If you are an outdoor enthusiast, work outdoors or are active and you need gear for all your adventures and activities, a solid, best tactical backpack is a worthwhile investment. There are many features and specifications you should keep in mind when choosing the right backpack for your needs. Also, if you have a budget and still want to get a quality item, understanding what are good qualities to look for will help you make the most of your expenses. Aside from law enforcement and military uses, long distance hiking and everyday use such as school and work are also suitable activities for people on the go who want a more durable carry accessory option.
What to look for when choosing the best tactical backpack
There are a variety of options in modern tactical bags including external ports, water hydration bladder compatibility built in and smartphone-specific compartments. Organized structured compartments and all-weather materials should be fairly common and with updated designs, heavy loads and ergonomic fit are becoming more standard.
There are many tactical backpacks on the market and it is worthwhile to research to find the one that suits you best. Consider what size you need and what you can comfortably carry. Often the wrong-sized pack, not the pack itself leads to frustration. Take into account your body frame when looking at different-sized bags. Also, if you do not need a plethora of compartments, there are many low profile tactical bags that still offer many key features you might seek.
While researching the best tactical backpack, some key features to look for include:
Quality of the material used– Look for high-quality fabric and extra strong stitching for maximum durability.
Webbing and straps – Molle system webbing is becoming standard for maximum customization.
Carry space – Many tactical bags come with a variety of compartments and in a wide range of sizes.
Ports and compatibility – If you need space for small items like electronic devices, there are many designs to choose from.
Budget considerations – Many affordable quality packs exist and there are options that will fit in your budget.
Product Review: The Best 9 Tactical Backpacks
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Top tactical backpacks
These packs are high-end bags and are suitable for extreme sports, hiking, camping, etc. Made of high-quality materials and expert designs, they can be taken anywhere and are just as useful in the rugged backwoods as they are on your daily commute.
The 5.11 Rush 72 is a great, high-quality top of the line tactical pack. Made in the USA of super strong 500D and 1000D Cordura nylon. Quality stitching and design set the Rush 72 apart from many bags. It is rugged and durable to handle the most extreme conditions. Standard molle webbing is designed to attach small bags and miscellaneous gear to help even the load as well as make frequently used items readily available while on the go. Water hydration bladder compartment for securing a water bladder included. Ample storage for small items like smartphones, sunglasses, keys, etc. The padded waistband and shoulder straps will keep you comfortable and the compression strap system ensures your gear is evenly balanced so you are not thrown off by shifting weight load like standard packs. This functional pack opens up completely to allow for full access to contents at any time. The 5.11 Rush 72 is a high-quality pack that can tackle the most demanding adventures and outdoor activities.
Kelly has long been a high-quality brand name in outdoor gear and the Raven tactical backpack has all that is to be expected from this excellent company. This mid-range backpack is roomy and can accommodate your outdoor activities easily. A unique feature is the ability to use a Harris 117 or other satellite radio while the radio is stowed in the pack making it very functional and clutter free. A removable rain cover ensures all your items will remain dry and protected from even the harshest elements like rain and mud. With adjustable Light Beam aluminum suspension stays, the Raven is easy to get the perfect fit. Breathable mesh back and shoulder straps keep you cool in hot weather and strenuous activity. The sleek compression design makes the Raven not only functional but attractive. This is an excellent high-end pack that is rugged and can tackle demanding using with ease
The Direct Action Dragon Egg 100% Cordura 500D nylon heavy duty backpack is light and versatile. It is designed primarily for smaller loads and 1 to 2-day use. The side pockets are redesigned for greater expansion to hold larger items. The Dragon Egg comes with a patented Combat Vent System that will keep your back cool during strenuous activity. A low profile laser cut molle/pals webbing system is a snag-free and highly functional to keep external gear pouches and items secure. The water-resistant 500D Cordura fabric keeps contents dry from the elements. Comes in a variety of color schemes. This a tough pack that is an excellent choice for shorter trips and excursions.
The Riftcore Backpack with quick release yoke-style straps making it very ergonomically comfortable. The full clamshell opening of the middle compartment gives easy access to main gear via multiple loop-lined straps that are fully adjustable. This makes finding contents a breeze when you are actively on the go. A smaller semi-rigid pocket on the front of the pack is ideal for storing smaller items like keys and smartphones. The Riftcore is a great high-end well-made pack that is highly functional for a variety of activities.
These are high-quality affordable packs to accommodate budget shoppers. While they may be less expensive, they function quite well and are suitable for many demanding activities. If you are on a budget, but still want a quality pack, these are excellent choices to consider.
