Top 15 Best Tactical backpacks in 2018

We have read and checked 10,909 reviews to make this top 15 list!

First, here's the best reviewed tactical backpack of all the many bags we have checked:

Badlands 2200

There are quite a few tactical backpacks to choose from, so it can be a bit of a problem finding the best backpack for your needs.

First of all you need to consider what size and features you need from your new backpack - and after that, you need to check the many different brands to make sure you end up with a quality backpack that doesn't fall apart.

To help you choose, we have read and checked 10,909 reviews to find the best reviewed tactical backpacks.

Now, let's take a look at the 15 best rated tactical backpacks here in 2018:

Ranktactical backpackRating
1Badlands 2200Badlands 22004.8
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25.11 Tactical Rush5.11 Tactical Rush4.7
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3Direct Action Dragon EggDirect Action Dragon Egg4.6
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4Mystery Ranch Urban AssaultMystery Ranch Urban Assault4.6
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5Direct Action GhostDirect Action Ghost4.6
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6Badlands KaliBadlands Kali4.5
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7Eberlestock HalftrackEberlestock Halftrack4.5
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8Tenzing TXTenzing TX4.5
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9Badlands DiabloBadlands Diablo4.5
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10Alps OutdoorZ PursuitAlps OutdoorZ Pursuit4.3
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11Exos BravoExos Bravo4.3
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12Eberlestock GunslingerEberlestock Gunslinger4.2
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13Badlands ReactorBadlands Reactor4.2
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14Paratus 3 Day OperatorParatus 3 Day Operator's Pack4.2
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15Vanguard PioneerVanguard Pioneer4.2
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List based on 10,909 checked reviews.

How we rate the bags

We have checked 10,909 tactical backpack reviews, so we can show you the weighted average rating of all the bags.

Using the average ratings, you can check what all the reviewers think instead of just viewing the subjective opinion of one specific reviewer.

It's much simplier to find the best bags that way.

Not sure what tactical backpack to choose? Read on as we are going to take a closer look at each bag!

The tactical backpack buyers guide

Tactical backpacks may have been originally designed for military purposes but they are becoming a lot more requested by the general public. This is because these type of backpacks are durable, hardwearing, and perfect for extreme outdoor activities.

Of course, that means that picking out the right tactical backpack requires a little bit more work on your part. To make it easier for you to decide which one you need, we have provided some helpful guidelines. From material and size to special features, we have you covered. Here is everything you need to know.

Buying a Tactical Backpack? Here’s the Guide You Need

It is important to know what to look for when you are choosing a tactical backpack. This is because there are a lot of technical components that you have to consider. By understanding which features to look out for and which ones are purely for aesthetic purposes, you will be better equipped to choose a good tactical backpack. The following are things that you will need to pay attention for this purpose:

Tactical Backpack Strength and Durability

Undoubtedly, one of the most important aspects of any tactical backpack is its ability to withstand grueling conditions and an unforgiving environment. There are two main factors that will affect just how strong and tough, your tactical backpack will be – the material and the weave.

Backpack Material

There is quite a lot to get into when it comes to the topic of backpack material. This is because the fabric alone isn’t necessarily a determination of the overall strength. For instance, nylon is typically chosen over polyester because it is tougher. This is true when the fabrics of the same deniers are compared with one.

This, of course, brings the subject to denier. It is important to understand that denier refers to the weight of the material rather than its strength. As you can imagine, the thicker the material is, the stronger it usually is. So when examining nylon and polyester of the same denier, nylon wins out. However, if the nylon that is being used has a lower denier than the pack made of polyester with a higher denier, the polyester backpack is tougher. So, it is safe to say that it is all relative.

Despite this, nylon is what is most commonly used with tactical backpacks. Even here, though, there are two types of nylon to choose from: ripstop fabric and Cordura fabric.

Ripstop Fabric

Ripstop refers to the design in which nylon fibers are woven into lighter materials. This type of fabric has a diamond or box pattern which can prevent rips from spreading, which is the property that lends its name to the material. This fabric also has an advantage of being quite light despite its durability.

