Top 10 Special Forces Backpack Reviews

Top 10 Special Forces Backpack Reviews:

“You’ve used so many tactical backpacks, so what is your favorite Special Forces tactical backpack?”

We get this question weekly “What backpack do Special Forces use and which one is the best?”.

SGPT has put together a list of top brands voted on by our members from around the world.

Check out this list of Top 10 Special Forces tactical backpacks and don’t forget to post up your favorite pack in the comments below.

And this isn’t just a simple list. Most of these are ones we’ve used for a long time and stood many tests on different missions.

Even if you’re not going out for Special Forces…

…you can use these same backpacks for a great workout or any tactical fitness training program.

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Mark votes Mystery Ranch pack as it is dependable and meant to go the long haul.

Wes votes Mystery Ranch 3 Day Assault BVS…awesome. US Army Rangers are now being issued Mystery Ranch backpacks.

If you remember Dana Designs back in the day…

…these packs have had a rebirth and are now Mystery Ranch.

The word is that the US Army Rangers are being issued these rucks. What do you expect, with its comfy padded shoulder straps and strategic design? Perfect for any rough situation.


This backpack is just so comfortable, even loaded down with all of our communications gear and extra batteries.

I have worn the Karrimor SF SABER Backpack for several years while deployed overseas. I will probably hand it down to my son for his camping trips and Boy Scout hikes.

Aside from molle webbing, it also has a waist belt and compression straps to make long walks a breeze.

A great pack at a good price.


The Maxpedition Falcon II is my favorite relatively low price pack. It is a medium transport pack that I use for 1-3 day bow hunting trips when I venture from camp.

It is narrow enough to ride right on your back without getting in your arms’ way for drawing a bow.

One of the best tactical backpacks in terms of durability…

…it holds plenty enough gear for 1-3 days, and it has plenty of external tie-downs to strap on extra gear or clothing.

I’m sure it would do well for rucking since that’s what my wilderness country bowhunting amounts to.

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The BlackHawk 3 backpack is a real bargain coming in at around $80. This pack rides well on your back, takes abuse, and honestly looks good.

The BlackHawk 3 backpack has several compartments that are easy to get your stuff when you need it.

I would highly recommend it to any athlete that wants a good mid-size backpack to get out and explore or just a hardworking everyday carry bag.

So far I am loving this tactical backpack. It has plenty of room, has great design, and color, and feels strong right out of the box (just going to have to wait and see how strong it really is).

Recommend this product if anyone is looking for a sturdy pack.


The Eberlestock Switchblade Pack is a versatile and feature-rich backpack that excels in adaptability and functionality. With a capacity of 1800 cubic inches and a weight of 4 pounds and 2 ounces, it offers ample space for gear while maintaining a manageable weight. The pack features a modular design with multiple compartments and pockets, allowing for efficient organization and easy access to your essentials.

The main compartment is expandable, providing extra storage when needed. The Switchblade also includes a scabbard for securely carrying a rifle or shotgun, making it ideal for hunting or tactical purposes. The Eberlestock Switchblade pack incorporates a comfortable and adjustable harness system with padding and ventilation for extended wear. The durable 500D Cordura fabric ensures long-lasting performance in rugged conditions. Whether you’re on a day hike, a hunting expedition, or an outdoor adventure, the Eberlestock Switchblade Pack offers versatility, durability, and functionality that will meet your needs.
Price: $229


Don voted for Kelty and its good storage space and hydration pocket and hole.

“I love my Kelty Tactical Raven Backpack, It’s a great fit, its size is good and it’s built to last for a really good while, all at a decent price.

I have been using this pack for 2 plus years and it is good to go for several more.

I like the molle straps on the outside to add another small compartment pouch if needed. The straps are noticeably thicker and better quality than most tactical bags.”
Price: $249


This pack brings something a little different to the table. The benefit is that you can easily carry your rifle along with you on the next hunt. The Eberlestock G2 Gunslinger II Pack is a mid-sized tactical pack with a full-width scabbard that accommodates larger cross-sections or bulky optics. Perfect as a laptop or military radio compartment, it fits short-barreled rifles when scabbard is folded up.

It has ample capacity with with 2100 cubic inch capacity and a tubular Intex-II frame system and adjustable shoulder harness. I like the padded hip belt when you are humping a heavier load. Overall this pack offers comfort and plenty of space for gear.

