Top 10 Best small tactical backpacks under $50 in 2018

Whether it’s a short hiking trip or the backpacking expedition of your life, tactical backpacks are designed to deliver in all situations. Tactical backpacks were originally designed as military gear. Needless to say, they top the list of the best survival gears for hiking and backpacking.

In this article, we will provide a list of the top 10 best small tactical backpacks under $50 for hiking. The backpacks provided in our list are cheap, affordable and ideal for daily use as well as backpacking.

Quick Comparison: Top Tactical Backpacks under $50

**Below, you'll find our expert's reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

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What is a Tactical Backpack?

As the name suggests, tactical backpacks were a part of the military world before they made their debut in the life of civilians.EDC tactical backpacks or Every Day Carry tactical backpacks later became a massive trend in the backpack market

Why do I need a Tactical Backpack?

Tactical backpacks are simply put, much more efficient and well designed than a regular backpack. They are designed to endure extreme situations. Tactical backpacks could be a backpacker’s best friend.

Even if you are not a backpacker, there are several small EDC tactical bags designed for regular use. They look very cool and are always in trend. So if you are looking for a subtle fashion makeover, this could be the best choice.

How to Choose Your Tactical Backpack?

  • Material: If the backpack you purchased is from a well-known brand, rest assured it will be of good quality. The ideal material for a tactical backpack is a 1000 or 1000+ denier CORDURA Nylon. The other options are 1000 denier nylon or 1000 denier polyester. But if the brand you are buying from is well known and established you can even go for a 600 denier material. Anything less than that is not preferable.
  • PALS Webbing: PALS or Pouch Attachment Ladder System is designed to hold numerous small utilities like pocket knives in tactical gears. This is usually attached to the front. If you find these attached to your shoulder strap, then that’s a big advantage. Steer clear of tactical backpacks that miss PALS webbing unless you prefer yours without it.
  • Straps: Make sure the shoulder strap is well padded and strong. An excellent tactical backpack must always have a strong grab handle, even better if it comes with handles on either side. A compression strap that goes over the top and a well-fitting waist strap is also preferable.
  • Zipper: Ideally, look for YKK Self Healing Zippers.YKK is the leading zipper manufacturer in the world known for their consistent production of high-quality zippers.  Yes, only faulty manufacturers create faulty zippers. “Self-healing” simply means that even if the zipper malfunctions you simply have to zip it all the way, and it will be fixed.
  • Additional: Make sure your tactical backpack is waterproof. It must also have an easily accessible compartment to store water. Look for backpacks with numerous pouches, sleeves, pockets and zipper nets that make organization much easier.

Review of Some of The Best Tactical Backpacks under $50

Our #1 Rated

Sale REEBOW GEAR Tactical Sling Bag Pack Military Rover Shoulder Sling Backpack Small

Our #1 Rated

Rated 4.3 out of 5


    Features

  • Can be used as an EDC tactical backpack
  • Made of durable 600D polyester.
  • Water resistant
  • pack size: 12 x 9.5 x 6 inches
  • Tactical sling bag with Velcro padding in the main and back compartment.
  • Can be used as a pistol range bag for 1-2 handguns.
  • Sling bag backpack has adjustable and comfortable shoulder straps.

Pros

  • Very comfortable shoulder strap
  • High-quality material with strong zippers
  • Small interior pockets for organization
  • Comes with two pockets on the front
  • PALS webbing is present on both sides of the bag (4 rows each)
  • Can easily carry all everyday items like laptops, pens, notebooks, phones, tablets, etc.
  • Affordable
  • Compact EDC tactical backpack

Cons

  • Not suitable for extended trips
  • Only suited for everyday use or can be used for short trips.

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Our #2 Rated

5.11 RUSH24 Military Tactical Backpack, Molle Rucksack Bug Out Bag, Medium,...

Our #2 Rated

Rated 4.7 out of 5


    Features

  • 1050D Nylon
  • Spacious main storage area
  •  Dual zipping side pockets along with a stuff-it pocket with integrated drawcord
  • Reinforced grab-and-go handle, hydration pocket, zippered fleece-lined eyewear pocket, and wrap-around MOLLE  web platform
  • Also has three mesh admin compartments, zippered side water bottle pocket and a hook and loop area for nametape and flag patches
  • water-repellant coating
  • Two external compression straps and a contoured yoke shoulder strap system
  • 2275 cubic inch / 37 liter total capacity with Twin drainage grommets
  • Self-repairing YKK zippers
  • Glove-friendly pulls tabs.

Pros

  • Extremely durable tactical backpack
  • Several compartments and pockets for storage
  • Chest straps are removable
  • Heavy duty tactical backpack
  • Fits almost all utilities needed during a short to medium trip
  • Straps that contours and fits the shoulder well
  • Plastic plate for back support
  • Side pouches to carry water
  • Soft lined glass pouch on top

Cons

  • No waist belt is provided though a provision has been given for the attachment of an external waist belt.
  • Not a lightweight backpack. It can become heavy with the addition of load.

