10 Best Military Backpacks in 2021

10 Best Military Backpacks in 2022

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Backpacks are an essential part of your everyday gear, be it for outdoor adventures or as your daily carry gear. We will be looking at the best tactical military backpacks in 2022, as military backpacks are regarded as the tougher kind with the ability to accommodate more items and tools. A military tactical backpack is not only used by military persons or veterans, but also by regular users such as college students, trekkers, hikers etc. Therefore, the more information we have about the best tactical military backpack, the better it is for you to decide which backpack is the one for you.

In this post, we’ll discuss the top 10 military backpacks on the market right now. We picked these military backpacks from a set of 30 military backpacks we tested over 3 months to help you make an informed purchase. We’ll also discuss the best military backpacks or tactical backpacks in detail and list the things you should consider while buying one.

What is a Tactical Backpack?

Contrary to popular belief, there is no measurement standard that tells you if a backpack is “tactical” or not. Tactical backpacks are generally those backpacks that are made using the strongest materials. A tactical backpack can withstand wear and tear for the longest time. They are extremely reliable, and what makes them different from your daily-use regular backup are elements such as hydration bladder compatibility, ports for radio antennae, USB charging ports, headphones etc. Tactical backpacks are most suitable for hiking, law enforcement, outdoor adventures, trekking and, you guessed it right, military deployment.

Things to Consider When Buying a Military Backpack

A tactical backpack is no different from any other product on the market when it comes to choices and varieties. Therefore, one must take into consideration multiple factors before deciding which tactical backpack is the right one for them.


Military Backpacks Can Be Made of Different Materials, Such as Nylon, Polyester or Oxford Cloth

It goes without saying that the most important thing to consider while buying any backpack is the material used to make it. This becomes all the more important when buying a tactical backpack. Sturdy material is one of the foremost indicators as to what makes a backpack military grade or not. A tactical backpack must be strong enough to avoid abrasions and regular wear and tear for the longest time. Also, water-resistance is one of the key factors when it comes to choosing the right material for a backpack.

The materials most commonly used for making tactical backpacks are Nylon (often called Ballistic Nylon), Polyester or Oxford Cloth. These materials are not only super sturdy, but are lightweight at the same time. This ensures that the backpack is of a high quality and is comfortable to use at the same time.

Naturally, the thickness of a tactical backpack will be more than that of a daily-use backpack. Thickness of materials are often measured using the ‘Denier Rating’. To put it into perspective, the Denier Rating of a daily use backpack is 200D-250D, which is considered as “good”. For a backpack to be categorized under the tactical kind, it must have a Denier Rating of at least 500D-550D.

Lastly, material is not only restricted to the type of cloth used to make the backpack, but also the buckles, nozzles and zippers that have been used. Poor quality buckles and zippers can often be the cause of disappointment and frustration if not checked properly.


Generally, durability and weight are two factors that go hand in hand. The case is no different when it comes to tactical backpacks. The focus, when it comes to these backpacks, is more towards the durability than the weight. Tactical backpacks are generally heavier in weight because they are made in such a way that they can carry a lot of weight without compromising on the quality.

If we look at the bigger picture, people opting for tactical backpacks will often be carrying with them a lot of items. These could be tools, water bottles, gadgets etc. All the listed items contribute to the weight one must carry with them. The weight of the backpack is merely a fraction of the total weight being carried by a person. Therefore, one should not compromise on the durability and quality of their tactical backpack because of a few grams.

Users should keep in mind that this extra weight is due to the fact that tactical backpacks come with additional compartments, sturdier shoulder straps and thick material. Although, this does not mean that weight should be unusually high. There needs to be a balance between durability and weight.

Compartments and Pockets

Military backpack compartments
Military Backpacks Typically Comprise Multiple Compartments for Carrying a Variety of Outdoor Gear

How can we miss out on compartments and pockets when we are considering things before buying a backpack? High quality tactical backpacks usually come with a lot of compartments and pockets to accommodate all your gadgets, items and tools. The usual design of these backpacks is that they have 2 large compartments in the center of the backpack and then various small compartments on either sides and the front of the backpack.

Not everyone is meticulous and particular when it comes to carrying items. They simply choose to stuff their bags with whatever they need. Although, there are many who like to have all things in order, and choose to pack everything as it should be placed. The former kind would like to go with a backpack with fewer compartments with more room, while the latter would go for a decently spaced backpack but with multiple compartments and pockets.

Other compartments and features that are worth giving a check are hydration bladders, molle webbing system and external ports, which we will discuss in better detail.

