Best Tactical Backpacks of 2020 – Complete Round-up

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Are you looking for the best tactical backpack? If you are, then this is a good starting point for you. It may be tough to find a backpack for all of your outdoor and tactical needs if you are looking in the wrong places. But we’ve done all the heavy lifting so you can be able to find a backpack so you can be in, out, and on with life.

By doing this, we’ve managed to handpick what we believe are the best tactical backpacks on the market. Before we get to the review list itself, we’re going to talk about what purpose these tactical backpacks serve, what size you need, and what you need to look for when finding a tactical backpack for your own personal use.

Comparison Chart of the Best Tactical Backpacks

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Tactical Range Backpack

  • Available in various colors
  • YKK locking zipper included for pistol storage
  • Molle webbing system included for Molle attachments
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Allen Elite ATACS-IX

  • Comes in a camouflage pattern
  • Padded shoulder straps included
  • Made from high-quality Endura material
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Drago Gear Atlus Sling Water-Resistant

  • Best for the money
  • Water-resistant material
  • Made from high-quality polyester
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5.11 Tactical AMP12

  • Comes in one size
  • Made from high-quality nylon
  • Loop panels and webbing straps
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Red Rock Outdoor Gear

  • External pockets included
  • Ambidextrous shoulder straps included
  • Molle webbing on front and rear of the bag
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Voo Doo Tactical Discreet Level III

  • YKK zippers included
  • Made from high-quality Cordura
  • Additional attachments for carabiners included
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Mardingtop 25L/28L/35L

  • Molle webbing for attachments
  • YKK zipper included for additional security
  • Contains a 2.5 Liter water bladder for hydration
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Bulldog Cases BDT

  • Molle and Alice compatible
  • Includes 5 storage compartments
  • Metal grommets for easy drainage
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Highland Tactical West Heavy Duty

  • Padded back panel
  • Includes a 15-inch shoulder drop
  • Includes side compression straps
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5.11 RUSH 72 VTAC Backpack

  • Adjustable waistband
  • Sternum straps included
  • Made from water-resistant nylon
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What Purpose Does Tactical Backpack Serve?

The main purpose of a tactical backpack is to allow you to store as many goods as possible. You can use this for hiking, camping, or even as a bug out bag that will give you plenty of items and supplies that will last you through a short period of time. Alternatively, it’s a bag that will also be able to store your firearm of choice along with some extra ammo and accessories. 

What Size Tactical Backpack Do I Need?

The short answer: it depends. It will depend on your application and also with what you plan on carrying on a regular basis. It’s important to consider the basic survival items regardless of your intentions. These include additional food, a flashlight, a knife, a pistol (with extra magazines), an emergency blanket, and a compass among others.

Not only will a tactical bag serve you well in situations like “bugging out” (if such a situation warrants it), but it will be great to have if you end up lost in the woods if you are on a hiking or hunting trip. The more you plan on carrying, the larger the size you need (and vise versa). 

What Should I Look For When Buying a Tactical Backpack?

When you are looking for a tactical backpack for your own personal use, it’s important to find one that will fit your needs and personal preferences. You’ll need to keep your eyes peeled for some of the common features and characteristics such as the following:

Price

Yes, the price may not be a feature or characteristic per se. But it does play a factor in your search process. Especially if you are on a budget and need something that will be great in quality and reliability without having to spend an arm or a leg. As a rule, quality should always be your number one focus when you are looking at a backpack that is reasonable in price (and within your budget). Never settle for cheap and flimsy. 

Size

As mentioned before, size might be one of the things you need to look for in a backpack. That will come down to what you need to carry on a regular basis and what your intentions are for using the bag itself. If you are using it as a temporary bug out bag that will last you about three days (or if you are camping for the weekend), a small size will be sufficient. Any longer and that’s when the size will need to increase. 

