5.11 RUSH12 Review: Definitely One of My Faves

By John

Last Updated:


The RUSH12 by 5.11 Tactical is nothing more than a backpack.

It is simple, durable, and looks absolutely amazing.

Within this review of the RUSH12, I want to show you several other things that this bag packs and why it is on my top 5 list of backpacks.

With the thousands of bags out there, you can bet that the top 5 say a lot.

But before you buy one for yourself, let’s see what makes it rank so high on my list of backpacks.

Product Overview

The RUSH12 is the smallest of 3 backpacks in 5.11’s RUSH line.

It comes in 5 different colors, but one will cost you $41 more.

  • Black
  • Double Tap
  • MultiCam (the more expensive one)
  • TAC OD
  • Sandstone

Every backpack costs $99 except the MultiCam, which goes for $139.99.

I’m old-school and joined the army back when we wore BDUs, so I’m a huge fan of the TAC OD, which is your standard OD Green that some of you are more familiar with.


This backpack comes with 16 compartments and can hold up to 24 liters worth of crap.

It comes with a hydration pocket that can fit 60-oz and is water resistant.

And if you are in the military, you can enjoy a MOLLE-capable outer layer along with some compression straps to pack like a real man.

The dimensions are as follows…

  • Main Compartment – 18″ x 11″ x 6.5″
  • Front pocket – 12” x 9” x 1.75”
  • Hydration pocket -17” x 11”
  • Total Capacity – 1476 cubic inch / 24 liter total

Now that you know what the bag can hold and do, let’s get into the other parts of this review that will most likely help with your final decision.

Looks & Design

This usually makes up 90% of my buying decisions, with the other 10% being durability.

The RUSH12’s looks were the same reason I ended up getting the backpack in the first place.

Specifically the OD Green color.

Sure, the MOLLE design is very functional, but it gives this backpack a look that doesn’t come with most backpacks.

Not to mention that they are very much functional.

For the overall aesthetics, the RUSH12 gets a 5/5 star rating from me.

I also want it to be known that this backpack is my favorite when it comes to looks.

But is the 5.11 RUSH12 Durable?

Let’s just say that this is military grade.

If that doesn’t tell you much, then maybe some 1000D Nylon will.

Oh, you know, this is just one of the strongest weaves that come with putting together nylon.

Not to mention the rip-stop part of the construction that won’t have your bag ripping in half in the event of a small tear.

Not to say that it will tear because it will take a blade or something, as this particular weave is no joke.

The RUSH12 is durable and can be cleaned.

I’d hope so.

Storage & Compartments

Remember that 5.11 has three different backpacks in their RUSH lineup, with the main difference being based on size alone.

The RUSH12 has 16 compartments and can hold 24L worth.

This is from the overall pack and not just the main compartment.

The main compartment, of course, will do most of the carrying and take up most of that space, but the other compartments can also carry their weight.

The front pocket is small but not as small as with other backpacks.

This allows you to hold more than just a pen or a wallet, which is more reason to like this pack.

The middle compartment is bigger than the front but not bigger than the main (of course), and it is perfect for other essentials.

This will be a great compartment for a cleaning kit and other not-too-small items if you are in the military.

Now the main compartment is where the bigger items will go.

This is also where you can find the admin pouch that can hold your laptop.

Being a work-from-home kind of guy that travels to different coffee shops, I need this pocket.

This should also tell you that this is not just for military personnel either, as I love the overall flow of this backpack.


YKK zippers and Cordura nylon are the highest of standards regarding the quality of backpacks.

That is exactly what you get with the RUSH12.

You cannot tear this thing easily with the ripstop fabric.

And if, in the event, it does get cut for some reason, it won’t rip open like some plastic bag that will have your stuff flying everywhere.

Then you have some self-repairing YKK zippers that, well, fix themselves.

You’re probably used to cheaper zippers that sometimes don’t seal, and that’s okay.

Welcome to the world of high-quality zippers.

Who would’ve thought zippers could be such a big deal, right?

They are, especially if you plan on spending a lot of money on a backpack.


This is a big deal when it comes to spending as well, and not all backpacks are created equal.

You can have the best-looking backpack on the market, but if it isn’t comfortable even with just a short walk, I won’t get it.

Thankfully, the RUSH12 is comfortable as heck.

When it comes to comfort and backpacks, you need to understand two things.

One, your pack should sit properly when worn.

If it sags too low while wearing it (even with the straps tightened), you will not like your backpack.

This will then lead to you adjusting your backpack and eventually sweating your butt off.

Secondly, the shoulder straps should feel right.

Not just from when you put the backpack on but after a few hours of wearing it.

Thankfully, the RUSH12 meets those requirements.

At first, the shoulder straps might seem a bit firm, but you will see how they eventually become comfortable and not digging into your shoulders like others.

But with awesome looks, great quality, and comfort comes a hefty price tag.

Surprisingly, this is one of the most affordable backpacks on the market.

The Price For the RUSH12?

The RUSH12 actually comes with two different price points.

The price is the same for your standard colors at $99.

These backpacks are also built with 1050D nylon.

Now the only backpack with a different price is the MultiCam color, which will cost you $139.99.

You get some 1000D nylon to go with this pack, along with the most modern pattern of uniform the military uses.

Final Verdict: Awesome Buy

These days, backpacks are out of control when it comes to price.

The 5.11 RUSH12 starts at $99, which is far better than the competition.

If you want a great backpack with what I think is the best-looking of its kind, this is the backpack for you.

Sure, it might seem like the ultimate tactical backpack out there, but that’s not all it’s good for.

I use this to work; its main purpose is to hold my laptop and other necessities that aren’t combat-related.

It has a ton of storage, and with the compression straps, you can pack like a pro.

Where to Buy the 5.11 RUSH12

This bag is sold on Amazon.com, but you can also purchase it directly from their website.

If you are in the military, you can find some at clothing and sales or even at Ranger Joes.

You can also get it sent to your door in a couple of days as an Amazon Prime member, so that is always an option.

Besides that, I hope this review of the 5.11 RUSH12 has given you all the details you need so that you can make a better buying decision.

Until next time, stay cool and always get the best.

Leave a Comment