Best Tactical Backpack | Deployment to Long Hikes


Unlike other backpacks, tactical backpacks are designed to be durable and versatile. Whether you need one for military deployment or long hikes, a tactical backpack should provide numerous compartments and features to make your trips comfortable and keep your gear organized. With so many options now available, finding which tactical backpacks are the best can be complicated.

If you’re short on time, we’d recommend the Mystery Ranch 2-Day Assault Backpack as one of the best tactical backpacks you can currently get your hands on. It’s weather-proof, organized, and comfortable. Everything you need in a tactical backpack.

We’ve made it easy for you by listing out other best tactical backpacks currently on the market. If you’re looking for a tactical backpack that’s larger or more budget-friendly, then check out the other backpacks we’ve reviewed below.

Best Tactical Backpacks

Compare Top Tactical Backpacks

Best Tactical BackpackOverall ScoreBottom LinePrice
Monoki Military Tactical Backpack
Monoki Military
76 Budget Buy
Ergonomic design
Check Out On Amazon
5.11 Tactical COVRT18 2.0 Tactical & Everyday 32L Backpack
5.11 Tactical COVRT
82 Best Hybrid Tactical/EverydayCheck Out On Amazon
5.11 Tactical RUSH72
5.11 Tactical RUSH
88 High End
Most Durable
Check Out On Amazon
SOG Ninja
SOG Ninja
74Best DaypackCheck Out On Amazon
REEBOW Gear Tactical Backpack
REEBOW Gear
86Best Large Capacity OptionCheck Out On Amazon
Mystery Ranch 2-Day Assault Backpack
Mystery Ranch
92 Top Pick
For Holding Large Essentials
Check Out On Amazon

Detailed Analysis Of The Best Tactical Backpacks

1. Monoki Military Tactical Backpack

Review - Monoki Military Tactical Backpack
Budget Buy

Overall Score: 76

Advantages

  • Budget-friendly
  • Versatile

Disadvantages

  • Low-quality zippers
  • Shoulder straps have limited padding

Capacity

The Monoki is a military tactical backpack with a 42L capacity. Any tactical backpack needs to be organized, and the Monoki doesn’t disappoint.

Its size is divided into 2 large compartments, a back compartment, and 2 small front compartments. With this, you can easily fit 3 days of survival provisions inside. 

Weight

The Monoki weighs approximately 4.5 lbs, just between our recommended 3 to 5 lbs for a tactical backpack. For the size of the bag, this weight is pretty reasonable.

With an ergonomic design that includes adjustable chest straps, shoulder straps, and a removable hip belt, the Monoki will distribute the weight of your pack and make longer trips more comfortable.

Features

In comparison to other backpacks, tactical backpacks need to be more versatile to suit any scenario or adventure. With webbing straps and two D rings, the Monoki is extremely adaptable.

These could easily be used as a military pack or for a camping trip.

As well as this, elastic straps found inside the main compartment allow you to carry a laptop or other electronics, making this bag also great for daily use.

I have a few good recommendations in my article on the best backpacks for everyday use in case you’re looking for one.

Durability

Made from high-density 900D oxford and nylon fabric, the Monoki offers a durable and waterproof exterior.

While this material should provide you with a heavy-duty backpack, it doesn’t quite live up to expectations, partly due to the cheap zippers and flimsy seams.

Price

Below $30, this tactical bag is a budget-friendly option. However, be aware that you sacrifice durability and comfort for a cheaper price.

The thinly padded shoulder straps and weak zippers prove that you’ll have to spend a bit more to get a higher-quality backpack.

2. 5.11 Tactical COVRT18 2.0 Tactical & Everyday 32L Backpack

Review - 5.11 Tactical COVRT18 2.0 Tactical & Everyday 32L Backpack

Overall Score: 82

Advantages

  • Best hybrid bag
  • Lightweight

Disadvantages

  • No hip belt
  • Expensive

Capacity

With a 32L capacity, the COVRT18 offers organized space for shorter trips or missions.

Although its capacity is generally smaller than other tactical backpacks, it makes up for this with an external stuff pouch, a hydration compartment, a laptop sleeve, and side gussets.

The only limitation of this size is that it will not be appropriate for camping or hunting.

Weight

Weighing 2.6 lbs, the COVRT18 is one of the lightest tactical backpacks you’ll find. Its weight is partly due to the nylon it’s made from, which allows you to pack heavier equipment.

