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There are only a few people who will disagree with the claim that a tactical backpack is one of the most valuable gear when going for an outdoor excursion. Initially, tactical backpacks were designed for military use. But nowadays, the demand for these backpacks by the general public keeps increasing. Their popularity can be attributed to their hardwearing, durable designs and their versatility to be used for outdoor activities and as an everyday carry.
Whether you’re a casual hiker, a military personnel or an avid outdoorsman, investing in the best tactical shoulder backpack military is an excellent decision. Such backpacks are designed to be durable and effective in even the worst conditions. Plus, they have ample space where you can organize your gear neatly.
What’s The Best Tactical Shoulder Military Backpack?
Tactical backpacks don’t come with gimmicky features. This is because most of the manufacturers focus on the functionality more than the design, which is why these backpacks are so versatile. To find a tactical shoulder backpack that works for you, check whether it offers supreme functionality and durability.
Below find the best Tactical Shoulder Military Backpacks:
1. CVLIFE Outdoor Military Tactical Backpack
Looking for a tactical backpack with a large capacity? This Outdoor Military Backpack by CVLIFE is a great option. With a capacity of 60 liters, it gives you enough space to stow gear, food and other supplies for 3 days. If you’re planning a long camping trip, the Army Rucksack ensures you’re well-prepared.
Apart from the huge capacity, the CVLIFE backpack also sports a sturdy construction consisting of 600*600 oxford fabric. This material is water-resistant, which means you can even use the bag in the rain without worrying that your gear will come into contact with water.
When you purchase the CVLIFE, you get one large backpack that has one main big compartment. In addition to that, you get one front detachable bag that can be used independently and two side tactical pouches that double up as first aid bags.
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2. AIRSOFTPEAK Tactical Backpack
With the design and functionality of pricier backpacks, the Airsoftpeak tactical backpack is an excellent deal for the money. It’s constructed using 1000D nylon material, making it sturdy, durable but still comfortable.
At a glance, it’s evident that the stitching is done by professionals and the zippers move smoothly without a hitch.
The AIRSOFTPEAK has molle webbing all around it. This comes in handy when you want to attach extra tactical pouches. What’s more, this backpack’s shoulder straps are well-padded and can be adjusted to provide comfort for long carries.
3. Gecko Equipments Tactical Sling Bag
If you’re looking for a bag that you can use for everyday carry, then the Gecko Tactical Sling Bag is your best bet. It’s highly-versatile as it can serve as chest bag, diaper bag or range bag. This bag is ideal for both indoor and outdoor activities.
A key highlight of this outdoor shoulder military tactical backpack is that it has a ton of pockets, providing you enough storage space. It has numerous zippered pockets at the front, a roomy main pocket and an unnoticeable compartment at the back. The main pocket is fitted with a Velcro pad, which is big enough for holding a handgun and a few ammo.
When it comes to build, the Gecko Sling bag is one of the most durable. Constructed using 800-denier Oxford cloth, this bag can withstand any inclement weather.
4. FUNANASUN Tactical Sling Backpack
The Funanasun is not the sturdiest or biggest tactical shoulder backpacks. It won’t accommodate as many items and it probably won’t hold up through an apocalypse. But why invest in it then? Well, it’s the perfect option for the minimalist who likes going for day trips or one who packs light. Measuring 9.3” by 3.9” by 13.3”, this sling backpack has a total capacity of 20 liters.
It’s often used as a commuter backpack. Plus, it has adjustable and comfy shoulder straps. It also has two more straps that ensure the bag doesn’t sway as you move. Perhaps the best feature about this sling backpack is the MOLLLE webbing system that makes it compatible with other equipment.
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5. Military Rover Shoulder Sling Backpack
The Military Rover is another excellent backpack that provides more capacity in a small form factor. Its dimensions are 14” by 11.5” by 6.5”, creating enough room to accommodate a 14-inch laptop, an iPad, book, keys, wallet, cellphone and more.
