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There are many types, styles, applications, and other adaptations of the classic bag design of a typical backpack, but when it comes to those which have surpassed all the rest in every aspect from form to function only the tactical backpack models have what it takes. The features that these magnificent pieces of luggage equipment incorporate nowadays are nothing short of jaw-dropping and stunning.
This is especially true for those who may not have ever seen a backpack from this niche section of the market, but after seeing the tactical backpacks listed just ahead and getting a peek inside to see what features they each can boast about containing, we are sure that many will never look at the average backpack the same ever again. Instead, the bar will have raised within your perspective up to such a high level that nothing short of a true design altering innovation will ever appeal to any of us tactical backpack carriers from this point forward.
Now, for those of us who already know about this line of products, there have been some intense upgrades to the features within the newest line ups of tactical backpacks. These all come from a variety of reputable sources. This means you need to stick around and check out what the newest options now contain for fresh features. Many of which you probably have not heard about or seen yet, even if you follow all the most current industry trends. That is because there have been some recent breakout trendsetters who are trailblazing new pathways with the designs and manufacturing techniques that are changing the way we look at the versatile tactical backpack bag industry.
I remember my very first tactical backpack. It was the backpack I chose for my bookbag when I entered junior high school because I got to go shopping for my new bookbag and picked it out all on my own—with a supervising respected head of my family watching over my decision. They thought I should look at the regular stores for my school book bag, but I had other plans in mind. Immediately, I had this person drive me straight to the biggest military surplus store in the area where we lived. It was there that I first laid eyes on an inanimate object that I have grown to love over the last couple of decades we have had together.
Yes, I still have that old tactical backpack that I picked out to carry to school every day for the next 6 years of primary school, 2 years of college, and decades of bouncing from job to job in the construction industry beyond that. It has held up through countless repairs and even some slight modifications over all this time, but still holds weight, organizes whatever I am carrying for a particular day, and sits comfortably over my shoulders as I take on the world. Together we have seen so much of life that I could never dream of parting ways with this bag, even when it gets to be not as viable of an option for my daily bag anymore.
Along the way, I have had many other tactical backpacks, bug out bags, general book-bag backpacks, daypacks, and even weekend warrior bags too, but through all those that have come and gone that first model I picked out as a very young man has outshined every one of them. That is why I have made it a point to never lose it or let it get thrown out. I hold and use it regularly still, though it now has rough worn corners that may let a pen slip out if I were to carry one in those sections of the bag.
The places that bag has taken me, the memories it conjures up, and all the life it has seen makes it more valuable to me than some fancy designer brand backpack today. That was until recently when I took my nephew shopping for a tactical backpack of his own. It was then that I became informed about the additional aspects that the designers have included in their newest models. Now, I am just stuck deciding which of three different models—two of which I will soon introduce to you—of current tactical backpacks that I am going to choose for my refreshing contemporary upgrade. I will still never get rid of the original, but with the new options, features, and more functional models that they have nowadays I finally figured the time has come to retire the old reliable and let him hang up on a closet shelf and gather dust from now on.
Best Tactical Backpacks Reviewed
Best Extra Large Sized Bag
What is a tactical backpack bag?
A tactical backpack bag is a particular subset of models of packs that contain some specific characteristics which set them apart from your average school kids’ bookbag. For starters, tactical backpacks are just that, they design them with advanced tactics in mind. Those tactics sometimes get molded around urban combat situations, forest hunting expeditions, or other scenarios where taking the tactical approach to preparing, organizing, and hauling your necessary gear to tackle the situation is a major factor that dictates what aspects become necessary and which features cannot get discarded.
For example, every tactical backpack you will ever come across has a bare minimum of three 1-inch webbing straps lined up closely together somewhere on them. This is because these are the standard government issue attachment for all kinds of tactical accessories known as Molle compatible packs and gear. That is just one example, but tactical backpacks include an array of features. While they often serve the same functions, the forms of the different brands and models come in various sizes, shapes, and often with specifically tailored unique traits designed to meet a certain specific set of circumstances perfectly.
Every manufacturer wants to be the next one to come up with a feature that makes their tactical backpack have some major advantage over the gear that people in opposition to those who carry that brand’s bag into the battlefield, or makes it easier for a dedicated worker to operate easier when they go into the fieldwork of a potentially hazardous or dangerous job, or in a variety of other scenarios. While the applications differ wildly, the basic structure, layouts, and standard features of tactical backpacks are easy to spot once you understand what you are looking at.
Types of Tactical Backpack
There are a couple of basic “types” of tactical backpacks, but in reality, they are all the same type. It is just that some share similar unique characteristics from the general lineup of other packs, such as single strap messenger bag types, roll-up-top models, or even watertight PVC tactical packs. In a general sense, they are all the same genre of backpacks, being the tactical versions, but there are certain models from reputable manufacturers of outdoors, survival, or military/police gear that share some unifying characteristics. Then, they can classify together into the same category according to that feature and target marketed to a specific subset of people as their best options.
