I know that many guys are shy away from tactical backpacks mostly because they are not as fashionable and aesthetics as other types of backpack. But if you deny it for only that reason, this article will make you to reconsider because its incredible functionality will surely overweigh its design.
However nowadays, to satisfy the need of a fashionable item, many brands have released a lot of nice outlooking tactical backpacks which I am also going to include here – in this article – for you to take a peek.
But before going straightly to my collection, let’s learn something this useful type of backpack as well as which features you should bear in mind to pick the right one. In case, you already know the guidance, skip it and head straight to Part 02.
Things you should keep in mind before purchasing a tactical backpack
Whichever style you intend to go to, a good tactical backpack should ensure to satisfy these 8 elements:
Speaking of material for a tactical backpack, there are two common kinds that I highly recommend you to going to: nylon and polyester. Why? – you may ask.
Well, because these synthetic fibers are both strong to bear heft without tearing or falling apart. I also see some recent models are equipped with rip-stop weaving with lots of tiny diamond shapes to upend its strength.
Aside from its strength, nylon and synthetic fabric are also famous for their thicker and denier texture, which is signified by the letter “D”.
Generally, 600D or 1000D is fine for a tactical backpack to bear a heavy weight of load. Sincerely, don’t go lower than 600D.
This feature is calculated in volume (More detailly, liter). It’s much more due to how much stuff you need to pack. For example, if you are going to join in a 3-day hiking trip, a 30-liter tactical backpack will help you to carry and organize all of them perfectly.
With a day pack, a sling bag or small-sized tactical backpack is fine and you can entirely take advantage of this model as your daily bag for school or work.
Up to now, the biggest backpack I have experienced is a 60-liter model, which can handle pretty well for family stuff for a couple of days outside.
In terms of design, it’s more likely based on your purpose of use – whether you want it to be more function or to blend in to utilize as a daily bag for school, work and so on. Currently, in the market, there are a lot of models coming up with the similar look as a military backpack for soldiers while others are likely to a college bag.
There are three types of straps you should bear in mind: the hip strap, the shoulder straps and the chest strap. Each type takes a different role in how the heft of load effects on your body. for instance, while a shoulder strap helps you feel less painful due to heavy weight of load, a chest and a hip strap plays a role in distributing that heft to other parts of your body, which your shoulder, neck and back will thank you a lot.
These fasteners help to secure its inner content better. Three types of good fasteners you can think of are plastic buckles, zippers and Velcro strap. But for extra waterproof ability, consider choosing the fasteners with covers.
Many people might wonder what Molle is, right?
Actually, this is an acronym borrowed from the US military, featuring a horizontal strap sown in the outer of the backpack. Some people who don’t understand the benefits of this feature might think it’s just for decoration. However, Molle plays a huge roll in letting more stuff attached to the backpack and keep them secure thanks to its webbing or straps.
For those who intend to be on a holiday in an arid condition, this is a must-consider feature due to the designated water holding compartment of your tactical backpacks. They are designed to keep a vinyl pouch or specialized plastic for hauling liquid/water.
They usually have a hole in there where you can attach a drinking tube for easier access.
Many people misunderstand that nylon and polyester is waterproof but in fact, they aren’t. From that point, waterproof is another element you should keep in mind when choosing the best tactical backpack.
It’s actually a lining made out of waterproof material. Your bag should be equipped this feature if it’s going to riskily be wet during your trip. Also, ensure that it should have drainage holes to allow unwanted absorbed water to back out.
Best tactical backpack reviews
Now, talking about the best tactical backpacks for men on the market, I think to mention to some top tactical backpack brands firstly.
In this 10-piece list below, there are some highlights from famous brands such as 5.11, Reebow Gear, CVLIFE, G4Free and SOG. No need to explain much, they are all reliable companies specialized in tactical gear who have earned loyalty of many customers so far for its quality, functionality and even fashion.
Aside from such staples, there are some other new brands but their products are quite impressive with more competitive price to fit those people who are in tight budgets. So, there’s no reason to not have a look.
1. 5.11 RUSH72 Tactical Backpack for Military, Bug Out Bag, Large, Style 58602
Start off this collection (of course) is a perfect tactical backpack from 5.11. Yeah, I have to use the word “perfect” for it because hardly you could find a drawback or weakness from it.
At the beginning, there is an image provided by the manufacturer showing you which capacity is the best suit for your height and demand. There’re a bunch of selections: 10L, 25L, 30L, 40L, 55L and 60L with 7 colorways and unisex design to fit both men and women.
Each type goes with a certain load of stuff. For example, mine is a 55L backpack and it is full featured 72-hour backpack while fits just right to my height.
You don’t have to worry about its durability because the material is 1050D nylon to prevent wears and tears pretty well, not saying that its water resistance is no joke.
