5.11 AMP12 25L Backpack Tactical
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I’ve been carrying 5.11’s AMP12 as an everyday carry pack for the last six months or so. That means it’s been with me in the car, in coffee shops, at shooting ranges, on planes…virtually everywhere I’ve been since last September. In that time, it’s done everything I’ve needed it to do, and then some.

5.11 AMP12 25L Backpack Tactical

The AMP in AMP12 means “all mission pack.” It’s so modular and configurable that it’s hard to think of an application for which the AMP12 won’t work.

5.11 AMP12 25L Backpack Tactical

The pack’s straps are nicely adjustable and made with easy-on-your-shoulders foam padding. 5.11 was intelligent enough to put a softer material around the neck area to keep it from rubbing and chafing. There’s also plenty of MOLLE to attach gear and hold a hydration tube while keeping it accessible, but out of the way.

5.11 AMP12 25L Backpack Tactical
The AMP12 pack comes with a removable Hexgrid front panel that’s secured by a Velcro backing at two G-hooks at the top.

The pack is designed to be customizable so you can configure it the way you intend to use it. That’s done via the AMP12’s Velcro panels and the removable Hexgrid load bearing system that lets you use 5.11’s gear sets to configure the pack to be what you need it to be.

5.11 AMP12 25L Backpack Tactical
The AMP12’s main compartment has multiple zippers to give you easy, quick side access to the main compartment.

The AMP12 comes with the standard Velcro-backed honeycomb-style panel that’s also secured by two G-clips at the top.

That load-bearing panel can be removed so you can attach other Tool Set options like the Admin Gear Set (more on that below). As is, though, the AMP12 has a huge array of compartments to work in just about any application.

5.11 AMP12 25L Backpack Tactical
The Velcro-backed Hexgrid panel is held at the top by two G-clips. 5.11 calls the thin compartment behind it the CCW pocket. You can mount a Velcro holster there to carry your EDC pistol.

At the front, just above the load bearing panel is a Velcro flap that gives you quick access. 5.11 calls this the CCW pocket. It’s Velcro lined so you can place a Velcro-backed holster inside for off-body carry, if you’re someone who carries that way.

5.11 AMP12 25L Backpack Tactical

Just behind the CCW pocket is another narrow zipper-topped compartment that’s good for things like gloves, hats, cords, etc. For me, though, that’s the perfect place to carry my laptop.

5.11 AMP12 25L Backpack Tactical
You can mount Gear Set add-on pouches on the inside of the main compartment if you want. That gives you the flexible, configurable storage and utility while keeping the outside of the pack more sleek and low key.

The main interior compartment opens completely with plenty of side-access zippers for easy access if you just want to reach in a grab something quickly. The main compartment is also Velcro-backed with two attachment points at the top for the G-clips on Gear Set add-ons.

That lets you carry a Gear Set utility or admin pouch inside the pack for a lower profile look.

5.11 AMP12 25L Backpack Tactical
The back of the main compartment front panel when opened. There are two big zippered pouches and a hidden zippered pocket underneath the top compartment.

The back of the front panel of the main compartment has two roomy zip pockets that let you compartmentalize your gear any way you want or need to. There’s even a hidden zip pocket behind the smaller upper pocket where you can stow (hide) something like a passport, cash, or other gear you don’t need quick access to.

5.11 AMP12 25L Backpack Tactical
The rear compartment is perfect for a hydration bladder or a computer.

Behind the main compartment is a compartment that’s designed to carry either a laptop or hydration gear. This is where I like to keep my computer cords.

There’s access in there to a removable panel. You can choose to use it or not. In my experience, I prefer the rigidity the panel provides. YMMV.

5.11 AMP12 25L Backpack Tactical

The back of the pack has two vertical foam cushioned panels that are very easy on your back, but still keep you reasonably cool on hot days. The pack has conformed to my body over time and has gotten even more comfortable to carry than when it was when brand new.

5.11 AMP12 25L Backpack Tactical
Peel off the cover on the back of the Admin Gear Set pouch to expose the Velcro field for easy attachment.

I mentioned the modular Gear Sets you can buy and attach to customize the AMP12 the way you want. I bought the Admin Gear Set to hold pens, business cards, a light, a knife, a tourniquet, and lots more. It’s backed by Velcro with a peel-off cover to let you slap it on the pack’s front Velcro field and keep it even more secure with the top G-clips.

5.11 AMP12 25L Backpack Tactical

Here’s the Admin pack attached to the front of the pack. Again, if you choose, you can mount this same admin pack in the pack’s main compartment (as above) and keep the flat Hexgrid load bearing panel on the front for a slimmer, lower key look.

5.11 AMP12 25L Backpack Tactical
The interior of the Utility Gear Set attachment.

I like the Admin pack mounted on the front where I have easy access to pens, charger cords, AirPods, business cards and other gear I use on a daily basis.

You can get the AMP12 in four colors. If you want it to look a little less “tactical” you may want to go with the tungsten blue or black version rather than OD or tactical peanut butter like mine. Whatever works best for you.

The AMP12 is big enough to let you pack enough gear for a weekend trip (ask me how I know) or can be slimmed down to use as an easy-carry EDC bag with just your everyday basics like your computer, a hat, a light jacket and other miscellaneous gear.

At 20 inches in length the 25 liter AMP12 may be on the long side for a lot of users. It’s long enough that it sticks out from under an airline seat.

If that’s too big, 5.11 has a couple of options in the smaller AMP10 (20 liters) or the even smaller AMPC (16 liters), both of which may be better EDC choices for most people. The great thing about the AMP12, though, is it’s just small enough to use as a daily carry pack while being expandable and flexible enough to carry enough gear for a short trip. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

The AMP12 retails for about $150 and is made in Vietnam.



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    • Even the stuff the national guard had mid GWOT was nice compared to ALICE even in digi grey

  1. I think sitting in a car with a backpack on would be quite uncomfortable. Pillows?
    Coffee shop? Must be nice, I went into the grocery store with a walmart backpack on and they told me to leave it at the cash register.
    Made in Vietnam. Well that’s a plus, most things I’ve bought from Nam has been good stuff.

    • Old enough to remember when VC were number 10, and China was number 1.

      But yeah, VN > PRC.

  2. looks very nice. not chicom is big, thanks for referencing origin.
    see also: hiill people, tom binh, maxpedition.

  3. Missed opportunity: The pictures could have been used to make people think you carry bubblegum, personal lubricant, a choke chain, potato, a subscription copy of “Miniature Donkey Talk Magazine” and a stuffed weasel you shot about 10 years ago.

  4. Am I the last man on earth to find out what a G-clip is? I know about G-strings, but even a web image search for G-clip, even with a couple of extra terms e.g. “pack” or “backpack”, was unhelpful, as are the photos with the article and on the 5.11 product page.

  5. 5.11 does make some nice stuff, so does BDS tactical, among others. My 3-day rush bag from years ago still sits by my door as my go-bag but that is mostly because I’m too poor to buy something that is both effective and more discrete.

    Different products for different situations; tactical is great for military and camping but an old laptop bag I fished out of a dumpster is great for not being noticed when in public. Stains may help make bags less attractive to steal too.

  6. If you, like me, often go on business trips or travel, then I advise you to think about the car rental service. Now there are many companies that provide this service, I last rented a car at the airport in Glasgow and was pleasantly impressed with both the company and the car

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