Many of the accessories we use are inspired by the military lifestyle. Bomber Jackets, Aviator glasses, Chronograph Watches and so many other items all share their roots in the military. The reasons the military-inspired products appeal to such a wide following is their utilitarian design, stout build, and lasting craftsmanship. Backpacks too are among the items that have an army-inspired range. Tactical backpacks are popular for their ruggedness, ample storage space, and modular design.
Civilians and army personnel alike swear by tactical backpacks for their versatility and packability. Their cleverly divided storage space appeals to students, commuters, and travelers. Ruggedness and accessibility are appreciated by professionals who work outdoors.
Tactical backpacks make organizing efficient and convenient for hiking, rucking, trekking or camping trips. Their structured layouts and weather-resistant materials make sure that your gear remains safe. The ergonomic design makes the backpack sit comfortably on your shoulders. Tactical backpacks are versatile and modular, and this makes them popular among many. Sadly just like every other trendy item, the market is flooded with tactical backpacks. It becomes a bit daunting to find a good tactical backpack from the midst of cheap knockoff and subpar imitations.
How do you find the best option for your money?
What features to look for in a good tactical backpack?
You too may have these questions. Read this buying guide, and we will help you in finding the best tactical backpack in 2024 for you.
Best Tactical Backpack 2024
1. GORUCK GR 1 – Best Tactical Backpack According to Reddit
What Redditors had to say about it
u/pandadude “The GR1 fits what I usually need in my everyday carry (or carry-on travel) with ease and is as comfortable as a loaded backpack can be under heavy loads. The black is unassuming and blends into most casual situations and outfits. The proportions are nice for getting on a crowded subway or tossing under an airplane seat. My Thule laptop sleeve for a Macbook Pro 15″ fits into the laptop compartment. Shoulder straps are very comfortable. The bottom of the pack is slightly bigger than the top, which allows for more storage”
u/jdmess401 “I EDC’d a 21L every day for about three years when I commuted 1.5 hours each way via train between my home and Boston for work. Since I didn’t have a dedicated spot in the office, I had to carry everything I needed for a full 8-hour day: food, water, laptop, chargers, mouse, cables, battery packs, etc etc. I needed a bag to carry all those items. The GR1 held up incredibly well while performing these tasks. (The wide straps made it easy to lug the weight around, sometimes for hours if there was standing room only on the train.)”
u/heatx “GORUCK backpacks are great! I’ve used mine daily for the past few years. It’s one of the most versatile backpacks I’ve seen. It can work for almost any scenario. I’ve used this bag for traveling, college, photography, etc. it easily fits everything I need in it. “
The GR 1 is a high-quality tactical backpack from GORUCK, an established brand for tactical gear. GR 1 is a minimalist and compact tactical backpack available in two sizes – 21 liters and 26 liters sizes. It is optimal for everyday carry as well as outdoor excusrions. GR 1 has an open flat design inspired by special forces medics. You can easily organize your backpack by fully opening the backpack. The shoulder straps are nicely padded for comfort.
The carrying handle also comes with extra padding. On the inside, there is a reinforced laptop compartment next to your back. The manufacturer claims it to be bombproof. Also provided is a false bottom so that you don’t accidentally damage your laptop if you put your backpack on the floor. The GR 1 comes with a removable hard plastic frame sheet. By using the frame sheet you can keep your backpack straight and stable.
GORUCK has used YKK zippers in this backpack. These heavy-duty zippers are constructed from the parachute 550 cord. They are glove-friendly and won’t make any noise. The GORUCK GR 1 is made from 1000D Cordura fabric. This makes the backpack abrasion-resistant and tear-resistant. The backpack is highly water-resistant so your gear will remain dry even in rains. GR 1 comes with 3 pockets – 1 large elastic pocket, 1 large mesh zippered pocket, and 1 small go-to pocket.
The multiple pockets are good for efficient packing and organizing. There is also a quick access pocket for items like keys. Three rows of external and internal MOLLE webbing allow you to customize GR 1 how you want. You can also clip a hydration bladder into the interior MOLLE webbing. GORUCK provides GR 1 with a lifetime guarantee, this shows their confidence in their product.
