Updated September 24, 2018 by Daniel Imperiale

The 10 Best Operator Backpacks

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We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. You don't have to be in the military to appreciate the functionality and versatility of these operator backpacks. Any outdoorsman or tactical law enforcement officer would find they make carting around a lot of gear a whole lot easier. And for style conscious urbanites, they can add a rough and tough look to your ensemble, while also providing you with all that carrying convenience. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best operator backpack on Amazon.

10. Fox Outdoor Products Field Action Pack

9. Mardingtop 52cm Tactical

8. Seibertron Tactical Rucksack

7. 3V Gear Tactical Paratus

6. Tactical Tailor Extended Range

5. Direct Action Dragon Egg Tactical

4. Grey Ghost Gear Stealth

3. Eberlestock G4

2. LA Police Gear Tactical

1. Warrior Assault Systems Predator

What Makes An Operator Backpack Special?

You can tell an operator backpack apart from its traditional backpack cousin by its rugged look.

If you have a lot of gear to haul, consider purchasing an operator backpack. There's no reason you have to suffer, forcing your supplies into an awkwardly-designed bag that wasn't built for performance. These tactical packs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and provide the wearer with plenty of storage space for everything from provisions to clothing.

You can tell an operator backpack apart from its traditional backpack cousin by its rugged look. Virtually all operator packs feature an incredible number of pockets and compartments, so you can keep items large and small secure and protected in all kinds of conditions.

Just because you aren't a Navy SEAL doesn't mean you can't rock a tactical bag. Civilians concerned with the safe transportation of their goods will find these backpacks convenient, comfortable, and pretty darn cool-looking, too. Don't be shy about filling them up with heavy items, because they're built for exactly that purpose. Reinforced seams and padded straps make for enhanced wearability during those long days spent commuting or traveling, so all you have to worry about is getting to your destination — not whether your stuff will survive the journey in one piece.

Speaking of traveling, frequent flyers are in luck: many of the operator backpacks manufactured today meet the carry-on size guidelines listed by top airlines. There's no need to check an overstuffed piece of luggage on the flight back home; simply load up the pockets of your operator backpack with all the souvenirs your heart desires and rest assured it will still fall within size limits.

Features To Look For

Shopping for your first operator backpack can be overwhelming, but the good news is that, with so many options available, you're likely to find one that's perfectly suited to your needs. Here are a few things to consider before pulling the trigger on that purchase.

As mentioned previously, these backpacks sport more pockets than the standard school pack and come in a range of shapes and sizes, all designed to support considerable loads. If you like keeping your sundries safely shielded from the elements, go for a model with more internal pockets than external ones.

Mesh or fabric water bottle slots are a common detail and prove especially important during physically draining activities like hiking or climbing.

Mesh or fabric water bottle slots are a common detail and prove especially important during physically draining activities like hiking or climbing. If you're into even more intense outdoor activities, choose a backpack that has a built-in liquid compartment. With a liquid compartment on hand, it's always easy to fill up a canteen when other sources of water are scarce. Bear in mind how many liters of water your excursions typically require, as capacities vary.

Straps are also central to the operator backpack. Serving a crucial purpose, straps help ensure your goods won't budge even during the most vigorous movement, affording you peace of mind. Most straps can be tightened or loosened to accommodate your stature and whatever you choose to pack.

Compression straps are yet another desirable feature. These straps snap together and are adjustable, so you can easily minimize the size of your backpack whether it's partially filled or completely stuffed.

Those who enjoy outdoor activities will appreciate packs that come with a harness or belt. Often detachable, waist belts are great for keeping the weight of your load evenly distributed across your upper body, reducing the risk of strain or injury.

One of the best parts about picking out a new bag is finding one that complements your personal style. There are tons of designs to peruse. Neutral colors like khaki and army green are common, though there are plenty of black choices available and printed patterns, as well.

Pay attention to the material and construction of the operator backpack you're interested in purchasing, and take into account the kind of conditions in which you'll carry the product. If you enjoy camping in areas that experience unpredictable weather, buy a pack constructed from water-resistant materials that will guard your possessions during unexpected downpours. In terms of durability, thick polyester fabrics stand up well to wear and are unlikely to rip or puncture.

When Should You Choose An Operator Backpack?

Regular backpacks are appropriate for day-to-day life, but sometimes our lifestyles, jobs, or travel plans require something a little bit more substantial. That's where operator backpacks come in.

Those who regularly partake in outdoor activities that extend over days will find the operator backpack extremely useful.

Those who regularly partake in outdoor activities that extend over days will find the operator backpack extremely useful. The compartments and sturdy construction make this type of product ideal for the outdoorsman. Hikers, fishers, climbers, and adventurers of all kinds need a reliable method for transporting food, water, and other supplies, which is just the job the operator backpack was designed to perform. There's truly no point anymore in struggling with luggage that wasn't created to endure rough treatment and exposure to the elements.

Similarly, hunters who spend long periods of time in wooded areas can benefit from using an operator backpack. Some packs even include larger compartments for carrying weapons to further simplify the traveling process. And hunters needn't fret about being noticed, as camo-print packs abound.

Sometimes just living in the concrete jungle necessitates a tougher backpack. This particular style of bag is an appropriate solution for city-dwellers who have to drag bulky tools into work each day. With one of these, being able to comfortably and safely transport your supplies across town is a given.

Anyone who attends school these days knows that textbooks are just as cumbersome as ever. Avoid suffering a back injury by going with an operator pack, which offers a practical, stylish way to bring your stuff with you, wherever you go.

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Daniel Imperiale
Last updated on September 24, 2018 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel Imperiale holds a bachelor’s degree in writing, and proudly fled his graduate program in poetry to pursue a quiet life at a remote Alaskan fishery. After returning to the contiguous states, he took up a position as an editor and photographer of the prestigious geek culture magazine “Unwinnable” before turning his attention to the field of health and wellness. In recent years, he has worked extensively in film and music production, making him something of a know-it-all when it comes to camera equipment, musical instruments, recording devices, and other audio-visual hardware. Daniel’s recent obsessions include horology (making him a pro when it comes to all things timekeeping) and Uranium mining and enrichment (which hasn’t proven useful just yet).

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