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Military Backpacks & Gear – Simply The Best Surplus

There’s a faction of the government that puts “tactical” over everything for maximum efficiency. That faction is the military. With the multitude of branches of service. The great number of skill sets and jobs available in the military branch. Efficiency is everything in the military. Additionally, efficiency tends to make items cheaper which helps the military budget. Which is why military backpacks should be the first choice for anyone looking in the market for new gear.

Military Backpacks & Gear

The multi tools of bags

#1 Pack – The Monkey Paks – Tactical Bundle w/ Hydration Bladder

molle paks are the backbonethe monkey pak tactical gear

                                                                               Tools of the trade

When you have an objective or job that requires a specific set of tools. You need a bag that can fit the task. Military bags and duffel bags are built to a variety of functions. When I served in the U.S. Army, I had a plethora of options to choose from. We are all given Army duffel bags and rucksacks to pack in all of that expensive heavy gear for a daily stroll in the woods.

See More Military Backpacks here

Military backpacks V.S hiking

side-by-side review

When you love the great outdoors, you know how important a good backpack is. Ruggedness over aesthetics any day. When braving the elements, military backpacks are usually the safer bet. Though cheaper, they are ridiculously durable and the manufacturers make them with the knowledge that hundreds of thousands of servicemen and women rely on their quality and reliability.

Low price well-sourced fabrics, straps & tools – American made bags & gear

Materials used for military gear have to be cheap, due to the overwhelming number that needs to be supplied annually, but too cheap, they cannot compromise on quality. The materials used for tactical haversacks are flexible yet tough. The frames are made of light yet hardy metals and they are usually designed to maximize space and have room for constant improvisation.

The bags military tough are built on the highest standard

The equipment are also required to meet the highest standards and are tested for quality by thousands of users under harsh environments and operating conditions on a daily basis. A single series of backpacks are designed to withstand multiple variations of brutal conditions. Whether wet or dry, cold or hot, snow or desert, this baggage can be used for all these conditions. This is something in which a regular hiking backpack cannot compete with the armys luggage. Regular hiking backpacks are usually built for a limited range of environmental conditions.

Hiking backpack pros – Does it beat a military pack?

A regular hiking backpack may not live up to a military backpack’s standards, but they do have some good qualities. For one thing, hiking backpacks are usually lighter and more comfortable. For less harsher conditions, a hiking backpack may be sufficient, though a lover of the great outdoors would know to always prepare for the toughest conditions. Like the Scouts’ motto, “Be Prepared”. For long distance hiking, a regular hiking backpack is probably a good option as fatigue becomes an important factor, but should you find yourself in an unusual circumstance, the likelihood of overcoming that obstacle is higher if you are equipped with the know-how, and the right equipment. The effiency of the luggage might just save your life.


Many tactical packs can be heavy

Saving on weight by compromising organization is an important point for the hiker to consider. However, if weight is not an issue of concern, then a more urbane outfit would suit best, as the ease of improvising the use of space and attachment of gear is second to none. This is because besides the hardiness to withstand brutal conditions, military backpacks are designed in a way where the user can access their equipment or gear quickly, confidently and safely. You may just want to invest in a ultralight backpacking chair in a bag for camping to compensate for your sore legs!

The military canvas bag is built for the frequent “let’s take a break” in mind

If the hike involves more traveling than camping out, then the hiking backpack is the way to go. It may also be wise to invest in a utralight tent & trekking pole, to allieviate more weight from your ruck. If there is going to be plenty of stops along the way during the hike, then the militaristic pack is more suitable. Logically, a urban ruck can fulfill either scenarios, whereas the hiking backpack can only fulfill the former scenario.

External backpack frames

The most important thing when it comes to choosing a backpack is making sure the backpack frame fits the body frame, and that the room for extra accessories are necessary for the type of hike. The buyer should test for quality, and also fill the backpack with other items to simulate a real hike and see how the backpack feels on the shoulder, as well as the weight distribution across the back and waist. Quick-release straps and other functional attributes should also be carefully studied.

We keep it cheap in the Army (usually)

Another big positive point for choosing military gear is that military equipment is always cheaper than the equivalent at a regular store. Most military gear also have multiple uses. For example, a belt may double up as an emergency arm-sling. Military gear can also last a lot longer. This is more cost-efficient on top of being just cheaper. A heavily used pair of military camo pants could last for years before being ripped. The same cannot be said of regular civilian camo pants. This brings cost-efficiency to another level.

Aesthetics are a certain flavor not all with agree on

The only negative thing about military equipment is just that they are often just a little heavier, and not always aesthetically pleasing. A heavier weight is often due to a sturdier build, and a sturdier build often means the backpack has the capability to carry a larger load. An expandable backpack can be a life-saver in situations that call for it. There are tactifully built bags that can also double up as a sleeping bag that can withstand the harsher elements.

