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Best Bug Out Bag Backpack: Choosing the Best One for Your Survival Gear

Best Bug Out Bag Backpack
Bradley Page
Written by Bradley Page

A good bug out bag backpack is one that provides enough room for your emergency supplies for at least a couple of days and has plenty of compartments that allow you to organize your stuff for easy access in all circumstances. While finding one on the market is fairly easy, it is impossible to tell which one is better if you can’t try it out for yourself? So what makes the best bug out bag backpack?

In this article, you will learn how to shop for a bug out bag (BOB) backpack that will suit your needs and requirements. While we’re at it, we will also provide some products that come with our highest recommendations. Now, let’s get right to it!

Our Top Picks

Product nameHow many people?How many days?WaterproofingPrice
Zippmo Urban Survival Kit23 daysWater resistantCheck price on Amazon
Deluxe Perfect Survival Kit23 daysWater resistantCheck price on Amazon
Guardian Deluxe Survival Kit272 hoursYesCheck price on Amazon
Ready America Emergency Kit23 daysYesCheck price on Amazon
Stealth Tactical Emergency Kit272 hoursWater resistantCheck price on Amazon
First My Family Premium Survival Kit43 daysYesCheck price on Amazon
Maxpedition Vulture-ii Backpack13 - 5 daysYesCheck price on Amazon
3V Gear Paratus II Operator’s Pack13 - 5 daysWater resistantCheck price on Amazon
Explorer Tactical Backpack13 daysYesCheck price on Amazon

The Ideal Features of a BOB Backpack

Lost on how to shop for a BOB backpack? Here are some tips to help you get started on the right track.

Ideal Weight

There are quite a lot of items you should have in your bug out bag, and the weight adds pretty quickly. To make sure every member of your family can actually pick its bug out backpack, make sure the weight of the bag is in line with the weight of the person carrying it.

Ideal Size and Weight of The Backpack

For example, a 200 pounds person can comfortably carry a 22.5  pounds backpack, while the maximum weight that person could carry is 45 pounds.

Fit

The backpack needs to fit properly around the waist and around the sternum, while its length is also a factor. The backpacks that go below the waist of the person carrying it are very uncomfortable. There are some models that feature gender-specific design, with straps cut and shaped for better fitting for its designated gender. For children and teenagers, you should get specially designed backpacks that take into account their smaller bodies.

Compartments

The compartments of the backpack are also very important: you need easy access to all your stuff, which means you need multiple compartments than can be accessed separately. They also help you stay organized.

What to Put in Your Bug Out Bag

A backpack with a large compartment for bulkier items, plus several smaller compartments and pockets is ideal. Pack similar items in the same compartment: all medical supplies in one compartment, clothing and sleeping bag in the same place, all the food in a separate compartment and so on.

Comfort

Of course, you need something that you can wear comfortably. When shopping, make sure that you pay attention to features like hip straps and padding, sternum clip, airflow in the back and gender specific designs.

Extra features

Once you have a backpack that meets your initial needs, it’s time to look at the additional features. One of the main ones that you should consider is the pack’s ability to integrate with a hydration system. This will help you carry large amounts of water over long distances. It’s also a good idea to get a backpack with a built-in rain hood which is a great way to keep your bag and its contents dry.

Best Products on Today’s Market

Here is a selection of the best backpacks, to give you a headstart in your search.

Zippmo Urban Survival KitZippmo Urban Survival Kit

Price: Approx. $130

Dimensions: 18 x 10 x 12 inches

Weight: 16 pounds

Specific features: Water resistant, comes with cellphone charger

Best use: Emergency, survival

Zippmo Urban Survival Gear survival kit for emergencies is designed for three days use for two persons and weighs only 16 pounds. The backpack itself is water resistant, and has plenty of room for additional supplies and personal items, after all the provided supplies are packed. The bag also has a sturdy built, and several compartments.

The kit includes Datrex emergency water packs, sleeping bags, ponchos and body warmers, light sticks, paracord, a compass, emergency whistle, lighter, dynamo flashlight and cellphone charger, sanitary and medical first aid kits. The sleeping bags are lightweight, waterproof, and windproof. Don’t worry too much about food, because you’ll also find 2 packs with 12 food emergency bars.

The food bars don’t contain peanuts or dairy ingredients. They do however contain coconut oil and wheat flour. Some customers found this bag a bit expensive, but it seems better prepared than other similar kits, especially since it contains a phone charger.

