Serious adventures call for a serious backpack. Whether you’re out hiking, camping or simply trekking through the city, you’ll want to take comfort in knowing you have the best tactical backpack on hand (and on your back) to keep your things safe.
Tactical backpacks are exactly what they sound like. They’re well thought out backpacks full of useful tools. You can also optimize them for your adventures through your own skills and planning.
When choosing the best tactical backpack for you, there are a few key features to look for in order to ensure you have everything you need. Here are the main ones:
- Material – The material from which your tactical backpack is made is very important. Of course, you want it to last for years, stay strong while using it and not break on your adventures, no matter the weather. Always look for a water-resistant material, if not waterproof material, and one that is of heavy density to ensure good durability.
- Bladder – Not many tactical backpacks will include the bladder itself. However, many will have a compartment that is designed for you to insert your own. There will also often be a pipe portal which will allow a seamless transition of your liquid from pouch to mouth.
- Pockets – A good backpack is an organized backpack, and you need to know exactly where to find your items when on the move. Having a good selection of pockets and compartments across your backpack will allow for good storage and distribution of weight, too.
- Zippers – There’s nothing more annoying than a broken zipper. Always opt for a heavy-duty zipper that will withstand years of back and forth, up and down and probably some pulling and tugging, too.
- Cords – Not all tactical backpacks have bungee cords incorporated into their designs, but the ones that do are super handy. You can use these cords for extra attachments or added safety for what’s inside. You can also sometimes detach them for use off of the bag itself.
- Velcro – Personalize your tactical backpack with some Velcro badges. Perhaps you’ll have them awarded to you from your troop or you just fancy decorating. Either way, it’s good to know they are available if you want them.
- Color – Tactical backpacks are usually covered in earthy colors and patterns for camouflaging purposes. Although you might want to use yours for hiding in the woods, these bags are designed to be used in extreme situations and so having a color palette that will allow them to blend into their surroundings is paramount.
- MOLLE – You’ll often see the world MOLLE used when looking for a new tactical backpack. This stands for Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment and represents the elastic straps used on the exterior of bags for extra storage and attachment opportunities.
We’ve done the leg work and sorted through the 11 best tactical backpacks for thrill seekers. Take a look at our picks below to find the best tactical backpack for you.
1. 24BattlePack Tactical Backpack
This backpack from 24BattlePack is one of the top tactical backpacks on Amazon. It’s also created by a veteran who stands by his product and says it would have been the best tactical backpack for him during his soldier days. All aspects of this backpack are tactically designed to withstand intense environments and rigorous use. The stitching has been reinforced, and the zippers are as industrial as they come. Whether you’re venturing off on a one day hike or camping in the wilderness for the weekend, this backpack can adapt to suit your every outdoor need.
2. G4Free Tactical Backpack
For a solid everyday backpack that’s comfortable to wear, has plenty of storage and doesn’t require a hefty budget, the G4Free Tactical Backpack is the best choice. It’s made with high-density polyester fabric, has a single-strap design and is adjustable to ensure a secure fit. This backpack is available in six colors, so there’s no doubt that there’s a shade to suit your style.
3. Hannibal Tactical Backpack
For a full force tactical backpack that will have you looking the part no matter how big or small the trip, here we have the Hannibal Tactical Backpack. This backpack has a large capacity of 36 liters and is available in black, coyote, woodland and olive. It also has straps on the bottom which is ideal for attaching a tent or camping mat. The camouflage design is an instant step into the world of adventure, and, just in case you have any moments lacking in motivation, there’s a ‘No Pain No Gain’ badge attached to remind you to keep moving, even if your feet hurt!
4. Reebow Tactical Backpack
BEST MOLLE DESIGN
Not only is this backpack extra durable and ready for a heavy load, it’s also incredibly comfy and looks great. It features a mesh padded back and has both front and side load compression systems which means you’re able to pack in more with less effort. The high-quality fabric from which it’s made is waterproof, and the full exterior is covered in MOLLE webbing. So whenever you need to go and whatever you need to carry, this tactical backpack will be with you every step of the journey.
5. Gowara Tactical Backpack
BEST ONE SHOULDER
For a super-fast slip-on, slip-off backpack, look no further than the Gowara Tactical Backpack. The single-strap design means you can have it exactly where you need it in the blink of an eye. The solo shoulder strap has a wide design for ultimate comfort. It’s also adjustable to ensure it fits your body, and smaller straps are attached. You can put the latter in place to avoid any unwanted side to side motion. The zippers and utility cords are all heavy duty and ready for any action-packed situation you find yourself in.
6. AW Tactical Army Rucksack
BEST EXTRA LARGE
This rough ‘n’ tumble rucksack is one for the action men amongst us. It features everything you need to keep your items safe and secure on the go, whether you’re walking, running or army crawling. There are three smart detachable pouches and an extra-large capacity of 55L. It’s made with finely knitted, waterproof Oxford fabric, so it is a great choice for overnight treks. The smart, angular design also helps with weight displacement to avoid any discomfort or backache.
7. ARMY CAMOUSA Tactical Backpack
Go big without any need to go home with the ARM CAMOUSA Tactical Backpack. This back buddy can be a small 40-liter pack when the load is light, or it can expand to a larger 64-liter evolution just by unzipping the fold of extra material. This tactical backpack is available in six color variations and has a side net for holding your water bottle. Remember, hydration is key to a successful adventure.
8. SOG Ninja Tactical Backpack
BEST FOR PERSONALIZATION
We all start somewhere, and if you’re starting out on your adventures and getting used to general backpack wearing, then the SOG Ninja is the ideal entry pack for you. Its size is well suited for everyday use, and the polyester blended material from which it’s made will ensure a long life of days out together. Both of the shoulder straps are adjustable, and there’s also a central sternum strap for added adjustment. The many Velcro patches on the backpack’s exterior can help you add your own touch in order to make this your very own, personalized pack.
9. Paratus Operator’s Tactical Backpack
BEST FOR HIKING
Featuring a three-in-one design, this extra versatile backpack includes a rapid deployment pack and two detachable MOLLE packs. It has padded shoulders and waist straps to help provide extra comfort, while the multiple access points make it easier to reach in and grab your items. It also has a double-stitched PVC nylon build, so it is sure to stand the test of time. We love the various configurations available with this pack.
10. Kelty Redwing 50 Backpack
BEST FOR CAMPING
The intuitive, U-shape zipper on the Kelty Redwing 50 Backpack makes it easy to reach in for your items when needed. There’s also a smart, top pocket that’s great for storing keys, glasses and other essentials which you know you’ll always on hand. For further storage and organization, there’s also a front and side poster. Plus, the light-beam suspension build of the backpack helps disperse the weight to your hips, making it easier to hike for longer.
11. 5.11 Tactical Backpack
Holy MOLLE, what a tactical backpack this is. The 5.11 Tactical Backpack is a 24 liter, durable dream when it comes to hiking, camping or general adventuring. It’s got everything you need from a tactical backpack and more. Throughout the bag, there are 16 compartments of various sizes, and the exterior is covered in MOLLE. The dense material is water-resistant, and the zippers are all heavy duty and self-repairing. You’ll also notice a centerline down the middle of the back, which is a signature design of 5.11 as a brand. No doubt other people will notice this, too, and you’ll be the envy of the expedition.