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A tactical backpack is any pack or bag that is designed for usage outside of its normal carrying function. They typically have extra features such as hydration chambers, molle webbing and hoops for attaching equipment. It's important to distinguish a tactical backpack for what it is, because in certain situations it's essential that you have a tactical pack over a regular backpack. For instance, in a survival scenario, you'll want to make sure that you can carry rope or cord, sleeping equipment and maybe even a hatchet. Depending on the specific pack itself, tactical backpacks usually come with plenty of places to attach this extra equipment to guarantee your survival.
There is no one tactical backpack that is the best - it all comes down to how you are going to use it, and what your preferences are. If you're looking to take your pack through tough conditions over a longer period of time, then the best pack is going to be a larger, highly durable option. But if you're only going to be using it for shorter periods of time and in relatively comfortable conditions, then you don't need to think so much about a bigger pack. Something important to consider though is how much additional gear you can attach to your pack. Many tactical backpacks don't come with any kind of loops or webbing for attaching gear, so if you think that you'll need to be attaching extra items then go for a pack that has plenty of options.
Tactical backpacks are usually designed to be hyper functional but also have a relative element of stealth. The idea being that if you're in a conflict zone, you need to be as agile and invisible as possible, without losing the ability to have everything you need at hand for longer periods of time. So choosing the best tactical backpack for you comes down to understanding where and how you're going to be using it. Are you going to be on casual weekend camping trips, or do you need it for something more survival driven? We'd recommend that you consider all of the situations that you may find yourself in and use that as a map for working out what features, storage and kind of tactical pack you may need.
In a military environment, tactical backpacks are usually used for shorter missions that don't require huge amounts of gear or days worth of supplies or food rations. That being said, they do need to have some capacity in those areas so they're what we'd call a medium sized build. It may also not be secret that these backpacks are often utilised for missions whereby stealth is essential, so their design is sleeker and more agile for ease of movement when in a tricky situation. Outside of the military though, tactical packs make for awesome short trip bags as well as everyday carry bags for going to school, college or even work - some of them even have padded laptop and electronics compartments to keep your valuables safe when you're on the move.