The Best Gray Man Backpack For Tactical EDC Essentials (2022 Review)

While it can be great to stand out when times are good, as soon as disaster strikes or you’re facing an emergency situation, it may be in your best interests to keep a low profile.. 

When a disaster strikes, a gray man is the best person you’d want to transform into. A gray man is an inconspicuous figure who doesn’t draw attention or raise awareness. Preppers, survivalists and outdoor hikers will want to be ready to take on a gray man status at any point of danger so it’s really important to be prepared. 

Having a backpack full of the survival gear you need that isn’t recognizable to anyone around you is the basic concept behind a gray man backpack. 

In this article, we’ll help you find the best gray man backpack with our fully researched guide which includes:

Things To Note Before Buying

What it will be used for

A grayman backpack is used to carry survival items when you’re on the move, but it needs to be subtle and help you to blend in with the crowd. 

As you may not know in advance what type of situations a grayman backpack is going to be needed for, it is imperative that it be versatile and easily adaptable.

Color

Color is important with a grayman backpack because it’s important that it doesn’t stand out. Go for black or grey rather than anything bright or patterned.

Size/ Capacity

The capacity will depend on how much you personally need and also whether you are packing for anyone else in your greyman backpack. You should also consider whether you’re packing for a 72-hour bug out bag or for a shorter period of time.

Comfort

Any backpack needs to be comfortable and features such as padding and adjustable straps will come in handy when carrying your grayman bag. Try to find a design that is well made and suitable for carrying long distances.

Durability

A grayman backpack can last a lifetime if you buy a quality design and maintain it well. There are lots of durable options on the market so you can choose a bag that will be strong in any situation and won’t malfunction or give way in the middle of an emergency.

Product List

1. 28L Capacity Tactical Backpack 

This tactical grey man backpack is made of water resistant polyester and has high quality YKK zips. It’s lightweight and has a chest strap for extra comfort. 

Capacity

  Non Slip Rubber (with Memory Foam inside)

Material

Yes

Color

No

PROS

  • Can hold a 2 liter hydration bladder

  • Has a ventilated compartment at the bottom for shoes or dirty clothes

  • Has side pockets to hold a standard water bottle

CONS

  • Not fully waterproof

2. Every Day Carry (EDC) Gray man bag

This is an Everyday Carry design with 5 double zipped compartments in addition to the main compartment. You’ll be able to keep all your essential items neatly categorized into separate spaces so that they’re easy and quick to find in an emergency. The double zips are durable and can stand up to wear and tear. 

Capacity

9L

Material

Polyester

Color

Grey/Black

PROS

  • Heavy duty handle

  • Cushioned sling strap protects your neck

  • Ventilated back design

CONS

  • Only suitable for the bare essentials

3. Multi Function Messenger Bag 

This is a bag that will allow you to blend in with any crowd. Designed to fit a laptop, you could use the cushioned compartment for survival electronic items such as an emergency walkie talkie or radio.

Capacity

40x 30x 15cm

Material

Nylon

Color

Black

PROS

  • Can be adapted to cross body or shoulder strap

  • Contains multiple storage compartments

  • Protects electronic item with cushioned compartment

CONS

  • May not be suitable for carrying for long periods of time

4. Travel Grayman Backpack for under $30

This is a well made budget option if you don’t want to spend too much on your grayman backpack. It has multiple storage compartments as well as a USB charger system to allow you to charge your electronic devices whilst out and about.

Capacity

18 x 12 x 7.8 inches

Material

Polyester

Color

Grey

PROS

  • Built in USB charger on the outside

  • Has a front organizer compartment

  • Anti theft back pocket with zipper

CONS

  • Less padding than some grey man bags

5. Stealth Grayman Backpack

This Gray Man backpack is water repellant and sturdy with some great security features. You can protect yourself from unseen dangers such as electronic pickpocketing with the secure RFID pocket. There’s also a luggage lock which is accepted by TSA so you can use it when taking your grayman backpack on an airplane or traveling around.

