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The Best Tactical Backpack in 2018 – Top Picks and Reviews

When you’re out in the wild where the sun shines hard and the rain beats you without warning, you need the best tactical backpack handy, if you want to return from your mission in one peace. Tactical bags are designed to reduce weight, popped out seams. They tend to come in large capacities that can contain items like phones, laptops, gear, cooking equipment, first aid kit and other items that you could possibly need for survival out in the wild. After using many of them, we have concluded with these backpacks below, you can easily find your best tactical backpack in this article.

A good tactical pack needs weather protection and loops for attaching extra gear to its exterior especially for your hydration bladder so you don’t die of thirst.

At a Glance: Our Top Choices for the Best Tactical Backpack

The 5.11 Tactical Rush 72 Backpack is the versatile backpack that comes with lots of webbings. It is perfect for outdoors and long travels with a padded back area that is adjustable to your back profile.

Sold in three different colors with 2550 cubic inch capacity, the 5.11 Tactical Rush 24 Back is the pack built for abuse. If you want to go on tours in foreign nations and need a pack that can withstand extreme weather conditions and usage, this military pack will be perfect for you.

Spec Ops T.H.E. Ultimate Assault Pack is one of the best military backpacks that can’t and won’t quit on you. It is a bit pricey but with its monstrous capacity and features, you won’t think twice before paying for this pack

Built with 500D nylon fabric with a reduced weight and larger capacity to contain mattresses, laptops, and even outdoor cooking devices, the Camelbak 61073 Motherlode Hydration Pack is a tactical pack that will make you drool.

When it comes to durable and quality tactical packs, Condor takes center stage. The Condor 3 Day Assault Pack is no different. It features on our list for the large compartments measuring a monstrous 3,038 cubic inch. There is nothing you can’t fit into this bag.

Best Tactical Backpack Reviews in 2018

  • Ranking   
  • Product   
  • Material   
  • Capacity   
  • Rating   
  • #1   

  • 5.11 Tactical Rush 72 Backpack
  • 1050D Nylon
  • 23”H x 13.5”W x 8.5”D

  • 794 Reviews


  • #2   

  • 5.11 Tactical Rush 24 Backpack
  • 1050D Nylon
  • 20"H x 12.5"W x 8"D

  • 857 Reviews


  • #3   

  • Spec Ops T.H.E. Ultimate Assault Pack
  • 1000D Nylon
  • 19"H x 13"W x 12"D

  • 38 Reviews


  • #4   

  • Camelbak 61073 Motherlode Hydration Pack
  • 500D Nylon
  • 23"H x 17"W x 7"D

  • 13 Reviews


  • #5   

  • Condor 3 Day Assault Pack
  • 1000D Nylon
  • 22"H x 17"W x 11"D

  • 984 Reviews


#1 – 5.11 Tactical Rush 72 Backpack

best tactical backpackOne of the best backpacks out there. It is very versatile and it can work as a travel bag and as a rough tactical 3-day pack.

The backpack has a large number of zippers and mesh storage on the inside for keeping your valuables safe. It looks great when it’s filled

If you’re stuck between buying a tactical bag, this is the best bag for you. It is quite versatile. It can be used as a travel pack as well as an everyday carry-all pack that can fit all of your belongings.

Design

This bag is well designed and crafted for maximum organization of your items. It contains seven compartments. It has one compartment in front; the main compartment has a large capacity; top pocket; two large side pockets on both side; and a meshed base.

The main compartment can contain a crash helmet, hiking gear or anything large enough to hold with your hands for your trip.

The front compartment can be expanded further from the straps and with the mesh base.

It is usually perfect for carrying on large items large enough to not fall down. For those who work with maps and pens, their front side comes with an admin panel that can store those items perfectly.

At the top of the bag, there is a pocket with fleece that can house handy items like your phone or sunshades and other items that you need to have handy.

There is also a hydration compartment that has two ports for water tube on either side of the handle.

