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10 Best Tactical Backpacks of 2021 (Reviewed)

10 Best Tactical Backpacks of 2021 (Reviewed)

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    Leaving the house can quickly turn into a game of mental Tetris. You could be leaving for the office and juggling everything you need for a successful commute or you could be heading out for a weekend-long hike. The last thing you want to worry about when packing everything up is whether or not you’ll be able to fit anything in your bag or how you’re going to carry your sleeping bag. It’s maddening. 

    A good tactical backpack will solve all of those problems. Tactical backpacks take all of the knowledge gathered from out in the field and transfer it directly into your daily life. They’re modular and durable, you’ll have a home for all of your larger items while also securing away the valuable tools that allow you to accomplish more intricate tasks!

    In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:

    Overview
    Direct Action Dragon Egg Mk II Tactical Backpack Coyote Brown 25 Liter Capacity
    Title
    Direct Action Dragon Egg Mk II Tactical Backpack Coyote Brown 25 Liter Capacity
    Price
    Price not available
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    Overview
    Direct Action Dragon Egg Mk II Tactical Backpack Coyote Brown 25 Liter Capacity
    Title
    Direct Action Dragon Egg Mk II Tactical Backpack Coyote Brown 25 Liter Capacity
    Price
    Price not available
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    10 Best Tactical Backpacks - Overview

    Here are the top 5 picks (keep scrolling for more details and picks 6-10).

    Overview
    Direct Action Dragon Egg Mk II Tactical Backpack Coyote Brown 25 Liter Capacity
    REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical Assault Pack Backpack Army Backpacks Black
    5.11 RUSH72 Tactical Backpack, Large, Style 58602, MultiCam
    CVLIFE Military Tactical Backpack Survival Army Rucksack Assault Pack Molle Bag
    5.11 Tactical Military Backpack - RUSH12 - Molle Bag Rucksack Pack, 24 Liter Small, Style 56892, Multicam
    Title
    Direct Action Dragon Egg Mk II Tactical Backpack Coyote Brown 25 Liter Capacity
    REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical Assault Pack Backpack Army Backpacks Black
    5.11 RUSH72 Tactical Backpack, Large, Style 58602, MultiCam
    CVLIFE Military Tactical Backpack Survival Army Rucksack Assault Pack Molle Bag
    5.11 Tactical Military Backpack - RUSH12 - Molle Bag Rucksack Pack, 24 Liter Small, Style 56892, Multicam
    Price
    Price not available
    $31.99
    $279.99
    $39.99
    Price not available
    Rating
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    Overview
    Direct Action Dragon Egg Mk II Tactical Backpack Coyote Brown 25 Liter Capacity
    Title
    Direct Action Dragon Egg Mk II Tactical Backpack Coyote Brown 25 Liter Capacity
    Price
    Price not available
    Rating
    -
    Overview
    REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical Assault Pack Backpack Army Backpacks Black
    Title
    REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical Assault Pack Backpack Army Backpacks Black
    Price
    $31.99
    Rating
    -
    Overview
    5.11 RUSH72 Tactical Backpack, Large, Style 58602, MultiCam
    Title
    5.11 RUSH72 Tactical Backpack, Large, Style 58602, MultiCam
    Price
    $279.99
    Rating
    -
    Overview
    CVLIFE Military Tactical Backpack Survival Army Rucksack Assault Pack Molle Bag
    Title
    CVLIFE Military Tactical Backpack Survival Army Rucksack Assault Pack Molle Bag
    Price
    $39.99
    Rating
    -
    Overview
    5.11 Tactical Military Backpack - RUSH12 - Molle Bag Rucksack Pack, 24 Liter Small, Style 56892, Multicam
    Title
    5.11 Tactical Military Backpack - RUSH12 - Molle Bag Rucksack Pack, 24 Liter Small, Style 56892, Multicam
    Price
    Price not available
    Rating
    -

    1. Direct Action Dragon Egg Tactical Backpack

    Direct Action Dragon Egg Mk II Tactical Backpack Coyote Brown 25 Liter Capacity
    • NEW DESIGN - Dragon Egg Mk II have redesigned side pockets that are equipped with elastic for expansion. They also have the new Direct Action logo

    This tactical backpack is one of the most authentic pieces of tactical gear available for retail. The pack is made from Cordura 500D. This military spec ranger green fabric is the industry-leading material manufacturers reach for when they’re looking to produce a product that’s durable and long-lasting. This is going to be a bag that will hold up much longer than you’d ever expect. The rounded shape of the bag makes it feel much more natural to carry around, and there are little secrets tucked throughout this bag that set it apart from its competitors.