Civilian Hikers generally get regular hiking equipment

One must always remember that regular hiking equipment is designed specifically for civilian hikers, meaning that the hiker can get a backpack to suit their individual hiking needs. They also have a better aesthetic appeal, but come at a higher cost. However, as mentioned earlier, regular hiking equipment may not always be able to withstand a wide range of adverse conditions. Should the hiker suddenly find themselves in an unforeseen situation, not having the right equipment may be dangerous.

Tactical packs can be mixed into a super gear soup

There is nobody who says that a hiker cannot use both military and regular equipment though. A well-prepared hiker will know what sort of conditions to expect, and can opt to utilize a combination of both to suit their needs. When choosing the backpack, opt for materials like high denier nylon, which is waterproof and abrasion resistant. A good backpack should also have enough pockets for the hiker to be organized. Inner pockets are as important as outer pockets, and the hiker must know where every single tool or item is kept, as time can often be a critical factor during a hike.

Ventilation saves lives!

A poorly ventilated back panel may cause heat stroke, so a hiker should also opt for a backpack that has a back panel that can provide good ventilation. Straps that are comfortable and wide enough can also prevent abrasion, which is a burden to many hikers. A frame that can be removed if necessary, to reduce weight, is also a plus point.

Hydration bags are a must

Backpacks with easy but secure access to hydration bags are also good. Secure zippers and Velcro straps should also be secure. Stability is another important attribute to test for. Uneven weight distribution can be extremely irritating and may even result in back injuries. A tip for dealing with this is choosing a backpack that has different loading systems. Centre or top loading backpacks can make it either easier or more difficult to deal with weight distribution.

Where can I find urban militaristic gear?

How can you get your hands on a tactical duffel bag? It’s rather simple really. As long as the military gear is not the current model, you can pick it up online. We offer a variety of military backpacks from not just the united states but other countries in the world as well. We find the best prices for you as well.

A bit of backstory

Back when I was on deployments overseas, I could fit everything I needed in a duffel bag. When I had to attach my rifle to my backpack, I just had to use two clips on the side. You really can’t go wrong with them. Additionally, when I found myself in situations where I needed to quickly grab my gear. My gear was always an arm’s length or so away from my reach.

Quick suggestion

The reasons why I would suggest a military-grade backpack are endless. Engineers and soldiers have been slowly building better equipment to assist them on missions. It took decades if not centuries to get to where we are today in tactical apparel. Many professional hikers and hunters take advantage of sporting tactical backpacks and bags. You just reap the reward of all those engineering efforts.


I still use my military bags for a ton of tasks (including my laundry bag) because it is just so useful. You can take advantage of the military gear for hunting, hiking, backpacking or even school. If you want a deeper look into the options available for the backpacking gear. Look no further than the backpacking mall.

Here’s a quick list of my military surplus suggestions:

Military Issued Duffle Bag

It’s a large forest green bag with an external pocket for quick access. U.S. Army Military Issued Duffle Bags are waterproof and very durable.

MOLLE Assault Backpack

The assault backpack is basically the super soldier of backpacks if you were to pick up anything, get this. What makes it so special is that they are usually waterproof. They are also full of external secure compartments. Finally, they are just the right size to fit just about anywhere.

MOLLE II Rucksack

The MOLLE Rucksack takes the assault backpack a step further. The Rucksacks is large enough to pack a large hunt. This tactical bag is large enough to fit your entire life (that is if you aren’t a hoarder). Best of all, the MOLLE II can be found at a very affordable price for its’ size and capability.

What is MOLLE?

Now you may be wondering what MOLLE is. It’s pronounced just like the name and it is a new generation load bearing backpack and gear standard. I used it in the Army and every other branch uses it. MOLLE is also everywhere overseas with NATO and allied forces. The heavy duty nylon design allows for you to attach just about any compatible item onto a pack. You can get really creative and attach other items, the options are limitless. Previously, the U.S. Gov’t used the ALICE system, which is great but dwarfs in comparison.

The military surplus backpack world is broad

Now, the one thing I feel like I should go deeper into is the fact that the military is very broad. That means when you are looking for a military surplus backpack, and you’re going to run into a multitude of options. Now, personally, I don’t have a preference as long as the best quality backpack from the best branch of the service. That would obviously be the army :p just kidding, but I usually aim for Army Surplus backpacks because I was in the Army, so I figure it’s only fair that I support my breath. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine wearing some Navy gear and Marine gear just wouldn’t feel right. But if you have no history with any branch of particular then go ahead and pick up any soldier surplus pack as long as it fits your needs you should not have a problem.

A dependable hydration pack is a must.

I would look for a hydration pack to maintain your fluid levels while out in the woods and hiking. You have three options, the 20L, 40L, and 60L hydration packs. Make sure the rubber valve is situated in a way that you have easy access. You don’t want to have to struggle with taking a sip.

A silent zipper is essential for hunting

Also, try to find a silent zipper to avoid all the noise outdoors. If you end up using this bag for hunting, sound pollution matters. I try to find zippers with an outer coating to prevent sound. Also, make sure the zipper isn’t cheap, most of our gear won’t have this issue.