The beauty of this gear is that it has multiple layers and sub-layers of pockets that can help you keep your items and valuables safe and organized.

This tactical backpack has a 1-inch thick webbing that covers the frontal and either side of the bag. This allows you to add extra pouches in different sizes.

Construction

The 5.11 Tactical Rush 72 Backpack is well constructed from the finest of materials. It is made up of strong 1050D nylon measured and sewn professionally with solid threading that won’t loosen after years of use.

The zipper seams are sturdy; the bag is water resistant but not waterproof.

This bag is the example of what a well-made bag that can withstand heavy use should look like.

Ease of Use

Carrying this bag on a daily basis won’t feel like you’re carrying much load. The yoke doesn’t make it feel uncomfortable at all. It features four padded areas on the bag with a good distribution of weight thanks to the number of compartments it has and the chest buckles.

The waist and shoulder straps are very adjustable. They also come with clips for instant discharge off your shoulder in an emergency situation.

This tactical backpack can take up to 60 lbs. of load without any issue or tear on the bag but most people restrict their user to 45 lbs.

Pros
  • The bag can carry 60 lbs. worth of load
  • Adjustable to your back’s profile
  • Padded back area with chest and waist buckles makes carrying easy
  • Very rugged – built to withstand abuse
  • It has lots of webbings that allows for numerous MOLLE attachment points
Cons
  • Not made in the USA but the fabric is incredibly good

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#2 – 5.11 Tactical Rush 24 Back

best tactical backpackThe 5.11 Tactical Rush 24 pack is a bag anyone would drool over. It is made for abuse and can withstand anything.

Design

It is designed with durable military spec 1050D nylon fabrics which has water repellent coating on it.

If you get water spills on this pack, it won’t damage your equipment but if it gets submerged (waterproof), you could have a lot of items being damaged.

The RUSH 24 comes in three colors that are insanely appealing – the Sandstone, TAC OD, and Flat Dark Earth. I love the Flat Dark Earth option. There is no scientific theory yet to support my claim but I secretly believe that the black color is much tougher than the rest

Construction

When you have a backpack slung over your back, you should be able to drop it down and grab whatever item that you need without much stress.

The Rush 24 allows you to do that even in zero light situations. The backpack is well organized and it has lots of pockets that can fit all of your valuables.

It has 3 compartments.

The main compartment measures is a roomy 20″ H x 12.5″ L x 8″ of space while the liter hydration compartment and the front compartment come in smaller space sizes. In total, this backpack has a 2000 cubic inches total capacity, which is quite close to the more expensive Spec Ops T.H.E. Ultimate Assault Pack which comes with 2550 cubic inches capacity.

Ease of Use

The Rush 24 tactical pack can fit in anything that you want. It also has a smaller pocket of spaces for things you need to keep handy as well as your valuables.

It is built using a contoured yoke shoulder strap system with an adjustable height sternum strap and two external compression straps for maximum strength and durability.

The Rush 24 is designed to take the weight off your shoulders. You can fit your hiking gear into it; extra clothing as well as survival items and you still won’t feel the weight on your back.

Pros
  • Back panel is made of Hypalon fabric patches which are extremely tough
  • The bag has minimal branding
  • It’s comfortable to carry on
  • The price is quite affordable
Cons
  • It doesn’t come with a waist strap
  • Sunglass pocket on top is small

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#3 – Spec Ops T.H.E. Ultimate Assault Pack

best tactical backpackThe Spec Ops T.H.E. Ultimate Assault Pack is a Made in America backpack. It is a heavy duty and well-engineered military backpack. It can’t and won’t quit.

The truth of the matter is that the Spec Ops T.H.E. Ultimate Assault Pack is more expensive than other alternatives on our list of the best tactical backpacks but it is worth every penny spent on it.

Design

It is a mix of a get-home bag and your usual recreational bag.

If money is not a decider, then you need to get this pack. It is big, roomy, and infinitely customizable. With an internal capacity of 2550 cubic inches, this thing can fit anything your hands can carry in it.

