Whether you are searching for a backpack for long-distance hiking, outdoor excursions, or just for daily use, the best tactical backpack ought to strike the perfect balance between durability, plentiful storage space, useful features, and all-day comfort.
Durability and reliability are key when choosing a backpack, especially if you’re going to be wearing it for extended periods. So invest in one that will last. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, military personnel, or simply someone who enjoys camping and cycling trips – tactical backpacks offer versatility and durability that cannot be matched.
With plenty of storage space for traveling and deployment, these backpacks are designed to be your perfect companion. Pair it with one of these heavy duty coolers or high-quality camping griddles and you’ll be set for an epic outdoor excursion.
Tactical backpacks boast a secure and comfortable design that ensures heavy loads are held safely. Perfect for recreational or professional activities, these packs make it easy to organize and carry accessories efficiently.
The tactical backpack market releases exciting new designs and products every year. The GunSource team and friends are constantly testing and using tactical backpacks on a variety of outdoor excursions, including military deployment (but mainly hiking, camping, and hunting).
We do our best to monitor new tactical backpacks to ensure that any promising style gets tested for its ease of use, comfort, durability, and overall value.
Browse this list to pick out a backpack that looks suitable for your needs.
Top 8 Tactical Backpacks
5.11 Tactical AMP12 Essential Backpack
The versatility of a much bigger pack in a lightweight and compact design is one of the main reasons why I recommend this backpack if it fits your budget. Starting at $130, the 5.11 AMP 12 is a great example of these design features. This advanced modular design allows for greater customization so that it meets all your needs on the go.
Moreover, this tactical backpack has an innovative hook-and-loop front panel that allows for easy attachment of various 5.11 sets at any angle I could think of, which is remarkable compared to traditional sewn webbing attachments.
I was pleased by the interior too: custom fit configurations are made possible via its hook and loop paneling, while multiple mesh pockets made organizing my gear a breeze – which is perfect for a neat freak like me who demands everything be stored in a precise location at all times.
I was able to carry my 15″ laptop, which fit snugly in the back panel. Also, a four-way zipper gives you quick access to all areas of the main compartment with ease.
REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical Backpack
For your outdoor adventures and military operations, the REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical Backpack ($41) offers a robust solution. Constructed with 900D Oxford fabric and featuring a water-resistant coating to guard against wet conditions, this large backpack measures 13 x 20 x 11 inches with an overall capacity of 40 liters – perfect for packing all the essentials you need.
Outfitted with a dynamic MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) system, the backpack features multiple webbing loops and straps that are perfect for attaching additional pouches or accessories to the exterior. This ensures more storage options as well as customizable configurations.
This backpack is equipped with multiple compartments and pockets to simplify organization and storage. It includes a spacious main section, plus a front zippered compartment, two side pouches, and an all-weather bottom pocket complete with an integrated rain cover. The center bay contains both a hydration bladder holder as well a mesh opening for smaller goods.
To sum it up, the REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical Backpack is an agile and dependable backpack that is perfect for any number of outdoor undertakings.
Mystery Ranch 2 Day Backpack
The Mystery Ranch 2-Day Backpack ($219) is ideal for outdoor adventures, expeditions, and tactical operations. Built with 500D Cordura nylon material and a water-resistant coating to shield your gear from moisture damage, the versatile backpack measures 20 x 13 x 10 inches and offers an impressive 27 liters of storage capacity.
This 2-Day Assault Pack can be an ideal choice for your weekend outings, boasting a lightweight and compact profile without sacrificing any of its tactical capabilities. This 27L pack has quickly become one of this year’s most sought-after tactical packs due to its versatility and reliability in even the toughest conditions.
For added comfort and security, this backpack is equipped with removable hip straps and shoulder straps. I don’t necessarily need hip straps, so being able to remove them was nice. However, some people find it easier to carry their load with hip straps.
For professional or city use, the 2-Day Assault Pack features an integrated, cushioned laptop sleeve plus heavy-duty YKK zippers to provide multiuse utility. Individuals can also store water bladders in this pack (and it even comes with dual water bottle holders for convenience).
Overall, I feel like this 2-Day Assault Pack from Mystery Ranch is a highly adaptable for daily use or longer expeditions. It’s built with strong materials and offers a ton of benefits and great value.
Samurai Tactical Wakizashi Tactical Backpack
The Samurai Tactical Wakizashi Tactical Backpack ($24) is the most affordable option for outdoor pursuits and everyday excursions. Featuring a sturdy 600D polyester construction with a water-resistant coating, this practical bag safeguards your equipment from any wet weather. With dimensions of 11 x 16 x 9 inches and 28-liter total capacity, I felt that it offered plenty of space to store all my supplies in one convenient place.
