5 Best Tactical Backpacks in 2020

A tactical bag can be the difference between a successful outing and one where you forget to carry all essentials. Tactical backpacks come into play when you need to carry all your essentials in an organized and easily-retrievable manner for your long outdoor activity. The bag needs to be spacious with lots of compartments, well-padded, provision for MOLLE webbing, and hydration bladder.

This article tells you everything you need to know about the best tactical backpacks. You will be surprised at how much you didn’t know.

How to Choose the Best Tactical Backpacks

From the purpose of the bag to the comfort level and carry design, a lot of factors should contribute to your final decision when buying a tactical backpack. Here are a few of them.

Function

The tough construction and ease of use of tactical backpacks are two attributes of their rise in popularity. Whereas tactical backpacks have the same overall look, their design may differ based on their intended purposes. The type of tactical backpack to settle for will be highly influenced by what you’re planning to use it for. Here are a few examples.

Outdoor activities

The main and obvious reason for tactical backpacks is for carrying during long-period outdoor activities of hiking, mountaineering, camping, and military deployments. The bags ought to be large enough to fit in all of your gear and personal items and also feature a bladder compartment for storing water. A rule of hiking to adhere is half a liter of water for every hour on the trail.

Some of these backpacks feature extra MOLLE webbing for additional gear. These bags are waterproof and water-resistant to shrug off rain and water. This category constitutes the best backpack for rucking.

Deployment

Deployment backpacks feature long haulers and, as their name suggests, are used for deployment purposes- whether military deployment or long periods of traveling. The oversized backpacks will fit in all of your clothes, books, gear, gadgets, and anything and everything that you will need.

Everyday carry

An EDC tactical backpack is a smaller version of the Bug-out bag and has space for survival and essential items- items that you’re likely not to leave the house without. An EDC bag will typically contain a tablet or laptop, smartphone, pocket knife, bottle of water, earphones, notebook, flashlight, Leatherman tool, an energy bar, and a calculator (depending on your line of work). 

Baby Gear

Baby gear bags are used for carrying baby necessities like wipes, toys, diapers, spare bottles, and extra clothes in case the baby intends to poop or puke on their current outfits. They come in a rugged design and numerous compartments for storing all the necessities to take care of your baby. Their sizes differ with the amount of time you’ll spend out with the baby.

Bug-out/ Emergency

The Bug-out backpack will help you survive for at least 72 hours as you wait for medical and emergency services to arrive at your destination. Such backpacks play an immensely important role when there are natural calamities, and you are stuck in a specific place without access to food, shelter, or warmth. Three days should provide plenty of time to find and rescue you- more reasons to have the bug-out backpack with you.

The main purpose of this 3-day tactical backpack is to hold all the emergency supplies that you may need as you wait for help. Ensure to always have canned foods, plenty of heavy blankets, first aid kits, and medicinal drugs for a future rainy day.

Carry Design

Just as there are numerous types of tactical backpacks, similarly, the carry styles also differ. The type of carrying style to settle for is dependent on your taste and preference.

Backpack

Backpacks are the most popular and fit a wide range of uses. The advantage of backpacks is that they carry a lot of weight and distribute it strategically in a bid to maintain your balance and stability. Also, backpacks allow your hands to be free for doing other tasks.

Messenger pack

Messenger backpacks have a casual everyday look and are great if you want to remain unnoticed and are refraining from using the regular, military-style backpacks. Messenger packs have a large pocket at their center for holding bulky items, making them great tactical laptop backpacks.

The design of these bags allows them to be worn across the body using a single strap. They are common among bikers.

Sling pack

The sling pack features a central strap fitted diagonally across the chest and is a signature for the young college population. Sling packs have a sturdy design and are flexible enough to shift them from your back to your chest if you want to pick items inside the bag quickly. They make the perfect EDC bags.

Comfort

We have all carried heavy backpacks at some point in our lives, and we don’t need to be reminded of how comfort is of much importance. Before you ‘thumbs up’ a tactical backpack, ensure that you have tested for its levels of comfort. Some of the features that determine the comfort of a backpack are as discussed below.

Airflow

Backpacks come with provision for air channels to allow the circulation of air between your back and the backpack. In this way, your back remains cool and dry, and it becomes comfortable to carry your bag.

Waist strap

Waist straps allow the distribution of the weight around your waist and relieve your shoulders of all the troubles. With this, you can carry your backpack for longer distances and hours.

Sternum strap

Sternum strap serves two purposes: relieves the pressure on your shoulder and increases the backpack’s durability. The sternum strap is ideal for a large tactical backpack or heavy load.

Hydration bladder

Water is life, more so during adventurous trips of hiking and mountaineering. A tactical hiking backpack should come with areas preserved for storing water bottles. When you have spent a lot of time out hunting, hiking, or in military duties, water proves to be very useful, and so does the hydration bladder. 

Here is a video shedding more insights on what to look for when buying tactical backpacks.

Best Tactical Backpacks in 2020- Expert Selection

Red Rock Rover Sling Pack

Red Rock has had one mission since its establishment in 1999- to provide its enthusiastic outdoor customers with quality products at reasonable prices. Their Outdoor Sling backpack doesn’t come one bit short of this promise. This 600D Polyester backpack is designed conveniently with numerous compartments to fit in all your necessities for long-term outdoor use.

The Rover Sling Park features an ambidextrous strap for quick and easy access. In addition, there is a concealed carry sleeve at the back of the pack for comfortably storing a pistol. It has three large storage compartments (main compartment, front pouch, and Concealed Carry Weapons), which should easily fit your binoculars, ammunition, and first aid kit, among other survival essentials. The exterior of the bag has provision for MOLLE webbing.

