Best Military Backpacks

10 Best Military Backpacks in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

(Last Updated On: June 28, 2021)

The best military backpacks are widely used for a wide variety of activities, including camping, hiking, emergency services, the military, the police, and other outdoor activities. Their rapid growth in popularity is primarily due to their capacity, appearance, practicality, and features. Definitions of these features include the addition of compartments, MOLLE webbing and hydration bladders.

Overall, the reliability, versatility, and convenience of military backpacks, sometimes called tactical backpacks and survival backpacks, are just some of the items that set them apart from more conventional packs. These packs are great for packing supplies that will last you a few days. You want to have a bag that you can count on. Nothing could make your trip worse than a backpack that rips in the middle of a trip or a zipper that gives away when you’re out on a hike, camp, or on any outdoor excursion.

In a Hurry? The test winners after 10 hrs of research

LA Police Gear Operator Military Backpack

LA Police Gear Operator Military Backpack – Best Value

Why is it better?

  • 3 grab handles that allow many carry options
  • Ability to hold a hydration bladder
  • The bag itself is a tad heavy but when all the straps are on and you use the waist strap it is hardly noticeable
  • The zippers are top-notch and it has a great interior and exterior space

5.11 Tactical RUSH72 Military Backpack

5.11 Tactical RUSH72 Military Backpack – Premium Pick

Why is it better?

  • Lots of space and organization (pockets, zippered compartments, etc.)
  • Dual compression straps
  • Molle everywhere
  • High-quality construction and materials

Best Military Backpacks – Overview

Although distinguishing a military backpack from a standard backpack is simple enough, searching for the right one on the market can be challenging due to a wide variety of choices. You could easily end up with a product that is much less robust and weaker than you anticipated. But with this guide to the best military backpacks, you can select from a list of items that have already been curated for you.

Military Backpacks Reviews

1. Condor 3 Day Assault Pack

Condor 3 Day Assault Pack

The Condor 3 Day Assault Pack is a heavy-duty constructed backpack that features body contour shoulder straps with integrated D-rings. Sternum strap and waist belt enhance comfort and support. This pack with large cargo capacity can also store 2x 3L hydration bladders in separate pockets. The main compartment includes quick-release gear retention straps with 2x zipper closure mesh pockets.

The second compartment contains 3x document pockets, 2x radio pockets, and pen holsters. 2x large rear pockets with 3x elastic closure and 1x zipper closure mesh pockets in the bottom pocket. Includes extra pockets on each side for hydration systems and extras. The individual rear foam pad optimizes comfort and airflow. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best 3-day backpacks.

Key Features:

  • Large load cargo capacity compartment
  • Designed for easy access and organization (7 pockets)
  • Hydration-pack compatible (2L or 3L bladder)
  • Body contour shoulder straps with D-Ring for equipment attachment, sternum strap, and removable waist belt
  • Individual foam pad back panel for extra comfort and maximum airflow
  • Heavy-Duty carry and drag handle

Specifications:

  • Brand: Condor
  • Capacity: 50L
  • Dimensions: 22″ H x 17″ W x 11″ D
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs
Pros
  • Great quality build with quality material
  • The grab handles on the top and sides prove very applicable if you have to grab the bag and move out quickly
  • The side pockets are large enough to hold a large Nalgene bottle
  • The bottom pouch is large enough for any accessories you take with you
Cons
  • The flap that covers the zippers for protection sometimes gets in the way of the zipper and gets caught up in the zipper when you’re in a hurry

2. Direct Action Dragon Egg Military Backpack

Direct Action Dragon Egg Military Backpack

The Direct Action Dragon Egg Military Backpack‘ 25+ liter capacity makes this 2-day backpack great for both patrol and advanced tactical duties. Designed for Military and Law Enforcement operators, however, the camo/solid color selection also makes it a great choice for outdoor enthusiasts. The low profile look and feel makes it a perfect everyday carry bag.

Front pocket features an internal organizer for GPS, writing utensils and other small essentials. There is a daisy chain webbing that runs along the front panel seam for attaching carabineers. The MOLLE system is also made of lightweight, durable, and non-moisture absorbing laser cut. This pack’s suspension system is based on S-profiled shoulder straps and internal stiffener in the back

Key Features:

  • Detachable waist belt
  • Laser-cut PALS/MOLLE on front and sides
  • Hydration bladder compatible
  • Heavy-duty YKK zippers
  • Woven 550 cord carrying handle

Specifications:

  • Brand: Direct Action
  • Capacity: 25L
  • Dimensions: 18.9″ H x 10.6″ W x 7″ D
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs
Pros
  • The egg shape makes the pack suitable for office environments, makes head turns, without looking too outfitted for war
  • The laser molle makes the pack look clean
  • All padding is good quality, shoulder straps are thick
  • All straps are adjustable and have a velcro management system
Cons
  • No sunglass pocket

3. LA Police Gear Operator Military Backpack – Best Value

LA Police Gear Operator Military Backpack

The LA Police Gear Operator Military Backpack is one of the latest products from LA Police Gear that will astound you with the level of features it has. It features a padded back and ergonomically designed pockets and compartments that will meet your needs, no matter what the job. This hydration compatible backpack will hold up to a 100 oz (3 Liter) Hydration Reservoir (reservoir not included) and allows you to route the tube to whichever side you prefer. The main compartment of this pack features a large amount of space for bulky items, and also adjustable straps to tie down smaller items or clothing.

