7 Best Small Tactical Backpack Review & Buying Guide

Last Updated on May 20, 2021

small tactical backpackIf the best small tactical backpack is what your concern, you are at the perfect place.

We are going to discuss everything related to the best small backpack and details in this one article.

Though the name says this is a  review based article but we will try to go into as much detailing as possible.

As always, our target is really simple. We want to make sure that you do not have to go somewhere else to find your information after you read this page.


let us get back to the point once again. Small tactical backpack is a brilliant tool to have but if you are still confused, then we should probably start with the basic. Before knowing about the best small tactical backpack models around, we should first know what is a small tactical backpack.

What is a Small Tactical Backpack?

This might seem a weird question to answer for some people but as we said before, we want to make this a complete article for all of you guys, we are going to answer this fact for you too.

A small tactical backpack is the mini version of the actual tactical backpack that we see around. The small tactical backpacks are mostly small in terms of the length which means that these bags will not be able to carry as much of products (if the products are long enough). You will not see a huge difference in terms of the width of this product.  

So in short, a small tactical backpack is an actual backpack but a little smaller in terms of the length. Obviously, length is not the only difference between a small one and a big one but it is the biggest difference for sure.

Quick comparison of 7 best small backpack

Backpack Construction Editor's score Price
5.11 Tactical Rush 12 1000 D Nylon
Condor Assault Pack 1000 D Nylon
ArcEnCiel Men Tactical Bag 1000 D Nylon
Maxpedition Gearslinger Nylon
Explorer Day Pack 600 D Polyester
CamelBak Hydration Pack 500 D Cordura
Maxpedition Backpack 1000 D Nylon

Why Buy Small Tactical Backpack?

This is another very important question to address. We have to understand the reason that why we should go for a military tactical backpack which is small before we go ahead and buy one. Understanding the reason behind buying is often more important than the actual buying process. This is the stage which will tell you whether what you are doing is right or not.

small tactical backpack

So before getting into the best small backpack models and their reviews, let’s address this one question that why you should go for a small tactical backpack.

These are the 3 main reasons why you should buy a small tactical backpack

  • Durability:

The first reason is definitely the strength and the durability that you receive from the smaller ones out there. The smaller ones are undoubtedly the more durable options for you and the reason is simple. The bigger backpacks receive more load and they are often exposed to bad situations which the smaller ones can ignore. Therefore, you can easily expect that your smaller backpacks will last for a longer period of time. Apart from that, if we compare the strength ratio between the smaller ones and the bigger ones then you will find that the smaller backpacks are great in percentage when it comes to the core strength of the bags. That is another cool advantage to have.

  • Easy Access:

The second reason is easy access to the compartments or to the pockets of your backpack. Obviously, when you have a big luggage then it is tough to find the items that you are looking for. Did you know that if you are looking for a key from a bunch of keys then it will always be the last one from those options? The similar theory is applied here too. If you are looking to find a specific item on a big luggage bag, you will always find it at the last pocket but when you use a small tactical backpack, your life is a lot easier. You will be able to place and find your items at ease.

  • Comfort:

The third reason is undoubtedly the comfort factor. The small tactical backpacks are ultra comfortable and there is no denying there. See, it is easy to understand. When you are using a smaller backpack for your shoulder, you will obviously not be able to carry as much item as you used to carry in a long and large backpack. That definitely has an effect when you are thinking about the comfort aspect of things. It is always more comfortable to carry less items in an optimized fashion than on a long backpack in a weird way. Yes, you will not be able to carry as much item as you would have in a backpack but apart from that, you will receive the comfort benefit while you are using the small ones out there.

small tactical backpack

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Another cool benefit is that you can always be in touch with your tactical backpack which is tough when you are using a regular one.  Think about it. When you are on a plane and you need access to your snacks or may be to your laptop, a cool small tactical backpack is your only solution to have which is not possible to go for when you are using a regular one. A regular backpack is so big that they won’t even allow you to keep it with yourself when you are on a plane. That creates even more importance for your small tactical backpack.

See, we can go on all day but the main fact is that you will only be satisfied with the performance of something when you actually get to know it. Therefore, the benefits are meaningless if you are not feeling the need from the core of your heart. Try to feel the need and if it does not come from inside, you probably do not need to go for a small backpack at this time.

Things to Look for While Buying Mini Tactical Backpack

There are millions of things that you can look for while you are planning to buy a small tactical backpack. Obviously, we are not going to talk about all of them as that does not make any sense. We will only be talking about the important ones. There are certain things that you must look into or search for when you are trying to find out the best small tactical backpack out there. We picked some of the great ones to talk about in this section of the article. Let’s go ahead and look at the stuff that you should keep in mind.

  • Durability

There is no reason that why you should go for a bag which is not durable.

Whether it is a travel backpack or whether it is something that you will only use once in a year, durability is the top concern.

Nobody should buy more than one backpack in at least 5 years of duration. Backpacks have to be made strong and they actually are. There are some backpack models out there which will serve you for a lifetime if you want them to do that.


always look for durability when you are buying backpacks.