PROS:

  • Sturdy backpack
  • No peanuts
  • No dairy ingredients

CONS:

  • A bit pricey
  • Food contains gluten

Related: This Food Insurance Premium 2-Week Bug Out Bag offers food supply for two weeks, three meals per day, plus 100 gallons of water and a medical emergency kit. A pretty solid kit for beginner preppers.

Check the price on Amazon

Deluxe Perfect Survival KitDeluxe Perfect Survival Kit

Price: Approx. $100

Dimensions: 17 x 12 x 8 inches

Weight: 14.4 pounds

Specific features: Inner pockets, 5-year shelf life, designed for 2 people

Best use: Emergencies, prepping, natural disasters

This Deluxe Survival Kit is designed for all types of emergencies, as a 72 hour kit for two persons. It contains 24 pouches of Datrex water, 24 food bars of 200 calories each, and a radio with headphones and batteries among other items. The backpack also contains a hygiene kit that includes wet wipes, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes. The amount of water is twice the minimum quantity of water recommended by authorities.

Should you be forced to spend the night outdoors, you can make good use of the body warmers, ponchos, sleeping bags, pads for insects, as well as the flashlight, signal mirror, glow sticks, and 30 hour candle. Perhaps a real fleece blanket should have been included as well, so you better provide it yourself.

The bag has many pockets and compartments to help you organize your stuff. Some people didn’t find this kit very useful, but perhaps they simply have different and more specific needs than the ones this product wants to meet. When everything is packed, you still have some room for a few other items.

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Extra room

CONS:

  • Not useful for everyone
  • No blanket included

Related: For extra safety, you can also get the medical emergency kit: Well Strong First Aid Kit with 210 Pieces which is quite the comprehensive kit and very compact.

Check the price on Amazon

Guardian Deluxe Survival KitGuardian Deluxe Survival Kit

Price: Approx. $72

Dimensions: 12 x 18 x 7 inches

Weight: 17 pounds

Specific features: Comes packed, for 2 people, AM/FM radio

Best use: Emergency, survival

If you want a survival kit that is compact, highly portable, and easy to store in a closet, under a bed, or the trunk of your car, then check out the Guardian Deluxe Survival Kit. All the items are securely and carefully packed in this backpack so that some extra space remains for personal items. This kit is designed for 2 people, to last them 72 hours.

The backpacks include 24 x 4 ounces water pouches, 12 food bars of 400 calories each, 20 water purification tablets, radio with batteries and headphones, rechargeable squeeze flashlight, first aid kit and hygiene kits. Should the flashlight fail you, don’t worry, because you also get a 30 hour emergency candle that can be lit it with the waterproof matches.

You might need to spent a night or two outdoors, or in cold weather and you’ll be kept warm thanks to the two emergency survival sleeping bags, two emergency ponchos with hood. To keep you entertained, a deck of playing cards was also included.

If you hope to keep your smart device charged, make sure to pack a charger, since this kit doesn’t have it. It also doesn’t include a tent, nor any sleeping bags, so make sure you get those separately.

PROS:

  • Contains both a flashlight and a candle
  • There’s extra space for some other items

CONS:

  • No smartphone charger
  • Doesn’t include a tent

Related: To be protected from harsh weather, you can also get the TACT Bivvy Emergency Sleeping Bag which is extra thick and warm, making it great for emergencies.

Check the price on Amazon

Ready America Emergency KitReady America Emergency Kit

Price: Approx. $35

Dimensions: 20 x 12 x 12 inches

Weight: 7.7 pounds

Specific features: Good for 2 people, comes with safety light sticks, 33 piece first aid kit

Best use: Doomsday prepping, emergencies

The Ready America Emergency Kit sustains two people for three days for it includes food, water, and emergency blankets. This is a good quality, basic kit that weighs only 7.7 pounds. The backpack contains two separate kits, one for each person, a 33 piece first emergency kit and safety light sticks.

It is a good choice if you live in populated cities or in areas where natural disasters don’t occur that often. It provides just the basic supplies for a short period of time. Also, it doesn’t include a flashlight, a radio or a compass.

All the items are already nicely packed in the backpack. However, everyone agrees that this kit is very basic and it doesn’t contain stuff other similar products do contain. Some buyers even mentioned they replaced most of the things in this kit as the contents were the cheapest possible, and therefore couldn’t rely on them for survival if they needed to.

PROS:

  • Low priced
  • Basic components to get you started

CONS:

  • No flashlight, radio or compass
  • Lacks many useful things

Related: If you are looking for water that you can use in case of emergencies, the DATREX Emergency Water Pouch is a good buy. It’s easy to dispense and has a 5 year shelf life.

