Whether you are hunting, hiking, or bugging out you will have gear to carry. And when that gear exceeds the capacity of your pockets or a pouch, you need a tactical backpack.
A tactical backpack is an over the shoulder bag that has either one or two straps that can be used to carry and organize supplies.
It is most often used in situations where a normal backpack would easily fall apart or would not offer the same amount of storage space as a tactical bag.
In Hurry? I've Got You Covered, This Is My Winner
REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical Backpack
Why is it better?
5 Best Tactical Backpack
With that in mind, let’s now take a closer look at our top picks.
Let’s dive into the specifics and review each tactical backpack individually. You can use the list below to jump and review specific models, or you can read along and go through all the information.
REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical Backpack
Backpacks are either meant for books, or for tactical situations that require diligent planning and maximum storage.
REEBOW won the latter by a landslide with their large forty liter capacity, as well as the heavy duty double stitched zippers all along the entire thing. It’s built to last.
Pair that with the sturdy buckles that keep everything nice and compressed, and you’ve got yourself a bug-out bag that even the SEALs would be proud of.
Utility pull cords, all-black water resistant fabric, and enough room for three days of provisions for a single person—that’s just the surface of why this bag is so excellent.
The cost is ridiculously affordable, especially for this amount of storage, and the shoulder straps feel like marshmallows on your body. They’ll help to support everything and take the load off your back, at least a little.
REEBOW’s pack simply wins on all fronts, between cost, durability, and fitting the genuine needs of preppers and tactical enthusiasts everywhere.
- Sized appropriately to hold onto three days worth of survivables
- Vast 40L total capacity
- Heavy duty double stitched zippers w/ pull ropes
SOG Ninja Tactical Day Pack
One of the biggest problems with tactical gear is that it stacks up, and it’s pretty heavy.
SOG wanted to make a backpack that tackles all the back problems and pain that most of us face when loading up our gear, and they’ve done a bang-up job. Built from high quality canvas and polyester, you’ll be able to put this through hell and back again with no problem.
The real focal point here are the heavy duty shoulder straps.
These are designed to evenly distribute the weight along your back to better support your lower lumbar, and reduce the chance of injury and fatigue.
The pack is about 24 liters, which is enough for a one-man, two-day survival pack with plenty of provisions. Not only that, but we haven’t told you the best part yet: SOG guarantees this for life, backed through a manufacturer’s warranty.
You deal straight with them if there’s ever a problem with the backpack, and they’ve got you covered.
- 24L capacity for two-day journeys
- Durable polyester and canvas construction
- Oversized shoulder straps to alleviate tension and support your lower lumbar
Mardingtop Tactical Backpack
One mark of a piece of tactical apparel that you definitely want is attention to details, even down to the stitching on the zipper, and the zipper itself.
It’s no secret that YKK remain the undisputed champion when it comes to the best backpack zippers out there, and Mandingtop has included them with your backpack.
Not only that, but they’re stitched in to a durable and rugged 600D polyester primary material across this entire bag.
Choose from three different sizes, and snap the waist belt into place when you suit up. The belt helps distribute the weight across more of your entire upper body, alleviating the usually pressure that’s weighing down on your lower lumbar.
From the 2.5L bladder to the MOLLE webbing, Mardingtop made a stellar pack.
We just wish the warranty was longer than 90 days, but that’s plenty of time to see if this is the right tactical backpack for you.
- Available from 25L to 35L sizes
- Waist belt design greatly reduces fatigue and lower back pain
- Crafted from 600D polyester and fitted with YKK zippers
MEWAY Military Tactical Backpack
Designed with numerous looks in mind, MEWAY has a vast 42L of storage space for you to get comfortable with.
That makes this a one-man, three-day pack (five if you can pack right), and it’s tough enough to get you through just about anything you’ll encounter. Crafted out of high density fabric, everything you see before you is waterproof as well as abrasion resistant.
As for the interior, you have plenty of storage pockets that you can designate for anything you like.
Interior MOLLE webbing allows you to organize efficiently, and pack what you need while having access to almost everything the moment you open the pack.
While this doesn’t include a hydration bladder, there is a protected spot to put one if you wish to buy it separately. For the size, the straps could have been a bit bigger, but nevertheless this pack does what it’s supposed to.
- Excellent 42L worth of space for big hauls and plenty of gear
- Hydration pack compatible w/ ample protection
- MOLLE webbing + high density fabric w/ water resistance
Gowara Gear Tactical Sling Backpack
Not every go-bag has to be end-of-the-world level prepared.