To be sure that the backpack you are buying is durable enough, have a look at the stitches as that is the most vital area that can go wrong.

Obviously, the zippers can also go wrong but that is easily replaceable and when we say that your backpack should be durable, we don’t mean that your zippers cannot be damaged.

But if the stitching is not done properly, things are likely to go wrong so therefore, have a clear look at the bottom and those tough corners to make sure that everything is alright.

  • Size

Now, this might seem weird, right?

We are talking about the small backpacks and then when it comes to the things that you should look for, we are saying that the backpack should be small.

Does that make sense?

Well, it does and let us explain to you why.

When you are buying small tactical backpacks, the small has no fixed definitions.

A small backpack might actually be a big one for some people and for some other ones, it might be too small to carry.


Think about the size of the backpack too while you are buying.

Do not only focus on the name small backpack when you are searching for one. A lot of companies have small tactical backpacks but they do not call it small. They gave it regular backpack names.

So you will have to actually figure out whether those are small and useful for your scenario or not. There is no measurement that you can use to find out the small ones and differentiate those from the large ones.

  • Color

We are nobody to say anything about your color preferences.

There are certain colors out there which you will love and there are some other ones out there which might not make much sense,


That is alright.

You have to make sure that the color that you are choosing is good enough so that it does not get sunburns and also, it does not attract dust. There are some colors which will make your backpack look terrible and old within six months and then there are some other colors which will make your backpack look new even after using it for a few years.

Try to think about the color aspect a bit before going for the one. There’s stuff here to think about. It is not always about the color that you like.

  • Compartments

Another big thing (probably the most important part for a lot of people) is to think about the compartments that they have inside backpack.

It is always awesome to have many compartments or pockets in one backpack but there are problems too.

When you have too many pockets in one backpack, it is not possible generally to stuff something big in that same backpack. Therefore, make sure that you have a clear knowledge on what you want to take with you on a journey and do the buying planning accordingly.

7 Best Small Tactical Backpack Reviews

So finally, after much talks, we are here to review the top 7 small tactical backpacks that we believe will serve you well. We might be wrong but the chances of happening that are pretty low. Therefore, you can trust our reviews. Let’s not waste any time and get into it.

                     Tactical Rush 12 Back Pack

The first one in our list is the tactical rush 12 backpack. There are four different colors that you can go for which is interesting but the more interesting fact is that this is a water resistant unit with high performing abilities. There are around 16 compartments too. All in all, a great one to go for.

Tactical Rush has been one of the finest backpacks and one of the most popular ones for a long time now. There are lots of reasons behind that but the most important one is simple. This backpack makes your life easy as a customer. You can find almost everything in this unit at a great price.

This bag is made of nylon and the company calls it 1050D nylon which is one of the top qualities. The best part about this nylon is that it can guaranty you that the product will be waterproof and will last for a long time.

If you are looking for something that is there with you for a long period of time then this is probably the bag that will satisfy you. From zippers to the admin panel, you can find quality in almost everything that this backpack offers. The shoulder straps are comfortable too.

Highlighted Features:

  • Made with 1050D Nylon
  • 16 compartments
  • Customizable storage units
  • YKK zipper
  • Capacity 1296 cubic inches
  • Main compartment 18″ x 11″ x 6.5″

                  Condor Compact Assault Pack

The second in our list is the small assault pack from the brand Condor. There are a ton of happy customers of this product and if you get one, you will know the reason why. There are six different colors with size variations available to go for.

If you are someone who does not buy a product without looking at the compartment benefits, then this bag will satisfy you. There are four different compartments in each bag and they all are almost similar sized. The backpack is not a huge one. It is a small one but it is good enough for most scenarios.

It is not a waterproof model but the bag has a hydration compatibility which makes life easier for you. The balance is also nice and easy to carry. Overall, this is definitely a very good pick to go for. The price is very reasonable too which is another big advantage.

You have to really think about whether you need the waterproof feature on your backpack or not. Yes, it sounds important but it is not always the case in real life.

Highlighted Features:

  • Main compartment 18″ x 10″ x 5″
  • Made with water resistance material. Doesn’t have waterproof backing on the material
  • Hydration compatible
  • Very small and easy to carry
  • Different sized compartments for various usage
  • Capacity 1362 Cubic Inches

                ArcEnCiel 20L Men Tactical Bag

This is the third one in our list. A very budget friendly option for those who want a lot within a very limited budget. The company is ArcEnCiel and the product has four different colors to offer. The quality is super high and there are interesting elements such as a headphone jack and water resistance to make it even more awesome.

When you are dealing with nylon solutions, it is important to understand the quality of the nylon that you are receiving. Obviously, not every kind of nylon will be great for your situation. On the other hand, a bag is made of nylon doesn’t really mean that it is good nylon.

This product offers 1000D class nylon which is actually a good option to go for. The resistance and the abrasion are quite good for the price that you are paying. The bag is thick but you don’t feel it because of the balance which is another advantage of going for this backpack.