    The latches on the side keep your stuff upright or release to give you a little more wiggle room if you’re packing a whole mess of things in there. There’s a unique daisy chain of webbing along the front to host all of your carabineers, and the drag handle across the top is made from a pair of paracords that you can release in a pinch. This is an amazing back from the depths of its inner pocket to the tips of all of its handles.

    PROS

    • Durable construction
    • Incredibly spacious on the inside
    • Tons of clever features like the paracord drag handle and the external organizer on the front pocket

    CONS

    • The straps aren’t shaped like straps on most other bags, so it may be uncomfortable on your first wear

    2. REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical Assault Pack

    Sale
    REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical Assault Pack Backpack Army Backpacks Black
    • Tactical assualt backpack Capacity: 34L. Size approx.:11"*18"*12" / 28*45.5*30CM (W*H*D), it's small backpack; Military backpack is made of high density fabric-durable and water-resistant.

    This all-black tactical backpack is what tactical gear is all about. It’s sturdy and looks just as tough as it actually is. This backpack will rise to any occasion no matter the situation. It’s just as good for a commute to the office or a trip to the mountains. It’s capable of protecting your laptops and your hiking rations just as well.

    If you’re looking to customize your pack, the MOLLE system here will provide you all of the workspaces you’ll need to tie down anything you could think of. Reebow makes a water bladder that fits onto this pack perfectly, or you could take advantage of the MOLLE and attach a bladder or bottle of your own. This pack is incredibly spacious and versatile. You’ll never find yourself without a proper carrying system if you pick up the Reebow Gear Military Tactical Assault Pack.

    PROS

    • Double stitching throughout this pack makes it sturdy and capable of handling any load you can throw at it
    • Straps have a comfortable ventilated mesh padding, keeping your shoulders cool and your back feeling comfortable 

    CONS

    • The secondary pocket is narrow in relation to the main pocket
    • MOLLE straps aren’t the standard spacing

    3. 5.11 Tactical RUSH72 Military Backpack, Molle Bag Rucksack Pack

    5.11 RUSH72 Tactical Backpack, Large, Style 58602, MultiCam
    • Tactical Backpack RUSH72 features military bag design, built from high strength, water-repellant rucksack made with 1000D nylon; 3342 cubic inch / 55 liter total capacity

    This bag has it all. The robust MOLLE system across the front of the bag will allow you to mix and match any and every additional feature or tool you’d like to bring along with you on a long trip, it’s spacious and there are several compartments on the outside and inside for flexible loading and easy unpacking, the straps are thick and comfortable, and if you’re taking it out on a hike or hunt, the camouflage won’t give you away to any wildlife. The bag is also pretty sturdy. It’s made from a high-strength water-repellant 1000D nylon, and it’s designed from the ground up to be as durable as possible.

    It’s a bag that will last you for a very long time as long as you’re not throwing it into woodchippers and dragging it across the concrete. The straps are adjustable dual density closed-cell foam shoulder straps, and there’s a cinching waist strap along with dual compression straps that will help with stability when you’ve packed this bag all the way to the top of its 3342 cubic inches total capacity.

    PROS

    • Durable YKK zippers
    • Several compartments, make this the perfect bag for any situation

    CONS

    • The bag itself weighs four pounds, so if you’re taking this out cross-country, you’re going to have to account for that weight

    4. CVLIFE Tactical Backpack

    Sale
    CVLIFE Military Tactical Backpack Survival Army Rucksack Assault Pack Molle Bag
    • Tactical backpack is made of water- resistant 600 fabric, water-resistant and durable.

    Most tactical backpacks achieve their modularity with the MOLLE straps across the front of the bag. This CVLIFE Tactical backpack takes a different approach. This backpack still features similar straps, but it also takes the form of three detachable pouches. This bag is amazing for that fact alone. The three detachable pouches mean that you can load this pack up once and mix and match the pouches you bring along to fit the proper scenario. This works well for anybody with a wealth of hobbies and a dearth of carrying capacity. Say you’ve got a day job in the city and a hike on the weekend that you want to capture with your camera.

    You could load up the work materials in the main bag, the hiking provisions in one of the detachable pouches, and your camera supplies in one of the others. After your long week, all you have to do is attach the pouches and you’re ready to duck out into the wilderness. This is a great bag for folks on the go. You don’t have to worry about juggling contents or moving things from one bag to the next, and you get all of the features of other, less flexible tactical bags.

    PROS

    • Detachable modular pouch system is a new take on tactical flexibility 
    • Just as durable and familiar as other tactical bags despite the fresh take
    • Made with a water-resistant fabric

    CONS

    • The modular pouches mean that your traditional capacity is a little more limited

    5. Tactical Military Backpack - RUSH12

    5.11 Tactical Military Backpack - RUSH12 - Molle Bag Rucksack Pack, 24 Liter Small, Style 56892, Multicam
    • Tactical Backpack featuring 16 individual compartments, a roomy main storage area, and a hydration pocket. Equipped with an adjustable height sternum strap, two external compression straps and...