Its padded straps and back panel make it comfortable and easy to carry. The only feature missing (that would make this bag perfect) is a hip belt.

The bag even comes with a hip belt attachment point, so it is even more irritating that it hasn’t been included.

Features

If you’re looking for a tactical backpack that has a discreet design, then the COVRT18 is a great choice. Its street-smart look won’t draw attention, making it handy for daily use.

You’ll be pleased to hear the COVRT18 doesn’t compromise any essential tactical features for its look, which makes it a much more adaptable tactical backpack than most. 

Durability

Made from 500D and 840D nylon, the COVRT18 drops the military aesthetic for a more civilian look. The nylon is tough and flexible, guaranteeing it’ll see you through a war zone or rainforest trek.

Adding to its durability, the COVRT18 seams are double-stitched, and the zippers are all genuine YKK®.

Price

The COVRT18 may be a little pricier than most bags with its capacity, but for its style and practicality, we think it’s worth it.

Compared to the Monoki, you have the assurance with the COVRT18 that this bag will last in any scenario. If a hip belt is essential for you, we recommend reviewing the other options. 

3. 5.11 Tactical RUSH72 Tactical Backpack

Review - 5.11 Tactical RUSH72
High End

Overall Score: 88

Advantages

  • Durable
  • Versatile

Disadvantages

  • Expensive
  • Heavy

Capacity

With the RUSH72, you get 55L capacity, perfect for 3 days of backpacking. With a large main compartment for clothes and trekking essentials, you also get an admin pouch for notepads and pens.

Even the front has an expandable front pouch which makes carrying helmets, roll mats, or tents even easier. With these compartments, the bag’s capacity is organized and adaptable, great for any tactical trip.

Weight

The RUSH72 Weighs approximately 4.7 lbs, which may be considered heavy. However, for the capacity and features it offers, we believe it’s reasonable.

With closed-cell foam shoulder straps, dual compression straps, and a padded hip belt, the RUSH72 makes carrying a heavier pack even more comfortable.

With these straps, you’ve got plenty of adjustability, so it’ll easily fit a tall or smaller body. 

Features

The RUSH72 is extremely versatile. With generous zipper side pockets and multiple exit points for hydration packs, you can tailor this bag to suit your trip.

One of our favorite features on the RUSH72 is the drainage grommets built into the bag.

These will drain water in your bag instead of retaining the extra weight, which is great for wet trips or missions in unpredictable weather.

If you want to learn more about wet weather camping, read my in-depth guide on camping in the rains.

Durability

This tactical backpack is made from water-repellant 1050D nylon, which is extremely hard-wearing.

With YKK® zippers and double-back-edged stitching, the RUSH72 is one of the most durable tactical backpacks on the market. With this quality, you can be sure this bag will last you through any scenario.

Price

The RUSH72 is usually between $200 and $300, which is pretty expensive. However, we believe it’s worth the investment. You’ll struggle to find a bag with the same quality, size, comfort, and features!

4. SOG Ninja Tactical Backpack

Review - SOG Ninja

Overall Score: 74

Advantages

  • Best daypack option
  • Cheap

Disadvantages

  • Difficult side access
  • Not waterproof

Capacity

You may be looking for a tactical backpack that is more agile and compact. You’ll want to consider the SOG Ninja if that’s the case.

With a 24.2L capacity, the SOG Ninja is suitable for day trips or short missions.

The space inside is well organized and divided into the main and front compartments, side pockets, and other small compartments.

Weight

You’re likely buying a tactical daypack because you need something more lightweight. The SOG Ninja weighs 1.94 lbs, which is reasonable for its size and material.

You’ll carry this efficiently and comfortably with padded compression shoulder straps and an adjustable sternum strap.

Although the SOG Ninja doesn’t come with a hip belt, we think it’s unlikely you would need one for its size.

Features

The SOG Ninja still has plenty of the features that larger tactical backpacks have, such as a tubing port for your hydration pack, MOLLE webbing, and four points to attach a sleeping or roll to.

A downside to the SOG Ninja is the general design, which makes it almost impossible to access anything from the side pockets once it’s on your back.

This could get seriously irritating when you have to keep stopping to take your water bottle out.

Durability

Made from durable polyester, the SOG Ninja will stand up well in most conditions. It’s advertised as ‘water-resistant,’ which is an immediate red flag.