2. GORUCK GR 2 – Larger Tactical Backpack
What Redditors had to say about it
u/Outcome005– “I used the GR1 21 liters backpack for all my college time, and it is awesome. And now I use it as a work and travel backpack. You cannot mess with a GORUCK”.
u/SilkyChineseFood- “I have a GR2 and use it every day. I hike and travel all the time and get the GORUCK as hand luggage on the place. Had it for a year or more, and it still looks brand new”.
u/hackatac- “If you’re looking for the toughest bag in the market and ready to compromise to carry the extra weight, then you should buy a GORUCK backpack. I have owned the backpack for nearly 2 years and have performed 2 GORUCK challenges using it and it still stands out and is fantastic. I would say out of the 10 bags I have it carries weight on the shoulders, unlike others. I’ve put 100 pounds in the bag, and it is still comfortable”.
GR 2 from GORUCK is the upgraded version of GR 1. It has all the features of GR 1 with added space and compartments. GR 2 is available in 3 sizes – 26 liters, 34 liters, and 40 liters. If you are looking for a rucksack that will double up as your everyday carry bag we will recommend 26 liters size. But if you carry lots of gear with you, you may go for bigger sizes. All sizes are TSA compliant so you won’t have any trouble fitting them in the overhead compartment of airplanes. GR 2 is made from the same 1000D Cordura, so its toughness is guaranteed. It is also rainproof and comes with YKK silent, glove-friendly zippers. The zipper pulls constructed from the parachute 550 cord. Shoulder straps and top handle are extra padded to carry heavier loads more comfortably.
There are 3 internal pockets: 1 large elastic pocket, one large mesh zippered pocket, and one small go-to zippered pocket. It also has a slant pocket on the front that provides you quick access to keys, snacks, and other small items. As in GR 1, it also comes with a removable frame sheet that allows you to carry more weight comfortably. Your laptops will be secure by a reinforced Bombproof Laptop Compartment and a false bottom. There are 4 rows of external and internal MOLLE webbing that let you customize your GR2 how you want. The GR 2 is covered by GORUCK’s Scars Lifetime Guarantee, so you will never have to worry about your rucksack.
3. GORUCK GR3
The GORUCK GR3 is a larger, more spacious version of the GR2 backpack specifically designed for travelers. With a 45-liter capacity and measuring 24″ x 12″ x 9″, the GR3 is the perfect choice for extended travel or backpacking trips.
The GR3 is also designed with travel-specific features, such as a suitcase-style opening for easy packing and unpacking, as well as a separate compartment for shoes or dirty clothes. The backpack has a removable frame sheet and waist belt for added support and stability, making it comfortable to wear even with heavier loads.
In conclusion, the GORUCK GR3 backpack is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a spacious, durable, and versatile backpack for their travel needs. With its ample storage options, comfortable design, and high-quality construction, the GORUCK GR3 is a backpack that will serve you well for years to come. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, the GR3 has everything you need to make your trip a success.
4. The Rucker
According to GORUCK, the Rucker is essentially “a gym on your back”. This backpack is not only designed to carry heavy weight and withstand abuse to the same bulletproof standards as other GORUCK products, but it also comes equipped with top, side, and bottom handles for performing variations of “sandbag training” and functional workouts.
Despite its functional design, the Rucker is still perfectly suited for daily use, thanks to its various size options (15L, 20L, and 25L) and versatile functionality.
The backpack is made from high-quality materials that can withstand tough conditions and last for years. It features a minimalist design with a spacious main compartment and a variety of smaller pockets and compartments for organization. The backpack has a padded laptop compartment that can fit up to a 15-inch laptop, as well as a hydration port and bladder hanger.
The Rucker also features a padded back panel and shoulder straps for added comfort, making it easy to wear even during intense workouts. The backpack has a waist belt and sternum strap for added stability, and it comes with a removable frame sheet that can be used to add even more support.
In conclusion, the GORUCK Rucker is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a durable and versatile backpack that can function as a gym in a bag. With its ample storage options, comfortable design, and high-quality construction, the Rucker is a backpack that will serve you well for years to come. Whether you’re headed to the gym, hitting the trails, or traveling for business or pleasure, the GORUCK Rucker has everything you need to succeed.
5. The Bullet
The GORUCK Bullet is a compact backpack designed for everyday use. Despite its smaller size, the Bullet is built to the same high standards as other GORUCK products, with a rugged construction that can withstand even the toughest conditions.
The rucking backpack can be used for a variety of activities, including hiking, travel, and everyday carry. The minimalist design of the Bullet means that it is lightweight and easy to carry, while still providing ample storage space for all your essentials.
