I get it!
You need a kitbag that will hold all your gear, last for years, keep everything clean and dry, look cool, and have a safe place for your maker, goggles, pods and stuff.
It’s a tall order for just one backpack, but THIS list of the 15 best tactical backpacks of 2023 is sure to have one you need.
Keep reading and I will show you:
- The 15 BEST tactical backpacks for paintball and airsoft.
- How to choose the best tactical backpack for your gear.
- All your gear bag questions answered in the FAQ section.
Ready? Let’s go!
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- TOP 15 Best Tactical Backpacks 2023
- Maxpedition Falcon-II Backpack
- HK Army Expand Gearbag
- Planet Eclipse GX Paintball Gravel Bag
- Evolution Outdoor Tactical Backpack
- Explorer Deluxe Tactical Range Bag
- Maxpedition Gear Riftpoint Backpack
- ProCase Tactical Backpack
- 5.11 Tactical Military RUSH12 Backpack
- Direct Action Dust Tactical Backpack
- 5.11 Tactical RUSH72 Military Backpack
- Virtue Gambler Backpack
- J.Carp Military Tactical Backpack
- Planet Eclipse GX2 Expand Backpack
- LeisonTac Tactical Backpack
- Axen Military Tactical Backpack
- What is a Tactical Backpack?
- Factors to Consider when Choosing the Best Tactical Backpack
- Tactical Backpack FAQs
TOP 15 Best Tactical Backpacks 2023
A tactical backpack is and efficient, smart way to carry your gear, and keep it neat, clean organized and at your fingertips. That’s why I put together this list of the latest and greatest, the best tactical backpacks for 2023.
Maxpedition Falcon-II Backpack
This 25 liter tactical backpack will hold a day or two worth of clothes, gear and snacks, no problem. It is durable enough to last many seasons, has two large compartments and two large front pockets, plus several internal mesh pockets, to separate and organize all your gear.
There are compression straps to expand or contract the bag so everything stays tidy and efficient, and the lower front pocket is big enough for your marker or marker pack, which I appreciate.
- Dual hip and chest straps make it a very comfortable backpack to wear.
- Two larger compartments and two large front pockets, plenty of room to organize.
- 1050 denier material is water and abrasion-resistant.
- PALS webbing to attach external packs.
- Not waterproof, but it is water resistant.
- No side pocket for water bottles.
If you love to stay organized and need the space, this 25 liter pack is the one! Plus its made by one of the best tactical backpack brands, too!
HK Army Expand Gearbag
This HK army bag wears like a backpack and can be loaded, and set down to open like a duffle bag. It’s long enough for markers and spacious enough for pods and all your other gear.
Check it out!
This bag is weatherproof – including the zippers. They prevent water, mud sand and other crap from entering the bag. All pockets and the entire bag is weatherproof.
Outer pockets have molle webbing to attach other packs, if you have them. There is an inner mesh bag and a special microfiber-lined marker pocket. Sweet!
It is called “expand” because one end opens and can be either a pocket or can expand out and give you more space. It’s great because it can expand for space to throw your dirty clothes and shoes after a tournament.
- Soft lined mask compartment – prevents scratches.
- 4 outer compartments to really separate your gear and have it easily accessible.
- Expand section really gives you a lot of space.
- The shoulder straps kinda suck – they need to be meatier and better padded.
If you are planning for a rainy, muddy or sandy paintball session, this is an excellent tactical bag that is big enough to store all your gear. It’s the best waterproof tactical backpack for paintball.
Planet Eclipse GX Paintball Gravel Bag
This tactical backpack is the best small tactical backpack for paintball. It is a great small pack.
This backpack is compatible with the planet eclipse marker pack, which can be attached to the outside, leaving even more room for your gear.
A lot of strap space and molle webbing to add all your gear packs. Plus, you can unzip the bottom and push out the material to expand the pack when you need to carry even more gear.
The tactical backpack looks cool, will last longer than a simple school backpack, and has gear separation specific for paintball.
- Expansion area at the bottom of the pack, great place to stow dirty clothes and shoes.
- Tactical molle weaving to add packs on the outside.
- Designed to attach marker pack on the outside.
- It is pretty small, compared to other tactical backpacks, it’s for those who truly like to travel light.