Overall Quality

The overall quality of the backpack has to be important. The better the quality, the better the chance that it will be reliable on a regular basis. Especially when you want something that will keep a hold on your items. Most of the backpacks are made from high-quality nylon or other similar materials that are guaranteed to last you through many uses and will be resistant to wears, tears, and even water. 

Quick Take - The Best Tactical Backpacks

These are our recommendations for the best tactical backpacks:

  1. Tactical Range Backpack
  2. Allen Elite ATACS-IX 
  3. Drago Gear Atlus Sling Water-Resistant

Review of the Best Tactical Backpacks

The following is a list of tactical backpacks that are currently the best on the market. It’s important to consider looking for a few characteristics and features that will stand out as interesting and make notes. This way, you can refer to them in case you need to make a process of elimination based on a few “deal breakers” (for example, if the straps are too short).

Let’s start with the “best overall” on our list:

Pros

  • Spacious in storage size
  • Really sturdy construction
  • Perfect for bugging out, hiking, and camping
  • Plenty of pockets for convenience and extra storage
  • Rain cover is easily deployable and keeps everything dry

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of new buyers say that the backpack is spacious and has plenty of size for all of the items that you plan on taking with you. They said that it was a pretty rugged backpack that felt comfortable when fully loaded and on your back. One user said that he was able to load this with tons of camping equipment and also had plenty of space for one of his pistols and a few magazines for target practice at a makeshift range he set up while camping.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a tactical bag that is made for various purposes. You can take it for a weekend-long excursion, while you are evacuating a disaster area, or for when you are preparing for a day when high-stress tactical applications are likely (assuming you are in law enforcement or in the military). Regardless, you have lots of storage space that will allow you to pack any provisional items that will be important to your overall safety and well-being. The inclusion of Molle webbing will also allow you to customize the backpack to your liking with some Molle attachments that can and will serve you in the long run. 

Who Will Use This Most

This will be great for a lot of outdoor activities and survival situations. This is a multi-purpose tactical backpack that can get the job done no matter what. All you need to do now is pack it with what you need for your intended use and you’ll be in business. Plus, it’s pretty tough inside and out so expect this to last you years no matter how often you use it. 

Bottom Line

The GPS Tactical Range backpack is well-deserving of the “best overall” nod and for a few good reasons. This is no ordinary backpack that you can take anywhere. It’s one that has a variety of storage pockets big and small that will give you plenty of space for all of your survival items and a few extras. You’ll be well-prepared no matter what the mission (or application) is. 

Pros

  • Super tough quality 
  • Very rugged construction
  • Ample storage space for most items
  • Comfortable to carry, even for longer periods of time
  • Hydration compatible. Can handle water bottles or attachments that accommodate them

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

According to new buyers, they said that this was a great bag to have on hand for when they wanted something for a few days up in the woods or if when they were prepared for the worse when it comes to disaster. They were impressed with the backpack’s ability to give them comfort while carrying on their backs even when it’s loaded with all the items they need. The straps were quite soft (if not softer than expected) according to a few users.

Why it Stands Out to Us

One of the backpack’s best features is the adjustable straps. Keep in mind, there are some backpacks out there that are “one size fits all”. With this backpack, that isn’t the case. You can adjust the sternum straps so a size that will fit you perfectly while you are carrying the bag for miles. No matter how long and winding your paths from point A to point B is, you’ll have a backpack that is comfortable, easy to fit, and will definitely get you through any situation be it an emergency or otherwise 

Who Will Use This Most

This is a really good backpack that will be ideal for military, law enforcement, or civilian use. In short, it’s a versatile backpack that can handle everything from your camping equipment to police and tactical gear that will get you through the dangerous situations that will keep you and your team safe. You can fit this in the trunk of your car or police cruiser and will be there when you need it no matter what. 

Bottom Line

The Allen Elite Tactical Backpack might be the perfect choice for all of your outdoor or tactical applications. This backpack is no slouch when it comes to quality and keeping you prepared for the best or even the worst. Either way, this is a backpack that you’ll want to keep handy with all the survival items you need. 