Features to Look for in a Tactical Backpack
Some basic features you will find in just about every tactical backpack include aspects like an interior hydration bladder pocket with those openings placed strategically around the bags exterior, Molle webbing strap attachment points, D-rings for attaching carabiners or other items, compression straps for cinching the pack down to keep things from moving around as the wearer maneuvers through rough terrain or over obstacles, and a few other classic design elements that are all the hallmarks of a tactical backpack.
The features you should keep your eye out for would completely depend on how you intend to use your tactical backpack. Are you creating a bug out bag? Or are you looking to get your next weekend hunting trip pack put together? Each intended use will make some particular features more important than others.
For example, if you are creating a bug out bag with the tactical backpack you are looking to get for yourself, then you would want to look for features like the organization types a bag contains. This is because you will pack it full of many types of gear or even some random items too. So, you will then want to know exactly where every single item you packed is within your tactical backpack to access them on the go easily when the time comes for you to use this backpack as your emergency bug out bag.
The best way to approach figuring out which features you should look for first and foremost is to consider exactly how you plan on using your tactical backpack and then working backward from there. Think about what you will carry most often. Are the items that you will use when operating out of your tactical backpack big or small, or are they light or heavy? Answering this simple question is the first step towards determining the size, number, and types of pockets/pouches you will want to be looking for.
Then, think about the climate you will face most of the time while you are out utilizing your tactical backpack. If it is going to be in a scorching desert, then you may want a lighter weight material and aerated back cushions to allow you to stay cool while carrying your pack. If you are heading out to bag that buck in the dead of winter, then you will want a waterproof, aka snow-proof, and thick material that will insulate your hydration pack to keep it from freezing up and losing that immediate resource.
As you can see, the feature possibilities are endless and the innovations that have continued to roll out recently just exacerbate the situation of deciding which features are most important. I wish I could answer this inquiry more clearly for everyone, but the features to look for are all dependent on your specific needs, plans, and circumstances. That is why there are so many designs, models, and features for tactical backpacks—because they design them all to apply to a very specific situation or best fit a specific scenario best.
Just do some self-assessment of your plans/needs and then familiarize yourself with the options by sticking here with us as we now move on to look at the best tactical backpacks available to you today. This is where you may just come across the perfect model tactical backpack for you, as they all come with some incredibly highly praises. Plus, every single one of the models we are going to present you with is highly recommended by many professionally qualified critics and reviewers of these types of gear.
Best Tactical Backpacks
Best Tactical Backpack: 5.11 Tactical RUSH24 Military Backpack, Molle Bag Rucksack Pack, 37 Liter Medium, Style 58601
Our most popular 5.11 tactical backpack, the RUSH24 is a high-performance tactical pack suitable for active duty, hunting, hiking and recreation, or grab-and-go bug out bag.
Those whacky veterans over at 5.11 have hit a home run that not only cleared the wall but entered the outer atmosphere because they did so well on this model tactical backpack. It truly is the pinnacle of what a tactical backpack can be and should be in absolutely every aspect.
They covered it in the perfect amount of Molle webbing attachment areas and D-rings, along with an array of compression straps to hold everything packed within the main compartments from moving an inch. They did not miss a single thing when they approached the drawing board to come up with this design. It includes everything you could ever want of a tactical bag all wrapped up into this one model of a backpack.
Plus, at 37 liters, it truly is the perfect size for most applications. Everything from a day hike on a maintained trail to a weekend out on BLM land bushwhacking your way through a jungle of underbrush to reach a particular hunting or fishing spot can be easily tackled using this model backpack. It will hold everything you need for any kind of outing, and then some. Or it also makes the best bug out bag starter we have ever seen.
The top-shelf rugged materials they used when creating this monster of a backpack they somehow got for a reasonable price and pass those incredible savings on to you because anyone else who used this high-quality of material to make a bag would try to make you pay much more simply because you will not need to buy another bag from them for decades since this one will last so long. Even if you put your RUSH24 pack through the highest forms of abusive treatment, it will still last you decades at the very least.
Those guys at 5.11 must have hit the conference room and said to one another, “Just how incredible of a tactical backpack are we capable of putting together?” and then set out to make everything they brainstormed in that meeting into a real-life product that you and I are the grateful beneficiaries of. They reinforced every angle and aspect of this magnificent tactical backpack. When these grunts decided they wanted tough, nothing stood in their way of creating one of the most bulletproof pieces of gear you will find anywhere.
Not only that, but it also has a few mesh inner divider pockets for easily organizing items or putting your identifying papers in a very easy to access area that you know exactly where they are at. This is an important aspect if you are going to be using this phenomenal backpack as your next bug out bag because when you are in an evacuation type scenario, for example, it is extremely important to provide the proper paperwork to Red Cross or FEMA agents who are running encampments and other temporary shelters. This way they know exactly who is staying in the temporary communities and can answer your extended family’s questions when they call up on the phone to find you after a disaster strikes your hometown.
As you can now see, this is the best every tactical backpack that the powerhouse of tactical gear, 5.11, designed perfectly and manufactured flawlessly. The result is the best tactical backpack to ever hit the market, and they often run through product runs rather quickly. So, if you come across some of these fantastic tactical backpacks while they are still available from the latest manufacturing run, then pick up one or two for yourself.
