Analyst, Researcher and Advisor focused on professional tactical, police and military equipment. Worker from Defense and Security Sector with the Geography and History degree started, and waiting to be finished. Military/Security equipment Collector, Buyer and Seller Collector, Buyer and Seller Passionate about Militaria, Military History, Geopolitics and Armed Conflicts as an object of study.
7 Jul, 2021


In this post we are going to take an in-depth look at the smallest backpack in the 5.11 Rush family, the Rush 12.

The Rush 12 is a compact backpack of approximately 24L capacity (expandable by MOLLE) that, due to its robust construction, good materials and good design, has become my daily backpack for more than 2 years, and would remain so for many more if I did not need more load capacity for my work (Apart from the commitment made with this website to test all the material that I analyze for at least 1 year).


Although the best known are the Rush 12, Rush 24 and Rush 72, the reader should know that the Rush family of 5.11 is much more extensive, with up to 7 different types of backpacks at the time of writing this publication. You can see each and every one of them on the 5.11 website, in the Rush Collection section.

However, today we are going to focus on the backpacks themselves, and specifically on the Rush 12.
The Rush 12 gets its name thanks to the concept of “evasion backpack” (That is, and without going into many details, giving a quick answer to what I mean: a backpack with enough capacity to last a certain number of hours until they can reach a safe place or survive until they are rescued in the event of some catastrophe of a different nature…) In this case, the Rush 12 is supposedly ready to carry the necessary equipment for 12 hours.


You should know that on this website we have a publication that deals with everything you need to know about backpacks, the BASIC CONCEPTS, where we deal with everything that has to do with these elements: From how to load them properly to be able to distribute the weight in a more efficient way and thus avoid possible discomfort, down to the types of backpacks that are available and tips for choosing them according to our needs.

If you are interested in this kind of content, we hardly recommend you to read that post:



OUTSIDE Dimensions (Total)

30x24x41 cm




24L Expandable via PALS.



It is a classic and sober design, which evokes the military, with almost its entire outer surface filled with PALS Panel and velcro to place patches and identification patches.


The Rush 12 backpack from 5.11 is available in the following colors: Double tap (Backpack in gray with PALS Panel in black), Sand, Multicam, Black and OD Green.

As a personal recommendation … leaving aside the issue of personal tastes, from the MilitariaGeneral team we recommend that you choose the color according to the use that you are going to give it.

Currently I have the Rush 12 in black and the Rush 24 in sand, and with use I have noticed that the black of the 12 is relatively easily stained by dust and dirt when I use it in the wild.

However, with the sand-colored one, I have not noticed that it stains too much. I must also add that the black one is quite discreet, so for urban use it would be more than recommended.
Regarding the versions in Multicam and OD, it must be said that they are not as easy to get as any of the other colors. And also, not all the brand’s pouches are available in these colors.



According to 5.11, the fabric used in this backpack is waterproof Nylon 1050D (In the MultiCam version it is Nylon 1000D).

Regarding the water resistance, it must be taken into account that it is not submersible, and in the event of prolonged time under water the fabric ends up soaking.
It is only capable of reflecting light rain for short periods of time, so if you need sealing, we recommend that you pack its contents in watertight bags.


The constructive quality of the backpack is what is expected of a 5.11 product: Good fabrics, resistant seams, robust structure, good zippers … In short, a 10 in terms of its construction in general.


It is a not too large backpack, with a 24-liter capacity that is designed to carry the necessary equipment to last 12 hours away from home. For this, in terms of CONFIGURATION, it is a classic backpack, with 5 pockets clearly separated from each other, where in some of which there are more dividers to be able to divide the load.
In addition, this capacity can be expanded thanks to the fact that it has a PALS surface throughout the front and side of the backpack to be able to attach MOLLE pouches or other elements compatible with said system.


POCKET No. 1: Located on the lower front of the backpack, it is an outer pocket with approximate dimensions of 22 × 32 (WxH) cm. Inside it there are different dividers to store the load and keep it organized. I will not go into much detail in writing because you will have it explained in the video below.In the photos you can see more or less how these separators are arranged.

POCKET No. 2: Located on the front as well, but at the top … it is a small pocket with approximate dimensions of 20 × 12 (Widthx Height) cm. Unlike the previous pocket, this one is inside, that is, it is inside the structure of the backpack and does not protrude.

POCKET No. 3: It is the main pocket of the backpack, with approximate dimensions of 30 × 42 (WxH) cm, it has inside 2 mesh pockets that open and close by means of a zipper, and in its deepest part it has a small adjustable divider by means of a rubber and a clip.

POCKET No. 4: It is a pocket designed to be able to carry glasses or any device that requires some special care so as not to be scratched. This is because its interior is lined with a soft and fluffy fabric (something like plush, but finer) … although honestly I would not carry anything fragile there because it shares a compartment with the main pocket of the backpack.

POCKET No. 5: It is a pocket designed mainly for a hydration bladder, which measures 23x4x40 (LengthxWidthxHigh), and that has 2 spouts to hold it (for those who have that hooking system) on the upper part, in each one on the sides, and a strip in the upper central part. In this same pocket we also find the place where the plastic plate goes that serves to give rigidity to the backpack and separate the load that we carry from our back. It should be noted that ALL these pockets or compartments are opened and closed using YKK zippers.

