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Fieldline Tactical Alpha Ops Daypack: No Rush to Get This One

Sometimes everything is what it seems and you should call a spade a spade.  I had never come across the Fieldline brand until their Tactical Alpha Ops Daypack was found by members on  EDC Forums at Walmart for a meager twenty bucks.  The Alpha Ops is a clone of 5.11’s RUSH 12 pack.  

Knock-offs set off red flags for me.  Most of the time they are just cheap crap.  Was this Fieldline pack one of the rare exceptions?  Unfortunately — no.

I found a few at my local Wally World, which according to their website was the only store in a 50-mile radius that had them in stock.  The Alpha Ops wasn’t hard to pick out.


At first glance, the Fieldline Tactical Alpha Ops Daypack looks very similar to the RUSH 12. Notice the crease in the nylon.  More on that later…


The Admin panel has the same layout as the RUSH 12.  The stitching is a little sloppy, but not a huge deal. 


So, you say, what’s the problem?  Well, upon closer inspection, the rails start to leave the track.  The interior nylon used is horribly thin.  Notice how you can see my finger through the material.  Also, the zippers are not YKK.


The keeper clip is a joke.  Try hanging anything substantial on that.  I dare you.  I almost broke it just messing with it.


The main compartment opens only three quarters on one side due to a nylon hydration half pocket impeding the zipper. Very strange.


Again, the quality of the materials are not great.  The mesh on the interior zipper pockets is thin and almost guaranteed to snag and eventually tear.


Again, some quality control issues with the stitching….


Here is a shot of the straps and back panel. Not sure what weight of material is used for the outer shell, but another crease… this time in the yoke.  I have a hard time believing it’s 600 denier nylon. 



Look, I like saving a buck as much as the next guy.  And I know this pack is only twenty bucks.  However, in this case, you REALLY get what you pay for.  5.11, as a company, isn’t best-in-show when it comes to bulletproof build quality but their stuff is on a different planet quality wise compared to this product.  I should know.  I’ve owned three of their packs now – the RUSH 24, COVRT 18, and the PUSH pack.

Here is my advice to you if that $20 is burning a hole in your pocket.  If you’re here in the States, go down to your local discount store ( e.g. TJ Maxx, Ross Dress for Less, Marshalls, etc.) and scan their pack aisle for bargains.  Believe me, you’re more likely to find a quality daypack in the $20-30 range there than here.  


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14 Responses so far.

  1. Charlie says:

    I’d say it’s a pretty great bag for $20. I bet it’ll stand up to regular use and then some.

    And for $20?!

    • Blaine B. says:

      Charlie – in my book, a great bag for $20 would be one that has the build quality and materials of a much more expensive pack at a discounted price. This is not that. In the case of the Fieldline Tactical Alpha Ops, as I mentioned in the article, you pretty much get what you pay for. Personally, I’d rather save up the extra dollars and get the real deal that I know will hold up under heavy use for a long time. Quality over quantity.

  2. John says:

    I have the Fieldline Ops bag and it has worked great for what I’m using it for…toting my laptop around, my son uses it for his boy scout camp outs, and travel. I’ve been very pleased with it…of course it’s not as expensive like the other tac bags but I’m not using it on that level, so it’s doing EXACTLY what I need it for.

  3. Tim says:

    I just picked one up a week ago and crammed all my crap into every pocket until it looked like a ball on about ready to pop. Then I attached a one quart molle canteen to one side, and a maxpedition nalgene bottle carrier to the other, and a six by six molle fak pouche to the back end. Then I took it kayaking and trucking through my woods and camped for a weekend. I nursed it a tad more than I would a mil surp pay, but not much. Needless to say, it held up to and from on a harsh trip. I might take it out again and abuse it some more. I know I can break its will within another weekend or two.

  4. Chad says:

    I have a version of this same brand that looks nothing like this.
    Your review doesn’t note the compression pack area at all, so I wonder if there is a second model that may deserve a closer look.

    The one I have, fully opens in the main ruck, none of that 3/4 nonsense you were spewing on about.
    All the seams are double stitched, and as for the mesh, well it’s mesh.
    The nylon on the larger pack that I use is thicker than what your review showed.

    There is a huge difference between what you reviewed and the pack that’s closer to $40.

    The larger pack is built a lot like a 3 day assault pack, and for the price, it’s better than a lot of the Alice pack nock offs I have seen.