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Our #3 Rated

G4Free Outdoor Tactical Backpack,Military Sport Pack Daypack Shoulder Backpack...

Our #3 Rated

Rated 4.5 out of 5


    Features

  • Weight: 8oz.
  • Volume: 7 L +
  • Multiple internal pockets and three external compartments
  • one front zippered pocket, one main zippered pocket, one padded back pocket, compact enough to keep your accessories organized.
  • Can be used as an EDC sling pack, chest bag, handbag, tactical backpack, pouch, first-aid kit or diaper bag
  • It is very handy and compact.
  • Made from upgraded 600D polyester fabric
  • Double zip closure with padded heavy duty handle
  • Great for indoor and outdoor uses including camping, hiking, backpacking, sports, etc

Pros

  • Ideal as an EDC bag
  • Extremely lightweight small molle bag
  • Perfect for short camping or hiking trips
  • Fits phone, flashlight, battery, tablets, etc.
  • Very cheap and affordable tactical backpack
  • Can also be used as a first aid bag or diaper bag
  • Comes with small front compartments

Cons

  • There is no compartment to keep a small water bottle or likes with easy access
  • The material is stiff thus when the internal compartment is filled; it affects the storage of the external pouches
  • It is very small and compact, may not cater to the needs of all types of campers

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Our #4 Rated

SOG Ninja Tactical Day Pack, 24.2-Liter Storage

Our #4 Rated

Rated 4.5 out of 5


    Features

  • Made with polyester
  • Imported
  • Water repellent backpack for daily use, traveling, hiking, sports
  • Large main compartment and  front zippered pocket
  • Comfortably carry on shoulders with yoke-style adjustable, padded straps and adjustable sternum slider;
  • contoured foam back with multiple air channels
  • MOLLE webbing for carrying small utilities.
  • Tubing port for accessing hydration bladder pocket (reservoir sold separately)
  • Measure: 13 x 18 x 3.5 inches
  • 24.2-liter capacity
  • Lifetime warranty by the manufacturer.
  • Weight – 1.94 pounds

Pros

  • SOG accessory pouch can be purchased separately to expand the backpack
  • Comes with MOLLE webbing on the outside
  • Good quality zippers
  • Durable tactical backpack
  • Small compact tactical gear
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Does not come with a hydration port
  • Can be way too small for extended trips

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Our #5 Rated

Sale Gowara Gear Tactical Sling Bag Pack Military Rover Shoulder Sling Backpack EDC...

Our #5 Rated

Rated 4.4 out of 5


    Features

  • Comes with free tactical USA flag patch
  • Made of 600D polyester,
  • Water-resistant and durable.
  • Tactical sling pack with Velcro in the concealed back compartment.
  •  Can be used  as a pistol sling range bag for
  • size: 14 x 11.5 x 6.5
  • Tactical sling backpack has adjustable and comfortable single shoulder strap
  • Tactical sling pack with double-stitched heavy duty zippers
  • Weight: 1.81 pounds

Pros

  • Affordable and cheap EDC tactical sling backpack
  • All everyday gears easily fits in this backpack
  • Comes with numerous pockets and pouches
  • Comes with large and small compartments
  • External straps to keep the backpack compact
  • Wide and padded shoulder strap
  • Two separate shoulder sling straps

Cons

  • Flimsy zippers
  • Thin thread stitching
  • Might not be very durable

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Our #6 Rated

Sale REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical Backpack,Small Molle Assault Pack Army Bug Out Bag...

Our #6 Rated

Rated 4.5 out of 5


    Features

  • Size: 11x18x12
  • Capacity approx: 34L
  • Made of durable nylon
  • Water-resistant.
  • Tactical assault backpack with double-stitched heavy-duty zippers and utility-style cord pulls
  • Side and front-load compression system
  • Ventilated mesh padded shoulder strap.
  • Hydration compatible backpack
  • Can be used as a 1-2 day assault backpack, bug out bag backpack, combat backpack, range bag, hunting backpack, survival backpack, military army backpack rucksack or trekking backpack.
  • Molle tactical backpack has a molle system
  • Weight: approx 3 pounds

Pros

  • Comes with several compartments
  • Great quality for the price
  • Very durable
  • Expandable storage
  • Heavy duty tactical backpack
  • Complete with molle straps
  • Spacious backpack
  • Numerous smaller pockets and pouches

Cons

  • May not fit wide shouldered tall individuals
  • Issues concerning loose straps
  • Only for short trips or regular usage

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Our #7 Rated

Sale CVLIFE Outdoor Tactical Backpack Military Rucksacks for Camping Hiking and...

