7 Best Tactical Backpacks 2023 (Military Style With Molle)

Best tactical backpacks

Man, I’ve always wanted a military backpack but was always put off thinking that it wouldn’t be “right” since I’ve never been in the military.

How wrong was I?!

It turns out that grabbing the best tactical backpack doesn’t mean you have to use it for military use, although they’re excellent options for that, too.

In fact, they’re incredibly popular, whether you want one for college, hiking trips, camping weekends or just “because.”

Sounds like you?

Read on…

Tactical backpack comparison chart (top 10)

Before you get into the detailed reviews, check out this handy tactical backpack comparison chart to pick out the best option for you.

What is a tactical backpack?

A tactical backpack is a spacious backpack with multiple compartments and typically has MOLLE attachments for full customization. They’re ideal for military use, especially since the material has a camo design, but can also be used for hiking, college/school or anything else you desire.

What are the different types of tactical backpack?

There are only two different types of tactical backpack:

Regular tactical backpack
Tactical sling

The main differences between the two are style and capacity.

A regular tactical backpack has dual shoulder straps and is what most tend to go for, with a capacity between 20 and 40 liters. It sits square across the back (or front, if you so desire) and is the best option for carrying ALL your gear.

In contrast, the tactical sling bag has a single shoulder strap, angling across the back or front, with a much smaller capacity. This makes it more suited to lightweight use and is an excellent choice for carrying a bladder and handgun and ammo.

What are the best tactical backpacks? Here’s my top 7 list:

After a heap of research, these are the best tactical backpacks right now.

If you’re short on time when checking out these tactical packs, check on my bullet list at the end of each review. This will give you a good idea of which of the military rucksacks—which are also known as “military backpacks”—will suit your needs.

1. 5.11 RUSH24 tactical military backpack (best tactical backpack overall)

The storage options with the 5.11 RUSH24 seem endless, which I know is something you guys will LOVE. It doesn’t have the highest capacity at 37 liters, but it’s only 3 liters short of the highest out of the reviews.

Hell, one super happy customer compared this RUSH24 against the RUSH12 for storing their college kit, including 13in MacBook Air, books and all their gear.

The result?

Ample space left while space was tight with the RUSH12.

Despite it holding so much space, it isn’t a massive backpack, with customers confirming that it doesn’t feel heavy and bulky while full. This is largely down to the excellent internal organization.

This makes it ideal for both daily use and travel. Customers specifically mention that they take it with them for 1-week trips.

While it is MOLLE compatible, watch out if you use multiple MOLLE attachments since users find that that’s when the RUSH24 feels bulky. Be sure to factor in the attachment colors and then buy this backpack in one of the different camouflage options.

Although this is clearly a kick-ass tactical backpack, watch out if you’re tall since the shoulder straps don’t suit those around 6’3”.

In addition, some report that the shoulder straps wear out far too quickly, and unfortunately, there’s no warranty to fall back on. Aside from this, the backpack is made from 1050D Cordura nylon, providing the best in material quality.

Even so, the 5.11 RUSH24 is best for:

  • 1-week trips
  • College
  • Daily use
  • All-weather holidays


  • Decent capacity
  • Excellent internal
  • storage options
  • Cordura nylon


  • Watch out for the shoulder straps!
  • Not ideal for those 6’3” and up

2. Reebow Gear military tactical backpack review (best MOLLE backpack)

While the 5.11 RUSH24 also has MOLLE webbing, and I recommend it as the best tactical backpack, this Reebow gear military tactical backpack has a much better MOLLE system according to customers.

More specifically, some users have built up their bag over the months to use as their sole backpack for their trips into the wilderness—which is all down to the MOLLE.

Of note is this backpack’s sturdiness, which is exceptional. Whether the bag has been used to store ammunition for hunting or to safely store a serving medic’s kit, the bag’s quality has shone through. This should give you excellent peace of mind if you need something that can handle rough use.

While I can’t confirm the material type, I can say that it’s waterproof, so don’t overlook this Reebow Gear tactical pack if you’re taking trips in wet weather.

It’s also one of the largest tactical backpacks at 40 liters, but that doesn’t make it bulky, and you can definitely use it for school or college. Be sure to take off the US flag on the front, though, since some schools won’t allow it.