Back Panel and Straps

Military Backpack Different Straps
Military Backpacks Come With Different Types of Back Straps

Shoulder straps could be the make or break element for any tactical backpack. You may have the most durable, high quality tactical backpack with a number of pockets, but if the shoulder straps are not good enough to support you, what good is it?

The shoulder straps on your backpack must be wide straps so that the weight of what you carry in your bags in properly distributed. Padded shoulder straps are preferred to non padded straps, as this ensured that whatever you carry in the bag, cannot be felt touching your back. Besides shoulder straps, what many people often don’t pay much heed to are waist straps (also known as hip belts) and sternum straps (also known as chest straps). These can add to your comfort, especially when using a tactical backpack for a trek or hike.

Back panels are an extremely overlooked element of a backpack. These backpacks are generally made using materials that are easier to make you sweat, such as nylon and polyester. If the back panel is sticking to your back, you will often be subject to a lot of sweating, which you definitely want to avoid, especially while trekking and hiking. Therefore, having a padded back panel allows you to negate the sweating and have a more comfortable use of the backpack.

Hydration Bladder Compatibility

military backpack hydration bladder
Most Military Backpacks Comprise Hydration Packs for Storing Water

What is a hydration pack? People that do not like carrying water bottles, often choose to go for backpacks with hydration systems. Essentially, it is a pocket in the backpack, designated for storing water. A bladder is given inside the hydration pocket which can be filled with water. It comes with a straw which can be pulled out to drink water from.

This allows an equitable distribution of water weight as most hydration reservoirs are centrally placed on backpacks. Whereas, carrying water bottles often results in weight being heavier on one side of the bag than the other. Even if the backpacks do not come with a hydration bladder, always go for a backpack which has a hydration compartment wherein you can buy your own hydration reservoir and use it on the go.

MOLLE Webbing System

Illustration of Molle Webbing System
The Molle Webbing System Makes Tactical Backpacks Different From Normal Backpacks

These systems are what makes tactical backpacks different from normal backpacks. Molle stands for Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment. It often comprises of two elements, Molle pouches and Molle Weaves. These weaves are a webbing of straps which are usually on the front of your backpacks. The Molle pouches that come along are basically pockets which come with straps that can be woven into the aforementioned webbing system, by simply putting it through the web.

The Molle webbing simply allows you to add extra items to your backpack without having to put them inside the backpack itself. Although most military backpacks have more than enough space, but sometimes you may need items readily such as torches, knifes etc. A Molle system helps most with such situation.

Normal Military Backpack vs a Military Backpack With Molle Webbing System

Carrying and Storage Capacity

Used interchangeably, carrying capacity and storage capacity have different meanings. Carrying capacity refers to the weight a backpack can carry whereas the storage capacity refers to the space it can accommodate. Both should be ample for you to choose the right tactical backpack for yourself. Sometimes too much storage capacity is often accompanied by bags becoming bulky or having unequal weight distribution. To ensure no such thing happens, backpacks come with compression straps. These compression straps ensure that everything is held together and the weight is evenly distributed throughout the tactical bag.

Roundup of the Best Military Backpacks

Best Military Backpack for Hiking: 5.11 RUSH24 Tactical Military Backpack
Best Military Backpack With Padded Shoulder Straps MYSTERY RANCH Urban Assault 24 Backpack
Best Budget Military Backpack QT&QY 45L Military Tactical Backpack
Most Versatile Military BackpackMilitary Rucksack Alice Pack Army Survival Combat Field Backpack with Frame Olive Drab
Best EDC Tactical Backpack3V Gear Transit Redline EDC Tactical Backpack
Best Rucksack Military BackpackMT Military MOLLE 2 Large Rucksack with Frame
Most Comfortable Military BackpackOakley Men’s Enduro 2.0 30L Backpack
Best 3 Day Assault Pack 24BattlePack Tactical Backpack
Most Rugged Tactical Military Backpack 5.11 Tactical RUSH72 Military Backpack
Most High Quality Tactical Military Backpack Maxpedition Falcon-II Backpack

Top 10 Best Military Backpacks in 2022

Now let us review the top 10 best tactical backpacks in 2022, in detail.

