padded laptop sleeve and hydration-system storage.
For emergencies, tear out pouches and webbing for medical supplies give you the change to prepare appropriately for each and every situation.
Additionally, the front clamshell compartment is lined with a high-visibility orange that will quickly alert emergency responders in times of crisis.
12.Red Rock Large Assault Pack – Best Military Tactical Backpack Look
A standard tactical pack, the Red Rock Assault Pack holds up to 2,135 cubic inches of gear.
- Four expanding compartments; Main compartment features a clam shell style design; Two external pockets for quick access to essentials
- Fully adjustable contoured and padded shoulder straps; Adjustable waist and sternum straps; Reinforced carry handle
- Mesh ventilated padded back panel with touch-fastener-closure external pocket that serves as concealed pocket or accepts hydration bladder up to 2.5 liters
- Quick-release compression straps on three sides; Touch-fastener keepers for excess strap slack; Clad in MOLLE webbing for expansion and customization
- 28 liters of storage; Dimensions 9.5”W x 18”H x 9.5”D
For extra storage, it contains MOLLE webbing alongside its front and side panels.
To increase your convenience, a padded and ventilated back piece shields a zipper compartment that can hold a 2.5-liter hydration bladder. This will allow you to drink even when moving.
It has adjustable sternum, shoulder, and waist straps that can help stabilize your pack for carrying. Meanwhile, compression buckles help compress the bulk of the bag.
For easier access, D-ring connections points are lined along the shoulder straps.
The Tactical Tailor Removable Operator Pack is a small tactical pack that is to be used either while attached to a larger MOLLE-compatible bag or carried solo as an everyday 1,178 cubic inch pack.
This is a bag that is extremely durable. Created with 1000-denier Cordura nylon, it has high-tensile durability.
Its design is strikingly simple. With only two main compartments and a 3-liter hydration pouch, it is made to give the user a light load.
Its exterior include MOLLE webbing and a bungee system to attach irregularly shaped items.
Meanwhile, padded shoulder straps and waist belts can be tucked away for packing or bag attachment.
14.Sandpiper of California – Long Range Bugout Backpack
The Sandpiper pack is designed specifically for multi-day expeditions. It can hold an incredible amount of 5,600 cubic inches.
However, it is also made with 1000-denier abrasion-resistant nylon and heavy duty compression straps. Thus, the Long Range Bugout Backpack can also be carried in a compact fashion.
Reinforced with aluminum backstays, a shoulder harness, and a comfy waist belt, this backpack is sturdy.
Customizable storage is also a feature, with an expandable main compartment, hydration pouch, and MOLLE webbing featured on the exterior.
Meanwhile, a front compartment can hold smaller items. Thus, this makes this pack useful in everyday situations.
The Blackhawk S.T.R.I.K.E Cyclone Pack is built for durability and speed. It is made with water-resistant nylon and features eights rows of exterior webbing.
It comes in at a size of 1,800 cubic inches. The pack has a 100-ounce hydration reservoir made with Microban antimicrobial technology.
Additionally, with a tube system covered in weather-resistant gear, it will make hydration on the go easier.
For ease of travel, a rubber lift handle and side compression straps are featured. With padded straps, a sturdy waist belt, and a flexible sternum strap, you can use this pack for a high-volume carry.
Meanwhile, a soft-shell back can help regulate body temperature and increase comfort.
What is The Best Tactical Backpack?
The best tactical backpack is Mystery Ranch’s latest product, the Assault Pack, is also one of its most versatile and lightest.
Its capacity is 27 liters, making it big enough to hold gear for a long weekend at the campsite.
At the same time, it is lightweight enough (3 pounds) to not weigh you down as you travel. It also comes with YKK zippers, a padded laptop sleeve, and a durable 500D Cordura construction.
The 5.11 Rush 72 water repellant 3-day pack can be used daily, but it’s also suitable for military use.
The layout includes interior organizer pockets, a large dual-zipper rear compartment, and a secondary front compartment. The side zipper pockets each hold a 2-liter water bottle. The backpack contains additional small-item organization pouches.
Maxpedition’s latest product, Falcon II, features a modular design made with 1050 Denier nylon for tear-resistant and water-resistant durability.
The foam-padded waist, shoulder, and sternum straps eliminate pressure points, while the unique Y-shaped compression strap at the midline helps distribute weight evenly.
Quick-release compression buckles to the side open the way to the central compartment.
Tactical Backpack Review
Buyers’ Guide: What To Look For?
