Tactical Backpack vs. Hiking Backpack | What's the Difference?

Tactical Backpack vs. Hiking Backpack What's the Difference
There is a confusing choice of backpacks on the market today, and given that any personality prep would have a bug-out bag packed and ready for any circumstance, picking a tactical backpack is a major decision. In comparison to previous decades, the distinction between various types of backpacks and their intended functions is not always as clear. Some snipping, technical hiking, and expedition backpacks resemble props from a science fiction film, while massive, super-tough military rucksacks can fit everything plus the kitchen sink with room to spare. Many articles will use the terms "tactical" and "hiking" interchangeably in their descriptions of backpacks.


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What are the Differences Between Tactical Backpacks and Hiking Backpacks?

Tactical backpacks are designed for military and law enforcement personnel, whereas hiking backpacks are designed for hikers. Tactical backpacks typically have compartments that can be accessed from the outside of the pack, so that they can be used when wearing a tactical vest or armor carrier. Tactical bags also often have hidden pockets and zippers to protect against theft. Hiking backpacks are more commonly made with lighter materials and less padding in order to reduce weight on long hikes.

Tactical backpacks are typically more expensive than hiking packs. Tactical backpacks place a premium on durability, low visibility, and mission-specific storage made accessible by mates cabling or other attachment methods. The right tactical backpack combines adequate storage, practical features, and all-day comfort with a roomy main compartment and heavily padded shoulder straps. Hiking backpacks are designed with comfort, carrying capacity, and lightweight in hand, and are often available in a number of visually pleasing high visibility colors and patterns to help the carrier stay visible to friends and rescuers alike. Here at Apesurvival.com, we have different range of designs and styles to choose from.

They also differ in:

  • Capacity - When it comes to expansion capability, tactical backpacks remain dominant. On every available surface that isn't already occupied by a strap, buckle, or zipper, most of these backpacks will contain Molle webbing or other attachment slots. Hiking backpacks, on the other hand, are unlikely to contain more than one or two tiny fields of mates webbing for expansion, while they may include admin pockets or specialist tie-downs for carrying photography tripods, tent poles, and other bulky equipment that will not fit in the main compartment. Only a few hiking packs have proprietary expansion mechanisms that are not interchangeable with other backpacks. When choosing a hiking backpack, keep in mind that the layout is what it is, and you won't be able to change it much from its original form.
  • Durability - The most major difference between backpacks and tactical-use backpacks is their durability, which is often achieved by using heavier and more durable materials. Ballistic nylon, a heavy-duty material that can endure a lot of heat, abrasion, and friction before failing, is commonly used in military or tactical backpacks. Whereas these materials provide military backpacks a toughness that is difficult to match, they also significantly increase the weight of an empty pack, and hence the overall load. Most hiking and technical backpacks are created from increasingly modern but paper- thin light heavyweight materials that provide exceptional strength for their thickness, as compared to military backpacks.
  • Color -The color of tactical and hiking packs is one of the most noticeable contrasts. Tactical backpacks are typically found in low-visibility colors such as black, dark gray, olive drab green, tan, or one of a plethora of camouflage patterns, ranging from general-purpose to extremely environment-specific. Hiking backpacks come in a variety of hues, but high-visibility colors, such as bright yellows, oranges, and acid greens, are especially popular since they make the carrier easier to notice from a distance.


Why Should You Choose a Tactical Backpack?

A tactical backpack is an ideal choice if you're planning a trip or want to travel with your laptop but don't want to carry it in a conventional backpack or laptop case. A tactical backpack is designed to carry a variety of items in a lightweight pack format, such as gear, a laptop, and other supplies. Tactical backpacks are for people who need a specialized backpack that is durable, water-resistant, and versatile enough to carry many items at once. Laptop pockets with a padded laptop sleeve, hydration bladder, and water storage compartments, and concealed carry are just a few of the features of tactical backpacks. 


Choosing a High-Quality Tactical Backpack

Because tactical backpacks are readily available and have become popular, you should select a high-quality one wisely. Here are factors to look at while choosing high-quality tactical backpacks. 

The material quality - To withstand the challenges of open-air use, the material used for strategic backpacks must be strong and thick. Not only does it need to be resistant to scrapes and rips, but it also needs to be able to carry the weight of the items you load within.

The use and versatility - Tactical backpacks are useful for a variety of tasks because of their high-quality construction and functionality. While it's unlikely that you'll utilize them in battle, they'll come in handy when pursuing, fishing, exploring, or being outside (or as an everyday carry bag). Regardless matter whether a sack has a smaller space, the compartment layout allows you to load enough gear for a few days.

Capacity - Depending on the activity, the capacity limit of these sacks can be significant. If you're going on a multi-day adventure mostly in the woods, you'll need a sack with a substantial weight capacity. In these situations, we recommend obtaining a tactical backpack that is larger than you think you'll need, as it provides you a lot more options.

Pockets and Compartments - A tactical backpack should contain numerous outer and inner pockets of varied sizes in addition to the main compartment. Pockets and compartments make it easy to organize your belongings. It's critical to know where each piece of your belongings is at any one time, as this allows you to respond to varied situations. 

