If you haven’t heard of the Highland Tactical brand then it’s about time you had. They have become a world-renowned manufacturer of high-quality backpacks specifically designed for tactical use in the outdoors. This is by no means saying you have to be in the military to use one, they make backpacks for everyone.
Male, female, cub scout, or adventuring teenager, Highland Tactical have made backpacks to be adaptable to any environment, whether it’s the rocky mountains, colorado desert or new york city, their backpacks are made to enhance and support your experience.
They ensure their backpacks have unique designs that work for everyone, whether you’re new to the outdoors or work for the military, they don’t compromise on their quality and purpose. So no matter your skill level or specific backpack needs, Highland tactical backpacks have got you covered.
In this Highland Tactical backpack review, we’ll look through ten of their best and most popular backpacks and analyze the features they each have so you can go and buy the one that suits you best.
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BEST ALLROUND BACKPACK
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BEST CAMPING BACKPACK
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BEST TRAVEL BACKPACK
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The Highland Tactical Apollo Heavy Duty Backpack is made for dense polyester. You can see just by looking at it that it’s a rugged and durable backpack. The polyester also makes the backpack water-resistant against the odd shower but if you want to make it water-proof for heavy rains, it’s best to go buy a water-proof rain cover.
The pack features one main compartment with a built-in laptop sleeve that sits snuggly against the padded back to keep it safe and secure. The front has two zipper pockets, one is quite large and then there are 3 pockets on the sides, one that will fit a water bottle.
There are ample storage options to keep your belongings organized and safe. If the pockets aren’t enough the pack is surrounded by MOLLE webbing so you can attach any extras to the outside.
The backpack comes with compression straps to keep all your belongings tightly packed for when you’re hiking. The padded air mesh, adjustable shoulder, waist, and chest straps make it comfortable to carry.
It’s a good size for camping/hiking or a weekend away. It has enough space to manage a three-day adventure in the wild. It is perfect for hunting, camping, hiking, and any military operations.
The Highland Tactical Men’s Basecamp is more of a day pack or a camping light pack. It’ll also be perfect for commutes to work and for those fun weekends away at a cabin or the beach.
It’s got one main compartment with a laptop sleeve, a dedicated hydration bladder pocket, and two further small pockets on the front for valuables and small items. There is a little bit of MOLLE webbing on the front to help carry some extra things if you need to.
The backpack is made of heavy-duty polyester and is made to withstand intense environments. The polyester also makes it water-resistant but don’t leave it out in the rain. It’s super durable and sleek looking.
It comes with padded shoulder straps, waist and chest straps that all adjust to give you a nice fit. It’s very comfortable to carry and would be ideal as a hiking/hunting day pack. It could have a few more pockets, to be honest, to make it a bit more versatile, some side pockets would be handy.
The Highland Tactical Roger Backpack is another great bag that’s been made to deal with any environment, like all the packs in the review. It’s again made from high-density polyester making it durable and water-resistant.
The great thing about this bag is the size, it’s big enough for camping for a few nights while being small enough to use as a day pack. The main compartment is spacious enough to fit all your clothing and food while the outside pockets can manage the things you need quick access to.
Inside the main compartment are a laptop sleeve and a mesh zipper pocket for valuables. They should have added some dividers in here to keep things a bit more organized. On the outside, you have 5 pockets, 3 on the front, and 2 on the side, perfect for organizing all those little bits you need in the outdoors.
There is a laser-cut MOLLE system on the front and sides so you can easily secure a tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping matt to the backpack for any adventure. There are 4 compression straps to pull the bag tightly together too.
Once it’s on your back you’ll notice the padded air mesh back pad plus the adjustable chest and shoulder straps. There is no waist strap with this pack which is a huge shame.
It’s a great backpack overall though, perfect for day hikes, camping, commuting, and long weekends.
The Highland Tactical Major Backpack comes in at 29 liters, pretty ideal as a day pack but with the additional molle webbing, you could carry everything you need for a camping trip if you pack light.
Made from high-density polyester, this pack, like the others, can handle being thrown around and is also water-resistant.
There are plenty of pockets, 9 in total, to keep all your things neatly organized for quick access. The main compartment is roomy, has a laptop sleeve, and a mesh pocket for valuables like a passport.
The second compartment is quite slim and is ideal for storing A4 documents or for use as a hydration bladder pocket. Further to this, there are three more front pockets for smaller items.
There are no side pockets which seem like a waste but there is MOLLE webbing down the sides and front to attach any extra gear you may need on your journey. There’s an air-mesh padded back, shoulder, chest, waist, and compression straps to keep you comfortable while you hike around.
The Highland Tactical Crusher Backpack is another great piece of outdoor gear suited to day hikes and short camping or hunting trips. It’s rugged, durable, and has some great storage options.
It’s made from high-density polyester to ensure it lasts in the outdoors while also being water-resistant. The main compartment is spacious enough and has a laptop sleeve and a mesh pocket for valuables. It’s a great size for a work pack which you can also adventure with on the weekend.
There are five pockets on the outside, two on the side, and three on the front. The side pockets aren’t large enough for a water bottle but perfect for a compass, compact camera, multi-tool, etc.
One of the front pockets is long and vertical with dual access. It’s a great place to store maps, documents, a rain jacket, or other bulky items you might need access to quickly. The two smaller front pockets are perfect for small items and there’s webbing on the lower pocket to keep a pocket knife, pens, and more, neatly in order.
