US Marines are held to the highest standards, as is their gear. There is something great about army apparel, the technical and practical design rolled into the gadgetry you expect with military goods makes it very appealing.
Mil Tec designed backpacks are perfect examples of this, with their rugged outdoorsy appearance and ample storage systems. They are rugged enough to make the perfect pack for outdoor adventures and camping, but versatile enough to be a edc (every day carry) pack.
There are many terms involved in these designs, from ALICE to MOLLE and ILBE. You can learn about all the differences at the bottom of the article.
But first… let’s check out the very best USMC style backpacks that are ideal for any type of activity.
5.11 Hiking Tactical Backpacks
The Rush 72 tactical backpack is an excellent and compact backpack that has an impressive 2980 cubic inches (that’s about 48.8L) of packing space.
The tough nylon material used for the pack is durable and washable and the dimensions of the pack are 15 x 8 x 23 inches, with a weight of 4 pounds. It has a metal rod in the back for support when packing looser items and the metal rod can be removed if this proves to be uncomfortable for you.
The Rush 72 can be stuffed to the max and then compressed to a size small enough to fit into the overhead compartment on an airplane. The Rush 72 has two zippered front pockets and one on each side for smaller items. It’s a really simple and clean tactical assault backpack that won’t break the budget.
Reebow 40L USMC ILBE Style Pack
The Reebow 3 day US Army backpack is a brilliant example of a MOLLE pack. ILBE stands for “Improved Load Bearing Equipment” which focuses on features that are tough, lightweight and make carrying gear easy. The Reebow pack is the perfect middle ground with a 40L storage capacity. ILBE packs vary between 3L and 90L, depending on what is needed for the task.
It has plenty of molle webbing across the front and side panels for attachment of extra pouches and accessories. It has two large main compartments and then two smaller compartments on the front for smaller items that need to be accessed faster. It also features a hydration bladder pouch, but does not come supplied with the bladder.
The whole bag can also be compressed using the side compression straps. Made from 600 Denier waterproof material makes this tactical pack perfect for outdoor adventures, whether it is hunting, hiking, fishing or camping.
This army hiking pack has the following dimensions, 13 x 20 x 11 inches. It’s quite light at 3 pounds and is a perfect military style back pack for the adventure driven person.
Paratus US Marine Corps Molle Rucksack
The Paratus tactical rucksack is one serious puppy! This pack is fully MOLLE compatible and comes with two detachable MOLLE pouches that could be placed on any of the attachment points on the pack.
It has a main upper compartment and a lower one, with three external compartments based on the lower main compartment. Made from waterproof 600 Denier nylon material the pack is ideal for outdoor expeditions and hikes in wet weather or where you know you are going to be doing some swimming on an adventure. It is available in grey, black, coyote brown, khaki/bark and olive. This bag just has that US army feel going for it.
The Paratus has external dimensions of 20”H x 12”W and has overall weight of 4.3 pounds. Its total carrying capacity is 2420 cubic inches (that’j just under 40L). The quality is outstanding and the materials are superior, so much so that 3V Gear offers a lifetime warranty on the Paratus. Definitely a worthwhile back pack if you are into a serious military adventure.
CVLife Small Hunting Day Pack
The CVLife outdoor army day pack is a very neat and compact day pack that is versatile enough to take with to the office carrying a laptop or use out in the field.
The neat lines and compact design separates the CVLIFE from the more rugged military bags that gives a much more sophisticated look without sacrificing function and storage.
This small tactical black army pack is made from 600 Denier waterproof nylon and stands the test in wet weather. It has two large main compartments with internal pouches and also two front pockets. There are the standard compression straps and also plenty of MOLLE webbing for external pouch attachment.
The CVLIFE has the following dimensions, 18.5H x 12.6W x 10D inches and has a weight of 2.5 pounds, making it one of the lightest on our list. Brilliant quality and comes in three other army based colors.
CVLife Large 50L ACU Camo Military Knapsack
Here’s an awesome military knapsack from CVLIFE, just much larger in carrying capacity than the previous one on our list.
The 50L pack is fully MOLLE compatible with one big main bag and three detachable MOLLE pouches for the sides and lower front part of the bag. It has ample webbing for extra attachments.
What’s absolutely awesome about this versatile system is that the front detachable pouch setup can be combined with a supplied strap that turns it into a handy sling bag for quick excursion into the wilds.
The dimensions of this pack are as follows, 19.7H x 13W x 13D inches and has a weight of 4 pounds. This is a modern military pack that has gadgetry and adventure spelled out on it! Like a real Marine knapsack.
Swiss Army Black Minimalist Laptop Bag
Made by the makers of the original Swiss army knife, this modern daypack is definitely not for the rugged adventure bound person, but rather for the young and sophisticated adventurer who likes gadgets and compartments for day to day activities.
Let’s say that this excellent bag by Swiss gear is perfect for the city and office adventurer! It has all the bells and whistles, storage for pens, CD’s, documents, smartphones and tablets. It has a devoted laptop storage compartment to fit a 17 inch screen laptop with ease. This compartment has padded straps to secure laptops smaller than 17 inch.
Either way, a military laptop daypack constructed from ballistic weave fabric and made by a reputable company like Swiss Gear, can only stand you in good stead in the concrete jungle.
Difference Between MOLLE and ALICE Packs
These are military acronyms or nicknames for two different style back packs. The ALICE is an old military design that has the classic features of a detachable metal frame and attachable accessory pockets. They are super rugged and unbreakable, literally bomb proof, however they can be cumbersome and are very limited to army use in the field.
The MOLLE, pronounced as “Molly”, is a modern and versatile back pack system that comprises all the rugged features of the ALICE, but just in a fresh and comfortable design. The MOLLE lacks a metal frame and the bulky attachable pockets, instead its design is compact and most of them include an internal hydration pouch similar to the “Camelbak” system. The great thing about the hydration pouch is when it’s not used it is totally flat and does not take up any additional packing space.
The USMC backpack is also referred to as a ILBE pack. This stands for “Improved Load Bearing Equipment”. These packs were designed for US Marines as a tough yet lightweight solution for carrying gear and equipment.