If you’re searching for a backpack that can handle day hikes as well as your everyday pack, tactical backpacks are ahead of the pack and offer plenty of storage, essential features and comfort. You can store everything you need for an outing such as food, water, clothing, survival gear and a tactical flashlight.
These backpacks are perfect for hiking due to their numerous interior and exterior compartments and attachment options. In fact, I personally use this type of backpack when hiking with dogs because I can easily attach their food and water bowls outside of my bag using the numerous MOLLE attachments. This not only saves room but keeps the inside of your backpack clean and dry while your dog bowls dry while hiking.
Tactical backpacks aren’t just reserved for military applications – they make great day packs or range bags. You spend a considerable amount of time wearing your backpack, so choose one with comfortable fitting, high-quality materials and plenty of room for your daily gear. You may find yourself needing a bag that’s in between an office bag and a hiking pack and this is where a great tactical backpack really stands out from the crowd. You can use them for military activities, short and long hikes, biking and carrying them to the office.
Here’s Why You Need the Best Tactical Backpack You Can Find:
- Tactical backpacks are designed tough and rugged.
- They’re designed with military-grade materials.
- You can carry a ton of gear in a tactical backpack.
- Most tactical backpacks are compatible with hydration bladders and are great for hiking.
- You can use a tactical backpack during your daily commute to work.
- A great tactical backpack can benefit you at the office or on the trail due to their multiple compartments and options.
Our team has found the best tactical backpacks and compiled them in an easy-to-read list to help you make an educated buying decision. Keep in mind, the best tactical backpack for you may be different from someone else because you have different needs and expectations when it comes to backpacks.
Our Team’s Top Picks:
- Best Concealed Carry Backpack: Elite Survival Systems Guardian
- Best Urban Exploration: MYSTERY RANCH Urban Assault 24
- Best 3-Day Assult Pack: 3V Gear Paratus Operator’s Tactical Backpack
- Best Weatherproof Backpack: Pelican MPB35 Mobile Protect
- Best Small Tactical Backpack: SOG Ninja
- Best Bug-Out Bag: 24BattlePack 40L
- Best 2-Day Tactical Backpack: Mystery Ranch
Best Concealed Carry Backpack
1. Elite Survival Systems Guardian
Elite Survival Systems Guardian Concealed Carry Tactical Pack
A tactical backpack should be secure, have plenty of storage space and be able to conceal if needed. The Elite Survival Systems Guardian tactical backpack has all of those features and more. Spending money on a tactical backpack is worth every penny as long as you choose the right one. Not only do you need large storage spaces, but you also want separate compartments with an assortment of zippered pockets, pouches and MOLLE to store even more gear. The Guardian provides users with plenty of options to customize and secure all types of items such as flashlights, first aid kits and daily gear and it even has a dedicated laptop compartment that safely secures and allows quick access.
A tactical backpack needs to be comfortable or you’re not going to wear it for extended periods of time. The ESS Guardian EDC pack features a comfortable carrying system with a vented mesh back panel that allows airflow and a yoke system carry that distributes the weight across your back properly. This backpack can be used for tactical applications as well as hiking or as your daily commute back. The fact that it has a zippered concealment compartment with an internal holster makes it one of the most complete tactical carry backpacks out there. In fact, the internal holster can be used on the left or right side for a 100% ambidextrous carry bag.
Best Urban Exploration:
2. MYSTERY RANCH Urban Assault 24L
MYSTERY RANCH Urban Assault 24 Backpack
You don’t always need a huge tactical backpack when walking downtown or on a quick hike. The MYSTERY RANCH Urban Assault 24 is was inspired by military rucksacks and is incredibly versatile and perfect for various missions in the field or around town. It excels as a day pack for your daily commute with multiple pockets, compartments and interior mesh zipper pockets to organize all the gear you need. Where the MYSTERY RANCH Urban Assault 24 leaves the competition in the dust is the simplistic, yet highly effective design. It looks basic on the outside but has enough space for any type of mission or daily drive.
