With traveling for outdoor adventure activities gaining momentum each day, the number of options in travel gears, are also increasing. Some travelers like to carry their whole world with them while traveling, while some like to take on the essentials whereas others are in the middle of two extremes.
Whatever may be your traveling style, packing correctly is one of the most important things. And whichever kind of travel-packer you may be, backpacks are most of the time the best viable option for your travel gear. There are many kinds of backpacks available in the market but the best among the lot is undoubtedly the tactical backpacks.
Tactical packs that are also known as military backpacks are bigger, more robust and more functional packs than regular ones. These packs are proven to carry the full-scale military equipment with ease. So, you can imagine what great choice they would make for your outdoor adventure travel companion. If you are passionate about outdoor adventures, a good military bag is exactly what you need. Here are some pointers to pick the right one for you based on your requirements.
Before we move ahead to see what all features a tactical pack must have let’s know a little more about what “tactical backpacks” are exactly – just a fancy name or a better, advanced product.
What is a Tactical Backpack?
No. Tactical or Military backpacks are far more than just a nomenclature. A tactical pack is meant for tougher activity including military deployments. Hence, they are made tougher, rougher, sturdier to withstand the tough situations. They are stronger and more durable to any normal bag for that matter. These bags are ideal for creating a survival kit (bug-out-bag) or for tougher outdoor activities like hiking.
They are various types of tactical Military backpacks available in market.
- Tactical sling
- Tactical laptop
- Tactical hydration
- Tactical Range
- Tactical molle
- Tactical assault
- Tactical rucksack
These backpacks are made for different kind of applications. You must choose the right one for you based on your requirements.
Let’s go through some features that you must look for while purchasing a backpack.
Size and Texture
If you are buying a tactical backpack for outdoor adventure activities, the first thing to be seen is the size or the capacity of the pack. It should be spacious enough to accommodate all your stuff. However, to determine this, firstly you need to know what all are you going to carry with you while traveling. Prepare a list in advance for all your travel gear and then look for a backpack which will accommodate it all. The ideal size of a backpack should be a little extra than what you require. It’s always better to have some extra space than run out of it completely and end up purchasing another bag. This not only makes the travelling process more cumbersome as you will have to carry two luggage items, but
The ideal size of a backpack should be a little extra than what you require. It’s always better to have some extra space than run out of it completely and end up purchasing another bag. This not only makes the travelling process more cumbersome as you will have to carry two luggage items, but proper arrangement for the all the luggage could be tricky too. Though most of such tactical gears are almost compatible in size, there could be significant difference in them based on the usage purpose of the traveler.
Appearances or textures of tactical backpacks may not be always an important issue but some of them definitely create an impact in certain situations. For example, if you are going hiking or travelling through a jungle or indulging in any sports or adventure activities based on military warfare, texture like light green or camouflage are a perfect choice.
Material with which the backpack is made plays a vital role in its usability. The fabric used should be lighter yet robust and durable. The most preferred choice of material for these packs are nylon and nylon-based fabrics. These fabrics ensure superior durability, comfort and long life of the product. A special kind of nylon known as ‘Rip-stop’ Nylon is the best option for material though it costs a little premium. Polyester is another good choice for its UV rays resistance property.
Avoid materials which tend to make the backpack heavier in order to make them stronger like old-favorite canvas. A good option is to read a lot of users’ review for the models in your consideration list and find out if there is anyone particularly being mentioned as heavy. You should definitely not go for such packs.
This is a very important point to ponder upon. You should never go for gears that are going to weigh heavy on you. After all, you are the one going to carry it for the entire trip and this can alter your entire travel experience. Continuing from our previous point look for ones which are made of lighter material without compromising on strength and durability. If you are looking at buying a tactical backpack, chances are you are carrying a lot of stuff and all of these stuffs will have their own weight.
If the weight of the backpack also gets added to it carrying it will be a challenge and may ruin your entire outdoor experience. Hence choose a backpack made up from a lighter but durable material so that there is no issue in managing the weight of the pack and the load in it.
Another point to keep in mind is that there are a lot of design options available to you among these packs- internal frame or external frame. Again, going through the users review will help you a great deal in determining which design is perfect for you and which is being labelled as heavy. For managing the weigh effectively, the strap design is also very important. Avoid thinner, poorly cut straps as they will cut into your shoulder and make the experience of carrying your pack a painful and uncomfortable.
Compartments and Special features
Before deciding on how many compartments you require, as suggested earlier, take a note of all that you are going to carry and how you want them to be packed in your backpack. This will help you to plan roughly how many compartments do you want. One should always go for multiple compartments in different sizes, look for how many of those are available and how much is the overall size they will be covering. This will help you in better organizing.
Do not go for many small same sized compartments as then packing your larger items like sleeping bag will be a challenge. However, in case it is unavoidable, always look for special features like extra straps to attach sleeping bags, bed rolls etc.
The military backpacks generally are loaded with a lot of extra features. Look for them and choose the one that will help you organize the most. Some other special features that you should look for are the rain-cover sheet, hydration system, the loading design- front or top etc.
This is non-negotiable while planning your backpack purchase. Remember you will have to carry it all day. If it’s not comfortable to carry your entire mood and experience of the travel could be ruined. Never forget to look for comfort features like wide, padded straps for comfort of your shoulders or hip padding for ease at your waist and below. If you are going to be in a hot weather situation look for air channels. Again, read user reviews for the products in your consideration lists and look for keywords like comfortable, light-weight, too heavy etc. whether you are going for an online purchase or offline.
The backpacks with more comfort features do cost a little premium but your comfort should be your main concern and if you are getting that by spending a little extra, consider it bang for your bucks.
Having a backpack as your primary luggage during your travel is a good choice. However, do not get bogged down by the purchase process. It seems a little challenging but when you are clear what exactly you are looking for you would find it quite easy.
There are a host of varieties of tactical backpacks available in the market. Most important thing is to decide upon a price point or range. Once you have decided that your consideration list will automatically get narrow. Then decide upon the absolute must-have features that you want in your backpack and the optional, good to have but not essential, features.
Further, narrow down to the models that has all the “must-have” features from your list. This list will be your final short-list. With the “must-have” features being a constant, you can now check for the unique features, looks and most importantly the price. This approach will help you in saving time, not exceeding the budget and making your choice easily.
Purchasing a tactical backpack could be a very satisfying and worthwhile exercise. Consider them an investment as the backpacks are rough and tough, durable, long lasting and super spacious. They are apt for a variety of applications. They are the one who are going to be your preferred travel companion for a long time. So, just make a mental note of this pointers and choose the tactical or military backpack that is the best fit for your unique travel requirements.
Happy shopping. Happy backpacking.
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