The G2 Gunslinger II is ideal for multiple uses and is recommended for range shooting, law enforcement operations, and competitive shooting.
You have the ability to customize your pack with recommended add-ons like a small rain cover, A2MP MultiPack Accessory Pouch, pack-mounted shooting rest, and triple wedge shooting rest. I like having the rain cover for sure as nothing worse than getting your gear wet when your out in the field.

You can transport your weapon securely with a scabbard volume of 600 cubic inches.  The GSTC cover allows you to carry your rifle up to 60 inches long. The scabbard dimensions are  34″L x 10″W x 3″D, with 26″ circumference opening.
Size: 2700 cubic inches/34 liters
Price: $429


The 5.11 Tactical Rush 12 backpack is a versatile and durable pack designed to meet the demands of outdoor enthusiasts, law enforcement professionals, and everyday adventurers. With a capacity of 24 liters and a weight of 2.6 pounds, it strikes a perfect balance between storage space and portability. The backpack features a water-resistant 1050D nylon construction, ensuring excellent durability and weather resistance.

The main compartment and front admin pocket offer ample organization options, while the MOLLE webbing on the front and sides allows for modular attachment of additional gear. The contoured shoulder straps and adjustable sternum strap provide a comfortable and secure fit, while the compression straps allow for load stabilization.

The Rush 12 also incorporates a hydration pocket with a pass-through port, making it compatible with most hydration systems. Whether you’re on a day hike, a tactical mission, or commuting to work, the 5.11 Tactical Rush 12 backpack delivers the durability, organization, and versatility needed for any adventure. The 5.11 pack is a go-to bag for many Spec Ops guys that we know out there getting the job done.

Note – The 5.11 Tactical Rush 12 Backpack does have a chest strap, padded shoulder straps, sternum strap, and waist strap that make it the best tactical backpack for missions if you ask me.
Price: $100 at


The Rothco Alice pack is a classic and reliable backpack that has been a staple for outdoor enthusiasts and military personnel for decades. With a capacity of 34 liters, it offers ample storage space for gear and supplies. The pack is constructed with rugged and durable heavyweight canvas material, ensuring exceptional durability in tough conditions. It features a large main compartment with a drawstring closure and a flap top with quick-release buckles for easy access.

The exterior includes multiple exterior pockets, allowing for convenient organization of smaller items. The adjustable shoulder straps and waist belt offer a comfortable and customizable fit, while the metal frame provides stability and support for heavier loads. The Alice pack also includes attachment points and straps for securing additional gear. Whether you’re camping, hiking, or on a military mission, the Rothco Alice pack delivers the reliability, durability, and functionality that have made it a trusted choice for outdoor enthusiasts and professionals alike.

The ALICE pack is still used today in Navy SEAL BUDS training. Once the candidates get to SQT they are issued a more modern pack (see notes below). I personally used this pack in BUDS training and still own one today that I use for rucking and trail work.

It’s also great if you’re looking for a good everyday carry bag that will last long.


Bulletproof build, made in the USA, and no questions asked SCARS program.

You break it, they fix or replace it.

They just want the back story, especially if sent in with bullet holes or embedded frags. You can modify the pack if need be but mostly good to go.

goruck bullet

DCrews votes for the Goruck GR2.

GoRuck also makes a Bullet Pack which is smaller and lightweight.

The pockets are great to hold a Standard Source Hydration Bladder.

The 10 L (10 liters) and 15 L work well at GORUCK Light and double as day rucks.

The GoRuck 5 L is best when all you need is a bladder and some small stuff.

The GoRuck bullet 15 is also great for travel without a laptop.

Check out the GoRuck Bullet Review here


There are so many great backpacks out there that we had to include a few more that SGPT ahletes have used in the past.

  1. Bergen Rucksack with Rain Cover Tactical Hiking Patrol Backpack
  2. Pro-Force Army Waterproof Rucksack New Forces Combat Backpack
  3. Granite Gear/Catoma C.H.I.E.F. Patrol Pack
  4. FILBE Assault & Main packs. I have a medic’s pack ( one of my numerous packs…) pack in Coyote which has more pouches, pockets, and sections to put things in than any other pack I’ve seen yet!

Check out these questions from SGPT athletes.

Question: What about the 511 rush 24 vs rush 12? What do you think?

Answer: We like the 511 backpacks as they are well made and will stand the test of time.

Check out this video as both of those ruck sacks are compared.

Question: “What is a good Assault rucksack for Navy SEAL training?”.

Answer: Check out the Kelty Map 2500 backpack.

Question: Is the GR1 the best rucksack for the GoRuck challenge?