The Reebow Gear tactical pack is a great affordable pack with many standard features. The large 40L size offers a good amount of storage for all your accessories. Water resistant materials keep your gear dry and protected from the elements. A Molle system allows for customizing and attaching gear and pouches if you need to carry a heavy load and have access to often used items. Heavy-duty zippers and double stitched construction provide quality at an affordable price point. Front and side compression helps keep the content weight from being unevenly distributed. Hydration bladder compartment for securing you water hydration bladder in place, including a port for access. The ventilated and padded backs and shoulder straps are comfortable for many hours of activities. Multi-use, hunting, camping, school, and work make this bag a good choice for a range of uses.
Multi-function Shoulder Backpack with Molle Modular Webbing
The Shangri-La sling pack is not technically a backpack, but it is a great bag nonetheless. Made with super strong 1000D high-density nylon fabric, this little bag packs a lot of rugged durabilities. The main compartment is 10″ x 7″ x 4″ with internal divisions making it small, but highly organized. It is lightweight enough to be used in a variety of ways as a sling bag for cameras, short field journeys or as a waist pouch for stowing commonly and frequently used items like smartphones, wallets or sunglasses. The molle systems allow for miscellaneous gear to be strapped externally to the bag. The adjustable and removable shoulder strap is padded for extra comfort. The Shangri-La is an excellent smaller addition to complement your adventures and activities.
The Green City expandable pack offers a huge amount of space adjustable through the molle webbing system, 64L maximum capacity. Made of high-quality material, the Green City is water resistant, tear resistant and super strong. Fully customizable molle straps can compress the pack as well as hold miscellaneous external gear in place while hiking or engaged in the activity. The multi-compartments offer plenty of space for stashing all your items from sleeping gear to electronics and smaller frequently used items. For maximum comfort, the pack has a breathable mesh back padding and shoulder straps that will not cut into your shoulders. If you are looking for an affordable tactical bag option, the Green City has several great features and generous carrying capacity to suit your multi-day ventures including hiking and travel. A solid choice that comes in multiple color schemes.
SOG’s Ninja day pack is a high-quality water repellent smaller tactical pack. It is ideal for school, daily commutes, short travel, and single day hikes. The large main compartment will store bulkier items while the smaller front zippered compartment can store smaller items. A yoke-style adjustable padded straps design with an adjustable sternum slider makes this bag comfortable and secure. Multiple air channels allow a cooling off the back. Molle webbing will secure smaller gear pouches for easy access and a tube port for a hydration bladder is included. The side pouch is stretchy and can keep a water bottle secure. Though the Ninja is small, it is affordable and has a trimmed down design that is attractive as well as functional. Dimensional size is 13 x 18 x 3.5 inches (WxHxD). The 24.2-liter capacity is adequate for day trips. The SOG Ninja is backed by a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty for any defects.
Made of 600D heavy-duty polyester, the Mardingtop is an attractive and affordably priced tactical bag. This day pack can hold a 2.5 Liter water bladder with a standard port for drinking tube out the top. The molle webbing throughout is functional and can be used to secure smaller items and customizable to your needs. It also includes 4 molle hooks underneath for a bedroll or other gear you may want to strap down. A stitched in waist belt gives stability and when not in use it can be tucked behind the back padding support when carrying lighter loads and extra support is not needed. The chest strap will relieve the tension of heavy loads. The roomy space in this pack can carry plenty of gear for day excursions, school, work, traveling or any number of activities where you don’t need extra gear. It comes with a 90-day limited warranty for defects or failure. A good, solid pack that is comfortably priced.
While shopping for a tactical pack keep in mind what you need. Do you hike outdoors a lot or is it primarily a commuter bag? Do you need extra space? There are many options to choose from to suit whatever you need.
Many tactical packs offer molle webbing. This system usually runs throughout the pack and allows the bag to expand and compress at the pull of a strap.
This is a great system that has numerous benefits:
Multi-compartment compression for load relief and stabilizing weight.
An added option to secure external pouches and gear to increase the amount of gear you can carry
Streamlines the pack design for fewer chances of snags on branches and obstructions while walking.
When shopping and researching tactical packs, look for warranties and assurances that companies stand behind their products. There are many poorly constructed bags out there and it is important when making a purchase that you are informed and armed with as much information as you can gather. Nobody wants to load up their bag for a weekend of activity only to discover a major seam has come undone or a cheaply made strap breaks. When considering a tactical pack it is also useful to take into account your body weight and frame size. This can help you make a better decision on the best bag for your needs. With a little research, you can easily find the best tactical bag that will last for many years to come.