This pack is easy to organize and can hold more gear than it may look at first glance. It measures 24L, but holds enough for your daily grind or a day hike with friends. In fact, you can top-load the Assault 24 or open it up completely with the Y zipper. It looks odd at first, but allows you easy access to your gear inside. It’s actually one of the best ways to utilize every square inch of your bag and fit more gear. Overall, you can’t go wrong with MYSTERY RANCH bags and the Assault 24 is perfect for urban exploration or your daily grind.
Best 3-Day Assault Pack:
3. 3V Gear Paratus 3-Day Operator’s Pack
3V Gear Paratus 3-Day Operator’s Tactical Backpack
The 3V Gear Paratus is a highly-efficient 3-Day operator’s tactical backpack that excels in every category. It comes in 4 colors and can be used as a military backpack, hiking backpack, hunting backpack, rucksack, 3-day assault bag or a bug-out bag to ensure you and your family have the gear and supplies you need. The Paratus is made with 600D PVC-backed polyester that’s rated for heavy-duty use and is perfect for the field. It has two MOLLE pouches that give you even more packing options and can be customized to fit your needs.
One feature that impressed us is that this tactical backpack also comes with the Rapid Deployment Pack plus two MOLLE pouches that can be easily removed and used for other operations. It also allows you to modify and create multiple combinations depending on how you prefer to carry your gear. I highly recommend 3V Gear products and the Paratus tactical backpack is one of the best in all categories. It should also be noted that all 3V Gear tactical packs are backed with a Limited Lifetime Warranty by the company.
Best Weatherproof Backpack:
4. Pelican MPB35 Mobile Protect Backpack
Pelican MPB35 Mobile Protect Backpack
The Pelican MPB35 is a 35L, water-resistant daypack that can hold plenty of gear for a day hike or a 3-day outing. It’s designed with a DWR-coated 1000D nylon outer shell that’s extremely tough and can handle anything you throw at it. It has plenty of compartments and pouches to store your daily essentials. You can even carry your laptop and electronics in this day bag by Pelican.
The zipper pulls are rubber coated so you can grab them quickly and Pelican uses tough YKK zippers with this bag. The back panel is a compression-molded EVA that’s designed to add more comfort and protection to your gear. Each external pocket has a special water-resistant PU coating to protect you items and keep them as dry as possible. You never know what you may encounter while traveling and the Pelican MPB35 Mobile Protect backpack has you covered.
Best Small Tactical Backpack:
5. SOG Ninja
SOG Ninja Tactical Day Pack 24.2 L
You’ve probably owned SOG knives or tomahawks before and the SOG Ninja Tactical Day Pack is made from the same quality and craftsmanship you’ve come to enjoy. If you use a backpack daily for work or hiking, you need one that has water repellent materials. The SOG Ninja is designed to survive the elements and has large compartments and pockets to carry more gear. The modular design is great for those who like to organize their daily supplies into neat compartments. The padded straps meet our standards for comfort and it’s hydration bladder compatible which is a nice addition. You can carry water bottles in the stretchy side pouch.
You don’t always need a huge bag for your daily commute or day hikes. Small tactical backpacks often do the job better than large packs. The SOG Ninja tactical backpack is a great size for those who need gear, but don’t want a huge backpack. The 24.2-liter capacity is enough space to store plenty of gear and supplies. This tactical backpack small size is perfect for a day trip solo or with your family if you need extra pockets to store supplies.
The MOLLE webbing gives you extra options when organizing your gear and you can attach extra accessories to help you through the day. This is a great tactical day pack for those who like a tough, yet comfortable bag.
Best Bug-Out Bag:
6. 24BattlePack 40L Bug-Out Bag
24BattlePack Tactical Backpack 40L Bug Out Bag
The 24BattlePack Tactical Backpack already has 2 great things going for it at first glance: it’s a great looking bag and the company is combat veteran owned! Built rugged and loaded with features, this bag works as a 3-day assault pack, bug out bag or everyday commute to work bag. Choose from 3 colors – black, tan or green for this 40L bag.