The backpack is made using 600 denier polyester fabric, which is also water-resistant. This sling bag is actually double-stitched, a factor that adds to its durability. It also has heavy duty zippers and the back is padded to provide comfort.
6. REEBOW GEAR Tactical Sling Bag Pack
If you’re looking for a backpack that will last, there’s no better option that this Tactical Sling Bag Pack by Reebow. Reebow is a well-trusted brand, so you can rest assured that you’ll be investing in a quality product.
Fabricated from 600D polyester, this backpack provide adequate space to hold a 9.7-inch iPad, small notepad, keys, water bottle, chargers and more. This bag has a big Velcro pad in the hidden compartment and the back. Moreover, it can double up as a pistol range bag for about 1 or 2 handguns and plenty of ammo.
7. Barbarians Tactical Sling Bag Pack
For those who don’t intend to spend too much on a day pack, the Barbarians Tactical Sling Pack is a good option. Although it’s only available in tan color, this backpack is functional and durable. It’s versatile enough to also be used as a survival bag or leisure satchel.
We like how lightweight it is. Even though it’s made of high-density 600 denier fabric, which should make it a bit heavy, the backpack weighs only 1.1 lbs. The sling bag has several pockets; it has one main compartment, 2 pockets at the front and another on the side. There’s also a pistol compartment, which has a pistol holder made of Velcro padding.
Tactical Shoulder Military Backpacks Buying Guide
Why are Tactical Backpacks referred to as “Tactical”?
At some point in your life, you must have heard someone say ‘a tactical backpack’. Even though they have just recently started to be used for everyday carry, tactical backpacks aren’t going away anytime soon. But how did they become so popular?
Well, ever since the invention of the military, there have always been individuals who needed gear that they could also use in their civilian lifestyles. Besides, there are also many civilians who would want to use military gear. So as long as you won’t go around bragging that you’re a solider when you’re not, you’re free to use any military gear that you fancy. In any case, you’ve probably paid for them through taxes!
There are a ton of reasons why so many people are drawn to tactical backpacks. These bags are great for carrying clothes and other necessities that soldiers need when they’re heading to war. Tactical backpacks have modular design. They’re also durable and strong thanks to the quality materials that are used in making them. Essentially, manufacturers of tactical backpacks focus less on fashion and more on functionality. That said, some individuals find that tactical packs are a bit too eye-catching for their liking.
So in a nutshell, the word “tactical” is used as a substitute for “military” or “military themed”.
Military Tactical Backpacks Are the Best, Right?
Considering that military personnel use tactical backpacks in combat means that they’re the best in the market, right? Well, not necessarily.
The truth is, military backpacks hold up pretty well for all kinds of uses. But there are a couple of brands that make better backpacks than those. One problem with military packs is they’re specifically made for war. To put it simply, these bags are designed to carry a M18A1 Claymore Mine, which means they probably don’t have ideal pockets for holding your iPhone o VR headset.
And besides, most government items are known for their cheap quality. The officials tasked with supplying military packs will often try to cut corners by using bulky material or cheap hardware. Other times, it’s difficult to make high-quality backpacks on a large scale basis.
If you’re planning to purchase an authentic military backpack, then there are a few things you will want to consider. For starters, most of these backpacks are too heavy primarily because they’re meant to accommodate a ton of gear into the field. Keep in mind that such packs are carried by young men and women who are in peak physical shape. So, for the average man, these bags can be a tad heavy.
Reasons to Buy a Tactical Backpack
If your routine involves going for multiple outdoor expeditions, then a tactical backpack will be a significant investment. If you are constantly on the go, carrying a ton of gear around, then this backpack will be of immense help. Usually, some people prefer to carry their essentials in different bags. Although this also works, it can cumbersome to carry many pieces of luggage. Besides, these will only slow you down.
Of course, you can go for an ordinary luggage or bag that fits all your items. But you’ll soon find out that this luggage is just not as effective as a tactical backpack. In fact, most standard bags don’t have enough room to accommodate all your necessities. They’re also not sturdy enough to withstand inclement weather and other outdoor elements.