The backpack is designed with a MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) system, which gives you the flexibility to attach extra pouches and items on the outside. It also contains plenty of webbing loops and straps that are perfect for your MOLLE-compatible equipment.
The backpack also features multiple compartments and pockets for organization and storage, including a large main compartment, a front zippered compartment, two side pockets, and a bottom compartment with a built-in rain cover.
Crafted for maximum comfort, this backpack boasts padded shoulder straps and a ventilation-friendly back panel that provides superior support. I felt this backpack was comfortable enough for my broad shoulders. The waist belt and sternum strap help distribute the weight of the backpack and provide added stability during movement. Additionally, the backpack includes a removable waist strap and chest strap for further customization.
In my opinion, the Samurai Tactical Wakizashi Tactical Backpack does a lot for its price tag. Not only is this bag incredibly compact, but it’s also quite versatile – perfect for any type of outdoor activity or just carrying daily essentials during your commute.
SOG Specialty Ninja Tactical Daypack
The SOG Ninja Tactical Daypack (starting at $33) is an excellent example of a high-end tactical backpack that won’t break the bank. It offers adjustable shoulder straps, a soft padded hip belt, and stiff suspension for optimal comfort at an affordable price.
This backpack is perfectly suitable for everyday use as a working professional or student if you don’t have time to go on regular outdoor excursions. It features an integrated padded laptop sleeve that can be accessed via a side zipper. Inside the main compartment are several zippered compartments with small sleeves to help keep all of your items organized.
Featuring two separate hydration bladder hose ports for superior configuration, the pack also offers you easy access to side pockets where you can store water bottles, sunglasses, or electronic devices.
This tactical backpack will make sure everything has its own place for your daily commute. And, of course, you can always keep it around for the occasional weekend hike.
Monoki Military Tactical Backpack for Men
Constructed with double-stitched 900D fabric, the Monoki Military Tactical Backpack ($30) is both robust and waterproof. This mid-sized bag can be used for a variety of activities such as camping, hunting, hiking or even traveling – making it an ideal choice for any adventure.
The Monoki Military 3-Day Assault Pack boasts military styling, featuring MOLLE stitched webbing for attaching gear or tactical pouches on the outside. In fact, with several webbing loops and straps secured on the exterior, you can easily attach MOLLE-compatible gear for maximum convenience.
Additionally, dual-zippered closure pockets and spacious compartments provide a complete storage system within the bag.
I noticed that transferring heavy loads is a bit easy with the waist strap, which can be easily attached to this pack. It’s perfect for your hydration bladder and conveniently comes in two sizes – 35L or 42L. This is a large and durable backpack designed for use in outdoor activities and military operations.
Hannibal Tactical MOLLE Assault Pack
The Hannibal Tactical MOLLE Assault Pack (starting at $31) measures approximately 18 x 12 x 10 inches and has a total capacity of 35 liters. It is suitable for carrying a variety of materials and equipment, making it an ideal choice for outdoor adventures.
I noticed that the Y strap and buckle on the front make it easy to attach a towel, light jacket, or other piece of tactical clothing. The straps at the bottom provide extra space for camping items such as a tent or sleeping pad. Plus, its front and both sides have MOLLE loops so you can easily add additional gear without worrying about anything slipping off.
This backpack is designed with your comfort in mind – padded shoulder straps, a ventilated and supportive back panel, along with adjustable waist belt, and a sternum strap all work together to evenly disperse the weight of the bag. Moreover, for further customization options, it also features detachable chest and waist straps.
5.11 Tactical Rush 100 60L Backpack
The 5.11 Tactical Rush 100 60L Backpack ($255) is a superior backpack that was made to meet the needs of serious outdoor enthusiasts, hikers, and military personnel alike. With an impressive capacity of 60 liters, this bag can easily store all your necessities for any extended adventure such as hiking or camping trips.
Although this tactical backpack may be pricier than other options, it is well worth the investment due to its superior craftsmanship and generous storage volume.
If you’re looking for a bag that can handle extended overnight camping trips or is robust enough to store and safely transport heavy supplies, then the 5.11 Tactical Rush 100 is your best bet – one of the premier tactical backpacks for hardcore outdoor enthusiasts on the market. I own this backpack specifically for camping and hiking trips that may last more than 2 or 3 days, especially in environments where water is scarce.
This rugged backpack is made of top-of-the-line, water-resistant 1000D nylon. This material provides superior strength and durability while resisting tearing, abrasion, and punctures – guaranteeing that it can handle the toughest outdoor conditions.
This product features multiple compartments to help you stay organized, including a main compartment, front admin panel, two side pockets, and even a separate hydration compartment. The main compartment is spacious and can hold a variety of items, while the front admin panel is perfect for organizing smaller essentials. The side pockets are designed for quick access to water bottles or other small items, and the hydration compartment can hold a hydration bladder.
