A bug out bag has to be spacious, comfortable, versatile and durable. Here are our top bug out bags: best all-rounder, budget, stealth and premade backpacks.
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In this article we will cover a few of the best bug out bags on the market.
Before we begin, there are some important distinctions to make between the different types of survival backpacks:
Get Home Bag
Bug Out Bag
There are many similarities across these types of pack, but there are some subtle, nuanced differences that need to be considered.
In a hurry? If you just want to get to our conclusions, here are our top picks and recommendations!
The BOB is intended for more long-term survival. Let’s say you are forced to leave your home and don’t know when you can return.
It would be impossible to pack enough food, water and other supplies for an indeterminate amount of time; but you can prepare yourself with some key items and survival gear that will give you a good chance of survival.
This is the type of backpack we’ll be covering in this article.
Bug Out Bag Checklist
BOBs are designed to keep you safe and surviving for an undetermined amount of time.
As such, it is incredibly difficult to know exactly how much you will need to pack, and there is no “ultimate bug out bag” checklist.
There are, however, a few things you can pack to maximize your chances of survival when SHTF.
There are also internal mesh and zippered areas to compartmentalize your gear, and the double external compression straps help to keep your pack secure and the mass close to your back.
The 55L of storage space should be enough for you to survive indefinitely in the woods, but this pack is covered in MOLLE loops for you to attach other pockets and items on to the exterior, should you need to.
The durable and water-resistant 1050D nylon will stop the pack from snagging, ripping or unraveling and keep the elements out as you travel.
5.11 are one of the industry-leaders in survival and technical backpacks. For good reason!
They make some of the highest quality gear on the market, and their products are extremely well thought-out. For that reason, the RUSH72 backpack claims our top spot.
The interior features further mesh and zippered pockets to help with organization, and the whole pack can be cinched close to your body with the external compression straps, minimizing fatigue as you travel.
The exterior is covered in MOLLE webbing to give you extra space should you need it. The 600D nylon isn’t quite as durable as some other models; but it should still be good enough for general wear-and-tear when out in the woods.
The heavy-duty YKK zippers and double stitching around the seams also help to reinforce this pack, keeping your belongings safe inside and the elements firmly out.
There is even a sleeve for a hydration bladder or laptop down the back. The shoulder straps have a good level of padding, and the sternum strap is thick and strong – again helping to relieve the stress on your shoulders.
The main downfall of this pack is the lack of padding around the waist belt, so it could get a little uncomfortable with a heavy load over long distances (but you can’t expect too much from $50!).
All in all, this is a massive pack at a small price, from a brand you can trust.
If you’re new to the art of survival or have limited time to get prepped, then you may want to consider a pre-made bug out bag option which includes the backpack and all essential supplies.
This pack from Tactical Traveler has all the supplies you’ll need for the first 72 hours, plus some handy tools to help should you need to stay out of dodge for a few weeks.
The backpack itself is made from sturdy nylon, and features heavy-duty zippers as you’d expect. It has PU-coated lining and pockets for enhanced water repellency – a nice touch – and even has a pouch for your hydration bladder.
It comes with food, water purifiers, emergency blanket, a radio, first aid kit, bivy bag, multi-tools and more. In fact, the list is almost endless. This is a tried, tested and top-rated kit and weighs in at less than 20oz.
The backpack may not be the best quality on the market but it has been at least designed to handle all of the items that come with it, so would suit most amateur preppers very well indeed.
Tactical Traveler Tactical Survival Kit Pros
Contains all bug-out essentials
Has the basic features that a bug out backpack should have
Reasonable price for the amount you get
Tactical Traveler Tactical Survival Kit Cons
Not as good build quality as other backpacks on the market
Only tested to fit the items it is sold with, it may be uncomfortable with more weight
Final thoughts on Bug Out Bags
Remember that a bug out bag is only as goodas you are! This means that the preparation and packing of your bug out bag is just as important as the backpack that you choose.
There is no use buying a top-of-the-line backpack only to fill it with non-essentials or do a rush job when SHTF.
Keep it simple. If you are new to prepping or the world of survival, don’t buy a super technical military or tactical backpack without understanding how to use them.
Many features of the more elite backpacks are lost on people who do not know how to make the most of them – and will just cost you more money and maybe even slow you down when on the move.
Stick to what you know!
That being said, if you want to start practicing with a more technical backpack in advance of a global disaster – then absolutely go ahead.