There’s a reason armed forces and military around the world use a particular type of bag when it comes to deployment.
They’re tough, durable, and practical – just like the men and women who use them.
And if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us – so we’ve put together this review of the best tactical duffel bags on the market.
Whether you’re camping or fishing, hunting or traveling, or any number of other outdoor activities, a solid military-style duffel is what you need to carry your gear.
A buyer’s guide and FAQ section will follow the reviews.
Time to suit up and ship out. Try these tactical pants with knee pads too, while you’re at it.
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- The 13 Best Military & Tactical Duffel Bags 2023
- Rothco G.I. Style Canvas Duffle Bag
- NPUSA Tactical Gear Duffel Bag
- DBTAC Gun Range Tactical Duffle Bag
- Texsport Tactical Duffel Bag
- Nexpak USA RCD120 Series Duffel Bag
- NPUSA Tactical Military Molle Duffel Bag
- Condor Colossus Duffle Bag
- Baigio Tactical Multi-Functional Duffle Bag
- Red Rock Outdoor Gear Operations Duffle Bag
- 5.11 Tactical Patrol Ready Bag
- 5.11 Rush LBD Molle Tactical Duffel Bag
- Red Rock Outdoor Gear Traveler Duffle Bag
- Maxpedition Centurion Patrol Bag
- How to Choose the Best Tactical and Military Duffel Bag
The 13 Best Military & Tactical Duffel Bags 2023
Rothco G.I. Style Canvas Duffle Bag
Rothco has been manufacturing military, tactical, and outdoor gear and equipment since 1953, so it’s fitting that we kick off with them.
This is their G.I canvas duffel bag, with the iconic top-loading style that military personnel everywhere will instantly recognize.
Made from a tough, durable canvas, it’s a 22 ounce heavyweight cotton that will take a bit of throwing around.
With two adjustable shoulder straps and a carrying handle, you have a choice of how you transport your gear from home to the campsite, fishing spot, airsoft battleground – or just to the laundry. An additional side pocket with snap enclosure can house valuables.
- Great price.
- Name to trust.
- Metal clip enclosure.
- Large capacity.
- Limited to one main compartment.
- Top-load style not for everyone.
Perfect for transporting a ton of gear anywhere you need, this is a well-made and army-accurate duffel that will keep any military enthusiasts very happy. It’s just difficult to get something out that’s buried at the bottom of it.
NPUSA Tactical Gear Duffel Bag
This popular 22-inch duffel bag is made from 600 Denier high-density polyester. It’s a rugged construction with an interior PVC lining for improved waterproofing – helping to keep your belongings dry if the bag gets wet.
As you would expect from any decent military duffel bag, there are loads of storage options, some with zippers, and some with buckle-clips.
Featuring a MOLLE strap system on the sides, a removable, padded shoulder strap, and heavy-duty branded zippers, this is quality tactical duffel at a very affordable price.
- Excellent price point.
- Highly rated.
- D-rings for additional gear.
- Wrap around Velcro grips.
- Good choice of colors and camo versions.
- Squeaky plastic connections on the shoulder strap.
- Not as durable as higher-end models.
All-in-all this is a decent military-style duffel bag with plenty of storage options and a nice choice of colors. You get what you pay for though, and it’s not going to stand up against bags that are triple the price.
DBTAC Gun Range Tactical Duffle Bag
Next up is this gun range bag from DBTAC – another popular tactical and military gear company.
Although it’s designed for taking guns and ammo down to the range, the fact that it has an excellent selection of storage compartments ensures it is suitable for a variety of uses.
Made from 600 Denier polyester with reinforced sewn strength points, a reinforced top handle, and sturdy zippers with lockable loops to protect your gear, this is a tough duffel that is built to last when you’re in the field.
- Great price.
- Plenty of compartments.
- MOLLE pouch, holster and US flag patch included.
- Choice of colors.
- Very highly rated.
- It’s on the small side.
- Gun-friendly features superfluous if you’re not carrying.
Anyone who enjoys time down at the range will find this a great duffel bag option – and it’s a good choice for airsoft players, too. Check out these tactical backpacks for more solutions for carrying your shooting gear.
