Regardless of what outdoor activity you plan on doing, the chances are you will need some kind of rucksack or backpack. To meet the growing needs and differing pursuits, a large number of diverse backpacks are available to buy today.
Smaller, less cumbersome backpacks are available for single day activities such as fishing whilst other, larger backpacks are available for those that intend to stay outdoors for longer periods.
It is therefore essential in order for you to have the most productive time, with the minimum of weight and stress, to choose the correct backpack for your intended use.
Depending on your activity, ease of access to certain equipment may be a priority for you and so, fortunately, many of the backpacks cater to this need by having external pockets.
Best Tactical Backpack Under $50
There is a wide range of backpacks available today, some of which may be suitable for different pursuits but may cost hundreds of dollars.
However, there is also a wide range of less expensive packs, including many with varying features and also suitable for varying pursuits, that cost less than $50.
Here are reviews of 10 of some of the most popular tactical backpacks which sell for under $50:
G4Free Outdoor Tactical Backpack
This is a relatively small tactical backpack but is very versatile. Made from durable, light material this backpack has a pouch for storing anything you think you may need in a hurry.
The backpack’s versatility also includes the variety of ways it can be carried as it can be a chest sling, backpack or shoulder bag, making it a comfortable and convenient pack for hiking.
Although perhaps ideal for hiking, hunting or other shorter purposes, it is perhaps undersized for it to be used for backpacking.
Eyourlife Tactical Sling Bag Military
Although small the Eyourlife Tactical Sling Bag Military is surprisingly spacious. The small size may not make it suitable for backpackers but its 20 liters space is ample for most other outdoor activities.
To ensure a wearer’s comfort whilst using this backpack, its back and straps are cushioned. Professionally designed the backpack has an exterior pouch and 2-way zippers.
Vbiger Military Tactical Backpack
With over 40 liters capacity and made from strong, water-resistant material, this is a backpack that could be used for backpacking as well as hiking, fishing, and other outdoor activities.
For ease of access to important equipment, the pack has some external pouches which allow you to access critical equipment whilst on the go.
Boxuan Warehouse Outdoor Tactical Backpack
This is a backpack made to military standards and is available in 2 different sizes so you never have to carry more weight than is absolutely necessary.
Lightweight, this backpack has 2 inner compartments and a host of pockets on its outside, plus appropriate attachments if extra is needed.
There are 3 ways to configure this backpack for carrying, making it more comfortable for those using it and for added comfort, a molded back panel allows for extra air circulation.
Explorer U.S. Military Level 3
Designed to meet level 3 US military standards this backpack has 2 interior compartments and large external pouches. A molded back panel gives improved air circulation.
As well as the compartments and pouches it already has, this backpack has attachments which will allow the wearer to add more if necessary, including 1 which is compatible with water bottles.
This is a 30-liter capacity, Outdoor Tactical Backpack Military Rucksack specifically designed with trekkers and hikers in mind. Made with high-density materials, that have an internal coating, ensures resistance to water.
Several outside pockets and 2 internal compartments make it easy to organize and quick access to what you need.
REEBOW GEAR Military Assault Pack
Designed for trekkers, hunters, hikers or hunters, this 34 liter Military Tactical Assault Backpack has durable, water resistant, high density fabric.
The backpack features utility-style cords and heavy-duty zippers, plus a ventilated, mesh shoulder strap.
It also features several outside pockets just ½ inch apart, including 1 designed for a 2.5-liter water bottle although the bottle is sold separately.
SOG Ninja Tactical Day Pack
This is a 24.2 liter capacity Tactical Day Pack. This backpack has a modular design with 2 internal compartments and 2, zippered pockets on the front. The back of the pack has contoured foam with air channels.
With adjustable sternum slider and yoke style, padded straps, this backpack is comfortable to wear.
Although the pack does not come with a water bottle, it does have the necessary webbing to attach one as well as other accessories.
Mil-Tec Military Army Patrol
Weighing just 1400gms this Military Army Patrol Molle Assault Tactical Backpack has a capacity of 36 liters and is made from PVC coated 600D polyester.
The pack’s load can be shared between 2 internal compartments and 2 pockets on the front.
There are several MOLLE (attachment points) on the actual pack plus D-rings and hooks on the straps and a Velcro, built-in pocket for a water bottle.
NcStar VISM Tactical Backpack
Available in several colors, this backpack uses heavy-duty zippers and has carrying handles on both sides and on the top.
On the bottom of the pack and on the pockets is webbing which is compatible with MOLLE attachments and it also has D-rings on its padded shoulder straps.
The pack is compatible with water bottles and has drinking tubes running to each shoulder strap.
