You don’t think about it at the time, but we tend to carry much, much more than anyone would expect. Obviously, our pockets are only so big and there isn’t a whole lot of real estate to work with – this is especially true if you’re a lady and you have tiny pockets (side note: that still doesn’t make sense to me).
Now, I grew up on the various hiking trails in South Africa and I’ve carried many different types of backpacks over the years.
When I first got into the EDC hobby back in late 2018/2019, I went from a medium-sized daypack to a messenger bag.
This made carrying my gear much easier as there were fewer compartments to work with and I knew where everything was.
Unfortunately, I very quickly found out why so many of my female friends complain about not being able to find anything.
I tend to put a lot more into my bag when I’m travelling, and this caused a significant amount of trouble, so I started looking around for an alternative.
January 2020 rolls around and I impulse-buy a tactical sling bag at a local Chinese shop. It’s been my EDC bag ever since.
So, what makes a tactical bag/backpack good? Well, apart from the generally durable construction allowing them to take a beating and the obvious cool-factor of a military-style bag over your shoulder, tactical bags make organizing and streamlining your EDC that much easier.
They also give you quick access to whatever you need when you need it. Not only is it great to have easy access to your gear, if you’re an outdoorsman of any kind, it’s necessary.
The last thing you want in an emergency is to be fumbling around looking for your first-aid kit if/when you need it.
With that said, there are many different tactical backpacks out there, but which ones are the best? Well, that’s what we’re going to find out, strap in ladies and gents! This is the Best Tactical Backpacks!
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1. Best Bugout Bag: 5.11 Tactical Rush 72
The Rush 72 is the largest member of 5.11’s Rush family and allows you to store enough supplies to last you a good 72 hours.
There is also plenty of MOLLE webbing to allow you to extend the storage space in the pack.
This pack is highly adaptable to working in a variety of environments and while it can get a bit bulky at times, it’s a great pack to have.
You can get it here.
2. Best for EDC: SOG TOC 20
A tactical pack without the typical tactical look, and is great for day hiking and general EDC. It has a pouch for a small laptop and the outer shell protects anything you put into the pack.
The simplicity of its design belies its usefulness, and it has a stylish appearance.
You can get this one here.
3. Reebow Gear Tactical Assault Backpack
Designed for a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, and hunting, the Reebow Gear Tactical Assault Backpack is constructed of durable nylon with double stitching on the linings to add some extra strength to it.
The many compartments provide plenty of storage space and the MOLLE webbing allows additional pouches to be attached – expanding that space quite a bit.
It’s a well-made, versatile pack that isn’t horribly expensive and will last you a while.
If you’d like to pick this one up for yourself, you can do so here.
4. 5.11 Tactical Rush 12
Constructed of durable 1050D nylon with sturdy zippers, the 5.11 Tactical Rush 12 Backpack has ample storage space designed to help you organize your gear for any outdoorsy adventures in which you partake.
The adjustable sternum strap and contoured shoulder strap make this one a very comfortable pack to carry. It’s lightweight, multifunctional, and water resistant
You can get this one here.
5. Tacticon 24BattlePack
This one is amazingly versatile. It comes with a 24-liter storage capacity which can be expanded to a whopping 40 liters – if that’s not useful I don’t know what is!
Organizing your gear is super easy thanks to the various compartments on this thing and its durable construction means it can take a heck of a beating.
With that said, the hip support is a bit short meaning guys with bigger builds may have an issue and there aren’t any side pockets, if these things don’t bother you then it’s a great pick!
Get this one here.
6. CVLIFE Outdoor 60L Tactical Backpack
I know someone’s probably thinking ‘what would you need a 60-liter pack for?’ and the answer is…well pretty much anything that involves prolonged outdoor use.
If you’re going out backpacking for a week, or two or three weeks then you’re going to need space for all your supplies.
Your food, clothes, water, and any other gear you take with you has to go somewhere.
This one has a large main compartment and a smaller, detachable bag that can be used as a fanny pack which is always useful.
The durable construction and comfortable straps make carrying this pack a joy and the rain-diverting feature on the straps helps to keep the water off your kit. You can pick this one up here.
7. SOG Ninja Tactical Day Pack
The SOG Ninja Tactical Day Pack…what a mouthful! This one has a maximum storage space of 24.2 liters and a MOLLE webbing system which can be used to attach a variety of accessories to the bag.
The adjustable shoulder straps and sternum slider make the ninja day pack an easy and comfortable bag to carry. The punched holes in the pack help to keep the bag free of water.
You can get this one here.