Texsport Tactical Duffel Bag
Available in black or army green, this tactical travel bag from Texsport has been made from a tough, rugged cotton and includes a padded backpack and shoulder strap for choice of carrying options.
The full-length heavy-duty zipper offers practical access to a large main compartment, while six other pockets are available for storing valuables or other gear.
Perfect for a wide variety of outdoor activities, this is a no-nonsense travel bag that does exactly what is expected of it, even if it is a bit simple in its design.
- Affordable price.
- Waterproof bottom.
- PVC name tag insert.
- Reinforced handles.
- A choice of more colors would have been nice.
- Doesn’t really blow anyone away with style.
A no-frills, tough and durable tactical duffel bag with a choice of carrying options. The main downside is that it’s a bit ‘meh’ in the looks department.
Nexpak USA RCD120 Series Duffel Bag
Now we’re talking! If you’re looking for a military or tactical duffel bag that screams “I’m a tactical duffel bag” then this is surely it.
Made with a very tough and durable 600 Denier PVC-backed water-resistant polyester, this bag will take a beating and then some.
Featuring a large, main compartment with internal divisions, with a wealth of zippered, Velcro, and buckle compartments at the front, sides and top.
There’s even two large foam padded pockets for the storage of a tablet or laptop, and it’s fully MOLLE compatible with straps on the sides.
Turn up at the range with this and you’ll get some envious looks.
- Attractive military aesthetic.
- Rugged and durable.
- Excellent variety of compartments.
- Large key ring carabiner included.
- D-rings for extra gear.
- Currently, only available in army green.
When it comes to duffel bags for military personnel, this is about as tactical as they come. Perfect for hunting, shooting, and airsoft – the only problem is your squad will want one, too.
NPUSA Tactical Military Molle Duffel Bag
This tactical duffel bag from NPUSA offers a large capacity of 1200 cubic inches, with multiple MOLLE straps, and a top-access compartment.
Aside from this, there are more pockets than you can shake a shotgun at, with two end compartments with compression straps, and a wealth of other storage options accessed by heavy-duty zippers, Velcro, or plastic buckles.
But perhaps the most notable thing about this particular product, is that it comes in a stunning choice of colors and camouflage, so you’re sure to find exactly the right look you’re after – no matter the activity.
- Durable construction.
- Highly rated.
- Perfect for shooting sports.
- Outstanding choice of colors and sizes.
- Not all sizes and colors readily available – double check stock before adding to cart.
Probably the best selection of camouflage for any bag on the market, this is a quality tactical duffel that will fit that desirable military aesthetic. Unless you choose the pink one.
Condor Colossus Duffle Bag
The Condor Colossus is as fitting a name for any bag that we’ve seen on Riflepal – it’s a giant of a duffel, constructed from heavy-duty nylon with a reinforced PVC bottom that will keep your gear protected if you put it down in the wet.
It can be carried in a variety of ways, including over the shoulder and on your back – with the shoulder straps able to be tucked away when not in use. Side grab handles are a nice touch – and help you haul the bag down from wherever you happen to throw or store it.
And with a 52 liter main compartment, you’re not short on space to carry all your stuff.
- Highly rated.
- Solid look and feel.
- Detachable shoulder strap.
- Expandable compartment.
- Mesh storage pockets.
- No interior dividers.
- Reports of it not being that rigid.
Possibly one of the best large tactical duffle bags on the market, this is a well-made, durable, and spacious option for carrying just about anything. The side grab handles are a neat practical touch – especially if you’ve ever ridden on a “chicken bus” in South America…
Baigio Tactical Multi-Functional Duffle Bag
Doubling as a duffel and backpack, this multi-function travel bag lends itself to a variety of outdoor uses.
Made with a super-tough nylon, and at 900 Denier Oxford, it’s stronger than most duffel bags in this class that only manage 600 Denier fabric.
Scratch and water-resistant, the padded shoulder straps have a fully adjustable brooch clasp for help with heavier loads. The large main compartment can be divided into three, and the bag can be carried as a backpack, off the shoulder, or with the heavy-duty carrying handle as a standard duffel.