Buying Guide for The Best Tactical Backpack
Nearly everyone today who does an outdoor pursuit whether it is camping, hiking, backpacking, hunting, fishing or even bird spotting, will use a rucksack or backpack of one kind or another.
Although basically the same, rucksacks are usually bigger than backpacks whilst all rucksacks may be similar, backpacks can vary with tactical or military backpacks being more durable and better suited for rugged use.
The idea of a rucksack or backpack is to allow you to stow in it, or attach to it; all that you will need to complete your pursuit with the straps on it allowing your arms to be free to carry out a pursuit whilst still on the move if necessary.
Often tactical or military backpacks, although more rugged, maybe smaller as they are designed to carry little more than essentials such as food and water although they will also often have webbing which will allow other necessities to be attached to the backpack, such as a tent or sleeping bag.
The lager, regular backpacks or rucksacks are more likely to have the extra space for equipment you may need in order to carry out your chosen pursuit.
Obviously then, the first thing you must decide when buying a backpack is what size you will need or what type you will need.
Here is a breakdown of all the factors you will have to consider before buying your backpack:
- Type of pack/Use
- Back panel
- Hydration System Compatibility
Type of Pack/Use
- It does not really matter which type of pack you buy if you are not going to use it often and when you do it does not undergo rugged treatment and so look for one which has the capacity for all you want to carry.
- If however you expect to use it regularly and know it will undergo some rough treatment or, you are not sure what to expect, then you should opt for the smaller but more rugged tactical backpack then try and reduce your needs to what it can hold.
- Although a backpack is easy to carry, you will only want to carry one and so ensure you buy one with the capacity to carry all your needs.
- Backpacks are very efficient for carrying heavy loads but the backpack itself has a weight and as all weight is significant over long distances, you will have to take the weight of the pack into consideration.
- A rule of thumb is that usually, the stronger the material used, the more the backpack weighs and so you may have to make a compromise on weight and durability.
- The material used to make the pack will determine its strength and durability but also perhaps its price. You will, however, want a backpack that can at least resist water or is waterproof.
- There will usually be at least some items you want to stow in your pack which need to be kept dry, perhaps a change of clothes and so ensure they will stay dry.
- The design of your backpack is very important as, the stronger ones, like a tactical or military backpack, are smaller and so you will want to ensure they have external pockets and perhaps attachments for webbing which can hold additional equipment.
- Regardless of the temperatures you experience whilst hiking with a backpack, your back will certainly be prone to sweating but that sweat can be greatly reduced if the back of the pack is well ventilated.
- Although some people also like for the back of the pack to be padded, all will want to ensure that the straps are padded.
Hydration System Compatibility
- Whether you plan to be outdoors for just a few hours or all day, you will want to carry water with you. Water is, of course, heavy and so you will want to ensure that that weight is included in the backpack.
- For this reason, you will want a backpack which is compatible to some kind of water system. This means that if a pack does not have a pocket specifically for a water bottle, it should at least have a facility to attach a water bottle.
- When full, a backpack can be heavy and so you want to know that it will be comfortable with that weight in it. Some backpacks offer different ways of carrying it but most only have one and so that one, to be most comfortable, should have padded straps and perhaps even a padded back but certainly should allow ventilation between your back and the pack.
Although tactical backpacks may be smaller than many of the others, they often represent the best value for money as due to their rugged build, they can more easily carry heavier loads and will probably still last longer than other backpacks.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do you carry in a tactical backpack?
A tactical backpack is usually used to carry any essentials you may need such as water bottles, food, first-aid kit and often high energy bars or snacks.
What’s the difference between rucksack and backpack?
A rucksack and a backpack are virtually the same: in fact, they are the same except today, what is referred to as backpacks are generally smaller than the larger rucksacks.
What are the loops for on a tactical backpack?
The loops on a tactical backpack are designed to attach extra equipment to by way of MOLLE. MOLLE is the initials for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment which will normally come in the form of webbing.
These MOLLE can allow you to easier carry water bottles and other accessories like maps and a compass.
What makes a backpack tactical?
Regular backpacks are usually made from lightweight materials that are not too strong and so cannot withstand too much-rugged use.
A tactical or military backpack, however, is made with heavy-duty materials providing the pack with longevity even if used under rugged conditions.
Are military backpacks good for hiking?
Yes, military backpacks are designed for the military to use whilst they are hiking or rucking as they often call it. Often the military will need to hike in tough, rugged situations and so their backpacks have to be strong and durable.
Although you may not need a backpack which is as rugged, if you do use one, it will probably last you much longer than a regular one and be perhaps even more useful to you.