How to Choose the Best Bug Out Bag Survival Backpack

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Last Updated on June 8, 2021

A “bug out” bag, also known as BOB, is a portable kit containing items required for survival like painkillers, a first aid kit, food, and water. These types of kits are often used during disasters and other emergencies. Some bug-out bags are big enough to carry items that can see a person through more than 72 hours. Today, these bags will come in handy when you need to break away from city life.

In this guide, you will discover the qualities of a bug out bag for survival. Read on to learn the best survival backpack options available.

What Makes an Excellent Bug Out Bag Survival Backpack?

You can’t just pick any bag off the shelf and head out on a camping trip. Always look out for certain qualities in every bug out backpack you choose. Let’s go through the defining attributes of a solid bug out bag survival backpack.

1.   Space

While getting a bug out bag, prioritize the amount of space it contains. If you buy a bag with a small carrier space, you will not pack enough essential items. So, always go for bags with enough room to hold as much survival equipment as possible.

2.   Comfort

If you are trekking, you will need a bug-out bag to carry your essentials. A good bug-out bag must be portable and lightweight. Running around with a massive weight on your back will sap your energy. That is why your bag must come with comfortable straps and soft padding for your back.

3.   Accessibility

Since the backpack is geared towards survival, reaching its contents should be easy. Accessible bug-out bags should have multiple compartments. With numerous sections, you can organize all the items in the bag. As a result, you can quickly remember where you kept different things when making split-second decisions.

4.   Appearance

Color is not always the primary defining factor when picking an excellent bug-out bag. But it is recommended to go with black or other dark shades to avoid drawing attention to yourself.

If you live in a rural area, consider getting a khaki, olive, brown, or camouflage bag. If you live in an urban area, your bug-out bag should look like any other regular backpack.

5.   Size

The size of any bug-out bag is crucial to its ease of use. If you buy a tiny bag, you will surrender carrying space. If you carry a massive backpack, you will end up getting tired or injuring yourself.

So when looking for the right fit, consider your body size. If you are still confused about sizing, simply call the bag’s manufacturer for advice.

10 Best Bug Out Bag Survival Backpacks

There are many bug out bags in the market today, which makes it difficult to pick out one that fits perfectly. So to help you avoid making a regrettable purchase, we have drafted a list of the most feature-packed bug-out bags.

Mystery Ranch 2-Day Assault Backpack

Mystery Ranch makes very high-quality survival backpacks

The Mystery Ranch 2-Day Assault Backpack is the civilian version of the military 3-DAP gear. It has an adjustable shoulder strap to fit any body type and stands tall at 21 inches. The Mystery Ranch backpack is shaped like a tube, unlike regular backpacks. Its tube shape provides more load room than the average box-shaped backpack.


  • It has ample space within the primary carrier and large enough to hold big water bottles in its side pockets.
  • It also has compression straps to secure the bag’s contents.


  • It has no waist strap to help you balance the bag as you carry it.
MYSTERY RANCH 2 Day Assault Backpack - Tactical Daypack Molle Hiking Packs, Black, SM/MD
  • 2-DAY ASSAULT BACKPACK - The new 2-DAY is a smaller, everyday carry sized version of the Standard Issue 3 Day Assault.
  • DESIGNED FOR URBAN NECESSITIES - 27L pack loaded with features for travel or every day carry; comes equipped with dual water bottle pockets, front compression straps, MOLLE webbing & an adjustable harness
  • SIGNATURE 3-ZIP OPENING - Constructed for easy, rapid access to the pack's main compartment contents
  • EVERYDAY URBAN MISSIONS - Built-in internal organization with a padded computer sleeve, a separate divider for a tablet, & 2 detailed zippered pockets
  • BUILT FOR THE MISSION - We build with the best materials available & the most durable construction methods that exist so that you know our gear will support your mission

Condor 3-Day Assault Pack

How to Choose the Best Bug Out Bag Survival Backpack - The Prepper Journal

The Condor 3-day assault pack is one of the largest backpacks on our list. When you need a survival backpack for two people, this is one of the best options as it can carry up to 50 liters. Besides, the padding on its back and shoulder straps also make it comfortable to use.


