The Rush series of packs has to be in the top 5 most iconic backpacks (personal speculation). Most people who do not necessarily have a pack fascination would have seen one before – be it in a movie or TV show, advertisements or just generally out and about. They are everywhere and for good reason. the Rush 24 would have to be one of the most utilitarian packs available, in an awesome form factor. You can gauge its popularity by the number of copies or ‘design inspired’ packs that take much if not all of their inspiration from the Rush series of packs.
5.11 Describes the Rush 24 as a full sized day pack. The Rush 24 gets its name from the fact you generally have enough space to pack enough to literally go for 24 hours without needing anything else. I have used a Rush 12 previously as a day pack when on holidays and always felt that it was just about right for a single day outing, much more and you really need to get the Rush 24. The Rush sits quite well on me, and when fully packed is quite comfortable. The shoulder straps are fairly thick and give excellent absorption, so as well as loading having a lot of gear you could also carry quite heavy gear.
I will try to walk you through as many features of this pack I can fit into this review, starting with the internal organisation. The Rush 24 is a 34L pack and with a pack of this size unless you start to have a lot of pouches internal organisation is paramount.
Inside there are three mesh pockets, two smaller pockets and one larger at the base of the front panel. These pockets are great as you can tell at a glance what has been stored inside. Perfect for gear that is used less frequently but when required can be located easily. I typically like to store gloves, Cliff bar and Leatherman Raptors in the top pocket. The mesh pockets also allow someone who is unfamiliar with your load-out able to locate items very easily (such as an inhaler).
At the base of the main compartment, there is also an open top pocket with a pull cord to tighten. This pocket is perfect for a jumper or some outerwear, or a towel. Once full the pull cord can be used to secure the contents of this pocket. It gives a more robust method of storing more bulky items rather than sitting loose in the bottom of your pack. As you can see I don’t have a massive amount of kit in the Rush 24 at the moment. Two mid to large pouches a rolled up jacket and mini tripod. The Rush will easily swallow double the amount of gear no trouble and not even look a little bloated.
The Rush 24 is sewed together using 1050D Nylon which makes it tough durable and likely to last you a few years or regular use. On the exterior of the Rush 24 are what seems to be two pockets on the front of the pack. These two pockets give the Rush series among other features its distinctive look.
The top pocket is actually separated into two smaller pockets. I say smaller but they are actually fairly large. I was able to carry my R50 Olight in the back of one along with an additional pair of gloves. In the other, I have a spare phone cable and earphones. The bottom pocket is the admin panel, more on this later.
At the very top of the pack between the grab handle and the shoulder straps is a slim, but deep, fleece-lined sunglasses pocket. I’ve used this for ( obviously ) sunglasses – but It’s a solid spot for throwing your keys and wallet in whilst at the gym, for example.
On the side of the Rush are two bottle pockets. The pockets are not large enough to fit a standard Nalgene which is a little annoying however as I’ve upgraded to an Ecovessel which is slimmer it’s not a problem for me. Additionally, there are compression straps towards the top of the bottle pockets to really cinch the pack tight – you can also grab the tier system from 5.11 to add extra compression if that’s your thing.
As with the two main front pockets the Rush series, and in fact all but the Covert 18 have extensive amounts of MOLLE. This both adds to the general styling of the pack but more importantly allows you to customise even further. If you intend to be using the Rush 24 as a hiking pack maybe an external first aid kit attached to the front or a carabiner. This might be a good place to mention the zipper pulls are self Healing YKK zipper pulls.
Behind the shoulder straps is a slim pocket designed for a hydration bladder. Two outlets with velcro covers are located at the top of the pack either side the grab handle, this allows for the hydration tubes to exit either side of the pack.
At the top of the main internal pocket on the Rush, there is a little poke through window that allows you to thread hydration tubes from either the main compartment or the designated hydration sleeve. This is a nice touch as it allows just that little bit more customisation. You could also run two hydration bladders if you were going on a longer trek. Add to the fact there are two side pockets that could be used for water vessels you have a fairly decent water capacity.
As mentioned before the shoulder straps are pretty thick and robust making the Rush 24 extremely comfortable even when carrying 10kg plus. The back panel has a number of well thought out features such as the grip pads at the base of the pack preventing the pack from rubbing.
The sternum straps are solid and up to a serious amount of work. Its comfortable and didn’t rub as it sits fairly securely. As a point of interest all clips of the Rush 24 are identical so if you ever bust one doing a sick power slide while operating, or, more likely one gets caught in your car door you can just replace it in the field.
The large padding sections at the top and base of the pack serve two purposes, one being the obvious (padding) and the other function they serve is to add ventilation channels. Top to bottom ventilation as well as cross-flow through the midsection of the pack. I live in Australia so believe me when I say this pack does better than most on the ventilation front.
The base of the Rush 24 comes with the typical drainage grommets, handy if you’re in a jungle or have walked through a few rain storms. However, take note, do not place the pack on a wet surface as while it might help drainage, they are two holes in the base of the pack and would easily allow water to enter. Along with the drainage points are four MOLLE tabs that can be used to lash a sleeping system or additional pouches, as I’ve probably said before this pack is extremely utilitarian.
The front-most and most organised compartment on the Rush is the admin panel. There are enough pockets and sleeves to ensure you really never need to split up your smaller gear in to the main compartment. Mounted on the front section, there are two parallel pockets side by side, these are basic drop pockets and if you open up the pack like above you may have items slipping out so keep that in mind. Two more pockets pouches on the main section with velcro provide excellent retention for handeld radios
Behind these two pockets sits 1 slip pocket (Leatherman) and 3 loops for pens (ZW pry, Sharpie, write in the rain pen). Behind this there is .. you guessed it, another slip pocket. This runs full width of the admin panel, I tend to slip a smaller first aid kit in here. On either side of this pouch are two key clips, hang a gym locker key from one or maybe a small Swiss Army Knife for quick access. Right behind the key clips is a full length zippered pocket, for anything you really don’t want to move around / fall out.
This iconic pack ticks so many boxes, practical, quality materials, organised, plenty of pockets, aesthetically pleasing, modular, I could go on, but I think I have highlighted a decent number of these features above. The Rush 24 would perform as well out hunting or on a European holiday as it would being the ultimate nappy bag (Im talking to you stay-at-home dads), Or all three if you are awesome.
The only real piece of negative feedback on the Rush is that it’s in the Top 5 ” Most in your face ” bags in the world – this thing stands out. Big time. There is a great opportunity for 5.11 to basically remake this pack with a clean, no-webbing exterior and this would fly off the shelves.
This bag was provided by 5.11 Tactical Australia for a review