5 Military Surplus Backpacks You Must Take on Your Next Journey
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Military Surplus Backpacks

5 Military Surplus Backpacks | You Must Take on Your Next Journey


Military surplus backpacks came into existence basically for usage by soldiers. These were designed to carry all the requirements and amenities that a soldier would need access to during periods of emergency or crises. With time, owing to their practicality and their rough, tough and rugged looks, these bags made their way into mainstream use by civilians. Military surplus backpack became extremely popular as they were spacious and much more durable than conventional backpacks.

This kind of backpacks tends to withstand the forces of nature better. And can stand up to wear and tear for a very long period of time. This is because they are usually constructed from a high-grade polymer material that is usually water-resistant and can take a good beating. Moreover, the trademark camouflage print that is present on many of these tactical backpacks attracts a lot of youngsters who are obsessed with the military and their ways.

Following are some of the advantages of using a military surplus backpack:

  • Reliability: Military backpacks tend to be highly durable and can, therefore, be relied upon when going on long or hazardous trips.
  • Resistance to wear and tear: The material, straps, and cords of these backpacks are made from heavy-duty polyester like a 600 x 600 density nylon, with PVC coating. These are specially formulated to stand tall against wear and tear and are water resistant. In fact, even after a lot of wear and tear, these bags tend to look as good as new, if washed properly.
  • Modularity: These backpacks tend to have MOLLE webbing on the front and sides to allow you to attach and carry slots, pouches and additional accessories like fishing gear, umbrellas, etc. as and when needed. Many of them also tend to have separate holders for first aid kits, laptops, and water bottles.
  • Organizability: These bags have multiple pockets and compartments that allow you to keep things organized. They usually come equipped with pockets and holders for pens, notebooks, calculators and cell phones. Some backpacks even have options to carry a hydration bladder.
  • Thick shoulder pads: Since these backpacks were built to carry heavy equipment, they tend to have padded shoulder straps to give relief to the shoulders by cushioning the effect of the weight and distributing it evenly. To further balance the weight, they also come with waist and chest straps so that the shoulders don’t have to bear the burden of the weight alone.
  • Zippers: Zippers in these backpacks tend to be a large-sized and heavy duty to allow ease of use while zipping or unzipping.
  • Large capacity: Most surplus military backpacks tend to be quite spacious and can mostly accommodate between 45-50 liters of luggage. This allows you to carry a whole host of equipment, from clothes to gadgets.
  • Multiple uses: Military surplus backpacks are being increasingly used for a variety of purposes these days. We can find people using it for trekking, hiking, camping, hunting, fishing as well as traveling. The smaller sized ones are also becoming hugely popular among school going, children.

Once you have taken the decision to purchase a surplus military backpack, it is now time to look into some of the available options. Here is a list of some of the best military surplus backpacks you can find in the market. These are fairly easy on the pocket, have a good holding capacity and will last you a fairly long period of time.

5.11 Tactical RUSH72 Backpack

Military Surplus BackpacksThe Rush 72 Backpack from Outdoor is a great bag to take along on long journeys and adventures. It has basically been built to carry everything you need on a 72-hour escapade. The bag is very spacious and comes in 7 different colors. It has an assortment of pockets and compartments to keep your belongings separately, allowing you to easily and quickly find things.

The bag is made up of nylon that has been stitched together nice and strong, ensuring a good amount of durability. The rugged zipper from YKK is quite wide, allowing a good grip and runs really smoothly. The bag has four loops at the bottom where you can attach extra items like a pop-up tent, umbrella, etc. The bag is quite roomy with a 47-liter capacity, large enough to conveniently fit your laptop or tablet inside along with accessories and still have space for a couple of change of clothes.

Military Surplus BackpacksFeatures:

  • Capacity: 46 liters
  • Constructed from nylon
  • Dual YKK zippers that are self-healing and rigged
  • Organization pockets to keep maps, documents, and accessories
  • Main compartment large enough to hold a laptop.
Pros Cons
Spacious Rather large sized, can get cumbersome for shorter trips
Can hold a laptop in the main compartment Does not include any side pocket or mesh to keep the water bottle
Good quality zippers


Military Surplus Backpacks86% of the people who bought this are highly satisfied with the bag because it is flexible enough to take along wherever they want and is roomy enough to have more control over the things they can fit in. This bag can also be used for school or everyday errands as it is made up of high-quality heavy-duty material while being fairly lightweight at the same time. This is an ideal bag for camping as it keeps the stuff inside clean and dry under any kind of weather.

For me, though, the bag was rather large, but I guess it would be perfect for people who are a bit taller. The bag is equipped with an extra waist belt so as to relieve pressure from the shoulders and back and distribute the weight evenly across the back and hips. This is the ideal bag for the adventurous and those who like to travel in the wild. Some of the customers even go as far as to say that the bag is “built like a tank”.