Pros

  • Affordable for most budgets
  • Great for various applications
  • Superior durability and construction
  • Has spacious storage for any items
  • Water-resistant material

Cons

  • Zipper quality could be better
  • It could use some more padding
  • Single shoulder sling might not be the most comfortable

What Recent Buyers Report

Most new buyers say that this was way more than a budget tactical backpack given its quality and performance. They said that it gave them plenty of space that allowed them to pack a lot of tools and equipment that would be ideal for regular outdoor applications and even bugging out if and when you need to. One user said that he lives in a hurricane-prone area and says that he bought this bag for when he needs to evacuate. He says that he has all the supplies he needs and would be able to use the bag for the other supplies if and when possible. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The bag itself may be made from durable materials, but where it shines is its ability to be water-resistant. This is the perfect bag to have if and when you are able to venture outdoors and the weather doesn’t seem to cooperate. But don’t confuse it with waterproof, it can still leak inside the back if you submerge it in deep enough water. Overall, the storage space is vast and excellent for any survival tools and gear. 

Who Will Use This Most

This is one of the best tactical backpacks you can find in terms of quality. But with a price tag that it has for the moment, it’s a steal of a deal. You can put this to good use if for every outdoor activity where you’ll need to pack for a day or even a weekend. Or you can pack all the survival goods and keep it aside in cause you absolutely have to leave the area ahead of the storm or any disaster situation. 

Bottom Line

The Drago Gear Altus Sling Water-Resistant backpack might just be one of the most affordable choices that you can consider if you are looking for the best tactical backpack you can afford when it comes to quality and performance. You’d be hard-pressed to find a backpack like this anywhere else on the market. Especially something that checks off the boxes of reliable, affordable, and long-lasting. 

Best Small Tactical Backpack:
5.11 Tactical AMP12

Pros

  • Great for concealed carry users
  • Very comfortable to wear for the long-term
  • Keeps everything packed and well-organized
  • Excellent for all-day use at the range or for EDC carry
  • Plenty of space for firearms and additional accessories

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of new users were concealed carry users. They said that it was fitting for various concealed carry pistols along with different kinds of accessories and ammo. One user said that he found the perfect range bag for all of his pistol accessories and magazines. He was able to pack them nicely and neatly so he was able to find whatever he needed in a matter of seconds. 

Why It Stands Out To Us

While there are some tactical bags that are used for multiple purposes, this is the bag that you can put to good use if you are planning on heading out to the range all day long and want a bag that is dedicated to all of your accessories and whatever else you need to enhance the performance of your favorite pistol. Not to mention, it’s super tough and easy to carry from one place to the next. Alternatively, you can use it as a regular bag for any of your EDC or survival tools for a day trip in the woods or hiking. Either way, it’s one of the most versatile backpacks that you can find for when you need to pack all of your goods into one space-saving bag that will come in handy at any given time. 

Who Will Use This Most

This will be an excellent bag that will be useful for any concealed carry user that needs additional space for all of their concealed carry needs. If you have additional accessories, ammo, and anything that you plan on taking to the range then there is a good chance that you’ll be able to use this backpack to your advantage. Of course, it can also double as a hiking or camping bag that will get you through a couple of days while roughing it in the outdoors. 

Bottom Line

The 5.11 Tactical AMP12 could be one of the best backpacks you’ve invested in for tactical purposes. It’s tough, allows for ample space despite its size, and will be useful to any concealed carry user that wants nothing more than additional storage space for all of their accessories and everything in between.