You will not regret this purchase, as this backpack will quickly become your favorite bog of all. Even if you are more of a suitcase-type person for traveling, you cannot help but admire the simple elegance, sleek and stylish appearance, plus all those extremely convenient features that this bag offers you. From the first moment you get it into your hands, you will be hooked. We know all are hooked ourselves.
- They made this tactical backpack unit using only the highest-grade materials from the base to the straps. They even take the stitching process during the bag’s construction and thoroughly inspect it to make sure it meets a severely professional standard. Every single stitch must pass through their rigorous quality control experts before a bag ever sees a store shelf or showroom. Every single piece of fabric, thread, webbing, strap, or other material that makes up the final construction of this wonderful bag was scrutinized and only the absolute top-notch options of materials got approved to become these RUSH24 backpacks from 5.11.
- This professional-grade tactical backpack model is plastered with Molle webbing attachment points, D-rings, and even plenty of compression straps. So, you can add anything you want to the exterior of this bag using a variety of different methods. Plus, everything inside can secure in its desired placement, and make sure there is not any settling or shifting of gear as you make your way through the rough world out there while packing your very own RUSH24 on your back.
- Not only does this backpack meet every single major standard for its ability to function in a vast array of situations, but it also is eye-catchingly attractive. Its form matches the high functionality, so you receive the best of both worlds. There will be no more sacrificing looks for versatility, like with many bags and how you can sometimes settle for a subpar looking piece of equipment because of the features it has to help you function in the world. With this setting the bar for the future, we are sure more manufacturers will get the hint and step up to the plate with some equally marvelous bags here soon. Until then, this is the best there is out there and we would be remiss to tell you any different.
- There are not any major drawbacks that stand out for this model of a tactical backpack. Although one issue we noticed customers mention is that there are many imposters, fakes, and knock-offs who are out there looking to capitalize on the reputation that 5.11 has built around this stupendously outstanding tactical backpack. So, be wary and only purchase your backpack from verified or reputable sources.
Assault pack backpack with double-stitched, Heavy duty zippers and utility-style cord pulls, Side and front load compression system, Ventilated mesh padded back area & shoulder strap,breathable and comfortable.
This tactical backpack is the runner-up to the RUSH24, and that is obvious if you just glanced at the two bags sitting next to one another because they are so similar in design elements that you can tell one had to have been made to look like the other. Here, DIGBUG set out to make a more reasonably priced version of 5.11’s RUSH24 backpack by cutting a few corners and making some fine-tune adjustments to the general design.
While you still have the same sleek and stylish assault/tactical appearance to the copycat bag as in the original. Plus, there is still a similar abundance of certain features. Things like the number of Molle webbing straps for connecting tactical accessories, pouches, and other items to the exterior of the backpack. This is a common feature amongst every one of the top tactical backpack’s designs. The reason for this is that it has become a uniform way to alter and adjust your backpack simply and quickly. You can change from a trip to hike your way into a scenic area such as a remote waterfall.
In this case, you may have pouches containing photography equipment. Then, the very next weekend, you go out to scout out your fall hunting grounds and set up some game cameras. In this second scenario, you may have those cameras attached to the exterior of your bag now instead of the photography equipment you had in its place the previous weekend. This can continue to change and you can adapt your pack to fit whatever activity you are engaging in next with a rapid pace that means you do not have to spend more than just a few minutes of equipment preparation time between adventures.
The DIGBUG version is ever so slightly larger, with a capacity of 40 liters instead of 5.11’s 37 liters. Also, it is made from a 600 x 600 dense fabric lined with polyurethane to make it even more durable and somewhat weatherproof. While it is not the premium material that the original model boasts, it is a respectable choice in its own right and will hold up to excessive amounts of use and abuse just like the better and more expensive backpack above. The similarities are uncanny and if you were not told which one was which one, then you may not even be able to point out the source brand one that has double the price tag attached to it.
However, there are some areas where these two bags differ in ways that may not be immediately perceptible, but use the bags for any length of time on some excursions or adventures, and you will soon see the glaring differences between the two. First, the reinforced double and sometimes triple stitching in the brand name bag is worlds about the Chinese mass-produced version that the second one displays. While it may very well hold up for a solid year or two with lots of use during its life, it definitely will not be around a decade later like 5.11 designed their bag to be.
Another major difference is in the zipper construction. The original had some seriously tough zippers that, after a slight break-in period, flow like they were just lubed up with graphite or something–they really are that buttery smooth, not to mention super rugged too. The copycat version has average zippers that stick at certain corners and stress points. This means you may, more often than not, have to take the bag off your shoulders, set it on the ground and give their zippers a good yank to get them moving again. Plus, they do not come with the tabs for easy gripping with gloved hands.
It is these little details that set the two apart, but if you need to stay within a budget and still want a high-quality tactical backpack, then the DIGDUG version is a viable option that you should at least consider before moving on to any other options. It has all the major features that set the bar so high after RUSH24’s release into the marketplace.
