7 Heavy Duty Backpacks You Can Trust

Heavy Duty Backpacks

Get Out And Explore With These 7 Durable Backpacks

The last time I was in Portugal, the weather couldn’t decide what it wanted to do. One minute the sun was shining, birds singing their songs, and people walking like it was Sunday. Then, in a flash, the rain would come, first dribbles, then soon a free shower for everyone. Minutes later, it would become sunny again. While I was navigating through the cobblestone streets, picking up items from shop to shop, and collecting interesting things as I went along, I stopped and realized just how important a durable, strong, and my solid backpack really is. Through the rain and sunshine, continually putting things away and taking them out again, and making sure my day was taken care of because I could carry what I needed, I found that sometimes you need more than just an average backpack. For the do’ers, the explorer’s, and the ones willing to rough it out, here are seven of the best bags that simply won’t let you down through the thick and the thin.

Durability isn’t as high as it should be when looking for a backpack. While style, comfort and a place to fit your smartphone are heavily requested criteria requests when shopping for a travel backpack, most true travelers what something that can take a beating and withstand the abuse. Heavy Duty backpacks that are suitable for long-distance hiking, military deployment, and other high-activity ventures aren’t available at Wallmart.

Heavy Duty Backpacks


5.11 RUSH12 Tactical Military Assault Mobile Backpack

7) 5.11 RUSH12 Tactical Backpack

1220 Reviews

A solid backpack built for speed with a focus on organization. The first functional aspect of this backpack I noticed was the adjustable sternum strap that gives a lot of flexibility. The strap has a quick release function that makes adjusting for comfort quite a breeze. I find that on longer days wearing this backpack, I subconsciously adjust the strap not only for more comfort but simply because it’s so easy. The second thing I took away was the organizer panel in the main compartment. Upon opening the bag, I was greeted with a series of pockets and holders varying in sizes from pen compartments to mini-notebook holders and more. It really drives home the fact that this backpack is built for someone on their feet throughout the day and needs quick, organized access. I found it great for traveling in cities especially given those reasons. Finally, perhaps one of the best perks and the reason why I’ll recommend this for the hardcore tourist or city explorer, hydration routing and a protected pouch. That’s right; this backpack has routing for a camelback hose and room for the pouch of water.


  • Sized for a twenty-four hour excursion
  • Water-resistant 1050-denier nylon
  • Flexible main storage compartments
  • YKK zippers



6.) Direct Action Dragon Egg Tactical Backpack

390 Reviews

Built for more tactical experiences, this backpack puts a focus on functionality while in the midst of short-term field missions. I noticed this backpack certainly has a cloth feel to it and offers a more military-esque style. Much like the RUSH12, this backpack offers an organization panel in the main compartment, with some other functions for sustained resources. On a two-day hike in the Sierra Nevada’s I was able to attach my one-man tent on the bottom of the backpack. I was surprised how well it fit on and didn’t notice it for most of the hike. Whenever I would stop and set the backpack down access was also easy because of the clam shell design. This means the bag unzips all the way from one side to the next. The last big take way was the expandable side pockets for water bottles. I know I know, not the most exciting feature ever, but having the ability to hold a 32oz water bottle on the side of the bag was a sure plus on my hike.



5.) Direct Action Ghost MK II Tactical Backpack

5 Reviews

A tactical action backpack on a diet, the Ghost is well, just that. One aspect of the backpack I really enjoyed was the base support in addition to the shoulder straps. Like that of larger hiking and camping backpacks, the Ghost offers a waist strap for extra support and comfort when navigating tuff terrain. Another great aspect of the Ghost is the air ventilation system between the actual backpack and the person wearing it. When I put it one, there’s actual separation between my own back and the wall of the backpack. This keeps things cool during those more extended hikes on hot days. With that, the Ghost should definitely be considered a great backpack for 2-3 hiking trips with perhaps the best comfort for the job.



Best Heavy Duty Backpacks

4.) Excellent Elite Spanker Medical Backpack

Tactical Knapsack Outdoor Rucksack Camping Survival First Aid Backpack

5 Reviews

A backpack aimed at modularity, which is quite unique. The SPANKER offers the typical organized compartments for great storage but expands on that with the ability to increase it carrying load. You read that right if you need to take on extra gear this backpack has the option to attach more pouches, netting or other accessories for more storage space. Besides that, awesome feature, I also enjoyed the comfort this bag gave as well. With a mesh netting for the back, the feel was soft and easy. The shoulder straps were very well padded and had an additional waist strap for extra support as well. Finally, I really enjoyed the compartment layout which offered up all of its internal “goodies” right off the bat. Through opening the main compartment, you’ll see on panel fold down, two flaps open on the sides, and three pouches down the center back, all with storage options.



3.) MEWAY 42L Military Tactical Backpack Large Assault Pack

3 Day Army Rucksacks Molle Bug Out Bag Outdoors Hiking Daypack Hunting Backpacks

233 Reviews

For a quick and less-expensive budget bag, this backpack has a good value for the price. Although it lacks most of the extra comfort features like mesh netting, ventilation, and thick shoulder padding, this bag does still have a waist strap and even chest strap as well. This bag runs on three main compartments and does offer quite a bit of room, although I would recommend staying away from any loads greater than 25ish pounds. When packing for a 3-day hike I found the straps didn’t offer enough comfort for long-duration hikes.


  • Capacity: 42L
  • The military backpack is made of high-density fabric–durable and water-resistant.
  • The molle tactical backpack has molle system, Molle webbing throughout for attaching additional tactical pouches or gear as 3-day assault backpack.
  • Assault pack backpack with double-stitched, Heavy duty zippers and utility-style cord pull, Side and front-load compression system, Ventilated mesh padded back area & shoulder strap, breathable and comfortable.
  • Hydration compatible that works great for a hydration bladder (backpack didn’t include hydration bladder) as hydration backpack or outdoor camping hiking backpack.

2.) Orca Tactical Military Mobile Backpack

34L 1 or 2 Day Survival Bug Out Bag Rucksack Pack

260 Reviews

My go-to recommendation for a sturdy budget backpack. The main compartment completely unzips like a suitcase for complete access, and the quality is simply great for the price. With double zippers, I found it seamless when opening and closing compartments. Also, there are quite a few ways to strap down the backpack or increase its storage capacity.



1.) Crazy Ants Tactical Military Backpack

108 Reviews

Last but not least, this is one of my favorite backpacks among the budget options. The Crazy Ants tactical military backpack is excellent quality, everyone asks where I’ve got it. This bag can take a beating, collapses pretty small when it’s not full but also expands quite huge when needed. Waterproofing is great but the zippers aren’t taped, so just pack electronics in the deeper pockets and you’re good. There’s a ton of internal organization too.

Overall for the features this backpack provides, I was left saying “is that really all it costs?” This backpack comes with three additional Molle side pouches for storage capacity up-to 3-days. Along with a sleek looking outside and triple-stitched seams, the bag screams quality for a great price.




About author View all posts

Charles Balbuena

Charles loves photography and blogging about people or the experiences he's had through traveling. Charles is lucky enough to be in a position that he can travel and work as a freelancer without having to live in any one spot. He grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, but left home at the age of 22.

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