Tactical bags are long-lasting, slim, and roomy enough to carry all your stuff. On the other hand, comfort, carrying capacity, and lightweight are the trademarks of hiking packs.
Several backpacking brands have built their reputations by combining the best of both.
There may not be a “best bag” for every situation, but you should weigh the benefits and drawbacks of the various options. But before we get into the intricacies, you need to determine the function of your bag.
- Do you foresee yourself using the pack frequently?
- Do you intend to bring it to and from the office, classroom, or other trips?
- How much material do you foresee carrying, and how will you store it?
Tactical vs. Hiking Backpacks: What’s the Difference?
Tactical backpacks are often mistaken for regular bags. A hiking backpack is not suitable for everyday use, and vice versa.
Military and law enforcement officers use tactical backpacks, whereas hikers use hiking backpacks. Tactical backpacks often include exterior sections for a vest or armor carrier.
Tactical bags have hidden pockets and closures to deter robbers. For longer hikes, lighter materials and less cushioning are used in hiking backpacks. When compared to hiking bags, a tactical backpack tends to be on the pricier side. An excellent tactical bag has a large main compartment and cushioned straps. Tactical backpacks include sturdy construction, a clandestine style, and mission-specific cabling. Hiking packs are lightweight, comfortable, and built for good visibility, as we have mentioned above. It enables the bearer to be seen by friends and rescuers.
Some people have the false impression that tactical bags are less comfortable than hiking bags; however, it is not the case.
Since a tactical bag doesn’t have to carry the same load, the number of rods and prodding bits may be reduced. Additionally, the backs of these seats are often more padded, both vertically and horizontally.
Hiking backpacks are lightweight and designed specifically for use on long treks. The torso lengths and other changes mean that most of these bags may be used by more than one person.
Tactical bags are only sometimes adjustable since they are made to fit a soldier’s height and weight. Cover zippers that unzip to show a triangle aperture are fantastic tactical bag designs.
The main compartment may be accessed by just laying the bag flat, like a camera bag. Typically, a backpack will open at the top or have a front flap that you can unzip.
In terms of storage space, tactical bags continue to reign supreme. These backpacks contain Molle webbing or connection holes on every available surface not covered by a strap, clasp, or zipper.
Most hiking packs include one or two modest extension fields of mates webbing. But they may consist of pockets or tie-downs for tripods, tent poles, and other heavy items.
Only a few hiking packs feature exclusive expansion mechanisms. You can only make a few changes to a hiking pack’s design.
Tactical backpacks are meant to carry minimum weights across rugged terrain. The average weight of a tactical bag is roughly 30 pounds, but a hiking pack usually weighs a lot less than that. Tactical backpacks are easily recognized for their clumsy build and high weight.
Comparatively speaking, tactical backpacks cost a lot more cash than regular backpacks. Compared to hiking packs, which can be purchased for much less than $150, they tend to be very pricey.
You may wonder why these backpacks are so pricey compared to standard hiking backpacks. Take note that the items offered by the leading manufacturers of tactical bags are of the highest quality possible.
Compared to standard hiking bags, they feature more space and storage capacity. Carrying a defensive weapon and other items is only one of the many benefits of a tactical bag.
Tactical bags are constructed from more robust materials and are meant to handle greater weights. There is enough padding on the shoulder straps, and they also include MOLLE features. Tightening the hip belt keeps the bag in place and redistributes the weight so you may walk longer without tiring.
In recent years, military and hiking backpacks have shared more materials and designs. Manufacturers increasingly employ lightweight, costly materials like Dyneema and X-PAC.
Waterproof and tear-resistant ripstop nylon is often used in hiking bags.
- Extremely lightweight Dyneema fiber, which is molecularly more robust than steel. It is increasingly being used in the LA police gear bag. Unlike their military counterparts, these bags may not withstand a fall down a cliff. Backpacks used by the military in the past were often constructed from robust materials like thick canvas.
- If you have ever used an X-Pac backpack, you know how fascinating they are. The reassuring crunch and the incredible strength and resilience of the elements are all features. It made the bag heavier, but it was a reliable and sturdy way to transport your belongings in all weather.
Tactical bags are made with more robust, more durable materials to endure. Ballistic nylon is a rigid material that can tolerate heat, abrasion, and friction without breaking.
These materials provide military backpacks with unmatched toughness. But they also raise the empty pack’s weight and the load’s weight. Most hiking and technical backpacks are made from paper-thin, durable materials.
One of the most striking distinctions is the color of tactical and hiking packs. Black, dark gray, olive drab green, tan, and camouflage are low-visibility backpack colors. Bright yellows, oranges, and acid greens are popular hiking pack colors.
Why Pick a Tactical Backpack Instead of a Regular One?
- Compared to backpacks designed for trekking, tactical packs are very well-organized. They include compact storage spaces outfitted with zippers and velcro fasteners. The outer velcro straps may be used to carry extra gear or be removed to lighten the load.
- Smaller and lighter, a tactical bag is better for short trips than a hiking backpack. You can climb, walk, or swim with a tactical backpack without destroying it.
- Most tactical backpacks have lifesaving components, thus the name. Water storage bladders, radio/headphone pockets, and dual-purpose nozzles are incorporated.
- Wearing a tactical bag helps you blend in with the crowd. To keep their belongings hidden, many hikers opt for backpacks rather than conventional bags. A tactical bag is an excellent way to conceal your valuables. Once again, it’s almost undetectable in any setting.
- Tactical bags assist the musculoskeletal system, unlike hiking bags. The only purpose of a hiking pack is to keep your belongings secure. After everything is knotted and fastened, the hiking backpack should sit still until the fasteners are undone. Tactical backpacks can move with the body across rough terrain without being injured.
- Last but not least, tactical backpacks offer additional cushioning all around. Although hiking packs are designed to hold many goods, they can sometimes be safe. Tactical bags are padded to protect your possessions.
How to Choose a High-Quality Tactical Backpack?
Strategic backpacks must be built with robust, durable material to withstand outdoor use. It must be strong enough to carry everything you desire and resistant to scuffs and rips.
The Back Panel
The back panel of a tactical backpack has to be contoured and padded for maximum comfort. The back should include ventilation holes for the same reason: to let your back sweat dry off.
Foam is used for the rear panels of tactical backpacks. Tactical bags with larger back panels sometimes includes aluminum supports for support.
Consider ventilation while shopping for a tactical backpack. Some backpacks include a mesh back panel that hangs from the frame to prevent sweaty back syndrome.
Frame-supported backpacks ride a few inches off your back using “tension-mesh suspension.” Some forthcoming packs incorporate back ventilation tubes to alleviate the same issue.
Multiple Storage Areas
In addition to the main compartment, a tactical backpack needs several smaller pockets on the outside and inside.
With all the different pockets and storage spaces, you will never lose track of your stuff again. Knowing where everything you own is at any moment is crucial for dealing with many scenarios.
A hiking pack is unquestionably helpful on a long hike. But a tactical bag is more versatile and valuable in everyday situations. They are also ideal for going to school or work, taking a day excursion, or traveling. Remember that tactical backpacks are convenient, spacious, and secure.