    If you’re trying to keep it simple, this bag is the no-frills straightforward tactical pack you’ve been keeping your eye out for. This tactical pack ditches a lot of the superfluous nonsense of other tactical packs and brings everything back down to earth. You’re going to be getting a sturdy bag with the YKK zippers any backpack worth its salt comes equipped with, and the water-resistant nylon that’s basically mandatory for any tactical backpack, but from there, you’re not getting much else.

    That’s not to say that this bag is underwhelming, though. It’s totally covered in MOLLE straps, and that’s where the simplicity of the bag shines. You can do anything with this bag, knowing that you’re not going to be fussing with a weird shape or missing out on crucial space. If you’re looking for a bag that will hold everything you expect it to while leaving itself open to customization and external mods, then the tactical backpack from Rush12 is going to sate your thirst.

    PROS

    • Simple design makes customizing the bag for your needs easy and straight forward
    • Made with durable water-resistant nylon
    • Glove-friendly pull tabs on the zippers

    CONS

    • Because the bag is so simple, you’ll be missing out on the features other tactical bags offer

    6. Direct Action Messenger Tactical Bag

    Direct Action Messenger Tactical Bag Coyote Brown Mk I 10 Liter Capacity, Ideal for Laptop, ipad or Tablet
    • HIGH END USER - Lightweight and versatile messenger bag designed for advanced Military & Law Enforcement operators

    Usually, when you think of a tactical backpack, your brain probably conjures up a bag with two straps that latch the bag to your back, but if you’re willing to branch out, this tactical messenger bag might fill some of the voids that traditional tactical bags leave behind. The tactical messenger bag from Direct Action has a lot of advantages over your traditional backpack. The most obvious being that it’s much more flexible and portable than a tactical backpack. These backpacks tend to run a little bulky, if you’re lugging around a tactical backpack getting in and out of a vehicle often, you’ll quickly find out how annoying that can be.

    This messenger bag cuts down on the bulk by a great deal, without sacrificing any of the modularity and clever storage capacity you find in tactical bags. This is a great bag for somebody that just wants one bag for everything. You’ll be able to modulate it to your needs just the same as any other tactical bag, but you’ll free up your body and your storage space by relying on this bag instead.

    PROS

    • Fits into everyday life more easily than a bulky tactical backpack
    • Great for camping and light to moderate hikes
    • Surprisingly spacious and durable

    CONS

    • Messenger bags may be more versatile, but they’ll never have the same storage capacity as a traditional backpack

    7. FAMI Outdoor Tactical Bag

    FAMI Outdoor Tactical Bag Backpack, Military Sport Bag Pack Sling Shoulder Backpack Tactical Satchel for Every Day Carry
    • SMALL and LIGHTWEIGHT: 7.87*3.9*11 inches (L*W*H).Weight:8oz.Volume:6L or so. Multiple internal pockets and three external compartments, one front zippered pocket, one main zippered pocket, one padded...

    This bag is another non-traditional choice, but it’s incredibly cost-effective. If you’re looking for an everyday carry that you can easily transition into a bag that will serve you well on a hike. This tactical sling bag is great for flipping back and forth between your regular life and more hardcore endeavors. There are several internal pockets that are perfect for organizing your sundries or your gear. On the outside of this bag, compartments there are three compartments that expand the capacity well beyond what you’d assume from first glance.

    There’s a padded back pocket for accessories. It’s tight and great for organizing, and it won’t jab into your back. This bag is versatile. You can add it to your loadout if you’re looking for some extra space when you’re out in the field. It’ll fit across your back or your chest, and if you’re really looking to go that extra mile, you can strap it around your waist. On all three sides, you’ll find MOLLE straps, and the front has a small section of netting so you can strap in some of your largest gear. 

    PROS

    • Extremely versatile
    • Tons of pockets and external straps for various sizes of equipment

    CONS

    • Pretty small, so this won’t be your main bag if you’re carrying a lot of stuff regularly 

    8. Condor 3 Day Assault Pack

    If you feel like you’re never getting quite enough storage capacity out of your bags, then you might like this pack from Condor. The main pocket of this bag opens up all the way down the length of the bag. It’s easy to load up and retrieve items from, and it’s divided with mesh and zippers, so you can organize the contents of your bag without worrying about the cavernous main pocket swallowing things up. It’s great for large cargo or several stacking containers. There are additional compartments along the outside of the bag so you can keep your smaller valuables in a more manageable space. 