  • The bag has an excellent weight distribution.
  • It is generous with space and has large mesh pockets.
  • It is made with durable materials.


  • It has a poor internal structure.
  • It has finicky zippers and flap designs.
Condor Outdoor Products 3 Day Assault Pack, Coyote Brown
  • Large load cargo capacity compartment
  • Designed for easy access and organization (7 pockets)
  • Hydration-pack compatible (2L or 3L bladder
  • Body contour shoulder straps with D-Ring for equipment attachment, sternum strap and removeable waist belt
  • Individual foam pad back panel for extra comfort and maximum airflow

5.11 Tactical Rush 24 Military Backpack

How to Choose the Best Bug Out Bag Survival Backpack - The Prepper Journal

The 5.11 Tactical Rush-24 backpack is a highly rated tactical bag. It is the smaller version of the military Rush-72 backpack. This military backpack is multi-purpose as it can be used for more regular occasions than a conventional bug-out bag. Its material is primarily basaltic nylon, making it highly resistant to wear and tear.


  • It is comfortable to carry when fully packed.
  • It is compact but has a lot of space.
  • The design and construction are aesthetically pleasing.
  • It is suitable for people living in urban areas.


  • It does not have a waist strap.
  • The pockets expand internally.

Mardingtop Tactical Backpack

How to Choose the Best Bug Out Bag Survival Backpack - The Prepper Journal

The Mardingtop Tactical backpack is an affordable bug out bag survival backpack that comes in three sizes, but the ideal one carries 37 liters. It is made of polyester fabric, which makes it cheaper in quality than other bags on this list. However, this bag is spacious, making it easy to organize all your survival gear.


  • The bag gives you a lot of value for its price.
  • It has a variety of colors.
  • It has durable sponge padding on the shoulder straps and back.


  • It is made of cheap quality fabric, which hampers its durability.
Mardingtop 35L Tactical Backpacks Molle Hiking daypacks for Camping Hiking Military Traveling Motorcycle(With Rain-cover)
  • MATERIAL- 35 Liters. This military backpack is made of 600D polyester. YKK Zipper.
  • HYDRATION COMPARTMENT- This assault pack with hydration compartment and can hold a 2.5 Liter bladder, the tube is fed through the top of the bag near grab handle.
  • MOLLE WEBBING- This rucksack can hang on small items, or for attaching additional pouches or gear. Backpack also has 4 molle hooks underneath to strap a bedroll, tent or anything else.
  • WAIST BELT DESIGN- The waist belt of this bug out bag is stitched in, but you can slide them into the middle space behind the back padding support. It's a pretty snuggle fit and won't slide back out on its own.
  • DURABLE & MULTIFUNCTIONAL- This molle backpack with chest straps to cope with the weight so that it's well used as a 3 day assault pack,army backpack,trekking backpack or day pack. Suits for Hiking,Camping,Trekking,Traveling,School or daily use.

Evatac Combat Bag

How to Choose the Best Bug Out Bag Survival Backpack - The Prepper Journal

The Evatac Combat Bag is a survival backpack that the average man would love. If you are looking for durability, look no further, as this is made for extreme conditions. Using heavy-duty 6000 polyester fabric, it is more reliable than the bags mentioned above.

This combat bag has sold many units thanks to its waterproof feature, making it safe for use in any situation. It also has a comfortable shoulder and chest strap with up to ten pockets for carrying items and a padded laptop pocket.


  • It has a padded back that can absorb moisture.
  • The zippers are “EZ Slide.” It makes it easy to open the bag whether you are wearing gloves or have cold hands.


