A Beginner’s Guide To Tactical Bags

Military bags have become increasingly popular over the past few years and with reason. Whether you’re an adventurist with a passion for camping and hiking, a member of an emergency crew, a soldier or a military veteran, these rugged bags are useful in more ways than you would think. They offer high functionality, impeccable organization options, and come with great storage capacity.


It’s not surprising a highly durable tactical bag with rugged design is often the preferred choice over a standard backpack when one requires more reliability. But with such a wide array of options, how do you know which one to choose and where to start from?


This guide offers insight into everything you need to know about these bags so you can make an informed decision before buying one.

What is a Tactical Bag?

man with tactical bag

source: gunfire.com

Basically, it’s a that offers the benefits and functionality of military backpack design and is highly durable thanks to being made from a material with the ability to withstand hostile conditions and rough handling. Crafted with utmost precision, it provides lots of space for heavy-duty use and gear organisation, and impeccable adaptability for different situations.


The tactical backpacks come in different sizes and styles, and have extra features such as pouches for extra storage and hydration pack compatibility for extra functionality. They also come with lateral straps for additional adjustability.


What is the Point of a Tactical Backpack?

If you’re wondering why you should opt for a tactical instead of a standard backpack, keep in mind it’s specifically designed to endure harsh conditions and hostile environments, making it an ideal companion for exploring expeditions or any thrill-seeking individuals. It offers utility, efficiency, durability and amplified storage, ensuring that your essential gear is secured and safe, without adding extra weight to your shoulders.


This type of military-designed bags offers unparalleled protection and durability due to the strong construction and waterproof material. It’s extremely helpful when you tackle challenging terrains and endure extreme and unpredictable weather conditions.


Although the design makes it ideal for outdoor conditions, it works perfectly well for everyday use too which does not involve outdoor adventures. Thanks to the utmost functionality and various organisation options, it’s perfect for carrying everything you need to school or work.


From outdoors to professional settings, these backpacks are worth every penny and excel in the world of most durable and functional bags that money can buy.


What Size Should I Choose?

To know which size will suit your needs, it’s important to determine what you need the bag for. Are you a thrill-seeking adventurist who’s on their way to conquering the next mountain peak? Are you a part of a rescuing mission or do you need the bag for carrying your essentials for work?


Different types of tactical bag offer different storage capacities, therefore determining your activities will make it much easier to find the right bag for you.


A Half-day Backpack

A half-day backpack is also called a 12-hour bag. As you can see, the name is pretty self-explanatory. It’s meant to carry your gear for shorter trips, hiking or simply going to work. If the type of your work requires carrying heavier gear with you, a 12-hour back is ideal to provide you with enough storage capacity for the day and make your load easy to carry.


Half-day bags are the smallest in size and are generally 25 litres in volume, which makes them ideal for everyday use.


Day Backpack

24-hour or a-day backpacks are somewhat bigger than their smaller counterparts, with 30 to 40 litres in volume. They are designed for carrying heavier gear, offer larger storage and are meant to accommodate everything you need for a whole day.


They offer extra storage pouches and accessories than the smallest size and extra zip pockets across the whole bag. Day backpacks are perfect to get you through those 24 hours, especially if you’re staying overnight.


Three-day Backpack

Finally, every trip or assignment longer than one day, requires something bigger, to get you through a few more days. That’s where three-day or 72-hour backpacks come into place.


They are the largest size and thus, offer extra storage for your gear. The storage capacity of the 72-hour backpack is 55 litres or above, which makes it ideal for when you’re out and about for an extended period.


Regardless of the size, all of these bags are designed to accommodate the comfortable carrying of heavy gear and belongings, without feeling fatigued as you would do with regular backpacks.


What to Look for When Choosing Tactical Backpacks?

tactical bag

source: sourcetacticalgear.com

To help you navigate your choice, there are several aspects to consider when buying a military backpack. Consider how long you’ll be gone. Will you need the bag for everyday use or outdoor activities and assignments? Furthermore, does the bag have MOLLE compatibility, and what is the size of the bag?


Once you have the answers to these questions, you’ll get a clear picture of what you need and how to find what you need.


Storage Capacity

As already explained, these bags come in different sizes, from half-day, and a-day bags to three-day bags. This is a piece of important information to know when buying your first combat backpack.


You must determine how much gear you need to pack for your activities to choose the suitable size. Larger bags are spacious and offer greater storage and extra compartments than smaller sizes. Nevertheless, you can rest assured that you’re getting everything you need to store different gear and supplies with separate compartments designed for specific purposes, regardless of the size.



Combat bags have a sturdy construction and material, built to last for many years and withstand different terrains and conditions. However, the presence or lack of some features plays a huge role in the durability.


For example, 500D and 1500D Nylon strength will easily excel in terms of abrasion and wear and tear resistance, and withstand any extreme weather conditions. Some features, such as reinforced stitching, patted shoulder straps, adjustable waist belt and heavy-duty buckle closures, add significantly to the durability of the bag.


Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment Compatibility

Another very important feature of tactical bags is their MOLLE compatibility. The MOLLE system allows the attachment of additional pouches and accessories for extra storage and accommodation. It increases versatility and makes organizing a straightforward process with an all-time accessibility.


The attachment of these extra features provides adaptability for different gear loads, depending on the assignment.



Lastly, you need comfort when carrying a heavy load. Look for a bag that has adjustable straps that you can customize to fit your type of body, patted straps for added shoulder comfort and an adjustable waist belt.


When you start exploring different models, you may notice some have straight shoulder straps, and curved straps, and some come with one-piece shoulder straps.


If aesthetics are important to you and you will be using the bag for short trips like commuting to work or school, you can buy a bag with straight straps. However, if you prioritize comfort and practicality over style, then go for curved or one-piece shoulder straps.