    This pack is advertised as a three-day affair, and if you’ve got the gear for it, then this pack is ready to take it all on. The container space is more than enough to pack away days worth of supplies. You can use this as an emergency pack and stow it away until you need it, or you can stuff everything you need for an extended outdoor stay inside of it. Once you start running out of room on the inside, you can easily strap your equipment to the outside with the robust MOLLE system. Sometimes you need a bag that can keep up with you, and this whopper from Condor is going to go above and beyond for your storage needs.

    PROS

    • Massive internal storage space
    • The large central chamber can hold equipment much larger than other bags are capable of taking on

    CONS

    • If your loadout has a lot of smaller pieces, you’re going to have a hard time packing this bag

    9. Eberlestock Halftrack Pack

    Eberlestock Halftrack Pack
    • The F3M Halftrack is an extremely versatile and popular 3-day pack. It features two levels of varying-sized tuck-pockets lining its interior, MOLLE-style Padlock webbing racks inside and out, and a...

    This bag easily holds up to six liters of water if you split it between two hydration kits. We’re talking about some serious carrying capacity. If you have a need for some deep pockets to make a long trek, or your daily carry involves a lot of moving parts, then this bag can abide. The main compartment of this bag is deep and wide. It’s almost like carrying around a soft instrument case. The main compartment comes equipped with a divider you can flip up or down, and MOLLE-style webbing racks on both the inside and the outside of the bag.

    The compartments that line the perimeter of the bag make it a behemoth. If you were going deep into the woods on a long hunt, you could fit a maddening amount of ammunition inside without taking up any room for your tent, your clothes, and boots, and your portable tree blind. It’s a sight to behold. So, if you’re really serious about your tactical needs, and you need a lot of space, then this is the bag for you, no doubt about it.

    PROS

    • It’s a huge bag, you’re going to be hard-pressed to find something that wouldn’t fit inside of this
    • The compartments on the inside and outside work together to give you more storage space than nearly any other bag on the market

    CONS

    • Big bags mean big bag problems, this bag could become cumbersome, and it’s pretty heavy on its own

    10. G4Free Outdoor Tactical Bag

    G4Free Outdoor Tactical Backpack,Military Sport Pack Shoulder Backpack
    • ★★ SMALL&LIGHTWEIGHT: 7.87*5.51*9.87 inches (L*W*H).Weight: 8oz.Volume: 7L or so. Multiple internal pockets and three external compartments, one front zippered pocket, one main zippered pocket,...

    This tactical sling bag looks like it wouldn’t be able to hold its own against some of the bigger bags out there in the world of tactical backpacks, but you’d be sorely mistaken if you underestimated this one. The G4Free Outdoor tactical bag is made from a  durable and lightweight 600D polyester. This is a fabric that can take a beating for a very long time. The double zip functionality of the bag also lend a lot of stability to the durable production of this bag. It’s padded in all of the right places, so no matter how heavy your load or how long the road ahead you is.

    PROS

    • Great for either daily life or heavy-duty outdoor needs
    • The light design doesn’t undercut its durability

    CONS

    • If you’re carrying a lot, you might have to get pretty creative

    Our Winner

    Overview
    Direct Action Dragon Egg Mk II Tactical Backpack Coyote Brown 25 Liter Capacity
    Title
    Direct Action Dragon Egg Mk II Tactical Backpack Coyote Brown 25 Liter Capacity
    Price
    Price not available
    Rating
    -
    Overview
    Direct Action Dragon Egg Mk II Tactical Backpack Coyote Brown 25 Liter Capacity
    Title
    Direct Action Dragon Egg Mk II Tactical Backpack Coyote Brown 25 Liter Capacity
    Price
    Price not available
    Rating
    -

    The Direct Action Dragon Egg is an incredible piece of equipment. It’s sturdy and probably the most useful tactical backpack we’ve seen in a while. This is a bag that wants to be taken everywhere you go, and it’ll go there without complaint. It’s spacious and flexible enough to hold everything you can imagine, and it’s guaranteed to hold up under the pressure. The Cordura 500D is something that shines in the long run, and you’ll be impressed with how well this bag has served you over the years.

    The comfortable rounded shape of the bag and the thick cushioned straps distribute weight across your body evenly and without demanding more for your endurance than the weight of the equipment you’ve packed away. The side latches on the bag and the webbing on the front make for excellent spots to attach anything that might be better served by easy access or external carrying. The drag handle is an excellent touch. You’re probably never without your paracord, but if you ended up outside without it and really needed it in a pinch, it’s great to know that you’re never out of luck as long as you’ve brought this bag along for the ride.

    Bonus Tip: This video tutorial will show you how to quickly and easily take advantage of the MOLLE on your bag.

    Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.

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