This compact bag is great for lighter days with expansion when you just need more room.
Evolution Outdoor Tactical Backpack
This good-looking bag has 5 outer zippered pockets to access your stuff quick, plus one large fully open-able zippered main compartment with internal mesh pockets too.
Main compartment has a padded separator perfect for storing your marker, the material is nearly indestructible so you can feel secure spending the money, because you know it will last, and the compression straps allow you to expand or compress the bag to fit your gear.
- 1680D fabric will last several years.
- Molle webbing and Velcro up front to hold a pack, pouch or patch.
- Lots of small and medium size pockets.
- No real place to store water bottles.
I love all the pockets, the sleek look of the backpack, and the indestructible material. It’s a sharp-looking tactical backpack.
Explorer Deluxe Tactical Range Bag
This tactical backpack was designed to haul shooting equipment, which is why I like it as a tactical backpack for paintball. It is perfect for mag-fed paintball guns.
It has 5 outer pockets and two main compartments. It’s on the small side, and is designed for day trips or as every day carry, so it’s great for those who travel light or just want a pack for gear, not extras.
It has a rigid frame, which I LOVE, because it holds its shape while you are hunting for your gear, which makes it SOOO much easier to find.
- Pockets are lockable.
- Side pockets have elastic loops to keep your stuff from moving around.
- Compact size tactical backpack.
- Sturdy top carry handle, easy to lug around.
- Good for gun and gear, but not much space for a mask and change of clothes.
This ridged tactical backpack is perfect for mag-fed paintball guns!
Maxpedition Gear Riftpoint Backpack
Top handle, padded back and ergonomically shaped shoulder straps and a suitcase-style load make this bag easy to access, easy to carry and comfortable to wear.
There are two vertical pockets hidden in the back to hold and secure your marker, with two large front pockets to separate other gear and sunglasses.
Plenty of padding and compression straps to get a form-fitting comfortable fit, made with materials that will last several seasons. No problem.
- 15 liter size good for one day expeditions.
- Suitcase-like opening.
- Several internal mesh pockets.
- Large Front pocket can hold pods.
- Hidden vertical pockets on the back for your marker.
- Pricy tactical backpack for paintball.
The Maxpedition Riftpoint tactical backpack is the ultimate in comfort and wear-ability, and it holds and separates gear in a smart way. It’s a winner!
ProCase Tactical Backpack
This is the best tactical backpack for the money for carrying a LOT of gear. It hold 40 liters or your most important paintball necessities, is crafted from 600D material so it lasts, and is offered at a reasonable, budget price.
What you get:
Molle webbing on three front sides, two large front pockets, one smaller, and one larger main compartment pockets, and compression straps to secure it all.
This bag can hold two or three days’ worth of paintball gear and necessities, so it’s great for longer tournaments or gear hoarders.
- Molle webbing on three sides, plenty of space for external packs.
- Great price!
- Plenty of organization – room for markers, pods, clothes, mask and more.
- Lots of space, with compression straps to contain it all.
- Metal zippers and double-stitched seams.
- If you need a side pocket for water bottle “fuggedaboutit”. It has none.
Big on space, small on price, with LOTS of pockets and plenty durable. What’s not to like?
5.11 Tactical Military RUSH12 Backpack
This RUSH 12 is one of the best tactical backpacks of 2023 in a compact, 24 liter size. It has 16 compartments for the ultimate in organization.
It will last many seasons because it is water-resistant, is made from 1050D material and has high-quality self-healing YKK zippers.
The sternum strap and high-quality top handle are details you will appreciate in the field.
- Lots of molle for external packs, pouches and patches.
- High Quality, self-repairing YKK zippers with glove-friendly pull tabs.
- 16 different compartments to stay organized.
- 1050D fabric, built to take a beating and last.
- A bit small – not for gear hoarders.
A great compact tactical backpack with ample organization and plenty of molle for external packs.
Direct Action Dust Tactical Backpack
The Direct Action tactical backpack is a smaller 20 liter compact perfect for shorter tournaments and night time games.
Direct action offers several colors that are impervious to the sights of night vision goggles, making you harder to see.
This efficient pack also has plenty of storage and organization, not to mention the molle on three sides to attach external gear.
- Compact size.
- Sophisticated internal organization.
- Select colors are Near Infrared treated to prevent being seen by night vision.
