Looking for the best tactical backpack could be a daunting task without a proper buying guide with key features to look out for. There are many tactical backpacks available in the market and it is becoming difficult to decide which bag would have the best-built quality and features as well as best bang for your buck. In this article, we will be going through 8 different tactical backpacks you could potentially use during a bugging out situation so you can finally decide which pack suits you the best.
Before going in-depth to each bag’s review, it is important for you to know the factors that we need to consider when choosing the best tactical backpacks for your needs. Similar to the bug out bag guide, these factors include size, MOLLE webbing, bag material, frame and price.
Features of Tactical Backpacks
Tactical bag can range from a 24-hour pack to a 3 days large pack. The packs that are primarily used as 72-hour tactical pack generally top out in the range of 40 to 50 liters.
If you have decided to stay out for a week or longer to enjoy long-distance trekking, you might want to pick a bag that offers close to 55 to 65 liters of capacity. On the other end, if you plan to use your bag for everyday carry only, you may want to consider getting an EDC backpack instead.
MOLLE webbing is also an important factor to consider because it allows you to add an extension pouch that allows you to customize and carry more gear.
This webbing allows you to add straps, compartments, and other customized features to your tactical backpack. The military elite relies heavily on MOLLE webbing because each mission can call for a slightly different setup.
Not all packs are made equal as far as durability goes. Some are made with high-quality materials and construction. Denier count (1) is one of the ways to compare packs to one another in terms of the quality of the fabric used in their construction. In general, a higher denier count means a more durable pack. However, the type of material also plays a role.
Certain materials with a lower denier count can actually be more resistant to scratches and tears than a different material with a higher denier count. So, as you can see, it pays to research fabric strength and quality more closely before deciding on a tactical backpack. As a general rule, you should look for a tactical backpack with a denier count of at least 500 to 1200. Cordura nylon fabric is a well-regarded fabric that you should keep an eye out for as well. X-Pac (or XV) fabric is also a good option as well, but you should generally avoid packs made from just polyester or Kodra (even though it sounds cool).
The pack’s stitching and zippers also play a large role in its overall durability. YKK zippers are generally considered to be high-quality (2) and are increasingly used by many designers of tactical and outdoor recreation gear. Other zipper brands to look for include TiZip, ITW Nexus, and AustriAlpin.
In a backpack that you might be wearing for days at a time, comfort should also come into play. Some of the features that help to improve the comfort of a tactical backpack include the quality of the suspension system, padding on the shoulder straps and hip belt, and the breathability of the back panel. These features will largely determine how the pack sits on your body, how it feels on your shoulder and hips, and how effectively it can wick away moisture when you’re really putting it to use.
Price is a huge factor as these packs can range from $30-$300. You need to decide what your main purpose for the pack is and how often you will use it. In general, the price of a given pack will go up if the manufacturer used higher quality materials and added more features.
Best Tactical Bag Comparison Table
|Product Image||Name||Dimension (WxHxD)||Product Weight||Capacity||Material||Rating||Price||Benefit|
|5.11 Tactical RUSH 72 Backpack||13.5 x 8.5 x 23 inches||5.19 pounds||55 Liters||1000D Nylon||5.0 / 5.0||$$$||Click for latest price||Best among its
ranks. 5.11 Tactical
gives its users
ample storage with
|Direct Action Ghost Tactical Backpack||20.5 x 11.8 x 7 inches||5.07 pounds||28.5 Liters||500D Cordura||4.7 / 5.0||$$$||Click for latest price||Worry-free due to
|Maxpedition Falcon II||18 x 9.5 x 4.75 inches||3.00 pounds||25 Liters||1050-Denier||4.5 / 5.0||$$||Click for latest price||More suited as a
day-pack but ideal
usage due to its
study built with
|SOG Ninja Tactical Day Pack||13 x 18 x 3.5 inches||1.94 pounds||24.2 Liters||Water repellent polyester||4.5 / 5.0||$||Click for latest price||Affordable day-
pack to store your
bug out gear and
|G4Free Outdoor Tactical Backpack||11.81 x 10.24 x 17.72 inches||2.20 pounds||40 Liters||600D polyester||4.4 / 5.0||$||Click for latest price||Lightest among all
capacity for a 72-
|Red Rock Large Assault Pack||11.5 x 18 x 12 inches||3.25 pounds||35 Liters||600 Denier PVC lined Polyester||4.3 / 5.0||$||Click for latest price||Customizable and
with its low range
|CVLIFE Outdoor Military Tactical Backpack||13 x 19.7 x 22 inches||3.86 pounds||60 Liters||600D Nylon material||4.0 / 5.0||$||Click for latest price||Comes with 3
packs and a 12-
|CONDOR 3 Day Assault Pack||22 x 17 x 11 inches||2.50 pounds||50 Liters||Cordura||4.0 / 5.0||$$||Click for latest price||Mid-range 72-hour
tactical bag that is
bigger body frame.