A tactical backpack, on the other hand, can withstand the toughest of conditions. Also, this pack is designed with comfort in mind. You won’t even realize that you’re carrying one on your back. Tactical backpacks are designed in such a way that provide ample storage space without looking overly bulky. These backpacks have straps and clips, which help to secure your gear. They’re also divided into different compartments using zippers. Furthermore, a majority of these backpacks also come with separate pockets where you can keep your water bottle.
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Different Kinds of Tactical Backpacks
Although tactical backpacks all look very identical, there are subtle differences between them. In fact, these backpacks fall under three main categories:
Classic Tactical Backpack
This is the most basic type, and it consists of a pack with the usual two shoulder straps. Also known as day bags, classic backpacks are preferred because of their capability to distribute the wearer’s weight evenly on the shoulders. Most of these backpacks are of a medium size, so they’re best suited for carrying a reasonable amount of gear. If you go for day hikes and short adventures that don’t involve camping overnight, a classic backpack will serve you well.
These backpacks confer a ton of benefits. For one, they help you carry more items without necessarily putting you at a risk of getting injured. Some of these backpacks even come with waist straps that help in taking off excess weight from your shoulders.
Some classic backpacks are also equipped with chest strap adjustments. This way, you can change the position of your shoulder straps if you’re not comfortable. Essentially, the chest strap adjustment enables you to shift the weight of the bag to your preferred position. But be sure to adjust the straps well so that you don’t end up restricting your breathing.
Sling Tactical Bag
A tactical military compact shoulder sling backpack is actually one of the most unique designs on the market. Instead of having two shoulder straps like the classic, the sling has a single thick strap that extends from the top middle to the bottom middle of the bag. So, to wear it, you have to sling it over on one shoulder and then carry it across your body. The good thing is that most sling bags are equipped with attachments that prevent them from swinging excessively as you walk or run.
On the flipside, sling bags are on the smaller side of the size spectrum. This means that they can’t accommodate as many items as other tactical backpacks. But this is also a good thing as it prevents you from exerting too much weight on just one shoulder, which can lead to injury.
Expedition Tactical Backpack
Expedition backpacks are the biggest of the three types. Thus, they are the best options for multi-day expeditions and trips. Key features of an expedition backpack entail two shoulder straps, a chest strap, and hip belt. Most of these backpacks also feature a rigid frame, which provides additional support.
Expedition backpacks also take comfort to a whole new level. The waist strap helps in taking weight off the user’s shoulders while the chest facilitates easy adjustment of the shoulder straps. Most of these bags also come with extra padding, which further cushion your body against the force that comes with carrying heavy items.
While expedition backpacks can accommodate a ton of gear in them, they’re not the best option. The reason for this is that they’re extremely heavy to carry around. So if you have to carry only a couple of items, the classic or sling tactical backpacks are much lighter.
Essential Features to Consider when Buying a Tactical Backpack
Ideally, every tactical backpack ought to be made of high quality and long-lasting fabrics. Advisably, they should be constructed from 500 denier to 1200 denier CORDURA nylon fabric or a more superior material. If durability is an important aspect for you, we recommend going for nicer materials like X-Pac (VX) fabric.
Apart from material, you’ll also want to check the brands outlined in the backpack’s specifications. Some of the most reputable brands in the tactical backpack industry include TiZip, AustriAlpin, and YKK. The good thing about such brands is that they make products that you can rely on. You can pack your gear in any one of these brands’ backpacks and not have to worry about the main zip breaking in the middle of your trip.
Another essential feature you should check before buying your tactical backpack is its construction. What kind of thread did the manufacturer use? Are the backpacks tested and approved by a third-party company? Most of this information is not readily accessible so you’ll have to do intensive research, read reviews and triple check the information on the manufacturer’s site. Also, check the length of warranty provided on the backpack.