The inner flap features two zippered mesh compartments. It also has two radio ports at the top of the compartment for the antenna. The upper front compartment features two sections. The first is a narrow compartment accessed from the very front that can be used for even more additional storage (no organizers in this one). The larger bulk of the pocket features numerous organizers and two adjustable magazine pouches. It is great for holding ammo, medical kits, pens, or anything else you may need. This compartment is also covered in molle externally for you to mount additional pouches or attachments.

Key Features:

  • Made from 600D Polyester with PVC Coating
  • Adjustable straps to cinch down the bag
  • Fully adjustable chest strap and padded waist strap
  • All adjustable straps have hook and loop tie-downs (no more loose straps)
  • Hydration Compatible

Specifications:

  • Brand: LA Police Gear
  • Capacity: 48L
  • Dimensions: 20″ H x 16″ W x 12″ D
  • Weight: 4.7 lbs
Pros
  • 3 grab handles that allow many carry options
  • Ability to hold a hydration bladder
  • The bag itself is a tad heavy but when all the straps are on and you use the waist strap it is hardly noticeable
  • The zippers are top-notch and it has a great interior and exterior space
Cons
  • A little on the impractical side to use as a bookbag

4. 5.11 Tactical RUSH72 Military Backpack – Premium Pick

5.11 Tactical RUSH72 Military Backpack

The 5.11 Tactical RUSH72 Military Backpack is engineered to be a full-featured 72-hour bag that provides ample space for gear and accessories while remaining rugged and reliable enough for extended excursions or tactical deployments. Compatible with 5.11 Tier System, and the Rush Tier Rifle Sleeve, the pack features unmatched storage capability, a wrap-around MOLLE and SlickStick-compatible web platform, adjustable shoulder and sternum straps, a 60-oz. hydration pocket, and durable, water-resistant construction.

Other features include a fleece-lined sunglass pocket with Cinching waist strap and dual compression straps and Contour yoke system with grab and go handle. Multiple integrated organization pockets with Admin organization pocket to store maps, pens, and documents. Rugged, self-healing YKK zipper hardware and 5.11’s signature Centerline is designed to customize your bag with purpose-built pouches.

Key Features:

  • Made from water-repellent 1050D nylon
  • Fleece-lined sunglass pocket
  • Multiple integrated organization pockets
  • Internal hydration compartment 
  • Rugged, self-healing YKK zipper hardware

Specifications:

  • Brand: 5.11
  • Capacity: 55L
  • Dimensions: 22″ H x 17″ W x 4″ D
  • Weight: 5.55 lbs
Pros
  • Lots of space and organization (pockets, zippered compartments, etc.)
  • Dual compression straps
  • Molle everywhere
  • High-quality construction and materials
Cons
  • Drain holes in main compartment can let sand in

5. Trekking King Military Backpack

Trekking King Military Backpack

The Trekking King Military Backpack is a product that was carefully designed and created for everyone who likes trekking, hiking, traveling, fishing, hunting, and many other outdoor activities. Thanks to its high functionality and durability, this military backpack can be easily used as a 3-day assault pack or an army rucksack. Produce from backpack from high-quality water-resistant 1000D Oxford material. Combined with heavy-duty zippers and rain diverting flaps it will keep your stuff dry and ready to use.

This molle army pack consists of a large main compartment, which is big enough to store a laptop, one front pocket and two side pouches. The efficient and practical molle system enhances its storing capabilities. It is extremely easy to use and allows you to attach a large number of tools and things, such as a tent, sleeping mat, and many other essential items. Fully adjustable shoulder, chest and hip straps combined with a handy holder and padded back area are making our backpack extremely comfortable to wear.