This section has details on what to look for when buying a tactical backpack. Important factors include the material, durability, accessories, zippers, capacity and functionality among others.
When it comes to durability, not all packs are made equal. Some are made with high-quality construction and materials.
One way to compare them is by denier count in terms of the quality of the fabric used. In general, a higher denier count means a more durable pack.
Some materials with a higher denier count can actually be less resistant to tears and scratches than a different material with a lower denier count.
Before choosing a tactical backpack, it pays to research fabric strength and quality more closely.
In general, you should look for a tactical backpack with a denier count in the range of 500 to 1200. Keep an eye out for Cordura nylon fabric.
Another good option is X-Pac (or XV) fabric. We do recommend avoiding packs made from just polyester or Kodra (even though it sounds cool).
Durable and Waterproof
Waterproof backpacks will weather any storm and if there’s one thing you need in a tactical backpack, it is that.
As for durability, we can only name some of the best products in this category, which are:
- Prometheus Design Werx S.H.A.D.O.
- Triple Aught Design FAST Pack Litespeed
- 5.11 Tactical RUSH72
- Mystery Ranch 3 Day Assault.
- Arc’teryx LEAF DryPack 25.
Tactical backpacks are heavier than backpacking bags and hiking bags for the volume they provide, because they have more compartments and pockets and are made of more durable materials. Nevertheless, a tactical backpack should be as light as possible.
Lightweight gear allows you to move faster by reducing muscle strain.
Of course, you should never cut corners on quality. Manufacturers make backpacks lighter by using lightweight, cutting-edge materials that provide superb durability and resistance to abrasion.
Your backpack should weigh less than 6 pounds in every case.
Tactical Backpacks are either made from nylon, or polyester. They are both synthetic fibers, but nylon is a little stronger.
However, you must also consider the “denier,” which is a measure of thickness of the fiber.
It is symbolized by the capital letter D, with a higher denier value meaning higher thickness and thus higher strength.
The size of the backpack you choose depends on the gear you plan to take. Unless you absolutely need one, we do not recommend buying a very big backpack.
To be stable on your back, it needs to be relatively full, and it will get quite heavy. If it’s not full, items in it move around and compromise your balance.
The back panel of a backpack should be well-padded and ergonomically shaped. Furthermore, it must also have ventilation channels so that the sweat evaporates from your back.
Tactical backpacks normally have foam back panels. Often, larger tactical backpacks have aluminum stays behind the panels.
Aluminum stays are very useful when you are carrying a lot of weight as they efficiently transfer the weight to your hips from your shoulders via the hip belt.
It is a major advantage if a tactical backpack is MOLLE compatible. The webbing allows you to attach other MOLLE gear easily, such as pouches. The system consists of nylon rows stitched to the main fabric.
Zippers play an important role in overall durability. A lot of designers of outdoor and tactical gear use YKK zippers. These zippers are generally considered to be high-quality. Yet, YKK is not the only brand to look for. Other zipper brands you should take into account include TiZip, ITW Nexus, and AustriAlpin.
The single main compartment is not enough. A tactical backpack should have a lot of internal and external pockets in different sizes. Compartments and pockets allow you to organize your gear easily. It is critical that you know where every piece of your gear is at any moment as this lets you react quickly in various situations.
Accessories and Add-Ons
Last but not least, a solid tactical backpack needs certain add-ons, like a hydration system. Backpacks that are compatible with such a system have a pocket or a sleeve for a water reservoir and an opening for a tube at the top.
You can get hydrated without having to take off your backpack first to unpack water bottles. Think about only accessories you need. It’s a mistake to go overboard with these as they will only hike the price up.
What is a MOLLE Backpack & How It’s Related to Tactical Backpacks
MOLLE is an acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment. This abbreviation defines the latest-generation of backpacks and load-bearing equipment used by a number of NATO armed forces, including the US Army.
The MOLLE system’s modularity stems from the use of PALS (Pouch Attachment Ladder System) webbing equipment as lines of heavy-duty nylon stitched onto the vest to make attaching different accessories possible.
This method of attachment has replaced ALICE (All-purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment), becoming the prevailing standard for modular tactical gear.
How We Choose
Based on this list, you can choose a wide variety of tactical backpacks that have an incredible range of features. Which one is the right one?
It depends. When making a trip to the outdoors, consider the intensity and duration of your activity, the predicted climate, and what items you need to bring along.
All these factor will force you to act accordingly, and you want the right tactical backpack at your side.
No matter what, the best one will be the one that will always keep you one step ahead and prepared for your next journey in the great outdoors.