How To Use A Tactical Backpack | Beginner’s Guide In 2020

A Tactical backpack does require some tactics when packing for mountaineering and trekking. If you have no prior experience with tactical backpacks, don't worry, you're at the right place.

In this article, we are going to guide you on how to use a tactical backpack like a pro. Although it may seem easy if you visually try comparing a tactical backpack with other ordinary backpacks, yet many things could go wrong - straining your back and shoulders being one such possibility.

Before we tell you how to use a tactical backpack in the right manner, let us know first what makes a backpack tactical and its purpose in the mainstream industry.

Tactical Backpack

Tactical backpacks were first made centuries ago specifically for the use of military officers, armed forces and law enforcement people. Military fighters keep 5.11 tactical bags with them during training and combat on the field.

However, in the modern age, tactical backpacks managed to evolve from its use in the military forces into the mainstream fashion industry. These are now commonly used by hikers.

Tactical backpacks are built from tough 1000D nylon fabric, which not only is resistant to water but also tears and scratches. These backpacks therefore are highly durable and long-lasting. 

What are the loops for on a tactical backpack

These loops are very useful when it comes to externally attaching stuff to a small tactical backpack, such as a sleeping bag or a tent. So basically, you can call these loops attachment cords. Because these are elastic, they can also stretch to hold up big-sized materials.

What are the tactical backpack accessories

Military 5.11 tactical backpacks generally come with an inverted pocket for holding pistols, medium-sized coyotes, buckle straps and pockets for storing barrel zip key locks.

However, most tactical business backpack owners don't really require these accessories, unless you are an army officer going for a business trip.

How to pack a tactical backpack

What do you generally do when you’re trying to build a lego pyramid? We keep that exact same concept in mind when packing a tactical backpack.

So, place your belongings that are heavier at the bottom layer. Next, you go for the medium-sized materials on top of the heavy stuff. Lastly, close the zip with the lightweight items being on the top.

Most trekkers and hikers have confirmed, this pyramid-like structuring helps balance the weight evenly through a 'cushioning effect', without causing back pain of course.

What should be in a 3 day assault pack

If you have a small-sized 10L backpack, just pack the very necessary things - like clothing, batteries, tools like poncho and cordage and toiletries such as tissues and cleaning kits.

However, if you have a 20L tactical backpack with slightly higher storage, you can also pack extra ammunition and extra clothings like socks and towels.

Communication gear is also important. Lubes can be helpful too and don't forget to carry extra water to keep yourself hydrated

How to Choose The Right Tactical Backpack

There are several factors that you should keep in mind to determine which is the right tactical backpack for you (before buying one, duh!)

Tactical Backpack Features And Benefits

1 Size and Weight

Always buy a backpack that is compatible with your height. If you are short-heighted and you buy a 35-40L backpack, it will dangle below your waist which will be uncomfortable for long trekking trips.

Buy a medium sized backpack with 20L - 30L storage capacity for short hiking trips of about 3-5 days. If you’re planning for a month-long camping trip or international travels, you'll need a large backpack to fit all the extra clothings with 30-45L storage capacity.

2 Material

Always go for a tactical backpack that is built from tough and rigid materials - such as Oxford, Polyester or Nylon. We would personally recommend 1000D nylon tactical backpacks, those are more durable.

No matter what the material is, make sure it's resistant to water so that you can use it on rainy days.

3 Right Colour

Black tactical backpacks go with every outfit and sort of blend in with the surrounding. However, if you find black too cliche, you can go for muted colours like grey, charcoal, brown and olive green.

For men, darker colours would be more suitable, and ladies can go for all neutral colours.

4 Roomy Compartments

The best tactical backpack should have a minimum of 10-12 compartments altogether. There should be two open pockets (or with a snap) on the two sides for carrying water bottles and umbrellas. More importantly, the main compartment should be extremely spacious and large.

There should be multiple zippered pockets not only on the front panel but inside as well. Some tactical backpacks may even have an anti-theft hidden pocket at the back.

5 Overall Built Quality

The best tactical backpacks are likely to have luggage straps and attachment cords. These will make the bag more TSA friendly and enable you to pack more stuff externally to the backpack.


Q. Can you take tactical backpacks on a plane?

Answer: Yes, you can. Tactical backpacks are TSA-friendly and allowed on planes. A

Q. What are the white straps in my MOLLE II assault pack for?

Answer: The white straps have been featured for airborne operations. For instance, you can use these white straps to attach your assault pack with the harness D-rings of a parachute.

Q. How much weight can an assault pack carry?

Answer: A maximum weight of 120 pounds combining all the internal and external pockets and compartments.

Q. Can a tactical backpack be used for college?

Answer: Tactical backpacks are not really built for academic purposes, plus they can be too expensive for everyday use for students. If you’re looking for a backpack to wear to college, you can read our article on the best bag for graduate school.

In Conclusion

We really hope this article has been able to guide you in detail on how to use a tactical
backpack. Just follow our guidelines step by step and you'll be good to go.

If you have any more questions and queries about packing a tactical backpack, feel free
to let us know in the comments below!

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