Tailored to military expeditions, the 5.11 Rush 100 Tactical Backpack is a durable, multifunctional bag with ample room for all your tactical, camping, or hiking gear.
Tactical Backpack Buyer’s Guide
Here is some additional information about the purpose, features, and benefits of tactical backpacks to help you make an informed purchasing decision.
What Are Tactical Backpacks Used For?
Tactical backpacks are designed for outdoor activities that require a rugged and durable backpack. They are useful for military operations, hunting trips, camping excursions, mountain treks, or any adventure in the great outdoors.
Tactical backpacks are the perfect tool for any number of purposes, boasting features such as durability and modularity that make them highly useful when you’re on the move. The versatility of these bags makes them ideal for use in any environment, be it a demanding workplace or just everyday life.
Who Should Use a Tactical Backpack?
Ultimately, anyone looking for a sturdy and reliable daypack should consider a tactical backpack. Even though they may appear different than other backpacks typically used for recreational trips, these bags are great options for camping excursions or any kind of outdoor activity.
Tactical backpacks are becoming the go-to choice for many individuals who need to transport their belongings daily, whether it be for work or school. For example, tactical backpacks are popular among medical personnel, law enforcement officers, and military staff.
Additionally, many people take advantage of these bags as their go-to option for any emergency situation that requires them to pack up and leave quickly.
What to Look For in a Tactical Backpack: Key Features
With varying requirements and preferences, it is essential to find a backpack that meets the specific needs of your outdoor activities. Here are some of the key characteristics of tactical backpacks that you should look at when making your decision.
When it comes to packing the perfect tactical backpack, size matters. Consider your journey length and what you need to bring along; then choose a backpack that perfectly suits those needs to make your trip as enjoyable and hassle-free as possible.
When selecting a tactical backpack, it is essential to consider ergonomic load management for ultimate comfort. A well-designed pack with adjustable shoulder straps will ensure you can comfortably carry your gear without feeling too worn out or risking injury. Therefore, make sure the bag has cushioned shoulder straps, one of the most important features that define an effective tactical backpack.
Nowadays, a quality tactical backpack should come fully equipped with a secondary compartment, laptop sleeve, and mesh pockets by default. However, for maximum organization and efficiency when packing items away, ensure your bag also has plenty of accessory compartments such as pen slots, document pouches, and glasses pouches so you can use your backpack for any purpose, professional or recreational.
If you are planning to venture into harsher environments, investing in a backpack made from Nylon or Cordura is an ideal choice. By doing this, you can ensure that your bag has the necessary protection against potential abrasions and other damage.
When shopping for a tactical backpack, look out for creative features that add value. Examples include external ports to store nozzles and headphones, hydration bladder compatibility, two-way radio holders, and compartments specifically designed for medical supplies.
What is the Difference Between a Tactical Backpack and Hiking Backpack?
Tactical backpacks are built to endure in the toughest environments and boast a greater level of functionality for serious outdoor enthusiasts compared to traditional packs. On the other hand, hiking backpacks were created with both long trips in mind as well as camping accessories and comfort for the average user.
While tactical backpacks usually boast all the properties of a hiking backpack or smell-proof backpack, this isn’t always true in reverse. Having said that, these are the main differences between tactical backpacks and hiking backpacks:
Tactical backpacks are made of tougher, more resilient materials to endure the rigors of traveling.
Hiking backpacks are designed and constructed with waterproof, lightweight materials that make them perfect for outdoor activities like hiking or camping.
Tactical backpacks stand out from the rest due to their MOLLE storage system, a webbing that follows an international standard for attaching modular components. This provides immense versatility in organizing items within your backpack.
Hiking backpacks have loops for carabiners to securely strap items on the exterior but also come equipped with an abundance of straps that enable you to attach gear underneath. But even tactical backpacks may include these handy loops and straps as well.
Highly advanced tactical backpacks are designed to be heavier to hold essential military gear. Built-in straps give an added layer of support for your hips and shoulders, allowing you to carry these packs with ease.
For the average trekker, hiking backpacks are usually light and can even include a frame for more support.
The organization of gear and supplies is a key feature of tactical backpacks, as they are equipped with different compartments and zippered pockets to store all of your items.
Hiking backpacks often possess a rucksack design, allowing you to hold your items securely and in an organized manner.
When embarking on an outdoor expedition, having the perfect backpack is of utmost importance. Although it might be difficult to find one that suits your preferences, doing so is critical for any successful journey. Make sure you carefully evaluate your own needs before selecting a backpack.
Before you begin shopping for your perfect backpack, it’s a good idea to determine what specifications and budget will best fit your needs, including what accessories you plan to carry. Before you start, define the ideal features and price that you’re looking for so that you can quickly identify which brands satisfy your criteria.