5.11 Rush 72 Tactical Backpack Review

If you landed on this page your probably looking for the 5.11 Rush 72 Backpack Review!

I decided to get my grubby little hands on Rush backpack to see what the fuss is all about. And to let you know what I thought of the bag everybody’s getting.

5.11 Rush 72 Tactical Backpack Review

5.11 rush 72 backpack reviews

I posted a question on my Facebook page, a couple of forums, and in a couple of Facebook groups about which backpack everybody believed was the best bug out bag out there. By far, the number one answer was the Rush Backpack.

I have been using an old Camelbak BFM for traveling and on deployments for about a decade now. So long that I could not even find a good link to the exact model for you, yet this one is fairly close to it. The one that I have has smaller side pockets than that one, which is a major change from what I have.

The Camelbak is a nice bag (apart from the tiny side pockets of the older version) yet I needed something a bit larger and not so military-looking. My present one is ACU. I was deploying and needed something other than the god-awful rucksack that the Army gives us, they suck. This is the reason I got it in the first place.

But, now that I am home, and hopefully not going to deploy for a while (hopefully), I needed something that would fit in better in a civilian environment. Since the Rush 72 was so incredibly popular, I figured I would give it a try. Fortunately, it comes in a Storm Gray version, so I got one of those. I have done enough surveillance detection in the past to realize that gray truly helps with blending in. The Gray Man is not just a name. With all the molle stuff around it, I did not know how well it would work, but it couldn’t hurt to give it a shot.

5.11 Rush 72 Backpack

5.11 rush 72 backpack reviewRush 72 backpack is a great tactical bag

It has 2894 cubic inches (or 47.5L depending on which method) of space.

It is made out of 1000D nylon Cordura, which is hell a strong stuff for a backpack.

It is covered with Molle straps, and has lots of useful pockets and straps, that make it a very useful bag.

It’s also under (well under) $200.

The only actual negative to this bag as one for police or a downrange bag or search and rescue operations is that in case if you have a thick neck as I do, the straps fit a little too tight to be comfortable, yet not so much that it’s a major issue. In case if you are one of those guys who has a skinny neck that fits this bag, you have to hit the gym more.

To keep your stuff straight, the front administrator pouch has a wide range of smaller compartments in it. The top front pouch additionally has more..

The side pockets are really huge. Each of them has two inner pockets. The inside pouch is pretty spacious and has a draw-string pouch. As well as a large zippered mesh pouch. Several zippered sections are there in the front of the inner main pouch. The top pouch is big enough to hold your quick-grab things like sunglasses and gloves etc. It has a soft lining so that it does not scuff up your gear.

5.11 Tactical Rush 72 Backpack – Molle

I like the Molle on the hip belt straps, it has a lot of pockets and it is built extremely well. You can put a couple of small pouches on it or multitool/flashlight etc. It is a fabulous tactical bag, and what I’ll be bringing with me downrange if I need to head back to Iraq or Afghanistan once more (or wherever somebody thinks we have to go). For that reason I really love this bag. It is much better than my old bag.

You can expect that you will be carrying a lot of gear, with a lot of additional items like mag holders or whatnot, with a tactical bag. You also need not really care what the thing looks like (as far as it’s cool-looking). You require something that has a lot of pockets, is rugged and has a lot of molle things to hang additional gear or pouches on. This bag has all that in spades.

Rush 72 Backpack – Perfect Bug Out Bag?

Is it really a great bug out bag?

However, a bug out bag is somewhat of a different animal than a tactical bag.

You need to be able to carry enough gear to take you from point A to point B in a variety of environments, and as you do, it should not gain attention to yourself, with a good bug out bag. The last thing you need is to bug out of your area due to some kind of riots, hurricane, or whatever and have somebody look over to you and think, “That man seems like he probably has food and ammo on him. I shall go grab that man.”

The extremely useful molle that surrounds the bag still just yells out “military and prepared”. But the gray or sandstone versions of this bag aren’t almost as bad as some kind of camo pattern.

Additionally, because most people can’t really hope to fit everything they require for a 72-hour bag into 47.5 liters without hanging different pouches and equipment on the outside, some of your bug out gear will be visible to the outside, or at least give you away that you have a crapton of handy stuff that some lazy live-on-the-government idiot would want to take from you. There really is no color version of this bag that will help that.

Rush 72 Backpack – Things To Consider

However, even though this bag only holds 47.5 liters (it’s actually fairly large only in a general sense, as a backpack goes), it weighs about 4.8 pounds. When you consider that a majority of the people would require more room than that to carry all the things you need in a bug out bag – (shelter, food, water purification, clothing, fire, signal, and their backups and most people do not have the skills to really survive without extra equipment). To be able to hold all that stuff you can see that more pouches will be added to this bag. That makes the overall weight of only the stuff carrying your stuff as truly heavy, and will most likely tip the scales at around 6 pounds.

That does not leave a lot of weight left to carry the gear you truly require to survive in some circumstances, considering that you can only carry so much weight in your bug out bag.

My recommendation

In case you are heading downrange, this is a fabulous bag. If you don’t really care about OPSEC and are sufficiently strong to carry a lot of weight, this is an awesome bag. This bag works really well too, if you require a tough bag to keep around the house to toss in your car on the way out of town.

However, as a bug out bag, it is better than most yet there are better solutions.

I truly wanted to like this piece of gear and I truly actually do like this thing, for a different reason. Yet, I knew better and went ahead and got it since so many of them have gotten this backpack as their essential bug out bag. It is just not the bug out bag for me.

5.11 Rush 72 Backpack – Decision Time

Is it a good decision? With the right color, and with enough experience that you don’t need to pack it with stuff outside the bag, it really is a good decision. I just don’t think it is a great choice. Even if it doesn’t scream it as much as other bags, it costs too much weight and still says “military”.

I do think there are better bags out there. However, I would not leave you with just that. Your particular situation may be completely different, now this is only my opinion, and yet I ended up with an Osprey Packs Atmos 65 Backpack in Graphite Gray.

It comes in 3 sizes so each is somewhat different but the one that fit me was the Large. In the Large size it is of 68 liters (20.5 more than the Rush 72), 4,150 cubic inches, and still weighs only a hair over 3.5 pounds. Even though it holds 1256 cubic inches more than Rush 72, saves you about 1.3 pounds from the it (even if you start adding pouches to the outside of the Rush 72 to fit in everything you need, it ends up saving you even more weight when). The small and medium sizes are close that but not quite as large. This is the reason why they are called medium and small.

Additionally, it is not tactical-looking. This one is fairly innocuous, even as far as typical hippy-freak backpacks go. It is well-made and has a much respected name in the backpacking community.

5.11 Rush 72 Backpack – Wrapping It Up

No matter what backpack you get, since most people don’t walk around with them on you are going to draw attention in some circumstances, however this bag is about as gray man as you can get.

If you can live with the things I have mentioned, just go for it. But hey, you really have to look at what your needs are with your bug out bag. It has enough compartments that living out of it is fairly convenient. It is a very well-made bag that will withstand a lot of abuse. At least consider other options before you pull the trigger.

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