Answer: Check out the reviews above and you will see that many athletes recommend this type of backpack for the Challenge.

Question: Does the Maxpedition Falcon II have a rain cover?

Answer: Yes, you can order one separately like this one Black nylon backpack rain cover for hiking.

Question: I am heading to Special Forces camp —what is a good packing list for a large ruck?

Answer: You will need your basic gear like an extra set of BDUs, a poncho, lightweight sleeping bag, and extra socks and t-shirts for starters.

Question: What are ALICE pack modifications for the go ruck challenge?

Answer: If you want to use the Alice pack, make sure you get a frame.

Don’t put anything in your outside pockets as it will fall out when you’re doing bear crawls. Make sure all of your bricks are taped together – don’t leave them loose or they will be at the bottom of your pack and edges of bricks in your back.

Wrap bubble wrap around all of the bricks in one long piece.

Question: How do you rate the 5.11 Rush 72 vs Mystery ranch backpack?

Answer: The Mystery Ranch is a higher-end pack with more bells and whistles and the Rush is more basic and no-frills get-it-done pack. You can check out more reviews on the 5.11 Rush Backpack here.

Question: What do you know about BDS tactical gear—any tactical backpack reviews?

Answer: BDS makes good tactical equipment – check out reviews here for the BDS Tactical Three Day Pack.

Question: What about the Kelty Falcon backpack? How does it rate out and where can I find it for sale?

Answer: Check out reviews on the Kelty Tactical Falcon 4000 Backpack here.

Question: Do you have any reviews for the 5.11 Tactical Backpack? How do you compare the Rush 72 vs ALICE pack?

Answer: The Alice pack is a very basic pack that can get the job done. The Rush 72 has a lot more bells and whistles – check out 5.11 Tactical reviews here

Question: Do you have any reviews for the GORUCK vs Mystery Ranch?

Answer: Yes; right here:

Question: Do you have any reviews for the 5.11 rush 72 vs pro force?

Answer: Yes; check out reviews for the Proforce Snugpak here.

Question: Do you have any reviews for the 5.11 Rush 72 tactical vs GORUCK G2 pack?

Answer: Yes; check out the 5.11 1 Day Rush Backpack reviews.

Question: Coach, what do you know about the 5.11 kit bag for Special Forces?

Answer: Check out reviews of the 5.11 Kit Bag here.

Question: What is the best backpack for a GORUCK event?

Answer: We recommend the GR1 for a GORuck challenge or GoRuck light.

Question: What backpack is issued to the US Army Rangers?

Answer: The Rangers are issued ALICE packs and Mystery Ranch packs.

Question: Where can I find a good tactical backpack comparison list?

Answer: Check out the reviews and comparisons of tactical backpacks above.

Question: What kind of backpacks are issued to Navy SEAL teams?

Answer: It depends on the team and mission but recently they are issued ALICE packs and Granite Tactical Gear Chief Patrol Pack. During BUDS, the SEAL candidates use ALICE packs.

Question: Do you have any reviews for Karrimor vs Kelty backpacks?

Answer: Yes; check out the reviews above and more info on Karrimor SF Sabre 45 Backpack here.

Answer: Several guys have added a hip belt or a thin iron plate to add weight instead of bricks. You also see athletes add a foam block in the bottom to keep the weight higher up on the back.

Question: What is a good rain cover for the 5.11 tactical rush backpack?

Answer: Check out the Mountainsmith Rain Cover as you can’t go wrong with them.

Question: Where can I find more info and sign up for the Army Special Forces?

Answer: Check out the Army website.


A good tactical backpack is one of your assets on the field, as it literally holds your whole life whenever you’re away from home.

And that is why…

…choosing your own could be quite tricky.

You should make sure that it doesn’t only have a padded shoulder strap but also a comfortable one so you could carry your bag even across long distances.

You’ll also tend to run a lot, an excellent tactical backpack with sternum straps, paddedd straps, and even a good material such as Cordura nylon is a big steal as it can definitely save your life.

So do your research and read more reviews from people who have gone through many tactical bags over the years to be able to gauge what works for you.


Condor Outdoor 3-Day Assault Pack
Spec.-Ops. T.H.E. Tactical Pack
Direct Action Dragon Egg Tactical Backpack
Triple Aught Design FAST Pack Litespeed
Mystery Ranch 3-Day Assault CL
Reebow Gear Tactical Backpack
SOG Ninja
Drago Gear Tactical Backpack
BDS Scorpion

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