The back panel - A tactical backpack back panel should be ideally shaped and cushioned. Also, the back panel should feature air channels so that perspiration from your back may be dissipated. The back panels of strategic knapsacks are made of foam. Aluminum stays under the back panels of broader tactical backpacks.

Ventilation - When buying a tactical backpack, you should also think about ventilation. Some packs have a mesh back panel hanging from the frame to prevent the sweaty back syndrome, which is common with internal-frame packs that ride against your body. This trampoline-like design, also known as "tension-mesh suspension," has the frame-supported backpacks ride a few inches away from your back, which instead rests on the highly breathable mesh. To remedy the same issue, other packs will incorporate ventilation tubes on the back panel.

Our Online Tactical store understands the benefits of having the proper equipment, particularly the features of high-quality Tactical Backpacks, and can provide it through Apesurvival.com.


Outdoor Hiking Backpacks

Backpacks comes with a variety of features, including a torso loop that can be adjusted, a separate daypack, hip belt pockets, and sleeping bag sections. Here are a few things to think about outdoor hiking backpacks. Smaller capacity packs, such as daypacks, usually don't have a frame, however, most larger packs feature an internal frame that helps support the load and shift the weight to your hips, allowing you to carry it more comfortably. If you're going trekking, mountaineering, or quick climbing, this backpack will be your best buddy.


What is MOLLE?

(MOLLE) is an acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. In a nutshell, it's a modular carrying solution for all of your belongings. It is a system that was first adopted as the standard for mountaineering equipment in the American Army. Weapons, knives, ammo bags, and other items can be attached to tactical backpacks and vests. The MOLLE system is used in many tactical backpacks and pouches. MOLLE works when the webbing is braided into the connector on the larger piece of equipment and secured in place. The nylon-based, heavy-duty webbing prevents loss, and the MOLLE attachments are not easily detached if the user needs to manually adjust the shape of the equipment. MOLLE is distinguished by its virtually infinite customizability in a tactical bag.


How To Determine Your Torso Length

If you are planning to buy the right backpack for yourself, make sure you know what measurements to look for. If the backpack is the wrong size, it will cause lower back and neck ache over time. You must know how to measure your torso length and hip size in order to purchase the correct size. The steps below will show you how to measure your torso and hips in an easy-to-follow manner. The second half of the article also briefly discusses how to find the best tactical backpack for you.

To begin, look for a small bony protrusion at the nape of your neck, where your shoulders meet the start of your neck. This is your seventh cervical vertebra, also known as the C7 vertebra. This is where the top of your torso begins.

Second, place your hands at the end of your ribs on each side of your body and slowly glide them down to your hip. Consider the space between your two thumbs as an imaginary line, with your fingers going forward and your thumb on your back.

Then, you may ask anyone to assist you to estimate the distance between your c7 and the imaginary line between your two thumbs with a measuring tape. The length of your torso is measured here.


Does Your Waist Size Matter When Fitting Yourself for a Backpack?

While it's uncommon for the waist sizing of a backpack to be incorrect if the pack size is proper for your torso length, it's still necessary to check your hip measurement when fitting a backpack. Because you'll be carrying the majority of your pack's weight on your waist and hips, proper hip belt fit is important.

Your hips should support the majority of the weight of a backpack may least 80%. Hip belts for backpacks normally fit a wide variety of waist circumferences, ranging from the mid-20s to the mid-40s. People with tiny waists may find that a standard hip belt is too big for them and must purchase a smaller size. Interchangeable hip belts are available in some packs, allowing you to switch one for another.

Which Frame Should You Choose?

When it comes to frame types, these will help you determine which frame to use for a backpack or a tactical backpack.

  • Backpacks with an internal frame: The majority of packs are body-hugging, internal-frame backpacks with the structure hidden under the back panel. They're made to keep hikers stable on uneven, off-kilter terrain, and they can include a range of weight-support technologies that all work to shift the strain to the hips.
  • Backpacks with an external frame: You can see the structure that supports the weight with an external frame pack: aluminum mostly hardware on the outside. If you're carrying a big, lumpy load, a backpack like this can be a good alternative because the frame extends beyond the backpack just like an oversize tent or inflatable kayak. External-frame packs also have a variety of gear organizing choices and superb ventilation.
  • Backpacks with no frames: Ultralight hikers who prefer to hike quickly and lightly may prefer a frameless pack or a climbing pack with a removable frame for weight savings. Packs without a frame, on the other hand, are far more unpleasant while carrying heavy items.



When compared to hiking backpacks, a tactical backpack is a good choice. This is a matter of capacity and durability. However, there are other factors to consider when selecting the best and highest-quality backpacks to ensure that they are both cost-effective and long-lasting, as well as fit for your preferences. Tactical backpacks come with a padded waist belt for a secure and pleasant carrying experience and an expandable main pocket, hydration pocket, and external MOLLE webbing to meet any mission. It's also vital to determine your waist/hips and body torso measurements so that it fits your body frame and is comfortable when you're doing activities.

Now that you know the difference between tactical backpacks and how they function and what they may be used for, you're ready to have one for yourself.

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