survival bug out bags

Best Survival Bug Out Bags Money Can Buy For Emergency Preparedness


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As each passing year gets crazier and crazier, being prepared is starting to sound more like reasonable advice rather than the advice of just conspiracy theorists. There are many different ways to prepare for an emergency scenario.

One of the most basic forms of emergency prepping is to have a Plan B laid out so that you can get out of dodge if shit hits the fan. If you have to flee, having a Bug out Bag filled with all your survival gear is what will ensure you will get from A to B. Those first 72 hours are crucial, as most emergency situations change within 3 days. To get you through those 72 hours we have a collection of bags that will see you through any emergency.

Finding the Best Bug Out Bags Money Can Buy


1. Mystery Ranch 2-day Assault Pack

Best Overall Survival Bag

Price: $$$

Dimension: 21 x 12 x 11inches

Weight: 3lbs

Material: 500D CORDURA nylon, YKK zippers

Pros: Weatherproof, Lightweight, Nice compartmentalized system for storage and for computer, adjustable straps, Comfortable harness

Cons: Not completely waterproof, but as good as you can get

MYSTERY RANCH 2 Day Assault Backpack

Description: Here we have a Mystery Ranch overnight pack that is a military-style internal frame tactical backpack, that is lightweight, has padded straps and lots of MOLLE webbing to hang any extra gear

The Mystery Ranch 2-Day Assault Pack is a smaller version of its 3 day assault version. We prefer this one over the 3 day as it is more compact and lighter coming in at 3 pounds and with 27L of space with dual water bottle holders as well as extra webbing, and adjustable straps. Though it says its 2 days bag, it will work for 3-4 days easily.

It has self-contained and isolated compartments and a sturdy reinforced Y-shaped zipper. The bag has internally organized compartments that allow you to carry your knife, kit and food along with any tech that you might want to bring with you or even a computer along in a padded sleeve.

Mystery Ranch has been making bags for 20 years and they claim to field-test their bags in different conditions. The bag is waterproof however the seams are not taped, so whether it’s truly and utterly waterproof may be debatable. Though that seems to be the norm in most bags, but with one of the highest ratings, we have seen for a 2-day bag you likely can’t go wrong.


2. Tactical Rush 72 Bug out Backpack

Best Tactical Bag

Price: $$

Dimension: Main compartment: 23 x 13.5 x 8.5 inches; Front pocket: 15.5 x 11.5 x 2 in; Side pockets: 16.5 x 6 x 1.75 in; Hydration pocket: 21 x 13.5 in

Weight: 5.5 lbs

Material: 1000D nylon

Pros: Water repellent, Comfortably straps, Shoulder straps have a quick release buckle, Different compartments for organizing, Several storage areas

Cons: More compact

5.11 Tactical RUSH24 Military Backpack

Description: This bag is a heavy-duty military-grade tactical backpack that features a military design that is water repellent, has dual zippers and several compartments. It can be used for a variety of circumstances and not just “bugging out” whether it’s for hiking, camping, hunting, or as a tactical or survival bag.

The Bag is considered a 72-hour bag, big enough for several days’ worth of essential gear with 37L worth of storage space. It has a few cool features including fleece-lined glasses pockets, a contoured yoke system with specifically designed pockets for maps and quick-grab items.

There is an internal 60oz hydration system and a comfortable dual density closed cell foam shoulder strap. It has superb reviews across the board. You really can’t go wrong here.


3. Condor 3 Day Assault Pack

Best for EDC

Price: $

Dimension: Main compartment: 22 x 13 x 8 in; Front pocket: 12.5x 6 x 3 in; Side pockets: 9 x 5 x 2.5 inches; Hydration pocket: 21 x 13.5 in

Weight: 2.5 Pounds

Material: 1000D nylon

Pros: Good storage capacity, D-Ring to attach equipment, Chest strap, Removable waist belt, hydration bladder compartment

Cons: Zippers gets snagged easily

Condor 3 Day Assault Pack

Description: The Condor, 3 Day Assault Pack, is designed to be able to carry gear that would last you at least three days, and likely quite longer as it is a 50L pack which is almost double the size of our first pick and 1/3 bigger than the Tactical Rush. This backpack has a total of seven compartments and is big enough for most anything you are going to need for a 3 days bag.

The bag has well-designed compartments, has extra side compartments for carrying 2x water bottles, as well as radio pockets, pen pockets, and mesh pouching. The pack is on the big side and would likely work well for even a week-long bag.

Condor has been making bags for the past 20 years and is a reputable company that has a tradition of making tactical backpacks and survival go bags. If you are looking for some extra space for your gear this is a good choice.