Or, if you are only going to be packing your bag up as a bug out bag and keeping it stashed away in the closet or trunk of your car for an emergency, then the cheaper lower-tier option will meet any needs you have just as well and looks just as nice. It even has the flag patch area, just like the super brand name bag does. This means that form and function are almost on a par with the original, just with some slight corners being cut during the manufacturing to bring you a bag that rolls in at around half the price.
- Same abundant amount of Molle webbing attachment points as on the 5.11 model, just made up of webbing material that is a hair thinner than the other top-shelf option. Everything you want to put onto the exterior of this wonderful backpack will surely fit with plenty of space and attachment spaces to spare.
- This model is slightly larger than the first, 3 liters bigger to be exact, so it can carry absolutely everything that you could pack into the other one plus an extra full hydration bladder or other similarly sized item or piece of gear. The bigger size even sits an ever so much wider apart on the shoulders, too. This is nice for us burly guys with wide shoulders who often have an issue with many bags being too narrowly lined up for their shoulder straps locations. While the original doesn’t have this issue, it is still a noticeable feature that sets the copycat apart in a positive way for some folks.
- Finally, they make this backpack using a superbly dense 600 x 600 fabric that is lined with a polyurethane layer to make it more rugged, thicker, and adds a degree of weatherproofing that is always a good thing to have. The drier you can keep your spare pair of socks while outdoors, the better off your whole experience is going to be. While not watertight or even completely weatherproof altogether, it has a delay in the time it would take a torrential down-pouring rain to work its way into your bag and affect your gear. Hopefully giving you just enough time to get to safety or even just a covered area to wait out the passing storm.
- The first corner that was cut in this tactical backpack’s construction was in the stitching that holds the bag’s seams together. Here it is the typical mass production Chinese single stitching with a medium quality thread holding everything together. While this makeup will last you a year or two and make for a perfect bug out bag, it will not hold up to the abuse a typical weekend warrior would need to put it through for very long, and with a higher investment, you can get something that will easily last for a decade or more.
- The last corner they cut while making this bag was in the zippers they bought for this production line. When compared to the buttery smooth ones on the brand name version, you could see why this was a point of frustration when we went to inspect the bag, to begin with. It takes some effort to get these zippers moving sometimes, and they like to stick on corners and stress points, but compared to some similarly priced tactical backpacks out there on the market, they are not all that horrible. They definitely are not shoddy at all, they just have their own character that can be stubborn.
Molle tactical backpack has molle system, Molle webbing throughout for attaching additional tactical pouches or gear as 3 day assault pack backpack combat molle backpack.
For a quality tactical backpack being offered at rock-bottom prices, you won’t find a better value or bang for your buck than you have with this model pack from REEBOW Gear. They molded it in the same cookie-cutter design pattern after the 5.11 premium pack, but with their own twist on things. Yes, they had to cut corners a little to bring this bag in at its jaw-dropping, stunning price point, but if you are shopping for a budget bag, you will not find a better option than this one here.
It has the same assault pack modular appearance as the two packs above, but with a bit of a softer outline that isn’t as sharp looking. The other bags have some teeth to their appearance while this one just looks like a solid, smart, and reliable tactical backpack. This may be the exact things you want in your next pack for daily use or even for a bug out bag that doesn’t look quick so military-like.
It has plenty of exterior Molle webbing attachment points to use for all your extra pouches, gear, and accessories, so it is definitely up to standard in this department. It only has one D-ring though, but that is all most of us ever end up using for most trips because, in all practicality, there are only a handful of items you want hanging off your bag and swinging around wildly like that, anyway. Again, this means this budget-friendly version has all the makings of a great tactical backpack.
Another of its wonderful features is that it contains the typical 3-day load-out design that can hold everything you would need to live out of the pack for up to 3 straight days in the wilderness. With a 40-liter capacity and with some ingenuity, we are sure you could easily survive 5 to 7 days from the gear that this pack can carry. So, yet again, it lives up to the top bar set by our favorite tactical backpack in all these areas.
Plus, it features rugged double stitching on every single centimeter of seams all around the entire backpack. Couple this with the heavy-duty zipper construction, which even has the heavy-duty pull tabs for gloved hand operating, and you get a top-shelf product for a clearance price tag. It dumbfounds us they can offer this exact model pack for the super-low price that they have assigned to it. They must not be looking to make much money off of their product, which is for sure because it leaves them with no wiggle room from our calculations.
This model also has the hydration bladder compartment, although it doesn’t have any of the super nice metal ring reinforced hose points going into the main compartment anywhere. All this means is that you will have to run your hose out through the zipper and just zip up against it to create the best seal you can make, just in case you experience some inclement weather along your journeys. This is fine, and with all the areas they could have cut some corners, we are super glad that they chose the least detrimental feature to leave out of their design. Hydration bladder hoses are super cheap and wear out fast anyway, especially the bite down nozzle versions that have become so popular. This means you will replace the hose for other reasons long before you ever have to worry about the abrasive zipper teeth it faces upon its exit from the bladder compartment.