The backpack is made from high-quality materials, including 1000D Cordura fabric and YKK zippers, ensuring that it is built to last. It features a spacious main compartment, as well as a variety of smaller pockets and compartments for organization. The backpack also has a hydration port and a loop for attaching a hydration bladder.
The Bullet is designed with comfort in mind, with a padded back panel and shoulder straps that make it comfortable to wear for extended periods. The backpack also has a sternum strap and a removable waist belt for added stability.
Don’t let the size fool you though, the bag is still tested to 400lb+ loads.
Whether you’re commuting to work, exploring the great outdoors, or simply running errands, the GORUCK Bullet has everything you need to stay organized and comfortable.
6. Rucker Long Range
The Rucker Long Range is one of the newer additions to the GORUCK lineup. It is designed to be a versatile backpack that can serve as a gym in a bag, making it perfect for fitness enthusiasts who want to take their workouts on the go. Unlike some of the other GORUCK backpacks, the Rucker Long Range does not feature a bombproof laptop compartment. Instead, it is equipped with tough handles on all sides, making it easy to carry and transport.
The Rucker Long Range features a dual compartment design, with a front panel setup and a main compartment behind it, similar to the GR2. This allows you to carry not just weights, but also water and food for an all-day workout. The backpack is spacious enough to accommodate all of your workout gear and accessories, making it perfect for outdoor activities like hiking and camping as well.
Overall, the GORUCK Rucker Long Range is a versatile and durable backpack that is perfect for fitness enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike. Its tough handles, dual compartment design, and spacious interior make it a great option for anyone looking for a gym in a bag that can stand up to even the toughest conditions.
7. 5.11 RUSH24 – Military Style Tactical Backpack
5.11 is another trusted brand for tactical gear. Their Rush 24 is a good choice among the tactical backpacks especially as it’s a cheaper alternative to Goruck.
This is a tough and rugged tactical backpack made from 1050D Nylon. This is a backpack built to be ready for anything. You can choose this backpack whether you are looking for an everyday carry (EDC) or for outdoor activities hiking or camping.
Rush 24 comes with a water-repellent coating that makes it rainproof. You can put enough gear for a 72 hour getaway in its 37 liters space. Rush 24 comes with a reinforced grab-and-go handle for you to drag it around. When you open it there are three mesh admin compartments for you to fit all your stuff. There are two side pockets and a stuff-it pocket with an integrated drawcord. We also liked that 5.11 provided a zippered fleece-lined eyewear pocket. There is also a zippered side water bottle pocket.
If you prefer a hydration bladder there is a pocket for it too. It also has built-in twin drainage grommets so that any spillage doesn’t spoil your gear. Rush 24 is designed with a contoured yoke shoulder strap system, which feels comfortable on your shoulders. There is an adjustable sternum strap that provides extra stability. On the outside are two external compression straps that will pack your gear tightly. In doing so, you’ll be able to center the weight on your back and body more easily.
A hook and loop nametape and flag patches are a nice touch. 5.11 has provided good quality self-repairing zippers from YKK. So your zippers won’t get stuck. The pull tabs are glove-friendly. Rush 24 comes with a wrap-around MOLLE / SlickStick web platform. So you can customize your backpack with more features and add accessories it making it able to carry more gear.
8. Maxpedition Falcon-II
The Maxpedition Falcon II is a tactical backpack designed for durability and comfort. Falcon II is made from 1050-Denier nylon fabric. This is abrasion resistant, so you don’t have to worry about the safety of your gear on your outdoor trips. It is also water-resistant so your gear will not get wet even when you go out in the rains. While organizing you can fully open your backpack like a clamshell.
The clamshell opening feature enables you to organize your backpack in the most efficient manner. On the front of the backpack is its unique Y-shaped midline compression strap that helps distribute weight evenly. You can further press your gear more tightly with the side compression straps connected through quick-release buckles. The Maxpedition Falcon II is a compact tactical backpack with a size of 23 liters optimal for an everyday carry (EDC) backpack.
The dual-directional YKK zippers add to the quality. So you will never have to worry about breaking a zipper if you’re in a pinch. The foam-padded shoulder straps and ergonomic design make it comfortable to wear. It also has built-in sturdy sternum & waist belts that eliminate pressure points and provide extra support when hauling heavy gear. On the back is provided a zipper pouch that can accommodate up to two 100 Oz water reservoirs. Through the covered port openings, you can take out hydration tubes so that you can hydrate yourself without breaking the momentum.