Finally, the suitcase opening is a real winner for easy access to your gear – which must not be underestimated as a huge pro.
- Stylish, military look.
- Vented mesh backpack padding.
- Sternum strap.
- Loads of storage options.
- MOLLE compatible.
- Suitcase opening.
- The zippers aren’t the best.
A practical military-style duffel that can be worn comfortably as a backpack. But it’s the suitcase opening design that really sets it apart from other products in its class. That can be the difference between a good weekend away – and a great one.
Red Rock Outdoor Gear Operations Duffle Bag
Red Rock enters the fray with this “Operations” tactical bag that is perfect for target sports or airsoft enthusiasts.
Inside, you’ll find the large capacity compartment comes with several removable, padded dividers for you to organize all your gear. There are no less than 10 external pouches for additional equipment, including magazine compartments, water bottle holder, and more.
Made from 100% polyester, it also features a removable padded adjustable shoulder strap, and touch-fastener interlocking closure carry handle.
The flat rear panel ensures over-the-shoulder carry is comfortable, and rubber feet protect your gear when it’s on the ground.
- Highly rated.
- Tough, durable construction.
- Extensive storage options.
- Padded inserts.
- Name to trust.
- No MOLLE attachment system.
- Limited choice of colors.
With a head-spinning number of pockets and compartments to store your gear, this bag is perfect for anyone who carries a variety of equipment and needs to keep things separated. I’m looking at you airsofters, fisherpeople, first-responders…
5.11 Tactical Patrol Ready Bag
When it comes to tactical and outdoor gear, 5.11 needs little introduction. The Californian based company has produced this patrol-ready 40 liter bag, designed as a highly-effective, front seat organizer.
Made with 600 Denier polyester, the inner workings are fully customizable to suit your tactical needs. Two practical water bottle holders are to be found at the front, and two external side pockets allow for any extra equipment you need in a hurry.
Heavy-duty clips and zippers add the finishing touches to what surely is one of the best tactical gear bags available today.
- Name to trust.
- Very highly rated.
- Removable shoulder strap.
- Transparent ID window.
- Integrated organizer.
- Only available in black.
As far as tactical gear bags go – this is hands down one of the best. You only have to check those reviews to see why. Couple it up with one of these outstanding tactical gear vests – and you’ll look and feel like the pros.
5.11 Rush LBD Molle Tactical Duffel Bag
Staying with the tactical gear experts we have this fully MOLLE compatible duffel bag that can also be carried as a backpack.
One of the most durable duffels on the market, it is made from high strength, water-repellent 1050 Denier nylon to keep your gear protected, and prevent rips, tears and scratches.
YKK zippers offer peace of mind when it comes to accessing your stuff, and the large capacity design has a rigid structure so it keeps its shape.
Side grab handles improve maneuverability and control, and there’s a concealed carry pocket with loop panel and webbing strap for a holster attachment.
- Name to trust.
- Choice of sizes available.
- Fleece-lined eyewear pocket.
- Internal mesh compartments.
A top-quality tactical bag from the tactical experts. Ideal for target sports and airsoft, pick up a pair of these tactical shooting gloves and you’ll have something cool to put in it.
Red Rock Outdoor Gear Traveler Duffle Bag
We have another Red Rock entry now with this large capacity outdoor traveler duffel bag. Offering a generous 55 liters of storage space, it’s made from 100% polyester, and has padded collapsible dividers with zips, so you can easily separate your gear.
Three reinforced carry handles can take a beating, including one on either end so grabbing your bag isn’t a problem.
Featuring stowable backpack straps, you can turn the bag into a backpack if required, and the extensive MOLLE system offers plenty of scope for customized attachments.
- Name to trust.
- Highly rated.
- Tough, durable construction.
- Large capacity main compartment.
- PVC lining.
- Choice of colors.
An excellent tactical bag that incorporates one of the best MOLLE systems on the market. The clamshell opening is also a great feature for easily accessing your belongings.
Maxpedition Centurion Patrol Bag
We finish with what can only be described as a beast of a duffel bag.
