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Tactical Collection: 5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Tactical Backpack In 2024

Vanquest bags and packs for tactical, law enforcement and military applications.
Vanquest bags and packs for tactical, law enforcement and military applications.

Our roots in serving professional law enforcement & military clients.

To tell the story of the Vanquest Team and our connection to the tactical/professional client communities, we must go back to the Vanquest brand’s founding: In 2011, a team of gear designers, outdoor enthusiasts, and former founding members of Maxpedition gathered to create Vanquest. Our mission is to build the toughest bags & packs for everyday carry (EDC), helping our users stay organized & prepared. Since then, we set out to deliver the toughest gear to help our professional law enforcement (LE) and military clients accomplish their missions. Throughout the years, we have maintained close collaborations with state and federal agencies such as the US Marshals, DEA, FBI, and the US Secret Service.

Vanquest uses the most durable military-grade materials and hardware for our bags with low-profile MOLLE capability. Notably, we have been one of the pioneers in adopting US-made Multicam-Black Cordura fabric since 2014. All our top suppliers, including Cordura for main fabrics, YKK for zippers, and Duraflex/ITW for hardware, are Bluesign-certified partners, adhering to the highest Swiss textile industry standards to minimize environmental impacts during production. Today let’s walk through our products and designs for tactical applications.

Military-grade materials and common features in tactical backpacks.

Tactical backpacks must withstand frequent use in the harshest environments. They all share common aspects such as military-grade materials, load-bearing ergonomics, and durable construction with low-profile MOLLE compatibility for expansion. Working together, they give you reliable performance even in the toughest conditions.

Our tactical-style backpacks are built from durable, water-resistant Cordura nylon-66 fabric and YKK zippers for their wear resistance. Equally important are buckles and hardware that must be consistently reliable; that’s why we use Duraflex & ITW components for their renowned performance. Together, these components are considered the gold standard for military-grade bags and packs due to their decades of proven durability.

Ergonomics is critical to ensuring a comfortable carrying experience and we integrate suspension systems into our backpacks. For instance, the MARKHOR-45 backpack — our most advanced model, is equipped with an adjustable shoulder yoke harness for torso length, a padded waist belt, ergonomic frame, and ventilated mesh for breathability. These elements work together to give you a comfortable carrying experience, enabling you to remain focused on the mission at hand.

When it comes to modular expansion capability, we offer low-profile MOLLE-compatible attachment system so you can attach organizer pouches, first aid kits, bottle holders, and other MOLLE accessories. Additionally, for internal expansion, our backpacks feature high-visibility loop-lining for attaching hook and loop accessories. This gives you the ultimate expansion capability to customize for your needs.

Hydration carry and CCW capability are essential for tactical bags and packs.

Staying hydrated is crucial for our professional and outdoor users. Our larger packs and backpacks are designed to fit water bottles and bladders, ensuring that you remain refreshed and energized throughout your adventures.

For instance, many of our backpacks and messenger bags feature an expandable side pocket for bottles or a compartment for a water bladder. Our popular TRIDENT-21 and TRIDENT-32 backpacks give you both options for hydration carry flexibility.

Regarding CCW compatibility, our law enforcement, military and CCW users can discreetly carry off-body. Some of our most sought-after packs, such as the KATARA-16, JAVELIN-18 sling backpack, and TRIDENT-32 backpacks, are all equipped with loop-lined compartments for hook and loop/CCW accessories. Moreover, the larger MARKHOR-45 backpack can also carry a rifle or bow externally, making them ideal for hunters.

Lastly, the low-profile RACKIT-36 covert rifle pack stands out as a top choice for our protective detail clients. Designed for discreet carry, the RACKIT-36 can accommodate a rifle/carbine along with first aid kits or other hook & loop accessories.

Day hike, camping, or expedition? Different-sized backpacks for different adventures.

Depending on your adventure, whether it's everyday carry (EDC), hiking, bushcraft/camping, or hunting you’ll need a backpack with the right capacity, organization, and a comfortable suspension system. 

For day trips and short hikes, the KATARA-16 sling backpack is the ultimate convertible sling backpack. With a 16-liter capacity, you can easily organize your hiking essentials, including a hydration bladder. Moreover, you have the option to carry it as a traditional backpack or as a single-shoulder sling pack.

When it comes to everyday carry (EDC), the TRIDENT-21 and the larger TRIDENT-32 backpacks provide ample space and organization for your daily carry essentials. They feature a padded body that offers protection for your valuables, along with padded dividers for customized organization. On the outside, the padded breathable mesh back panel, shoulder straps, and padded waist belt help keep you comfortable. 

For bushcraft/camping or multi-day expeditions, the IBEX-35 and MARKHOR-45 backpacks provide spacious capacity for your essential outdoor gear. Both feature an adjustable shoulder harness with a padded waist belt, a load-bearing ergonomic frame, and a ventilated mesh back panel for breathability. This ensures a comfortable carrying experience even over long distances.

Different access styles for your carry purposes.

Tactical backpacks are designed with different opening styles that help you access and organize your supplies. Each style offers unique advantages and accessibility options. Here are some examples:

Top & side opening: At times, top access alone isn’t enough when you need to retrieve items stored at the bottom of your pack. That's why our classic TRIDENT-21, TRIDENT-32, and JAVELIN-18 backpacks give you convenient top and side access. These backpacks feature our signature S-curve zipper opening, offering unobstructed and secure side access whether carried on or off the body.

Front & clamshell opening: Some bags such as the MARKHOR-45 and IBEX-35 backpack, feature a clamshell-style opening on the front for full, easy access when packing or searching for items. By staging the zippers near the top or sides, you can conveniently access specific areas for items. This access style is perfect for those who prefer an open view of their backpack when organizing/packing their loadout.

Always be prepared for medical emergencies with a tactical mindset.

The tactical mindset of always being prepared by carrying medical supplies for emergencies extends beyond the battlefield. Today, critical life-saving kits are widely adopted and carried by everyone, from everyday cyclists to casual hikers and hunters in the field.

Focused on maintaining the organization of medical/trauma supplies, our First Aid Trauma Pack (FATPack) series offers a compact and instantly accessible solution. Available in three sizes, you can assemble a personal range kit with the FATPack 4x6, create a hiking first aid kit using the FATPack 5x8, or establish a multi-person medical/trauma kit within the FATPack 7x10 trauma pack. These pouches give you flexible options when creating your medical kits.

Inspired by the popular FATPack pouches, the FATPack-Pro medical backpack represents our most versatile and comprehensive medical readiness bag. Designed in collaboration with emergency medical professionals, they are purpose-built for responding to multi-person trauma events. These durable packs offer ample space for a wide array of medical supplies, ensuring organization, modularity, and readiness in critical situations.

Final thoughts…

Since 2011, Vanquest has stood as your partner in building durable everyday carry bags and packs. From the beginning, we've worked closely with our law enforcement, military, and emergency agency users to build top-tier gear for organized preparedness. 

Drawing on decades of experience and user feedback, we consistently refine our designs and enhance product quality for our professional users. Our tactical packs endure the toughest environments with military-grade materials, ergonomic comfort, and modular flexibility, ensuring long-term durability. The Vanquest Team is here to keep you prepared for your next adventure!