In your quest to find out what is the best tactical backpack for CrossFit, you need a backpack that not only accommodates your gear but also withstands the rough and tumble of daily workouts. This straight-to-the-point guide brings you our top tactical backpack picks, each tested for resilience, comfort, and organization — core qualities every CrossFit enthusiast looks for.

Key Takeaways

  • Tactical backpacks are essential for CrossFit due to their durability, multiple compartments for organization, and ergonomic design for comfortably carrying gear and reducing strain.
  • When selecting a tactical backpack for CrossFit, key features to look for include high durability, organizational compartments, and MOLLE webbing for customizable storage options.
  • Top recommendations for CrossFit tactical backpacks include the 5.11 RUSH12, GORUCK GR1, Maxpedition Falcon-II, REEBOW Gear Military Tactical Backpack, and Condor Outdoor 3-Day Assault Pack.

CrossFit and Tactical Backpacks: The Perfect Match

A rugged tactical backpack with molle webbing and padded shoulder straps

High-intensity workouts are synonymous with CrossFit, demanding gear that can withstand the rigorous pace of its athletes. That’s where tactical backpacks come in. Famed for their durability and versatility, these backpacks are designed to withstand harsh environments and offer multiple compartments for organizing gear, making them an athlete’s best friend. Constructed from durable materials such as ballistic nylon or 500d Cordura nylon, these backpacks resist wear and tear while promising longevity, a feature highly valued by CrossFit athletes.

Furthermore, tactical backpacks, also known as tactical bags, are not just about durability; they also prioritize versatility. With their multiple compartments and pockets, they can comfortably accommodate everything from laptops and work essentials to sports gear, making them suitable for a wide range of civilian uses as well as for military personnel. In fact, an excellent tactical backpack can be a game-changer for those who require a reliable and adaptable bag for various situations.

This includes activities like CrossFit and outdoor adventures, where they prove invaluable. For CrossFit athletes, a good tactical backpack can serve as a gym bag, an outdoor pack, and an everyday use backpack, all in one.

Why CrossFit Athletes Need a Tactical Backpack

What makes a tactical backpack so vital for CrossFit athletes? Well, the answer lies in their unique needs. CrossFit workouts are notoriously rigorous, pushing athletes to their limits. This means they need equipment that can keep up with them, withstand harsh conditions, and handle heavy loads.

CrossFit workouts necessitate diverse gear, ranging from workout shoes and knee pads to nutrition supplements. A good tactical backpack, like crossfit backpacks, provides the perfect solution to carry all these items. It offers easy organization for essential gear and equipment, and its ergonomic design evenly distributes weight, reducing fatigue and strain on the back and shoulders. This makes it particularly useful for outdoor workout sessions, where athletes need to carry their gear to the training location.

Key Features to Look for in a CrossFit Tactical Backpack

Having established the significance of a tactical backpack, which key features should one prioritize when selecting one for CrossFit? One of the most important aspects is durability. A high-quality tactical backpack should be made to withstand wear and tear on common stress areas like zippers, straps, and buckles. Such durability guarantees the backpack’s ability to endure tough use and the intense demands of CrossFit workouts while maintaining its longevity.

Next comes organization. Having multiple compartments and pockets in a tactical backpack is essential for CrossFit athletes. These compartments facilitate easy organization, accessibility, and storage of a wide range of items. The best tactical backpacks will have a main compartment for clothes and supplies, and additional pockets for smaller items like credit cards, phones, and EDC tools.

Another notable feature to consider is the MOLLE webbing system, a design originally intended for military use. This system provides modular and easily expandable storage options, allowing for customized attachments and additional pouches, thus enhancing the functionality and versatility of the backpack.

Top 5 Tactical Backpacks for CrossFit

An assortment of top 5 tactical backpacks for CrossFit

While understanding the characteristics of a good tactical backpack is important, knowing which specific models to consider can be a game-changer. Over the years, several backpacks have stood out as the best tactical backpack options in the tactical backpack market, earning rave reviews from CrossFit athletes for their exceptional durability and construction quality.