1. 5.11 RUSH24 Tactical Military Backpack

Best Military Backpack for Hiking

  • Extremely Spacious
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Highly Customizable
  • Has Molle System
  • Durable And Sturdy
  • Tactical look, lack of aesthetic

The 5.11 RUSH24 Tactical Military Backpack is the best hiking backpack and we say so because of a number of reasons. This backpack has three mesh admin compartments, zippered pockets for water bottles and a hook and loop area for nametape and flag patches. The 37L capacity as well as the customizabiliy is one of the main reasons why we suggest this to be the best backpack for hiking.

Firstly, 5.11 RUSH24 is made using 1050D Nylon which tells us how heavy duty the backpack is. The bag is water-resistant as well. The zippers used on the backpack are YKK zippers and all hardware is from Duraflex. It is presently available in 7 different colors allowing users a lot of options.

Secondly, as the name suggests, the 5.11 RUSH24 is compatible with the 5.11 tier system which allows this backpack to be attached with other backpacks using the PALS webbing, increasing overall storage capacity. The backpack scores well when it comes to the harness system, as the shoulder strap is very well padded. The straps attach to the tactical bag in such a way that it does not become floppy and sticks to your back.

To conclude, the 5.11 RUSH24 has all the goods to be the best hiking backpack as well as a great hunting backpack, survival back pack or everyday carry backpack.

2. MYSTERY RANCH Urban Assault 24 Backpack

Best Military Backpack With Padded Shoulder Straps

  • Unique 3 Zip Design
  • Laptop Compartment
  • Comfortable Straps
  • Durable And Sturdy
  • No Molle

The MYSTERY RANCH Urban Assault 24 Backpack was a no-brainer for us, when picking the backpack which has the most comfortable padded shoulder strap. Its unique overall streamlined design coupled with the strap style makes it one of the most comfortable backpacks.

Firstly, the material used for making this backpack is 500D CORDURA Nylon, making it adequately durable and sturdy. The bag is presently available in 3 colors – Black, Splash and Indigo. The 3 Zip Quick Rip design of the backpack allows easy and faster access to the contents of your backpack. The bag, as the name suggests, has a storage capacity of 24L. The strap design is 15″ long which ensures a comfortable weight distribution of the bag over your back and shoulders.

Secondly, the MYSTERY RANCH Urban Assault 24 comes with a tablet and laptop sleeve. The laptop sleeve ensures that your laptop is fit snugly to the back of your backpack, allowing you to carry your items more comfortably. The backpack uses AquaGuard YKK zippers which are some of the most heavy duty zippers used in backpacks.

To conclude, the MYSTERY RANCH Urban Assault 24 is an extremely comfortable backpack with sufficient padding and is recommended for college, school, work as well as day to day use.

3. QT&QY 45L Military Tactical Backpack

Best Budget Military Backpack

  • Budget friendly
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Has Molle Webbing
  • Durable And Sturdy
  • Completely waterproof

The QT&QY 45L Military Backpack is the one of the best backpacks while being one of the most affordable military backpack. It is one of the fewer bags that do not have any cons to be mentioned. Let us look at what makes this rugged backpack so good.

Firstly, the material used for making this bag is 900D Polyester which is extremely sturdy. The backpack is available in 7 beautiful variants. The QT&QY Military Backpack has a monstrous storage capacity of 45L and to top that off, it has Molle webbing to add even more storage. The bag has a multi-layered internal sleeve and storage system allowing for many items to be stored easily. The heavy duty backpack is designed with a 5 main compartment system viz. two front pockets for small items, two large compartments with built-in zipper pockets and a mesh pocket for big and important supplies.

Secondly, unlike most tactical backpacks, this backpack is not only water resistant but also fully waterproof. The bag has double stitched seams as well as coatings to make the bags both scratch-proof as well as waterproof. The backpack also has a bottom webbing to carry sleeping bags with ease.

To conclude, we believe that the QT&QY Military Backpack is one of the best tactical backpacks available on the market, considering its capacity, quality as well as the price for which you can get your hands on it!

4. Military Rucksack Alice Pack Army Survival Combat Field Backpack with Frame Olive Drab

Most Versatile Military Backpack

  • Multiple Sizes
  • Multiple External Pockets
  • Comfortable Straps
  • Durable And Sturdy
  • No Molle
  • No Zippers

The Military Rucksack Alice Pack Army Survival Combat Field Backpack is one of the most versatile and unique looking backpack up for grabs. This is largely due to the available number of packing options the bag comes with. Let us look at it in detail.

