I’m usually pretty good at making smart purchasing decisions. I like to do research before I buy. I love to compare and contrast various options. And I’ve definitely learned my lesson about passing over a more expensive (but higher quality) item and buying something that’s not quite as good. Then I have to spend even more money in the long run because I end up having to buy the better-quality item after all.

So thinking about a recent backpack purchase I made, I really should have known better.

Packing It In

I had received an email from a fairly trusted source about a pretty good deal (too good to be true?). So I purchased the recommended “elite tactical backpack” — as a gift. I thought it was well-past-due time for my husband to have a nice, multi-functional pack. And he was very pleased with this useful present, especially since he had been using a pretty plain, simple giveaway backpack for the last four years!

With his brand-new tactical bag in hand, he happily got ready for a work trip and packed some basics for instructing, including a laptop, some eye and ear protection, a SIRT training pistol, and a few other odds and ends. But then, on day two of his trip, his brand-new tactical bag frayed and ripped open in several places, as if it hadn’t even been sewn at all.  

Lesson learned. I sent that bag packing.

Packing It Up

Now on a hunt for a durable, reliable tactical backpack, I turned my sights to the many options out there. Luckily, I happen to know that 5.11 is a fantastic source for functional bags. For instance, my Lucy tote that I have used every day for the last four years must be made of steel! I carry just about everything in that bag, from a day planner, pens, makeup, medicine and hand sanitizer to a tactical flashlight, knife, backup gun and extra magazine. So I figured 5.11 would be a perfect place to go to replace the wimpy wanna-be backpack that I had previously bought.

The RUSH24 backpack immediately grabbed my attention. With water-resistant nylon, wrap-around MOLLE, reinforced handles, contoured shoulder straps with quick-release and plenty of pockets (29 individual compartments, to be exact), this high-performance tactical pack was exactly what I thought I was getting with the so-called “good deal.” This rugged bag is also very adjustable and, therefore, very comfortable for the user.

Sean plans to use his pack for all his upcoming training-related activities, which include both classroom time and range time. But 5.11’s grab-and-go RUSH24 is perfectly suitable for recreational use (think hiking, boating, hunting or working out), operational use (think active duty, field ops, deployment and training), or as a range bag or bug-out bag (or the aptly named “get-home” bag).

People often say: “Happy wife, happy life,” but I think that phrase can definitely work for husbands too … especially when it means getting a cool tactical backpack to hold all your cool tactical stuff. So, I guess in our case, I could say: “Quality guy, quality buy!”

About Beth Alcazar

Author of Women’s Handgun & Self-Defense Fundamentals, associate editor of Concealed Carry Magazine and creator of a woman-focused column for the USCCA Blog, Beth Alcazar has enjoyed nearly two decades of teaching and working in the firearms industry. She holds degrees in language arts, education and communication management and uses her experience and enthusiasm to share safe and responsible firearms ownership and usage with others. Beth is certified through the NRA as a Training Counselor, Chief Range Safety Officer and Certified Instructor for multiple disciplines. She is also a Certified Instructor through SIG Sauer Academy, ALICE Institute, DRAW School, TWAW and I.C.E. Training and is a USCCA Certified Instructor and Senior Training Counselor.