If you’ve read any of my recent reviews you’ll already know that I am a big fan of 5.11 Tactical’s range of products. There’s good reason for this as it is well known that the company produces outstanding products at a reasonable price. I also believe that part of their success is due to the research and development that they put into each and every item that enters their production line. And when I say “research” I don’t mean guys behind computers punching keyboards! What research means to 5.11 is consulting with law enforcement and military personal, to establish what will best suit their needs in real life situations.
For review I was sent a Multi-Cam RUSH 24hr backpack which is certainly no exception to the 5.11 standards of research. The RUSH pack is part of the VTAC series of products which were designed with the help of Special Operations Combat Veteran Kyle E. Lamb. Kyle has a long list of decorations which includes his involvement during a battle in Somalia which most of us will know from the movie Black Hawk Down. Kyle spent 17 of his 21 years in the Military as a member of Special Operations so I think we can safely assume that he knows his stuff.
The RUSH 24 is (as the name implies) designed to be used as a 24 hour backpack, which basically means that you should be able to fit enough equipment into it to get you by for a day, without the need for additional supplies. The dimensions are 20”H x 12”W x 7”D (inch’s) which is quite big for a 24 hour pack. I would be very surprised if you couldn’t extend it to a 48 hour bag as there really is a lot of room for extras. Yet with its large capacity it doesn’t tend to be cumbersome or bulky when in use.
The RUSH is made with water resistant 1050 denier nylon which I can verify does exactly what 5.11 claim it does. During the course of a 42km walk I got soaked by some steady drizzle, but everything inside the pack stayed dry and moisture free. The nylon also seems durable and other than a few scuff marks it’s been holding up really well. During testing I managed to lean against a bushfire burnt tree which left a thick layer of soot all over the pack. The dirt just simply brushed off the nylon and left only a little trace that it had been there at all. It’s nice to know that cleaning is an easy task.
The zippers are heavy duty YKK and have solid pull taps attached to each one. They haven’t failed me in any way and given their design, I doubt they ever will. They are silky smooth and can be operated with one hand with little effort. I’m always looking for weak zipper designs because they’re usually the first thing to fail on cheaper items. However, I’m yet to see a fault occur with any of the YKK zippers.
The one major complaint I had with my previous backpack was the lack of pockets and it was nice the see that the RUSH has pockets to spare. There are honestly that many of them that I wouldn’t have enough room in this article to go over them all. But I will say they are very well incorporated into the pack and it seems like each pocket has been purpose built for something. My favourite is the fleece lined sunglass pocket that is located on the top of the pack. It’s great having somewhere to keep your glasses protected and yet still be able to easily locate them. The side pockets are also handy and I find them great for storing drink bottles, torches and large knives.
There is also a hydration pocket which allows you to fit a water bladder. There are two exit holes for the hose which then attaches to either of the packs shoulder straps. I was using a Deuter 3 litre bladder which fitted well but I did find the drinking hose a tad on the short side for this pack. Each brand (and model) of bladder will differ but in any case it’s an easy fix if you want to extend the tubing.
The main compartment of the RUSH 24 pack features compression straps which allow you to either extend or decrease the storage capacity of the bag. I found that during basic day trips such as hunting or bushwalking, the straps can be tightened all the way up giving the bag a smaller profile which is handy when trying to stalk through timber. If maximum capacity is what you’re after then keep them relaxed and you’ll be surprised at how much the bag will fit.
The shoulder straps are quite wide which helps distribute the weight and I found the RUSH to be extremely comfortable during all levels of testing. I’m yet to find a backpack that can compete with the RUSH 24 in the comfort category.
There are MOLLE attachment points at the front and sides of the pack which gives users the ability to add additional pouches and accessories if needed. I don’t own a lot of MOLLE compatible pouches but just about anything can be rigged to fit with a little ingenuity and a couple of cable ties.
The RUSH 24 is available in a range of colours with the Multi-Cam being the newest offering. I like the camouflage pattern but if you find it too wild for your liking then there are plain variations available.
Overall I’m really impressed with the RUSH 24 which I can’t say is a surprise given that it’s got the 5.11 logo on it. You can see by the features that a lot of thought and effort has gone into the design and the quality indicates that it’s built to last. 5.11 Tactical gear can be obtained through Kizylars website or the 5.11 Australia site which will be linked below. As the Multi-Cam is a more complex pattern, there will be an additional cost over the standard coloured versions.
For a full run down on all the packs features, check out the video from 5.11 below.