4. Maxpedition Falcon III Backpack

Best For Concealed Carrying

Price: $$

Dimension: Main compartment: 14 x 7 x 19.5 in; Front pouch: 12 x 15 x 2 in; Hydration pocket: 13 x 18.5 in

Weight: 2 pounds

Material: 1000D Nylon with Teflon fabric protector

Pros: The exterior of the backpack is made with a strong fabric, Waterproof, Good size, Has a lockable CCW (concealed carry) compartment for gun storage

Cons: The strap buckle is a little weak

Maxpedition Falcon III Backpack, Wolf Gray

Description: The Maxepedition Falcon III Backpack will get you through your 72hrs carrying everything you need and likely can hold supplies for longer due to its size which has the capacity to hold 37L. It is lighter than many of the others, coming in at two pounds though it doesn’t seem to affect its durability. This backpack has a rugged look with several compartments and outside straps to hang extra gear.

The bag is a military tactical grade bag that is ergonomically designed with a 1050 water and abrasion-resistant nylon that comes in at just a bit bigger than our first two picks but smaller than the Condor. It comes in several different colors, has lockable zippers and CCW pockets.

The bag is versatile and can be used if your camping, hunting, fishing or in any other outdoor environment. The design is a big bulky and rugged so may not to be used for casual urban wear.


5. Direct Action Ghost Tactical Backpack

Best for Bugging Out

Price: $$$

Dimension: 20.5 x 11.8 x 7.1 in

Weight: 3.49 lbs

Material: 500D DWR Coated Cordura

Pros: Comfortable, Can easily carry supplies that can last you for at least three days.

Cons: The shoulder straps are on the shorter side

Direct Action Ghost Tactical Backpack 31 Liter Capacity

Description: This is another quality backpack that was originally manufactured for the military, so you can expect quality. The Direct Action Ghost Tactical Backpack is also designed as a 72 hour go bag coming in at 31L capacity. The bag is water-resistant, comes with a patented vent system and has a detachable second pack that is attached to the main compartment. 

It comes with a hydration sleeve and is well suited as a tactical, hunting or gear bag. It also has space for laptops and other electronic devices such as flashlights and cords. It offers laser-cut MOLLE on the front and the detachable has tons of extra storage pockets and zipped spaces. The 500D Cordura fabric makes it lightweight yet still maintaining its heavy-duty feel all the while made in the USA. This bag comes in camo as well as 8 other variations. If you looking for a military looking bag, that is roomy, compartmentalized sections, this might be the one.


6. Propper Tactical Range Bag

Best Shoulder Bag For Hunting

Price: $

Dimension: 15 x 10 x 7in

Weight: 1.2lbs

Material: 100% polyester

Pros: Lots of compartments, Can carry a heavy load, Durable material, MOLLEE webbing, Easily customizable

Cons: A bit small, Zipper isn’t the best quality

Propper Tactical Range Bag Organizer

Description: Propper is a widely used tactical bag manufacturer based in the USA. It has a rugged design and is a duffel bag that has both a shoulder sling and a carry sling. It has a simple design that is lighter and smaller than the others that we have on the list. This is a bag that is an alternative to the standard shoulder strap backpacks in case you are looking for something different. It does have several compartments and a side zipper pouch that allows for carrying accessories quite easily.

It is often used as a hunting bag as the company markets itself as a maker of makes military-grade tactical bags which is reassuring knowing that it will be durable and able to withstand different harsh environments. If your looking for a side shoulder bag, look no further.


7. 5.11 Tactical 4-Banger Bag

Best Sholder Bag

Price: $

Dimension: 7 H” x 15.5” L x 3” D

Weight: 5.1lbs

Material: 500D nylon, 1050D reinforcements, YKK zippers

Pros: Waterproof, Has a special pocket for you to store your magazines safely, Adjustable strap, Easy carrying, Secret compartment, Durable

Cons: Nothing bad to say about it!

5.11 Tactical 4-Banger Bag

Description: The Tactical 4-Banger Bag is a shoulder sling bag that can be used for many different environments from urban to rural. It was originally envisioned as a hunting bag and with that in mind it was constructed with many compartments so that it could hold multiple firearms with ammo and accessories.

The bag comes with a reinforced waterproofing treatment that can withstand torrential downpours. It features a concealed compartment, waterproof zipping, adjustable straps and high abrasion zippers. As a tactical bag, this means it was built tough which can be seen in the 500D Nylon material.

The bag was originally marketed by the company 5.11 as a “mission bag” for first responders and military personnel. What works out nicely is that it works great for a home EDC bag for preppers looking for a multi-use alternative bug-out bag.