The waterproof lining will protect your gear from rain, sleet or snow and the oversized zippers are easy to find in the dark. Double stitched seams add to this bag’s ruggedness and durability. You won’t snag and rip this bag while hiking or covert missions. The built-in universal ccw handgun holster helps with concealed carry and you can secure a 17” or smaller laptop for work with the padded storage area. An insulated compartment for storing drinks along with hanging clips for your hydration bladder make this tactical backpack trail ready and will help you stay hydrated while working.
Tactical MOLLE backpacks give you even more options to carry gear. Not only do they have tons of interior space, but you can attach important gear on the outside as well.
Use the 24BattlePack as a 1-day, 2-day or 3-day pack depending on the duration of your trip with the collapsible and expandable design. You never truly know how long a trip you will be enjoying, so it’s good to have a backpack that can handle multiple days in the woods or on the road. You can cinch it down to 20L or expand large enough for 3 full days depending on the length of your adventure.
Many users prefer their tactical backpack black because it blends into most environments and doesn’t look suspicious or draw attention.
You can also preload this tactical bug out bag with essential gear, supplies and protection and always have it ready to roll for emergencies. It’s good form to keep a fully-loaded bug out bag in your vehicle, at home and at work because you never know when an event could happen. This is also one of our favorites for tactical backpacks for laptops. Army tactical backpacks come with tons of features and pockets for your gear.
Best 2-Day Assault Backpack:
7. Mystery Ranch 2-Day Assault Pack
Mystery Ranch 2-Day Assault Tactical Backpack
Mystery Ranch makes some of the best tactical backpacks on the market. They’re roomy at 27L and made from lightweight materials that won’t weigh you down during a 3-day hike or daily commute to work. You can take these tactical backpacks everywhere, they can carry a lot of gear for their size. The roomy compartments and large pockets are great for separating your gear and supplies.
Designed for professional excursions and urban treks, this tactical backpack will get you where you need to go in style. Tactical edc backpacks make your daily trek easier. The internal organization is top-notch and the padded computer sleeve goes a step further in protecting your valuables. It even has a separate divider for a tablet for those who carry multiple electronic devices. Some jobs require more electronic equipment than others and this tactical backpack takes that into consideration and gives you what you need the most. Tactical computer backpacks are worth their weight in gold because they secure your valuables and give you access to gear.
The best backpack for tactical applications is the one that has plenty of cargo space with additional pockets to secure your gear. You also want to be able to quickly grab certain items in a hurry. The Mystery Rance tactical backpack does that and more.
The Mystery Ranch 2 Day Assault Backpack is designed with the highest-quality materials and great care was taken to build the best bag possible. Even down to the zippers, this bag is made to last.
Other Great Chocies:
Reebow Gear 3-Day Assault Tactical Backpack 40-L
This military tactical backpack from Reebow Gear has a larger capacity than other bags on the list and can carry enough items for up to 3 days. It’s the perfect backpack for those looking for a bag that can look good in the office and handle a 3 day hike on the weekends.
The Molle system gives you webbing to attach extra gear and is woven throughout so you can attach more tactical pouches. It makes a great 3 day assault backpack when the available features are maximized. The double stitching and heavy duty zippers ensure that this bag will last through many outdoor adventures and won’t leave you stranded. This military tactical backpack comes at a great price and has tons of functionality.
The ventilation system that runs through the mesh padded back area is a life-saver when the temperature rises. Those who hike during the summer will fully appreciate this function as it will keep sweat from soaking your shirt. The hydration pack compatibility is a feature we always look for in the best tactical backpacks for hiking because no one wants to stop on the trail to dig out a bottle of water. This is the tactical performance backpack that does just as good in the office as it does on the trail.
This tactical assault backpack is great as a day pack, hiking backpack, military backpack, trekking, outdoor adventures and can double as an office bag to carry your daily essentials.