Inside the main compartment of this bag, there is a slip pocket at the back whose aim is to accommodate tablets, laptops, or smartphones and other valuables without mixing with the other items. Finally, this backpack is available in more than ten color options to choose from.

Pros:

  • Plenty of MOLLE at both front and back sides
  • Quality construction
  • Comfortable to carry

Cons:

  • Shows signs of wear and tear after some time

5.11 Tactical RUSH24 Military Backpack

The Tactical RUSH24 is 5.11’s most popular tactical backpack. It is a high performing backpack ideal for hunting, active duty, recreation, hiking, and EDC. What this piece brings to the table is unmatched durability, water-resistant construction, a hydration pocket, high storage capacity, adjustable straps, and MOLLE webbing. If you find either of these features useful, then this bag might just be what you have been missing for a complete outdoor adventure.

RUSH24 Backpack has enough storage to fit in all your tactical gear, personal belongings, and still leave room for any souvenirs that you may be bringing back. Its dual zipping side-pockets have integrated pull tabs that are glove-friendly. This does not only eliminate struggling when opening the pack but also ensures a longer lifespan for the zippers.

The shoulder and sternum straps of this backpack are adjustable for a perfect and snug fit. One flaw and major setback with this backpack is that it isn’t a waterproof tactical backpack as advertised. The hooks and straps found at the top of the bag make covering it during rainfall quite a hassle.

The design of the RUSH24 Military Backpack makes it ideal for hunting, hiking, EDC, survival, bug-out, or multipurpose use.

Pros:

  • Tough and sturdy construction
  • Good quality zips
  • Adjustable shoulder and sternum straps

Cons:

  • Lacks a quick-access side pocket for storing maps and rain covers
  • Not waterproof

SOG Ninja Tactical Day Pack

Did you know that SOG was named after a special US operation unit that fought in the Vietnam War? Now you do. Something else that you didn’t know is that no backpack is more military than the SOG Ninja Tactical Day pack. The manufacturers of this elite tactical backpack were once military soldiers, and they know everything to do with tactical backpacks.

 What is in store for you with this backpack is a blend of strength, durability, great comfort, and easy organization- basically everything you can want in a tactical backpack. The backpack may lack in anything else but not space. It features a main compartment, section for electronics, and accessory pockets, all of which are well organized and easy to find.

There is enough padding on the shoulder straps of this backpack for you to carry it for long hours without experiencing any aches or pains. Also, it is water-resistant for use in wet and rainy conditions. Its zippers and buckles are highly durable as a show of commitment from the manufacturers. Finally, this backpack is backed with a lifetime warranty, and you can carry it resting assured that your bag is protected against all defects relating to the workmanship.

Pros:

  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • String and sturdy
  • Enough padding on the straps
  • Very spacious

Cons:

  • Lacks hydration port

REEBOW Tactical Sling Bag Pack

The low, affordable price of the REEBOW Tactical Sling Bag Pack will attract you to it more than its brown-tan military look. It scoops our award for the best tactical backpack for the money. The design of this pack signals a long outdoor activity- right from its appearance to performance. If you’re a military officer looking for an efficient bag that will last you through a long military service operation, then this is a bag you should pay more attention to.

The design of this bag includes a large main compartment at the top front, and an electronic device pocket at its side. To seal the deal, a hydration compartment for your bottle or bladder to quench your thirst on very sunny and hot days. There is breathable, comfortable padding at the back and MOLLE straps at both its sides.

Both the shoulder and waist straps of this backpack are adjustable to ensure you have the perfect fit. The waist straps prevent the bag from swaying as you move, making it easy to maneuver with it. Finally, the price attached to the bag is one not to cause any worry.

Pros:

  • Adjustable shoulder and waist straps
  • Spacious and numerous compartments
  • Features a hydration compartment
  • Very affordable pricing

Cons:

  • Weak webbing straps

ProCase Tactical Sling Bag

ProCase Tactical Sling Bag is designed to store all your belongings safe when you’re out hiking, hunting, camping, cycling, and climbing, etc. The sling bag boasts of quality material construction, large capacity, easy organization, supreme protection, and compact design. The small tactical backpack features a high-density waterproof material which prolongs its lifespan. Moreover, the bag’s versatile carrying design makes it a terrific companion for all your long outdoor activities.

There are multiple dividers, pockets, and a MOLLE system, which gives this bag an endless configuration. It has three zippered compartments with room enough to store your mobile, keys, iPad, tablet, chargers, flashlight, gloves, etc. in an organized manner. There is also MOLLE webbing for loading all the tactical gear that you will need.

The construction of the bag incorporates a premium oxford fabric, which is not only durable but also lightweight and water and weather resistant. The seams of the lightweight tactical backpack are double stitched to prevent ripping and tearing, ensuring a long-term user experience. Finally, its heavy-duty double zippers ensure a smooth opening and closing even if you have your gloves on.

Pros:

  • Highly affordable
  • Stylish design
  • Compact design ideal for fishing and hunting

Cons:

  • Its small size makes it unsuited for long trips.

Conclusion

Tactical backpacks have proven more than useful in all outdoor activities, whether hunting, camping, or military operations. The services these bags offer is irreplaceable. They are the difference between a successful outdoor activity and a failed one. Without a tactical backpack, even bringing back a souvenir is impossible.

We fell in love with the 5.11 Tactical RUSH24 Military Backpack more, but all the others are equally great. Nothing could possibly go wrong with the purchase of the products on our list. Which is your best tactical backpack? Let us know.

Possible Titles:

Best Tactical Backpacks for all Your Luggage

Best Tactical Backpack- Military and EDC

Best Tactical Backpacks in 2020- Expert Selection