Falcon II comes with multiple internal pockets and loop fields for customization. A concealed carry pocket is also provided. Falcon II is MOLLE compatible so you can carry even more gear by attaching additional compartments. Falcon II could do a better with a breathable back panel. Otherwise, it is a good tactical backpack that will accompany you on many expeditions.
9. Condor 3 Day Assault Pack
The Condor 3-day pack is a large heavy-duty tactical backpack. With its spacious 50 liters cargo capacity you can pack enough gear for a 72-hour exploration. The Condor 3-day pack with its seven compartments is designed for easy access and organization. The large main compartment comes with quick-release gear retention straps and two zipper closure mesh pockets. You can fully open the main compartment for easy packing. The second compartment contains three document pockets, two radio pockets, and pen holsters. On the rear are two large pockets with three elastic closures.
There is also a bottom pocket with a zipper closure mesh pocket. You can carry two 3-liter hydration bladders in the side pockets and loop a hydration tube through integrated tubing ports. The featured body contour padded shoulder straps, sternum strap, and waist belt enhance comfort and support. A foam pad back panel optimizes comfort and airflow. There is a reinforced carry and drag handle on top. Twin side compression straps keep your gear compactly packed and reduce your profile. There are horizontal and vertical webbing on the front and along the shoulder straps. The shoulder straps also have integrated D-rings
10. BLACKHAWK! S.T.R.I.K.E. Predator
This is a rugged and versatile tactical backpack. The BLACKHAWK! S.T.R.I.K.E. has a capacity of 32 liters divided into three compartments – one large and two smaller front compartments. This backpack is spacious and can be used for weekend hiking trips or as an everyday carry (EDC) backpack. The large compartment has an internal pouch and three ports with flaps. It looks durable and is constructed from tough nylon fabric and heavy-duty zippers.
The BLACKHAWK! S.T.R.I.K.E. comes with padded, contour-fit shoulder straps with sternum strap, so that you are comfortable even when hauling all of your gear. Its comfortability and stability are further increased with a reinforced waist belt with additional attachment points. There is a rubber drag handle on the top backpack. The backpack features a hydration system that is protected by Microban antimicrobial technology and features a Bite Me bite valve and patent-pending quick-disconnect system. On the bottom of the pack, there is a metal grommet for drainage. The back panel is padded and breathable. You can tightly press your packed gear with quick-cinch buckles. The straps have anodized D-rings on them. It is MOLLE compatible and there are a hundred attachment points on the pack.
11. Orca Tactical Backpack
Durable, comfortable, and functional – Orca tactical backpack will not disappoint you. With it’s 11″ x 18″ x 2″ dimensions and 34 liters capacity, this backpack has room for all of your essential gear. Orca tactical backpack is heavy-duty and military-grade made from 600D polyester material. The ORCA tactical assault backpack is reinforced and double stitched at all stress points which makes it more sturdier. Its closures are secured by high-quality YKK zippers with nylon pulls that are rust-resistant and tough. The backpack comes with a special coating that makes it both water-resistant and scratch proof.
For comfort and strength, the backpack comes with padded and double-stitched straps. The back area is covered in mesh for ventilation during travel. For additional support, the backpack is provided with waist straps. The backpack includes an elastic band to keep the straps organized and in place to prevent snagging. It can hold up to a 1.5 liters hydration water bladder. You can secure your packed gear with side compression straps. A MOLLE webbing system on front and sides ensures you can add tactical MOLLE gear and pouches as needed for any mission.
12. Tacticon Armament 24BattlePack
Tacticon Armament 24BattlePack is a great 3-day tactical assault backpack. It has lot of attractive features and comes at a great price. This is a highly modular backpack, with a 40 liters storage space divided into multiple compartments. It comes with waterproof lining inside of each compartment in the backpack. For increased sturdiness, the backpack comes with double stitching around the entire pack. Heavy-duty and over-sized zipper protects the backpack from rain and other elements. It is provided with a padded oversized laptop computer compartment for up to 17-inch laptop screens.
The 24BattlePack comes with a built-In universal concealed carry gun holster. It has an insulated compartment with hanging clips and drink tube access for your hydration bladder. The backpack has a patch area for name tape and flag patches. MOLLE webbing is provided on the front for any additional tactical gear and pouches that you may need. There are polymer D-Rings located throughout the pack for carabiner attachment. The best point is that the backpack comes with a lifetime warranty that covers everything from the zippers to the stitching.
