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A backpack that can help you survive an emergency!
Yes, you read that right. A bug-out bag (BOB) is not your ordinary backpack. It is specifically designed to help you survive an emergency like any natural disasters or other calamities.
But don’t get the idea that it can do so indefinitely. At best, you may hope to pack in enough essentials to keep you alive for a short period. Some say three days or 72 hours, while others say more than three days.
To cut a long story short, a BOB will be your biggest ally for a few days if you were forced to abandon your home and live out of the bag! It is significantly more durable, spacious, lightweight, and comfortable compared to other backpacks.
Why should you have one? A BOB isn’t too far off from standby equipment like fire extinguishers. You hope you never have to use it, but it is wise to have it around.
Now that you know what it is and why you need it, how do you select the best bug out bag? There are hundreds of options out there, spread across a wide range of prices and features.
That’s where this guide comes into the picture! So buckle up and read on to find the ultimate bug out bag…
Without further ado, let’s dive in.
Best Bug Out Bags and Backpacks
5.11 Tactical Rush72 Backpack
- Tactical Backpack RUSH72 features military bag design, built from high strength, water-repellant rucksack made with 1000D nylon; 3342 cubic inch / 55 liter total capacity
- This MOLLE military style tactical backpack is ready for patrol. Dual-zippered front and main compartments with glove friendly molded grip pulls. admin organization pocket to store maps, pens and documents.
- This heavy duty large military backpack features a front pocket - 15.5 x 11.5 x 2 inch, main compartment - 23 H x 13.5 L x 8.5 inches, hydration pocket -21 x 13.5 inches, left and right side pockets - 16.5 x 6 x 1.75 inch
- Adjustable dual density closed-cell foam shoulder straps; cinching waist strap and dual compression straps keeping your rucksack pack secure and comfortable.
- The 5.11 Rush72 Tactical backpack can be used as a multipurpose pack, bag, range bag, hunting backpack, army backpack, tactical sling bag, survival backpack, hiking rucksack, or everyday outdoor backpack.
The numero uno spot on this list goes to the Tactical Rush72 backpack from 5.11. It is one of the most expensive options you’ll find in this guide. But, we can assure you that it packs enough nifty features to qualify as the best bug out bag out there. Also, it is available in eight trendy colors.
Our Thoughts about the 5.11 Tactical Rush72
We were quite impressed by the Amazon reviews for this bag. The Tactical Rush72 has an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 based on nearly 1,200 reviews.
One of the prerequisites for a bag to qualify for this guide is being lightweight. For us, Rush72’s five-pound weight wasn’t a problem. But it is not the lightest bag on this list.
Also, it weighs this much because of its durable material and design. It is a military backpack in every sense of the term!
You will be able to store a lot of things in this bag. Moreover, it features several compartments to keep your essentials organized. Even if you don’t face an emergency, you can easily use it for hiking, trekking, and traveling.
There are only a couple of downsides that we observed about this BOB. But those aren’t deal-breakers.
Having a lot of weight on your shoulders for an extended period tends to mess things up for your back. We wish this bag came with a waist belt to somewhat prevent all that weight from pushing us forward.
Extremely sturdy design
A lot of pockets to keep all of your stuff organized
Adjustable foam shoulder straps provide comfort
Can hold a ton of things
Versatile bag that can perfectly function as a BOB
Compression strap anchor doesn’t appear to be heat-treated
Sunglass pocket on top is not wide enough
Maxpedition Vulture-II Backpack
- Category name: gear-bags-and-accessories
- Country of origin: Vietnam
- Brand name: Maxpedition
The Vulture-II backpack from Maxpedition secures the second spot on this list. It is available in four attractive colors – black, khaki, OD green, and foliage green. Do not be fooled by its 2-lb weight; it is exceptionally durable and offers an impressive capacity of 34 liters.
Our Thoughts about the Maxpedition Vulture-II Backpack
The Vulture-II survival backpack checked nearly all the correct boxes on our checklist. And if you are a larger individual on the lookout for the best bug out backpack, your search is over! But don’t get us wrong, this bag isn’t only for larger-than-average people. We love the multiple, compressible straps on it, which make it suitable for everyone.
What’s better is that you get all the perks of buying a product that bears the Maxpedition brand name. You can rest assured about its durability and longevity. It features a sturdy, Teflon-coated material that can be slightly abrasive against your skin initially. But after using it for a bit and washing it a couple of times, it’ll feel as comfortable as a breeze!
It packs a ton of storage space in four different-sized compartments. The primary and secondary chambers are more spacious than most of the other bags out there.
Compared to other Maxpedition bags, it doesn’t have as many small pockets. But that isn’t necessarily a downside, at least it wasn’t for us!
However, its price can be a turn off for some of you. We would be lying if we said that it is a cheap bargain, especially considering the features you get. But think of it as an investment because this bag will undoubtedly last for years.
Teflon-coated material protects from rain
Plenty of straps to compress it
One of the most durable backpacks out there
The large main compartment holds a lot of items
Integrated chest and belt clips provide additional security
Modular and comfortable MOLLE straps
Can be a bit stiff initially, causing mild discomfort
A tad bit expensive for its features
3. OutdoorMaster Hiking Backpack 50L
- MULTIPURPOSE 45L HIKING BACKPACK - Spacious backpack packed with many pockets & features. Great for hiking, travel, camping & as carry on luggage, for both men & women. THE ONLY BACKPACK YOU NEED!