Check the price on Amazon

Stealth Tactical Emergency KitStealth Tactical Bug-out

Price: Approx. $250

Dimensions: 11 x 14 x 21 inches

Weight: 30 pounds

Specific features: Backpack cover, hydration bladder, discrete design, flint striker

Best use: Survival situations, urban and wilderness situations

The Stealth Tactical Emergency Kit has a discrete design and a concealed carry pocket. It is built for both natural and man-made disasters and is great for both urban and wilderness scenarios. It contains weather protection sleeping bags and ponchos, emergency tools, water storage and purification tools, first aid kit, 2 x 3600 kcal food bars and 12 x 4.2 ounces water pouches.

This backpack comes with emergency and hygienic supplies, a tent for 2 people, water, as well as some food. The edible products included have a shelf life of about 5 years. You also get a can opener, toothbrushes and toothpaste, shampoo, soap, a sewing kit, some feminine hygienic products, some rope, and even a deck of playing cards.

The bag itself is not waterproof, but water resistant, however the kit includes a waterproof cover you can place over it. All the items are already nicely packed in the bag, and really organized people could fit a few more items as well. While the kit comes with a stethoscope, it doesn’t have a blood pressure cuff too.

PROS:

  • Concealed design
  • Includes a stethoscope
  • Includes sleeping bags and a tent for 2
  • Comes packed

CONS:

  • Water resistant
  • No blood pressure cuff
  • Rather expensive

Related: Get some extra food for your emergency kit with the Millennium Energy Bars Assorted Flavors this one here contains 36 packs of assorted flavors and has enough nutrients to keep you going.

Check the price on Amazon

First My Family Premium Survival KitPremium Survival Kit

Price: Approx. $135

Dimensions: 19 x 8 x 13 inches

Weight: 18.75 pounds

Specific features: Over 245 pieces, 2400 calorie food rations, emergency items

Best use: Emergencies, survival kits, camping

This First My Family Premium Survival Kit is to be used in case of disasters and emergencies. It contains enough food, water and first aid supplies to last a family of four for 72 hours. This product is just supplies to help you survive, as well as 2 backpacks.

The package includes basic items such as an emergency whistle that comes with storage container, compass, and a flint. Other items are 4 food rations, 24 packs of Datrex Emergency Water, 4 ponchos, glow sticks, a pocket knife, as well as 8 face masks against dust. In total, there are over 245 pieces in this kit.

Since some of the products are for human consumption, you should know the shelf life of this kit is 5 years. Customers receive alerts before the expiration date, prompting them to replace just the items that should not be consumed anymore, though tests have shown they can still be consumed after that date.

The kit contains some energy bars as well, however they contain gluten and might also contain peanuts. The food rations are for 800 calories a day, so you might want to pack more food if you think this is not enough.

PROS:

  • Reasonable price
  • You receive alerts before the items expire
  • You receive 2 backpacks as well

CONS:

  • Not gluten free
  • Not for those with peanut allergies
  • Based only on 800 calories a day

Related: To make sure you have enough water, you can also get a Survivor Filter Portable Water Filter Straw. It’s a long lasting filter with a lifetime warranty.

Check the price on Amazon

Maxpedition Vulture-II BackpackMaxpedition Vulture-II Backpack

Price: Approx. $151

Dimensions: 15 x 9.5 x 20 inches

Weight: 3 pounds

Specific features: Teflon coating, breathable straps, hydration compartment

Best use: Longer hikes, deployment, or bugging out

Made of 1000-Denier Coated Nylon, the Maxpedition Vulture-II Backpack is finished with a triple coat of polyurethane and a final coat of DuPont Teflon Fabric Protector for water resistance. If you have a smaller body frame, you might find this bag either too heavy or too big, for it is made for those with a larger body frame.

The coating makes the product really easy to clean: all you need a damp piece of cloth that you use to wipe the bag. The surface must dry out naturally, and you definitely cannot wash it in the machine, with detergent, and not even bleach.

Those using this backpack will really like its back padding, as well as the chest and waist straps that can be conceived. All in all, the appearance of this item is ergonomic to make it more comfortable when worn. You can pack a 100oz or 3L hydration reservoir – carrying and drinking water are made more easy this way.

PROS:

  • The Teflon coating
  • Ergonomic design

CONS:

  • Rather expensive
  • No washing

Related: Get this Maxpedition Bottle Holder to help you easier carry your water bottle, while also storing a few minor necessities in its zippered pocket.

