To find the best tactical backpacks or the best military backpacks, you’ll need to determine the features that are right for you and your personal needs. We recommend that you favor tactical backpacks that are made with durable and long-lasting materials that offer some measure of water-resistance, just in case you get caught in the rain. Make sure to also consider how much room is available in the tactical backpack you are thinking of buying, so you can be sure all of your daily essentials, such as handguns and survival gear, will fit inside. When buying a tactical backpack, always look for a durable build, a light form factor, and plenty of room for all of your most-used items.

After analyzing hundreds of reviews amongst a multitude of products with varying price points and features, we’ve determined that the Hazard 4 Plan B is the best tactical backpack on the market today. Keep reading about this and our other top picks to learn more about the best bags on the market.

Top 10 Best Tactical Backpacks

 #1  Hazard 4 Plan B Tactical Backpack

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: Best military backpack for hiking, thanks to the inclusion of modular accessory strap, known as a Molle, and a water-resistant nylon exterior.

Pros
  • Water-resistant nylon materials
  • Modular accessory strap (Molle)
  • Fits hydration bladders up to 3L
Cons
  • Weighs nearly 3lb
  • 17L max capacity on lower end

The Hazard 4 Plan B is a fantastic Molle backpack, thanks to the inclusion of a high-grade modular accessory strap and a padded and movable internal divider that allows for the attachment and storage of a wide variety of tactical accessories. We appreciated the water-resistant nylon exterior, which is also tear-resistant, and the fact that this backpack is designed to accommodate hydration bladders up to 3 liters in size.

Though the seamless integration with hydration bladders is a fantastic feature, the overall maximum capacity of this backpack is on the lower end, at just 17 liters. Additionally, this military duffel weighs nearly three pounds, which may not suit all consumers.

 #2  5.11 Rush72 Tactical Backpack

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: Boasts a large 55-liter max capacity, which is more than enough for daily necessities, with a water-repellent nylon exterior and glove-friendly molded grip pulls, making for an easy carry.

Pros
  • Water-repelling nylon exterior
  • Generous 55L max capacity
  • Fits hydration bladders up to 3L
Cons
  • On the expensive side
  • Heavier than many models

This 5.11 tactical backpack is a great choice for consumers looking for a durable and large option for carrying all of their tactical, hiking, and military-grade essentials. This backpack boasts a generous 55-liter maximum capacity and is made from water-repellent nylon, which is also rather tear-resistant. We appreciated the glove-friendly molded grip pulls, making for an easy carry, and the fleece-lined pocket for sunglasses.

This is a rather expensive tactical backpack, likely due to the advanced features on offer, so take that into consideration before making a purchase. Also, this is a heavier-than-average model, due to the large max capacity. It’s a great choice for anyone looking for the best day hiking backpack with a few more bells and whistles.

 #3  Elite Survival Systems ELS7725-B Stealth Tactical Backpack

Award: BEST QUALITY

WHY WE LIKE IT: High-quality tactical backpack with a robust feature set that includes an adjustable muzzle sleeve for gun security and padded sides and bottom for comfort and for added item protection.

Pros
  • Adjustable muzzle sleeve for gun security
  • Durable nylon throughout interior and exterior
  • Padded sides and bottom for comfort and item protection
Cons
  • Weighs 4.5lb
  • Extremely expensive

The Elite Survival Systems ELS7725-B Stealth is the best tactical backpack for guns, thanks to a quick-access firearm compartment and a highly adjustable muzzle sleeve. We appreciated the padded sides and bottom, for comfort and item protection, and the fact that this backpack features durable and water-resistant nylon running throughout both the interior and the exterior. This bag also boasts velcro loops on the interior for maximum customization.

This is an extremely expensive tactical backpack, however, due to the advanced features and customization options. Additionally, the weight here is higher-than-average, clocking in at nearly five pounds. For work, you might like our best commuter backpack buying guide.

 #4  Eberlestock Halftrack Tactical Backpack

Award: BEST FOR COMMUNICATION

WHY WE LIKE IT: Comes with an integrated upper back wall radio rack with 3 antenna portals, allowing for easy two-way communication in the wilderness, with multiple padlock webbing tie-points running throughout for security and to deter theft.

Pros
  • Multiple padlock webbing tie-points
  • Designed to carry 2 hydration kits
  • Durable gossamer polycarbonate frame
Cons
  • Needs third-party item to hold rifle or bow
  • Extremely expensive

The Eberlestock Halftrack Tactical Backpack is a great choice for those who want to remain in constant radio contact with friends or squad members as they participate in a dangerous trek, thanks to an integrated upper back wall radio rack with three antenna portals. We loved the ultra-durable gossamer polycarbonate frame and the large interior, which features two hydration compartments. This backpack also comes equipped with multiple padlock webbing tie-points for increased security and theft deterrence

This backpack cannot accommodate a rifle or a bow right out of the package, however, as you’ll need a third-party attachment. Also, this is an extremely expensive duffel backpack, thanks to the advanced features and materials. As a gun owner, you might also be interested in the best range bag.

