5.11 Tactical RUSH72 Backpack
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- Full-featured 72 hour backpack
- Ideal for recreational use or as an operational bug out bag
- Dual-zippered front and main compartments with molded grip pulls
- Admin organization pocket to store maps, pens, and documents
- 23" H x 13.5" L x 8.5" D main compartment
- Rugged and self-healing YKK zipper hardware
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The RUSH72 is engineered to be a full featured 72 hour bag that provides ample space for gear and accessories while remaining rugged and reliable enough for extended excursions or tactical deployments.
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I did make one minor change to the bag. The zipper pulls throughout are black, which makes it difficult to find the zippers on the inside of the bag. I removed the black pull cords on all the inside zippers and replaced them with reflective yellow pulls made from 2.5mm cord. Big improvement, now you can open it up and instantly find the zipper pulls.
I intend to use the Rush 72 as my travel and camping bag. Among the features I like - just the right size, lots of organization in the pockets, fairly unobtrusive in black, when it isn't full it compresses down nicely. Like the other 5.11 tactical gear, it's well built and sturdy. PALS webbing on the outside is handy for attaching stuff.
I have a separate 70 liter backpack that I take backpacking. Some have noted that the Rush 72 is a bit heavy. It's tactical gear, not backpacking gear. A real backpack has better load bearing, more space and a better hip belt.
UPDATE as of 4/1/16: Have stuffed this bag with gear to test capacity/ease of use. I dislike the bag more and more as I use it. It's just not well built at all. MOLLE attachment loops don't feel or look like they are going to hold out very long. Side bags aren't designed right, if you have the inside full you loose capacity on the outer bags. Waist strap is not for real, its added for looks only. In fact the whole bag is really for looks only. Do not trust this thing with your life.
For starters, I found the pack incredibly uncomfortable for three reasons: 1. The way the shoulder strap connect to the top of the bag are designed for durability, but they are close together and put a lot of strain on your neck and shoulders, 2. There are virtually no ergonomics put into the bag, there are a couple pads on the back but nothing like a conforming contour, 3. When fully loaded, it becomes very wide and somewhat difficult to maneuver around, which I think would be better if it made more use of vertical space and made the back more narrow. Many will buy a bag without and regard to comfort thinking, "get over it." But when you have 40-60lbs in a bag that you're carrying for hours at a time, you'll feel it. Once again, this may have not fit me well personally and may not have been so bad for others, but the bag is definitely not designed for long-distance.
Aside from the comfort, there were some design issues that turned me off. It's very "floppy" when not fully loaded, closed, and zippered. Along the same lines, they designed the front pocket to almost be a separate piece, only attached at the bottom. The idea was to be able to put something large between the main compartment and this pocket. In theory it isn't a bad idea, but it worked really poorly in practice because the compression straps on this bag are only attached to that front pocket, so if you unclip the compression strap (which you need to do to open the main compartment), the entire front pocket falls forward and it feels like the bag just falls apart. And because the front pocket is almost independent of the rest of the bag, you have to almost "balance" things on top of each other and it all gets disorganized when you release the compression straps and it falls down. Had they put separate compression straps on the front pocket that did not affect the overall structure of the bag, it would have worked well.
The only two concerns I have with the quality are the numerous mesh pockets (which eventually wear out like all mesh) and the fact there's no extra fabric to reinforce the bottom of the bag. I have not personally seen it fail, but it's safe to say that mesh eventually rips and tears. The exterior material is tough and the zippers are solid, so no issues or concerns there. As a very minor complaint (VERY minor), the bag attracts dust and everything you can imagine to it like no tomorrow.
Aside from the things above, I'll list the things I DO like. First of all, the quality overall is very good and better than your average bag. I particularly like the handle at the top of the bag, feels unbreakable. I also really liked the full-length pockets on the side, which is something I pretty much insist on having in a backpack, since it's perfect for water bottles, cookware, certain shelter items, etc. The zippers are overall well-made and I have not had anything catch or fail. There is a good level of organization in the main compartment, and since the pockets are mesh and essentially collapse-able, you can choose to completely ignore the pockets and utilize the space or a larger item.
All in all, I was really expecting to be blown away by this bag given all the hype and praise, but it was honestly a bit of a disappointment starting from the unboxing, and went downhill from there for me.
However if it fits you well and fits your needs, this can be a great bag, but I hope this helps to anyone considering it!