How to Use a Tactical Backpack

Tactical backpacks are now considered a mainstream product as more and more people now value its versatility. No longer marketed towards military men and adventurists, a tactical backpack can be used by ordinary people like you.  

You may likely be intrigued by this type of bag that you are now considering getting one.

However, you remain clueless about how to use a tactical backpack. You may also be asking questions like ‘what to have in a tactical backpack?’ because you have no idea about the parts of this kind of bag.

Continue reading this article to find out more about shopping and using a tactical backpack.

Different uses of tactical backpacks

Many people are drawn to tactical backpacks because of several reasons, most notable of which is versatility. This type of bag can serve numerous purposes such as carrying or storing important items and organizing stuff. 

Backpacks for carrying/storing items

Tactical backpacks are traditionally used by law enforcement and the military to carry their tactical gear.

Larger than normal backpacks, tactical backpacks have multiple compartments that allow users to better organize their things.

Multiple compartments enable military personnel to keep similar items together, so they can retrieve them quickly. They can also separate their food from items that are used daily like tools.

Tactical backpacks also have hidden compartments where users can store various kinds of weapons and tools such as knives. Padded pockets, meanwhile, are useful in safely carrying fragile items such as sunglasses. 

Members of the armed forces would also need to carry rugged laptops. Tactical backpacks, thus, have laptop compartments that offer safe storage for laptops. But laptop compartments aren’t only for storing notebooks. These are also versatile enough to carry and protect other electronic devices like walkie talkies, survival radios, and GPS devices. 

Perhaps the most common feature of a tactical backpack is the Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment (Molle) system.

Since 1997, this loop system has become a familiar sight or feature in military bags and tactical backpacks.

Featuring rows of durable nylon straps, Molle allows users of those bags to place all their necessary equipment for quick access such as ammunition and a first-aid kit. 

The MOLLE system has been adopted by manufacturers of bags around the world. In short, it is a standard system that bag makers follow.

Let’s say that a brand has a MOLLE pack on its backpack. You can put on accessories from other brands to that bag. 

Yet it is not only military personnel who would find those parts of a tactical backpack useful. Even ordinary civilians like you will be able to benefit from having a tactical backpack.

You can use a tactical backpack in outdoor activities like camping, hiking, and fishing. 

Tactical backpack for comfortable and convenient carrying

Tactical backpack wearing

Storage compartments aren’t the only things that make tactical backpacks responsive to the needs of its users. Parts like shoulder pads and sternum straps are designed to make it easier for users to carry this type of bag.

A shoulder pad, for example, helps in distributing the total weight of the backpack and lessening the burden on the shoulders.

It can help prevent shoulder pain especially when you carry a tactical backpack for long periods or distances. 

On the other hand, a sternum strap provides additional support around the chest while holding the backpack in place.

Most tactical backpacks also have padded straps at the back to promote comfort and minimize the chances of lower back pain among its users. 

Watch this YouTube video to better understand the many parts of a tactical backpack and how these can serve its users, particularly military personnel. 

Other features of a tactical backpack

Other features of a tactical backpack

Now you may wonder: ‘what are the other extra features of a tactical backpack should I look for?’ 

One feature you would like to have in a tactical backpack is the hydration compartment. This is a part of the bag which is designed to hold water for later use.

With a hydration compartment, you can drink water coming from a tube extending from the bladder on the pack.

It would spare you of the need to stop and pull out a water bottle to drink. With it, you can stay hydrated while being on the move in the field.

Military personnel may find themselves in situations when they need to attend to an injured colleague.

Tactical backpacks thus often have tear-out medical pouches offering quick access to first-aid equipment. 

In shopping for a tactical backpack, you should also consider one with small utility pockets. This would let you store essential items like your flame starter and car keys.

With small utility pockets, you can get access to important things without having to unpack your stuff.

Speaking of small essential items, you would want to have a backpack with VELCRO closures.

It can prevent small items like loose change or car keys from falling out, giving you the peace of mind that you won’t lose essential things.

You might also want to consider getting a tactical backpack with an internal frame. This enhances the stability of the bag and helps in evening out the weight distribution just like shoulder pads.

A major disadvantage, though, is that an internal frame can add to the weight of the bag and make it harder to carry around in the woods.


Tactical backpacks are no longer for the exclusive use of military personnel, policemen and hunters. Civilians have become more appreciative and aware of the many advantages of using a tactical backpack.

This type of bag offers multiple storage options that can come in handy for outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing.

Tactical backpacks can also be valuable in organizing important items such as food and clothes during camping.

Being familiar with the different parts of a tactical backpack can help you become more aware of the many uses of this kind of bag. It is hoped that you have learned how to use and shop for a tactical combat backpack.

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