5.11 Rush 72 tactical backpack review

5.11 Rush 72 Backpack Review – Our New Favorite Bug Out Bag?

5.11 Tactical Rush 72 Backpack

5.11 Tactical Rush 72 Backpack

Features

Plenty of space, well organized pockets, hydration bladder compatible, comfortable, and tough as nails

Comfort

5.11 checked all the boxes here. Well padded shoulder straps, ventilated back padding, and a sternum strap

Price

You pay for quality here. Sure, you can get a cheaper pack but do you want to rely on the cheapest or the best?

  • MOLLE Attachments
  • Very roomy
  • Comfortable
  • Doesn't fit all body types
  • More expensive than some models

It is hard to describe to people who just don’t get it...

Why buying the right backpack is so damn important.

It isn’t until you are knee-deep in disaster that you realize that buying the cheaper, not so expensive model was not one of your finest moments.

Always keen to learn from my mistakes - and the trip in question ranks up there with being the only idiot to go to a non-fancy dress party in fancy dress - I vowed never to get myself into a similar predicament again.

That trip is why I came straight home and began to delve into the world of tactical backpacks.

That last sentence made it sound like a bit of a chore, but truth be told, and by the very fact you are reading this page, we both know that researching and buying gear for our hobbies is never a chore; in fact, it’s all part of the fun.

A quick whizz around the usual sites seemed to throw up the 5.11 Rush 72 Backpack remarkably regularly, so that was sufficient for me to whip out the credit card and place my order.

There then followed the compulsory checking of emails for the next few days in eager anticipation - some might say desperation - for the delivery email.

5.11 Rush 72 side view

Well, finally it arrived, so let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and see if you should be rushing to buy the 5.11 Rush 72 backpack.

Is The Rush 72 For You?

This bag is bloody brilliant unless you are a fanatical bodybuilder type with a physique just like mine (I wish).

5.11 Rush 72 camo

In all seriousness, the only real negative that I can find for this bag was that when my heavily muscled friend came round to test out the bag in person, he complained that the straps were just a little too tight around his massive neck.

Hopefully, he won’t read this review.

But for any long distance hiking, if you do have big shoulders and are of a stocky disposition, then over time this bag might start to become uncomfortable.

Particularly if you have it stuffed to overflowing with other gadgets and gear.

If, on the other hand, you are slim and perfectly proportioned like me, then I would say that this backpack is perfect for the vast majority of people.

Features and Benefits Of This Bag

Apart from the huge number of pockets built into the bag, one of my favorite features is the material that it is made out of.

1000d Nylon Cordura is the perfect combination of a rough, tough, hard wearing material that can take whatever you throw at it, while still being lightweight.

There has been a lot of thought put into the design of this bag, with pockets of various size everywhere.

It also comes with a lot of Molle straps which make it even more useful for lugging more stuff around, although I am not sure my back would agree with that benefit.

For me the point of a backpack is to assist you in carrying all of your equipment and essentials quickly and easily.

You can’t blame the equipment if you can’t pack for toffee or you overload the bloody thing.

5.11 bug out bag open

If anything, the fact that you can overload it and it doesn’t rip or show signs of damage is yet another positive for this 5.11 tactical backpack.

While we've talked about what to pack in your bug out bag, we've also discussed the dangers of overloading it.​

5.11 Backpack Specs

  • Made with water repellent 1000D Nylon
  • Main Compartment measures 23” H x 13.5” L x 8.5” D
  • Front Pocket measures 15.5” H x 11.5” L x 2” D
  • ​Left and Right Pockets measure 16.5” H x 6” L x 1.75” D
  • ​Hydration Pocket 21” x 13.5.”
  • 55 Liter Capacity
bug out bag specs

See full specs here

What I Liked

There are so many positive things to say about this backpack.

As I have mentioned above, it is sturdy, hard wearing, and yet it doesn’t weight a great deal.

The design and implementation of the storage system are first class, and it feels comfortable on your back.

The shoulder straps are nicely padded, which means they don’t dig into your shoulders when you are on a long hike.

What I Didn’t Like

Regarding subtlety, this bag fails miserably.

You can forget the whole "gray man" approach.

It virtually jumps up and down screaming to be the center of attention, so if you are conscious of drawing attention, then this may not be the best bag for you.

The second negative, which is subjective, is that I would have liked a partition in the main pocket of the bag.

It is effectively one huge space, which may be perfectly fine for some people, but didn’t really suit my style, but that is being harsh.

Rush 72 shoulder straps

Recommendation

If you just skim this article, you might come to the conclusion that I was not a huge fan of this 5.11 backpack, but you couldn’t be further from the truth.

Perhaps in my old age, I am becoming a cantankerous old coot, but I just wanted to point out the very minor problems, in the interest of being totally open and honest.

But if you are after a genuinely top quality bag, at a reasonable price, then the 5.11 Rush is hard to beat.

Alternative Options

There are a lot of alternative choices available to anyone who either doesn’t like the look or style of the 5.11 Rush 72 tactical backpack or for whatever reason is unable to purchase one.

After a little research, the two best alternatives would seem to be 5.11 rush 24 or the Maxpedition Falcon II.

The Rush 24 doesn’t have a waist belt, though, so may not be as well suited to longer treks as all of the weight will be on your shoulders all of the time.

5.11 Rush 24 backpack

5.11 Rush 24 Backpack

Maxpedition Falcon 2

Maxpedition Falcon II Backpack

The Maxpedition is a top quality bag, and there is not a huge difference between both bags other than the dimensions of the Maxpedition Falcon II may make it not quite so comfortable for a someone 6’2 or above.

Either way, if you choose any of the three backpacks mentioned in this article, you are unlikely to be disappointed.

We live in a very good time for our hobby and when it comes to backpacks, the quality, and technology that goes into something as relatively trivial as a backpack is amazing.

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