Firstly, the material used to make the backpack is 1000D Waterproof Oxford Fabric. This allows for the bag to be extremely durable. The bag is only available in one color i.e. Olive Drab, but is available in different sizes viz. small, medium and large. What makes this bag unique is the packing style it uses. The main compartment consists of a large pouch and instead of the zipper mechanism, this backpack uses the draw chord system. To add to the main compartment, the bag comes with 5 external pouches which may be used to pack readily needed items such as lighters, knifes etc., all using the draw chord system.

Secondly, the bag itself does not have straps and is to be attached to a pack frame which holds the bag on the shoulders of the users. The frame is made using mix of Aluminium and Iron, making it both lightweight and sturdy. The frame comes with padded straps for additional comfort and a kidney waist belt which further helps in heaving load. Quick release buckles on the shoulders and waist strap allows the bag to drop immediately in case of emergencies.

To conclude, the number of pockets besides the main compartment, the draw chord locking system and the pack frame system, makes the Military Rucksack Alice Pack Army Survival Combat Field Backpack such a versatile bag. It is a definite recommendation from us to users who do not mind using non-zipper backpacks.

5. 3V Gear Transit Redline EDC Tactical Backpack

Best EDC Tactical Backpack

  • Very Stylish
  • Multiple Internal Compartments
  • Padded Laptop Sleeve
  • Durable And Sturdy
  • Hydration Compatible
  • Molle Webbing
  • No Color Options

One of the best everyday carry backpacks is the 3V Gear Transit Redline EDC Tactical Backpack. This backpack is a mixture of organization and style, that makes us choose it as the best everyday carry backpack.

Firstly, the tactical pack comes with an amazing 40L storage capacity which should be more than enough space in most cases. The backpack is the definition of organization. The main compartment can be completely unzipped for even better organisation. The main compartment comprises of multiple smaller internal pockets for you to pack all your stuff in a systematic way. The bag comes with a padded laptop sleeve, which can pack a laptop as long as 15″ in size.

Secondly, the bag comes with a hydration compartment, which gives it an edge. The hydration pocket can store up to a 3L water bladder. Also, the Transit Redline comes with one of the most stylish looking Molle webbing system which is actually a die-cut Molle panel. Talking of comfort, the bag comes with padded straps for shoulders, a removable waist belt, adjustable sternum straps and compression straps to give the itself an equitable weight distribution.

To conclude, the Transit Redline is one of the best tactical backpacks for everyday carry, thanks to its stylish looks and extremely organizational pocket system. The molle webbing and hydration compartment allow for the Transit Redline EDC Backpack to be considered as a strong contender for a hiking or trekking backpack as well.

6. MT Military MOLLE 2 Large Rucksack with Frame

Best Rucksack Military Backpack

  • Durable Polymer Frame
  • Multiple Internal Compartments
  • Additional Waist Pouch
  • Durable And Sturdy
  • Additional Sustainable Pouches
  • Molle Webbing
  • No Color Options

MT Military MOLLE 2 Large Rucksack is the best rucksack military backpack available and we don’t say this lightly. Let us take a look at what makes it the best rucksack!

Firstly, the backpack is made using 1000D Oxford Fabric that is abrasion resistant. This ginormous rucksack has a storage capacity of 4000 cubic inches which is approximately 65L. The backpack comes with an addition waist pouch. The waist pouch can be worn in two ways, either you can latch it onto the backpack itself, or you can wear it is a standalone waist pouch using the waist belts. The additional sustainable pouches can be attached to either side of the backpack . These bring the total storage capacity to 5000 cubic inches.

Secondly, the rucksack comes with PALS webbing and Molle weave system to accommodate all kinds of Molle attachments. The rucksack is worn by users using an extremely durable polymer frame.

To conclude, the MT Military MOLLE 2 Large Rucksack is one of the best choice tactical backpacks for army, hunting, adventure sports etc. The large storage capacity is extremely handy for expeditions.

7. Oakley Men’s Enduro 2.0 30L Backpack

Most Comfortable Military Backpack

  • Multiple colors
  • Multiple External Pockets
  • Padded 17″ Laptop Sleeve
  • Comfortable and Durable
  • No Molle

Comfort trumps everything for a lot of users and the Oakley Men’s Enduro Backpack trumps most backpacks when it comes to comfort. This backpack is simple. Firstly, it is made using 100% Polyster and is very sturdy. The backpack has a stylish design and is available in 6 beautiful colors. The backpack has a padded back panel and the straps are padded as well for added comfort.

Although the bag does not have molle webbing or a hydration compartment, the bag has a number of external pockets which makes it very convenient. The 30L storage capacity comprises of a padded sleeve for laptops which can hold up to a 17″ laptop.