Orca Tactical Backpack 34L
The Orca Tactical backpack is a tough little 1-2 day assault pack that can pack enough gear and supplies to get you through the day or a weekend. It can hold 34L and has large pockets to keep your gear organized and ready to use.
This tactical bag also makes a great survival bag because it can hold plenty of essential gear and is designed to last. In fact, it’s made from 600D polyester material that’s reinforced and double-stitched where you need it. This bag won’t snag or rip even with heavy-duty use. The zippers are high-quality and are resistant to rust and won’t fail you when you need them.
Not only is the Orca Tactical backpack tough as nails, it’s also water-resistant thanks to a special coating that keeps your gear dry. The Molle modular setup is a nice touch and allows you to attach extra tactical Molle gear to make your tactical backpack even better. It even has compression straps that add to the effectiveness of this survival bag. You can even store a 1.5L hydration bladder to keep you on the trail longer without having to stop.
We like the Orca Tactical backpack because it has everything you could want in a 1-2 day assault pack or survival bag.
3V Gear Velox II Large Tactical Assault Backpack
If you’re looking for a large tactical assault backpack that can handle anything, the 3V Gear Velox II is a top contender. It features 1628 cubic inches of usable storage that can hold gear for hiking, backpacking, camping, daily commute, operations or missions. Many people use this same backpack as their bug-out bag because it is designed extremely well.
The Velox II by 3V Gear ranks high in terms of dependability and ruggedness. It’s made with 600D PVC-backed polyester which means it will last a long time and can handle daily use in all weather types. In fact, the material is weather-resistant and gives your gear and supplies extra protection from the elements. Overall, 3V Gear hit a home run with the Velox II large tactical backpack.
Best Customizable Tactical Backpack
Bear KompleX Military Grade Tactical Backpack
The Bear KompleX military grade tactical backpacks may look different than other choices at first glance, but they’re extremely durable and designed with ample space for gear and supplies. This is the perfect bag to bridge the gap between a gym bag, hiking pack and work bag. The pockets are large enough to store what you need for the day and it has plenty of space for essential accessories.
Tactical hiking backpacks are becoming more popular because they’re tough, rugged and have plenty of storage space for your gear. They make great bags for work and school also.
The design is top-notch and extremely durable which is exactly what you want if you expect a little more from your tactical backpack. The reinforced grab and go handles make it easy to snatch in a rush. The inner and outer pockets are large and easy to access. It even has MOLLE web platforms that allow you extra attachments for your tactical gear. You can even add patches to customize your bag. It even has a hook & loop space for flag patches, name tags and pins.
The Bear KompleX line of tactical backpacks features a durable water repellent coating that protects from rain, snow and sleet to keep your gear safely nestled in the interior of the bag. There are two sizes: standard (24”) and mini (18”) so you can choose the size of your pack depending on your needs.
Each Bear KompleX tactical backpack has a headphone cord port, heavy duty zippers that won’t fail, military grade 1000D nylon, large pals webbing panel for extra attachments, velcro strips for customization with patches and pins and adjustable shoulder straps that are comfortable enough for a 3-day hike.
You may think the Bear KompleX doesn’t have the tactical backpack military “look,” but I can assure you it outperforms most bag on the market.
The Bear KompleX tactical pack is a great choice for the money and can double as your everyday backpack as well as a 3-day survival adventure pack. You can find great tactical backpacks on Amazon and this is one of the best.
Best Pack with Detachable Pouches
Noola Tactical Military Backpack
The Noola tactical military backpack is a nice choice for users who want options. This bag comes in multiple colors and configurations and makes an amazing 3-day assault pack, built-up rucksack, everyday carry pack, hiking bag and more. You have a lot of customization options with this backpack and can use it in multiple ways.
