5.11 Tactical Rush 72 Backpack Review Helping You to Make an Educated Decision

If you’re into serious hiking, camping or a survivalist, the one thing you cannot do without is a good backpack. There is no shortage of military and assault packs online, but as a survivalist with years of experience, I can tell you these backpacks are not made equal, so you need to be careful.

5.11 Tactical Rush 72

While backpacks may have the same purpose, their features and capabilities vary, that’s why it is so important to make the right choice.

In this 5.11 tactical rush 72 backpack review, I will take an in-depth look at its features and usability. I’ve used a lot of survival backpacks and gear, and I have to say this is one of the best especially when quality matters.

FYI, this pack is one of my ten choices when it comes to quality military backpack. Check out the other ones here if you haven’t yet.

5.11 Tactical Rush 72 Review

It took me and my team couple of days to pick out the best things available with 5.11 rush 72. I also tried to figure out the cons, so it becomes easy for the reader to judge. I insist you read out pros, cons, and general features as well to decide if this is worth your needs.

From my experience, looking at the benefits and features, I can tell you that this is one of the most versatile packs available on the market.

Video Review

Features Overview

The 5.11 tactical rush 72 comes with a PUx2 coating, so it is water repellent, and it is constructed of 1050D nylon. This makes the 5.11 the most durable in its range, and with the coating of PUx2, leaks won’t be an issue.

  • Available in Flat Dark Earth, Sandstone, Black, Multicam and TAC OD and more on Amazon.
  • #8 and #10 YKK nylon zippers: These are self-repairing and designed expressly for outdoor heavy duty use. It is flexible and doesn’t get damage even when the compartments are filled.
  • ​The pocket flaps’ insides and pocket bags have 210D 118T PUx2 coating so whatever you put in them will remain dry.
  • There are four compression straps including two on either side.

Design and Structure

Different look and design of rush 72 pack and review
Tactical Rush 72 Backpack from Different Angles!

The 5.11 rush 72 is the biggest of the three models, the other two being the rush 12 and the rush 24 backpack. This backpack is meant for three days / 72-hour use in rugged terrain, and design wise it is suitable for survivalists, campers, firefighters, military personnel and law-enforcement officers.

The colors mentioned above all have a camo shade, and the TAC OD (olive) blends in nicely when you’re in the woods.

  • The oval design of the shoulder straps encompasses the neck and shoulder areas. The middle section is curved and is attached to the closed-cell foam shoulder straps. These straps are along the sides of the 5.11, and it helps distribute the weight uniformly across your back and shoulders. Carry backpack in proper way otherwise it may cause injury to your back. In our review of rush 72, it passed this important criteria.
  • At the top, there is the Grab and Go handle for convenient lifting of the backpack.
  • ​The shoulder straps have C-clips that make it easy to make adjustments to suit different heights and physiques.
  • There are rear closed cell foam pads for the hydration storage, very helpful as it provides a cushion against your back.

Storage Compartment

Lots to Pack for

The 5.11 Rush 72 main compartment measures 2894 cubic inches / 47 liters. I am only talking about the main compartment and not the side pockets and pouches. So you won’t be lacking in space.

  • Look at the backpack and you will see several open pouches and closed, zippered pockets. There is also a fleece-lined pouch that keeps your mobile device and glasses from getting scratched.
  • There is a rear hydration pocket with tube opening, mesh pockets and deep pockets for storing various items.
  • ​The pockets are not just numerous and profound, but they are well-designed too, minimizing friction in case your gear moves around. The backpack also has pull strings which tie the zippers, so the bag doesn’t open accidentally while you are trekking.

As you can tell there are a lot of pockets here but if they’re not enough, it is MOLLE compatible so you can attach more packs, pockets, and gear.


I like the shove-it pockets as they’re deep enough to store a lot of items. The other inside pockets have fasteners or straps for additional security, and the mesh pocket at the top comes with zipper closure at the top and bottom, allowing entry from either point.