Background – RUSH72 is a backpack designed to provide ample storage space to keep your bugging out equipment for tactical deployment or extended excursion. The number ‘72’ here means the bag is made to carry supplies that can last at least 72 hours (3 days tactical backpack). This RUSH72 can also fit into the overhead compartment on planes making it ultra-convenient when you travel.
Material – The bag is made from 1000D nylon. The 1000 Denier Cordura has higher abrasion resistance and is built to stand up to a tremendous amount of abuse. If you would be carrying the bag to outdoors a lot scraping on rocks and trees, the 1000D would be an ideal material choice.
Capacity – This heavy-duty military backpack has a total capacity of 55 liters featuring a main compartment that has a volume of 23″ (H) x 13.5″ (L) x 8.5″. The front pocket has volume of 15.5” x 11.5” x 2”.
The large front admin compartment can be used to organize your everyday essentials like notebook, pen, tactical flashlight and multi-tool.
For the main compartment, the panel features three separate zippered pockets so you can organize your survival gear in specific compartments dedicated to specific purpose. If you ever find yourself running out of storage space, the main body of the bag and the front panel is an expandable shove-it compartment. How big? Large enough to stow a helmet or jacket!
The bag also has a hydration pocket with size of 21” x 13.5”. Rush backpacks feature a rear hydration compartment with ambidextrous hose ports.
To top it off, the left and right side pocket has volume of 16.5” x 6” x 1.75”. These pockets allow you to organize your gear systematically. In fact, a zippered pocket is located at the top of the bag for easy storage and quick access to your gadgets like a camera or glasses.
Weight – RUSH72 weighs about 4 pounds without any loads. Make sure your tactical bag only weighs about 15% of your body weight after packing.
Assuming you weigh 170 pounds, your fully packed tactical bag should weigh at most 25 pounds only. This is to ensure that the bag does not hinder your chance of survival during a bugging out situation.
Zippers – Zipper pulls throughout the back is black in colour, which makes it difficult to find the zippers inside the bag.
MOLLE backpack system – The RUSH72 features PALS webbing (Pouch Attachment Ladder System) that enables you to attach modular gear such as a 5.11 Tactical Pouch onto the backpack. The Velcro area at the top pocket is 6” x 1”, and the center of the pack is 3” x 3”.
With the MOLLE straps, you can attach an additional medicine or electronics pouch right outside of your backpack. Besides looking great on your tactical bag, it is also easily removable when you don’t need the extra weight.
Straps – The bag features foam shoulder straps, waist strap and compression straps to keep your stuff secure and tight.
There is also a belt that sits perfectly on your hips to help remove most of the weight from your shoulder.
Things to look out for – The shoulder strap is 10 cm wide so it is possible that the strap may rub against your skin making you feel uncomfortable.
My Take – The 5.11 Rush 72 and Rush 24 are commonly used as bug out bag, tactical backpack, hiking bag, travelling bag and multipurpose pack.
The bag is made of sturdy material with straps to support your back. Multitude of compartments and organizers makes the bag an excellent tactical backpack for outdoor survival situation.
If you are looking to downsize your backpack, you can also consider getting the 5.11 RUSH 12 backpack as an everyday carry bag instead. Due to the great quality built and suitable price point, the 5.11 RUSH is regarded as one of the best tactical backpacks.
Background – Designed to be a versatile 3-day backpack for military or enforcement operations
Material – 500D Cordura; water resistant coated
Capacity – 25 liter + 3.5 Liter detachable organizer; 20.5” x 11.8” x 7”
Externally, there are 4 pockets – two side pockets that may be stretched to fit water bottles. Additionally, there is a zippered, soft velour lined, glasses pocket in the upper portion of the pack and a flat zippered pocket below it. Carrying straps of the Ghost MK II backpack are wide, and padded with stiffened closed cell foam, with side release buckles for quick doffing. Waistbelt of the Ghost MK IIpack is a fully functional PALS/MOLLE belt that can be detached from the main body and used on its own with included low-profile suspenders.