Capacity

17.7 x 11.8 x 5.9 inches

Material

Nylon

Color

Black

PROS

  • Reflective stripes to make you visible after dark

  • Widened shoulder straps with padding for extra comfort

  • Multiple pocket dividers to help you organize your backpack

CONS

  • May not be suitable for rugged terrain or extreme weather

6. Best Grayman Bug Out Bag

Being prepped for the first 72 hours after a disaster could make the difference between life and death. Carrying the supplies of a bug out bag in your gray man bag will give you the peace of mind that you’ve got the essentials to keep you going whilst you stay inconspicuous on the move. 

Capacity

40L

Material

Nylon

Color

Black

PROS

  • Includes extensive First Aid kit

  • Allows you communication in remote areas via an Emergency Solar Radio and charger

  • Lightweight

CONS

  • May be difficult to remain unnoticed in busy urban areas

Comparison Table

28L Capacity Tactical Backpack

Every Day Carry (EDC) Gray man bag

Multi Function Messenger Bag

Travel Grayman Backpack for under $30

Stealth Grayman Backpack

Best Grayman Bug Out Bag

Capacity

28L

9L

40x 30x 15cm

18 x 12 x 7.8 inches

17.7 x 11.8 x 5.9 inches

40L

Material

Polyester

Polyester

Nylon

Polyester

Nylon

Nylon

Color

20 different colors available

Grey/Black

Black

Grey

Black

Black

Pros

  • Can hold a 2 liter hydration bladder

  • Has a ventilated compartment at the bottom for shoes or dirty clothes

  • Has side pockets to hold a standard water bottle

  • Heavy duty handle

  • Cushioned sling strap protects your neck

  • Ventilated back design

  • Can be adapted to cross body or shoulder strap

  • Contains multiple storage compartments

  • Protects electronic item with cushioned compartment

  • Built in USB charger on the outside

  • Has a front organizer compartment

  • Anti theft back pocket with zipper

  • Reflective stripes to make you visible after dark

  • Widened shoulder straps with padding for extra comfort

  • Multiple pocket dividers to help you organize your backpack

  • Includes extensive First Aid kit

  • Allows you communication in remote areas via an Emergency Solar Radio and charger

  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Not fully waterproof

  • Only suitable for the bare essentials

  • May not be suitable for carrying for long periods of time

  • Less padding than some grey man bags

  • May not be suitable for rugged terrain or extreme weather

  • May be difficult to remain unnoticed in busy urban areas

In Depth Buyers Guide 

What it will be used for

A grayman backpack is a backpack that won’t stand out. The idea of a ‘grayman’ has been used for decades to describe the concept of ‘hiding in plain sight’.

In the military the term ‘grayman’ often describes times when an individual is keen to act in a way that allows them to stay under the radar as much as possible so as to be able to carry out military duties in secret.

A situation where a gray man backpack might be used could vary greatly. It might be a time when you’re in the middle of an urban disaster and don’t want to let others know that you have an extensive survival kit or bug out bag on your person. 

You might also seek out a grayman backpack if you’re going on an expedition or task where you don’t want to be recognized, remembered or noticed. 

Color

In the wild, a camouflage pattern can save your life by helping you blend in with the natural surroundings. With a grayman backpack however it’s likely to do the opposite – it could draw attention to you and actually put you in danger. 

You want to blend in and not stand out as anyone doing anything out of the ordinary with a grayman backpack – so colors such as black and gray will help you look just like any other commuter, college go-er or city dweller.

Try to avoid colors that even have a slight connection to camouflage such as olive green or snow print. 

Having a neutral and unremarkable color like black or gray will also stop people from looking at you or remembering your backpack. Don’t stand out by having a backpack that is brightly coloured or has a distinctive pattern or image on it. 

Size/ Capacity

Ultimately, the size and capacity you need for your gray man backpack will be dictated by you and your individual needs. Grayman backpacks can be used for different functions and it’s not a problem necessarily to carry a larger bag but try to stick to standard sizes. 