13. REEBOW GEAR Tactical Backpack
The REEBOW GEAR military tactical backpack is perfect for any outdoor trips or long hikes or even demanding treks. Made for heavy-duty use, it is stitched from a durable and water-resistant high-density fabric. With a capacity of 40 liters, it can hold quite a bit. It can pack up to three days worth of necessities so you can bring everything with you. This tactical backpack is double-stitched, which adds to its robustness. The heavy-duty zippers with utility-style cord pulls are suitable for dust and grime of outdoors. Its side and front load compression system lets you pack your gear tightly so that you don’t have a bulky backpack dragging you down.
The REEBOW GEAR has foam padded straps with ventilated mesh, for a breathable and comfortable experience. Its rear panel is ventilated and breathable as well. This backpack is also hydration compatible, so you can bring your hydration bladder and stay hydrated without breaking your momentum. It is MOLLE compatible. This allows for extra protection and the addition of more gear. So you are able to bring additional things you may need. And all of these features come at a price under $40, which makes it more attractive.
14. Camelbak H.A.W.G – Military Inspired Backpack For Rucking
Camelbak has introduced lots of military-inspired gear for all sorts of outdoor activities like hiking, running, and rucking. The H.A.W.G. is a compact mil-spec backpack perfect for rucking. It has a volume of 23 liters, so you can also use it for the daily commute. Made from 100 percent tough 500D Corduroy fabric, the H.A.W.G is one rugged rucking backpack. The shoulder harness is made of 420D high-density nylon, so durability is expected. It comes with a hydration bladder and a valved tube so you can continue to hydrate yourself without breaking momentum. The bladder is easily detachable for quick cleaning or refilling. There is an Independent suspension harness for optimal load distribution.
The air DIRECTOR back panel is designed for breath ability. The Camelbak H.A.W.G is also lightweight and will not burden your shoulders like some other rucksacks. It is machine washable so you can take it any kind of environment without worrying that it will get dirty. Also provided are adjustable compression straps for minimum or maximum compression, so that you can distribute weight on your shoulders as per your comfort. The zippers are smooth and noiseless. An external quick stash pocket is also provided for your convenience. One of the things it lacks is MOLLE webbing. So you can’t attach an extra pouch on the side or front. However, you can easily upgrade your rucksack with a list of accessories offered bu Camelback.
15. CVLIFE Tactical Rucksack – Budget Rucking Backpack
This is an affordable backpack designed for rucking and other outdoor activities. CVLIFE rucksack is the largest backpack on our list. It has a capacity of 60 liters so you can haul around all of your gear without running out of space. This rucking backpack is durable and sturdy in construction. It is made from water-resistant 600×600 oxford fabric. The stress points are reinforced for the added strength. On the inside, it has one main large compartment. There is one front detachable bag that can also be used as a tactical fanny pack separately. It also has two side detachable pouches which can be used as first aid bags. There is also a hose thru-put from the main compartment on the top of the bag for a water bladder to be used from.
The shoulder straps are padded and covered with dual density ventilated mesh, so the won’t cut into your arms even with a heavy weight. A cinching waist strap provides extra support and distributes the weight more evenly. Once you are all packed you can tighten it with dual compression straps. CVLIFE has provided a padded back that adds to the comfort. The zippers are heavy duty and won’t get stuck because of outside dust and grime. There are rain diverting flaps to keep them dry. The extensive MOLLE webbing on the outside allows you to easily attach outdoor gear, more pouches and sleeping pad.
16. LHI Military Tactical Backpack 45L
What Redditors have to say about it
‘Current backpack: LHI Military Tactical Backpack… https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09WR4F3WK?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share
100% recommend. It’s just like the other tactical backpacks, like Wolfpak and Built for Athletes, but only $50. I got the “Blue” one, 45L with the drink pockets. They have a couple other colors with drink pockets. I just got this one, but I had a similar one in black before (linked below as well) that lasted me ages, despite me straight up just throwing it around. I fit a ton of stuff in it, with space to spare. Every once in a while I’ll have it at max capac, but that’s with all my usual stuff plus extra outfits, food, etc’ – u/bck_2017
‘LHI tactical backpack 45L. I wasn’t expecting much for $45CAD but it has turned out to be a really well made bag for the money. I needed something to fit my EDC pouch plus lunch, thermos, water, clipboard and all the other stuff I need for forestry work. Also, it has molle everyyywhere, Quite happy with this. I trashed the pvc flag patch it came with and used an embroidered one I had.’ –u/camkos101
Another one of the most popular GORUCK alternatives under $50 is the LHI Military Tactical Backpack. An identical copy of the GORUCK GR1 in terms of functionality, the LHI Military Tactical boasts all kinds of compartments for you to load up the bag. It has over 4500 ratings on Amazon with an average of 4.5 rating out of 5.