- Padded back, chest and sternum strap for a comfortable carry.
- Indestructible braided handle.
- Drainage molle is nearly a CM wide, enough for dirt and mud to get in.
Best choice for a 1 day, EDC, compact tactical backpack, especially for night vision tournaments.
5.11 Tactical RUSH72 Military Backpack
If you love the 5.11 brand, and need a HUGE tactical backpack, this is it.
This is a three-day pack for longer excursions and tournaments. Plenty of molle and Velcro to attach just about anything, and lots of internal and external organization pockets and compartments.
It has padded shoulder and hip straps, and a sternum strap making it comfortable to wear.
- 55 liters of space.
- “Shove it” compartment up front for a sweater, jacket or even dirty clothes.
- 1050D nylon and self-healing YKK zippers, for years of use.
- Rounded shoulder strap design, may dig into neck.
If you want a huge tactical backpack that will last forever, keep you organized and serve you well, this is it!
Virtue Gambler Backpack
The virtue gambler backpack was made for paintball. It has a ridged shell and opens like a suitcase so you can find your gear and pack up lightning fast.
If you are a gear hoarder check this out!
This pack’s main compartment is expandable, so you have more room, or can make more room mid-trip. It also has plenty of pockets for organization, although the main compartment has no separators.
- Exterior gun sling compartment for your marker.
- Lightweight, just 3 lbs on its own, comfortable and easy to carry.
- Carry-on compatible when you need to travel to tournaments.
- HUGE 72 liter capacity.
- Needs waist belt to make it more comfortable to wear.
Its light, carry-on compatible and HUGE. Great for long trips far away.
J.Carp Military Tactical Backpack
This J CARP tactical backpack is a steal for the paintball enthusiast.
It has 40 liters of space, compartments for everything, including space for your pods and marker, and front and side compression straps to expand or compact space as needed.
With molle all around you can slap on all your external packs, no problem.
It’s water-resistant and made from durable material so you won’t need to but another backpack again next season.
Overall, it’s a smart buy!
- Really great price.
- Sternum and waist strap, plus padded back and shoulders for a comfortable carry.
- Lots of organization compartments, pockets and space.
- Strap stitching needs improvement.
This is one of the best budget tactical backpacks around, ample space and organization at an affordable price.
Planet Eclipse GX2 Expand Backpack
Like the original GX, the GX2 also has an expander pack to add 20 liters of space at the bottom.
So what’s new on the GX2?
The new GX2 now includes Velcro to attach patches, and more importantly, they have improved the sunglass phone pouch so it’s wider and can actually hold and protect your shades or phone.
It still has plenty of molle, lumbar support in the back, padded ergonomic shoulder straps and a sternum strap and carry handle to make lugging the bag around manageable.
- Only weighs a bit over three pounds unloaded and has a variable capacity of 39 to 59 liters.
- 2 large main compartments and two zippered side compartments.
- Designed specifically for paintball.
- Molle on the sides and straps for external packs.
- No front molle.
- No water bottle holder.
Best kitbag backpack for paintball, with room for all your gear.
LeisonTac Tactical Backpack
This LeisonTac tactical backpack is a great deal for the paintball player on a budget. If you do not want to lay down 100 dollars for a kitbag, spend far less for this bag, which is just as durable and spacious.
What I like about this bag is that it is rather short (18.5 inches) and fat, not long and awkward to carry. The compression straps allow you to shrink the bag to size, so you can make it more compact if you need to.
- Excellent price.
- 42 liters of space.
- Velcro for patch, molle for external packs.
- Side and front compression straps.
- Bottom vent hole allows dirt and water in.
Great price, great size, and cheap for the money, but with good quality. Two thumbs up!
Axen Military Tactical Backpack
I really like the design of this AXEN tactical backpack. It has two large main compartments and the organization just makes sense. All your gear is easy to get to and in a logical place in this bag.
It is chalked full of details that make it a good value for the money. It has front and side compression for a custom fit, and adjustable bottom straps that can hold a bedroll or more gear.
- Good for about two days of paintball gear and necessities.
- Front and side molle, easy to attach external packs.
- Heavy duty glove friendly zippers.
- The stitching is good overall, but can get wonky in places.