  • The water bottle holder is at the top of the bag.
  • It doesn’t have a waist strap.
Evatac Combat Bag (Khaki)
  • ★ LARGE SIZE: The Khaki EVATAC Military Tactical Combat Backpack Size: 19" x 12" x 10"(H*L*W), Capacity: 35L! The perfect size to fit all your belongings yet small enough for every day use!
  • ★ HIGH QUALITY: Our Military backpack is made of high density fabric that is durable and water resistant thick 600D nylon! This bag also has thick, heavy duty clips and zippers so you know they can take a beating and still function as intended!
  • ★ DESIGN: The EVATAC Military Tactical Combat Backpack has a full Molle System allowing you to expand the already large 35L capacity! There are a total of 10 separate carry compartments to keep all of your gear neatly organized including a padded section to keep a valuable laptop or tablet secure from bumps and knocks!
  • ★ VARSATILE: It doesn't matter if you want a 3 day assault bag, a bug-out-bag or a bag for every day use. The EVATAC Military Tactical Combat Backpack is the perfect size for every application!
  • ★ 100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE: Yes! As with all of the products from the Ape Survival store, we offer a 100% money back guarantee for up to 60 days! If you are not happy, call or email us and we will provide a full refund! Our world-class APE SURVIVAL customer service wants you to be SATISFIED with your purchase. That means there is absolutely NO-RISK when you order today!

Kelty Redwing 44 Tactical

How to Choose the Best Bug Out Bag Survival Backpack - The Prepper Journal

The Kelty Redwing Tactical is a typical hiking bag but can also serve as a good bug out bag. It was designed with long-term comfort in mind, so it is suitable for people who overpack. The Kelty Redwing’s capacity of 44 liters makes it convenient to pack enough survival items for 72 hours.


  • It is comfortable to wear for long periods.
  • It has straps on the shoulders, waist, and chest.
  • It has a laptop sleeve.


  • The zipper design does not support fully opening the bag.
  • The bag wasn’t designed for high-stress situations.

REEBOW Gear 3-Day Assault Backpack

How to Choose the Best Bug Out Bag Survival Backpack - The Prepper Journal

The REEBOW Gear 3-day assault backpack can hold a lot of gear. The bag is not advisable for long-term survival, but it can contain enough items for a 3-day emergency stint. The REEBOW Gear is also made up of heavy-duty fabric but isn’t as strong as some other bags on this list.


  • It has lots of room.
  • It has a chest and compression strap.
  • It is water-resistant.


  • The quality of the bag is low-grade.
  • The bag’s structure is uneven.

Maxpedition Vulture-II

How to Choose the Best Bug Out Bag Survival Backpack - The Prepper Journal

The Maxpedition Vulture-II can serve as a regular backpack and also as a bug out bag. It does not have many compartments inside, but you can attach extra pouches to the external MOLLE webbing. The Maxpedition Vulture-II also has multiple compression straps and a Y-shaped harness going over the backpack.


  • It is lightweight, making it easy to carry three days’ worth of gear for extended trips.
  • It has a concealed carry pocket that will come in handy when carrying a pistol as part of your emergency gear.


  • It doesn’t have many compartments.

Direct Action Ghost Tactical Backpack

How to Choose the Best Bug Out Bag Survival Backpack - The Prepper Journal

The Ghost is a tactical backpack initially designed for military personnel to pack survival items that could last a 3-day trip. It has operational capacity and durability, making it a good option for a bug out bag. Refugees and campers can use the bag in high-stress situations.


  • It has a detachable shoulder strap.
  • It has comfortable ventilation.


  • The bag is not suitable for carrying small items.
Direct Action Ghost Tactical Backpack 31 Liter Capacity
  • NEW DESIGN - Ghost Mk II have redesigned side pockets that are equipped with elastic for expansion. They also have the new Direct Action logo
  • HIGH END USER - Lightweight and versatile 3-day backpack designed for advanced Military & Law Enforcement operators
  • PATENTED DESIGN - Patented Combat Vent System provides increased comfort for their users during prolonged use. Also great for hiking and traveling
  • CAPABILITY - Unique laser cut MOLLE/PALS system is lowprofile, lightweight, snag-free and non-water absorbing
  • RUGGED DESIGN - Durable, water resistant coated Codura 500D fabric with multiple color/camo options for versatility. Kryptek, PenCott, Mulitcam are NIR(Near-infrared) treated; Helps prevent detection with night vision. ACCESSORIES NOT INCLUDED