Check the price on Amazon

3V Gear Paratus II Operator’s Pack3V Gear Paratus 3 Day Operator's

Price: Approx. $80

Dimensions: 20 x 12 x 5.5 inches

Weight: 6 pounds

Specific features: Modular Design, airline carry on, weather resistant nylon material

Best use: Tactical, emergency, camping, backpacking

Due to its 2 large zippered compartments plus additional interior pockets, staying organized was never easier. The carry handles of the 3V Gear Paratus Operator’s Pack, compression straps and fasten points provide for endless customization. Plus, the backpack is suitable for airplane carry on, however it’s at the top size limit and it barely fits in the overhead bin and you’ll have to remove the Molle pouches as well as the bottom part.

This bag has a modular design for it includes a detachable deployment pack complete with a  shoulder strap that can also be used as a waist strap. While some people said this items doesn’t have a sternum strap, others say the opposite. The bag does have a waist strap however it loosens quite fast and this can be disturbing for some.

When hiking you might want to drink some water – just make sure you have a hydration bladder in this bag and you’re good to go. Some users were really disappointed by the lack of an internal frame, but the compression straps made up for that, at least partially. The major letdown is that the fabric is not waterproof, but just water resistant.

PROS:

  • 3 bags in 1
  • Very roomy
  • Affordable

CONS:

  • No internal frame
  • Not waterproof

Related: For keeping just the absolute necessities on hand, you can use this TravTac Ballistic Sling Bag instead. It has an extra long strap and customizable design.

Check the price on Amazon

Explorer Tactical BackpackExplorer Tactical Gun

Price: Approx. $67

Dimensions: 20 x 11.50 x 11 inches

Weight: 4.2 pounds

Specific features: Handgun pocket, spacious

Best use: Short trip cross country, tactical bag for guns

This Explorer Tactical Backpack comes with several zippered pockets – found on the front, on the sides, as well as on the shoulder straps. It also has a long pocket suitable for laptops and one easy access pocket for tablets. The backpack also has two gun pouches at the waist level for a handgun, cell phone, GPS, or medical accessories.

Should be noted that this product can pack enough supplies to last you 3 days ad this one of the things most people liked about it. The backpack has an inner lining meant to keep your items dry in case of rain. Some of its users agreed that the pockets are easily accessed as long as you adjust the backpack to your size.

However there are also many critiques for this item. The most notable are the lack of a frame or reinforcement – a feature much needed in a product this big meant to carry so many other things. This aspect makes the bag to sag and in turn to have the lining to rip.

Others complained how the pockets designed for the handgun and other such small objects are not well placed. This posed issues with both reaching for them as well as with overall comfort.

PROS:

  • Very spacious
  • Well compartmentalized

CONS:

  • No reinforcing frame
  • Poorly placed handgun pocket
  • Sags

Related: To make sure you have sufficient water supplies during emergencies, you can also get the Crystal Creek Insulated Water Reservoir. It comes with a sleeve for extra protection.

Check the price on Amazon

Final Words

And we reached the end of the presentation. You should be able not only to know what a bug out bag does, but also how’s done and how to make your own, based on your needs.

Get your BOB

A bug out bag makes a very useful camping equipment: the premade ones usually have some extra room for your personal items and extra clothing. Next time you are planning a hiking trip, be extra safe with a bug out bag. During winter, you should have this type of emergency bag in your trunk at all times for a blizzard can block roads in matter of minutes, and there are plenty of people freezing to death only miles away from their destinations.

So what do you think of our selection of the top BOB backpacks? Any other products that we might have missed? Let us know in the comments.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bradley Page
Bradley Page

With several decades of experience as a backpacker and outdoor adventurer, Bradley is an open encyclopedia when it comes to gear, clothes, and other items that matter on the trail. He tested hundreds of shoes, pants, jackets, and backpacks in his long career and is always up to date with the new appearances in the niche. His experience makes him one of the authority figures in backpacking and he can help anyone to get prepared for a great adventure!

  • Karen Wood

    Hi there! Thank you, this article is very interesting! I love to go on long trips, so your content is useful for me. I want to buy the Paratus 3 Day Operator’s Pack Military Style because it’s very stylish and functional. Hope to use it in the near future.

  • Bradley Page

    This is a spacious bug out bag and you’ll be able to fit what you need inside. Be sure to make a list on what supplies to take so you won’t lack anything.

  • Frank Stone

    I have a big family and we love to travel. I use the 4 Person Premium Survival Kit With 72-Hours for one year. This bag is spacious and and has plenty of buckles and straps for rigging. More than enough for a 3 day pack. I like it a lot!

  • Bradley Page

    These bug out bags are very versatile and they are really spacious to fit all your things. What more, these are made of durable materials that will last for years. I’m so pleased that you like them Frank!

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