8. Direct Action Dragon Egg Tactical Backpack

Best Compact Bag

Price: $$

Dimensions: 27 x 48 x 18 cm

Weight: 3.4 lbs

Material: 100% Cordura 500D

Pros: Good ventilation, Works for EDC use, Nice design, Tons of inside packet space, MOLLEE webbing, Lots of adjustable straps

Cons: The backpack is a bit on the smaller side

 

Direct Action Dragon Egg Tactical Backpack 25 Liter Capacity

Description: The Dragon Egg tactical backpack is made with water-resistant Cordura 500D material which we find to be sturdy and the exact type of material we look for in high end tactical bags. The Direct Action Dragon Egg backpack was designed with the military in mind, and as we mentioned before they are the perfect type of bags for bugging out, as you can ensure they can withstand a beating.

It has some patented tech that comes in the combat vent system preventing your back from getting drenched with sweat. The bag is relatively lightweight and has a capacity of 30L of space.

With its ballistic weave, waterproof coating and super padded straps and back, the Dragon Egg Tactical Backpack won’t be taking any prisoners.


9. Reebow Gear Military Tactical Backpack

Best Budget Survival Bag

Price: $

Dimensions: 13” x 20” x 11”

Weight: 3.02 Pounds

Material: Polyester

Pros: Affordable, Quality material, solid zippers, A lot of space, Double stitching

Cons: Some of the molle in the backpack are poorly spaced.

REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical Backpack Large Army 3 Day Assault Pack Molle Bag Backpacks…

Description: The Reebow Bag is a rugged water-resistant bag with double stitching that runs along all the seams together with a 600×600 fabric makes sure you won’t have to worry about the bag quitting on you. 

It also comes with side and front compression straps, has space to include a hydration bladder (though it doesn’t come with the bag). You will notice that the bag is not very rigid, while it does provide some support and padding it is easily collapsable.

If you’re looking for a backpack that will be able to serve as your one and only – this is it. 


10. SOG Ninja Survival Day Pack

Best EDC Bag

Price: $

Dimensions: 17.1 x 11.1 x 6.1 

Weight: 1.94 Pounds  

Material: Polyester

Pros: Lifetime warranty, Cost-effective, Heavy-duty molle webbing, 7 colors 

Cons: Stitching isn’t the greatest

SOG Specialty Knives & Tools SOG Ninja Tactical Daypack Backpack, Desert Clay, One Size

Description: The Ninja Survival Day Pack is a 24L bag as much edgy day-to-day bag as a survival bag. It has a few noteworthy features such as it being water resistant, it allows for hydration compatibility and has contoured foam that gives a layer of padding for your shoulders and back. 

The multiple air channels in the back combined with airy mesh enhances air flow to help prevent heat build-up and sweating. Side compression straps give the pack a compact look when fully loaded.

This is a simple bag, but coming in at the cheapest on the list we won’t say anything bad about it.


11. 24BattlePack Tactical Backpack

Best Budget Survival Bag

Price: $

Dimensions: 10″L x 13″W x 19″H

Weight: 2.7 pounds

Material: Polyester

Pros: Waterproof, Multiple compression straps, Seams are double stitched, Over sized zips, Great value for money

Cons: Not the best design

24BattlePack Tactical Backpack | 3 Day Assault Pack | 40L Bug Out Bag | Combat Veteran Owned Company (Black)

Description: The Battlepack Tactical Backpack is a 40L military backpack that may not be visually appealing but it makes up for it with a few cool little features.

It has the standard padded straps and back with breathable mesh, double-stitched seams and a few nifty pockets for your laptop or tablet.

What makes this bad a bit different is that it is waterproof. While most other bags only claim to be water-resistant, these guys go the whole way.


Best Bug Out Bags: Buyers Guide

For those of you that are new to survival prepping, a bug out bag or ‘BOB’ is a backpack that can be grabbed at the drop of a hat containing all your necessary survival gear so you can “bug out” or leave the place in a hurry and get to some safe space in times of emergency.

The focus here is on preparing yourself in response to an emergency. Bug-out bags are used more for evacuation and should contain anything you might need for 72 hours in comparison to long-term survival kits that may contain more longer-term gear.

Originally the term “bug out” was used in the Korean Way back in the 1950s in wartime when your position was threatened to be overrun by enemy combats and you needed to bug out or survive in the field with minimal gear.

Since then it has been used primarily by the military and special forces who often have go-kits that allow personnel to survive on missions carrying essential emergency gear should trouble arise and they get stuck behind enemy lines.  Since then survivalists and the larger prepping community started using the term as the subculture became more popular in America.

