December 17, 2019

The Tactical Backpack Buying Guide

You don’t need to be in the military to benefit from carrying your gear in a tactical backpack. 

Camping, hunting, hiking or even just a multi-faceted lifestyle lend themselves to this type of system. Just what should you look for in a tactical backpack?

How Will You Use Your Tactical Backpack?

Before investing in one, you should decide the conditions under which you will be putting it to the test. 

Some people are looking for a bug-out bag that is always packed and ready in case of a natural disaster; others use theirs for regular trips into the woods, and some love urban hiking adventures or just need a rugged container for their daily use. 

Whatever your situation, there is a tactical backpack with the size and features that will meet your requirements.

What Volume Should My Backpack Be?

Interestingly, the amount a backpack can carry is measured in liters. 

Some manufacturers determine the volume by measuring all compartments that can be closed via a toggle or zipper. 

Other companies also include the amount that can be carried in open mesh pockets into the figure. The different types of packs include:

  • Day pack. Usually holding 20-35 liters, this pack often has space for a hydration bladder, guns or knives and is perfect for short trips.
  • 72-hour pack. As the name implies, this 45-60 liter pack is ideal for multiple days of self-sufficiency. 

Therefore, it has space for essentials such as a tarp, sleeping bag, food, cookware, guns, knives and clothing.

Your Tactical Backpack’s Appearance

Tactical backpacks come in a variety of colors, and the one you choose will probably be related to your goals. 

For instance, a camouflage pattern is great if you want to blend into the woods. However, if you are hiking or wish to be visible, you should opt for a bright shade.

Adjustability of the Backpack

Since you will probably be carrying a lot of gear in your tactical backpack, it is important that you get the size right to properly distribute the weight of the load. 

Packs come in small, medium and large sizes depending on your torso length. 

In general, a small fits a torso length of 16-17″; a medium will fit 18-19″, and you will need a large pack if your torso is 20″ or bigger. 

Shoulder, sternum and hip straps can be adjusted to customize the fit even further, and most tactical backpacks also feature padding on the shoulders, waist belt and where your back touches the pack. 

When properly adjusted, your shoulder straps and waist belt should be snug but comfortable with no chafing.


Manufacturers are constantly improving the fabrics used in tactical backpacks. 

That means they are lighter and more durable than ever. 

Look for a pack made of nylon with a set of letters and numbers after it that signify how durable the fabric is. 

For instance, the Magforce Origin Pack Tactical Backpack features Nylon 1050-Denier water and abrasion-resistant nylon, which is extremely thick and strong while keeping moisture away from its contents with DuPont Teflon fabric protector with water repellent.

The Bottom Line

Whether you want a backpack, sling pack, messenger pack or lumbar pack, there are many manufacturers. 

We at Magforce, consistently produce a wide array of high-quality, marquee products. 

With over three decades of delivering hard-use tactical gear internationally, we uphold a commitment to top-tier craftsmanship and innovation no matter what your tactical backpack needs may be.