A decent, well priced, 2 day tactical backpack that will serve the paintballer well.
What is a Tactical Backpack?
A tactical backpack is a backpack on steroids. Tactical backpacks were originally used by military, to withstand harsh terrain and all weather conditions, while keeping gear, guns, provisions and necessities dry and secure.
Tactical backpacks often have molle, a special webbing used to attach external packs to the backpack.
They are also often made from extremely durable material, with robust zippers that prevent dirt, sand and other crap from entering the pack.
They frequently come with camo prints to prevent being seen.
Tactical backpacks have lots of organization compartments and zippered pockets to keep your gear in order.
Factors to Consider when Choosing the Best Tactical Backpack
I created this checklist to cover the needs of paintball players specifically. This will help you find the best tactical backpack for paintball for your situation.
Check it out!
Tactical Backpack Checklist
1. Compartments to Organize Gear
Normal school style backpacks are usually just one big compartment with maybe a few pockets and a place for a laptop and a few other things.
Tactical backpacks for paintball or airsoft are different. They are usually larger, with sophisticated organization and molle, a special webbing that you can use to attach external packs and pouches.
Organization is a must. Your kitbag must first fit all your gear, and it must be easy to find. Look for tactical backpacks with large, easy to access compartments.
2. Size of Your Tactical Backpack
Sometimes you have a quick game or plant to play just a few hours. Sometimes you may play at night. Other times, a tournament might last a few days or more.
Remember this: size matters!
If you are on a day trip, a compact backpack is fine, you do not need a huge 72 liter beast of a tactical backpack.
And the same goes for 3 day trips. If you are on a multi-day tourney, you need something for gear, clothes (both clean and dirty) and snacks. A larger 40L, 55L or 72L tactical backpack is what you need.
3. Has a Spot for the Mask
Most masks are kinda big compared to sunglasses and can get scratched. Check your tactical backpack and make sure there is a safe place to stow your mask away from other gear so the face does not get scratched.
4. Has Spot for the Maker
Your marker or paintball gun is arguably your most important tool for paintball, next to your keen sense of stealth and sneakiness of course.
Make sure the tactical backpack you want has a spot that will fit and safely accommodate your paintball gun.
5. How Long will it Last?
Tactical backpacks are typically more expensive than regular backpacks, and they are exposed to harsher conditions. Get a pack that is made from at least 600D cordura, and ideally 1050D or higher.
The tactical backpack you choose should last at least three years to make it a good value.
We are looking for years of loyal service here!
Tactical Backpack FAQs
Who makes the best tactical backpack?
Do you want my opinion? I will give it to you. 5.11, Maxpedition, and Direct Action make the BEST tactical backpacks.
5.11 tactical backpacks like the RUSH72 have the most well laid out organization and are made with the highest quality equipment like 1050D Cordura and real YKK zippers.
Maxpedition Tactical backpacks have sneaky features like hidden compartments and pockets, the stitching and quality are on point, and they look SHARP!
Direct Action tactical backpacks are made for military and law enforcement so quality is a must. One of the coolest features of some Direct Action backpacks is they are made from material that is hard to see with night vision goggles. Sneaky! I like it!
What is the best tactical backpack?
My personal choice is the Maxpedition Falcon-II Backpack. It is the goldilocks of tactical backpacks for paintball players because it is the right size, at 25 liters. Not too big, not too small.
It has great organization, is made from 1050-Denier water & abrasion resistant nylon so it will last a long, long time.
It’s water and abrasion resistant so it can take all the abuse you throw at it too.
Plus, I am in love with the concealed carry pocket, a sneaky place to hide your marker or other valuables.
What should I put in my tactical backpack?
Your gear, and enough provisions and clothes for the length of your tournament.
What’s in your bag?
I know what it should be able to hold.
Gear bag should be able to hold:
- Maker/gun (be sure and check out the best paintball markers here)
- Cartridges/tanks/ loaders
- Goggles/mask ( see our list of the TOP paintball masks here)
- Small first aid kit
- Small tool kit
- Change of clothes/jacket depending on weather and length of tourney.
- Elbow/knee pads
- Paintball pants/jersey (find a pair of the best paintball pants here.)
There you have it, the best tactical backpacks for 2023 for paintball and airsoft.
So what are you waiting for? Pick one up and get in the game!
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