The following are the backpack’s other benefits:

  • Weight: 5.11 rush 72 weighs 5 pounds, so it’s not going to slow you down even when filled.
  • Stitching and strength: doubled-back edge and single stitching, plus bar stack along the stress areas for extra durability.
  • ​The combination of a yoke system and shoulder straps distribute weight load properly.
  • The two exterior pockets are so large that they’re almost the length of the 5.11.
  • Built in name tape and flag holders.

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You can remove one of the packs on the 5.11 and carry it around as a small backpack. I also like the waist straps because I can set them aside when not needed, and they help ease the pressure when the 5.11 is full. The aluminum stabilizer rod at the back is detachable and helps prevent sagging. It’s also effective when it comes to correctly positioning the bag on my shoulders and back.

As we mentioned earlier, the backpack has water repellent properties so you can store documents, papers, maps, and other stuff in it even if it’s raining. The water repellent coating is all over the bag’s exterior and the compartments, and there are nylon flaps on the zippers that provide further protection. In addition, the 5.11 comes with drainage holes at the bottom.


  • Superb quality with the stitching is for heavy duty use: the stitching is one of the best I have come across, and it’s going to stand up well to abuse.
  • Lots and lots of pockets, more than enough for 72 hours: not all 72-hour backpacks make good on their claims, but the 5.11 does.
  • MOLLE computability allows for expansion and adding more gear, perfect for seasoned survivalists for wilderness or if you plan to stay out longer than three days.
  • Can be used in the summer, cold weather, rain: this one of the most versatile backpacks available today according to my knowledge.


  • The 5.11 is not cheap, but it is not prohibitively expensive either: consider it an investment. There is nothing worse than buying a cheap backpack that gives up on you in the middle of the forest, so it’s better to get a high-quality bag.
  • The belt doesn’t have the kind of vertical adjustments that other backpacks have, but it is not a deal breaker. It also doesn’t affect the capacity or the bag’s overall performance while you’re in outdoors.
  • At 5 pounds it isn’t as light as other backpacks, but it isn’t going to break your back.

​Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Who is this backpack for?

This backpack is for everyone and anyone who wants a dependable bag while they’re outdoors. It is convenient enough for beginners, but it is flexible enough for seasoned survivalists. As it has been pointed out here repeatedly, the 5.11 backpack is more than just camping and hiking as it can be used in other ways as well. The 5.11 is available in three sizes: 12, 24 and 72, with 72 being the largest.

Can a tarp fit inside its pockets?

Yes, there is more than enough space in the deep shove pockets for a tarp as well as a jacket and other items. If you check out the front compartment, there is enough room for essential tools like pocket knives, sharpeners, utilities, fire starters, folding saws and more.

Is there enough space here for 3-day camping and mission?

Yes. The main compartment is large enough to hold shirts, underwear, socks and adequate clothing. The compartment also has sufficient room for your toiletries and a first aid kit: since these pockets are waterproof, you can also store your fire starting gear here as well. The side pouch provides more than sufficient space for a water bottle, and the compression straps are great for holding tools.

Is it MOLLE compatible?

Yes, the 5.11 is MOLLE compatible. There are web platforms on three sides, and the extra attachment points make expansion easy. However, most backpackers don’t find the need for additional MOLLE bags as the 5.11 is very generous in that department. If you do need to add more MOLLE, the procedure is the same as on all backpacks so it won’t be an issue.

Can I use this as a travel bag?

Yes, the 5.11 was designed primarily for survivalists, but it is versatile and large enough to be used for travel. It is accepted in airlines and won’t get questioned. If you want to use the 5.11 as a travel bag, there is more than enough space here for your clothes and other items you plan to bring along.


The 5.11 tactical rush pack is outstanding and quite simply one of the finest bags you can buy. It comes with a lot of pockets and storage options, and it is built for a long term and rugged use. Whether you’re new to camping or a long time survivalist, getting the highest quality backpack is a must.

As a backpacker, there are some essential things I look for in these products such as comfort, durability, strength and reliability, and the 5.11 meets all those. I highly recommend this: it is worth every penny and will accompany you for a long time.

Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with us.

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