The Spec Ops tactical backpack has 3 main cargo compartments. The main compartment is very roomy and it has a zipper that is placed in the exterior to mimic a trap-door style pack.

There is faster and easier cargo access with The Spec Ops T.H.E. The access points for the 3 main cargo compartments on this tactical backpack for easier opening and closing. It also comes with added usable volume to increase the size and capacity of each compartment.

Construction

It is made of 1000D nylon quality fabric and uses

Self-healing zippers and buckles specially reinforced at all sides to prevent tear and wear.

The Spec Ops comes with a double layer monolithic body with fewer seams and zippers to reduce the stress points. Its zippers and drag handles are all sewn through the pack’s double layer exterior for increased strength and durability.

Did I mention that it comes with a Lifetime warranty? Yes, it has a guarantee for life.

Ease of Use

It is truly modular and versatile. It has drop-in, gear organizers for electronics, gear and other valuables that you like to carry around.

If you have a 17-inch laptop, it will fit into this backpack easily. This tactical backpack has a battle proven shoulder harness that is breathable.

According to the manufacturer, they have never been returned due to harness failure. The good news is if it does fail, you can always use your warranty.

Pros
  • It has visibility in low-light
  • Lots of space for patches
  • Made in the USA
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Battle proven shoulder harness
Cons
  • The hip belt could be placed better
  • The price is expensive
  • Interior compartments need more organization
  • No padding at the base

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#4 – Camelbak 61073 Motherlode Hydration Pack

best tactical backpackThe Camelbak 61073 Motherlode Hydration is included in our list of the best military backpack is a top rated tactical backpack out there.

Design

It has a monstrous 2580 cubic feet of space lined up for use. To give you an idea of how big this bag is and what it can contain an inflatable mattress, my outdoor cooking devices, and a 17-inch laptop.

Construction

The Camelbak Tactical Backpack is built with military spec high-quality 500D nylon fabric which reduces the weight of this version of the Motherlode than in the previous version that was discontinued that had 1000D nylon fabric.

It features a lot of Molle webbing in most parts of the bag. We feel this is a good thing as it also has four loops at the base.

Ease of use

The tougher the webbing, the more you can actually stuff things into. You can add different pouches into this backpack and have the Velcro strips to stitch your patches into.

The front pocket opens in a clamshell style giving you instant access to the content of the bag. The bag has a lot of spaces within which you can add new pouches to create customized pocket of spaces for your items.

The front pocket is divided into three-layered fabric pocket with a strong zippered mesh pocket in front.

The first pocket is for things you keep handy like your cell phone, sunshades, and a compass. There’s a little hook that can be used to maximize to hold more devices.

The main compartment of the Camelbak Motherlode Hydration Backpack has compression straps and two-way zippers that can be used to close the bag in either direction. The zippers are sewn into the seams of the backpack so they won’t break off during use.

Pros
  • It has spaces for hydration bladders on each side
  • It doesn’t succumb to tear and wear easily
  • Perfect 3-day bugout day
Cons
  • The seams are not meant for heavy use
  • It’s expensive

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#5 – Condor 3 Day Assault Pack

best tactical backpackThe Condor 3 Day Assault Pack is a tactical military-grade backpack.

Condor has been producing quality bags and other outdoor gears at budget friendly prices for years. The Condor 3 Day Assault Pack is no exception.

Design

It can be customized to fit all of your needs. It has a solid build made from a durable 1000D water resistant fabric material providing a large 3,038 cubic inch compartment area that can contain change of clothes, emergency kit, headlamp, flashlight, multi-tools, outdoor cooking equipment and any other things that you need for your outdoor endeavors.

Construction

The bag is organized into three main compartments. The rear compartments have the largest pocket space. It can fit a 2 X3 liter hydration bladder with Velcro slots to hold other accessories for the bladders and a zip mesh. This compartment can also keep your laptop computer and other large items.

