Best Tactical Backpacks On The Market – 2016 Reviews

If you’re on the market to find the best tactical backpacks, then you’ve come to the right place.

I’ve literally used and researched tons of tactical backpacks, not to mention how rough I am on them while hiking, hunting, and camping. Some of them are pretty much rubbish and others are built to last.

Tactical Backpacks Comparison

Check out my reviews below! 

Comparison Chart

Backpack

Wallet Score

Our Rating

(our top pick) $$$

97

$$

92

 (runner-up) $$$$

95

$

86

$$

89

$$$

94

$$

90

$$$

91

2016 Backpacks Buyer’s Guide

Purchasing a military backpack isn’t all that simple. It’s imperative to choose one that best fits your immediate and future needs. There is really no point in purchasing a heavy, high-volume backpack if you are never really going to have to fill it – or, in the interim, if you don’t have the strength to carry it when full. In addition, selecting a backpack which doesn’t have the correct size compartments needed for important items is likely to be nothing more than a hindrance.

Comfort

The best tactical backpacks you will find are built for heavy use – but that does not mean you should give up comfort. In fact, when you’re on a long hike or other extended trip, it’s crucial that your tactical backpack is comfortable to carry.

How can you know whether or not a backpack is going to be comfortable? The easiest and smartest way is to look at the online reviews. These reviews come from individuals who have purchased and used the product, so they are going to know better than anyone how comfortable it is. Also, be sure to look for a backpack which has hip padding and straps, as these make it easier to carry the backpack for long distances. Also, be sure to look for backpacks that include wide straps and air channels.

The only downside I can think of is that more comfortable bags are usually also more expensive. Nine times out of ten it always makes sense to spend more for the added comfort though.

Capacity

The capacity of a backpack has an impact on how much gear you are able to carry. The space available also partially depends upon the number and shape of the compartments.

Having said that, bigger isn’t always better when it comes to buying the best tactical backpack. This is clearly because, the more volume a bag has the heavier it will be when full. You need to seriously ponder how much bulk you actually want to carry with you. This will depend upon the length of your trips and types of activity you engage in.

Typically, 30 liter backpacks are suitable for day trips. On the other hand, if you are going to use the bag for several nights, choose a backpack with a minimum capacity of 40 liters.

Compartments

Your tactical backpack should meet all of your personal requirements. Consider carefully the type of items you will be carrying and choose compartments to match. It really is a good idea to purchase a backpack with numerous compartments of different sizes. This will make it much easier to organize your gear and access it as quickly as possible.

Material and Durability

The material also has an impact on a backpack’s durability and strength. Each material you encounter will have its advantages and disadvantages, making them appropriate for different purposes. Some of the most common materials are:

Nylon

You will find that nylon is extremely strong and makes for a very heavy-duty backpack. It also dries quickly, which is a huge bonus.

Rip-Stop Nylon

Rip-stop is made by weaving extra-large threads into traditional nylon. Therefore, it is even stronger than nylon, and has rapidly become a popular choice for those needing the sturdiest of backpacks.

Polyester

 Polyester isn’t quite as strong as nylon and also takes a lot longer to dry. However, an advantage of polyester is that it is more UV resistant than Nylon.

Canvas

The old backpacks you see in films were made from canvas. While the material certainly isn’t new, it’s still extremely durable. The downside is that it’s fairly hefty.

Other Considerations

Color

The color of a backpack, for the most part, is pretty much personal preference, particularly if you are hiking or camping, etc. Most individuals choose military-style camouflage, but there are a range of colors available to choose from. The exception is – if you are purchasing a “bug out” backpack. These types of backpacks shouldn’t be purchased with a camouflage color scheme, as this could alert others that you are prepared and may be carrying supplies.

Additional features

Some tactical backpacks will come with added features like a rain hood or foam back panel. Both can be useful, particularly for long trips. Hydration systems are especially valuable, as they make it easy to carry enough water.