Best Tactical Sling Backpack:
Red Rock Outdoor Gear

Pros

  • Plenty of packing space
  • Perfect for left-handed users
  • Molle attachment compatible
  • Great for outdoor activities and hard use
  • Allows for quick and easy movement when you’re on foot

Cons

  • Zipper quality could be better
  • Not as waterproof as some expect
  • Accessing a carry weapon store inside might be a challenge

What Recent Buyers Report

This backpack was a hit with a handful of users. It allowed for concealed carry users to store any additional pistols, magazines, and other accessories. For the other half, it was a great storage bag for the purpose of storing EDC items that will usually come in handy if and when you need them. One user said that he was able to use this bag for a day at the range and was never in short supply of any items that he needed. He also carries a portable cleaning kit inside just in case he needed to make on the fly cleanings. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

What makes this bag super sturdy is the high-quality polyester that is used to make this bag. Not to mention, it does a good job resisting water in bad weather conditions. So if you are looking for a bag that will be perfect for those outdoor hikes or long days at the range and the weather takes a bit of a turn for the worst, then there is no doubting that your contents will keep dry. Plus, the bag doesn’t wear and tear easily when it’s being used constantly. 

Who Will Use This Most

If you are looking for the perfect tactical backpack that will be useful in more ways than one, then you might want to consider this as one of your best options. It’s lightweight but super sturdy. And it can be able to fit everything you need inside in a well-organized manner. No more having to rummage through the clutter and struggle to find whatever it is you need. Plus, you won’t need to go to the “bottom of the bag” to find what you are looking for. 

Bottom Line

The Red Rock Outdoor Gear Rover sling pack proves its worth as one of the more durable and most versatile tactical backpacks in the business. You’ll be surprised by what this bag can be able to fit in the number of pockets you have made available to you. It’s perfect for venturing in the outdoors or when you need to be prepared for the worst. 

Best EDC Tactical Backpack:
Voo Doo Tactical Discreet Level III

Pros

  • Very tough construction
  • Really discreet and stealthy
  • Useful for multiple purposes
  • Low profile so it can allow you to move freely and nimbly
  • Perfect for various users ranging from concealed carry users to hikers

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

This was a tactical backpack made for the users who wanted nothing more than excellent concealability for their pistols and other survival tools that they needed on the go. Most of the new users say that they were using this for EDC and bugging out purposes and were quite impressed with the build and the overall quality of the bag. One user said that if he had to evacuate in the direst of situations, he would be confident in handling it because of the bag’s ability to keep things on the down-low. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Stealthiness is what a lot of us would want more of these days when it comes to facing dangerous tasks. Of course, this backpack will amp that up a bit. If you are looking for the ideal backpack that will keep all of your items intact without anyone making the assumption that you are carrying something like a pistol, then this might be the best tactical backpack you can find. In fact, it can pass up as a regular backpack and no one will even bother to worry about what you are carrying. 

Who Will Use This Most

If you are looking for a backpack that will give you more stealth and less bulging than any other on the market, you’re going to probably purchase this without even thinking twice. Of course, you get more than just discreet carrying. You get a backpack that will be best used if and when you need something that will last you a long period of time (and something that will be hard to wear and tear). 

Bottom Line

If you want a tactical backpack that just might be the best of the best (despite not being “best overall”), the VooDoo Tactical Discreet Level III backpack is exactly what you are looking for. It’s got the stealth, it’s got the space for you to pack all sorts of items, and it’s useful for almost any application where you need to carry things on the go, including your trusty concealed carry pistol. 

Best Tactical Backpack Under $50:
​Mardingtop 25L/28L/35L​

Mardingtop 28L Tactical Backpacks Molle Hiking daypacks for Camping Hiking Military Traveling 28L-Khaki

Pros

  • Superior quality and construction
  • Deep pockets allow for excellent storage
  • Waist belt is a good fit and holds up nicely
  • Perfect for hiking, bugging out, and rucksacking
  • Side pockets are large enough to fit an extra water bottle

Cons

  • Straps could be a bit tighter
  • May fray after long-term use
  • Doesn’t unzip for wider loads

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the new buyers were looking for a starter model tactical bag that would be useful for any outdoor activities like hiking or rucksacking. They were really impressed with the overall quality and it’s for the bag to provide excellent storage for their items. One user said that he was able to fit his outdoor gear that included a pancho, a medical kit, and some ready to eat foods among others inside.