To conclude, the Oakley Men’s Enduro Backpack is not extra ordinary when it comes to additional features. At the same time, it is easy to carry, very stylish and extremely comfortable.

8. 24BattlePack Tactical Backpack

Best 3 Day Assault Pack

  • Molle Webbing
  • Hydration Bladder Compatible
  • Laptop Compatible
  • Durable And Sturdy
  • Plain Aesthetics

A 3 day assault pack is packed in such a way that if a mission goes on for longer than usual, the user has packed enough items. It usually consists of food, water and other gear. The 24Battle Tactical Backpack is the best 3 day assault pack out there, in our opinion. Let us take a look as to why.

Firstly, this bag is an absolute steal for the price at which it is available. Most tactical backpacks will cost you over $100 but that is not the case with the 24BattlePack Backpack. The backpack’s material is very durable and sturdy. It is available for less than $50, yet it has a Molle system, as well as hydration compatibility.

Secondly, what makes it so good for a 3 day pack is its collapsible and expandable design. Using proprietary compression straps, the backpack can be expanded upto 40L or can be compressed down to a 20L capacity.

To conclude, this allows the backpack to be used for everyday use as well as for longer adventures.

9. 5.11 Tactical RUSH72 Military Backpack

Most Rugged Tactical Military Backpack

  • Molle Webbing
  • Hydration Bladder Compatible
  • Multiple Colors
  • Durable And Sturdy
  • Plain Aesthetics

The 5.11 Tactical RUSH72 Military Backpack is one of the most rugged military backpacks available on the market. Its sturdy and tough looks coupled with the features, makes it one of the top choices among users.

Firstly, the backpack is made using 1000D Nylon which is a very strong material for backpacks. The total storage capacity of the backpack is 55L which is more than enough storage space for users. The bag is designed in a way that the foam padded shoulder straps, adjustable sternum strap, waist strap and compression straps keep the backpack in place and secure. This also allows further comfort while walking.

Secondly, the 5.11 Tactical RUSH 72 Military Backpack comes with a hydration chamber which can also be used as a secondary front compartment. The backpack also as the Molle webbing which is always a welcome feature in tactical backpacks.

To conclude, the RUSH72 Backpack is one of the most rugged and sturdy backpacks up for grabs!

10. Maxpedition Falcon-II Backpack

Most High Quality Tactical Military Backpack

  • Molle Webbing
  • Multiple Colors
  • High Quality
  • Durable And Sturdy
  • Plain Aesthetics

One of the highest quality backpacks is the Maxpedition Falcon-II Backpack. Maxpedition have given focus to making their product highly resistant against the elements. They have not failed to deliver, let us take a look why.

Firstly, the material used to make this backpack is 1050D Nylon. The backpacks are finished with a triple coat of polyurethane for water resistance and a final coat of DuPont Teflon Fabric Protector is added to repel the elements. The zippers used on the backpack are from YKK, and all the hardware used is from Duraflex. All of this ensures that every element of the backpack is of the highest quality.

Secondly, the PALS webbing system gives it that additional oomph that pulls user towards this backpack. Although it is a medium sized military backpack, it serves the purpose it is supposed to.

To conclude, the Maxpedition Falcon-II is a medium sized backpack which promises the same quality and sturdiness of a large sized backpack!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a military rucksack?

What makes a rucksack different from a backpack? Rucksacks are mostly used for military activities. They are usually more durable, have a larger storage capacity and can take a lot more wear and tear. Rucksacks aren’t often the go to choice for daily use, or for lighter activities. It is most used by military personnel and law enforcement.

How to pack a military rucksack?

Packing of a rucksack should be similar to the structure of a pyramid. The heavier items should always be at the bottom and as we go higher, we pack the lighter items. This allows for even weight distribution. Readily needed items viz. knifes, lighters, torches should be packed in external pouches or molle attachments. Sleeping bags and rugs should be packed at the bottom of the rucksack.

How heavy is a military backpack?

Depending on the style and type, a military backpack can way between 1lb – 3lb (If with a frame). Generally, military personnel are trained while having a load of about 45lb on their backs, over rough terrains!

Final Words

To conclude, much like all products, there are a plethora of tactical backpacks for you to pick from. It comes down to what you need the backpack for – everyday use or for professional use. Out of all the bags we reviewed, the QT&QY 45L Military Tactical Backpack was the one we could not find any flaws in. And what’s better? It is best for your budget too!

If you have any queries, questions or requirements, please let us know in the comments below!