Elite Survival Systems Tenacity 72 backpack review

One thing I’ve always believed about gear, on any job, trip, or mission: If it ain’t accessible, it doesn’t exist! Who cares if you have the perfect tool for the situation if, in the moment of need, it’s buried under 20 other items? Or, you can’t actually get to it without a screwdriver? The moment has passed, and that perfect piece of kit may as well have not existed… In this Elite Survival Tenacity 72 backpack review, you’ll see how this tactical pack changed my Hawaii hunting experience for the better.


Hiking Backpack Problems

First things first, though. Probably like you, I own a typical hiking backpack. It works, but not ideally. I have to pack my gear in carefully chosen layers. You know the drill… Items have to be placed in the pack in the order relating to when they will be needed that day (starting with morning clean socks, ending with evening sleeping bag, etc.).

The problem is, inevitably, I need a 6 p.m. item somewhere around 11 a.m. So now half the pack has to be unloaded to find a darn thermal shirt. And now the strata layers are in shambles foreshadowing the joys of hunting for gear the rest of the hunt.

Packing for a sheep hunt on the slopes of Hawaii’s Mauna Loa last month, however, was a different story. I got my hands on an Elite Survival Tenacity 72 backpack. Here at SHWAT™ you’ll find several Elite Survival Systems reviews. Our Publisher Jonathan had assured me of the quality they produce, but this would be all new to me.


Elite Survival Systems Tenacity 72 Backpack Field Test

ESS 72 hour pack review

My Tenacity 72 pack on the right, my buddy’s ESS Mission Pack on the left. Lava rock as far as the eye can see.

Even before I started loading Tenacity 72 pack with hunt essentials, I could see it would handle my normal load-out with room to spare. Sounds great, right? Sure, but don’t broadcast that too loudly to your hunting buddies. When mine learned of my excess cavernous space, they loaded me down with the community potatoes and canned goods!

Still, I didn’t have to agonize over the packing order of everything: With two quick zips, the whole front of the bag peeled back revealing the entire contents of the massive main compartment! It was like opening a suitcase on vacation…except inside it had .308 Norma Bondstrike ammo and knives.

When unexpected rain ambushed us as we hiked through the A’a lava flows, I just cracked one side open, easily located my rain gear and backpack cover and sealed it up. No muss, no fuss, no aggravation!

This Elite Survival backpack also sports several smaller outer compartments for quick access to phones, keys, spare .308 rounds and the like. We often start and finish the dark so the glasses pouch with soft lining comes in handy for sunglasses. In fact, you’ll find seven zippered mesh pockets in the bag, and large side pockets outside. The waist strap also sports pockets. I guess you’d say the Tenacity 72 is pocket rich!

tenacity 72 pack

Another hunt… Different terrain, same Tenacity 72 pack!

Remember my statement at the beginning of this Tenacity 72 review? Turn it around: If my gear is accessible, it exists! So I give the Elite Survival Tenacity high marks for keeping all my camping and hunting gear at my fingertips.


Tenacity 72 Comfort

I’m probably the most attractive person I know, but some may say I’m a hair on the skinny/bony side. This being the case, backpacks usually destroy me because it seems manufacturers think I’m supposed to provide my own hip and collarbone padding!

The Tenacity 72 backpack might be the first backpack that didn’t have me constantly adjusting weight from hip to shoulder straps and back again. Not to mention nursing raw shoulders at the end of the day. The straps, both lower and upper were just ridiculously over-padded. Shoot, that bag, fully loaded, feels more like I’m carrying a heavy pillow than anything else. Hyperbole, you say? Maybe a little, but you get the point. It’s amazing how much weight this five-pound pack can pack.

Tenacity 72 review

I found this even more surprising since on top of the Tenacity 72 I slung a Primary Weapons Systems MK218 MOD 1-M on a Viking Tactics sling. Still comfortable.

Tenacity 72 Looks

On more than one occasion the sturdy bag ended up in the dirt, propping up a rifle for a nice, steady long shot. The semi-rigid sides of the 22″ x 12″ x 9″ in pack worked as great gun platform, whereas my old hiking backpack was a formless, lumpy sack beneath the forearm, and didn’t really give much lift off the ground.

Now all the practical benefits the Elite Survival Tenacity 72 delivers are amazing, but at the end of the day, the real reason I’d head out on the trail with this pack again is due to how good it looks on me! I love how they’ve designed a pack of such size, comprised mainly of one big compartment, but somehow kept it looking really sleek!

Practicality and cosmetics really do coexist here. Elite Survival added details like the bits of Velcro that tidy up excess nylon straps to keep things from getting “flappy”.

Elite Survival pack review

We do a lot of hiking while hunting on the Big Island of Hawaii. We log the miles from trailheads known and discrete. Both hunters and non-hunters on the way to the trailhead commented about how cool my pack was! Heck, I may just end up taking this for when my wife sends me grocery shopping! Way cooler than a cart…!


Final Thoughts

So what do you get in an Elite Survival Tenacity 72? A backpack with the capacity of a trekking pack, but with the accessibility of a suitcase, the comfort of your favorite pair of sweatpants, but the rugged looks of a special operations kit. I mean, what else could you want in a killer backpack?

A freaking designated, padded, laptop pocket?!


It’s got that too, and for an MSRP of only $224.95. A quick search online might save you about fifty bucks if you’re into that.

Elite survival systems review


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