Key Features:

  • Effective MOLLE system
  • Heavy-duty zippers with rain diverting flaps
  • Made of water-resistant 1000D Oxford material.
  • Fully adjustable shoulder, chest, and hip straps

Specifications:

  • Brand: Trekking King
  • Capacity: 60L
  • Dimensions: 20″ H x 16″ W x 10.5″ D
  • Weight: 2.87 lbs
Pros
  • It made of a good quality materials
  • Plenty of rigging for extra molle pieces
  • The main pack has a big storage area with a waterproof inner lining
  • The whole sits very nicely on the shoulders and feels well balanced
Cons
  • The front pocket moves back-and-forth a lot

6. BLACKHAWK 3 Military Backpack

BLACKHAWK 3 Military Backpack

The BLACKHAWK 3 Military Backpack is a mid-sized, frameless backpack that features a detachable sternum strap and padded, removable waist belt for extreme versatility. This pack is constructed of heavy-duty 1000 denier nylon. The inside features a main compartment, small cargo pouch, and cargo pocket pouch to fit an optional 100 oz. BLACKHAWK! Hydration System.

Other features include sleeping bag straps and padded shoulder straps with D-rings for equipment attachment, durable YKK zipper, and sliders with silent pulls, ventilating back panel and silent zipper pulls, and a reinforced drag/carry handle.

Key Features:

  • Padded shoulder straps with D-rings for equipment attachment
  • Detachable, elasticized sternum strap with silent release buckle
  • Compartments are closed by YKK zipper and sliders with silent pulls
  • Optional hydra storm hydration System
  • Made of 1000 denier Nylon

Specifications:

  • Brand: BLACKHAWK
  • Capacity: 37L
  • Dimensions: 20″ H x 13″ W x 6″ D
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs
Pros
  • The compression straps are set perfectly to keep the bulk this pack can bear in check
  • Simplicity by having only 3 pockets
  • Comes with it’s own lashing straps
  • Airflow channels work
Cons
  • There aren’t any small organization pockets for pens and gadgets

7. WIDEWAY Military Tactical Backpack

WIDEWAY Military Tactical Backpack

The WIDEWAY Military Tactical Backpack is perfect for carrying all basic gear as a 3-day assault pack when doing outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and climbing. It is made of high intensity durable 1000D polyester PU material and military-grade nylon fabrics. It has a fully adjustable compression shoulder strap, sternum strap, and waist strap with mesh padding for comfortable expansion.

The Molle attachment system of this military backpack allows for more storage and could be used to carry a variety of optional accessories and customize your goods. The backpack features 2 zipped front pockets and 2 main pockets with internal divider. All your gear can be easily accessed and organized. It is also safe for a laptop with a laptop compartment inside.

Key Features:

  • Fully adjustable compression shoulder strap, sternum strap, and waist strap 
  • Made with 1000D polyester PU
  • Padded shoulder straps
  • MOLLE attachment system

Specifications:

  • Brand: WIDEWAY
  • Capacity: 50L
  • Dimensions: 18.5″ H x 13″ W x 11″ D
  • Weight: 2.65 lbs
Pros
  • Lightweight with a fairly flat bottom
  • Enough pockets for nice but not overkill organization
  • Plenty of space to hook a carabiner for keys and other items
  • Very durable material
Cons
  • Zippers are plastic instead of metal

8. Maxpedition Falcon-II Military Backpack

Maxpedition Falcon-II Military Backpack

The Maxpedition Falcon-II Military Backpack is the quintessential Maxpedition product: Durable, ergonomic, and intelligently designed. This medium-bodied pack is thoroughly constructed with 1050-Denier water & abrasion resistant nylon; yet its ergonomic shape, padded shoulder straps, and sturdy sternum & waist support make it an absolute delight to wear.

Further examination will reveal that the Falcon II has layered independent compartments with more pockets, pouches and PALS attachment points than most backpacks twice its size. Pull the dual-directional YKK zippers and expand the main compartment into a full clamshell opening. You’ll find that the Falcon II is surprisingly spacious with room to accommodate your camping essentials and two (2) 100oz/3L water reservoirs. Pack it up and press it down with front & side compression straps, then head out on a hike or overnight with a premium Maxpedition backpack.

Key Features:

  • 1050-Denier water and abrasion resistant light-weight ballistic nylon fabric
  • Teflon fabric protector for grime resistance and easy maintenance
  • High strength zippers and zipper tracks
  • Stress points double stitched, Bartacked or “Box-and-X” stitched for added strength

Specifications:

  • Brand: Maxpedition
  • Capacity: 25L
  • Dimensions: 19″ H x 10″ W x 8.5″ D
  • Weight: 2.65 lbs
Pros
  • Super sturdy construction
  • Back pocket with velcro to attach i.e. gun holster
  • Can add lot of accessories in the MOLLE webbing
  • Water bladder compatible
Cons
  • Some nylon straps are long and there is no way to keep the rolled, kind of a mini velcro tie or so

9. Mil-Tec Military Army Backpack

Mil-Tec Military Army Backpack

The Mil-Tec Military Army Backpack is a heavy-duty and water-resistant 36 liters assault pack that features 2 large compartments with various zip and mesh inner pockets and 2 small front pockets (one with organizer), as well as a built-in Velcro pocket for a hydro pack. All compartments are closed with sturdy 2-way zippers. Ergonomically designed shoulder straps are padded, about 5cm wide and adjustable in length. Moreover, the pack goes with a padded back and an adjustable waist strap opened with a clip.