8. G4Free Tactical Sling Bag
This lightweight sling bag is small and versatile with a few compartments and MOLLE webbing which allows you to add accessory pouches.
Considering its small size, you’ll have to be a little pickier about what you carry but that can be great for specific occupations (i.e. medical personnel/first responders) and need to have easy access to your equipment.
If the small size doesn’t bother you and you’d like to grab this one for yourself, you can get it here.
9. Eyourlife Military Tactical Backpack
Designed with many different storage options and MOLLE webbing to allow for the attachment of accessories to extend the storage space.
Now, it’s important to note that while it’s a very compact and lightweight pack, the compartments extend outwards which can make balance a bit of an issue occasionally.
If you want to get this one for yourself, you can get it here.
10. Condor 3 Day Assault Pack
This one is specifically built to handle emergency situations and as such is as tough as nails.
The ability to carry extra clothes, blankets, medicines, flashlights, and other supplies is always a plus when it comes to emergency situations – either for your own survival or to help others.
It’s a very comfortable pack to carry but it may be too big for some people.
With that said, it’s very durable and the MOLLE webbing and ample storage space may be a fair trade-off.
If you want or need something like this then you can get this one here.
11. 5.11 Tactical Rush 24
The 5.11 Tactical company’s Rush series is very popular, and you generally can’t go wrong with them.
With that said, the 72 might be a bit too big and the 12 may be too small – this is where the Rush 24 comes in.
It has a more medium size which makes it a bit more practical for everyday use in some instances.
You have all the same features as its two brothers: sturdy nylon construction, durable, lockable zippers, drainage holes, and MOLLE webbing, and so on.
This is a well-made, reliable pack to have and you can get one for yourself here.
12. Seibertron Falcon
The Seibertron Falcon is a good budget option for people who can’t afford to spend several hundred dollars on a pack. The generous storage space can be extended with accessory pouches.
With that said, there are a few problems that have been reported.
For instance, while the pack is largely waterproof, not all the zippers may not be, you’re also going to be carrying an awful lot of weight when the pack is fully loaded, and there are some instances of the stitching coming apart.
You can get this one here.
13. Direct Action Dragon Egg MKII
Constructed from laminated Cordura, the Dragon Egg MKII is lightweight and has a 25-liter storage capacity which can be expanded thanks to the MOLLE webbing on the outside.
It’s compatible with a hydration reservoir and has both padded shoulder straps and a thick hip strap which can be removed if you prefer.
Now, it’s not the most durable pack on this list and the price is therefore a bit higher than most; however, if all you need is a lightweight, easy-to-use pack, then this may be for you. You can get one for yourself here.
14. Direct Action Ghost
The Ghost is larger than the Dragon Egg MKII, built for heavier loads. It has a more traditional drag handle than that of the Dragon Egg and a thicker, detachable hip belt.
Although considering that you’re going to be carrying a lot more with the Ghost than with the Dragon Egg, you may prefer to keep that belt attached to the pack. You can get this one here.
15. Direct Action Dust
The smallest pack produced by Direct Action, the Dust has a 20-liter storage space and is good for the gear of your everyday routine.
You get the same durable Cordura construction and padded shoulder straps with adjustable sternum and waist straps. You also get the MOLLE webbing of the other Direct Action packs.
If you want to grab this one, you’ll find it here.
16. Mystery Ranch 2 Day Assault Backpack
With an internal storage capacity of 27-liters, and MOLLE webbing on the front and sides, this pack from Mystery Ranch is great for both outdoor adventurers and general everyday use.
A padded laptop sleeve and easily accessible zippered compartments make this one perfect for college students and corporate execs alike and if you’re looking for a nice day pack for hiking…well, you can’t go wrong.
Get this one here, if you’re interested.
17. Maxpedition Riftcore Backpack
Maxpedition is a company that’s well-known in the EDC community for its quality pouches and organizers. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that their bags are well-liked.
This one has padded yoke straps which keep the weight evenly distributed across your back and make the bag a comfortable piece to carry.
The pack has a Teflon finish which gives it good water resistance and the MOLLE system – like always – makes attaching pouches (and expanding storage space) a breeze.
If you want a high-quality bag, this is the way to go. You can get this one here.
18. Maxpedition Falcon-II
The Falcon-II is very similar to the Riftcore. It has the same MOLLE webbing and finished with Teflon and three layers of Polyurethane.
The sternum strap and compression shoulder straps are very comfortable, and the waist strap helps to keep your gear from moving around.
You can get this one here.
19. Maxpedition Condor-2
The Maxpedition Condor-2 is a lightweight pack with ample storage space. This storage space can be extended thanks to the profusion of D-rings and MOLLE webbing.