Our #7 Rated

Rated 4.0 out of 5


    Features

  • Made of high-density 600D fabric.
  • Water-resistant tactical backpack.
  • Side and front-load MOLLE webbing system, well padded back area, ventilated mesh padding, and adjustable shoulder strap.
  • Can use as an assault backpack, combat backpack, army backpack, survival backpack, ammo backpack or sports bag.
  • This military backpack has hydration compatible for a big hydration bladder (backpack is sold without hydration bladder).
  • This 30L tactical bag comes with two main compartments and several small pockets.
  • Weight: Approx. 2 pounds

Pros

  • Comes with two large main pockets which can store all everyday utilities.
  • Has numerous MOLLE loops
  • Ideal bag for camping or backpacking
  • Can also be used as an emergency survival bag, first aid bag, etc.
  • Very comfortable to wear
  • Durable construction
  • Heavy-duty vinyl lined zippers
  • Water resistant
  • Good padding and chest strap
  • Strong grab handle

Cons

  • Strap slips have been reported
  • The material is not heavy duty, can be prone to tears.

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Our #8 Rated

Sale Red Rock Outdoor Gear Rover Sling Pack

Our #8 Rated

Rated 4.3 out of 5


    Features

  • Imported
  • Comes with MOLLE webbing for customization with pouches and attachments
  • Adjustable straps for comfortable carry
  • Concealed carry pocket on the bag’s back panel
  • Rugged 600 Denier Polyester construction with PVC lining
  • Four different compartments
  • Weight: Approx. 1.4 pounds
  • Size: 5.5 x 11.5 x 8 inches

Pros

  • Zippered compartments on the front of the back as well as sides
  • 2 interior pouches
  • MOLLE webbing on the front, back, and sides of the backpack
  • Small, compact tactical backpack
  • Fully ambidextrous tactical  backpack
  • Comes with drain holes
  • Adjustable crossbody security straps
  • Strong handle
  • Very cheap tactical sling backpack

Cons

  • Not extremely durable
  • Flimsy zippers
  • Seam rips have been reported.

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Our #9 Rated

Sale Eyourlife Military Tactical Backpack Small Rucksacks Hiking Bag Outdoor Trekking...

Our #9 Rated

Rated 3.4 out of 5


    Features

  • Main Compartment: 17.7"x9.4"x4.7"
  • Secondary Compartment: 15.7"x7.8"x2.75"
  • Upper Front Pocket: 4"x7"x2.3"
  • Lower Front Pocket: 9.8"x7"x2.3".
  • Capacity: 20 L
  • Suits both women and men.
  • Spacious tactical backpack
  • Dual front pockets
  • MOLLE webbing design
  • Padded and breathable mesh back panel and shoulder
  • Made of durable 600D nylon oxford cloth
  • Water-repellent coating
  • Durable construction
  • Heavy-duty oversized zippers for extra durability.
  •  60-day return policy coupled with a 1-year warranty
  • Weight: 1.9 pounds (approx.)

Pros

  • Compact, small tactical backpack for everyday use
  • Thick and durable fabric that will endure moderate abuses
  • Double stitching with good thread work
  • Good quality zippers
  • Durable, lightweight fabric pouches
  • Great purchase at this price

Cons

  • Cheap and brittle plastic buckles
  • Straps aren’t of the best quality.
  • Not suited for heavy duty usage.

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Our #10 Rated

Outlaw II Tactical Gear Slinger Sling Pack, Over Shoulder Day Pack/Survival...

Our #10 Rated

Rated 3.8 out of 5


    Features

  • Can be used as a military pack, rucksack, and hunting or hiking backpack
  • Comes with MOLLE compatibility
  • One can also add additional MOLLE pouches to make the sling pack versatile.
  • Double-stitched seams combined with the heavy-duty 600D PVC-backed polyester material.
  • Weather resistant, strong, and lasting.
  • A Y-strap compression strap allows the user to tighten the pack and secure the gear from moving around.
  • A molded EVA back panel adds rigidity to the sling pack and promotes airflow.
  • This Slinger is designed to give access to the pack without ever having to remove it from the body.
  • A thick-padded shoulder strap adds comfort and support
  • Several pockets and access points make the Outlaw easy to use as a laptop commuter sling bag or for a weekend hiking trip, backpacking trip, etc.
  • All 3V Gear packs come with a Limited Lifetime Warranty against manufacturer defects.
  • Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Size: 18" x 10.5 x 8"
  • Capacity: 15 L

Pros

  • Fits all everyday use products like mobile, notebooks, tablets, etc.
  • Good quality for the price
  • Ideal for use as an EDC tactical backpack
  • Good build quality
  • Comes with numerous pockets
  • All zipper pulls have elastic strings
  • MOLLE webbing has been provided

Cons

  • Flimsy zippers
  • Not a heavy duty tactical backpack

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Bottom Line!

Tactical backpacks are an excellent choice for anyone who does not want to carry around a humongous backpack all day long. Tactical backpacks serve a similar purpose as day backpacks and hiking backpacks, but they are much more compact and lightweight.  

But don’t expect them to cater to your needs while going on weeks-long hiking trips, most tactical backpacks can only endure minimal load.

         

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