If you’re looking for a bag you can rely on day in and day out, it’s hard to beat a tactical nylon bag. They’re popular for EDC because their design and construction put them a step above your run of the mill bookbags. Unlike most casual bags, tactical packs are built to last through the most demanding missions, usually for military, law enforcement, or emergency applications. Luckily for you and your EDC, you can find tactical-style bags with the same focus on high performance and longterm durability in a wide variety of styles, from small day packs to large duffel bags. In this guide, we’ll go over some key features and qualities to look for in a good tactical bag for everyday carry as well as some of our favorite bags, each with a specialized purpose.

What to Look for in a Tactical EDC Bag

  • Durable materials and fabrics: The most common fabric used in tactical bags is nylon due to its strength and adequate water resistance (some bags feature an even heavier ballistic nylon). You’ll usually see manufacturers list a “denier” rating of the nylon to denote how heavy duty it is. Denier (D) is a measure of the mass density of the fibers in the fabric. For example, you might see bags rated at 500D on the low end for a lighter weight and softer feel, to a more common 1000D or above. Generally, higher denier means a stronger fabric at the expense of a heavier bag.
  • Superior hardware and construction: Good tactical nylon bags have heavy-duty zippers and closures that will stand up to constant use and resist breaking when you’re packing your bag to the max. They’re also stitched together well, lending to extra strength in terms of hard use.
  • Expansion and modularity: Many tactical bags stay compact using compression straps, which can loosened to pack in more gear. Most tactical packs can accommodate additional pouches and attachments to increase the overall capacity as well. MOLLE is a standard that lets you hook modular storage and gear to your bag without falling off easily. Bags with this have tell-tale webbing in and around the bag. Older surplus tactical bags use the ALICE system, which also lets you hook gear up to your pack. Both were designed for heavy duty military applications.

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