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Best Small Tactical Backpacks of 2021: Complete Reviews With Comparisons

Army green tactical backpack

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When you’re looking for a compact tactical bag that perfectly blends size, comfort, and organization, your hunt can get complicated.

Not only because there are many options in the market, but also because of the many features you need to consider.

Having one of the best small tactical backpacks will ensure that you can get the right bag for your needs.

Whether you’re looking for a tactical backpack for military needs, outdoor adventuring, or simply because it suits your style, you have many options.

How can you choose between them all?

Use this list to find your favorite or, at the very least, get a better idea of what features you should look for.

Comparison Chart

Green tactical backpack

Condor Compact Assault Pack

Black tactical backpack

Samurai Tactical Wakizashi Tactical Backpack

ARMYCAMO Small 30L Rucksack

ARMYCAMO Small Military Tactical Backpack

Black tactical backpack

Mardingtop 25L Tactical Backpack

Black tactical backpack

24BattlePack Tactical Backpack

Best Small Tactical Backpack Reviews 

1. Condor Compact Assault Pack

Green tactical backpack

The Condor Compact Assault Pack is an affordable, compact tactical backpack designed with usability, durability, and functionality in mind.


Here are its specific features to need to make a note of:

  • Functional Space

The Condor Compact Assault Pack is a 22L bag weighing in at 2.2 pounds, making it truly stand up to the name “compact.”

Even though the bag is small, the interior space and pockets are roomy and easy to use.

You’ll find four individual compartments and a variety of pockets, zippers, mesh pockets, and more.

All of that really adds to the usability of the Condor Compact Assault Pack.

Without the space being functional, a small bag like this would not be enough for most activities when you need to bring gear along for the journey.

  • Hydration Bladder Ready

The Condor Compact Assault Pack is compatible with hydration bladders.

It has a port for easy drinking, so you can it to keep you moving throughout an adventure.

It doesn’t include a hydration bladder, but you can easily add one.

  • Comfort and Fit

This compact bag can also be outfitted to work perfectly for your body and your situation.

The various straps, shoulders, waist, and sternum, are all padded and adjustable.

As such, you can get a very comfortable fit with the Condor Compact Assault Pack.

The bag’s front also has straps and webs that make it possible to add on accessories through MOLLE-style straps.

This feature allows you to customize and expand your Condor Compact Assault Pack.


  • Lots of pockets
  • Easy to adjust for personal needs
  • Expands well despite the compact size
  • Great option for an everyday carry bag
  • Affordable


  • Straps may need clipping or trimming
  • Shoulder straps need to be tightened

2. Samurai Tactical Wakizashi Tactical Backpack

Black tactical backpack

The Samurai Tactical Wakizashi Tactical Backpack is a budget-friendly, entry-level utility backpack that is small and lightweight enough to be an everyday carry bag.


Some of the best features of the Samurai Tactical Wakizashi Tactical Backpack include:

  • Overall Design

This compact 24L backpack is made from 100% durable polyester.

Its design is clearly tactical in its style, but the sizing is smaller than you would see in a full military outfit, making it a great choice for travel, day hiking, and other daily use.

  • Tactical Loops or MOLLE

The tactical loops on the Samurai Tactical Wakizashi Tactical Backpack are not as numerous as they might be on a larger tactical bag.

Still, there are enough for its compact size.

You can use the loops to add other accessories if needed to expand this bag’s utility for unique situations.

  • Hydration or Laptop Compatible

Despite its small size, you can easily outfit the Samurai Tactical Wakizashi Tactical Backpack with a hydration bladder, which you can purchase separately.

There is also a hose port for your convenience.

Many travelers decide to use this area for a small laptop instead of a hydration bladder.

  • Organization

The pack has a side water bottle pocket, mesh zipper pockets in the main compartment, two top pockets, and more organizational aspects.

This feature makes it easy to organize your items and easy access to your things while you’re out and about.


  • Drain holes in at the main compartment’s base
  • Adjustable straps
  • Logical pocket organization
  • Comfortable for daily use
  • Compact and lightweight


  • Flimsy zipper
  • Limited padding

3. ARMYCAMO Small Military Tactical Backpack

ARMYCAMO Small 30L Rucksack

The ARMYCAMO Small Military Tactical Backpack is an entry-level compact tactical backpack with notable features.


Some of the things you’ll expect from this backpack are:

  • Versatile Design

The ARMYCAMO Small Military Tactical Backpack is a 30L polyester tactical-style backpack that you can use as a military bag, hiking bag, daily bag, or traveling bag.

  • Compartmental Organization

Like full-sized tactical bags, this bag has four compartments that you can use to organize the items you want to carry.