- WATERPROOF RAIN COVER INCLUDED - Dedicated pocket for the included waterproof rain cover, padded laptop compartment (15.6") & PLENTY OF ROOM for all your equipment & accessories.
- DURABLE & COMFORTABLE TO CARRY - Made of lightweight materials with durability & comfort in mind. Featuring padded adjustable shoulder straps & mesh ventilation for a SNUG & COMFORTABLE FIT.
- PACKED WITH FEATURES & POCKETS - Plenty of both small & large pockets, as well as external attachment points, to hold your hydration reservoir, tent, trekking poles, sleeping bag & more. This pack HOLDS ALL YOUR hiking & travel ESSENTIALS!
- WHAT YOU GET - 1 x OutdoorMaster Hiking Backpack 45L, 1 x Waterproof Rain Cover, OutdoorMaster's friendly customer service.
At the halfway point of our recommendations is the OutdoorMaster’s Hiking Backpack. Do not let the name fool you – it is every bit a BOB as any other recommendation included in this guide. You get to choose from ten vibrant colors of this hiking pack!
Our Thoughts on the OutdoorMaster Hiking Backpack 50L
The best thing about this backpack is its price! At less than 40 dollars, it offers the most bang for your buck.
We especially liked the thoughtful inclusion of a waterproof rain cover. It eliminates the need to worry about the weather. And that will feel like a blessing if you’re caught in an unforeseen predicament!
You get many different-sized pockets to organize all kinds of stuff. And the padded laptop compartment can accommodate any 15.6” or smaller laptop.
Its level of convenience and comfort sets it apart from its competition! We haven’t found a bag with more comfortable shoulder straps than those on the Hiking Backpack. Moreover, the mesh ventilation ensures a snug and comfortable fit even when you are using it for a long time.
Despite having these win-win features, it cannot compete with more expensive backpacks. Our most significant concern is its longevity.
Very affordable price
Comes with a waterproof rain cover
Features an attractive design
Includes many pockets of varying sizes
Padded, adjustable shoulder straps provide top-notch comfort
Not as durable as other, more expensive backpacks
Absence of cross straps to compress it
4. Eberlestock Halftrack Pack
- Padlock webbing tie-points all over the pack.
- Upper back wall radio rack with 3 antenna portals
The penultimate recommendation on this list is much more than your everyday bag. In fact, it is the most expensive product on this list and comes from the premium brand of Eberlestock.
With a hefty price tag of over $250, the Halftrack Pack is suitable for a niche audience. You can buy this survival pack in six different colors.
Our Thoughts on the Eberlestock Halftrack Pack
We identified Eberlestock’s Halftrack Pack as a premium military bag. It is so expensive for a reason (rather several reasons)!
We especially liked the dual-levels of different sized tuck-pockets inside the backpack. One of the unique features of its design that you will likely not find in another bag is the fold-down shelf. You can use it to divide the large, main compartment into two smaller-sized chambers.
Each of the two side pockets on this backpack is large enough to carry a 3-liter hydration kit. Likewise, each side sleeve can carry a 2-liter bladder.
You will appreciate the thoughtful inclusion of a removable rain cover. Overall, we think this backpack is incredible. So the only thing you need to figure out is if you’re willing to spend upwards of $250 on a BOB…
Impressive storage capacity
Comes with a removable rain cover
Gossamer polycarbonate frame lends an extremely durable build
Adequate padding and deep-cut air mesh ventilation offer unparalleled comfort
Storing 2-liter bladders in the side sleeves is inconvenient
Weighs over six pounds
5. CONDOR 3 Day Assault Pack
Our final recommendation is the 3-Day Assault Pack from Condor. You can get it at a reasonable price of over 80 bucks. And it is available in four trendy colors – black, tan, olive drab, and Multicam. Condor has garnered a strong reputation in over 20 years of its existence.
Our Thoughts on the CONDOR 3 Day Assault Pack
There are very few BOBs out there that offer top-notch durability at an affordable price. And Condor’s 3-Day Assault Pack is undoubtedly one of them!
We especially liked the grab handles on the top and sides of this bag. They allow you to quickly grab it and get going in case of an emergency.
Also, the side pockets are spacious enough to hold large water bottles, and the bottom pouch is roomy enough to keep all the accessories you may need.
Although it is advertised as a 3-day pack, we could easily store everything we may need for a longer period. Thanks to the plenty of pouches that provide additional room and enable organized storage! And did we mention that you can purchase add-on bags to increase the capacity of this backpack?
But like all good things, it is not perfect!
Large side pockets
Grab handles on the top and sides
Compatible with add-on bags for additional storage capacity
Zipper pull-tabs may break easily
Zipper flap can get in the way of the zippers
Empty bottom pouch could cause the backpack to tip over when kept down
Final Thoughts about Finding the Best Survival Backpack
You may find people using other fancy names for these backpacks. Get Out Of Dodge (GOOD) bag, I’m Never Coming Home (INCH) bag, Personal Emergency Relocation Kit (PERK) bag, and more.
While a bug out bag is much more durable and capable than a regular backpack, it is not Hermione’s bag from the last book in the Harry Potter series! So it cannot help you survive forever.
We recommend that you choose one of our five picks, based on your requirements and budget. Let us know what you think about this guide in the comments section below.
Till next time!