Cordura Fabric
Cordura fabric is not necessarily as good at preventing tears as ripstop material. What it is excellent at, however, is abrasion resistance. This means that you can cut down on the amount of wear that your pack experiences, particularly when used in rocky terrain. There is another fabric known as Kodra which is virtually indistinguishable from Cordura.

Material Weave

There is only one thing that you need to remember when it comes to choosing the right weave: diagonal weave. Fortunately, most tactical backpacks use a diagonal weave in their fabric. Not only does this weave add strength, it also helps to minimize the wearing away of the pack.

Now, the weave that you should stay away from is called the Oxford weave. Quite a few people are tricked into thinking that this weave is superior as it is what is used in vehicle seatbelts. Contrary to popular belief, however, this weave will simply not hold up.

Best Tactical Backpacks

The Right Capacity

You will be able to find tactical backpacks ranging from capacities from around 1520 cubic inches up to 4500 cubic inches. Size and capacity are tricky issues when referring to tactical backpacks. This is because choosing the biggest pack possible isn’t always the best decision. Here, it is best to find a backpack that will only accommodate what you want to carry with you.

Therefore, to decide which backpack is the right size, you will first need to determine what it is that you will be taking with you on your journey. Once you have calculated the overall capacity that you need, then you will need to find a backpack that can accommodate it.

You should avoid choosing an oversized pack, imagining that it is going to help you out on multiple occasions. First, the larger the pack, the heavier it is bound to be. Furthermore, for tactical backpacks to be easier to carry, everything needs to be tightly secured inside. So, if you have more space than items, they are bound to move around inside, making it more difficult to walk. This is why you should match the capacity and proportions only to what you intend on taking with you.

Pockets, Compartments, and Storage

In the same vein as space, you should also think about pockets, compartments, and other storage features of a backpack. As we’ve mentioned above, the only way that a tactical backpack is useful is if everything has its own place and position. Therefore, the greater the number of pockets or compartments, the better.

When it comes to pockets and sleeves, you should think about the interior of the pack as well as the exterior. If you are going to need quick access to tools or other items, then look for a pack that has a lot of external pockets. If you want to attach bigger gear or tools, then look for lashings and loops that will allow you to attach this equipment to your backpack.

If you want additional external storage look for a MOLLE system. MOLLE refers to the acronym used by the U.S. Military to denote the term Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. MOLLE features will look like horizontal straps on the outside of the backpack. These have sewn down at intervals to create small loops where you can store your gear.

The Strap System

One of the primary things to look at when examining a tactical backpack is the shoulder straps. This is because this feature, to a large extent, will determine just how comfortable your backpack will be. Ideally, you should look for thick straps but those that are compatible with the width of your shoulders. You should also look for padding on the bottom of the shoulder straps so that the material will not cut into you.

The next thing that you should look at is the hip belt. The safest way to carry greater weights is to carry the majority of the weight around your hips. This is what a hip belt allows you to do. Look for belts that sit right above your hip bones and that have padding around this area.

The sternum or the chest straps provide stability to the bag, particularly for larger packs that need to be held securely against your back. Consider sternum straps that sit several inches below your breastbone to avoid uncomfortable chafing while walking.

All of the straps on your bag should be well attached to the backpack, preferably by durable double stitching. This will ensure that it won’t tear even if you pack a greater load. Also, the straps should be adjustable. You will then be able to find a perfect fit for you.

Waterproof Features

A tactical backpack needs to be able to withstand the elements which means that it needs to keep your belongings dry even in a downpour. By itself, nylon may be water resistant to a certain degree but definitely isn’t waterproof. Waterproofing properties are typically achieved by covering the backpack material with other types of waterproof materials or coatings.

The fabric, however, is not the only thing responsible for keeping a backpack waterproof. Usually, the zippers are the weakest point on any backpack, especially when it comes to letting water in. This is why any zippers that your backpack does have should be covered in waterproof material. The internal portions of the zipper should also be sealed and protected with waterproof features.