Each has its own pockets, dividers, and organization, and there are additional pockets around the entire outside of the bag.

All of this makes the items inside your bag easy to access.

  • Small Size, Large Utility

This backpack holds 30L. This may not seem very compact for many people, but it is more compact than standard-sized 50L+ tactical bags.

Despite it being smaller than big tactical bags, it can still hold a hydration bladder and many other needed items with the same functionality.

The padding even mimics that of a true tactical bag.

  • Adjustable Shoulder Straps

The shoulder straps on this compact bag are a clasp style rather than sewn directly on to the bag.

This helps the bag adjust where the pressure is and prevents the seam at the shoulder from wearing out too quickly, which is a common problem with entry-level bags.

While these straps may need to be adjusted from time to time, there are big benefits to this style.


  • Good durability value
  • Incredibly versatile
  • Easy to pack
  • MOLLE-ready webs and straps


  • Straps need to be tightened
  • Size appropriateness depends on your frame

4. Mardingtop 25L - 40L Tactical Backpacks

Black tactical backpack

The Mardingtop 25L-40L Tactical Backpack is a durable, mid-level option available in 25L, 30L, and 40L versions.

The features of the different varieties of Mardingtop Tactical Backpack are the same across them all, so you can decide how small you want to go based on your size if you like this pack style.

That said, we’ll focus on the 25L version as it is the most compact.


Some of the most notable features of this bag include:

  • Material Used

The Mardingtop Tactical Backpack is made of 600 Denier polyester.

It is available in various colors and is water-resistant, while the zippers are all YKK zippers.

  • MOLLE Webbing and Hooks

Besides the standard MOLLE webbing that you can see on the front of the pack for adding pouches or gear, there are also hooks.

These hooks are on the bottom of the pack, and they are great for attaching tents, bedrolls, and other more cumbersome items to your pack.

Many entry-level models neglect to add these hooks, so this is great to see at this price point.

  • Multi-Functionality

The multi-functionality of this bag is highlighted in its pocket design and layout.

Whether you plan to hike, canoe, or tour the town, this bag has something for you.

The Mardingtop Tactical Backpack has a hydration bladder with a hose port so that you can add your hydration bladder to keep you hydrated throughout your trip.

The straps, including a chest strap, are padded so that you can keep up your adventure longer and with better balance.

Finally, the exterior pockets are great for keys, water, and other things you need to access quickly.


  • Wide, comfortable straps
  • Many organizational pockets
  • Water-resistant
  • Stylish yet classic design
  • Hydration pocket can be used for laptop


  • Lightweight MOLLE webbing
  • No bottom drain holes

5. 24BattlePack Tactical Backpack

Black tactical backpack

The 24BattlePack Tactical Backpack is another mid-range tactical backpack that is on the “bigger” end of small.


The 24BattlePack Tactical Backpack has a lot to offer, including:

  • Weight, Size, and Capacity

This is a 40L polyester backpack with treated cotton and weighs in at 2.7 pounds.

It is a very lightweight option from 24BattlePack and a great option for many different activities.

When looking at small tactical backpacks, some might find that 24BattlePack Tactical Backpack is on the larger end at 40L.

They wouldn’t be wrong, but most standard tactical backpacks are closer to 55L or more, so the size is very relative.

If you’re looking for something that doesn’t look huge but is still very large inside, this bag manages to do just that.

It looks compact, but it is actually very large inside, but consider your height and frame width when deciding if this is small enough for you or not.

  • Durability and Organization

The insulated hydration bladder pocket of this bag can be used for that bladder and has a preinstalled hose port.

It also has a padded laptop area that can fit 17 inches or smaller in size.

The bag’s internal pockets are very logical, and the entire bag has been constructed with strong, double-stitched seams.

Lastly, the bag also has a built-in gun holster that can fit most guns.


  • Good durability value
  • Easily expandable and compressible with clips
  • Velcro areas for patches
  • High capacity


  • Too large for very small frames
  • Narrow shoulder straps

What Tactical Backpacks Should You Consider?

Small tactical backpacks offer necessary features when used as everyday carry bags, travel bags, adventure bags, military bags, and more.

Whether you need a great three-day pack, the backpacks included on our list are among the best small tactical backpacks you can find today.

Some of these backpacks, though, outperform the others in certain features that most backpackers and adventurers are looking for.

Many people favor the Condor Compact Assault Pack for its compact size, many utility pockets, and comfortable strap setup, making it perfect for short trips.

Another great option is the Samurai Tactical Wakizashi Tactical Backpack for those who want an entry-level style that doesn’t cut back on many features.