These top picks not just excel in durability, but also in providing comfort and fit. For instance, the 5.11 RUSH12 backpack’s contoured yoke shoulder strap system and web MOLLE, the GORUCK GR1’s padded, adjustable shoulder straps, and the REEBOW Gear Military Tactical Backpack’s padded shoulder straps with an adjustable sternum strap are all designed to enhance the comfort and fit of these backpacks.

5.11 RUSH12

The first backpack on our list is the 5.11 RUSH12. Renowned for its versatility and durability, this backpack offers:

  • Ample storage and organization
  • Concealed CCW compartment
  • Enlarged eyewear pocket
  • Padded laptop sleeve
  • Water-resistant 1050D nylon (Multicam: 1000D nylon) shell for enhanced durability.


Next on our list is the GORUCK GR1. This backpack is well-loved by CrossFit athletes for its rugged and spacious design, which allows it to withstand heavy loads and carry CrossFit gear effectively. Constructed with 1000D Cordura and amply padded straps, the backpack offers durability and comfort specifically for carrying heavy loads.

Moreover, it has been tested to support up to 450lbs, showcasing its durability for heavy-duty purposes.

Maxpedition Falcon-II

For those looking for a compact yet durable backpack, the Maxpedition Falcon-II is a perfect choice. Despite its compact size, it doesn’t compromise on durability and organization, making it an ideal choice for CrossFit athletes.

It is constructed from 1050-Denier water and abrasion-resistant light-weight ballistic nylon fabric, which enhances its durability for the rigorous demands of CrossFit.

REEBOW Gear Military Tactical Backpack

The REEBOW Gear Military Tactical Backpack is known for its spacious and customizable design, featuring MOLLE webbing. This makes it a great choice for CrossFit athletes who need extra storage space for their gear.

Constructed of 600x600 Density fabric, this backpack not only enhances durability but also provides several carefully planned compartments for easy organization of CrossFit gear.

Condor Outdoor 3-Day Assault Pack

Last but not least, the Condor Outdoor 3-Day Assault Pack is a durable and versatile backpack with ample storage space, making it ideal for CrossFit athletes who need a larger capacity. With a carrying capacity of 50 liters, it’s suitable for comfortably accommodating the gear needed for CrossFit workouts.

Moreover, it is designed to be highly durable, made with quality materials and reinforced with double stitching to ensure it can withstand rigorous use by CrossFit athletes.

How to Choose the Right Tactical Backpack for Your CrossFit Needs

A person assessing storage needs for a tactical backpack

When choosing a tactical backpack for your CrossFit regimen, it’s important to consider the specific needs of your workouts and the gear you carry. Factors to evaluate include:

  • The backpack’s durability
  • Capacity for workout gear
  • Waterproofing for outdoor sessions
  • Comfort for carrying heavy loads

Additionally, consider the backpack’s additional features that could enhance your workout experience. For instance, does the backpack offer:

  • hydration bladder capability for staying hydrated?
  • a laptop storage compartment for post-workout nutrition plans or workout tracking?
  • support for MOLLE webbing for adding equipment?

These are all important features to look for when choosing a tactical backpack for CrossFit.

Assess Your Storage Needs

One of the most crucial aspects to consider when choosing a tactical backpack for CrossFit is your storage needs. As a CrossFit athlete, you need a backpack that can effectively accommodate all your essential gear and equipment while maintaining a comfortable and manageable size.

The amount of gear you need to carry can vary greatly depending on your workout routine. For instance, you might need to carry:

  • Workout shoes
  • Knee pads
  • A jump rope
  • A towel
  • Resistance bands
  • A protein shaker

Therefore, you should consider backpacks that offer enough storage capacity to accommodate all your gear.

Consider Comfort and Fit

Comfort and fit are another critical aspect to consider when choosing a tactical backpack for CrossFit. Carrying heavy loads during CrossFit can be uncomfortable and stressful for your shoulders and back. Therefore, a good backpack should have padded straps and back panels that can help distribute weight evenly and reduce stress on your shoulders and back.

Properly adjusting your backpack is also crucial for ensuring a comfortable and secure fit. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Start by loosening all straps.
  2. Position the hip fins.
  3. Adjust the shoulder straps.
  4. Check the vertical sliders and tighten them as needed.
  5. Finally, fasten the hipbelt at hip level to distribute the weight comfortably between your pelvis, lower back, and shoulders.