Military Surplus Backpacks

G4Free- G4Free 40L Sport Outdoor Military Backpack Tactical Backpack 3 Day Assault Pack Molle Rucksack

Military Surplus BackpacksThis Sports Outdoor Military surplus backpacks from G4Free is the ideal gift for those in love all things military. The bag comes in three colors, with a camouflage print giving it the ultimate tactical look, that most army and commando buffs would love. The multiple functional bags look trendy and fashionable too. It has 6 compartments to keep your things organized in one bag for any tour or journey and is the ideal kit bag to take along on hiking, camping or trekking tours that extend over longer periods of time. It is quite large and has a lot of space inside it where you can fit all your necessary camping, hiking or trekking gear.

There are more hidden pouches inside the main compartments where you can keep your essential belongings like credit cards, cell phone, money and many other things. The back area and shoulder strap are padded so that you can carry the bag quite comfortably and so the pressure on your shoulders and back are equally distributed. You can also pair it up with the provided extra waist belt or chest belt to further handle the weight. The bag is water resistant and made up of polyester, which makes it an ideal bag even in slightly wet conditions, at least in case of a light drizzle. It is not waterproof, though, and will not hold up much in the pouring rain.

Military Surplus BackpacksFeatures:

  • Capacity: 35 liters
  • Constructed from 6000D water-resistant polyester
  • MOLLE system
  • Three main compartments and two front pockets. Main compartments have interior zip pocket and mesh pockets
  • Camouflage print
Pros Cons
Spacious No side mesh to keep a water bottle
Can hold a laptop in the main compartment
Good quality zippers
MOLLE Webbing for extra attachments


Military Surplus BackpacksIt can also be helpful for regular everyday use by people who need to carry a large number of things in their bag. Another great feature is that this bag is very well built. More than 67% of the people who bought this bag are highly satisfied with it. Most of them like it for its totally tactical look, while others appreciate the fact that the price of the bag is quite less in relation to the quality. The shoulder straps are very long so it can fit people of different weights and heights.

This military surplus backpacks can be used as a travel bag, a rucksack and even as a school bag. The only con that I found so far is that it does not have any side mesh to keep a water bottle.

Military Surplus Backpacks

WIDEWAY Military Surplus Backpacks

Military Surplus BackpacksThis is quite a pleasant looking backpack with a rather unconventional structure and design. The color and design make it very soothing to look at and it has got MOLLE webbing all around, giving it the ultimate tactical or military surplus backpacks look. It comes in three different colors, with one of them in camouflage print. The all-around MOLLE webbing allows you to extend its functionality by attaching supplementary pouches or extra outdoor equipment like sleeping bags, clothes, water bottles and electronic devices.

The bag is huge and really spacious. It has 2 main compartments with padded partitions and hidden pouches inside. There are two more large sized pockets on the outside, which you can use to store your cell phone, cell phone chargers, power banks, camera, etc. for easy access. With a whopping 50 liter capacity, it has enough space to fit enough of the things you need for traveling or long distance hiking. You can put your clothes, food items and even a medium sized laptop into the bag. It is made up of premium quality polyester PU, which makes it water-resistant. The construction is impeccable and suitable for men, women as well as children.

Military Surplus BackpacksFeatures:

  • Capacity: 50 liters
  • Constructed from 6000D Water resistant polyester
  • Removable chest and waist belt
  • Padded shoulder straps
  • Two front pockets and 2 main compartments
  • MOLLE webbing system
Pros Cons
Very Spacious A little hefty in size for short trips
Can hold a laptop in the main compartment
Good quality zippers
MOLLE webbing for extra attachments


The shoulder straps are perfectly padded, while the additional waist strap and sternum strap have been provided to balance the weight so that you can move about comfortably, without feeling weighed down. It is generally suitable for people who go hiking, trekking and cycling where you need to carry a lot of your personal stuff. 87% of the customers who bought this bag are highly satisfied after using it as it is very spacious and have solid zippers that glide on smoothly. What’s more, the bag is SGS, ISO and it is certified and comes with a one year warranty. That itself should be proof of its quality and durability.

Military Surplus Backpacks

CVLIFE Outdoor 50L Military Rucksacks Tactical Backpack

Military Surplus BackpacksHere’s a tactical bag that will not cost you a fortune. It looks the look and walks the walk, but doesn’t drill a hole in your pocket. With an unconventional design, great colors and MOLLE webbing, this bag has been designed to perfection. The bag is made from supreme quality nylon and features a large space, capable of holding 50 liters of cargo. Want a lighter bag for smaller trips? Simply detach the extra pouches that have been MOLLE’d on. The bag also has many more loops to strap on more items as and when needed.

These military surplus backpacks are great for trekking, both long distance and short as it has a huge main compartment, where you can put your laptop, clothes and bigger items, along with a number of smaller pouches all over, for other easy to grab accessories. You can easily fit all of your necessary equipment and stuff for trekking, hiking or any outdoor activity in this bag, and keep them separate, organized and secure.