Highlighted Features:

  • Made with 1000D Nylon which is water resistance
  • Comes with equipment holders such as flashlight, mp3, cellphone etc.
  • Perfect for travel,hiking and any outdoor activities
  • Dimension 10.6×8.3×17 in
  • Padded shoulder strap

                 Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger

The forth in our list is the Maxpedition which is another interesting one to go for. There are six different colors and one of those is the wolf gray which is awesome (personal preference).

The overall size and the capacity are also great enough.

All in all, there is no reason that why you will not like a product like this one. Though we should tell you that this is not the cheapest option out there and the price again varies based on the color that you choose. But all in all, this is a good one to go for.

Not everyone goes for the  Maxpedition backpack these days and the main reason behind that is price. Not a lot of people are happy about the price that they have to pay for a bag like this but those who go ahead and pay that amount becomes extremely satisfied within a very short period and that is probably one of the biggest reasons that why this bag sells well.

Highlighted Features:

  • Made with Nylon fabric
  • Comes with release buckle and metal snap options
  • Water reservoir and internal loops
  • Specially designed for law enforcement professionals
  • YKK zipper
  • Capacity 618 Cubic Inches

Explorer Tactical Realtree 17 Inch Day Pack

Well, the next in our list is the tactical realtree from Explorer which is a great option to have.

The price is very positive though the company does not have a lot of colors to offer you. This is a backpack that looks a lot like schoolbags so if you are not comfortable with that aspect, you might not like this one. We will not say this is not a great option to go for but it varies from person to person. Not everyone likes a backpack which looks like a school bag.

The idea is simple.

If you need a ton of pockets in your backpack to carry different items no matter whether it is a big backpack or a small one, then this is the ultimate solution for your needs.

You see, the Explorer is not a huge unit but it will always ensure that you do not have to worry about your stuff when you are stuffing them inside this backpack. The backpack has a lot of compartments to carry even the smallest of your items.

Highlighted Features:

  • Made with 600 D Polyester
  • Can carry up to a 72oz bladder
  • Easy access to pockets
  • Lightweight backpack
  • Very cheap to go for

CamelBak Mule Cargo & Hydration Pack

Well, if you are a fan of different colors then we have bad news for you.

You will not get the opportunity to choose your color at least this time because the color is fixed. This backpack comes in only black color and if you are not a fan of black, you can ignore this review for sure.

There are some interesting features to be happy about such as easy shoulder carrying options though the bag is a bit heavier. The hydration capacity is around 100oz which is equivalent to 3 liters.

Most of the backpacks that you heard about on this page are nylon made. While nylon is very good when it comes to durability and quality, it doesn’t always give you that feel of the class. If you are in need of that classy feeling, then we will recommend you go for the  CamelBak.

From the magnetic tube trap to organized pocketing system, the bag will give you enough reasons to be happy about and you will definitely like carrying this bag around. The bag also gives you a lifetime warranty so there is nothing to worry about the durability either.

Highlighted Features:

  • Made with 500 D Cordura fabric
  • Capacity 671 Cubic Inches
  • Shoulder harness is comfortable
  • 3 L hydration capacity

             Maxpedition Typhoon Backpack

The last in our list is the Maxpedition Typhoon Backpack which is a super interesting one to go for.

The maxpedition is the 7th in our list but you should never think that this is the last one.

Oh, we forgot to mention it that we did not design the rankings in any specific order while we did this review. All the seven products that you are reading about are good enough to be on this list but they are not ranked in any particular criteria. All of these are equally good enough to be on this list.

Anyway, let’s get back to the Maxpedition Typhoon. The product has a lot of satisfied customers and there is every reason to have that too. There are four different colors that you can choose from and the price varies depending on the color that you are choosing. All the materials are imported and the build quality is standard.

According to the brand, they always do triple coating to make sure that they do not have any problems either with durability and also with water resistance. The product is that good according to them and we mostly agree to that thought too.

Highlighted Features:

  • Great nylon body with 1000 denier nylon (the best one)
  • Military grade durability
  • Quality zippers from YKK brand
  • Soft and comfortable
  • Capacity 750 Cubic Inches


You have to understand the fact that all these products have some great features to be in this list but at the same time, not all the products will be the best suits for you guys. People choose products depending on various variables and it is important that you find out what is your variable too.

A bag which is great in terms of durability might not be that good in terms of design and so on! Therefore, you have to prioritize the items that you want to have and then there are some other ones which are negligible. Think this way and you will definitely have a satisfactory experience while you are buying your backpack.

Final Words

If you do not want to buy a small tactical backpack, you probably did not read this far so if you are reading this line of us, we expect that you are serious about buying the best small tactical backpack from out there.

If that is your concern, you should go for a good one.

Though small backpacks are durable mostly, there are some weird ones out there with limited resources and flexibility. It is always wise to go for something which is trust-able and has a history of satisfied customers behind.

We are not saying that you should only go for one of the seven backpacks that we reviewed. Try and check the market yourself. Hopefully, you will agree to our theory of calling those reviewed ones the best.


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