 #5  Direct Action Dragon Egg Tactical Backpack

Award: BEST DESIGN OPTIONS

WHY WE LIKE IT: Designed for advanced military and law enforcement operators, with availability in a multitude of useful designs, including camouflage, in addition to being made from durable 500D Cordura.

Pros
  • Vent system for increased comfort
  • Made from durable 500D Cordura
  • Compatible with hydration bladders
Cons
  • 25L max capacity not the larger on market
  • Weighs nearly 4lb

The Direct Action Dragon Egg Tactical Backpack is available in a wide array of colors and design options, each suiting different tactical and wilderness scenarios, which is especially true of the camouflage designs. We appreciated the proprietary vent system, for increased comfort, and the fact that this backpack is fully compatible with most third-party hydration bladders. We also liked that this bag is made from durable and water-resistant 500D Cordura.

Though this pack features a large number of pockets and compartments, the maximum capacity is 25 liters, which is on the smaller side. Additionally, this tactical backpack weighs nearly four pounds, which may not suit all consumers. If you’ll be in wet climates, you might also want to pick up the best dry bag to help secure your equipment from water and the elements.

 #6  Condor 3 Day Assault Tactical Backpack

Award: BEST COMFORT

WHY WE LIKE IT: Extremely comfortable, even while filled to the brim, thanks to a foam pad back panel and shoulder straps that match the body’s natural contour.

Pros
  • 50-liter max capacity
  • Compatible with 2L or 3L hydration packs
  • Heavy-duty carry and drag handle
Cons
  • No dedicated firearm compartment
  • Somewhat heavy, nearly 4lb

The Condor 3 Day Assault Tactical Backpack makes for an extremely comfortable carry, even while filled to maximum, thanks to a ventilated foam pad back panel and shoulder straps that match the body’s natural contour. This is a larger-than-average backpack, with a maximum capacity of 50 liters, and integrates with a wide variety of 2-liter and 3-liter hydration packs. We also liked the heavy-duty carry and drag handle, allowing for a variety of carrying options.

Though there are seven pockets located throughout this backpack, there is no dedicated firearm compartment, which may not suit some consumers. Also, this military duffel weighs nearly four pounds, which is certainly on the heavier side. Still, it’s a great option for someone looking for the best duffle bag with military-grade features.

 #7  5.11 Rush24 Tactical Backpack

Award: BEST DURABILITY

WHY WE LIKE IT: Incredibly durable military-grade backpack, with a reinforced grab-and-go handle, a water-repellent coating on the exterior, and a pair of ultra-sturdy compression straps.

Pros
  • Contoured yoke shoulder strap system
  • Zippered side water bottle pocket
  • Self-repairing YKK zippers
Cons
  • On the expensive side
  • Weighs over 3lb

The 5.11 Rush24 Tactical Backpack is a great option for consumers who value superior durability, as this bag is built-to-last, with a reinforced grab-and-go handle, a water-repellent coating on the exterior, and a pair of ultra-sturdy compression straps. Other durability-enhancing features include self-repairing YKK zippers and a contoured yoke shoulder strap system, which also helps to provide increased comfort. The zippered side water bottle pocket should also come in handy as you trek out in the wilderness.

This is a relatively expensive backpack, likely due to the iconic brand and the advanced feature set. Additionally, the weight here is on the heavier end, at just over three pounds. If you’re a gym buff, you might also like to check out our best gym bag buying guide.

 #8  Red Rock Outdoor Gear Assault Tactical Backpack

Award: BEST COMPACT DESIGN

WHY WE LIKE IT: Extremely compact and portable design, with a lighter-than-average form factor, that features availability in numerous designs and fully adjustable contoured and padded shoulder straps.

Pros
  • Adjustable contoured shoulder straps
  • Mesh ventilated padded back panel
  • Integrates with water bladders up to 2.5L
Cons
  • 28L max capacity
  • No water bottle pocket

The Red Rock Outdoor Gear Assault Tactical Backpack is an extremely compact and lightweight design, with a form factor that places a priority on portability. We appreciated the highly adjustable contoured shoulder straps, which are padded for comfort, and the mesh ventilated padded back panel. This backpack also integrates nicely with most third-party hydration bladders, up to 2.5 liters.

Though this is the best small tactical backpack, the limited 28-liter maximum capacity may not be a perfect fit for every consumer. Also, this backpack lacks a dedicated pocket for water bottles, though the integrated Molle webbing allows for the attachment of a third-party attachment. Additionally, you might also want to consider getting the best tactical wallet for added security for your cards and money.

 #9  Reebow Gear Military Tactical Backpack

Award: BEST VALUE

WHY WE LIKE IT: Value-conscious military duffel with a serious feature set that includes a generous maximum capacity of 40 liters and an aesthetically pleasing design that features an American flag logo.