Another highlight is its YKK zippers. I’m not mentioning about their top durability here because it’s an apparent fact. What I was really impressive about them is their ability of self-healing. I mean if you accidentally use a-little-bit-too-strong force pulling it to make the zipper breakage, you can totally fix it by yourself and reuse.
With it, you can pack not only a huge load of stuff, but also many kinds of stuff without fears of making them like a hot mess behind your back thanks to the admin organization pockets attached to the model.
Right from the front pocket, the measurement of which is 23″ H x 13.5″ L x 8.5″ D, there are 6 equipped pockets with different sizes to surely accommodate your gear neatly. It’s just the front compartment! There are myriad pockets around, behind and inside the pack.
The more wonderful feature is its shoulder straps. I love their tight seams and strong stitching for optimal durability while the padding is moderately soft and comfortable. There is even a strap to keep them against slipping off your shoulders. Besides, thanks to this small detail, it keeps your backpack as well as your loaded stuff inside stay in place and stable so, even running or jumping, it’s not a burden at all.
Speaking of the elastic strips stitched on its frontside, don’t think that it’s just for decoration. You can attach your sunglasses, hat, helmet, keys or other stuff with hook/strap in these strips to keep your hand free. Try it!
Also, it’s ideal if you plan to go camping, backpacking or hiking with your girlfriend, your wife or your crush, purchasing this as couple items is more than perfect.
2. Military Tactical Backpack Large 3 Day Assault Pack Army Molle Bug Out Bag Backpacks
If you are a professional backpacker, I highly recommend you to spending on a 5.11 tactical backpack for a long-term investment. On the contrary, if you’re just a newcomer with a tight budget for this accessory, let’s look for a more affordable model. For example, Reebow Gear!
I like their products a lot, not for their colorways (because in fact, theirs are less than 5.11’s). Instead, their designs are diverse. In this article, I’m going to recommend you 2 best options in terms of tactical backpack.
First up is this – the traditional design features a squared shape with myriad pockets. It might look small to the eyes, but in fact, compared to the 5.11’s, it’s a bit shorter yet wider and deeper to keep the same, even larger load of stuff. (Dimensions: 13″*20″*11″). And, you can put up 3-day pack in this backpack without a burden.
However, don’t worry that it would be whopping behind you to create a weird look, there are some straps cinched in frontside to keep its slim silhouette as best as possible.
Now, might some people wonder how quality it is, right? In my opinion, though this tactical backpack comes in nearly a half in price than the 5.11’s, which is synonymous to its durability and quality being not such that good. But it’s not such that bad, either!
Made out of water-repellent and high-density fabric, heavy-duty zippers, double stitching, utility-style cord pulls the pack can bear heavy loads, keep them well-organized without deteriorating. There’re also some claims from other people saying that this model can last up to 5 years with less wears and tears.
Even if you usually carry it to camp or hike for several days (include or not include hydration bladder), don’t fret, its padded should strap and back area will save your spine and shoulder. Not saying that the breathable vent mesh material will keep your backside comfortable all the time.
In briefly, it bangs for your buck!
3. Tactical Sling Bag Pack Military Rover Shoulder Sling Backpack Small
Now, if your camping/hiking/backpacking trip doesn’t go long, maybe just a half to a day, consider a smaller model to make your trip smoother. For example, this Reebok Gear military sling pack!
It’s measured only 12 * 9.5 * 6 inches – nearly a half in size compared to two above models – but its construction is like a mini-version of its big brother with three main compartments containing a bunch of smaller pockets. Fitting nicely an 9.7-inch iPad, smart phone, water bottle, wallet, keys, small books/documents and other stuff like gloves, handguns, flashlight and charger.
Feature only a cross strap but it’s wide, moderately thick, padded and adjustable couple with two other smaller straps to eliminate the sway of the back while running, walking or moving
Its material is quite good – 600D polyester – durable, waterproof with smooth feeling touch. Couple with YKK zippers with ability to self-healing. I’m quite sure that even the trickiest individuals will find no remorse about it.
For daily use, for school, work or a-day camping/hiking/trekking, this sling back gives you more than what you bargain for.
4. CVLIFE Outdoor Tactical Backpack Military Rucksacks for Camping Hiking and Trekking 30L
CVLIFE is another brand that I always trust to drop my bucks on for the best tactical backpack. Their designs are really sturdy and comfortable that you can wear a whole day long with heavy stuff on your shoulders without pain.
I think the key features here lie on their shoulder straps which is really thick yet breathable padding plus the mesh material padding in the back area which is called Molle webbing system with super great ventilation to keep your back against pain by sharp or squared thing stored inside like laptop.
Flip to the front, the whole backpack is made out of high-density 600D fabric which is famous for their durability and wear-resistant plus water-resistant coating for more convenience.
