As a member of the Army, you must be privy to their regulations for what you can wear and carry. AR 670-1 is the most recent set of rules that was released in March 2014. Per those rules, what kind of backpacks can you use?
According to AR 670-1, backpacks, when worn in uniform, must match the uniform’s pattern and cannot have any clear panels or pouches like mesh or plastic. You can wear a backpack on both your shoulders, on one shoulder, or carry the bag in your hand. You are required to carry a backpack or bag by hand if it doesn’t meet the criteria.
We’re sure you’re eager to learn more about AR 670-1 backpack rules. If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll first look into some Army-appropriate bags to use and then discuss the current Army regulations.
AR 670-1 Backpack Options
Before rushing to buing your AR670-1 backpack, please be mindful of the following points:
- In paragraph 3-7f(2) it states ” … Soldiers may not wear a shoulder bag in such a manner that the strap is draped diagonally across the body, with the bag resting on the hip opposite the shoulder holding the strap.”
- In paragraph 3-7f(1) it states “Bags (to include civillan gym bags, civilian backpacks, or other similar civilian bags) must be carried only in the hand if they do not meet the criteria outlined in paragraph 3-7f(2).”
In summary, since these backpacks are categorized as ”civilian gym bags and backpack” they can not be carried by shoulder. They must be held by hand.
That said, certain military backpacks are likelier to pass AR 670-1 rules than others. Here are three such backpacks for your consideration.
1. WolfWarriorX Gym Bag
Our first suggestion is the WolfWarriorX bag (link to Amazon), which can be used for exercise, military travel, and other everyday use. This Amazon’s Choice bag has been remade so it’s even larger. Now measuring 24 inches, you can carry 68.6 liters of goods. You should be able to store a military uniform and your boots (in the shoe compartment) in this bag with some room to spare.
The bag features reverse zippers, a reinforced handle that can stand up to everyday use, and self-healing zippers. The shoulder strap, which is two inches, comes padded so you can enjoy comfortable use for hours.
The WolfWarriorX measures 21 inches by 10 inches by 13 inches for the smaller version. You can select from a variety of colors that are intended for military use, such as Army green, tan, black, forest green, gray, and several camo colors and patterns.
Note: please remember that the camo worn must match the soldiers uniform.
Check out the WolfWarriorX Gym Bag on Amazon (link to Amazon)
2. X&X Waterproof Duffle Bag
The X&X is another great bag that should be allowable per AR 670-1.
You can select from one of two sizes for this bag, either 21 or 24 inches. Made of PVC with a 600-denier count, the material is water-resistant. This means the bag is temporarily waterproof thanks to a coating on the fabric. With time though, the bag will lose its water resistance.
The shoulder strap, which is again two inches, is padded. The handle also comes reinforced so if you have to carry your bag because your drill instructor said to, then you won’t mind as much.
The bag itself is 21 inches by 10 inches by 13 inches (for the 21-inch version) and features a side pocket that’s 7 inches by 7 inches by 21 inches. Capable of storing 50 liters of gear, you have the main compartment and then dual side compartments to work with.
With several outside zipper pockets, self-healing zippers, and a side mole pocket for a first-aid kit, this bag has more of what you need. Choose from such colors as black, gray, Army green, khaki, and several camo colors and patterns.
Check out the X&X on Amazon (link to Amazon)
3. WolfWarriorX Large-Capacity Military Backpack
Our last suggestion for AR 670-1 backpacks is another WolfWarriorX pick, this time their large-capacity military backpack.
This bag is loaded with awesome features such as a waist belt (that’s removable), dual electronics pockets on the shoulder straps, and Velcro patches around the front that measure 3.75 inches by 3.75 inches and 0.75 inches by 4.75 inches.
Built from 600-denier heavy-duty PVC, this bag measures 15 inches by 21 inches and weighs 3.6 pounds. It can hold up to 64 liters.
The zippers are reversible to prevent dirt and dust from accumulating on and within the bag. An included daisy chain will come in handy for stashing light clothes such as rain gear.
A side zipper expands this WolfWarriorX backpack and water resistance means you can ruck day or night without the bag getting soaked. Select from such hues as black, coyote tan, gray, light green, Army green, shallow green ash, and plenty of camo colors.
Check out the WolfWarriorX Large-Capacity Military Backpack on Amazon (link to Amazon)
Army Regulations on Backpacks
As we discussed in the intro, the latest set of Army rules on the use of army insignia and uniforms was updated in late March of 2014 in a document known as Army Regulation (AR) 670-1. This document is unclassified.
According to Section 3-7 of the document, “bags, handbags, purses, and backpacks are authorized.” However, these items must meet specific criteria.
For example, “hand carried bags will be conservative and professional in appearance.” Bags such as civilian backpacks or gym bags must match the pattern and color of a soldier’s uniform when the soldier is in uniform.
So yes, per this guidance, if the soldier has a camouflage uniform, their backpack must be camouflage as well. No commercial logos are allowed on the backpack or bag, nor can the bag have any translucent areas, which means no mesh or plastic.
If a bag is authorized, then the soldier can wear it on both their shoulders, over one shoulder (it doesn’t seem to matter which), or they can carry it in their hand. Should the bag be unauthorized because it has mesh panels, logos, or it doesn’t match the color and pattern of the soldier’s uniform, then they can only carry the backpack or bag by hand.
Since the policy is rather broad, the rules in AR 670-1 on backpacks are almost a gray area. This Reddit post exemplifies why that is.
Just look at the AR 670-1 backpack color regulations. If a soldier has a Class B uniform, then they can use a camouflage or black patterned bag. Otherwise, a soldier can mix and match Universal Camouflage Pattern Uniforms with Operational Camouflage Pattern bags as well as Operational Camouflage Pattern Uniforms with Universal Camouflage Pattern bags.
If you’re confused, that’s fair.
Ultimately, the decision on which bags are authorized versus unauthorized will come down to a soldier’s officer, drill instructor, or whoever is in charge. They’ll interpret the rules in AR 670-1 and then make the call. You should always follow your superior’s instructions.
Using AR 670-1 authorized backpacks is a must as an Army soldier, but the rules are broad and open to interpretation, which can easily cause confusion. We hope this guide cleared up some of the questions you might have had about AR 670-1 rules. You also now have three great bags to choose from that should pass the regulations.
Looking to learn more about ar 670-1 socks? Check out our full guide on permissible ar670-1 socks.
The content on this page has been vetted and approved by SGT Nicholas Sobel, Squat Leader, 119th ICTC, 11TH BN.