What is a real ballistic backpack and why do you need one?

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ballistic backpacks

Someone once opined that the word tactical is like sex appeal. It can be used to sell anything.  These days it seems like there may be some truth to this statement, or at least in the minds of advertising and media types. Add the word tactical to a pair of socks, and suddenly they become important to the success of a mission. Backpacks are not immune from this type of mind bending and the current trend is to call a backpack tactical if the designers added molle straps to a pedestrian day pack.

ballistic backpacks

Take a moment to think about all the things we use backpacks for in our daily lives. Some use them for range bags. Some use backpacks in place of a gym bag; may use them for commuting to work or school. Backpacks are now ubiquitous in our society and in many other countries.


Before we tear into the subject of backpacks, let’s take a minute to look at the word tactical. Rather than subjecting you to a dictionary definition, I’ll offer my two cents. Something is tactical, if its design fills a need that will allow the end user to accomplish a mission either safer, or easier, and that mission may require the use of defensive or offensive tactics to accomplish.


So, what are some of the characteristics that make a backpack tactical? Well, to begin, it will be durable enough to survive rough use for a sufficiently long period of time to satisfy the purchaser that the value is there. It needs to have enough space and compartments to allow for the organization and rapid access of mission-critical equipment, be it medical supplies, ammunition, illumination tools, or other mission-critical items. It has to be comfortable enough to not overly fatigue the user, should it be hauled for long periods of time or distance. The user should be in a fresh enough state of strength to accomplish the mission. And of course, the backpack should blend with the surroundings and environment. I’m not talking about a multi-cam pattern. I’m suggesting that if the backpack is used in an urban environment, it should not stand out where the user gives up some blending or anonymity.


Fortunately, there are many such backpacks that meet these criteria. Better still, there are a few that exceed these criteria. One such pack is the Rebel Tactical Ballistic Backpack. Here is a backpack that checks all the boxes for the normal backpack, then exceeds these by adding a Level III 7x12 Ballistic Insert. This ballistic backpack is not just well made, it is actually bulletproof. And the ballistic abilities can be increased with readily available plates if the situation calls for it. This backpack is ideal for people who work in non-permissive environments, that want ballistic protection beyond, or in lieu of, body armor. If you need to rapidly flee while wearing the ballistic backpack, you have greatly reduced the chance of a thoracic cavity injury from gunfire due to the ballistic protection on your back. If you decided to aggress a threat, you can simply swing the backpack to the front, and move forward. The large, outside pockets allow for extra ammunition to be stored at chest level without having to add a plate carrier or chest rig. Until you need the protection, you are just another drone, using a ballistic backpack to carry your laptop/books/lunch/work gear etc. It’s great for security professionals who work low profile gigs, like celebrity assignments. You do not stand out to any greater degree but when needed, you have a small body bunker to cover your six and that of your principle.

 Here is another great ballistic backpack you can get today. The PARCO IIIA Ballistic Backpack offers a nice and quality design, various expandable pockets, and of course a level IIIA ballistic protection.  ballistic backpacks

There is another, less glamorous, and decidedly darker use for Ballistic Backpacks. Forgo the popular, bright design day pack and buy this for your school aged children. We cannot protect our children while they are in school. As rare as school shootings are, they have become common enough that the concerned parent worries. And rightly so. Schools currently teach and practice the Run, Hide, Fight doctrine. Children and staff are taught that if they can run from the shooter, they should do so. This is sound doctrine. Obviously if a child is running from the active shooter, they likely have their back to the suspect. Wearing a ballistic backpack increases their safety by a tremendous margin. If the child is on a lock down, and is hiding in the classroom, he/she now has a ballistic panel between them and the shooter, should the shooter break into the room. The backpack is discrete enough that other students or faculty will never know that the backpack has the added ballistic protection. But when you put your kids on the bus to school, you’ll know. And that peace of mind will far eclipse the costs of the ballistic backpack.  


About the writer

Mike Lazarus

Military and Law Enforcement Veteran

FBI certified firearm instructor

MP5 and Sub Machine gun instructor

Defensive tactics instructor

Police Academy instructor


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