Paratus 3-Days Operator’s Tactical Backpack

How to Choose the Best Bug Out Bag Survival Backpack - The Prepper Journal
The Paratus 3 Day Operator’s Pack

The Paratus 3-days backpack is a terrific choice if you are looking for a high-capacity bag that can carry everything a bug out bag should contain. It is made of 6000D heavy-duty material but doesn’t sacrifice its comfortability thanks to the padded shoulders and waist straps.


  • It is weather-resistant.
  • It is comfortable to carry for long periods.


  • The backpack looks military-like, so it isn’t ideal for casual use.
3V Gear Paratus 3-Day Operator's Tactical Backpack
  • ULTIMATE TACTICAL BACKPACK - The Paratus 3-Day Operator's Tactical Backpack is one of the best gear packs on the market and is ideal as a bug out bag, assault pack, military pack, rucksack pack, hunting, or hiking backpack. With MOLLE compatibility, this is a modular backpack. The Rapid Deployment Pack and two MOLLE pouches make the Paratus backpack extremely versatile and durable.
  • HEAVY-DUTY BACKPACK- Double-stitched seams combined with heavy-duty 600D PVC backed polyester make the Paratus Tactical Backpack weather resistant, strong, and lasting. Side-release compression straps allow for you to tighten your pack. A molded EVA back panel adds rigidity to the backpack and allows for airflow.
  • DESIGNED FOR COMFORT - Padded shoulder and waist straps give comfort and support to this large backpack while keeping the tactical backpack secure. Several access points make the Paratus easy to use and pack as a bug out bag or for a weekend hiking trip.
  • 4-IN-1 MILITARY PACK - The main tactical backpack, Rapid Deployment Pack, and two MOLLE pouches create several different pack combinations. As a MOLLE/PALs compatible tactical backpack, it can be personalized for emergency preparedness, military, or outdoor adventures.
  • QUALITY = LIFETIME WARRANTY - Designed in Salt Lake city, UT, this Paratus 3-Day Operator's Tactical Backpack will last countless missions and will always be ready for any law enforcement, assault, hiking, ruck, or backpacking trip. All 3V Gear packs come with a Limited Lifetime Warranty against manufacturer defects.


The year 2020 has taught us several lessons about how quickly our lives can change. One of those lessons is that you never know when an emergency will arise. Your best bet is to have a plan that includes a first aid kit, water, clothes, food, and money as part of your survival kit.

Having a reliable backpack is an ideal approach to organizing all your survival gear in one portable space. The bug out bags reviewed in this article are the best around currently. They have features that will come in handy in dire situations while ensuring your safety and comfort. No matter which backpack you end up choosing, rest assured of getting value for your money.

Author Bio – Amily Lagman is a professional writer who provides a reliable graduate school essay writing service for undergraduates and works for EssayService. She loves nature, so you can find her hiking when she is not writing essays. Amily is a survivalist and has spent many years studying and teaching survival tactics.

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Kerry Bay

I’ve been running the 5.11 RUSH 24 for about six months now, and have had zero issues in any regard. 100oz hydration bladder filled and another 20 pounds of gear on a long hike? No problem. Super comfortable. Doesn’t have a waist strap? Buy one. The pack is set up to accept one if it is your perogitive. Yes, I do run a waist strap. The bag also sits up a bit high, which is nice if you are also wearing a pistol belt with pouches on the back side. I have this thing perpetually covered in various pouches in… Read more »

Pat Henry

Thanks for your comments and experience with the RUSH bags Kerry! Actually, my RUSH bag blew out a zipper so I am down to the much more modestly priced (but less comfortable) 3G bag for my get-home bag. If I was planning a 7-day trip, I would probably want a lot more capacity and something really designed for all-day use like my Osprey pack. Curious to hear how if any your thoughts change with that RUSH pack after 7 days.

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