Other terms such as ‘go bags’ or ‘prep bags’ are all roughly synonymous. Other terms that are often used are and can be found and used interchangeably are:

  • 72-hour bag
  • Emergency bag
  • Survival bag
  • Battle Box
  • Go Bag
  • Evacuation bag
  • Survival bag 
  • SHTF bag – Shit Hit The Fan bag
  • GOOD bag -Get Out Of Dodge bag
  • INCH bag- I’m Never Coming Home Again Bag

Although there is a difference with an INCH bag, as these usually contain gear you are going to need for a longer duration. The idea is that it’s a bag used when you are ‘running away’. Other than that all the other bag terms may be used slightly differently depending on the context.


What are These Types of Bags Used For? 

Bug out Bags are emergency bags used in different emergency scenarios that can help you get from one place to another – fast. There is no perfect bag out there, as each type of bag and what you put in it will be depending upon the situation.

For instance, you might have a go-bag in your car, just in case you have to drive long distances in remote terrain and if your car breaks down you have some supplies to help see you through. 

Originally a go-bag is used as a bag containing emergency supplies that is kept in your home that is already packed and ready to go that it can be grabbed if you have to run out of your house at a moment’s notice. This might be for any number of reasons, from natural disasters such as a tornado or flood to man-made disasters such as riots or the rise of the zombies. 

Jokes aside, there is more to being prepared than just throwing some things together in a bag and calling it a day. Before buying a bug bag, you should first plan why you need a go-bag. Planning will allow you to decide what type of bag you need and more importantly, what you need to put in it. 

bug out bag with knife
leather backpack, kuksa and knife

Why is planning so important you may ask? Good question. In any type of emergency scenario, you will be unable to plan as the emergency begins to unfold in real-time your only focus will be reacting to the circumstances, there will be no time to think of what to bring as you will only have minutes before you will need to leave.

Planning out the scenario of what you are going to do when disaster strikes - ensures that you will be ready.

With all that being said, the type of bag will depend upon what type of circumstances you are preparing for.


Checklist of What to Look for When Selecting a Bug Out Bag

1. Material 

One of the most important things to consider when buying a backpack is what material it’s made with. The best materials are: nylon, polyester or some form of synthetic fabric; which make for water-resistant and durable backpacks. 

Have a look at the type of fabric that the bag is made out of. Getting thick nylon is often what most of the bug-out bags are made of usually 500D or 100D material which will ensure they will not rip easily.

Many people believe that a backpack made of military-grade materials would be best because it is extremely durable and water-resistant, but there are also some pros to buying backpacks with more lightweight fabric like nylon or polyester; these fabrics can breathe better than heavy duty cloths which means that then when they get wet they dry easier.

2. Storage compartments 

Having some extra compartments is always nice, especially if you have gear that is important to be able to get to quickly in an emergency. Having separate compartments to put things like your compass, flashlight, lighter, knife etc will definitely come in handy.

3. Comfort 

Having straps and back support that are thick and padded will make it comfortable enough so that you will not be cursing each time you strap the bag on.

4. Size 

Not all backpacks are created equal. If you need a bag for day trips then 20 liters should be enough, but if your looking for a multi day bag for hiking or camping gear then 40+ liters would be better. There are much larger bags of course but going any bigger for a survival bag would just be overdoing it. If you were going to be using a backpack to go hiking and let’s say scale Mt Everest, then ya I would go for a 100L backpack or the biggest on you can find!

A bug-out backpack should be big enough to fit in all necessary supplies, which means that it is kind of up to you. We have a range of bags on here going from 27L to 50L. While 27L is enough for some, it might be a bit too small for someone who has to carry extra gear for their family or if they need to carry extra warm clothes as well as tech gear.

The size of your backpack is a very important decision. You want the bag to be big enough for everyday needs, but not too bulky that it becomes difficult to carry around with you all day long. 

5. Price

How much a survival backpack costs will depend on a number of factors, such as the size and material. The cheapest generally go for $25-$75 while more expensive models can be anywhere from 100- 400+.

The key thing to remember is that your backpack will probably last you at least one or two decades so it’s worth investing in something high quality right off. 


Takeaway

These days it can be worth it to be prepared. You really never know what might happen. Having a bug out bag with some life savings gear can be relatively inexpensive and is totally worth it. Getting a bag is just one step in the process.

There is no one size fits all. If there was we would have the Mystery Ranch at the top.

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Bram Johnson
Hi, My Name is Bram, the Editor of Survival Artist. Here you will find all things Wilderness, Survival, & Primitive Living. I grew up in the backcountry and got hooked on the simple chop wood carry water lifestyle. If you know anything about me then you know you can find me either running up mountain trails or sipping coffee over a book of philosophy.