Sometimes, you just need to get the hell out of wherever you’re at.
Gowara’s sling bag is basically built for this.
It fits a 14” laptop, includes numerous internal pockets to organize overnight essentials, and has a dirty little secret that will keep you safe from harm.
There’s a concealed back compartment where you can either hide your valuables so they’re away from prying eyes, or slip a sidearm to help you out when the going gets rough.
It’s an everyday bag, ideal for some EDC items to fit in the external compartments.
There are plenty of buckles and straps to keep things secure, which means if you’re running, from anything, your belongings will stay in place exactly how you packaged them. Nothing is going to get to your items.
Gowara includes a one-year warranty, which is more than enough time to pit this against worst-case conditions and see that it will in fact rise on top.
- Concealed back compartment for firearms or valuables
- Single sling strap is built wide to prevent shoulder pain
- Fits up to a 14” laptop with ease
Tactical Backpack FAQ
Tactical backpacks allow more comfort over long distance, as well as being made out of a more durable fabric than other backpacks.
Tactical backpacks are ideal for use in hunting situations, since they are made to withstand intense terrain, inclement weather, and to hold and organize a wide array of stuff.
A good tactical backpack will allow you to make sure that you have everything you need with you on your hunting trip, without adding unnecessary weight to your trek in.
In case you are in a hurry, our choice for the Best Tactical Backpack is the REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical Backpack.
WHAT MAKES A BACKPACK TACTICAL?
When it’s used by the brave men and women that protect us. Firefighters, rescue workers, police, military, even covert operations like the CIA—everyone has additional gear that they need to store in order to fulfill their goals.
Tactical bags have high storage capacities, ridiculously durable materials, and often come with hydration packs or at least the pouch to hold onto a hydration pack.
Tactical bags include lots of storage compartments so you don’t have to dig through your belongings to find one specific item.
They’re easy to reach into, wear, and become a part of you.
Nobody’s ever carried a book bag and thought, “This is an extension of myself.” It’s a life or death bag that includes everything you need to survive in a myriad of situations.
WHAT BACKPACKS DO THE MILITARY USE?
High storage, camouflaged, waterproof ones. It’s unclear exactly what brand of backpack the military uses. Each branch uses something different, and those items are always in rotation.
Most military backpacks need to store a ton of tactical gear, and it’s not always space-friendly. You can expect military bags to have upwards of 120-135L in capacity, as well as high definition, believable camo that would trick just about anybody.
Depending on where they’re going, those bags might change based on the climate and landscape.
Geographical location can change what gear you use, but it’s all about how you use what you have at the time to get out of a bad situation that counts.
WHAT TO PACK IN A TACTICAL BACKPACK?
We could just say tactical things, but that wouldn’t be very helpful. Your tactical backpack isn’t something you bring to work. It’s a go-bag, or a bug-out bag, or fitted with self-defense, survival, and EDC items to help you in the fight for self-preservation.
Ideally, what I would want in my tactical backpack is:
- A first-aid kit
- Reliable folding knife (blade under 3 ½”)
- Three days of food and water rations
- Spare clothes
- Miniature solar panel with USB hookup + power bank
- Firearm with one box of ammunition
- Water filtration system for appropriate party size
- Ultralight tent and sleeping bag
- Paracord or thin rope
- EDC kit (fire starter, sharpener, etc.)
- Spare money for travel
Now comes the difficult part: organizing it in your tactical backpack. As you see, it’s a little bit of everything. Whatever is going to make you feel safe in a shaky or dodgy situation is what you should bring in your tactical backpack.
FOR WHAT SIZE SHOULD YOU OPT FOR?
It depends on your body weight, and what you plan to carry with you. A person that’s fully in-shape should never carry more than 33% of their body weight on their back.
Then, you have to consider the fact that if you’re at least slender or in halfway decent shape, you shouldn’t exceed 21-23% of your total body weight on your backpack.
That doesn’t leave much room for your belongings either way. You should get a size that’s a little bit bigger than what you need, so you can use the straps to secure everything together.
For some context, a 40L backpack will hold up to 88 lbs of weight. Keep in mind that not all items are dense, and you can easily have 35 lbs of goods that take up the entire interior of your backpack. Plan accordingly, know what you’re bringing.
Tactical Backpack Video
Here is a thorough YouTube video explaining what to look for in a tactical backpack: