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The Best Tactical Backpack to Buy

Updated on September 6, 2014

Get Tactical When it Comes to Backpacks

Picking out the best tactical backpack might be tricky but a little research will do a long way, which is what we're here to help you with today.

We're going to tell you exactly what to look for in a tactical backpack -- and even delve into just what the heck "tactical" means -- and explore the three top rated and reviewed backpacks on the market today.

We'll break these tactical backpacks down by price, function, and dependability -- the key factors to focus on in your search for any tactical gear.

Mil-Tec Army Patrol Molle Assault Pack
Mil-Tec Army Patrol Molle Assault Pack

Mil-Tec Army Patrol Molle Assault Pack

Browse the reviews of the Mil-Tec Army Patrol Molle Assault Pack and you're immediately struck by a common refrain: you get a ton of features and value in this well-made backpack usually only found in much more expensive packs.

This Mil-Tec pack isn't just a great entry-level tactical backpack -- it's a great pack, with durable doubling stitching, two large compartments with numerous zippers and pockets, and a built-in Velcro pocket for a hydro pack.

This backpack appeals to a wide range of people -- campers, hunters, survivalists, law enforcement officers, and combat troops -- and its MOLLE-compatible, serving as a base backpack that other gear and add-ons can be surely strapped and clipped to.

Tactical backpacks such as the Mil-Tec assault pack let you carry all your necessary gear (pistols, ammunition, knives, flashlights, camping tools, and hundreds of other items) without ever missing a beat; pack it and stow it and it'll be right there, ready to go, when you need it most.

Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger
Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger

Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger

I own a Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger and -- speaking bluntly -- I absolutely love it and it's one of the best purchases I've ever made.

Looking at the reviews you'll see that plenty of people agree with me, and for all the right reasons; this is a very versatile tactical backpack that you can take anywhere and it blends right in, with the sling-style nature of the bag giving you fast access to all your gear without having to take it off.

It's virtually indestructible and will last you for many years, equally at home in the field or as an every day carry (EDC) bag that you use for work, camping or hiking, or as a day pack that you take everywhere; it's also especially popular as a concealed carry bag for anyone that regularly packs a pistol.

One thing to keep in mind: the Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger is designed as a sling bag to pack essential gear. If you load it up with more than 10 pounds of gear you may regret it on longer hikes and will find one of the other backpacks featured here more suitable when you need to pack a lot of gear.

Condoe 3 Day Assault pack
Condoe 3 Day Assault pack

Condor 3 Day Assault Pack

The Condor 3 Day Assault Pack delivers exactly what it promises: a military grade tactical backpack that lets you stow and comfortably carry all the gear you need for three days (or more) in the field.

This rugged pack does not mess around or pull any punches. You get a total of seven compartments including a large main compartment with room for two 3L hydration bladders, a heavy-duty drag and carry handle, and MOLLE-compatible webbing and attachment points for extra gear.

This backpack lets you pack everything you'll need -- camp stoves, clothing, military sleep system, radio, CamelBaks, flashlights, knives, water filters, and cookware -- without skipping a beat. It's the perfect bug-out or SHTF bag for survivalists, letting you sleep easy knowing everything you need is right at hand and ready to go.

It's also the bag of choice for many soldiers currently stationed in Afghanistan and other regions around the world -- always a good sign when shopping for a dependable tactical backpack that actually performs well in the field.

Condor 3 Day Assault Pack at Amazon

Know Thy Tactical Backpack Lingo

Below are some common terms that you may encounter at Amazon when searching for a tactical backpack; they may be confusing at first but most make a lot of sense once you know the meaning:

  • ALICE: All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment
  • BOB: Bug-out bag, also known as a "grab bag" or a "go bag"
  • EDC: Every day carry bag
  • GOOD bag: Get Out of Dodge bag
  • LBE: Load Bearing Equipment
  • MOLLE: Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment
  • SHTF bag: Sh*t Hits the Fan bag

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