Top 10 Tactical and Hiking Backpacks

August 11, 2020

Remember that awesome backpack you had in highschool? Back then all you needed to carry was a few books, some gym clothes and a lunch. But you’ve matured since and your requirements from a backpack have changed. Today your weekend lifestyle leads you down an adventurous path as you explore the great outdoors. Whether you are into hiking, camping, photography, fishing, hunting or exploring the urban jungle – our list of tactical and hiking backpacks will show you some of the best, most innovative backpacks available today.

Modern backpacks offer sophistication and features that will make your high school backpack seem like a relic of the past. A well designed backpack is made out of durable materials, offers plenty of storage compartments and advanced features such as hydration storage, solar charging, locking and theft protection, and much more. And if all that wasn’t enough – just wait until we show you a backpack that literally floats, to reduce the strain on your back. As a bonus, our list also includes a few spiffy accessories to further enhance your backpack. Let’s get on with the list!

#1 Gregory Nano 20 Backpack, $65 USD

The Gregory Nano 20 is an attractively priced backpack with a 20 liter capacity which is plenty of space for carrying stuff around the city and day trips out of town. An independent zippered pocket is designed to house a hydration reservoir and offers routing loops to the front of the shoulder harness. The breathable back panel and well padded shoulder straps, along with a removable webbing hip belt make this is a comfortable backpack for extended periods of time. There are also dual side mesh pockets for water bottles and quick storage, as well as a large stretchy mesh pocket in the front. A quick access zippered front pocket offers a key hook and organization sleeves.

#2 Case Logic SLR Camera / Laptop Backpack (Model SLRC-206), $93 US

If you love to capture your outdoor adventures with a high-quality camera or a drone then look no further than the Case Logic SLRC-206 backpack. What makes this one of the best packs in the market for photography buffs is the quick-access top compartment capable of housing a DSLR or Mirrorless camera with a long lens attached. Equally important, its padded interior is fully customizable thanks to adjustable velcro dividers, so all your additional lens and gear are securely held in place and always protected. There is also a dedicated, well padded laptop compartment as well as four accessory compartments that allow easy access to smaller items. Topping it all off are industrial strength hook and loop straps on the side of the bag to hold your camera tripod.

#3 5.11 RUSH12 Backpack, $99 USD

The RUSH12 is a tactical pack designed for active duty, hunting and recreation, or grab-and-go around the city. It offers a 24 liter capacity, a whopping 16 individual compartments, a 60-oz. hydration pocket, quick-release shoulder straps and sternum straps. Thanks to 5.11’s TIER system, together with a wrap-around MOLLE and SlickStick-compatible web platform, this backpack can be expanded with multiple pouches and attachments. 5.11 offers 75 different modules to choose from, making this a truly customizable backpack.

Accessorize Your Adventures!

This MGear 10-in-1 MultiTool & Flashlight Holster Set is designed to attach securely to your belt or backpack’s MOLLE system using a spring steel clip. The 10-in-1 multitool attaches magnetically to its holster. The on-board tools include pliers, a wire cutter, knife, file, bottle opener, #1 & #2 flat screwdriver, small/large Phillips screwdriver and even a SIM card extractor. The mini LED flashlight on the other hand offers a zoomable light beam, a waterproof design and a AAA battery that’s easy to find in just about any store. The holster itself is constructed out of durable Kydex and leather and equipped with a handy D-ring attachment that can be used to hang your keys and other accessories.

#4 Nixon Landlock 30L Backpack, $105 USD

The Nixon Landlock 30L is an all terrain backpack equally suited for use in the city and hiking or camping trips. Its highlights include a 30 liter capacity, a large main compartment, a side accessible, padded laptop compartment and comfort features like the sternum strap and ergonomic, padded shoulder straps. Also on-board are two stretchy pockets on both sides for drink vessels, a large easy-access top loading pocket, a vertical front panel pouch, and even a plush-lined pocket for your glasses or a watch. A modular pod system allows you to move the front pouch to the side. Available in several colors, including a cool Alpine Multicam camo finish.

#5 Helikon-tek Raider Backpack Cordura, $109 USD

This 20 liter backpack suits the needs of everyday city dwellers to outdoor adventurers and tactical users. The Helikon-tek Raider Cordura is an advanced pack that has you covered for all activities thanks to a good set of on-board features, ranging from a hydration bladder compartment / routing system, to a velour pocket for your sunnies or electronics. The main compartment of the pack is equipped with a velcro panel that allows you to attach inserts from the company’s versatile insert system. Multiple MOLLE strips also allow you to expand the bag’s practicality with additional add-ons. The front beaver tail panel allows quick access to larger items like helmets, shoes and whatever else your heart desires. Caught in an unexpected downpour? No problem. Just roll out the built-in rain cover from the bottom to the top of the bag. The padded, profiled straps as well as the hip belt make this backpack a dream to carry.  Happy packin’!