Finally, this backpack has shoulder straps that are not only well padded but also feature a mesh design to allow for some airflow to get between your body and the contact points with the bag, This even includes a mesh pad that covers the entire rear of the backpack that sits on your back. So, it is comfortable and cool to wear even when you are out on a hotter summer day hike through a river valley somewhere.
For the price tag, we saw attached to this bag we were stunned at the quality materials, the craftsmanship of its assembly, the overall design, and the number of features it contains. You really will not get more for your money with any other similarly priced tactical backpack, and that you can take to the bank.
- This tactical backpack has a softer and smoother look to it than some other models we have introduced you to. Although, it follows right in step with the direction that the market has gone lately, with the general design of all the tactical backpacks coming out from a vast number of manufacturers. It is a great-looking bag you will sport proudly as a daily around-town bag just as much as using it for your weekend warrior trips to the woods, mountains, lakes, or wilderness.
- Another impressive set of features this bag can brag about is the amount of Molle webbing attachment points it contains. Even though it may only have one D-ring, you will not have any issue with running out of exterior bag space to attach your various items and gear to for any adventurous trip. Also, it has four compression straps that wrap around the sides of the body and squeeze all three of the major compartments together when you cinch down on them. This ensures that no matter when inside of this bag you packed a certain piece of gear it will stay right where you put it and not shift around at all.
- Finally, the REEBOW Gear bag has padded shoulder straps that make it a pleasure to carry, even when loaded down with excessive amounts of gear. Plus, on top of the padding material, it features a mesh layer that allows the space between your body and where it comes into direct contact with the bag to breathe and let some airflow through. This keeps the sweating down, which keeps the chaffing and rash formation at bay. Plus, it has the same construction of materials covering the entire rear of the bag where it sits up against your entire back. This means no more sweating profusely on your backside anymore, which is a blessing.
- The only place where we could find on this entire model of the bag they cut through a manufacturing corner with was for the hydration bladder. While the bladder compartment itself is a perfectly easy to access wonderful storage area, it lacks any of those typical metal ring reinforced holes to allow the hose/rubber straw to pull through. This means you have to run the hose out of the zipper on the main compartment and this can take a little practice in learning how to do it so you still have plenty of straw left to drink from comfortably without having to crank your head around to get to it. Then, with the bite down to release water style systems that have become popular, we are sure that you will need to replace your hose for other issues long before the metal teeth of the super-heavy-duty zipper construction becomes an issue or abrasive enough to make any cuts or holes that would cause leakage. So, when you sit back and consider things, this is the best corner they could have cut out of all the features they kept in for the price point they set. It truly is a one-of-a-kind model of a tactical backpack.
Most Versatile: Direct Action Dragon Egg Tactical Backpack 25 Liter Capacity
Dragon Egg Mk II is a versatile 25+ liter platform suitable for the role of a basic assault backpack or larger EDC pack. The Egg shape allows the pack to have a smaller height and width than other packs with similar capacity. It also makes it more comfortable with belt kits or ballistic vests.
No list of tactical backpacks would ever be complete or comprehensive if it left out a Dragon Egg backpack from its rankings. This stupendous bag is the cream of the crop in tactical bags. It is also the holy grail of backpacks. Not for being super flashy or having an excessive amount of special features stuffed into every nook and cranny, but rather for its simple supreme elegance and longevity of lifespan these bags are known for. These bags are a once-in-a-lifetime-buy because you will never need to get yourself another one as long as you hold on to the one you purchase, then it will last for the rest of your natural lifetime. Folks often pass their Dragon Egg tactical backpacks down on to their kids or the next generation of their family, aka grandkids–because it will last you into old age and you will never want to let it go from your grip until you are too decrepit to use it anymore, at which point you pass it along to a loved one to enjoy and cherish as much as you have during your lifetime.
These bags are just that nice that they do become like a family heirloom. The brand Direct Action built them to such finely tuned specifications that call for the stitching to be done in a very exact special pattern and done by expert hands because no machine nor novice could do one of these top-shelf bags the justice it deserves. If you cannot tell already, we hold these tactical backpacks with a sense of reverence that borders on superstition. They are magical bags that somehow get drug through the wildest and most extreme situations all around the world and come out the other side looking like they just came off the showroom display, maybe after brushing off some dust or rinsing off some other more sticky naturally occurring material you may have encountered along the way.
A Dragon Egg backpack is something to behold. When you lay your eyes upon one you feel immediately self-soothed and suddenly calmer than you were a second ago. This is where we wonder if these bags have some supernatural power because the sight of one can conjure feelings of peace and tranquility. Maybe it is just the soft edges bracketed by sharp corners that are crisp and pleated in just the right locations. Even the many Molle webbing attachment straps and the compression straps seem to come to life and operate effortlessly as you operate your normal routine of preparing for your next adventurous journey.