It also has a pouch for your firearm if you prefer to carry your firearm concealed.
You can get this one here.
20. 5.11 All Hazard Prime
5.11 returns to the list with the All Hazard Prime, a 21-liter pack constructed of heavy nylon with ample storage space and MOLLE webbing. It’s lightweight but larger than the Rush 72 and built for harsh environments.
The 180-degree opening allows for easy access to your kit when you need it without having to fumble around looking for things.
Grab this one here if you get the chance.
21. Eberlestock F3M Halftrack
This is one of those bags that you take with you when you’re going on a long-haul backpacking trip.
The 35-liter storage space has storage space for two 3-liter water bladders on the exterior and two 2-liter bladders on the interior – 10L of water in total.
Of course, that’s going to take up space so you’re going to have to decide how you want everything put together.
The polycarbonate frame provides stability and security while the padded straps and hip and waist support make this a comfortable pack to carry. Grab it here.
22. Eberlestock Skycrane 2 J79
The Skycrane from Eberlestock is definitely pricey, but it’s incredible versatility and lightweight design make it worthwhile.
It has tons of MOLLE webbing for your various pouches, bits, and bobs, and has a multitude of storage compartments to work with.
Additionally, you get two extra bags to go with it. If you’re in the military or you need a good bugout bag – or both – this is the bag for you.
You can get this one here.
23. Condor Venture
We talked about Condor’s 3 Day Assault pack earlier on this list and, as great as that pack is, it may be a bit too big for some people. This is where the Venture comes in.
At around half the size of the Assault pack, this one is incredibly versatile.
The five interior compartments provide ample storage space for everything you may need on a daily basis – including a small laptop.
Additionally, the MOLLE webbing on the front and sides make adding pouches and other accessories super easy.
You can get this one here if you’re interested.
24. Oakley Kitchen Sink
You probably know Oakley for their sunglasses, but they’ve been making bags for a while.
This one is made of a blend of nylon and polyester and has loads of space with several compartments specifically designed for things like headphones/earmuffs, sunglasses, etc.
It has an adjustable back pad and shoulder straps to make it easy to carry without damaging your back (always a plus).
It’s also incredibly lightweight and durable with several exterior metal attachment points which are very reliable.
Pick this one up for yourself here.
25. Camelbak BFM
Camelbak backpacks are designed to work around a water bladder/hydration system. It’s constructed of sturdy Corduroy, and is very lightweight.
There’s some MOLLE webbing on the front of the pack to make adding extra storage space and accessories. You can get this one here.
26. Camelbak HAWG
The Camelbak HAWG is a smaller, and more streamlined version – sort of – of the BFM. It has all the same features: MOLLE webbing, and the same sturdy Corduroy construction.
Additionally, it also uses the same hydration system as some BFM models. This one can be purchased here.
27. Mystery Ranch Rip Ruck
This one is stylish and simplistic in appearance but it’s amazingly lightweight and versatile.
It looks more like your traditional hiking pack than most of the other packs we’ve discussed, and so there’s no MOLLE webbing on this one.
That said, the company has added a quick-rip function; you can partially open one of the zippers and yank on the flap – ripping it back to get easy access to your kit.
The construction makes this one very durable, and able to take a beating while staying light (1.5 Ibs.) but it’s definitely not built for military use in combat. You can get this one here.
28. Monoki Military Rover
If you prefer a sling bag over a backpack, then this one might be what you’re looking for.
Durable nylon construction with a good storage capacity, the military rover has several compartments with which to organize your gear and is MOLLE compatible.
It does come with a few other odds and ends including paracord carabiners, but it should be noted that these are made of plastic and aren’t very strong.
If that’s not a problem and you’d like to grab this one, get it for an unbeatable price here.
29. Samurai Tactical Wakizashi
Durable, lightweight, and water-resistant, the Wakizashi from Samurai Tactical has a 24-liter storage capacity and is compatible with a hydration bladder of 2 or 3 liters. The compartments on the pack make organization a breeze.
Oh, and if you’re curious; a wakizashi is one of several shorter of the two swords carried by samurai back in the day.
You can grab this one here.
Plenty of Options to Choose From
These are just a handful of options that are available; there are so many tactical backpacks out there that it’s impossible to count them all. This allows you to, for lack of a better description, pick your poison.
As always, thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed the article and that you find it useful. Take care and happy shopping!
Greg spent much of his younger years camping and hiking. Greg grew up on a small farm with lots of livestock such as cows, horses and chickens. He’s good with a bow and arrow, is a huge knife enthusiast, and has a blackbelt in Taekwondo.