If the rain is strong enough or your backpack will need to be submerged for a period of time, it is quite likely that water will get in. As such, the backpack should be equipped with drain holes. These are places through which the water can drain away, making it easier for the pack to be dried.

The Appearance

When most people think of tactical backpacks, an image of camouflage material immediately springs to mind. Nonetheless, not all tactical packs have camouflage patterns – there are many that come in black, green, and other colors. It is up to you, whether or not you actually need a camouflage pack. If you are hunting or maybe even hiking and want to stay out of sight, then the camouflage pattern may come in handy. If this is not a concern, you probably will not need one.

Additional Features

There are a few additional features that you may want to consider, depending on what you expect to get out of your tactical backpack:

  • Hydration System: if you are going to be traveling for long distances in hot weather, you may not want to keep stopping to drink water. In this case, you should look for backpacks with places to put a hydration reservoir and a means to secure a drinking tube on the backpack. This way, you will be able to drink water while on the move.

  • Tear Away Medical Pouches: is there a chance that you may need a first aid kit in a hurry? If so, then you should look for a backpack with a tear away medical pouch. This way, you will have easy access to your first aid kit if you find yourself in a tough spot.

  • Concealed Compartments: if you are traveling with a tactical backpack and you want to secure your important items, then look for concealed compartments. You will be the only one who knows where these pockets are located and will be able to keep money and travel documents there.

This is all of the information that you need to have to be able to choose and purchase a tactical backpack that is best for you and your excursions.

Popular Tactical Backpacks And Military Rucksacks Brands

Here are some of the most popular brands that make tactical backpacks and military rucksacks:

3V Gear

The 3V Gear is company gives us the advantage of being able to test our products on snowy peaks, deep valleys, and in the high deserts. 3V Gear Velox is a must try tactical backpack by the 3V Gear.

3V Gear was founded on the principal of manufacturing quality equipment at a reasonable price. With rugged good looks 3V Gear products are designed to blend functionality and comfort. They design specialized bags for military, survival and tactical users and police.

The 3V Gear Direct Selling Model assures that their buyers pay the lowest price possible for their gear. They work tirelessly to manufacture the best gear possible. Because of this, they feel confident in offering their users a manufacturer lifetime guarantee. They say that if any zipper fails or the stitching comes undone they will either fix the gear or send a new one.

5.11 Tactical

5.11 Tactical is a manufacturer of uniforms tactical equipment for law enforcement, military and public safety personnel and clothing. 5.11 Tactical Rush is one of the most popular tactical backpacks by 5.11 Tactical.

5.11 has made a loyal following among some of the most discerning and demanding end users of gear and apparel through a commitment to manufacturing product with innovation, quality, and compelling value. 5.11 Tactical products exceed exacting and rigorous and standards, which have allowed them to create a reputation for authenticity and innovation and made their products as the premier choice for enthusiasts and purpose-driven professionals worldwide.

Built on a base of value, durability, and quality, 5.11 Tactical leads the industry in marketing functionally innovative gear. 5.11 Tactical manufactures, gloves, clothing, boots, knives, holsters, packs for law enforcement use and slings. They are also very popular with private military contractors and civilian shooters and.


Badlands is a global brand that designs and produces the world’s best-hunting accessories, hunting packs and hunting apparel. During the past two decades, Badlands has also focused on developing the best shelters, tents, and sleeping bags built for the specific requirements of hunters. Popular tactical-backpacks by Badlands include Badlands 2200, Badlands Diablo, Badlands Reactor, and Badlands Sacrifice.

Badlands Packs have been leading the industry for more than ten years. Badlands hunting packs started out designing some of the greatest mountaineering packs in the world. Their technology is the most cutting edge on the market. Badlands camo hunting backpacks are loaded with the newest technology that will allow the users to carry all hunting gear needed for their pursuit.