For example, an EDC will usually carry about 10-30L whereas a Get Home Bag will be more 20-30L. Buying standard hiking bags that are sold as average capacity will be yet another way you can blend in. 

You do want to ensure that you have enough space in your grayman backpack so don’t be tempted to cut the capacity simply because you want to blend in. Packing your bag carefully and using space efficiently can be useful to limiting the size of the bag overall.  Try to also avoid any equipment  hanging off your bag or attaching to things the zips. 

Also, avoiding backpacks specifically designed to look like Army Regulation items may positively dictate your search as you’ll be directed to a more casual profile or those designed for hikers.

Comfort

You could be wearing your gray man backpack for days at a time. You want to carry it effortlessly and without drawing any attention to yourself. 

Lots of grayman backpacks have comfort at the forefront of their design. Consider how you’ll be using your backpack specifically – will you be walking long distances? Will you be standing still for long periods of time? Will you be waiting at train stations or observing people from a distance? All of these things may dictate how you want to wear your grayman backpack and how comfortable it needs to be. 

If you’re likely to hike or walk for long distances, look for features like shoulder paddings, adjustable chest and shoulder straps and a waist belt to help spread the weight around evenly. 

Shoulder bags and messenger bags are generally designed with more urban based ventures in mind. These may help you blend in with crowds, but they won’t be the most comfortable bag to carry over long periods of time. 

Durability 

Typically a grey man backpack isn’t going to be chosen purely for its durability. As many of the designs are picked purely because they help the user to fit in (often in urban environments), they may not be hi-tech designs that use the newest hiking or outdoor materials to help them last longer or in tough weather conditions. 

This doesn’t mean that your grayman bag can’t last a lifetime though.There are lots of options on the market that are well made and will last decades if you maintain them well and keep them in good condition. 

The longevity of your grayman backpack will also be heavily influenced by how often you use it and how it is used. 

Be aware that day to day wear and tear can quickly reduce the lifespan of your greyman backpack. Try to maintain it well by always drying it out if it gets wet and replacing any broken parts especially zips and fasteners. 

Suggested Additional Useful Information

 How to behave like a Gray Man

Whilst it’s relatively easy to get a grayman backpack to help you go unnoticed, there are other factors you’ll need to consider too. The ‘grayman’ is an overall concept and takes a wide variety of elements into account. 

Many people attempting to slip into a crowd without being seen may think that they are protected by the fact that their equipment or tools are hidden in a subtle backpack. 

However these people are often ‘given away’ by other obvious clues such as:

  • the way they are dressed
  • the way they walk or move 
  • the way they speak in a casual interaction
  • Anything else they are carrying (besides a backpack)

The best way to try and act like a grayman is to be aware of anything that could threaten your appearance as one. Study your movements and speech carefully and take note of anything that could make you stand out. 

Being as prepared as possible is the best way to ensure you stay safe. If you need to keep a low profile, you’ll want to immediately know how best to slip into a crowd and stay under the radar so matching your behavior is crucial to keeping you safe. 

How To Utilize a Gray Man Backpack

You can genuinely use a gray man backpack to save your life. The Gray Man concept is based around keeping a low profile and not drawing attention to yourself so your backpack will be part of your overall strategy to do this. 

Use your gray man backpack to conceal who you are, what you are carrying or the task you are doing. A simple backpack in a dull color won’t cause anyone to think twice – yet it could be carrying your survival gear and emergency equipment to help you to safety in a disaster. 

Your grayman backpack will help to build on the image of yourself you want to create to others so you can utilize it to portray a certain vision that others will see, possibly without even questioning it. 

Here’s a list of some our top items for stocking in your grayman backpack: 

Conclusion

It’s important to learn about the Gray Man concept and it makes a huge amount of sense to today’s preppers and survivalists. 

Hiding in plain sight is nothing new and many of the strategies have been used for decades. It can be confusing to understand the different types of Grey Man options you have available to you so we’ve done extensive research to break down the key ideasto help you portray the image of yourself that you want others to see and to keep your safe. 

Here’s a summary of our top gray man back packs on the market so you can stay under the radar: 

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