The middle compartment is controlled with zips and it has four other sub-slots. The side pockets of the Condor has double zippers and it can hold 1-liter water bottle

Ease of Use

For those who go on foreign tours, having a comfortable bag that can withhold abuse is crucial to their mission. The Candor 3 day backpack follows the contour of your back and the shoulders. The back is heavily padded. The shoulder straps are not left out of the party. The straps are 3 ½ inches wide and ¾ of an inch thick for maximum stability and comfort during use.

The padding also maintains airflow around the back which allows the drying of perspiration to be done seamlessly and easily.

Pros
  • The compartments come with grommets for drainage
  • The Condor 3 has compression straps that tighten the bag to its contents
Cons
  • Poorly stitched hip belt
  • This bag may hang lower than you are used due to its storage capacity
  • Pull tabs on the zippers could break off during use

  • Ranking   
  • Best Tactical Backpack in 2017   
  • Product   
  • Material   
  • Capacity   
  • Weight   
  • Capacity   
  • #1   
  • best tactical backpack

  • 5.11 Tactical Rush 72 Backpack
  • 1050D Nylon
  • 23”H x 13.5”W x 8.5”D
  • 2 pounds
  • 3342 cubic inch/55 liter
  • #2   
  • best tactical backpack

  • 5.11 Tactical Rush 24 Backpack
  • 1050D Nylon
  • 20"H x 12.5"W x 8"D
  • 2 pounds
  • 2000 cubic inche/33 liter
  • #3   
  • best tactical backpack

  • Spec Ops T.H.E. Ultimate Assault Pack
  • 1000D Nylon
  • 19"H x 13"W x 12"D
  • 4 pounds
  • 2803 cubic inch/40 liter
  • #4   
  • best tactical backpack

  • Camelbak 61073 Motherlode Hydration Pack
  • 500D Nylon
  • 23"H x 17"W x 7"D
  • 4.4 pounds
  • 2258 cubic inch/37 liter
  • #5   
  • best tactical backpack

  • Condor 3 Day Assault Pack
  • 1000D Nylon
  • 22"H x 17"W x 11"D
  • 6 pounds
  • 3038 cubic inch/50 liter

How to choose the best tactical backpack

There are so many things that you should consider when you decide to buy a tactical backpack. One is to ascertain the reasons for buying.

Do you need a bag that is water resistant? Then, you would need to check bags made from military grade nylon fabric.

For those who want to fit all of their items into a single bag, it is wise to get a bag with a large enough capacity. Some bags come with a large capacity like the Condor 3 Day Assault Pack, which has a monstrous 3,038 cubic inch space. This backpack will take more items as compared to the RUSH 24 which is a 2,000 cubic inch capacity backpack.

How to differentiate the fabric strength of those backpacks

best tactical backpack
Fabric Strength

There are majorly three types of tactical backpacks:

1. Tactical Molle Backpacks

Molle stands for Modular Lightweight Load- carrying Equipment. It is a special military backpack used by American and NATO forces.

The best advantage of the Molle backpack is the level of customization that it offers. You can attach different modules to Molle backpacks according to your needs. They are the most common type of backpacks out there.

2. Tactical Sling Backpacks

Tactical sling backpacks offer easy shifting, organization, and freedom of movement.

They are more comfortable to carry when you go out for your adventures. They are designed to cause less pain for your back and shoulders.

There are lots of sling backpacks that are quite roomy with modules for extra customization.

3. Tactical Laptop Backpacks

These are backpacks designed to provide the maximum protection for your laptop and other electronic devices. It is designed to keep your electronics and outdoor cooking devices safe.

These packs are usually padded and they come with exteriors that are waterproof.

Conclusion

Finding the best tactical backpack could be difficult as there are lots of quality packs out there. We believe that our curated list of the best military backpacks will help simplify the process so you can get back into the wild where nature awaits. 

Finally, we have decided to choose the 5.11 Tactical Rush 72 Backpack as the our top pick because it is big with large capacity but it is not heavy as other big ones. Furthermore, the fabric is fantastic, durable and it has many different colors to choose.

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