The pack is covered in MOLLE webbing to any extra you might need. And the padded back, shoulder, and chest straps keep you comfortable while walking. The only drawbacks are the lack of a waist strap and no padding on the base of the bag.
Overall a great value backpack that’ll be perfect for commuting, weekend camping, and day trips.
Another great day or short camping pack is the Highland Tactical West Backpack. Made as heavy-duty and water-resistant as the rest, this is the perfect backpack for weekend adventures or busy week commuting.
To start, it looks pretty cool, I’d love the looks I’d get walking into the office with this on. The design makes it sleek but practical and very versatile. It’s a great size to carry all you need for every day and weekend too.
The main compartment is spacious with a laptop sleeve while the slim second compartment and 4 outside pockets give you all the organizational storage space you need for all your little bits.
Again there is MOLLE webbing everywhere, compression straps, and padded back, chest, and shoulder straps to keep you comfortable. It’s just missing some waist straps for those long hikes when you’re pack is loaded.
The Highland Tactical Foxtrot Backpack takes things to the next level. This backpack is perfect for long trips into the outdoors as is labeled as a 3-day pack, but I’m sure you could go longer with it.
It has a capacity of 39 liters and is made with the same heavy-duty polyester to keep water-resistant and alive in the wild. The main compartment is very spacious with a few mesh pockets and a laptop/hydration bladder sleeve.
The outside has 5 pockets, 3 on the front and 2 on the side. The top front pocket is made for your glass or phone and lined with Tricot to ensure nothing gets scratched while the other two are perfect for any quick access accessories. The two side pockets are long and spacious, great for water bottles, rain jackets, and more.
The outside features two different MOLLE designs, one being webbing and the other laser-cut MOLLE to thread straps through. This gives you a large array of options of how to attach all your extra gear needed for a three-day adventure in the bush.
There are also nylon loops at the base as well as chords threaded down the front for even more customizable storage options.
In terms of comfort, this pack comes with a breathable back pad, shoulder, chest, and waist straps to keep the weight well distributed and you are comfortable while walking the trail.
Overall an awesome tactical camping backpack for extended adventures into the outdoors.
The Highland Tactical Vantage Backpack is made for ultra organization and accessibility for those long weekends away. It has the best storage options out of any of the backpacks in the review.
The main compartment is large and opens up fully with its double zipper system, rather like a suitcase would. This allows you to see, organize, and access things quickly without any digging that you might usually do with a normal backpack. There’s also a long zipped pocket and a mesh pocket in the main compartment for valuables.
Then there is a second vertical compartment that’s quite skinny but perfect for a laptop, tablet, or any documents such as maps or others. As long as the two front pockets are filled along with the main compartment, your laptop will have ample padding. This is a great, easy-access laptop compartment for going through security at airports.
There are two further front pockets plus loops on the top and bottom for bedrolls and the MOLLE webbing. The waist, shoulder, and chest straps keep you comfortable on long hikes and the breathable back keeps you cool too.
This is a great camping backpack but it’s also the perfect travel backpack thanks to its abundance of storage options.
The Highland Tactical Men’s Stealth Backpack is made for a 3-day adventure but it does have fewer storage options than the other 3-day packs in the review.
Made from high-density polyester for durability and water resistance, this backpack features a large main compartment that is spacious enough to carry everything you’ll need. There’s a padded laptop sleeve inside too that’ll hold it safely and securely.
The outside has 2 more pockets for accessories, MOLLE webbing plus hook and loop patches for customizable storage.
The padder back and shoulder straps keep you comfortable while walking while the waist and chest straps help support your back.
Overall this is a solid camping backpack but it could do with some more pockets.
All the backpacks in the review are made from extremely durable high-density polyester. This makes them very hardy as well as water-resistant. You can trust they’ll have your back in the outdoors and not fall apart.
All the webbing is MOLLE, the high quality you can find in the market today.
All the backpacks in this review come with a padded back pad, shoulder straps, and a chest strap. Not all of them have a waist strap and this is identified in the cons of any that don’t. Be sure you choose a pack with the right straps your body needs to be comfortable carrying a heavy backpack in the outdoors.
The size of each backpack can be found in the info section under each item. The sizes range from day packs to 3-day adventure packs. Each one has a different size and style to it, be sure to pick the one that fits your uses best.
Compartments are what these backpacks are all about, and having read the review, I’m sure you can see that each backpack has a different layout of pockets and compartments compared to the next. This is, of course, done on purpose and will have on the functionality of your backpack.
Make sure you think about the pockets and compartments you need while in the outdoors. This is will, in the end, be the biggest factor that makes your bag a useful tool or a hindrance.
Every Highland Tactical backpack comes with a two-year warranty as stated in the info section of each product. The warranty is valid whether it is bought directly from Highland Tactical or through an authorized dealer. There are quite a lot of exclusions though and it is worth having a read through their warranty policy here.
Here are our top choices from the review.
The best all-rounder is the Highland Tactical Roger Backpack. This backpack is the perfect size to take all your gear with you while not being too big. It has great storage options and the clincher is the laser-cut MOLLE on the front and sides so you can attach all the camping gear you need for any adventure.
The best bag for camping is the Highland Tactical Foxtrot Backpack. This has all the space and storage options you could ever need for a 3+ day adventure. The two types of MOLLE plus nylon straps make it customizable while the padded back and straps keep you comfortable while hiking.
The best travel backpack is the Highland Tactical Vantage. This has a great array of storage options and accessibility that will take the headache away from your travels. The easy access to laptop storage combined with the fully opening main compartment will make it a great asset.