It's interesting-I've been in contact with an old pal from active duties and we were just shooting the s#$t catching up exchanging memories and all that good stuff. It was great to reconnect with them. We were bouncing ideas and our favorite topic of bugging out came up. He told me about some interesting times with him and his 5.11 Tactical Rush deep in the trenches. I am also a fan of the bag personally, so I decided why not, let's look under the hood a bit.
Before I get into the review, I wanted to mention that i've used this bag before and can attest to the quality. But I wanted to do my due diligence for you guys anyway and fact check with my readers on FB and folks in my trusted forums to make sure we were on the same page. As a result, I was pleased to hear the feedback.
One of the brands that everyone seems to agree with is the 5.11 line. By reading reviews on Amazon, you might already know that 5.11 Tactical does military and tactical equipment right.
What you might not already know is that their Rush 12 is one of the best EDC bags available on the consumer market and here's why:
A quintessential everyday carry bag, the Rush 12 is part of 5.11 Tactical’s larger Rush lineup. This lineup of top-quality tactical assault packs also consists of the Rush 24 backpack and the Rush 72 backpack.
*if you can pack right, you can fit 4 days worth of equipment into this bad boy. Now that's pretty awesome for a lightweight backpack sized for 12 hours (typically).
What does the number in the rush mean for 5.11 bags?
The number in the Rush 12 name stands for how long the bag is intended to be used for at a time. In this case, the 12 denotes that the pack is designed to carry everything you need for 12 hours in the field.
With that said, the Rush 24 is designed for 24-hour missions and the Rush 72 is designed for longer 3-day missions.
So is the 5.11 Tactical Rush 12 backpack right for you?
We’ve done the dirty work by breaking down the numerous features of the pack below for your review. Our in-depth review also put the Rush 12 through the works. We used this bag just like you would – hiking, rucking, and generally giving it a good overall outdoor thrashing. Simply put, the information below will help you decide whether it’s the Rush 12 that you’re after or another tactical backpack altogether.
Rush 12 Backpack Uses
The smallest of 5.11’s offerings in their Rush line of backpacks, the Rush 12 is designed with the everyday user in mind. It’s small and light enough to use to carry a laptop, books, or other everyday accessories, but big and organized enough to use as a get home bag.
Indeed, one of the best things about the Rush 12 is its versatility. It’s a near-perfect daypack that can be used for short day trips, hiking, traveling (as a carry-on), and much more.
Yet at the same time, it is a tactical bag. And that means it is designed for heavy use in the field as an EDC bag or get home bag.
You could even use the Rush 12 as a compliment to your larger bug out bag.
The fact is the Rush 12 is as reliable, durable, and intelligently organized as they come. It’s the best tactical backpack in its size class. All too often smaller daypacks lack great organization. The Rush 12 doesn’t fall into this trap. It is every ounce as organized as 5.11’s larger offerings. Simply put, the pack can be effectively used for anything that doesn’t require more than about a half-day worth of gear.
For a daypack, the 5.11 Tactical Rush 12 backpack comes with a surprising amount of features. At the same time, however, they do not overwhelm or weigh down the pack. Each of the Rush 12’s features has a specific purpose and accomplishes this specific purpose effectively. Furthermore, every component of the Rush 12 is of the absolute highest quality, maximizing durability and minimizing the chance that any of the features will break.
So what sort of features does the Rush 12 come with? A few of the most important to take note of include:
• Constructed of 1050-denier nylon with water-resistant PUx2 coating
• Spacious main compartment (18” tall by 11” wide by 6.5” deep)
• 16 individual storage compartments including a hydration pocket
• Self-repairing YKK zippers with glove-friendly pull tabs
• Fleece-lined eyewear pocket with zipper
• Internal admin compartment with multi-slot organizers
• Adjustable height sternum strap
• Two external compression straps
• Contoured yoke shoulder strap system
• Molle web platform on front and both sides
Here is a video of 5.11 Tactical Rush 12 Backpack for more information and review
Though constructed for use as a daypack, the Rush 12 has a much larger main compartment than most other tactical packs in its size class. Indeed, it really is a mid-size pack with enough storage room for a good-sized load.
The main compartment consists of an intelligent organization system to help you more efficiently stow your gear and accessories. For starters, the main compartment is fully zippered so that you can fully open it and lay it flat. This allows you to pack the Rush 12 much like you would a standard suitcase.
Inside of the main compartment are several individual pockets and dividers. These include the retention pocket on the “back” portion of the main compartment. This is a great place for those important items you might need to grab out on a moment’s notice. Place them in the retention pocket and you’ll always know where to find them.
The Rush 12’s main compartment also consists of two small mesh pockets. Once again, these help you keep small items right where you know you can find them. You no longer have to dig around for things like your lighter or keys. They’re right there.
Additional Compartments/Side Pouches
The Rush 12’s great organizational features don’t stop at the main compartment. There are also a number of additional compartments, pouches, and pockets on the exterior of the pack.
These include a main front outer pocket with a number of internal sub-dividers. These sub-storage pockets are meant to keep all of your EDC items nicely organized. When you need to use one of them, you’ll know exactly where to find it.
The Rush 12, like all of the other backpacks in 5.11’s Rush line, features a space for a hydration bladder. If you live in a hot climate, then this feature is much appreciated. However, it can be a little cumbersome on such a small daypack. Depending on the size of your water bladder, using one in the Rush 12 can take up a lot of valuable storage space.
Finally, the Rush 12 comes complete with a Molle webbing system. It features a ton of Molle attachment points both on the front of the bag and the two sides. As you know, this allows you to fully customize the pack by expanding it with additional pouches and equipment.
The shoulder straps on the 5.11 Tactical Rush 12 backpack are top notch. Though it’s unlikely you’ll ever carry a super heavy load in the pack, the shoulder straps are designed to keep you comfortable in all situations, no matter the weight you are hauling. They’re wide and well padded.
The Rush 12 also features an integrated sternum strap. This helps better suspend and distribute the weight of the bag when you’re carrying a heavy load. It’s important to note that the Rush 12 does not feature a waist strap. However, on a bag of its size, this is a feature that is mostly unnecessary anyways.
The fit of both the shoulder straps and the Rush 12 in general is almost optimal. Though everyone’s body type is different, the pack should fit most people with some tinkering. Luckily, the shoulder straps are also adjustable so you’re able to find the perfect fit.
Rush 12 Durability
The 5.11 Tactical name says all you need to know. Before you even sling the Rush 12 over your shoulders, you can rest assured it’s going to be as durable as tactical bags come. 5.11 has made a name for itself not only by the high performance of its gear but also by just how long it lasts. Drag the pack on the ground, use it as a pillow, throw it around, take it through streams, do whatever you want with it. It’s going to stand up to years of heavy abuse. And that’s that.
Comparable Packs from Other Brands
As mentioned above, 5.11 Tactical produces several packs that are similar to the Rush 12 in design. These include the Rush 24 and the Rush 72. The main difference between these three bags is their size. The Rush 12 is the smallest of the bunch while the Rush 72 is the largest. If you are in the market for something slightly larger than a daypack, it is well worth it to check out 5.11’s other superb offerings.
At the same time, a number of other respected companies produce tactical daypacks that are comparable to the Rush 12. These include companies like Tactical Tailor, Wild Things, Ares Amor, T3, Blackhawk and Condor. In particular, the Camelbak Hawg is another tactical daypack you should take a look at. Along with the Rush 12, it is the standard for which all other companies base their own wares off of.