Particularly, this military backpack’s capacity is up to 30L, which means you can pack around 3 days inside it without bulk. Moreover, its both outer and inner constructions are really well-organized with a lot of small pockets aside from two major compartments. I believe you can’t complaint anything about this model, at least for its organization.
Speaking of the design, aside from this full-black backpack, there are two others for you to choose from which are the ACU and the CP.
5. G4Free Outdoor Tactical Backpack, Military Sport Pack Daypack Shoulder Backpack for Camping, Hiking, Trekking, Rover Sling Pack Chest Pack
Now, if your trip lasts for a day, which doesn’t require much stuff to carry along, I highly recommend this sling tactical backpack.
First thing first, because its design is much smaller than the full-sized backpack, it’s clearly more lightweight and compact while you can take advantage of this single should strap to vary your style, such as carrying it as a sling bag, a handbag, a pouch, a chest bag, a first aid kit, a tactical versipack and a diaper bag. There’re a lot!
If compared to the CVLIFE military backpack above, its capacity is about 3 times smaller than. But don’t quickly judge a book by its cover! This cool sling bag can fit multiple things and keep them secure thanks to its various pockets and compartments in both inside and outside, many of which are zippered, double zip.
Like the CVLIFE’s, this tactical bag is made from high-quality 600D polyester fabric to bring you the ultimate durability and lightweight. Plus, take a closer look, you will see that its stitching is pretty tight and strong while the zipper is pretty durable and secure.
Don’t worry that it won’t fit your body shape because the bag is equipped with two convenient clips on both sides so that you can switch them between right or left-hand side to fit neatly yours. Moreover, there’s a Velcro strap to keep the straps neatly and conveniently if you want to utilize its as a handbag.
Besides, if you are thinking of the most realistic and meaningful present for someone special that can remind him think about you all the time, gift him this. For whatever purpose of use, it can work pretty awesome, from hiking, camping, walking or simply, school supplies. Consider it!
6. SOG Ninja Tactical Day Pack, 24.2-Liter Storage
I personally so much love the back construction of this SOG design because while other bags just provide a layer of mesh material for better support, this one is added another mesh pocket where you can store something flat and thin there like small changes, map or documents. Really convenient!
Along with that, its shoulder straps are super comfortable without stiffed because the padding inside is reasonable and wise. I appreciate that!
Some other good things almost come from small details like the long zipper pulling. Don’t underestimate this feature because when you’re in a hurry, it helps a lot for quick access. Besides, I also have a habit of pulling and searching for my stuff while I’m carrying it on my shoulder so a long zipper pulling is quite convenient for it.
The sided strap is another thumb-up as well. It helps you to adjust the thickness of the bag to fit nicely to your loads. You can enlarge when there are so many things to carry or tighten it up when your stuff isn’t much to prevent your backpack against being bulk unwantedly. There are also two stretchy sided mesh pockets where you can place a water bottle or stuff like that. this feature is perfect for outdoor activities where the water source isn’t available all the time. You can pack some and use it gradually during the trip.
Either the zippers or the straps, they are made out of high-quality material to ensure lasting for years and perform perfectly.
There’s also a handle strap on its top which you can utilize to release your shoulder. Be aware that this backpack is 100% water repellent to bear a heavy rain. If you’re wondering about its capacity, this tactical bag is measured by 13 x 18 x 3.5 inches featuring 24.2L, which is perfect for 2-day pack without bulk.
Besides, if this is your very first time trying SOG’s products, feel ease in mind because their quality is on point. Or, at least, you’re backed by their lifetime warranty to ensure that if there are unluckily something broken caused by the manufacturing process, just return it for no excuse.
7. Gelindo Military Tactical Backpack, Hydration Backpack, Army Molle Bug-out Bag, Small Rucksack for Hunting, Survival, Camping, Trekking, School, 35L
One of the largest backpacks in this list – the Gelindo Military Backpack – features 35-liter capacity and is measured by 17.7*9.4 inches. I’m quite sure that this is going to be your best companion if you are planning for a 3-day trip or more because of both its capacity and construction.
Not only enable to fit a 14” laptop, there are three main compartments where you can organize and store many other things like clothes, personal stuff, tactical gear, and so on. Aside from such three large storage spaces, there are a lot of other small pockets.
But I really appreciate the waist belt where there are two waist zippered pockets. They can fit nicely a smart phone, a wallet and map, or whatever regular thing that you need them secured and closure but quick access.
Though there’s no water bladder equipped in this model, in turns, you have roomy insulation compartment for packing liquid cool or warm due to personal preference for up to 4 hours. Score! Inside it, you can even pack a lunchbox without a burden.
Another big bonus is its front pouch which is designed with mesh compartment and some tool slots for storing flashlight, stationery or multi-tool. Like the SOG Ninja Bag, this one also has Y belt and side compression belt to easily adjust the pack to fit your demand as best as possible. Besides, there are a lot of Molle mount points in both sides and the front of the model to help you pack some more accessory for the trip.