Badlands packs have models available for every situation you might run into on the mountain. From the monstrous Sacrifice backpack which has a huge capacity to the incredibly light Diablo Day Pack. They set their standards of quality to exceed that of their competition. They stand behind their products better than anyone in the business.

Direct Action

Direct Action is a company that manufactures uniforms and tactical equipment and for demanding customers. Direct Action products feature a modern design and high functionality. The brand has created a wide range of Tactical Backpacks which are popular and functional. Direct Action Dragon Egg, Direct Action Ghost and Direct Action Dust are some of the popular shoes from Direct Action.

Direct Action’s catalog includes a wide range of waterproof soft shells, tactical combat uniforms, men’s underwear and fleece jackets. Direct Action also offers top quality rucksacks and bags, MOLLE system pouches and accessories, tactical footwear and headgear.

Direct action products are designed based on the experience of elite special operations units, Created with law enforcement and security personnel in mind, the Direct Action range, now available at Military 1st tactical online store, will also fulfill the requirements of every Airsoft, paintball and outdoor enthusiast.


Eberlestock Tactical Backpacks And Military Rucksacks come in different styles to accommodate various activities. Some of the Eberlestock bags that are available include the following Eberlestock X1, Eberlestock Gunslinger, and Eberlestock Halftrack.

Eberlestock bags have each been designed to provide you with features that make your outdoor adventures easier. Some features of Eberlestock bags include the following, Hydration bladder: The hydration bladder is BPA free with a glass-like lining to help prevent any effects on the taste of your water, Padlock/MOLLE type webbing: This style allows you to attach accessories, scabbards, and gear to an easily accessible location, Hands-free rifle carry: This type is a scabbard that holds your rifle securely, Scabbard attachment system: This carrying system is designed to give you an easier way to attach your weapons to your pack, Modular connection options: This style gives you choices. You can choose among different accessories to customize your pack.

Although useful for anyone interested in different types of bags and backpacks, the Eberlestock bag was originally built to accommodate the needs of military, law enforcement, and outdoor professionals. These hunting packs are designed to stand up to the elements and withstand hiking through difficult terrain and heavy-duty usage.

Mystery Ranch

Mystery Ranch is a manufacturer of packs and loads carriage systems for hunting, military, wildland fire and mountaineering customers. Some of the must-try Tactical Backpacks are The Mystery Ranch Scapegoat, Mystery Ranch Urban Assault, and Mystery Ranch Metcalf.

Mystery Ranch is built on a heritage of comfort, function, durability, and quality. They engineer packs that control and stabilize a wide range of loads and let The user’s body move dynamically and naturally throughout a gamut of motion. Their packs are different in that they let the user adjust the yoke via a telescoping design to fit the exact length of their torso. By moving their form-fitting molded adjuster, They move the shape as well. Load Carriage™ is the cornerstone of their design philosophy; it's at the core of what makes Mystery Ranch packs unique. They specialize in manufacturing packs that adapt to awkward and changeable loads.

With both international and domestic sales and production, as well as wholesale and direct to consumer business models, they maintain their standard of quality around the world.


Paratus Tactical Equipment is a, survival, tactical, outdoor adventure and self defense equipment provider. Paratus 3-day operator's pack is a must-try pack by Paratus.

They currently do sales in the private and commercial market, as well as with government agencies with specific non-GSA required orders. Paratus Tactical Equipment also offers NRA firearm safety training, wilderness survival training, and NRA Range Safety Officer services, provider.

Paratus Tactical Equipment started in 2012 in Virginia Beach. And was born out of its community's need for a company with a wide range of products at a more customer friendly price, as well as the need for a highly customer oriented company that offers proper firearms usage and training.

The 3 best reviewed tactical backpacks in 2018

Ranktactical backpackRating
1Badlands 2200Badlands 22004.8
Check price »

25.11 Tactical Rush5.11 Tactical Rush4.7
Check price »

3Direct Action Dragon EggDirect Action Dragon Egg4.6
Check price »

Missing a great tactical backpack? Let us know in the comments below.

Last updated 17/06/2018. Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API.

Last updated on June 17, 2018

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