Third pocket is a detachable organizer pocket, completely separable from the main pack body. Normally, it is attached to the main pack via 4 buckles and adjustable shockcord, but it may be used completely on its own (it has its own carrying handle) for medical supplies etc.
Internally this outer pocket has a lot of internal slots and pockets for gear organization, plus when attached to the Ghost main pack it forms a beavertail-type flap, where you can pack additional clothing or lighter gear.
Front Pocket With Internal Organizers; side pockets that are equipped with elastic for expansion
Weight – 5.07 lbs with heavy duty YKK zippers
Molle – unique MOLLE system that is snag-free and non-water absorbing
Straps – Suspension system is based on S-profiled shoulder straps and internal stiffener in the back
My Take – Ghost MK II is a 30+ liter backpack, scalable and well suited for the role of tactical 3-day pack. It features main pack with two zippered compartments – first, larger, has an internal hydration sleeve and an accessory mesh pocket. Second, accessible from the back side of the pack is reinforced and will hold a large laptop computer.
The low profile look and feel makes it a perfect everyday bag. If you are looking for a heavy duty backpack for your laptop, tablet, iPad, hydration bladder, etc. or just a solid base for your bug out bag.
Background – Generally, Maxpedition backpacks are built for you to haul gears. The bag is made to ensure that you are able to carry your load with ease.
The Maxpedition Falcon-II is one of the successful Maxpedition backpacks, built for rough-use. It’s made to have high durability and good ergonomics.
Material – This backpack is wholly made from 1050-Denier, which is both water and abrasion resistant. Also, this bug out bag has a Teflon fabric protector made for grime resistance and allows easy maintenance.
Capacity – This bag is relatively large, with a capacity of 1520 cubic inches (25 liters).
To be more specific, the main compartment has a volume of 18 inches (H) x 9.5 inches (W) x 4.75 inches (D). The Secondary Compartment has a volume of 16 inches (H) x 8 inches (W) x 3 inches (D). The upper front pouch has a volume of 10 inches (H) x 7 inches (W) x 2.5 inches (D), while the lower front pouch has a volume of 10 inches (H) x 7 inches (W) x 2.5 inches (D).
This bag has independent compartments with various pockets, pouches and PALS attachment points, which shows that this bag has more functionality than most bags with twice its size.
For people desiring more storage, they have the option to unzip the YKK Zippers and further expand the main compartment. You will be surprised at how much room you can get with this bag. I am sure that it’s capable of accommodating your camping essentials and even store extra water supply.
Features – This bug out bag comes with an ergonomic shape, padded shoulder straps and sturdy waist support.
My Take – This bag is rather sleek and compact. If you are looking for a bag that lets you squeeze into tight places, this is definitely the bag for you.
Background – If you are looking to build an ideal assault pack on an affordable budget, the SOG Ninja can be considered. The SOG Ninja shares similar features as other packs such as the MOLLE webbing but it is only 24.2 liters. If you prefer a larger compartment size, SOG also offers 33 Liters Prophet Backpack which has a sleek design.
Material – The bag is made using water-resistant polyester, not nylon. With the price paid, the difference in material strength is expected. The backpack is water-repellent so you don’t have to worry about it getting wet.
However, the SOG ninja carries comfortably on your shoulders with its adjustable straps and sternum slider.
Feature – This bag also features a contoured foam back to support multiple air channels to prevent excessive heat build-up. There is also a stretchable side pouch to fit your water bottle.
In addition, you could also use the SOG Ninja hydration bladder pocket to fit a water bladder for hydration purpose. With this functionality, you will be able to quench your thirst no matter where you go.
What’s cool about this bag? There is a velcro patch holder on the front of the pack to attach a flag patch!
Also, there’s a tubing port that allows you to access the hydration bladder pocket. Do note that the reservoir is sold separately from the bug out bag.
The bottom of the pack has 2 grommeted drain holes, and it has four points to attach a sleeping bag.
Weight – The bag weighs about 2.01 pounds which is considered to be acceptable.
Molle – Tactical features such as MOLLE webbing are provided for attaching a variety of optional accessories. You can opt to add the SOG accessory pouch (small) if you are looking to increase the size of the backpack which can be easily attached to the mole webbing outside your pack. The SOG pouches are elastic inside making it suitable for storage of flashlights, pen knife and multi-tools as well as mesh pockets to keep loose items.
If you are looking for some tactical features, look no further! This bag include MOLLE webbing for attaching a variety of optional accessories.
Straps – The bag should be comfortable to carry because it’s fitted with a yoke-style adjustable and padded strap.
Also, there’s an adjustable sternum slider too.
Things to look out for – The zippers could be quite stiff and hard to open and close when you first bought the bag, but after rubbing some hard wax from a candle over them they will run so much smoother.
My Take – This is a reasonably-priced backpack that is even great for daily commute, travel and hiking. This bug out bag will definitely keep you organized for any adventure!
This is a versatile and function bug out bag which is suitable for outdoor adventures, or even for school-use by your kids too!
Background – Comes with four colour you can choose randomly ( Black, Tan, Green and ACU). The G4 free is made of sturdy material, military details and has 40L capacity to meet your different tactical needs.
Material – Similar to the Red Rock, the G4free is also made using 600D polyester material
Capacity – The bag can store up to 40 liters featuring a main compartment with interior zip and mesh pocket. There are total five compartments with two as front pocket. The total dimension of the G4free is 11.81”W x 10.24” Hx 17.72”D
Weight – Surprisingly, this bag only weigh 2.2pounds which is the lightest among all tactical bags.
Straps – The G4free has an adjustable and removable chest and hip belt that is useful to distribute the tactical bag weight evenly. The shoulder straps are also padded with ventilated mesh to relieve pressure on shoulders while carrying heavy loads. The straps have black D rings that are used for hanging your tactical flashlight and keys.
Things to look out for – The main downside is the inside liner of the bag seems to be slightly loose and appears that it could tear easier than the rest of the back pack
My Take – The G4free is the perfect pick for camping, traveling and hiking due to its perfect size for a 72 hour pack.
Background – Founded in Waco, Texas. Red Rock Outdoor gear offers a reasonably priced bag designed for an outdoor adventure or a tactical mission. The Red Rock Assault pack has expanding compartments to hold all your gear with internal dividers and zippered pocket.
Made of polyester fabric, the bag features a clam shell style design with a hydration compatible mesh padded back panel and contoured shoulder straps with a sternum strap and waist strap. This pack is detailed with a mesh sleeve pocket, two front utility pockets with organizer compartments, and molle webbing on the front and sides for attaching gear pouches and accessories. Choose from a range of solid colors or camouflage prints to suit your personal style
Material – The Red Rock Assault is made of 100% polyester (600 Denier PVC lined Polyester)
Capacity – With a 35 liters of storage, the Red Rock’s main compartment features a clam shell style design with a U-style zipper that allows the compartment to be opened completely. There are also two external pockets to allow quick access to survival essentials such as a multitool and paracord.
The overall bag dimension is 11.5”W x 18”H x 12”D. You do have the option to add additional pouches or gear because the bag is built with molle webbing throughout.
Weight – 3.25 lbs
Straps – The bag features adjustable reinforced padded mesh shoulder straps, adjustable waist and sternum strap that evenly distributes the weight across your shoulders and waist for all-day comfort. With compression straps on all three sides, you can tighten down your pack easily even if you are not fully loaded.
A padded mesh back panel could be used as a concealed pocket or accepts hydration bladder up to 2.5 liters
Things to look out for – The built quality of the bag may not be up to par due to the fairly cheaper price compared to other bug out bags. Few users had experienced material tear and straps getting detached after six to eight months of usage.
My Take – Substantial storage and ease of customizability are few reasons that make the Assault Pack a fair pick when bugging out. The bag features four expanding compartments providing up to 35 liters of storage with built-in internal dividers and zippered pockets. However, the majority’s concern is still the overall built quality or sturdiness of the bag which may not be the best choice for the long run.
Background – CVLIFE pack comes with one main bag, 2 side bags and one front bag. With its low price, it is definitely not military-grade or heavy-duty bag, but it gets the job done. Suitable for bugging out, travelling and hiking as the bag has ample space (60L) to keep your extra water, first aid kit, fire starter kit and wet weather kit. This bag weighs around 1750 grams, which is more suitable for people with a larger built.
Material – This tactical backpack is made using 600D nylon material which is water-resistant.
But, do note that the material used to make this backpack is not as strong as most $200 backpack. If you want bug out backpacks with higher durability, I would suggest setting a higher budget and get a bag which can last.
However, I would say that generally the construction for this bag is sturdy and the stitching is of reasonable quality.
Capacity – This bug out bag is pretty spacious, where it contains one main large compartment, one front detachable bag (you can use it as a tactical fanny), and two side detachable tactical backpack accessories pouches. This bag has around 60 liters of space for you to manouvre.
To break it down further: The Main Compartment has a volume of 19.7 inches (50 cm) x 13 inches (33 cm) x 8.7 inches (22 cm). As for the front pockets, it has a volume of 5.1 inches (13 cm) x 12.6 inches (32 cm) x 3.9 inches (10 cm). Finally, for the side pockets, it has a volume of 7.9 inches (20 cm) x 4.7 inches (12 cm) x 2.4 inches (6 cm).
There are 2 detachable side bags which can be used as a first aid kit bag to store medical items such as alcohol wipes and bandages. You can even use one as a fire starter kit too.
Since this bag is huge, where it comes with 3 detachable small packs, you will definitely have enough space to keep your items.
You will be able to adjust the bag to your liking, putting your packs at suitable places. Even if you carry 30 pounds of gears, things should still feel comfortable
Straps – The bag also comes with adjustable shoulder straps, chest belt, waist straps and dual compression straps to secure your items onto your body.
Warranty – This bag comes with a 12 months warranty. The customers are really happy with their customer service too. If your bag is faulty, all you have to do is report and you will likely get your bag replaced.
Things to look out for – What are the cons? You may find that the zippers are large and sometimes noisy.
Also, there may be extra threads sticking out of the stitching, which I will suggest that you cut out. However, with the price you are getting for this pack, I would say that these downsides are insignificant.
My Take – If big and customizable is what you are looking for, this bug out gear might be just right for you! This detachable tactical backpack allows easy customization. Its superior molle system allows you to attach things which are necessary too.
Background – Equipped with larger load capacity compartment, the Condor 3 day assault pack is built for backpackers with bigger body frame who intend to carry 3 days worth of equipment and supply.
Material – This pack is made out of 1000-Denier wear resistant nylon. The 1000D is one of the most durable material for backpacks that can take on the abuse of scratching onto rocks and trees.
Capacity – The bag has a total capacity of 50 liters which is pretty decent to carry all necessary items including food and water to be self contained for 3 days minimum.
To be more precise, the total dimension of the bag is 22 inches x 17 inches x 11 inches; which is a total of 3038 cubic inches.
This bag has a huge pocket on the back frame where you can fit two hydration kits, various mesh pouches and your bug out bag essentials. The second compartment has document pockets, radio pockets and large rear pockets to fit your tactical tools like a notebook, flashlight and leatherman.
This bag is designed in a way which allows easy access to your gears and quick-organization. The Condor Outdoor Assault Pack comes with 7 pockets to fit your survival tools such as maps, notebook and pen.
Straps – This outdoor backpack also allows you to size down and adjust according to your body size and height which is a big bonus.
The Condor also has a foam pad on the back panel for comfort and airflow. It is equipped with shoulder straps, sternum strap and a removable waist belt to secure the bag onto your body.
Just to highlight some features of the shoulder strap, it aligns with the body contour and it comes with a D-Ring that can be used for equipment attachment.
This bag is highly adjustable. Even if you are built with a smaller frame or you have a larger built, this bag can fit you just fine. You will be surprised at how flexible it is.
Things to look out for – After considering the good, let’s take a look at possible issues. The zippers and material of the bag is not as durable as it may break apart after a few months of light-moderate usage, so this might not be the best bag to get if you are carrying a heavy load all the time.
My Take – This bag would be suitable for survival enthusiasts who feel like being ‘extra-prepared’. You can store the bag to the brim and still carry it comfortably to your bug-out location.
Do note that this bag may not be to withstand too much weight. If you have a tight budget and you are looking something decent to put your items in, then this bag will be suitable. However, if you have some spare case, I will suggest looking at other options because this bag may not be as lasting.
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Hope you find this list helpful when selecting your tactical bag for bugging out. Let me know in the comments if you any tactical bags to recommend to the survival hacks community.