The imported Cordua material that they used to make up the major body of this bag comes in upwards of 15 different color options. So, you can be just as picky and style-minded as you want to be when you finally get a chance to shop for your own Dragon Egg backpack. The material holds special powers all its own because it repels water like it has a force field around it, keeping everything inside sealed up dry and tight even though it is not claimed to be waterproof, only weather-resistant, but it will hold up to a torrential jungle rainstorm and still your belongings inside will not be soaked like everything else, including yourself, after getting caught in such an onslaught of moisture.
The vast number of organizational compartments on this bag seem to go on forever, and you will find new ones all the time or maybe just come up with a much better way to use the ones you have found. It even has a padded sleeve designed to hold a journal, paper map, or 15-inch laptop just right and keep it safe and sound as you trek through mountainous terrain. Another spectacular idea and unique feature to this model bag are the handgrip carry handle that is on top of most tactical and other backpacks is composed of a braided design of para-cord, because you just never know when a few feet of that stuff could mean the difference between like and death while you are out in the great outdoors just trying not to die every day.
Finally, the Dragon Egg is our favorite because of all these reasons and so much more that we cannot even list every significant thing about it if it was the only tactical backpack we wrote about in this entire article. We could go on forever writing about everything that this bag offers or that you can achieve, survive, or overcome with an Egg pack of your very own.
There is the patented Combat Ventilation system designed to keep you cool no matter what climate you have to carry one of these in. The elastic suspension pockets on the sides can hold a full-sized thermos or just your everyday water bottle or a coffee mug just as snuggly and securely. Then, last but not least, there is the fact that even though it is the smallest pack on our list, weighing in with a 27-liter capacity, it can hold everything that the other bigger packs can. Except, the Dragon Egg will carry that same amo unt but have it feeling as light as if it were not even there on your back because of the expert ergonomically designed weight distribution this bag can uniquely boast about.
- The Dragon Egg is a magical bag full of mysterious powers, like the way it’s fantastically ergonomically designed weight distribution can make an overfilled pack feel as if it were not even on your back. You will walk taller with your head held high with this backpack because it will not bend you over as you try to counterbalance the piles of gear we all like to take with us when we enter unknown lands.
- One of our very favorite features is something so simple yet so profound that we are still to this day wondering why this hasn’t caught on yet and become a standard feature of every single tactical bag of any sort, and that is the braided para-cord grip handle on top of the pack for carrying it one-handed. This is such an excellent idea because in a survival situation or other dire emergency you can never have enough of a material such as that to do an endless number of jobs that could just one day save your life. We well know that some survivors have credited a length of proper cordage with being the key factor that got them home and out of that
- The majority of a Dragon Egg is made of 100% imported Cordua material that is both soft to the touch but as tough as Kevlar with water repellant aspects to keep everything inside bone dry even though it makes absolutely zero claims of being waterproof or bulletproof. It seems to just magically shuck of dirt, grime, and other debris. With a simple shake to remove the dust, and the pack is good as new.
- At only 27 liters, the Dragon Egg is the smallest tactical backpack to make our top 5 list here, but you wouldn’t notice outright that it was that much smaller than the others. With the elastic webbing pockets on the sides and the open design of each compartment of the bag, you can seem to pack in the same amount of gear as though other backpacks that are 10 or more liters larger in carrying capacity. Again, another mysterious aspect of this phenomenal piece of baggage.
- Because of all the incredibly stunning aspects of this backpack, the top of the top best materials only being used in its construction, and the highly scrutinized hand stitching on all the almost hidden seams, this back is also the most expensive one to make our list, by a wide margin. But, when this just may end up being the very last tactical backpack you ever have to purchase in your lifetime, you can easily see how you end up saving money over just a few years where you would otherwise have gone through two or three of the competitions model tactical backpacks. You get what you pay for, and this purchase is worth literally every single penny they ask for it.
Best Extra Large Sized Bag: Mardingtop 65L + 10L Molle Hiking Internal Frame Backpacks with Rain Cover
It can be used as a carry-on, but you cannot pack it like a 65 liter and expect it to shrink below that. If you pack it like a 35 liter then you should not have an issue with planes as some customer made a trip with a 35 recently and did not have any issues using as a carry on.
This massively sized tactical backpack is loaded with so many options and features that we cannot cover every single one of them here for you. You may have to take a moment and look up the bag for yourself if interested. Although, we will still do our best to supply a comprehensive review for you to consider this magnificent beast of a backpack for meeting the needs of your situation. One example of the perfect situation for this sized bag and especially this bag, in particular, is if you are creating a bug out bag to supply yourself and your immediate family in the event of a disaster when you need to leave home and survive on just shat you can carry until you reach the safety of some sort.
The enormous size of this bag allows you to fit everything you could ever possibly need within and also plenty of junk that may just make living in a survival situation not so horrible of a situation. You have enough room to add in some creature comforts that will keep your significant other and children appeased during such a stressful time as when you would ever need to use such a family-sized bug out bag.
That is not the only situation in which this bag is perfect. It would also be just the right-sized tactical bag for a weekend, or even a week’s long, hunting trip into the wilderness. You could carry everything from a small tent and bedroom to all your hunting, navigation, and survival gear you would need to use during one of these types of excursions.