Watch out for the main zipper. While many users praise its durability, some mention that it breaks far too quickly.

This theme continues into the straps’ quality. Overall, there’s wide praise for how good they are, but some customers pick on how the straps fall apart.

The Reebow Gear military pack is best for:

  • MOLLE attachments
  • Hunting
  • Tactical use
  • School/college
  • Daily regular use


  • Sturdy
  • High capacity
  • Lightweight


  • Not Cordura
  • Questionable zipper and strap durability

3. 5 11 tactical backpack RUSH12 (best small tactical backpack)

Just because the RUSH24 has more space, that doesn’t mean you should overlook the RUSH12. In fact, with its 16 individual compartments, there’s ample space for your gear.

You just need to be more selective with what you’re carrying since the 24 liters is the lowest from the products I’ve reviewed here.

Also, be careful if you’re tall since there are reports that the bag doesn’t come down the back that far, resulting in lower back pain—not something you want for a bug out bag!

Despite this, the stitching quality is up there, which is to be expected from a company like 5.11, especially since the 1050D nylon fabric is waterproof. This combines well with the robust zippers and thick shoulder straps, which customers rave about.

I can’t say the same for the buckle quality, though, with some customers being disappointed with their quality, even though they were happy with the rest of the product.

There’s no doubt that the RUSH12 is a solid buy for multiple occasions, but if you don’t want to lack space and/or are tall, go for the RUSH24.

NOTE: Only the black option is thought to be made from Cordura, which makes it the most robust option, although 5.11 doesn’t offer up this information.

The 5.11 RUSH12 is best for:

  • Lightweight use
  • Commuting
  • Daily use


  • High-quality construction
  • Thick shoulder straps
  • Cordura option


  • Not ideal for taller peeps
  • Buckle quality is questionable

4. Reebow Gear tactical sling bag (best tactical sling backpack)

I’m throwing this Reebow Gear sling backpack in because it’s such an awesome alternative to the regular tactical packs.

In fact, at 12 x 9.5 x 6 inches, it’s an ideal solution to hold a couple of handguns and ammo, or even an iPad. Some users also use it as an assault tactical pack, with the snap button at the back for a 2L hydration pouch, although some mention it could hold up to 4L.

Essentially, its main advantage over the backpacks is its light weight, improving your dexterity while hiking or for military use.

Hell, some customers use it as a diaper bag! It’s that versatile!

Since it’s MOLLE-compatible, you can expand its use even further to bridge the gap to the backpacks, but you’d have to be more selective as to what attaches via the MOLLE, with four webbing rolls on each side.

Something that’s common with all sling backpacks, and not just this one, is that the shoulder strap can slip off too easily. This isn’t always the case, and depends on your shoulder structure, but consider going for one of the backpacks if this is an issue for you.

Also, be aware that some customers arrived their product damaged and not built correctly. This is an easy fix by simply returning it and getting a replacement.

The Reebow Gear sling bag is best for:

  • Handgun and ammo carry
  • iPad storage
  • Lightweight alternative to backpacks


  • Lightweight
  • Quick access
  • Dedicated hydration pouch


  • Shoulder strap can slip off easily
  • Goods can arrive damaged

5. Seibertron Falcon tactical backpack (best military backpack for hiking)

The Seibertron Falcon’s standout feature is the storage space—the 3 compartments are large enough to offer excellent storage flexibility.

While the overall volume is only 27 liters, customers have still found that it holds all their kit for bug outs and hiking. There’s also no issue with it storing all related footwear for hiking and military use. Due to it being lightweight and still offering a decent capacity, this tactical backpack is excellent for hiking.

If you do want more space, there is a 37-liter option available with similar features as this one and the option of detachable pouches, but don’t forget that all options are MOLLE-compatible.

In comparison to other military backpacks, the shoulder strap stitching on this model is excellent, with much fewer customers mentioning rapid wear and tear here.

There is some frustration with the waist strap in that it can’t be tucked anywhere. I know many of you are unlikely to use this strap, so just be aware of this before purchasing.

Also, while the zippers are smooth, they aren’t waterproof, whereas competitor zippers are. Additionally, customers have slated the zipper quality with them falling apart far too quickly.

You’d think that the 900D fabric leaves it lacking in thickness and durability, but that isn’t the case. The fabric feels thick, is waterproof and offers excellent protection for the contents. Note that I don’t believe the nylon is Cordura, though, so there is some room for improvement there.