    • Blaine B. says:

      Chad, manufacturers are releasing new product all the time so if Fieldline has produced something at a higher price point with improved materials and overall build quality then good for them. This review was in response to a bunch of people on EDC Forums rushing out to get their Alpha Ops Daypack because it was cheaper than the 5.11 bag Fieldline was cloning. My advice to them was to save up a few extra bucks and get the genuine article or look elsewhere. For that particular pack, unless they’ve addressed it’s shortcomings, my advice hasn’t changed.

  5. Chazz says:

    I would have to say that using this same pack on 3 – day hikes in some pretty foul conditions has renewed my faith in some of the “discount” bags. I have to agree with Chad as well, My Alpha Ops bag is a bit different from yours. Mine actually feels very heavyweight in your hands and solid when packing around the back country. I have had it since September 2013 and have used it on 7 hikes thus far. 34 days total in the field, in rain, snow, heavy brush and even kayaking. I have gotten my monies worth and then some out of this pack and it is still kicking. That being said, what i have found issue with is the stitching on one of the M.O.L.L.E. sections came undone, I will actually take the blame for that. I was trying to be creative with gear and the fact that the zippers are not YYK and leak under heavy rain but this pack does not come as a waterproof pack.The sunglasses pouch at the front top is about useless when you pack the pack full. I store flint and tinder in it in a Ziploc. I have actually bought a second one since then and it stays in the car. This Alpha Ops pack is now my main 3 day pack for any kind of trip. I am heading to Alaska next month to do some back country trips and this pack is going on the plane with me. I don’t leave home with out it any more. Maybe I got an especially great quality one but i don’t really have that kind of luck. Take a hike with me, i am Murphy’s law. LOL.

    • Blaine B. says:

      Chazz, I believe you but I’m not going to back off my original assessment of the pack. I’ve handed enough quality gear to know quality and that isn’t it. The fact that it’s held up for you is great. Like you said, you’ve gotten more than your monies worth. With that said, if I was going to Alaska, the Fieldline wouldn’t be on the plane. It wouldn’t even make it to the car. In fact, it would just stay in Walmart, where it belongs when you’re selecting gear to take on a back country trip.

  6. John says:

    You may have missed the boat on this one. I have been using this pack for the past 6 months as a GHB that goes with me every day. It gets carried to and from the car, thrown in the back seat, and dropped on the floor of my bedroom every day, sometimes 2 or three times a day. I have it loaded with about 17lbs of gear and it has performed great all this time. I check the stitching about once a week just to confirm it’s not falling apart because, like you, I know that lower priced gear often has quality issues. Fieldline built this pack right. In fact, I purchased the larger 3-Day type pack because I have been so impressed by this one.

  7. flick says:

    I work on the railroad. We are pretty dang hard on our packs (or grips, as we call them). A few coworkers and myself have been using the Fieldline Tactical alpha OPS internal frame pack (the larger version of the pack reviewed here) for over a month now. None of us have any complaints yet… In fact we have been recommending it to others. I carry 30-40 pounds of gear in my pack daily… No signs of failing yet. I admit it is not the 5.11 quality, but totally worth the $40 I paid for it.

    • Blaine B. says:

      Flick, appreciate the feedback. Check back and let us know how they fare longer term. I’d definitely be interested to hear how they withstand your torture test.

  8. Dave says:

    Wow, these comments go on and on with everyone getting great, not just so-so results. I decided that after a month of shopping around and comparing this backpack to others up to $100, to take a chance and bought two of them for my kids for scouting, camping, and hiking. They are much tougher than other COMPARABLY PRICED PACKS. No, it is not a 5.11 pack but the 5.11 pack COSTS 7 TIMES MORE. For the majority of us that want to use this pack for fun or even as an emergency bag it will be fine. If you plan to go to go into combat, common sense says to use something that costs more than $20.

    I highly recommend this pack for the uses I described above. It will fare much better and for much longer than other off the shelf packs in its price range and its comparable to some that cost more.

  9. Mark says:

    How can you call what you did a “review”? You went to Walmart, took pictures of a pack, and made assumptions about the durability of a product based on that. Your investigative work needs some work.

    • Blaine B. says:

      Mark, it’s a fair point. This article, which was written quite a while ago, would not meet my current criteria for a review. I took the word “review” out of the title. With that said, I’ve handled enough packs in my time doing this that it doesn’t take a lot of investigative work on my part to know this is not a quality piece of gear. Sorry if that’s not what you want to hear.

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