5.11 Rush 72 Tactical Rucksack Review 2013/11/27

The 5.11 Rush 72 is a great bug out bag and three day pack. Featuring a durable load carry system. I have been using it extensively for running survival lessons and one feature I found really useful was the organisation made possible by all the pockets that the 5.11 Rush 72 has.


Most rucksacks straight out the box come with miles and miles of extra webbing which make the pack look messy and unorganised. On the other hand my 5.11 Rush 72 was super neat and tidy from the beginning. The webbing is short and is kept from flapping around by elasticated sections that actually work. It’s super tidy from the word go and this really helps you out when getting in and out of vehicles. Moreover when you are setting up camp. Since there is no webbing to get caught up and slow you down. Above all the 5.11 Rush 72 doesn’t get it your way. This review is based on a running survival courses on an island which involves both water and land based group travel. So it’s essential to have items quick to hand and keep things organised at all times. Items like first aid packs, knives and stationary for looking after the group you are in charge of.

Using the 5.11 Rush 72

During the summer months and especially on the water it’s a requirement to wear good sunglasses. The 5.11 Rush 72 has a very handy felt lined pouch at the top of the pack to keep glasses safe from scratches as well as having them easily accessible. Being at the top of the pack it’s safe from being crushed by heavier gear too.

For the land based sections, for instance walking to shore. The 5.11 Rush 72 has really wide shoulder straps which help spread the load over a wider area. This is one feature that stands out for me as once it’s on your back it feels very comfy indeed. It is not a long distance hiking bag and works best when it’s being used over shorter distances with plenty of stop starts.


Storing large bits of gear like helmets, roll mats or buoyancy aids is a real pain with most other rucksacks. The 5.11 Rush 72 has a really helpful pouch on the front of the pack which can be expanded to carry equipment. In this case a buoyancy aid as it's right there. Consequently I waste no time in getting it to hand and in turn moving the group to the water as quickly as possible. Say if everything does go south and you end up capsizing!? Well I always use waterproof stuff sacks when on the water but as an extra layer of confidence the 5.11 Rush 72 does feature several drainage grommets built in to the bag. This allows the water to drain which prevents the pack retaining extra weight from the water.

Once on land again the 5.11 Rush 72 can act as a mobile field office. Carrying forms, pens and stationary in its outer most pocket. Everything is neatly stored and secured, but most importantly it’s easy to access. Items I don’t want to carry on my person are stored in the larger pockets, things like mobile phone and wallet.  From an instructors point of view being able to produce anything the group may need in an instant makes a real difference. Something the 5.11 Rush 72 really excels at.


But life around camp is never predictable and so a rucksack should also be tough to cope with the rigors of instructing. The 5.11 Rush 72 has a very high denier 1000D nylon face fabric which copes well with being bashed around and especially in resisting dirt in the base of the canoes. Nylon is one of the toughest face fabrics out there and is generally a sign of quality.

The 72 in Rush 72 does not have any link to its capacity, which is confusing at first. The Rush 72 is in fact 47.5 litres in volume. This size makes for a perfect 3 day bag. Instead the 72 states how many hours you can use it for before you may need to restock on supplies. The pack has a large section in its main compartment which can easily fit things like a small sleeping bag, bivi bag and tarp along with food and a small stove. Spare clothes can go on top and as I mentioned earlier any big bit of gear, such as helmets, can be stored in the external pouch. The front pocket I would keep for smaller bit of equipment, like a headtorch and knife along with the field office essentials I mentioned before.


Overall the 5.11 Rush 72 is a great companion in the field and makes a very good instructing pack. It’s the level of organisation and quick access that helps my job out on location go smoothly. Walking in to a job is also made a better experience by those extra wide shoulder straps. Recommended


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