Size and Capacity: The LHI Military Tactical Backpack is of approximately 12“ x 20“ x 12“, providing a generous capacity of 45 liters. This ample space ensures that you can carry all your essentials for various activities, be it fitness, travel, hiking, camping, or any other outdoor pursuit.
Durable and Water-Resistant: Constructed from 900D Oxford nylon fabric, this backpack is built to withstand the toughest conditions. It’s not only incredibly durable but also water-resistant, ensuring that your gear remains dry even in unpredictable weather.
Smart Design: The LHI Military Tactical Backpack is packed with design features that enhance its functionality. It features heavy-duty double-stitched zippers with utility-style cord pulls, ensuring that your belongings are secure. The side and front load compression system allows you to adjust the backpack’s volume as needed. Additionally, the ventilated mesh padded back area and shoulder straps make it exceptionally breathable and comfortable, even during extended wear.
MOLLE System: This tactical backpack is equipped with a MOLLE system, featuring numerous mount points on the outside. This system allows you to attach additional pouches, pockets, water bottle holders, and accessory kits, enhancing its adaptability and customization to suit your specific needs.
Multi-Compartment Organization: Inside, you’ll find multiple compartments and zippered pockets, including an interior zip pocket and mesh pocket. This organization allows you to neatly arrange and access your gear, making it ideal for outdoor activities and military enthusiasts. You can even load up ruck plates in the laptop compartment to make your rucking adventures even more challenging.
17. JupiterGear Military Tactical 25L Backpack
Here’s what Redditors have to say about this
‘I have one. I bought it because buying a GORUCK pack was not really an option because of price. I love it. Someday I’ll get a GR1 but for now it’s really a great pack.’ – u/323089
‘I have this bag and use it as my work backpack! I love it! I looked at it because the GR1 was out of my price range as well. It is a bit of a copy-cat, as everyone else said, which I don’t like, but it does feel like great quality and I’ve been using it for several months now and still absolutely love it.
Ways that it is different than the GR1:
– a sternum strap – this is a big one for me. I always prefer sternum straps on my backpacks. It saves my shoulders
– 4 rows of webbing on the outside instead of 3
– less abrasive material on the shoulder straps
– the molle on the inside of the back is also velcro, so I was able to just get a velcro pen holder thing and stick it on there, which I like. It also looks like there’s an extra row of molle on the inside compared to the GR1, which is helpful for my purposes
– the patch out the outside is about 1.5 times bigger. Which I like because I don’t want to use a military style patch. I have a fun big round patch I stuck on mine
I wish they had differentiated their design more so that it doesn’t just look like a GR1 knock-off. But the changes they did make I actually really like and works well for me. But also I know nothing about the company and can’t find any real information on them so that’s not great. Here’s their facebook page: [https://www.facebook.com/jupitertactical/](https://www.facebook.com/jupitertactical/) Rather sketchy but not evil? idk Maybe I’ll get a GR1 one day if it’s ever on sale. I do prefer supporting companies I know are legit. I got a used GORUCK GR2 35L for travel off eBay at half price and that’s been great. Buying a used GR1 would be a great way to save on cost if you don’t feel comfortable with the JupiterGear. Last I looked a lot of the GR1’s were still almost full price on eBay though, which defeats the purpose. And I doubt the goruck lifetime warrantee thing still applies if you buy it used?’ – u/karl3magne
JupiterGear Military Tactical 25L Backpack is one of the only reliable GORUCK alternatives that is available under $30. With almost the same features as the predecessors in this list, the JupiterGear tactical is slightly less durable and there have been reports of material tear. But for something that is $30, it’s completely worth it and serves the intended purpose.
MOLLE System: Equipped with a MOLLE System that is enables you to attach additional pouches, accessories and much more.
Adjustable Straps: The backpack is designed with adjustable shoulder straps that accommodate different body types comfortably. Whether you’re carrying it for a long hike or during a tactical operation, these straps ensure a secure fit without limiting your arm movement, ensuring maximum mobility.
Multiple Pockets: This backpack excels at organization. It features a spacious main compartment with a zip closure, ensuring your essentials are safe and easily accessible. Inside the main compartment, you’ll find two smaller pockets for further organization. Additionally, the multiple front storage zip-up compartments keep your gear neatly arranged. The lower front compartment includes loops for securing items and key retention to ensure you never misplace your keys.