While it has 2 grommet drain holes to filter out any excess water, the combination of polyester and rain would add weight to the bag.

In other words, it will usually take 2 hours for a polyester backpack to dry in a dryer. Imagine how long it would take in the wilderness!

Price

The SOG Ninja is usually below $40, which makes it another budget-friendly option. It’ll be a great daypack or overnight option if you can splash out on a rainfly for the bag.

Its compact size and comfortable design make it easy to carry all day.

5. REEBOW Gear Tactical Backpack

Review - REEBOW Gear Tactical Backpack

Overall Score: 86

Advantages

  • Large capacity
  • Lightweight

Disadvantages

  • Not waterproof

Capacity

The REEBOW has a capacity of 40L which means it can be used as a 3-day assault pack.

With two large front pockets and two main compartments, this bag has plenty of space for everything you’ll need on a mission or trek.

Inside each compartment and pocket are extra pockets and sleeves, so you can easily organize the bag and quickly access what you need on the road. 

Weight

The REEBOW weighs 2.8 lbs which is lightweight for its size and durability, especially when you compare it to the Monoki, which is almost double the weight.

What we love most about the REEBOW is its adjustable shoulder straps and hip belt makes it secure even if you need to run with it on your back.

The ventilated back panel also makes it comfortable and efficient, exactly what a tactical backpack needs.

Features

With MOLLE webbing, D-rings, and velcro straps, the REEBOW offers all the essential tactical backpack features you’ll need. In addition, the REEBOW is compatible with a 3L hydration bladder.

This is handy if you’re desert trekking or in other scenarios where you’re not sure when you’ll reach a water source.

Durability

Made from high-density 600D polyester, the REEBOW is durable and water-resistant. With heavy-duty zippers and double stitching, this bag’s quality speaks for itself.

The only downside is, similar to the SOG Ninja. You’ll have to cover the REEBOW with a rainfly if you want your belongings to stay dry.

Price

Usually priced below $50, the REEBOW is an absolute steal for the quality and features you get. Although it’s not waterproof, we believe its size and comfort make it worth purchasing the additional rainfly.

6. Mystery Ranch 2-Day Assault Backpack

Review - Mystery Ranch 2-Day Assault Backpack
Top Pick

Overall Score: 92

Advantages

  • Durable
  • Versatile

Disadvantages

  • Only considered a 2-day assault pack

Capacity

The Mystery Ranch backpack has a 27L capacity, which may appear quite small, but this bag makes the most of the size.

It’s practically made as a 2-day assault pack, and simplicity is at the heart of its design. The bag is tailored towards holding large essentials such as camping or hunting gear.

In other words, it does not have a separate admin compartment.

Weight

At 3 lbs, the weight-to-capacity ratio of the Mystery Ranch is pretty reasonable. With a Futura harness, the Mystery Ranch backpack is easy to adjust and remains comfortable whatever you plan to pack.

With an adjustable hip belt, shoulder straps, and sternum strap, the bag gives you the support you need wherever you are.

Features

This bag’s great organizational design is partly because of its Y-shaped zipper, which provides you with quick access to what you need in your pack.

It has an abundance of MOLLE webbing to attach any extras to the outside and dual water bottle pockets. It’s also easily compact with front compression straps.

Durability

Made primarily with 500D Cordura, the Mystery Ranch backpack is abrasive-resistant, durable, and strong. The aquaguard YKK® zippers add more quality assurance to the durability of this backpack.

The Mystery Ranch does not have taped seams and, as a result, cannot be labeled as waterproof. However, the fabric and zippers are completely weather-proof.

Price

The Mystery Ranch is one of the more expensive tactical backpacks on this list, but we believe it’s worth the investment.

This bag is versatile enough to take into the wilderness while remaining aesthetically pleasing to wear around the city.

As well as the high durability, comfort, and features it offers, we’d recommend this bag as the best tactical backpack currently on the market.

Final Thoughts

A tactical backpack is essential for any adventurer looking for more robust, versatile, and comfortable gear.

Finding the best bag can be challenging, but we hope this guide has given you all the necessary information to purchase the tactical backpack that’s perfect for you.

We think the Mystery Ranch 2-Day Assault Backpack is one of the best tactical backpacks you can get.

Shailen Vandeyar

A proud Indian origin Kiwi who loves to plant trees and play with his pet bunny when not out in the woods, exploring the infinite beauty of mother nature.

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