#6 SOG Scout 24 Backpack, $149 USD

This incredibly versatile backpack packs a lot of punch for its 24 liters of storage. Every cubic inch of the SOG Scout 24 is carefully laid out offering multiple interior pockets, a padded laptop sleeve, a hydration compartment and a MOLLE loop field. Opening the main compartment via its Quad zip means you can access gear from the very bottom of the pack without having to unpack everything on top of it. We have all been there…you’re on a hike, it’s raining and your feet are soaked. Thankfully you packed extra socks but of course they are at the bottom of your pack. This smart design takes care of that problem, allowing you full and easy access to everything in your bag. Additional gear can be cinched to the pack’s side using the compression straps or added to its MOLLE field.

Accessorize Your Adventures!

This MGear Bolt Action Flash Pen is a must-have accessory for every outdoor adventurer. This flashlight / pen combination is compact yet durable and waterproof. One end of the metal housing has an LED flashlight that offers 3 modes of operation: high setting (130 lumens), low setting (15 lumens) and a strobe flash. The opposite end of the housing offers a neatly concealed bolt-action pen that resembles a gear shifter and allows for a single-hand operation. The high capacity pen refills are easily replaced with Lamy M22 refills commonly found in stores. Combine the Flash Pen with the MGear Tactical Waterproof Notepad and be prepared to take notes anywhere your adventures take you – dry or wet!

#7 Voltaic Array Solar Backpack, $249 USD

Ever been stranded on a nature hike with no cellphone power to snap a selfie or use your maps app? Meet the Voltaic Systems Array – a backpack outfitted with a large solar panel that will keep all your gear charged no matter where your adventures take you. Made of recycled plastic bottles, this waterproof and lightweight backpack offers 9 solar panels, a V88 universal laptop battery pack, an 18V AC charger, standard laptop adapters, a laptop output cable and even a car charger socket. Not only is this bag packed with awesome features, it offers a good amount of carefully thought out storage, boasting a 25 liter capacity. Each compartment is well padded to keep your gear safe and your back comfortable while wearing it.

#8 Pentagon DEOS 65 Backpack, €168

With its 100% nylon design, adjustable height, duraflex buckles and 65 liter of capacity, Pentagon brings you the Kingpin of badass backpacks. The Pentagon DEOS 65 Backpack is made with serious, multi-day tactical adventurers in mind. It shows off its capability with its brilliantly designed compartments such as 2 detachable pouches on either side (5.25 liters each), sternum and hips straps for stability, a MOLLE system, an exterior waterproof cover, 7cm wide conveyor belts and a multitude of adjustable straps for fastening. This thing can conquer anything from long treks to bad weather and much more.

#9 CamelBak BFM 100oz Mil Spec Crux, $300 USD

The CamelBak BFM 100oz Mil Spec Crux sports 47 liters of cargo storage and a 3 liter built-in hydration reservoir which make it suitable for multi-day hiking and camping trips, as well as extended tactical missions. The hydration system offers an increased water flow compared to other systems as well as multiple drink tube exit ports which allow you to route tubing over the shoulder or under the arm. The MOLLE panel on the front allows for attachment of accessory pouches, while 4 zippers on the main compartment allow for multiple access points to your gear. Built out of 500D Double-rip Cordura fabric, and outfitted with a sternum strap & side quick-release buckles from the shoulder harness, this pack offers the combination of strength and durability.

Accessorize Your Adventures!

The MGear GearBox EDC pouch perfectly complements any belt or backpack. It’s outtiffed with a clever, flat 10-in-1 multitool and designed to neatly hold small everyday carry items such as your bank and credit cards, ID cards, coins, keys, earphones, medication, and more. Perfect for adventure seekers and city dwellers alike, the GearBox can slip on to your belt, attach to your backpack’s MOLLE system, or sit in a small quick-access pocket of your backpack. The front of the GearBox offers a transparent window designed to show your ID card without having to remove it from the pouch.

#10 HoverGlide Small Pack, $499 USD

Prepare to be amazed! This successfully funded Indiegogo project demonstrates the best innovation in backpacks to date. The 30 liter, military tested HoverGlide Floating Backpack bag reduces impact when walking or running by up to 86% thanks to its patented Suspended Load Technology developed by a Penn State professor. The bag – and the weight of the gear inside it – literally float independently of the straps giving you the sensation that you’re carrying only a small fraction of the weight. Additional benefits of this innovative system also dramatically reduce your metabolic rate and exertion, and substantially decrease potential for back injury. Whether you carry stuff in your backpack around town or hike up a massive summit, your backpack carrying experience will be forever changed. The future of the backpack has officially arrived!

If you love outdoor gear and gadgets as much as we do – check out the MGear Shop full of such goodies!