The Maxpedition Centurion has been built like a tank, finished with a triple coat of polyurethane and DuPont Teflon fabric protector to provide the best weatherproofing you’re likely to find in any tactical duffel bag.
Stress points are fully reinforced, and the 1000 Denier nylon construction isn’t going to be tearing anytime soon.
You’ll find military grade nylon webbing for straps, handles, and modular attachment points, and the whole unit is designed not to collapse even when empty.
Easily the most durable tactical duffel bag around – this one won’t let you down.
- Premium build quality and materials.
- Fully MOLLE compatible.
- Large selection of compartments.
- YKK Zippers.
- Superior weatherproofing.
- Transparent document/ID pocket.
- Two water bottle holders.
- Very expensive for a bag – but you get what you pay for.
- Only one color is available.
- Might be too bulky for some.
Wow. If you’re willing to spend the cash, then this is an outstanding tactical bag that has been designed for serious use in the field. Top drawer craftsmanship all round.
And if you intend on using it for airsoft or paintball gear, try adding some tactical knee pads to help protect yourself in battle.
How to Choose the Best Tactical and Military Duffel Bag
It might seem pretty straightforward, but there are a few things to keep in mind when you’re in the market for a new tactical duffel bag.
To help point you in the right direction, let’s go over what they are in the buyer’s guide below.
Tactical Duffel Bags – A Short History
The term “duffel” comes from the Belgian town of the same name, being the place that the cloth used to make the bags originated in the 17th century.
For the US military, the first duffel bags were issued during World War II. They were originally of the top-loading design, but down the years they have evolved into the mix of styles they are today.
But some things have predominantly remained the same – the quality of the highly durable woven fabric used in their manufacture, and their ability to pack in everything but the kitchen sink.
What sets tactical duffel bags apart from “gym” bags or other travel luggage, is that they usually come with a wide variety of pockets and compartments in which to store your gear and equipment.
Many will also use the MOLLE system (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) which is the abbreviated term used to describe load bearing bags and apparel in use by many armed forces and law enforcement around the world.
And with the many storage options, they can also be used to contain an extensive medical kit for first responders.
Size and Load
Perhaps the two most important considerations when it comes to choosing the right duffel bag is how large you need it to be – and what you’re going to be carrying in it.
By their very nature, duffel bags are most commonly used to transport a lot of gear. As any military man will tell you, they’re meant to hold just about every item of clothing you own.
And with tactical bags, you’re likely to be transporting other gear and equipment, such as sidearms, extra magazines, water bottles, first aid kits, flashlights, camping stoves, or other useful kit.
Of course, you could just like the look, feel, and practicality of a tactical duffel for a weekend vacation – with no need to pack any firearms.
Figure out what you’ll be using the bag for, and then you can decide on the size that’s right for you.
You might have noticed that, although these bags share the same name, they can vary when it comes to style.
For example, you have the traditional, top-loading duffel bags made famous with their use by the military.
While they’re great for packing in as much stuff as possible with no fuss, they’re not so good when it comes to finding a specific item – especially if it’s buried all the way at the bottom.
Then you have duffel bags that offer multiple carrying options, some with backpack straps so it can be carried as a backpack, as well as adjustable shoulder strap and reinforced carry handle.
Additionally, you might also find a duffel bag that has a suitcase-style, clamshell opening, which is great for easily locating your belongings, and works well as a weekend bag.
But the very best military duffle bags will feature MOLLE technology, which allows plenty of customization using this tactical load bearing system.
Tactical duffel bags are designed to take some punishment, as they wouldn’t be of any use in the field if they fell apart easily.
At the very least, you should be looking at a product that has been made with a 600 Denier fabric. The higher this number, the more densely woven the material is – and the tougher it’s ultimately going to be.
Higher-end bags might use special coatings to keep the weather at bay – but remember – all bags will let water in eventually, unless they’re designed to be submersible.
And keep the hardware in mind – look out for quality buckles, D-rings, and zippers. The chain is only as strong as the weakest link – so make sure every part of the bag is going to pull its weight.
While it doesn’t matter when it comes to the overall quality and longevity of a bag, the color and aesthetic is an important factor to consider when choosing the right look for your needs.
