The following review is on the 5.11 Tactical Rush 24 pack. I am no longer going to school but sometimes need to drag my laptop pens and paper around for work or this site. I sat looking through tactical bags and it finally came down between this bag and the Tactical Tailor Enhanced Day Pack. I ended up picking this bag for the many organizers built into the pack and the fact that it has a slightly larger storage capacity. One of my pet peeves for a day pack is not being able to grab something I need when I need it. I hate fishing around a cavernous bag looking for a pen or knife only to grab ten other things in the process.
-Exceptional organization capability. You can store and find almost everything needed for the mission in a timely manner
-Molded back panel makes the bag sit comfortably on the back. It also stops pointy or odd shaped objects from sticking you in the back
-Lots of Molle real-estate to attach a plethora of pouches
-Great price point on a high feature bag
-VTAC logo takes up some Molle space at the bottom of the pack. It should have been put at the top
-Could use an extra set of compression straps on each side of the bag
-The hydration ports at the top of the pack could be less sharp
The bag is made of 1050-denier nylon. The zippers on the bag are all high quality YKK zippers. The rest of the bag is made of Mil-Spec materials. The buckles used for this bag are UTX buckles. I have good confidence in the construction of this bag.
Starting at the top of the bag there are two mirrored clam shell pouches that are about the same size as a point and shoot camera. The two pouches are covered with two rows and four columns of Molle webbing. The top row of webbing is covered in Velcro to affix a name tape if you’re not covering it with a pouch. Inside the pouch is a zippered mesh pocket on the lid of the pouch. On the back wall of the pouch is a slant pocket with a soft fabric lined pouch in order not to scratch a cell phone or MP3 player.
The clam shell pouch holding my old cell phone and mp3 player
Beneath that pouch is the large outer pouch. This pouch is a great organizer filled with separate pockets for all the things you may carry in a day. The outside of the pouch is covered in five rows with six columns of Molle webbing. However at the last row 5.11 decided to stick a large rubber 5.11 Field Tested VTAC which takes up two of the right hand columns of webbing. It’s not the rubber label that bothers me it’s the placement of it. I would have been much happier with this at the top of the bag or side. Instead it ruins part of the Molle real estate on the front of the bag. I don’t plan to actually attach anything there but others will. At the top of this pouch there is three and a half by two inch Velcro square for morale patches or a large flag. Inside the pouch are two seven and a half by five inch stuff pockets. At the back wall of the pouch is a full width zippered pouch with a beefy YKK zipper pull closing it. At each side of this pouch is a key hook so you can keep your keys in place. Under that is a full width stuff pouch. At the left side of the pouch is three pen holders. A pocket with a Velcro strap to secure the contents to keep your camera or notebook from floating around. The right hand side also has a pouch like this and it has a stuff pocket of a suitable size to hold a folding knife.
At each side of this pack is a long zippered pocket covered in five rows and three columns of Molle webbing. Inside the pocket is a diagonal slash pocket at the top for storing smaller items and the rest of the pouch is just a pocket. At the top region of this bag there is a UTX buckled compression strap with an elastic strap retainer. I would have liked another further down the pack to fully compress the contents of the bag.
At the top of the bag is a zippered pocket that is lined in soft fabric to store your sunglasses. There is also a reinforced grab handle at the top which is comfortable in the hand even when the bag is weighted.
To either side of this handle you get the hydration tube slot that is covered with a Velcro lid. The lid opens nicely and contains an X cut in the fabric to allow the routing of the hydration hose out of the bag. However this X is made in a thick abrasive material which is kind of sharp so make sure to use a tube cover with this bag or the contents may get wet. I would have preferred a hole or rubber opening.
At the back portion of the bag are two nicely padded and shaped shoulder straps. The straps have a large two and a half inch webbing strap at the upper portion of the pouch to tuck your hydration tube into so you don’t lose it behind you and to keep it from flapping around. Under that there are three rows of Molle webbing with two columns. Attached to the middle row is the sternum strap with a elasticized piece of webbing to allow a comfortable wear. At the bottom of the strap is another strap like the one used to route the hydration tube. This can be used if the sheath or cell case you have is too long or you want it mounted lower as it is properly spaced for Molle attachments. The quick release buckle at the bottom of the buckle is covered in an elasticized tube which I can only assume is so it protects the buckle from wear and tear since it is what holds the bag onto your shoulder. This bag does not include a chest strap which I was fine with because it rides higher on your back and isn’t meant to be loaded enough to warrant using one.
Underneath the shoulder straps you will find a cleverly concealed zippered pocket. this pocket is where you would put your hydration carrier. At the top of the pocket is a pass through slit with a Velcro hanger to hold up your hydration bladder. The back of the pouch has a nicely curved plastic support plate. This plate helps from odd shape object pocking you in the spine and helps mold the pack to your back even when its packed full.
The internal pocket housing both of these items has a large drainage grommet at the bottom of the pack to allow draining in case of a hydration bladder rupture. This grommet is one inch above the actual bottom of the bag and it would have been nice to have it just a little bit lower. There are also two leather like patches at the bottom of the back to stop the pack from creeping up.
Moving to the inside of the bag we find surprise surprise more organizing pouches. On the lid of the pack you will find three zippered pouches two mesh, and one nylon. The top and smaller of the zippered pouches has a zipper at the top and bottom to make it easier to grab items from it. The middle mesh pouch is the same size as the nylon pouch under it. Someone recently asked me why a pouch is made of mesh. The reason a pouch is made of mesh sometimes is so that you can easily identify the contents of the pouch. This helps in getting what you need quick instead of fishing around blind in a pouch.
At the back of the pack you have two more pouches. The top pouch is a large single zippered mesh pouch similar to the middle one at the front of the inside. Underneath this is a shock cord adjusting dry bag which seems like a great place to store a laptop.
At the very bottom of the pack are two more drainage grommets.
Having used this bag for a couple of months I can say I honestly like most of the design concepts of the bag. As I said I would have preferred another set of compression straps, the 5.11 VTAC logo to be placed elsewhere and the hydration tube holes to be less sharp. The only other problem with the bag is minor loose thread throughout the stitching which I will have to burn later so they don’t get caught. I think this is a great bag despite its failings and is fairly comfortable to wear. I have loaded it with a good amount of weight and a 3L Camelbak bladder and barely noticed it. If you are looking for a comfortable bag with great organization this bag is for you. I purchased my bag through The Tac Shop http://www.thetacshop.ca/ because they had a shipping special. These should be available from any 5.11 distributor. They come in four colors black, olive drab, coyote, and emergency red.