Few things are more important to a survival enthusiast or serious prepper than a comfortable, reliable and intelligently packed Bug Out Bag. In the event of an emergency, this pack will be the first thing you reach for, and the amount of preparation and thought put into its contents could make all the difference in a challenging survival situation. Bug Out Bags go by a variety of names (our personal favorites are the INCH Bag – i.e. I’m Never Coming Home – and the GOOD Bag – Get Out Of Dodge), but their purpose is clear; this pack should contain everything you need to survive for (at least) 72 hours.
There are a few factors that make a good Bug Out Bag stand apart from your run of the mill rucksack. The first is extreme durability. Although you’re packing for 72 hours, if you need to Bug Out then your Bug Out Bag is likely to be on your shoulders for a long time to come. You don’t want to have to worry about whether or not your bag can keep up with you. It needs to be well designed with a serious and sensible prepper in mind. A well-crafted Bug Out Bag will let you quickly access your essential survival tools when you need them. It will have numerous compartments (both hidden and obvious) providing you with a range of flexible storage options.
Finally, you want a Bug Out Bag that fits your size and needs; it doesn’t matter how well designed the bag is if it isn’t comfortable to wear while on the move. You probably already have a good idea about which survival essentials you’ll want to pack in your Bug Out Bag; the size, volume and specifications of these objects should also guide your decision making.
Below, I’ve listed a few of the best available Bug Out Bags on the market. Any of these would be a good choice for most preppers and survival enthusiasts.
5.11 Tactical Rush 72 Backpack
The 5.11 is one of the most popular Bug Out Bags on the market. Available in a range of muted colors and camouflage designs, the rugged and reliable bag provides ample space for the diligent prepper. The large front ‘shove it’ pocket lets you quickly store and retrieve big items, while the semi-rigid back support and range of adjustable straps mean you can comfortably shape the bag to your body. Each of the pockets and compartments has been designed with a purpose in mind, meaning this pack allows you to make efficient use of space.
One of the best things about the 5.11 is that it doesn’t look like a Bug Out Bag. This will help the wearer keep a low profile in the event of an emergency. This bag can take a lot of abuse and will never let you down: all in all a solid choice.
Sandpiper of California Long Range Bugout Backpack
The Sandpiper is a cheaper alternative to the 5.11 Tactical Rush but still comes highly recommended. The first thing that you’ll notice is that this bag is huge! It’s well designed four principal components can fit upwards of 4,500 cubic inches. While this is impressive, remember that the first rule of Bug Out Bag preparation is to pack light, so think carefully before filling all that space.
The Sandpiper has a range of customization options for the wearer’s comfort. It rides well on your back; comfort is a key consideration when choosing a good Bug Out Bag and there are no complaints with the Sandpiper. One small complaint is that the zips are not as well made as those on the 5.11 Tactical Rush; they can become stuck or come apart with repeated use, although this doesn’t happen often. Regardless, this is a high-quality bag and an excellent choice for a prepper looking for a quality pack on a smaller budget.
Condor 3 Day Assault Pack
The Condor brand is synonymous with quality, and this Bug Out Bag does not disappoint. The three-day Assault Pack is an affordable, customizable and heavy duty bag that all serious preppers and survival enthusiasts should consider. It has seven compartments and can accommodate more or less anything that you might care to put on your Bug Out list. Interestingly, each of the components has grommets for drainage, a feature that you wouldn’t normally expect to see on a cheaper Bug Out Bag. The shoulder straps are widely set and the foam back support is comfortable and goes some way to reducing sweating.
As with the Sandpiper, the Condor’s zips are not of the highest quality. The size of the bag means that it isn’t the best choice for users under 5’6. Otherwise, this is an excellent quality Bug Out Bag that comes highly recommended.
Voodoo Tactical Mini Mojo Bug Out Bag Review
This is an absolute beast of a bag! It will fit everything you need to Bug Out and probably have space for enough supplies for three or four people. As such, this is an excellent choice for preppers with kids to consider; you could fit everything you need in this one huge Bug Out Bag. The huge main compartment is surrounded by 11 (!) outer and inner compartments, with extra webbing in the unlikely event that you run out of space.
The bag’s hard floor means that it won’t warp or sink in the middle; a real problem for preppers looking to use other duffel-style packs as a Bug Out Bag. The Voodoo also comes with comfortable shoulder straps, meaning you can wear it like a regular backpack.
The Voodoo isn’t cheap, and for a single prepper or survival enthusiast, there will be too much wasted space to justify the purchase. However, if you’re looking for a great Bug Out Bag for the family or if you have large items of equipment on your Bug Out list, this bag really can’t be beaten.