7 Best Tactical Backpacks That Will Make You Hard To Kill

By Just In Case Jack | Last Updated: August 22, 2018

Best Tactical BackpackThere’s just something badass about carrying everything you need to survive on your back.

It’s a feeling of intense satisfaction.

Completely confident you have what you need to disappear into the wilderness or survive an urban combat zone.

Armed to the teeth and prepared to deal with whatever comes your way.

That’s power.

And it’s something all survival backpacks (and tactical backpacks in particular) make possible.

Having a tactical backpack packed and stacked in your home, ready to deploy at a moment’s notice.

Or you can use them more often for hikes, camping, hunting, or fishing adventures.

I even use one to carry my stuff between home and the office because they make great Get Home Bags.

The point is this:

The diversity of their utility is endless.

But, there’s a problem…

In the past, there were only 1 or 2 tactical backpacks on the market to choose from. But nowadays, we’re confronted with a massive variety. Hundreds of brands, styles, sizes, and shapes will quickly jangle one’s sense of clarity.

  • How big of a tactical backpack do I need?
  • What shade of camo?
  • Is “hydration pack compatible” important – what’s it mean?
  • What is MOLLE?
  • What features should I look for?!

So many questions  – it’s overwhelming.

Fear not, though, Skilled Survival has your back.

We’ve done the dirty work, sifting, sorting, and researching the world of tactical backpacks, specifically:

**Note: If you want our top recommendations, feel free to SKIP AHEAD HERE.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our #78 Item Complete Prepper Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

tactical pack on a table with assault rifle

What Is A Tactical Backpack Anyway?

I am glad you asked.

They are designed for (as their name implies) intensive tactical purposes.

Tactical backpacks set themselves apart and above other backpacks in every way imaginable. They are a major upgrade to your regular run-of-the-mill Jan-sports back-sack. Because there are some very important distinctions between these and regular backpacks

Like many of the best survival tools, tactical backpacks were designed originally for the military.

They were (and still are) part of the standard-issue gear that soldiers receive. These packs are designed to hold the rest of their survival gear and tactical equipment. Your backpack becomes your best friend in the military and the wilderness.

This is why tactical backpacks were engineered to withstand the harshest environments. The worst abuse you can think of.

These packs need to be reliable – which is why it’s worth spending a little extra cash on a great one. You want quality when it comes to tactical backpacks.

Which is exactly what makes them so great for survivalists.

I know plenty of people who use tactical backpacks as their bug-out bags.

I see them on the trails when I’m out hiking, and folks use them as an outdoor daypack too. I’ve also seen them carrying computers, books, and notes in coffee shops.

Yes, tactical backpacks have come a long way from the battlefront. And it’s only a testament to their utility, to their versatility, and practicality.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our #78 Item Complete Prepper Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

2 military soliders with tactical backpacks

Best Tactical Backpack Features

The easiest way to look for the right tactical backpack is to learn what makes a good backpack great.

Here is the thing, though: many of these qualities are subjective. For example, deciding what size backpack to get will hinge on your needs.

The color or type of camouflage you choose should depend on the environment you will use the pack in.

So always keep in mind:

“What is my situation? What are my needs? How do I intend to use it?”

That being said, here are some general features to look for:

Insane Durability

Any backpack used for tactical, survival, or adventures must be tough.

It should be able to withstand the worst-case conditions.

The buckles need to be strong. The straps need to be thick. The zippers need to be of high quality. The seams need to be double-stitched… you get the picture.

Seek strength and craftsmanship over extremely low prices or aesthetics.

Extremely Light-weight

Of course, you carry this on your back (usually packed with gear and supplies). So naturally, you should look for the lightest-weight bag (assuming high quality).

With that said – Never sacrifice durability for weight.

There is a fine line here. A point at which you start to diminish the product’s resilience as you go super lightweight.

So, keep weight in mind but do not make this priority number one.

Includes A MOLLE System

Pronounced “Molly,” this acronym stands for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment.

Molle is rows of high-durability nylon straps. They are fixed to the outside of the pack.

This allows users to attach a large variety of Molle-compatible attachments.

Side Note: These attachments are called “PALS”; Pouch Attachment Ladder System.

This allows you to customize your pack for different adventures. It also allows you to expand the gear you carry over time.


Multi-compartments = better organization.

Lots of compartments help you keep similar items together for faster retrieval.

You can separate food items from tools and daily use items or even keep water in some of them.

I like having lots and lots of separate compartments for my tactical backpacks.

Hydration Pack Compatible

Many packs have a special compartment, hook, and side/top hole for a hydration bladder insert. I can not overstate the usefulness of this feature.

With a hydration pack, you can drink water from a tube extending from your pack’s bladder.

Hydration literally hangs over your shoulder on a strap. You can stay hydrated AND stay on the move.

No need to stop and pull out the water bottle, unscrew, drink, re-screw-repack, and get going again.

Nope. Just sip as you walk, run, or whatever.

Laptop Compartment

This is important if you carry your laptop in your tactical backpack. Now lugging around a laptop in a tactical situation is not the best idea.

However, maybe you also want to use your tactical backpack as an everyday carry pack.

If you take it around town with a laptop, this compartment is an essential feature for you. But a laptop compartment doesn’t have to hold laptops either.

Laptop compartments are used to keep any sensitive electronics safe in tactical environments.

The padding helps keep your electronic gear safe such as:

These compartments are usually sized to fit a small computer perfectly.

The best ones are lined with extra padding to protect delicate electronics. Some even come with a waterproof zipper to protect them from water damage.