I told you, this is truly a tactical backpack, a dreaming backpack that any hunters, backpackers, hikers or travelers should have. With it, you don’t have to worry about missing something important at home.
8. SOG Opord Tactical Day Pack, 39.1-Liter Storage
If such the 35-liter Gelindo Backpack above doesn’t fit your load yet, how about this 39.1-liter model? However, don’t be afraid about its dimensions which would be too giant to swallow you because it’s measured by 22 x 12.7 x 7 inches, perfectly fit an average adult’s shape.
Though this model doesn’t satisfy me in aesthetics, it strikes back with perfect functionality with shoulder straps and waist straps to keep your bag stay firm hind of your back. This feature is particularly useful for strong movements like jumping, running or jogging in the woods or in struggling terrains.
Besides, all of these straps are hook-and-loop type to easy unluck when not in use. On the other hand, they stay in place and durable incredibly to serve you for years.
Like many other backpacks in this list, this model comes in a Molle webbing on the front where you can attach many accessories. Particularly, there’s a big ring to easily hook your tactical gear there.
I also love their zippered pockets as well as the compressible stash ones where you can keep more easy-to-lost stuff like coins, keys and so on. The hardware of this bag is really awesome. They come in high-quality material which you can feel clearly when pulling or working on it. they are sure to last very long time.
Or, in bad case, if there’s any mistakes derived from the manufacturing process of it, just return them for a full refund or a new replacement due to your preference without excuses. Each of this product line is backed by a lifetime warranty so, just rest assured!
9. Tactical Backpack Military Outdoor 3-day Assault Pack 60L Survival Rucksack 1000D Army Molle Bug Out Bag Perfect for Hiking Trekking Travelling and Hunting
Though, personally, I think this style of tactical backpack is pretty bulky, especially if you are a small individual, it’s an A plus for the material and storage space. Because firstly, what you have on hands isn’t a 4x litters in capacity backpack, but now, it’s up to 60 litter. It’s speechless, guys!
So, compared to this giant capacity, its dimensions are really reasonable, which is 20” x 16” x 10.5”. particularly, it’s made out of 100% 1000D oxford fabric for extreme durability. Not only it’s difficult to get color-faded from time to time, the backpack nails up its ability to bear harsh weather and even some abuse.
So, it’s a perfect piece for any outdoor activities, especially the survival such as camping, hiking, traveling or hiking. But consider it as a school backpack, hm, I have no idea because it depends on how much load you usually carry daily.
But for 4 or even 5 day pack, it’s sure to work perfectly! Talking firstly about its stitching and seams, take a zoom-in, you can see that they are quite sturdy, strong and durable to bear much heft without falling apart or tearing. And now, the zippers and other hardware, I must say that they are all durable. Even from the sound when you unzip or zip it, you can be sure how well-made they are.
Along with that, the Molle system plays a role in helping you carry some more tactical gear or accessories. And the material, it’s really heavy duty with weather resistant ability and superb durability.
Like most of tactical backpacks in this collection, this one is also covered by a lifetime warranty to ensure you’re happy with your purchase.
10. Fieldline Alpha OPS Daypack
Last up, Fieldline is my final recommendation for the best tactical backpack for men. Why? – might you ask me. Well, because of its versatility. With compact yet large capacity, you can utilize it as a backpack for every purpose of use, like schooling, hiking, camping, traveling, on a holiday and so on. It’s not small as a Sling bag to limit you from carefully considering which should carry and which shouldn’t or be too giant to swallow your whole image.
It fits nicely what you need daily and even pack for a 2-day trip without bulk. Just the major hydration compatible pouch takes about 2 liters of capacity so, you can put in many large stuffs like laptop, iPad or books. But the best thing is it’s additional Velcro strap on both sides to keep its shape neat and fit if you tend to carry just a couple of things for daily use.
No mater how much load you are going to toss in this backpack, its Yoked should strap system will ease stress on your body to decrease as much pain as possible. Besides, these straps are adjustable to fit your body shape pretty well.
Particularly, there’s an avalanche of additional pockets with zippered to ensure to keep your EDCs or tactical gear always closure and secure. Buy it and you won’t regret!
Now, it’s your turn!
I know that to choose the best tactical backpack, there are more must-considered features to keep in mind than going for a normal one because this will be the best workhorse when you’re outside – when it’s not as convenient as when you’re at home.
No matter how long your trip will take, a day or a couple of days, what if there is tear or hole or broken zippered on your backpack? I bet it’s a ton of annoyances afterwards. So, while giving you 10 best pieces out there on the market, I also include a brief yet easy-to-understand guidance so that you can follow and figure out which style is the most suitable on you.
I hope my article is useful or at least, inspire you to finding out the best tactical backpack.