Pros
  • 40L max capacity
  • Attractive design with American flag logo
  • Integrates nicely with hydration bladders
Cons
  • Not as water-resistant as some models
  • Stomach strap may not suit big-and-tall consumers

The Reebow Gear Military Tactical Backpack may just be the best tactical backpack under $50, thanks to arriving at a lower-than-average price while still boasting a serious feature set. This backpack boasts a generous 40-liter maximum capacity, which is more than enough for a weekend trip or a hike through the wilderness, and integrates seamlessly with most third-party hydration bladders. We also appreciated the aesthetically pleasing design here, complete with a snazzy American flag logo.

Though the high-density fabric exterior does provide some water-resistance, it is not fully water-repellent, which may not suit all consumers. Additionally, the integrated stomach strap may offer too tight of a fit for big-and-tall hikers or military staff. It’s a great option for anyone looking for the best travel backpack with additional features.

 #10  SOG Ninja Tactical Backpack

Award: BEST ON A BUDGET

WHY WE LIKE IT: Budget-conscious backpack with a suite of advanced features that include a durable canvas and polyester exterior, a padded mesh back for comfort, and a modular design that allows for easy customization.

Pros
  • Durable polyester and canvas exterior
  • Modular design with several large compartments
  • Padded mesh back for comfort
Cons
  • No dedicated firearms compartment
  • Max capacity 24L

This SOG Ninja Tactical Backpack arrives at a budget-friendly price tag while offering features in line with more expensive competitors, such as a durable polyester and canvas exterior that has been treated with water-repellant materials. We appreciated the modular design here, allowing consumers to adjust the interior as they see fit, and the series of grommets to attach a sleeping bag or roll. This backpack also makes for a comfortable carry, thanks to the padded mesh back.

Though there are many pockets intended for smartphones, water bottles, and other must-have items, there is no dedicated firearms sleeve, which may not suit all consumers. Also, the maximum capacity here is on the lower side, at just 24 liters. If you need additional gear, it’s worth checking out our best tactical pants buying guide.

How We Decided

To help narrow down to the above list, we thoroughly researched a number of well-regarded tactical backpacks, ensuring that they were a great choice for military enthusiasts, survivalists, and avid hikers. To that end, we liked bags that were made from ultra-durable materials that could take a licking and keep on ticking.

On top of general durability, we liked bags that were tear-resistant and abrasion-resistant, with bonus points awarded to bags that also offered superior water-resistance. Some bags go above and beyond when it comes to water-resistance, offering treated exteriors that quite literally repel water away from the interior of the bag, helping to keep your prized items safe and secure.

We liked bags that featured a generous maximum capacity, with plenty of room for firearms, water bottles, clothing, firearms, sleeping bags, and other must-have items. Many modern tactical backpacks feature Molle webbing, which allows it to integrate seamlessly with multiple attachments, and room to connect to hydration bladders.

Best Tactical Backpacks Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Durability and Water-resistance
    Modern tactical backpacks can be incredibly durable, allowing them to withstand the elements and whatever else is thrown at them. Look for a backpack that features a fair bit of tear-resistance and abrasion-resistance. Additionally, water-resistance should be high on your list of must-have features. Some backpacks are simply water-resistant while others are treated with water-repellent materials, increasing their efficacy.
  2. Maximum Capacity and Specialized Compartments
    While shopping for a tactical or military backpack, make sure it boasts a generous maximum capacity so that it can fit all of your most-used survival items and related outdoor gear. Tactical backpacks can range anywhere from a maximum capacity of 20 liters or so all the way to near 80 liters, so there is much variety to be had. Also, modern backpacks feature all manner of differing compartments, for sleeping bags, water bottles, firearms, and more.
  3. Attachments and Accessories
    Modern tactical bags can seamlessly integrate with a wide array of attachments and accessories, thanks to built-in Molle webbing or Velcro loops and hooks. These attachments and accessories can include hydration bladders, for holding extra water, and hooks to connect sleeping bags.

Tactical Backpacks FAQs

What is the best military backpack?

The best military backpack, or tactical duffel, is one that is made from durable and water-resistant materials while offering a generous maximum capacity. The best military backpacks also typically include ports for hydration bladders.

What are tactical backpacks for?

Tactical backpacks are primarily used by wilderness enthusiasts, survivalists, and active military members, such as NAVY Seals. These backpacks are durable, offer a generous maximum capacity for tactical gear, are generally molle compatible, and highly water-resistant.

What should I look for in a tactical backpack?

If you are shopping for the perfect tactical backpack, make sure that it is durable and highly water-resistant, with a polyester or nylon exterior. You will also want to make sure it boasts a decent maximum capacity, with plenty of room for your most-used essentials, via side pockets, zipper pockets, laptop sleeves, and more. You should also look for a comfortable fit, with a waist belt and sternum strap.

What goes in a 3 day assault pack?

If you are a member of the military looking to fill out a three-day assault pack, make sure to fill it with extra ammunition, batteries, communication gear, rain covers, hydration systems, rope, firearms, and whatever other small items you need for survival.

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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