The Right Color

Many of these packs come in camo.

It is essential to consider your environment and what color will suit it best.

If you live in Moab, Utah, where everything is red, brown, orange, and rusty, don’t buy a blue-tinted camo pack. You might want a black one if you often travel at night.

If you’re going to be using it for hunting in the winter, buy a white and blue-tinted camo pack.

Consider yourself and your own needs before just buying one that looks cool. It’s an important skill called situational awareness.

Having a backpack that blends into its natural surroundings is desirable in most tactical situations.

This helps you evade enemies when it’s on your back and keeps them hidden if you need to ditch them.

Good luck trying to conceal that neon sign if your pack is bright pink or hunter orange.

Can You Add Plates?

If you want the ultimate tactical backpack, then you’ll want it to be able to carry body armor plates!

They call these types of backpacks – plate carrier backpacks. And they provide some protection to your vitals if bullets happen to be flying in your direction.

Check Out our article about tactical plate carriers if you want to know about carrying plates for protection.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate Survival Gear Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

tactical backpack with ammo

Best Tactical Backpacks On The Market Today

Some manufacturers make better products than others. And this is no exception when it comes to tactical backpacks.

There are cheap ones, and there are reliable ones.

So here are a few best tactical backpacks on the market today.

1. EVATAC Combat Bag

evatac combat bagThe EVATAC™ Combat Bag is a badass bug-out bag and ideal for anyone serious about putting together a legit tactical backpack.

It’s the pack that our founder (“Just In Case” Jack) personally owns.

It’s constructed of 600D Polyester, which makes it tough as nails.

The Combat Bag’s zipper and clips are heavy-duty and long-lasting.

The padded shoulder straps make carrying this bug-out bag very comfortable, and there is a chest strap that can sinch it down tight to keep it in place if/when you need to run.

There are a total of 10 compartments that can help keep you and your survival gear organized. By the way, these compartments are waterproofed to keep your gear dry.

There’s even a padded compartment that can fit a laptop or other sensitive gear.

The best news is that this tactical backpack sells for a fraction of the price of similar bags at the time of writing.

Interested? Check out my detailed review of The Combat Bag by EVATAC:

2. 5.11 Rush72 Tactical Backpack

5.11 Rush72 Tactical BackpackThe Rush72 is a large tactical pack with insanely high Amazon reviews.

It comes in a variety of different colors and includes:

  • dual-zippered compartments with YKK zippers
  • an organization pouch for pens, maps, or documents
  • hydration pack compatible
  • an extensive MOLLE system

It’s an excellent tactical backpack, but you also have to pay a bit more for it.

3. Reebow Gear Military Tactical Backpack


Reebow Gear wants to bring fans of military gear the best equipment possible.

All their gear is a standard of high-performance military and tactical gear.

This camouflaged pack comes in black camo or woodland camo colors.

It’s a 34-liter pack made of high-density, water-resistant nylon fabric.

It includes:

  • side and front-load compression system
  • a Molle system, ventilated mesh shoulder strap padding
  • a compartment for a hydration pack

You can get this tactical pack at a budget-friendly price point.

4. LA Police Gear Operator Backpack

LA Police Gear MOLLE Military BackpackLA Police Gear specializes in military and police gear.

This American company is synonymous with high-quality tactical, camping, survival, and everyday gear.

This pack is made from 600D Polyester with PVC coating making it extremely durable.

Available in three colors (black, green, and tan).

This pack has three mesh compartments inside the main compartment.

It also has radio ports and is hydration pack compatible.

At this price, it’s a reliable, high-quality option at a fair price.

5. G4Free Outdoor Tactical Backpack

G4Free Outdoor Tactical BackpackThis bag’s single-strap sling design means it can be used as a chest bag, backpack, or shoulder bag.

It includes:

  • multi-compartmental organization
  • dual-zippers
  • mesh compartments
  • high-quality zippers
  • upgraded stitching for enhanced durability

This is the ideal choice if you’re looking for a small tactical backpack.

Something to stash some key gear at the lowest weight possible.

6. Explorer Tactical Range/Bailout/Heavy Gun Bag

Explorer Tactical Range/Bailout/Heavy Gun BagThis tactical pack is designed specifically for hunting or shooting purposes.

It’s engineered with firearms in mind.

With compartments designed for holding pistols, targets, ammunition, and other firearm-related gear.

The pistol compartments are padded and lined with a soft material so as not to scratch your firearms.

Perhaps the best part of this pack is its lifetime warranty.

If it ever breaks down or gets ruined due to a defect, you can send it back, and Explorer will either refund or replace it.

7. Trekking King Military Assault Tactical Backpack

Trekking King Military Assault Tactical Backpack

This 60-liter pack is larger than most.

It’s lightweight, durable, and can comfortably fit several days’ worth of survival supplies.

The Molle system allows for extra external add-ons. This helps you expand and increase the size/carrying capacity of the pack.

This pack comes with a year-long warranty. Giving you peace of mind with the promise of a refund or replacement if there is any damage.

Black is the only available color.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to choosing a backpack for survival, look no further than a tactical pack.

They are light, they are durable, and can last a lifetime. So much more of an investment compared to standard packs.

Plus, they can be used as:

It’s the reason these packs have become so popular in recent years: they plain work.

Tactical backpacks are necessary for any serious survivalist, outdoorsman, prepper, or hunter.

If you need a pack that will last a long time and serve you well, get yourself a tactical one.

Will Brendza

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