As you might expect (and will no doubt have noticed) tactical bags are usually limited to the greens, grays, browns, and blacks of the color wheel. Or, camouflage derivatives thereof.
This will come down to a personal preference, and it’s up to you to choose the color that fits well with your look and the rest of your gear.
How many do you need? Where would you like them to be located? How should they be accessed? How large should they be?
All questions you need to consider when looking at the multiple storage options in and on a good tactical duffel bag.
Velcro, zippered, and buckle pockets might all feature – depending on the particular product. Again, think about what you’re carrying, how, and where, before making an informed decision.
Compartments are very useful things to have when it comes to tactical gear, just like in the best tactical pants for women. Pockets galore! Because you’ve been denied them for so long!
And don’t forget…
The MOLLE System
MOLLE (pronounced MOLLY) stands for Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment) and is one thing that can set tactical duffel bags apart.
It’s a strap/webbing technology that allows you to attach compatible products to the exterior of your bag.
This is extremely useful if you want to carry any easy-access items without having to open up or root around inside.
And it makes great use of what is usually dead space outside a carry-all.
The sky’s the limit for MOLLE attachments. Want to add a holster? No problem. How about a flashlight holder? Easy-peasy. Perhaps you need to stick on a first-aid kit? A walk in the park.
It’s a genius bit of tech that also happens to look badass when fully pimped out. Have fun with it and make it your own.
Of course, if your chosen bag doesn’t feature this system, you can always add your own MOLLE panel (link to Amazon.com) if you choose.
It’s possible to spend as much or as little as you like on a tactical duffel bag – but be aware that cheaper products will likely not last anywhere near as long as higher-end gear.
In this case, the further up the scale you go, the more quality the materials, manufacture, and their longevity.
Additionally, weatherproofing and premium coatings are only available if you dip your hand a little deeper into those pockets. When it comes to the best military and tactical duffel bags – you get what you pay for.
What is a duffel bag?
A duffel bag is a large kit bag made from durable fabrics, traditionally with a top-loading drawstring closure, but now varying in style since it was first used by the US military in WW2.
Today, it is most often used for travel, sports, and recreation.
Why is a duffel bag called a duffel bag?
The name comes from the Belgian town of Duffel, where the duffel cloth was first made to make such bags back in the 17th century.
How big is a military duffel bag?
A standard issue US military duffel bag is 24” X 36”. Of course, this can vary when it comes to choosing the size you would prefer to use, and there are multiple size options available in the duffel bag market.
Are military duffel bags waterproof?
Generally speaking, most duffel bags – military or otherwise – will be water resistant, or water repellent. They’re not 100% waterproof.
Unless you’re paying a small fortune for such a garment, almost every bag will let water in eventually.
Can I use a duffel bag as a carry-on?
So long as it meets the size requirements of the particular airline you’re flying – then a duffel bag can most certainly be used as a carry-on.
For most flights, you’ll find that the maximum size a carry-on bag can be is 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches.
Duffel bags make great overnight carry-on options – so long as they adhere to the restrictions. For more information, see your chosen carrier’s website, or the TSA for US travel.
How should I pack a duffel bag?
Great question – as there are some expert tips and tricks you can use to ensure you get the most out of the space – no matter the activity or pastime.
Check out the video below for a full guide on how the army does it.
Can I use a duffel bag as a backpack?
If that particular model has backpack straps, then you absolutely can use it as a backpack. Some of the most practical duffel bags will offer this carrying style as standard.
It certainly helps when you’re carrying a heavy load, or walking for some time to your destination.
What does MOLLE stand for?
MOLLE (pronounced ‘MOLLY’) stands for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment, and is a system used by armed forces and law enforcement personnel in many countries around the world.
If you’re genuinely looking for the best tactical carrying gear – then it really should offer some MOLLE options.
Watch the video below from 5.11 Tactical for more detailed information, as well as tips and tricks on how best to use it.
That’s it folks – some of the best tactical duffel bags on the market. Perfect for hunting, fishing, shooting, camping, airsofting, paintball – or going to visit your folks for the weekend.
Let me know which bag has caught your eye.
Stay safe out there, and happy trails!