Gay for Backpacks: 5.11’s "Rush 72"

5.11 Rush 72
April 25, 2017  
Categories: Assorted Ramblings

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Gay for Backpacks: 5.11’s “Rush 72”

Chris Hernandez

A ways back I got a 5.11 “Rush 72” backpack for review. The Rush 72 is smaller than a ruck, larger than a patrol pack, and as the name suggests is intended to give the user the capability to carry 72 hours worth of gear. 5.11 did a pretty good job with this mid-sized pack, and I wish I’d had one in Afghanistan.


The Rush 72 has more compartments than my old ALICE. Its main compartment is open for general storage, plus it has a mesh zippered compartment and bungee compartment on the back wall, plus two zippered mesh compartments and a solid nylon compartment on the front wall. The mesh compartments would be perfect for IFAKs or other gear you need to be able to identify at a glance instead of having to dig for.

Behind the main compartment is storage for a hydration pouch, plus a slot for a removable rigid frame. On top is a fleece-lined sunglasses pocket. Each side of the Rush 72 has a long GP zippered compartment two internal slash pockets each. At the front top is a small GP compartment with an internal zippered mesh pouch and slash pocket. The outermost portion of the pack is a large secondary compartment subdivided into multiple radio pouches, zippered mesh, and nylon compartments and a small admin (pen/pencil/marker) organizer.

Right behind that secondary compartment is a large, handy “shove it” area, open on top with mesh sides. This area can be used to stow items like rain jackets that you wouldn’t want to wear all the time but might need right now. It would also be useful for snatching up and stuffing woobies, mags, or other items lying around if you have to unexpectedly boogie to another position.

And if all those pouches and compartments aren’t enough, molle covers most of the pack’s exterior. There are also four attachment points on the bottom of the pack.

Author Chris Hernandez on horseback wearing the 5.11 Rush 72.

Here are the specs from 5.11’s website: 

  • Built from high-strength, water-repellant 1050D nylon
  • 23” H x 13.5” L x 8.5” D main compartment
  • 5” x 11.5” x 2” front pocket
  • 5” x 6” x 1.75” left and right side pockets
  • 21” x 13.5” hydration pocket
  • 3342 cubic inch / 55-liter total capacity
  • Contour yoke system with grab-and-go handle
  • Rugged, self-healing YKK® zipper hardware
  • Integrated drainage grommet

Rush 72 size comparison to a long gun.

Comfort and Practicality 

The Rush 72 rides well. Its shoulder straps are wide and well padded, as is the non-detachable waist belt. The waist belt has stowage compartments, but when it’s stowed the compartments protrude quite a bit and would probably get on my nerves during a long patrol. Compression straps on both sides allow you to cinch down the entire pack’s load, so you can reduce your overall profile for entering/exiting vehicles and aircraft.

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And the only bad point is…

The only point not in its favor, and this is a totally personal opinion, is that it looks tactical. My pack is grey, but in any color, it screams “soldier/cop” because of all the molle attachment points. In my post-military life, I go out of my way not to look armed, trained, and capable; for that reason, I’m a big fan of tactical packs designed to blend in with a civilian crowd. The Rush 72 probably isn’t what I would carry around for any typical civilian activity, but it would be awesome for short missions.


[You can find the Rush 72 Online here]

Breach-Bang CLEAR!

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This Post is part of our Trails Found Series. What is Trails Found? Members of BreachBangClear and some other badass media outlets assembled together this last September to train with one of the last of what has been called the “old Border Breed”, in the desert of Arizona. That man they were training with was no other than the legendary Jim Grasky. In 1965, Jim Grasky was a young Special Forces soldier in Vietnam; then, in 1970, he was a squad leader for a team of smoke-jumpers parachuting to fight remote wildfires. For about a quarter century after that, he was a Border Patrolman and literally named BORTAC. Though Grasky is a man of many talents, one of his specialties is man tracking–which is why he developed programs specifically for USSOCOM and has taught the world over. Through your various social media outlets, you can track other articles and photos related to Trails Found by searching for #TrailsFound16 and #GoodGearMatters.

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Chris Hernandez

Chris Hernandez

About the Author

Chris Hernandez may just be the crustiest member of the eeeee-LITE writin' team here at Breach-Bang-Clear. He is a veteran of both the Marine Corps and the Army National Guard who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also a veteran police officer of two decades who spent a long (and eye-opening) deployment as part of a UN police mission in Kosovo. He is the author of White Flags & Dropped Rifles - the Real Truth About Working With the French Army and The Military Within the Military as well as the modern military fiction novels Line in the Valley, Proof of Our Resolve and Safe From the War. When he isn't groaning about a change in the weather and snacking on Osteo Bi-Flex he writes on his own blog. You can find his author page here on Tactical 16.


  1. John

    Are you the one talking crap about Veterans with yard signs? That was the most ignorant thing I have ever heard.? And the fact that you are a Veteran makes it even more sad.!who do you think you are passing judgment like. You are an ass and if u don’t like it I’ll give you my address buddy. Ps….I am a combat Veteran too

    • Mad Duo Chris

      Why yes, I am the one talking crap about veterans with stupid, pathetic, usually-dishonest yard signs. I can pass judgment on them because 1) I and others who investigated the organization distributing the signs determined the organization and its founders are frauds, 2) the veteran who heads it never served in combat and lied about non-combat trauma, and 3) no PTSD treatment program encourages people with PTSD to advertise their problem and ask the public to change its normal behavior. So the signs were created by liars and accomplish the exact opposite of helping PTSD sufferers.

      Feel free to call me an ass all you like. And I don’t need your address. You’re not the first veteran to get outraged at my opinion, and you won’t be the last.

  2. Rosi

    Try the 5.11 Covert pack. It isn’t as large and capable as the 72 but it is a good grey man pack for stateside. It looks like a standard school pack but has a plethora of pockets, stash points and 2 way access compartments.

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