The pack allows for volume control and baggage fixation thanks to a number of lateral compression straps and gives a possibility to attached additional equipment through a number of robust nylon MOLLE straps all-round, and loops and D-rings on shoulder straps. The pack offers a great amount of carrying space and is perfect for the military as well as camping and hiking.

Key Features:

  • Made with 600D polyester
  • Various MOLLE attachment points
  • Loops and D-rings on shoulder straps
  • Built-in Velcro pocket for a hydro pack

Specifications:

  • Brand: Mil-Tec by Sturm
  • Capacity: 36L
  • Dimensions: 20.1″ H x 11.4″ W x 11.1″ D
  • Weight: 2.87 lbs
Pros
  • Straps tighten conveniently for small loads so things don’t awkwardly bounce around
  • Molle straps are great
  • Durable straps hold heavy loads
  • Water-resistant (not completely, zippers are not, but the fabric has waterproofing on the inside)
Cons
  • Bottom Straps are not big enough for sleeping bag

10. 5.11 COVRT18 Tactical Covert Military Backpack

5.11 COVRT18 Tactical Covert Military Backpack

Designed to appear subtle and inconspicuous, the 5.11 COVRT18 Tactical Covert Military Backpack is a full-sized covert backpack that provides superior tactical utility and a low-vis appearance. Ideal for CCW use, the backpack features a TacTec System compatible hidden pistol pocket, Roll-Down Assault Compartment (R.A.C.) CCW Conceal Carry for MOLLE or web pouches, and a main compartment with a built-in padded laptop sleeve and roomy primary and secondary storage zones.

Built from rugged 500D and 420D water-resistant nylon, the COVRT18 is made to last, and with a fleece-lined sunglasses pocket, QuickTact shoulder straps, adjustable yoke shoulders, compression straps, a flip-down ID panel, and a reinforced grab handle, it’s made for everyday use. There’s a quick access flex cuff channel, too. Our guide to the best concealed carry backpacks offers more great products like this.

Key Features:

  • Durable, water-resistant 500D nylon
  • Sunglass pocket
  • R.A.C. conceals a full-sized firearm
  • Reinforced grab handle and Yoke-style shoulder straps
  • Adjustable sternum strap
  • Roomy main and secondary storage areas with QuickTact accessory straps

Specifications:

  • Brand: 5.11
  • Capacity: 30L
  • Dimensions: 19″ H x 12.25″ W x 6.5″ D
  • Weight: 3 lbs
Pros
  • The bag has a large padded grab handle on top
  • The side entry is very user friendly
  • The padded sunglass pouch on top is a huge plus
  • It has plenty of storage for your items
Cons
  • The 2 drain holes at the bottom serves no purpose and should be removed

Buying Guide

Customizability

Unlike regular backpacks, most of which are sewn together, a number of straps and attachments on military backpacks are removable and replaceable. Say you love the versatility of the bag and the compartments, but dislike the strap. The only you need to do is buy new straps that suit you best and replace those that you dislike. These military backpacks are just that customizable.

Molle Webbing

It stands for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment and is a common accessory for military backpack companies. Designed to mount military pouches and parts or first aid kits and radios, people may use this accessory to add capacity and flexibility to their pockets. Add a phone bag, attach a flashlight holder, or even tie a mobile phone charger into the webbing.

Capacity

Obviously, this applies to how much the bag can hold. Although a military backpack is equipped to hold a ton of items, not all backpacks come with the same ability. Most are designed to carry enough items to last for a week, while others are better suited to a brief outdoor trip. Choose the option that is ideally suited to the load you intend to bear.

Materials

Look for the material used to control the durability of the backpack. The fast way to determine wear resistance and longevity is to test the fiber thickness of the individual threads, measured in denier (D). In general, higher numbers imply better construction. For eg, a backpack with a material quality of 1000D is more sturdy than a backpack with a value of 600D.

Comfort

Comfort will also come into play in a backpack that you could be wearing for days at a time. Any of the aspects that help boost the comfort of a military backpack include the durability of the suspension system, the padding on the shoulder straps and the hip belt, and the breathability of the back panel. These features can ultimately decide how the pack fits on your frame, how it feels on your shoulder and hips, and how well it will wick away moisture when you actually put it to use.

Conclusion

We hope this guide was helpful for finding the best military backpacks as well as our guide on features to look for in a military backpack. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this guide, feel free to let us know in the comments section.