It has a larger than average interior capacity at 50L/60L depending on how you use it and it’s designed with high density 900D polyester which is tough and rugged. The pockets and zipper compartments are large and well organized for more gear and you get a detachable front bag along with 2 detachable side pouches. You never know when you will need to ditch your backpack and it’s good to have an option to store essentials in a grab-and-go pouch that can double as a fanny pack or first aid pack. Tactical gear backpacks have plenty of features to offer.
The Noola wouldn’t be a true tactical backpack with a superior Molle System to give you extra carry options for your gear. You can attach even more outdoor gear, tactical pouches for supplies and more by utilizing everything this bag has to offer.
5.11 Tactical RUSH24 Military Backpack
The 5.11 RUSH 24 tactical backpack is like no other backpack you find in stores. It has more than enough room for a few days on the road or trail and it conveniently doubles as a work or college student bag. The 37L capacity can fit plenty of gear, books, notepads and even a large laptop for work or study. It has twin drainage grommets and YKK zippers that make it great for a quick hike or a camping trip that lasts a few days.
The 5.11 RUSH24 is great for the shooting range due to its grab & go design and wrap-around MOLLE web platform. You can secure enough gear for an entire day at the shooting range and supply your partner with gear as well. Also compatible with the 5.11 Tier System so you can add more bags, attachments and there’s even a space for a hydration bladder. This isn’t the type of tactical backpack Walmart carries. Tactical backpacks with hydration come in handy when you’re on the move and don’t have time to grab a drink.
The 5.11 is one of the most well-known tactical backpack brands you can find and they make great products. You can rest knowing that if you have an issue, 5.11 will take care of it for you.
The 5.11 RUSH24 is suited for hot weather and cold climates with a water-repellent coating for additional protection and a zippered fleece-lined eyewear pocket. If you’re looking for an all-season tactical backpack that can be used in various ways – this is a great bag to check out. We also think this is a great choice to use as a tactical backpack for hiking since it has tons of options.
CVLife Tactical Backpack
A simple design with tons of special features perfectly sums up the CVLife tactical backpack. The pockets are spacious and compartments large enough for plenty of gear for a 3-day hike or road trip. Made from tough 900D high density Polyester that is both durable and water-resistant so you can carry this bag anywhere.
The large main compartment is quite large that can secure a laptop or other important cargo. You can carry large loads comfortably with the waist belt and adjustable chest belt. The 3 detachable Molle pouches are great for essential gear and first aid equipment that can be grabbed in a hurry and the Superior Molle System gives you even more carry options.
This is one of the best tactical backpacks for users who are looking for a true outdoor bag that can also be carried to work or school and secure/protect expensive gear.
You can often find tactical backpacks on sale and get a great deal. This is especially true if you shop online.
Tactical Backpack Buyer’s Guide + FAQ
What Makes a Backpack Tactical?
Tactical backpacks are designed to take more abuse and to last through more adventures than regular backpacks. They’re made with tougher fabric and have special pockets to help better organize your gear. You will find that the best tactical backpacks are more comfortable and easier to carry for long trips. A good tactical backpack can double as a hiking backpack, bug out bag, daily commute bag and sports bag due to their design and functionality. You can even take them on long hunting trips and they will help you stay organized. The modular storage is better geared towards transporting tools, hydration bladder and other items you may need on your trip.
Best Tactical Backpacks
The best tactical backpacks are tough, rugged and have ample pockets and compartments. You probably carry a lot of gear to work and throughout your daily grind – a good tactical backpack is an indispensable piece of gear that you don’t want to overlook. You can easily attach a tactical Molle first aid kit to give you extra medical supplies without taking up extra room.
Here are a few features we like: comfortable straps, ample pockets and compartments, room for eye and ear protection, external ports for headphones, compatibility with hydration bladders, special pockets for first aid kits, water resistance and high-quality materials that won’t fray or wear out anytime soon.
Since tactical backpacks are designed for military applications as well as everyday use, they are able to carry and distribute more weight so don’t worry about overloading them with gear. Cheap bags that aren’t designed for heavy loads can rip and tear easily, whereas a sturdy tactical backpack can withstand more abuse. If you need a smaller everyday carry bag, check out tactical sling bags.