One feature that makes a backpack truly tactical is the presence of MOLLE webbing. MOLLE is the abbreviation for modular lightweight load-carrying equipment. In its simplest definition, this is an attachment system that helps the user add external gear and pouches. This feature is really useful because it helps you incorporate attachments based on your needs. MOLLE webbing can also be on the interior side of your pack, whereby it helps to keep your items organized.
Level of Comfort
Each brand has a specific way of ensuring that their tactical backpack is comfortable. Some brands use a proprietary suspension system, which works by shifting weight from your shoulders to your hips. Other brands place more focus on the shoulder straps, ensuring that they’re ultra-comfortable. Before buying a particular backpack, carry it and determine whether it provides the kind of comfort you’d want.
Can you access the contents of your backpack easily? Does it have one spacious compartment? Does it have external ports? Is it fitted with additional zippered pockets for keeping small-sized items? Different tactical backpacks will have different mechanisms. Some come with 3-Zip style opening while other offer a full clamshell opening. All these options have their fair share of merits and drawbacks. For instance, while rolltops provide one massive compartment, they are a little cumbersome when you want to access items that are at the bottom.
Origin of manufacture
Some backpackers swear by those products made in USA. Others will only go for tactical bags made in their countries while others don’t give much thought to the country of manufacture. The truth is, this is not a very important aspect to consider. There are backpack manufacturers in Vietnam that make quality backpacks like the ones you’ll find on the U.S. market. It really boils down to your tastes and preferences.
Yes, we have stated that military tactical backpacks focus more on functionality than aesthetics. But if you plan to use this bag as an edc pack, then you might want to give its design a second thought. Unfortunately, most of these packs are covered in MOLLE webbing which screams “military”.
But all is not lost for the fashion-conscious. If you’re going to rock your tactical backpack on the streets, we recommend going for a black one. Also, an olive drab green backpack looks very classy and fun too.
Alternatively, you can go for backpacks that come with Velcro patches. These are actually inspired by actual armed forces with a bit of civilian lifestyle incorporated. Besides, there are a slew of patches and designs you can use to adorn your backpack.
Most backpacks have a capacity ranging from 25 to 35 liters. Such backpacks can accommodate several accessories including food and water. But if you have to carry more gear, there are backpacks with higher capacities of up to 55 liters.
When picking a tactical backpack, ensure it fits your torso well, that is, account for your chest size. Most individuals have a torso of between 15.5 and 20.5 inches. Essentially, you should measure the length of your torso, which is the total length of your upper body. Remember to account for the shoulder straps and ensure that it’s not too tight.
What can you use a tactical backpack for?
Now that you know the specific things that you should look for when getting a tactical backpack, the next step is to establish how you’ll use it.
Have you been looking for a backpack to take with you for combat? Or do you want one that can simply fit your laptop and other office supplies? Keep in mind that the different applications will require a specific kind of tactical backpack. Ideally, this all narrows down to two aspects: volume and organization.
The volume of most tactical backpacks ranges between 15 and 26 liters. If you’re getting one for everyday carry, any one of these packs will be able to hold items for your errand running, short-lived expeditions and light hikes.
But if you’re planning a trip around the world or to go hiking for a month, you’ll need a backpack with more volume. This is because you’ll be carrying more gear, which will require more space. The most recommended backpacks for such occasions are those with 30 to 60 liters.
When it comes to organization, the features you should look for in a backpack are pockets, zippers and hidden compartments. Although such features keep your gear in a more organized manner, they also contribute to the weight of the backpack. So if you want a lightweight pack, go for one with fewer pockets and zippers.
How should one use a tactical backpack?
One thing that sets tactical backpacks apart is their ability to withstand impact and endure a ton of environmental hazards. That said, there are a few things you should emphasize on when choosing this backpack. Think about how easy it is to access its compartments and side pockets. Also consider the number of emergency supplies and gear that can fit in the backpack.
The Bottom Line
For most city dwellers or college students, a basic everyday backpack can accommodate all the accessories they need. But if you want a backpack that you can use in the desert, woods or the arctic tundra, a sturdier and more durable bag like a tactical shoulder backpack works better. These bags are capable, rugged, modular and expandable.