Comfortable & Secure Fit: Carrying heavy loads can strain your shoulders, but the padded and adjustable shoulder straps in this backpack help distribute the weight effectively, reducing discomfort. For added stability and security, it also features an adjustable chest belt and hip belt clasp.
18. Spec Ops T.H.E. Every Day Carry Pack
Here’s what Redditor had to say about the customer service of Spec Ops
‘Took the plunge and purchased a Spec-Ops Brand T.H.E. Pack from Amazon last year. It hasn’t been “tested” in a meaningful way so I can’t comment on how battle ready it is. I’ve hiked with it a time or two, I carry it on flights (I LOVE how compactable it is with the cinch straps), and I take it to work everyday. Anyways, a couple weeks back I checked my Pack on a flight with Frontier Airlines because our suitcase was 2 lbs over-weight and would have cost an extra $75 (F*** frontier airlines #1). When I picked up my bag it looked as if it had been stuck in a conveyor belt and forcefully ripped out by a baggage handler. The left strap was badly torn and it had even damaged the padding inside (F*** Frontier Airlines #2). I spoke with their baggage office and they informed me that they don’t guarantee the integrity of the checked bag itself, just its contents so basically I’m shit out of luck (F*** Frontier Airlines #3). I decided to contact Spec Ops to see if they’d warranty the bag, despite the fact that this was my fault. After a couple emails Donna, customer service rep, asked me to mail it back to them for repair or replacement, free of charge. A few days later I received a brand new Pack in the mail.
Good on them!’ – u/STR2
While some users praised the customer service, one user loved it’s quality
‘I cannot recommend Spec-Ops Brand enough. I have both their Ultimate Assault Pack and their Every Day Carry pack and love them. The EDC one sounds like it would fit your needs quite well.
What sold me on them was that they were actually made in the USA. I’ve had both of them for a few months and have even traveled with them- they’re pretty bomb proof.’ – u/toastypanda13
This seemingly simple-looking backpack is one of the best GORUCK alternatives under $200 and it is packed with features. Spec Ops T.H.E Every Day pack may cost you around $159 to $189. However, the black variant is a little bit pricey and will cost you around $220. It’s still a lot cheaper than a GORUCK and guaranteed to last you for years to come.
Nylon Construction: The Spec Ops T.H.E. Every Day Carry Pack is constructed from super durable USA-made 1000D Cordura nylon, making it one of the toughest nylon fabrics available today.
High-Quality Zippers: Equipped with a YKK self-healing chain and zip closures, this pack ensures your belongings stay securely stowed away while offering smooth and reliable access to your gear. The reason why they are called self-healing is that it means that if the zipper (after being closed or zipped) were to come apart, you would simply have to unzip and rezip the bag and it would close (or self-heal).
Dual Exit Ports: The inclusion of dual exit ports is a thoughtful touch, providing compatibility for radio or hydration setups. This feature allows for efficient cable management and easy access to your equipment.
Comfortable MTX Shoulder Harness System: The one-piece MTX shoulder harness system is designed to be both comfortable and tough. It evenly distributes the weight of the pack, reducing strain on your shoulders and back. The up-dated modular chest strap further enhances the overall comfort and fit.
Drag Handle for Durability: The extra heavy-duty “Drag-Handle” stitched into the double-layer top panel is a testament to the pack’s durability. This feature ensures maximum longevity, even in the most demanding environments.
Battle Buckles Hardware: The use of patented USA-made “Battle buckles” hardware throughout the pack adds to its ruggedness.
19. Mystery Ranch Catalyst 26L Travel Backpack
Here’s what Reddit has to say
‘I have the Catalyst 26, and I love it. Coming from the Maxpedition Entity series, I wish the webbing was the seat belt typle webbing like on the Maxpedition. But other than that I love the bag. (The webbing is still nice. Im just spoiled)
The bag is lightweight, yet durable. I got the stone color, and it appears to not show stains. The water bottle pockets fit my Yeti Tumblers and my Nalgene while the bag is loaded. I dont use much of the interior organization, but its out of the way and there if I need it. There are no great spots for pens however.
The zippers are nice, and have broken in well. I love the tri zip design. The carry straps and back has a nice padded mesh. The top pocjet is fantastic and can fit a lot. Even with what I usually carry in there, I can toss my hostered S&W 637 or Sig P365 in there if I take it off and want to store it.