The Seibertron Falcon is best for:

Medium-sized storage
Budget option


  • High-quality shoulder straps
  • Different capacity options
  • Flexible storage options


  • Faulty zippers
  • Lack of storage for waist strap
  • Not Cordura

6. Tacticon 24BattlePack tactical backpack (top waterproof tactical backpack)

One thing I LOVE about Tacticon’s products is that they’re inspired by a combat vet, so you know you’re getting the best from a military mind.

The result is an excellent combination of weight, capacity, design and comfort, especially for combat situations.

And, with a capacity of 40L, you can fit in an insane amount of gear. In particular, it has a dedicated 17-inch laptop storage area and a built-in handgun holster, but one customer uses theirs to store their emergency medical/survival gear.

Also, the waterproofing on this bag is excellent thanks to the waterproof lining, which works well with the double-stitching.

If 40L is too much, you can reduce it down to 20L via the compression straps, providing excellent versatility between a day backpack and something for a week-long trip. This is backed up with a wide range of MOLLE loops for added customization and utility.

Note that if you’re around 6’3” and up, you may find the waist and shoulder straps to be short and narrow, but you can counter this by swapping them out for something more comfortable.

Although I haven’t been able to confirm the exact material used, customers report that the nylon quality is excellent, and it’s super-dense, so you shouldn’t have any concern over the durability.

It also has a dedicated water bladder, which is awesome compared to similar products. Just be aware that some customers comment on how its padding is a bit sub-par.

The Tacticon 24BattlePack is best for:

  • Versatile use
  • Emergency EDC bag
  • Lengthy hikes


  • Dedicated water bladder
  • Excellent capacity
  • High-quality waterproofing


  • Room for improvement in the waist and shoulder straps
  • Water bladder’s padding is a bit lackluster

7. Hannibal tactical 36L MOLLE assault pack (tactical laptop backpack)

Arguably the most stand-out feature of the Hannibal assault pack is how well it protects its contents.

While the 600D polyester doesn’t scream excellence, customers have jumped up and down over how rough they’ve handled their backpack without issues. For me, this makes it ideal as a tactical computer backpack.

This combines well with the two main compartments and two further small ones. These combine to provide 36L of space, so is a little shy of the 40L options but still provides heaps of room.

On top of this, it has front and side MOLLE webbing, so if your laptop takes up a fair amount of room, you can rely on the MOLLE for extra hook-ups.

Despite most customers being happy with this tactical backpack’s robustness, some do comment on how the stitching and zippers have let them down. This is common across most backpacks, though, and so I do wonder if it’s a case of a bad batch or mishandling.

The Hannibal 36L MOLLE assault pack is best for:

  • Laptop storage
  • Hiking
  • Bug out bag


  • Excellent durability
  • Reasonable storage options
  • MOLLE on front and side


  • Issues with stitching and zippers

You’re spoilt for choice!

I’ve only picked out the very best tactical backpacks since you could spend hours hunting one down.

My advice is that you start with capacity and filter from there since that will determine whether you can get the most out of your pack.

For example, if your intention is week-long hiking or extended military use, go for something as close to 40L as possible. On top of this, try and pick out Cordura nylon for the best quality.

Also ensure it’s waterproof and is MOLLE-compatible for ultimate versatility and to ensure quick access to things like water bottles, bandages and ammo.

The 5.11 RUSH24 backpack ticks all of these boxes for the very best in quality and durability.


What are the loops for on a tactical backpack?

The loops on a tactical backpack are for attaching different extensions and pouches. This is the essence of a MOLLE backpack, and they’re excellent for quick access to items that either wouldn’t fit or that you want to be stored outside your backpack.

Who makes the best tactical backpacks?

While there are a wide range of high-quality tactical backpack brands out there, 5.11, Reebow Gear, Seibertron and Tacticon make the best tactical backpacks. They all have deep knowledge of what a top-level tactical pack should be and have delivered excellent options.

What is a Molle backpack?

A MOLLE backpack is one that allows you to attach various tools to it, with MOLLE meaning “modular lightweight load-carrying equipment.” This is achieved by the loops along the sides, front and undercarriage. Most of the best tactical backpacks are MOLLE backpacks.