Loading Design

Tactical backpacks can either be front or top loading. Front loaders are the most common, and make it very easy to access everything. Top loaders are often used for longer trips. They are light and have fewer compartments, but generally make it more difficult to organize your gear.

Budget

 Your budget is obviously a factor to consider, but it’s much more important to get a high-quality backpack which will meets your requirements than it is to save money. It will pay for itself in the long run in convenience.

Not to mention, the backpacks with the best compartments make it better to organize your gear in one place. If you were to find yourself in a dangerous or time-sensitive position, you just won’t have the time to deal with more than one bag. Military bags organize all of your gear in a way which is easy to access.

After hours of research, we’ve narrowed it down to our top 4 picks:

Our Military Backpacks Reviewed

5.11 Tactical Rush 24 Backpack

The 5.11 Tactical Rush is a water resistant and very durable 2070 cubic inch capacity backpack. It is made from a mixture of fabric and nylon, for improved strength, and is available in a variation of colors. Other features include dual zip side pockets and three mesh compartments.

In addition, one of the better qualities of this product is that it’s MOLLE-compatible. In other words, you can customize the bag with a vast range of extra components such as med kits, etc. If you like the idea of having the freedom to create a bag that seamlessly fits your requirements, a MOLLE-compatible option is indispensable.

The 5.11 Tactical Rush is one of the most popular backpacks in the world. Countless satisfied owners talk about its durability and sincerely believe there isn’t a better option.

Kelty Redwing 50-Liter Backpack

The Kelty Redwing is a backpack which is built with a tough fabric/polyester combo and has a U-Zipper design that functions as both a panel and top loader. This combination of loading styles means you will constantly have fast access to your gear. Additionally, you won’t struggle to keep the backpack steady while walking or running, because of the single aluminum support and cooling back panel.

I’ve read numerous testimonials that the Redwing is great for traveling. It is also said that it is comfortable to carry – even though it’s a fairly large bag – and durable.

The one small complaint that we have heard about the Redwing is that the central frame is uncomfortable when bending over. However, this will not affect the comfort of the bag when hiking.

Maxpedition Falcom-II Backpack

The Maxpedition Falcon-II is a popular product that is perfect for hiking and travelling alike. Although it is not as large as the Kelty Redwing, and only has 25 liters capacity, it is a useful bag which is durable and strong. The Falcon-II is built with tough nylon and has an ergonomic shape, sternum support and padded straps for extra comfort.

An added bonus is that the Falcon-II is available in 10 different colors. This makes it a great choice irrespective of whether you want to blend in or stand out.

I’ve heard that it can easily be the most useful backpack you’ll ever purchase. The Falcon-II is not a huge bag. If you plan on going on long trips, or even extended day trips, it will probably not be the best option. Although, for shorter trips and light traveling it’s a fantastic product.

5.11 Tactical Covrt18 Backpack

The 5.11 Tactical Covrt18 is intended to provide immediate access to all of your gear. It’s a nylon backpack with a concealed “roll-down assault” compartment. It also has accessory straps that can be swiftly added to the shoulder straps, a large main compartment and extra BBS Weapons pocket.

As far as we are concerned, the best feature of this backpack is the roomy main compartment. It also has reasonably few smaller compartments which make it easy to separate the different items you need to carry.

While most people praise this backpack, some have stated that it has a firm center, and that it presses on your back when fully loaded. Although, this seems to be an isolated problem, and most thoughts about the Covrt18 are that it handles heavy loads with ease.

Conclusion

Tactical backpacks provide durability, comfort and organization which you will require to handle any situation you may come across. They are designed to be strong. You won’t have to worry about tactical backpacks ripping and they make it easy to organize your gear.

When purchasing a military backpack in 2016, the most significant considerations are comfort, capacity and durability. It’s important to get a bag that equals your requirements – each bag has strengths and weaknesses which make it appropriate for different environments.

If you are not exactly sure which one to buy, we are naming the 5.11 Tactical Rush 24 our favorite tactical backpack for 2016. It’s a strong and durable backpack which is the perfect size for trips. It also has a number of compartments and is available in several different colors.