U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)-Being a dad of a seven-year-old cub scout and a den leader means spending a lot of time outside doing outdoor activities. From camping to hiking, I spend most of my weekends outdoors with my kid and his fellow scout members. In the COVID era, we are limited to only outdoor activities due to not finding an indoor space to hold events.
The amount of camping and hiking we do requires me to have a good bag. I especially need a comfortable bag that holds a lot of equipment and can stand up to abuse. I have many bags, but by far, the most useful bag for off the grid camping is my 5.11 Rush100 Backpack.
My Rush100 was given to me by 5.11 to try out. I needed a huge bag, and 5.11 came through big time for me. 5.11 designed the bag with a 60-liter volume. For those that are metric illiterate, that is almost enough room for 16 gallons. Even with all my camping gear packed in the bag, I have still had plenty of room for a first aid kit and an extra set of clothing for my son and me.
One of the cool things about the Rush100 Backpack is that it is more than just a single bag. 5.11 designed the bag to have two big detachable side pouches. The user can detach the pouches use them as shoulder bags. I love this feature because when I go on a hike from my campsite, I can leave most of the pack behind and just detach the side pouch to carry a first aid kit or water. The bag is heavy, weighing in at almost 6lbs empty, so not having to take the whole pack on hikes when camping is excellent.
Even though the bag is heavy, the padded load-bearing waist belt helps keep the weight on the hips. It really makes a difference in the comfort of carrying a heavy load, especially when using the sternum strap in conjunction with the belt. The wearer can choose to remove the belt from the Rush100 if they feel the need. I tried carrying heavy loads with and without the belt, and I can assure you that the belt does make a big difference in how heavy the bag feels. 5.11 offers the belt in two sizes. Small/medium fits wearers with a 30”-36” hip size and the large/extra-large fits wearers with a hip size of 35’’ to 45”.
One thing I can say about the belt is that 5.11 used a lot of padding to make the strap comfortable for the wearer. 5.11 didn’t just use an insane amount of padding on the belt. The manufacture also used a lot of padding throughout the bag. My old surplus bag’s straps would cut into my shoulder. This cutting problem didn’t exist with the Rush100.
Another thing that 5.11 did to make the bag more comfortable to carry with a lot of weight is the design of the shoulder straps. The shoulder straps have 5.11 load lifters, which lets the user adjust the bag to put weight on the wearer’s shoulders instead of the user’s back. I have a bad back, so that was a welcome inclusion in the design of the Rush100.
5.11 made the frame of the Rush100 out of aluminum. The choice to use aluminum accomplishes a few different things. First, it helps transfer load when it comes to weight, which makes it easier for the wearer to carry heavier loads. It also provides superior ergonomics, which makes the bag more comfortable to carry over long distances. The aluminum, along with the horizontal fiberglass rods, provides extra rigidity.
5.11 made of the Rush100 out of 1050D Nylon base and a 500D Nylon main. Since that means nothing to most people, including me, before I researched the materials, I will just say it is an incredibly durable material. The material resists rips. A lot of camping equipment tends to poke holes in my bags. I tend to wreck many of my backpacks, but the Rush100 held up to all the abuse I could throw at it.
On my old surplus bag, the biggest complaint I had was that it didn’t open up wide enough to make it easy to load. 5.11 designed the main compartment to have a 270° opening. The size of the opening made it quick and easy to load and unload the Rush100. It also had an internal hydration loop and sleeve, but I didn’t use this feature. Another way to access your gear is through the duel side pass panels.
The bag had a front admin pocket that I used to store my phone for ease of access. I use an app on my phone to find trails for hiking and my phone’s GPS for geocaching with the scouts, so keeping my phone close is essential. 5.11 also included a top fleece-lined pocket for eyewear and media devices. Being a nerd, even when I go off the grid, I still need my Nintendo Switch, and this pocket let me safely store it without having to worry if the screen would get damaged.
5.11 also made the Rush100 expandable. They included web MOLLE on the load-bearing belt to allow the user to attach things like a holster or small pouch-like an IFAK. 5.11 also used web MOLLE on the outside of the bag. By including the web MOLLE, 5.11 allows the user to use RUSH compatible add-ons. Although the amount of storage that the RUSH100 has with its base configuration is more than enough for me, so I am not sure what more the user really needs to add to the backpack. I did use the MOLLE webbing to attach my Ka-Bar BK2 to my bag. The Ka-Bar BK2 is my go-to hiking knife.
5.11 really thought of everything with the Rush100. Even if the bag gets soaked, there is a drain hole to let the water drain out. That shows the consumer how much engineering and thinking went into the bag. From the materials that 5.11 used to the design of the weight-bearing system, the company put in a lot of time and care in designing the bag.
The amount of engineering that 5.11 put into the Rush100 does come with a hefty price. It isn’t cheap by since of the word. The bag sales for $249.99, which might be out of the budget of many people, but if you are serious about the outdoors, this is the bag for you. It might be overkill to a lot of people, but it works for me.
I have used the 5.11 Rush100 Backpack all summer and fall and can attest to the strength and the design.
Check out the 5.11 Rush100 at www.511tactical.com/
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.