This bag has a massive 65 liters of packable space that you can fill with whatever you need for your circumstances. It also has an abundance of Molle mounting webbing strips all around the exterior. This means you can add modules of pouches, pockets, and other additions to help add even more gear, or just to organize the gear you carry with it a little more cleanly.
Some of its other shining features include an easy-access hydration bladder compartment that can hold a 2.5-liter bladder along with mounting areas for the hose. So, you can take a sip of water any time you get thirsty without needing to stop and unpack anything. Then, when you need to refill your water bladder, the compartment has its own opening for quick removal and replacing the bladder for simple refilling.
Plus, this phenomenal tactical backpack comes with an ultra-high-vis rain cover that is built-in and concealed in a separate zipper pocket on the underside of the main compartment. This means that when you are out in the woods or wherever you are using the bag and a rainstorm hits, or the rain just doesn’t let up for days on end, then you can quickly pull out the cover and wrap your entire bag in its waterproof embrace. This way everything inside will remain dry as a bone, which is wonderful news when you are in a wetter climate. Then, the cover is a vibrantly bright color that stands out and is completely unnatural, so people can easily spot you even in the dark.
The list of uses and features that make up this vastly large-sized tactical backpack just goes on and on. Check it out for yourself if this seems like the right fit for the kind and size of tactical bag you think would best work for you. It is a top-notch quality bag Mardingtop built to withstand an onslaught of abuse and just keep going strong through it all.
- Perfect for a family-sized bag or for extended trips when you want to function comfortably with everything you could ever need to maintain a thriving journey instead of a struggling one. Its massive size makes it unique, especially since the long seams on bags like this one wear out faster than some other bags stitching, but that was not the case from what we observed with this model. Even when overstuffed with excessive amounts of gear with plenty of pressure put on those extra-long seams, they did not show any signs of wear, tear, or even weakness of any sort.
- With the amount of Molle webbing attachments this bag contains it is not only superb but unrivaled in the industry. Plus, they are high-quality material webbing. So, you can put those heavy and abrasive items onto the outside of this backpack and not have to have any worries of losing anything as you trek across even the roughest of terrains. On top of that, webbing strap abundance is many compression straps for cinching down the bag when you pack it fully loaded. This ensures that there is no shifting and everything remains exactly as you want it to be, no matter how much you lean over this way or that during your time carrying a fully loaded pack.
- The easy access hydration bladder compartment design of this bag was well thought out and executed flawlessly. It allows you to maintain your supplies without added stress or even dealing with any strenuous work to do so.
- Its massive size means it is meant to be carried by folks on the taller end of an average height adult. With smaller body sizes, it can hang too low for smooth hiking or cause an imbalance in weight distribution by towering above too high. Although, it would take someone pretty darn small to experience these issues.
- A last point of concern is that if you do not want to be spotted, then you may not wish to use the concealed rain cover. It is extremely brightly colored and even reflective. So, anyone from a respectful distance away from you will see you even in the dark. So, when it is concealment you are after, you may have to tough out having some gear get wet during rainy conditions. On the other hand, if you are trying to be rescued from an area, then using this rain cover even on a bright sunny day just might you’re your life.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Right Tactical Bag?
When the time comes to purchase yourself a tactical backpack and you wonder where to even start your shopping, that is when you need to stop and consider just three simple concepts. The first is the type and frequency you will use your pack for. Is it going to be a one-time use situation like a pre-packed bug out bag in your closet or trunk of your car? Or is it going to be your weekend warrior bad that you take on your weekly adventures outdoors all over the country or even the world? Finally, is it going to become your EDC, which stands for Every Day Carry, bag?
You need to think long and hard about this because it will affect every aspect of which bag is the best fit for you. If it is a one and done situation, then you can go cheap and spend your bug out bag budget on getting quality gear to pack it with. If you are intending to carry it on a weekly or even daily, then you will want to invest the money and get a backpack that will still last you a decade or more even with this rigorous usage schedule.
There are plenty in the category to pick from that were made to last you through a lifetime of outdoor memories you will create along the way. Every stain or scuff your bag experiences will be like one more page in your life’s story. So, do not cheap out here. An EDC bag is a sacred totem item that becomes like your very best friend, always there to support you in your time of need and always on your back begging you to keep on moving constantly forward.
The next concept to consider is the gear you plan on packing around with you. Are you a nature photographer who plans on carrying tripods, multiple large lenses, and other camera equipment miles deep into the forests to capture that perfect shot? Or are you a deep backwoods bow hunter who goes out in early season when it is still warm, and the deer are still high in the hills for harvest season grazing? In that case, you will need a pack that has enough room for your bedroll, if you plan on sleeping under the stars and a tent if you don’t want to get eaten alive by the late summer mosquito population.
The photographer may want a backpack that has more Molle straps around its exterior so they could hang various pouches with the equipment they may need to get to in a real hurry so they do not miss that perfect shot after hours or days of hiking looking for it. This person may only be slightly concerned with having an enormous pack that can hold all kinds of comfort items and be dedicated to just getting the picture they set out to accomplish. The hunter may be more interested in the overall capacity of a bag and need one that can hold not only their sleeping situation but also cookware and enough food to keep them energized and focused during the entirety of their hunting adventure.