Evaluate Durability and Material

Last but not least, the durability and material of the backpack should not be overlooked. The material of a CrossFit tactical backpack directly impacts the quality, water-resistance, and durability of the backpack. Choosing durable, high-quality materials ensures better protection and cost-effectiveness, making the backpack reliable for heavy use over an extended period.

When looking at the material, sturdy materials such as nylon, polyester, and Cordura are indicative of the backpack’s durability. These materials are known to withstand wear and tear, making them ideal for a tactical backpack that needs to endure the rigors of CrossFit.

Additional Accessories for Your CrossFit Tactical Backpack

Modular pouches attached to a tactical backpack with multiple pockets

Now that we have covered how to choose the right tactical backpack, let’s delve into some accessories that can further enhance your backpack’s functionality. Some accessories to consider are:

  • MOLLE pouches, which provide additional storage options
  • Hydration bladders, which allow you to stay hydrated on the go
  • Carabiners, which can be used to attach gear to your backpack

These accessories can provide additional storage options and convenience, making your CrossFit experience even more seamless.

Whether you are looking to expand your backpack’s storage capacity, stay hydrated during workouts, or attach additional items for quick access, these accessories can be a game-changer. Let us examine each of these accessories in more detail.

MOLLE Pouches

MOLLE pouches, or Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment pouches, are designed to attach to the modular webbing on tactical backpacks, providing a customizable and expandable storage solution. These pouches offer a flexible method for carrying essential items like:

  • water bottles
  • first aid kits
  • tools
  • flashlights
  • extra ammunition
  • communication devices

They can be easily added or removed to accommodate different requirements.

The process of attaching MOLLE pouches to your tactical backpack is quite uncomplicated. You can feed the webbing straps through the webbing of the pouch and then tighten them, or you can use the backpack’s attachment points to secure the straps in place, ensuring a sturdy fitting to the bag.

Hydration Bladders

Hydration plays a crucial role during any workout, including CrossFit. Hydration bladders are designed to transport water and make drinking more convenient and efficient during physical activities like CrossFit workouts. These bladders can be integrated into your tactical backpack by being placed in a dedicated compartment, allowing for easy access to water during your workouts.

When choosing a hydration bladder for CrossFit, it is important to consider factors such as:

  • The bladder size
  • Ease of cleaning
  • Durability
  • Taste-free material

Products like the MSR DromLite Bags are known for their quality and practical design, making them a top recommendation for CrossFit workouts.

Carabiners and Gear Clips

Carabiners and gear clips are handy tools that allow athletes to attach extra items like keys and water bottles to their CrossFit tactical backpacks. They can be attached to MOLLE webbing or other attachment points for easy access to gear, making them a valuable addition to your workout gear.

Carabiners and gear clips commonly utilized with tactical backpacks have a weight capacity of approximately 1,800 pounds, making them suitable for a variety of equipment and gear that CrossFit athletes may carry.


To sum up, choosing the right tactical backpack can significantly enhance your CrossFit experience. From the durability and versatility of the backpack to the storage capacity and comfort it offers, every feature plays a vital role in making your workouts more efficient and enjoyable.

Whether you’re a seasoned CrossFit athlete or a beginner just starting your fitness journey, investing in a quality tactical backpack, such as the ones mentioned in this article, can prove to be a game-changer. And remember, the best tactical backpack is the one that suits your individual needs and preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

What backpack does special forces use?

Special forces use the IOTV backpack, which is the standard issue for U.S. forces and has built-in MOLLE webbing for attaching extra equipment.

Are tactical backpacks worth it?

Yes, tactical backpacks are worth it due to their durability, versatility, and comfort, making them perfect for various situations.

Does the military use mystery ranch?

Yes, the military uses Mystery Ranch packs for their durability, resilience, and capacity to support soldiers in completing missions.

Why do CrossFit athletes need a tactical backpack?

CrossFit athletes need a tactical backpack for its durability, versatility, and ample storage capacity, which makes it ideal for carrying all the essential gear for CrossFit workouts.

What are the essential features to look for in a CrossFit tactical backpack?

Look for a CrossFit tactical backpack with durability, multiple compartments, MOLLE webbing, and comfortable straps for heavy loads to ensure ease of organization and long-term comfort during workouts.

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