The backpack is structured with a ridged pannel, and it is flexible, yet it stands up by itself, which I love. The laptop compartment is fantastic with the carry handle behind the zipper. So i can hang my bag on the wall at work and still access all my gear in all compartments.
I assume that the 22 share many of these attributes except in a smaller package. I almost got the 22 and then looked at a video on the Mystery Ranch channel on YT (cant find the video for a link) and it didnt look much bigger side by side. Hope this helps.’ – u/civilenginerd_99
Known for making load-hauling backpacks, the Catalyst 26 is one of the most finest AND functional backpacks made by Mystery Ranch. An alternative to GORUCK GR1, it is highly durable thanks to its tough Cordura nylon and robust YKK zipper construction. Although not a clamshell backpack, the Catalyst 26 instead uses a unique 3-zip zipper design to give you customized access to the main compartment depending on how you open it.
Durability: The Mystery Ranch Catalyst 26L Travel Backpack is designed to withstand the elements while remaining environmentally conscious. Constructed from 500D recycled Cordura, it not only boasts exceptional toughness but also repurposes consumer waste materials, making it a sustainable choice if you are environmentally conscious.
Quick Access Pocket: The zippered lid pocket at the top of the Catalyst 26L offers a convenient storage solution for items like your smartphone, keys, or any other must-have items. No more rummaging through your stuff if you need something urgently.
Tech-Friendly Organization: It not only features a padded laptop pocket but also a front sleeve that provides secure storage for your tablet, notebooks, maps, or other documents. Two internal zippered pockets further enhance your ability to keep small but important items easily accessible and secure.
How to find the Best Tactical Backpack?
This is a buying guide so that you can choose the best tactical backpack that brings you more bang for your buck. You should keep the following parameters in your mind while making the purchase.
Comfort: In our opinion comfort is the paramount factor when buying a tactical backpack. You may not get much use out of a cool looking backpack if it cuts in your shoulder. Or your hiking trip may be less enjoyable because a poorly designed backpack tired you out. Your daily commutes may become more sweaty if your backpack doesn’t have a breathable back. You get our point. So make sure the tactical backpack you like comes with the proper amount of padding in the straps and grips. Also, make sure the harness sits comfortably on your shoulders. Don’t forget to check the breathability of the back panels.
Durability: There would be no point in buying a tactical backpack if it is not durable. So pay attention. First for the backpack to be durable it should be made from tough material. Polyester will not cut it, you should not choose a tactical backpack made from polyester. You should go for nylon at the minimum. We recommend heavy-duty fabrics like X-Pac or Cordura. Whether it is Urban Jungle or actual Jungle, these materials can take their share of punishment. So the tactical backpack will last you longer.
You should also pay attention to the stitching. As the stitching is usually the weak links in a backpack. Just like for fabric avoid backpacks stitched from the polyester thread. Nylon is better. If the stitching is in a zigzag pattern it would be better. Best to select a backpack that comes with reinforced stitching.
Zippers are another component you need to pay attention to for the durability. Especially so if you are buying the tactical backpack for your excursions into the outdoors. The dust and grime may cause the zippers to get stuck. So prefer the backpack with self-repairing zippers. YKK zippers are known for their quality.
Budget: Tactical backpacks are available for all budgets. You can buy a tactical backpack under $40. You can also buy one that costs more than $400. You get what you pay for. You can decide your budget based on your needs. There is no need for spending $300 on a tactical backpack designed for special forces if all you want is an everyday carry bag. Similarly, it will not be wise to carry a $30 backpack on a survival challenge.
Size: The tactical backpacks may come in size ranging from 25 liters to more than 65 liters. You should shop based on your needs. If you want an everyday carry (EDC) backpack, 30 liters space should be enough for you. Buy 35 liters to 40 liters if you carry a lot of gear. If you want a tactical backpack for a weekend getaway or for hiking or trekking trips you should choose 45 liters. For even more intense trips like a week-long hunting trip, buy big size backpacks.
Another feature you may want in a tactical backpack is MOLLE webbing. It allows you to accessorize your backpack with additional compartments or pouches so you can carry more gear. You can also add customized features to your tactical backpack. MOLLE webbing improves both accessibility and modularity of your tactical backpack.
You should choose a tactical backpack that comes with compression straps. A loosely packed backpack will drag you down. With compression straps, you can press your packed backpack tightly. This will make your backpack sit nicely on your back.
Last update on 2024-02-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API