Then, the third and final concept that everybody must make about every purchase they make on any shopping trip, and that is the budget. How much do you have to spend, or rather invest, in your next tactical backpack? Do you maybe need to wait a while longer and do some more saving so you can get the proper tactical backpack that will fulfill every one of their needs if they would just be patient and diligent in setting aside the money over time to get that top-of-the-line killer model that goes way above and beyond what they ever originally envisioned getting, but once you set your eyes upon that perfect tactical bag you will be hooked and do whatever is necessary to achieve your goal of owning it someday soon.
Even the most expensive tactical backpacks are within the reach of every single person with just a small amount of budgeting, discipline, and saving—all of which are prongs of the same fork or branches of the same tree, so to speak. Most of the best tactical backpacks are not all that costly. So, even the lowliest of earners can afford to get one for themselves someday soon.
That means you too can achieve the dream of getting the greatest tactical backpack of all time for your very own outings, bug out bag, or other need you have for it and can have it for yourself in no time at all if you just set your mind about picking out which one it is first. Once you have that figured out the rest of the planning just seems to just fall naturally right into place for most folks who have use for such a top-notch model of tactical backpack.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a MOLLE backpack?
MOLLE = Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment, it is just a piece of standard government-issued equipment that can be attached to or fit within a standard bag or bag attachments. Typically, it refers to a one-inch webbing type material that can Velcro in loops around one another and secure different accessories and items to a pack, bag, vest, or other tactical gear of varying types.
This means that a Molle backpack is a tactical minded bag that you carry on our back that has plenty of this webbing attachment points all over its exterior surfaces. With it, you can more than double the overall weight and capacity of the original bag’s ability to haul gear around.
What is a rucksack?
A rucksack is a specific backpack. It typically has a folding or cinching top that closes it and can be a large cylinder shape otherwise. It was originally designed to be GI or Government Issue for soldiers to carry all the gear that we assigned them before heading off into battle. They were tough bags made of a canvas typically but were also very simple and cheap to mass-produce on a grand scale. Many hundreds of thousands were most likely made during those first production years, and a few of those first models are even still around to this day. Although some private companies have taken on production runs of their take on the original rucksack. Technically, all rucksacks are backpacks, but conversely, not all backpacks are qualified to be rucksacks.
What do you carry in a tactical bag?
They made tactical bags to carry such a vast assortment of gear and items that it would be too much to list all the things, so instead, we will narrow them down by categories. First, you have your weapons and ammo, then you have survival food, tools, playing cards, small hand tools and folding tools like shovels, navigation equipment like large detailed map and compass, cooking utensils, gas masks, and so much more that the list of categories could go on for a page or more. Anything that a person might need to survive in any hostile climate they may end up stuck in for some political reasoning, since they were originally designed for military only, then the police adopted them since so many returning soldiers became cops and brought all that gear and training into their new profession along with them. Finally, outdoor gear companies caught wind of the trend and began producing their take on tactical equipment until we ended up with the marketplace full of products that are out there to choose from today.
What are the loops on a tactical bag for?
This question touches on a previous answer because those loops, typically of a 1-inch wide nylon webbing material, is a Molle attachment. They are places that you can hang a standardized type of attaching pouches, items, and various types of gear. The army corps of engineers originally designed it when they were coming up with ways to diversify troop allocations of equipment to match individual tasks and locations. So the basic bag can have your food, water, bullets, and guns in it, and then you can attach onto the outside of it everything that a specific task or location may require of a person to always have on hand or ready to go at a moments notice and these can quickly be changed out as the person progresses on into other tasks and areas of the battlefield. Nowadays though it is just a way for survivalists and gearheads to adorn their tactical equipment or maybe in a few scenarios, it still comes in handy for when you need quick access to
What kind of backpacks do Navy Seals and Military use?
Navy seals and military use a government issue rucksack. Although, for those specialized units like the seals, they often have specialized gear that is secretly designed just for them. They train with the exact same gear for thousands or tens of thousands of repetitions until their actions and movements as a unit and on the individual level become ingrained into their memory forever.
They use the same gear throughout entire units so that the movements can be precisely taught and learned in a prepackaged way that is one size fits all. When they become private mercenaries, however, they are forced to buy from the same options that we civilians have available to us. Except that they know those resources like the small manufacturing companies who know how to recreate the designs they trained on for all their time inside the military, learning their tradecraft, and know that gear like the backs of their hands.
Everything becomes muscle memory, like practicing to disassemble and reassemble a rifle in the dark or blindfolded. Soldiers have the time on their hands and need to learn these types of tasks, and the only way to do it is to find a standardized method of approach and then execute repeatedly until you reach perfection. Once at that level you practice perfectly until the action becomes a simple natural reaction to a stimulus. As you can see, it is important for soldiers, especially at the upper echelons of the most hardcore units, to practice with the same exact items until knowing every single stitch on their rucksack or tactical bag of some sort becomes like second nature to them, eventually.