What Company Makes the Best Tactical Backpack?
You will see the same brand names over and over while researching the best tactical backpacks on sites like Amazon and eBay. The companies that make the best selling tactical backpacks include names such as Reebow Gear, 5.11, Mystery Ranch, Bear KompleX, Noola and SOG to name a few.
What Features Should be in a Tactical Backpack?
Tactical backpacks come in a large variety of makes and models, so you have to decide which features are the most important to you. However, there are a few key features to look for when choosing the best tactical backpack on the market. They include; sturdy construction, Molle webbing for extra attachments, water-resistant design, ample pockets and compartments, comfortable shoulder pads and customization options. If your tactical backpack has these features, you’re in good hands.
What Kind of Tactical Backpack Does the Military Use?
Military branches use a wide assortment of backpacks depending on the training and missions they endure. They will undoubtedly choose tactical backpacks that are durable, customizable, and resistant to outdoor elements. They may choose different tactical backpacks at different times to keep in line with their particular missions.
You have probably seen the terms military backpack and tactical backpack used to describe the same product. It’s possible for both descriptions to be used interchangeably in some cases, but not all. If you’re looking for a great military backpack to use for daily use, then you have to make sure that you choose one made from high-quality materials. Just because a product says it’s a military backpack doesn’t mean it lives up to military requirements. You will have to do some research to make sure you choose a great military backpack or tactical backpack.
Tac bag is another term you’ve likely heard while searing for the perfect bag. A tac bag can be any bag that utilizes features such as MOLLE webbing, attachments or ammo pockets. Tac bags are often used by military, law enforcement, hikers, travelers and for hunting and fishing. A good tac bag is extremely versatile and can be used for many different applications.
3-Day Assault Packs
A 3-day assault pack or 73-hour backpack is designed to carry enough gear and supplies for a 3-day trip. They have large main compartments to that can store clothing, food or other essentials. They also have secondary compartments with tons of smaller pockets and pouches. 3-day assault packs also have MOLLE webbing and additional attachment options that allow you to expand your bag without using the main compartments. Many people stock a 3-day assault pack to be used as an emergency bag in the event they have to leave the area without notice.
How Much Do Tactical Backpacks Cost?
The price of tactical backpacks vary widely. You can find high quality bags at roughly $45 up to an upper end of $200 depending on the size of the bag, features and brand name. You can find a cheap tactical backpack that still has the features that you need for your bag. If you use a tactical backpack for work, you can find bags that have a secure place for your laptop.
What is a Molle Backpack?
A MOLLE backpack is any bag that integrates MOLLE webbing or attachments. You can get a lot more out of a MOLLE backpack than you can with a regular backpack. They give you multiple ways to carry extra gear without using your main storage space. I use MOLLE webbing to attach flashlights, knives, first aid kits and more gear depending on where I’m going. The great thing about MOLLE backpacks is that you can customize them for any adventure or outing.
Backpacks with Velcro Patches
Backpacks with Velcro patches are a fun way to display your patches and to customize your bag. I like them because you can add some personality to them to liven up your trip. You can find backpacks with Velcro patches to fit any outdoor outing or to carry your supplies back and forth to work.
You may be trying to choose between a tactical backpack and Army rucksacks. While they share many of the same features, there are a few differences between the two. Both are carried on your back, but Army rucksacks are generally larger and can hold more gear and tools. An Army rucksack is usually made from canvas materials and will last forever. They are also heavier than your traditional tactical backpack due to the materials used. Army rucksacks are also designed to attach more hardware and equipment to the outside and can be used for work, traveling, hiking and any other type of outdoor travel.
Army rucksacks are also great for carrying a heavy load. You can explore more and carry heavier gear due to the rugged build of an army rucksack. They can also take a beating and still be passed down generations.
Jerome is an avid outdoorsman who moonlights as an attorney when he’s not creating the world’s greatest online content.