Reviews

Best Military Backpacks: Even Civilians Love These Bags

These top military backpacks are great for camping, hunting, hiking, and more

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  • Product Network

    20 Products

  • Clock

    13 Hours

  • Reviews

    15 Reviews

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PUBLISHED ON October 19, 2019

Military and tactical backpacks have become very trendy in recent years. Civilians and soldiers alike are drawn to these accessories because of their versatility and packability. However, military backpacks vary widely in quality and design. How do you know you're getting the best backpack for your money? Our buying guide will help you make an informed purchasing decision.

  • Best Overall
    5.11 Tactical RUSH72 Military Backpack
    Summary
    Summary

    This MOLLE backpack comes in a variety of colors, is water repellent, and is made with 1000D nylon. It has a capacity of 55 liters. It includes dual-zippered front and main compartments, as well as glove-friendly grip pulls.

    Pros
    Pros

    The backpack has a hydration pocket, left and right side pockets, and adjustable shoulder straps. The cinch waist strap comfortably secures it to your body. It can be used as a bug-out bag or as a hunting, survival, or tactical sling bag.

    Cons
    Cons

    It may fatigue your shoulders if you carry more than 20 pounds in the backpack. The main zipper may also fail over a short period of use, and the bottom may wear out prematurely.

  • Best Value
    Orca Tactical Backpack
    Summary
    Summary
    This small and lightweight backpack has a 34-liter capacity and is made of 600D polyester. It's reinforced with double stitching at all stress points and is water-resistant. The YKK zippers and nylon pulls are rust-resistant.


    Pros
    Pros
    The padded shoulder straps and back area are mesh and designed for comfort and ventilation. Contents are secured with side compression straps, and it holds up to a 1.5-liter hydration water bladder. It comes with a 100 percent money-back guarantee.


    Cons
    Cons
    The backpack is a little small, and it may start to separate at the seams after a short period of use. The main pouch’s stitching can easily fray and come apart. It's also not waterproof.


  • Honorable Mention
    CONDOR 3 Day Assault Pack
    Summary
    Summary
    This assault pack can hold 50 liters and is hydration pack-compatible. It has seven pockets, shoulder straps with D-rings to attach equipment, a sternum strap, and a removable waist belt.


    Pros
    Pros
    The backpack comes with a foam back panel for comfort and to allow airflow. The straps and frame allow you to distribute the weight evenly and they have a lot of padding, so it won’t hurt to wear it for long periods of time.


    Cons
    Cons
    The material that makes up the backpack isn't high-quality. The stitching may start to fall apart, and the zippers may fail or pop off after a limited amount of use.


Why Trust Us


All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Tips

  • Even if you're not a member of the military, you can find some benefits to using a military backpack. They tend to be more durable and last longer than traditional backpacks. However, they may also be a little more expensive.
  • Military or tactical backpacks are usually weather-resistant, comfortable, and practical. That makes them ideal for many types of people and a great gift for those who favor military-style fashion.
  • If you're planning a long hiking trip, choose a backpack with a large volume capacity to hold more gear. At the very least, you want one that can hold between 30 and 60 liters.
  • Use the large compartment for bulky items and the extra pockets for small objects that you can quickly access. Make sure the pack has enough pockets to accommodate all the types of items you plan on carrying.

FAQs

Q: Is a military backpack better than a standard hiking backpack?

A: Military backpacks tend to be more versatile, durable, and packable than standard hiking backpacks. They contain numerous compartments, and you can attach multiple items to the outside of them with straps or clips.

Q: What is a rucksack?

A: A rucksack and a backpack are essentially the same things. However, a rucksack may only have one large compartment, while a backpack may have several pockets.

Q: What is a MOLLE backpack?

A: This type of backpack features a webbing system that allows the user to attach a variety of accessories to it. The majority of tactical backpacks incorporate a MOLLE system in some way.

Final Thoughts

Our pick for the best military backpack is the 5.11 Tactical RUSH72 Military Backpack. It has a large volume, comes in several different colors, and can be used for a variety of applications.

For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Orca Tactical Backpack.