Why it Stands Out to Us

For a backpack that is under $50 in price, it’s pretty dang sturdy and provides ample space for storage. In plain English, this is anything but cheap and flimsy. Plus, with the inclusion of Molle webbing, you can find attachments that will be perfect for any other additional tools and accessories. 

Who Will Use This Most

This will be an ideal backpack for anyone looking for something that isn’t too cheap or too high-end on the market. You get the best quality plus plenty of storage space in one nice looking backpack. Whether you are hiking or rucksacking or using it to keep yourself ahead of the curve when disaster strikes, this is the kind of backpack that will keep sturdy and stay reliable for a long period of time. 

Bottom Line

The Mardingtop backpack is proven to be the true quality option for those looking for a tactical backpack just south of $50. It’s one hell of a rugged backpack no matter how much you pack inside of it. Whatever you use it for, you can expect this to last you a good couple of years. Not bad for something that’s considered to be a starter backpack. 

Best Tactical Backpack Under $100:
Bulldog Cases BDT

Pros

  • Sturdy and very tough
  • Plenty of storage room
  • Rugged stitching
  • Can hold up to three hydration bladders
  • Easy to move around even when fully loaded

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

This tactical backpack had users that were mostly hikers and rucksackers. But nonetheless, they were quite pleased with the amount of storage space they were able to leverage for their applications. Even one user said that he had plenty of storage space handy for a lightweight one-person tent that he had set up during a hiking trip that he recently went on. So far, he was far from disappointed with what this backpack was able to do. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This is probably the best tactical backpack you can come across if keeping yourself hydrated is paramount. It can fit up to three hydration bladders, which will be a lot more convenient than carrying so many water bottles and not leaving much for the other items. These will come in handy whenever you need them most. On top of that, it’s pretty dang sturdy for heavy items that you can toss in there when you need heavier weight for rucksacking.

Who Will Use This Most 

This is the ultimate tactical backpack for anyone who is a hiker, rucksacker, camper, or any outdoor enthusiast that doesn’t want to leave home without it. For something that is below $100, what isn’t to like about this backpack? If you want a sturdy, reliable backpack that will be great for any outdoor enthusiast, then you’re probably going to consider this to be one of your best friends in any outdoor situation. 

Bottom Line

The Bulldog Cases BDT backpack is an outdoor lover’s dream. With all this ample space provided to you, there really isn’t a limit to what or how you can put this to good use. But you can best believe that it’s a backpack that will not steer you wrong no matter how long or how often you venture outside. 

Best Highland Tactical Backpack:
Highland Tactical West Heavy Duty

Highland Tactical West Heavy Duty Tactical Backpack

Pros

  • Lots of storage space
  • Padding is nice and soft
  • Adjustable for a perfect fit
  • Super comfortable to wear
  • Great for outdoor activities

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

New users say that the backpack was very comfortable and it allowed them to wear it for most all-day outdoor activities like hiking. It was also a great bag for anyone who works as first responders that needed a bag to carry their medical equipment with. One user said that the storage room was quite spacious and it was quite fitting for all of his medical gear and even a few extra EDC tools that he had purchased recently.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a bag that lives up to the name of heavy-duty. This has up to 2200 cubic inches of storage space that will work to your advantage whenever you want to pack a few things and head outdoors for the weekend or if you need to pack some kind of equipment that will be needed in emergency situations. It’s just a small sample of what this bag is made for and there is no limit to what you can bring no matter where you go. 

Who Will Use This Most

You can expect this bag to be useful in most outdoor activities. But this is great if you are a first responder looking for a bag that will give you plenty of space for your medical equipment and other tools that you need in an effort to save the lives of others. Even with plenty of space at your disposal, this bag is useful for so many users in so many ways. 

Bottom Line

The Highland Tactical West Heavy Duty is the go-to tactical backpack for any outdoor enthusiast or first responder. No matter what you pack in this bag, there is no denying that you’ll be using this highly durable backpack for as long as you like. Be it years or decades, the better you take care of this it will take care of you in return. 