A good pack has plenty of pouches

Second to last, make sure your choice material has a multitude of compartments. If you choose an Army/Marine bag, you shouldn’t have an issue. Most of them have a ton of interior and exterior pockets. I try to find one with a mix of zippers and velcro.

In conclusion of my rant

Make sure you keep it waterproof. I usually carry cameras, and other electronics in my old tactical gear and I want to keep it dry. You probably have something you need to keep dry as well, play it safe and make sure they have the waterproof coating.

So the types of surplus backpacks you can come across on a regular hunt is:

The Army

An Army bag is suitable more towards land use and short to medium range missions. That being said you can expect to find an excellent Army Surplus backpack that is fit for a 3 to 7-day adventure. I’m not saying that we don’t have other more well-equipped bags. You can find an excellent reliable rucksack for those long-term trips. In the end, realistically you don’t need that much. That’s just one more reason why I suggest you grab some Army swag.

The Navy

So if you want to find some beautiful ocean blue baggage you’re probably going to want to aim for something from the Navy. Just about everything that the Navy produces is for holding and transporting heavy-duty equipment. Now the Navy is a colossal Branch they do have a bunch of sub-branches that are geared more towards land warfare. But if you find yourself to be someone who is on the boat quite often it wouldn’t hurt to get some Navy bags. I would look into getting some nice tactical Navy gear if I were going to frequently be in a wet area like close to a river or a large mass of water.

The Marines

The Marines tactical gear is very similar to the Army. The biggest difference between the Marines and the Army is the fact that most of the military surplus that they have is dirty as hell. That’s probably because they use it. Well, they do a lot more often than the average Soldier. I guess you really can’t say that’s a bad thing. I actually do own a Marine pack. It is a 40-liter day bag for three-day hikes. I also installed a solar panel on the back of my pack. Now, one thing I notice with a lot of these is that not all of them are comfortable. You can say that the military as a whole tends to care more about versatility. That and durability is above keeping those soldiers unbroken.

Marines Keep it Rugged

So I would suggest taking a little bit of time and adjust the straps of your backpack just to make sure that the shoulder strap and the waist strap are adjusted correctly for you. Also, you might have to do a little bit of sewing to adjust it as well.You can say that the military as a whole tends to care more about versatility. That and durability is above keeping those soldiers unbroken. So I would suggest taking a little bit of time and adjust the straps of your backpack just to make sure that the shoulder strap and the waist strap are adjusted correctly for you. Also, you might have to do a little bit of sewing to adjust it as well.

The Air Force

I’m thinking about going on a tirade about how crappy the Air Force’s is but I don’t want to put them down and hurt anyone’s feelings. I’m here to provide a little bit of value for you, attentive visitors. The Air Force has some real tactical gear. Additionally, I mean you would have to think that they would keep a good arsenal because they deal with a lot of (big) expensive technology. I can’t imagine that the Air Force has anything that the army or navy doesn’t have.

3rd Party Tactical Backpacks

Last but not least let’s cover a bit about commercial tactical backpacks. You can come across quite a few third-party military gear companies. They advertise as if they make official stuff, but they are not enough bonafide. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a third-party military backpack. Actually, I’ve come across quite a few pieces this year that I thought about adding to my prepper list. Honestly, in the end, it just depends on what your needs are. So if you can find an excellent piece of gear that it’s fairly priced and fits your needs, then you should go ahead and buy it.

The Coast Guard

The Coast Guard is good for something, and I’ve still figured it out myself. I’ll get back to you on that :p

I love my army surplus backpack over anything else

Let me dig a little deeper into Army Surplus backpack gear. There’re quite a few items that you want to add to your pack to ensure that you will have a very safe experience. I suggest having a compass and a physical map. In addition to those, I suggest having some MRE; you’re going to get hungry. Lastly, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to find some tactical knife. There is, of course, a lot more items you should probably add to your tactical arsenal, but those are the basics.

What encompasses a military-grade backpack?

So what exactly is military grade? Well, it’s a lot more simple than you think. First of all, anything that you look for that considers itself military grade; it’s probably basing that on similar items. For instance, if I were looking for some tactical boots I will probably look up combat boots and then find something similar on the civilian side. So if you’re looking for a backpack you’re going to want to look for something that is durable and also has MOLLE capabilities. If you’re wondering what MOLLE is you should probably look above. I could go into deep detail, but it’s actually pretty straightforward.

The best molle backpack on the market

In conclusion, I’m going to end this with the little bit of a nice little summation of the best Molle backpack I’ve seen on the market.

Military Surplus Gear

military backpacksNow that you’ve found the perfect bag, you should be looking into some convenient gear to toss in it. Therefore, we also sell a ton of military accessories for every occasion. Check out the Military Surplus section in our Mall!

Contact us for more

In conclusion, do you want to see a new item in the Backpacking Mall market? All you have to do is go on over to the contact us page and send a request. We are always here to assist you in finding the best prices on military surplus and tactical gear. Don’t be fooled by these cheap vendors cluttering the internet. Get it straight from the best, BackpackingMall.com

Picture of the author in Afghanistan –>

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