Are Military Backpacks Good For Hiking [Clarify]

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Are military backpacks good for hiking?

Should you consider buying a military backpack for hiking?

Many people are confused between a military backpack and a hiking backpack. Hiking is a great adventure sport that makes people more active and also gives them a chance to understand their ability to survive in challenging situations, However, when it comes to choosing the right backpack for hiking, there are certain things that you should keep in mind.

This article is all about which type of backpack is best for a hiking trip. what is the difference between a military backpack and a hiking backpack? what are their pros and cons and many more?

So without further ado, let’s break it down.

What Is A Military Backpack?

Military backpacks are specially designed for soldiers. Soldiers are tall and they have broad shoulder. They are trained to carry heavy load on war zone or rescue operations. A military backpack has features that are not available in normal backpacks.

The design is made to provide maximum functionality and these are practical backpacks with lots of pockets and attachments. Some of the features include:

  • They are cheaper than the other surplus backpacks.
  • Their durability is unquestionable as this is for a soldier who put his life at risk for his civilians. 
  • They have tons of different pockets and organizations to carry garnets, guns, launchers, medicate boxes, etc.
  • They have numerous attachments outside to carry extra stuff such when the bag is full.

What Is A Hiking Backpack?

A hiking backpack is a bag specifically designed for outdoor hiking. Hiking backpacks are designed to take care of space, comfort, breathability, durability, and functionality. 

Hiking backpacks are light in weight but allow you to carry a heavy load with ease. It has the following features:

  • Comes in a highly durable material. Some are made of rip-stop nylon, polyester, and other materials.
  • Comes in plenty of space which is designed to keep all those needy hiking gears without losing comfort. 
  • Light in weight.
  • Easy accessibility of the main compartment.
  • Fully adjustable torso length that can fit most body types.
  • Numerous exterior attachments point to carrying extra stuff without altering the capacity of the main compartment. 
  • Padded and breathable back panel and thick padded shoulder straps.
  • Nice and adjustable waist belt.

Also Read: Can I Carry A Gun While Hiking NY [Prohibited Things]

Comparison Table Of Military Backpacks And Hiking Backpacks

Military BackpackHiking Backpack
1. Military backpacks are highly durable than hiking backpacks.1. Hiking backpacks are also durable and rigid but not as much as military backpacks.
2. Military backpacks are heavy.2. Hiking backpacks are light in weight.
3. Military backpacks are more spacious than hiking backpacks. They have plenty of pockets and internal compartments for carrying heavy military equipment. 3. Hiking backpacks are also spacious but not as much as a military backpack.
4. The external molle system in a military backpack is highly strong and more in number as compared to a hiking backpack.4. Hiking backpack also comes with the external molle system but it is very limited in number and not as rigid and strong as a military backpack.
5. Military backpacks are designed to carry heavy equipment such as guns, ammo, garnets, etc.5. Hiking backpacks are not tended for this purpose. They are designed for short or long hiking trips.

How Does A Military Backpack Differ From A Hiking Backpack?

Military backpacks are designed to hold everything you need for survival. They are highly durable and functional than a hiking backpack. 

A hiking backpack, on the other hand, is designed to keep in mind durability, functionality, comfort, and weight. They are light in weight and are less functional and durable than a military backpack. 

The primary concern behind the design of a military backpack is its functionality, and comfort comes in second. 

If you want a pack having better storage and compartments and you don’t have any problem with the weight of a pack then a military backpack is for you. 

Military backpacks and hiking backpacks both come with different attachment functionalities, but a military backpack has a much better attachment system than a hiking backpack. 

You can attach your guns, garnets, utility packs, magazine pouches, etc, easily and they are easily accessible without even taking the pack off. Military packs have a much better molle system than hiking packs. 

What Are Some Of Pros Of Using Military Backpacks For Hiking?

Although it is a bad idea to take a military backpack for a hiking trip, it has some benefits mentioned below.

  • Military backpacks are highly durable and can bear highly wear and tear than a hiking backpack.
  • They are more functional than hiking backpacks.
  • Military backpacks come in better organizer pockets and tons of different pockets and compartments.
  • The molle system and the outside attachments system are way better than a military backpack.

What Are Some Cons Of Using A Military Backpack For Hiking?

All the good features and benefits of a military backpack are only for a soldier who has to survive in a war zone or in a rescue operation. For hiking, there are many cons using a military backpack. 

Hiking with a military backpack is not as comfortable as hiking with a normal backpack. You might have to deal with a lot of things such as 

  • Heavyweight
  • Rigid and tough material 
  • Many features of a military backpack are useless for a hiker.
  • Less comfortable on your body
  • You can’t hike a long distance with a military backpack. 
  • Difficult to wear and take off.
  • If you carry it stuffed you will face sore lumber and pain in shoulder muscles after hiking. 
  • The external molle system is made of metal and hard canvas which is helpful to carry heavy military equipment such as guns, garnets, ammo, etc. There is no use of these molle systems for hiking. 

Why Do People Use Military Backpacks For Hiking?

People usually buy military backpacks for their hiking trips because of a lack of understanding about a backpack. They think that a military backpack is way better than a hiking backpack in terms of durability, functionality, space, and comfort.

Are Military Backpacks Good For Hiking [Clarify]

But this is not true. Yes, military backpacks are good in durability and functionality but their features are not useful if you are hiking on a long trail. 

If you are on a long hiking trip then a military backpack makes you tired due to its heavy weight, and its rigid structure. A hiking backpack is designed to keep in mind comfort, breathability, functionality, and space. 

Also Read: Why Do Hiking Boots Have Hooks[Secret Uses]

Conclusion (Can I Carry A Military Backpack For Hiking?)

In conclusion, if you’re planning to go on a hiking trip, then you should always choose the right backpack. Hiking backpacks are the best choice for hiking than a military backpack. Because of the design, they are lighter, more comfortable, and come with all the useful features that must be in a hiking backpack. 

On the other hand, military backpacks are way too heavy, bulky, and full of all those features which are not useful for a hiking trip. 


Q.1 What’s The Difference Between A Hiking Backpack And A Military Backpack?

Ans: Both are great for different occasions. Hiking backpacks are good for hiking, camping, and other adventure trips while military backpacks are good for soldiers. Military backpacks are rigid, highly durable, heavy, and more functional than hiking backpacks.

Q.2 Do Military Backpacks Carry Any Weight?

Ans: Yes, Military backpacks are heavier than hiking backpacks due to building quality, their material, and their highly durable external molle system. 

Q.3 Are Military Backpacks Cheap?

Ans: Yes normally military backpacks are cheaper than hiking backpacks. But the market is full of some military backpacks which are way more expensive than a hiking backpack. 

Nick Johnson

I love travelling and buying backpacks for my trip. I love to share the backpack buying guide and some useful tips on this website.