I have to say that after a two years of practically daily use, these zippers open and close like the first day, and that they are also relatively protected against the rain thanks to a flap created with the same fabric as the backpack as long as the backpack is present standing.


As for the Rush 12 shoulder strap, the following stand out:

PADDING: For a relatively low-capacity backpack, the padding on the Rush 12 is quite wide and comfortable. In addition, due to the material it is made of, sweat evaporates quite quickly.
PALS PANEL: It has a 2 × 3 PALS panel (Widthx Height), apart from 2 additional tapes (One above, near the junction with the backpack itself and another below. CHEST STRAP: As standard, it already comes with a MOLLE adjustable chest strap that, thanks to the PALS panel that we discussed earlier, can be varied in height. It should be noted that this chest strap does not prevent you from using the PALS panel, as it is attached to the MOLLE from its side, leaving the front completely free.

This same strap has an elastic attached, in such a way that it allows a certain elasticity so that it can adapt to the natural movement of our body and does not cause chafing. The shoulder straps have a quick release system: The straps can be quickly detached thanks to the fastex clip that joins the padding of the handle with the strap of the handle. It should be said that for those interested in canceling this system, they can do so thanks to a quick and simple modification that we will comment on below.


In MilitariaGeneral we want to offer quality reviews based on evidence.
Therefore, we carry out certain tests to be able to objectively analyze the quality of the material to be analyzed. For more information about these tests, visit the section 🧪 STANDARDIZED TESTS FOR MATERIAL ANALYSIS to obtain more information about how we do that and what criteria and premises we rely on.



Clicking in “+” you can get more details.


Very resistant backpack

Nylon 1050D (1000D in MultiCam version), good seams and good manufacturing. Nothing more to say

Large number of pockets and compartments to divide/organize the load

It has a large number of pockets and compartments to divide and organize the load: For those who like to assign a place for everything and have all their equipment located (especially the small one), having so many compartments can be very useful.

Surrounded by PALS

It is practically surrounded by PALS: So it is excessively easy to expand, both the volume of capacity and the arrangement of the load of the entire backpack.

Thanks to it you can equip it externally with everything you need for each type of activity.


It is a sober and effective design. Unlike some tacky “tactical” backpacks that haunt Amazon, this one doesn’t have straps all over the place, fastex to go around the world or velcro to stop a motorcycle. Quite the opposite.

Depending on the color chosen, it is a backpack with a practical and minimalist design that does not clash too much in urban environments.

Good quality materials

You have to take it to know that it really is a backpack that is proof of everything. 1050D nylon (1000D in the MultiCam version), YKK zippers, good double stitching (and triple stitching in some parts).


Ventilation attempt failed

While you can see that there is an attempt in the design to offer relative ventilation in the back, the truth is that it does not work.

This is one of the great cons that I have found to the backpack over two years of use, that when used only with a shirt in spring / summer it ends up making it sweat from the back.

Most of the pockets and compartments are missing some kind of closure.

The problem with a good part of all these compartments / pockets that I comment on in the PROS part is that they have no way of closing them, so if we move the backpack a lot, they can end up coming out of them.

A quick and cheap option to fix this could be by sewing velcro strips to quickly open / close said compartments.

Lateral PALS is not as useful as it should

The lateral PALS is not as useful as it should be: And I do not understand how such a mistake could have been made in a brand as reputed as 5.11 … because although it can be seen how there are up to 4 horizontal PALS cells on the sides, only 2 of them are really useful completely, with the possibility that there would be 3 as long as the MOLLE pouch used is flexible enough to fit into a folded PALS strip.

📸 5.11 RUSH 12 IMAGES


The Rush 12 from 5.11 strikes me as an excellent backpack. Throughout my life I have used many, and I must admit that this model is the best backpack I have had in my life WITHOUT ANY DOUBT.

The Rush 12 is a robust backpack, well made, with a size slightly larger than what is needed to carry everything you need for day to day, but also offers the ability to expand it through the PALS panel if necessary .

Although it is designed to last 12 hours away from home, I think that by optimizing the space a bit we can easily extend this time up to 24 hours.

For two years it has been my daily backpack together with the 25L Patrol Backpack from the Ratnik program. AND I ASSURE YOU THAT IT WILL CONTINUE TO BE FOR MANY YEARS.


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*If you find the purchase link down, please send us a message via RRSS, and we will offer you a solution as soon as possible.

Both the Rush 12 and the Rush 24 I have bought through Amazon on the same page. They are not cheap backpacks (Although we believe they cost what they ask for them, and that every penny spent on them is an investment for the future).

For this reason, the MilitariaGeneral team strongly recommend adding it to the watch list and paying attention to its price due to price fluctuation. It is usually around € 100, but it is not uncommon to find it between € 80 and € 90.


📺 VDEO: ” ** ” 




With a simple seam in the lower front pocket, we can make these compartments close and open, thus allowing us to store small objects in said compartments without the risk that they end up being scattered throughout the pocket.


Passing a simple piece of paracord between the male and female clips of each of the parts and tying it at the end, we can disable these clips. This is mainly aimed at preventing theft or jokes from possible funny companions.


Then, the reader will be able to get an updated list of everything that happens with this reviewed product.


  • 19/1/21 Original publication date. Without news.


  • This post is mostly written using information gained from my own experience using the product. However, I have also relied on other sources of information to complete it as much as possible
  • 5.11  RUSH 12 Tactical Backpack 24L” Official page