Best 5.11 Tactical Backpack:
5.11 RUSH 72 VTAC Backpack

Pros

  • Very comfortable to wear
  • Easy to adjust for various sizes
  • Has plenty of room for Molle attachments
  • Provides plenty of room for hydration bladders
  • Dividers keep it nice and tidy. Still provides plenty of room

Cons

  • Won’t free stand
  • Pockets may take up some space
  • Can be a bit heavy and bulky at times

What Recent Buyers Report

As expected, a lot of people were not disappointed in the bag. They said that it provided plenty of space for all kinds of items that were useful for camping, hunting, and also for those who are out in the field day in and day out protecting and serving the public like law enforcement and first responders. One user, a police officer, said that he uses this bag for the purpose of storing extra ammo and other gear and keeps it in the back of his cruiser. He uses this as an easy way to keep everything he needs organized so he can get it quickly. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This bag is made from one of the best names in tactical gear. And there is no denying that you’d expect anything less from 5.11 Tactical. This bag has everything you’ve been looking for when it comes to tactical backpacks. Plenty of storage space inside alone with Mille webbing for additional attachments? What’s not to love about this bag?

Who Will Use This Most

This bag will come in handy for any user that will be spending more time outdoors often or using it for the preparation of emergency situations. Either way, it’s a bag that will keep you ahead of the curve in times of recreational or when time is a factor when life is on the line. It’s built tough and can handle any kind of application for the long term.

Bottom Line

The 5.11 Rush 72 VTAC Backpack is great for multiple purposes. It will be great for keeping you busy while you’re outdoors or when you work around the clock to save lives. This bag is one of the best you can find for any kind of application where there is no such thing as having too much to prepare for.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying 

If you are looking for a great tactical bag, then it’s important to consider the idea of making yourself more informed about these backpacks. Here are some aspects to consider before making a choice:

What Purpose Will You Use This For

Are you a hiker? Do you work in law enforcement or emergency services? Or do you need a simple bug out bag for the sake of keeping yourself prepared for any danger? Either way, you’ll need a bag that will fulfill your intents and needs. Consider what you will be packing regularly regardless of how often you’ll be using it.

What Size is Ideal? 

The size will come down to personal preference. However, this is another aspect to where you need to consider what you need to pack on a regular basis. This will also depend on the intended use of the backpack itself. 

Built For Long Term Quality

The long term quality is important for a backpack. When it’s a tactical backpack, you can expect it to be tough as nails. That’s why everyone you can find will be made from some kind of high-quality material that will make it hard, if not impossible to tear.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a tactical backpack for any intent or purpose, it’s important to find one that will give you enough space to pack all your much-needed tools and gear just in case you need them for emergency purposes or if you are spending some quality time outdoors. Find one that will last you a long time and become reliable and all-around useful and put it to the test whenever and wherever it’s needed.

People Also Ask

The following is a list of the frequently asked questions that are asked mostly by new buyers. Use this as a guide and use this to get a better understanding of how these backpacks work. Here are the following questions:

What Do You Put in a Tactical Backpack?

You can put all kinds of items in a tactical backpack. Typically, these include various EDC tools like flashlights, pistols, magazines, and medical kits. The items will also depend on your intent and purpose.

What is the Difference Between a Rucksack and Backpack?

One major difference is size. A rucksack will be a bit larger than a standard backpack. A backpack will always consist of two straps that will be wider than some rucksacks. 

What Makes a Backpack Tactical?

There are some things that will make a backpack tactical. These include but not limited to larger space, durable material, tactical/camo color options, molle and/or other attachment methods for accessories, and adjustability that will be fitting for most users. 

What Are the Loops on a Backpack For?

The loops can be used to apply items like carabiners, keychains, or even paracord. They can even be used for the purpose of adding additional Molle attachments.  

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