Another great feature of these military surplus backpacks is it is waterproof so it can be used even in less than ideal weather conditions. The Tactical military bag has shoulder straps, waist straps and chest straps to balance the weight throughout your body when it is too heavy. The zippers are large and sturdy, and for the price they come in, I would say they are pretty good.


  • Capacity: 50 liters
  • Constructed from 6000D water resistant nylon
  • One main compartment along with two front pouches and four side pouches. All the pouches are detachable
  • MOLLE webbing to allow the addition of more pouches and attachments
  • Padded shoulder straps, along with chest and waist belt
Pros Cons
Very Spacious Stitching could have been stronger
Can hold a laptop in main compartment Zippers could have been a little less noisy
All pouches are detachable so ideal for everyday use
MOLLE webbing for extra attachments
Reasonable price


Military Surplus BackpacksUnfortunately, the bag has received thumbs up from only 56% of its customers. However, for the price it comes in and in relation to the features and design, I feel the bag deserved way more positive reviews. It has got a humongous amount of space and a great design. If you ask me, I would give it a 4.5 out 5.

Military Surplus Backpacks

Reebow Gear Military Tactical Backpack Large

Military Surplus BackpacksThis is an impressive Tactical military surplus backpacks from Reebow. Looks-wise, it is everything that a military backpack should be. Functionality-wise too, it delivers quite well. The bag has a superior design and it can be expanded according to requirement.

The material of the bag is a thick 600 x 600 density fabric, with breathable mesh lining along the back for breathability and extra comfort. The polyester fabric also helps make it water resistant. What adds to its sturdiness is a solid double stitch all over the bag, making it stand up to wear and tear for a long time. The stitching done is also very fine, making every joint look almost seamless. The bag is super strong and tough so you can even use it during harsh weather conditions and it will keep all your important belongings dry and secure.

It is very spacious and capable of accommodating about 40 liters of cargo. So, you can easily fit in a lot of your important things while traveling outdoors, fishing, or even sports. The MOLLE webbing all over lets you attach additional pouches to this military assault backpack as and when needed, in addition to a lot of other peripherals, like fishing rods, umbrellas, camera and so on. The zippers are of good quality and can be operated smoothly.

Military Surplus BackpacksThe bag features a total of two main compartments and two front zippered pockets, but each main compartment has an assortment of mesh and regular pockets to further keep your belongings organized. The larger compartment has a 360-degree zipper, that can be fully opened clamshell style, so you can get easy access to your laptops, tablets or other big stuff. It also features an area to keep a hydration bladder so you can remain hydrated when backpacking in the outdoors. There is no hydration bladder included with the packaging, though.


  • Capacity: 40 liters
  • Constructed from 600 x 600 density polyester fabric
  • Two main compartments and two front pouches
  • The main compartment has a slot for a hydration bladder
  • The main compartment has an all-around zip for easy access
  • MOLLE webbing to allow the addition of more pouches and attachments
  • Padded shoulder straps, along with chest and waist belt

Military Surplus Backpacks

Pros Cons
Very Spacious Second compartment could have been slightly roomier
Can hold a laptop in the main compartment
Compatible with a hydration bladder
MOLLE webbing for extra attachments
Reasonable price


Almost 80% of the people who bought this bag are completely satisfied after using it as they can use it for many purposes. This military surplus backpacks can even be used for school, journeys or as an everyday use bag. You can store your laptop, clothes, documents, money bag, water bottles, raincoat and many other things in this bag comfortably. What’s more, it provides you with good value for money.

Military Surplus Backpacks

Our Preference over all the military surplus backpacks:

Among the five listed above, my personal preference is the Reebow Gear Military Tactical Backpack. It has just the amount of space to put in my essentials, a whole compartment where I can fit in my laptop and some good quality MOLLE webbing to let me attach extra stuff.

However, I usually find the pockets and pouches that came with the original bag to be enough and don’t feel the need to attach anymore, unless I plan on going fishing or something. The all-around zipper makes it really convenient for me to get access to my laptop and the material is quite sturdy to the amount of rough use that the bag goes through every day. And the best thing is that I get all this for a really reasonable price.

The bag has been with me for almost a year now and believes me when I say that I use it a LOT! But it is still in an amazingly good condition I would say, apart from a few stains here and there, which is obvious after such harsh use.


This was a guide to find the best and essential military Surplus Backpacks that you simply cannot do without on your next outdoor trip. These backpacks have been built to last and for multi-purpose use. So, buy one for yourself, gift one to your spouse and let your child carry one to school. These tactical bags will bear the brunt of your luggage and take care of your back.

If you found this article helpful, do share it with others and let me know in your comments if there is anything else you would like me to write about.

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