Best Bug Out Backpack

There are a lot of backpacks in the market, and picking the best bug out backpack, from all the varieties available, can be a challenge. The kind of pack you choose is more than its physical aesthetics. It is more about how well it is suited for storing your bug out kit for emergencies.

Statistical data shows that a large percentage of Americans prefer to rely on local government agencies in the event of a disaster, which gives them a false sense of security. In such circumstances, local agencies are usually overwhelmed with utilities broken down or shut off.

You can give yourself a better chance of surviving a disaster by having a well-kitted bug out bag ready to grab and go should the need arise.

Best Bug Out Backpack

What is the Best Bug Out Backpack?

We could say that we traveled the world to find for you the Best Bug Out Backpack and it’s partially true – we’ve been on the road since 2011 after all.
More importantly, we have done a very thorough research online and have gone through most of the available emergency backpacks that you can buy today and what these bug-out bags need to contain. We read the comments left by people who bought and used these bug out backpacks.
We also wrote a brief bug out backpacks Buying Guide and FAQ sections to address most questions you may have.
Without further ado, here’s the list of top 5 emergency backpacks based on their pricing, specs and ratings by real users.

1. Mystery Ranch 2 Day Assault Backpack

Mystery Ranch 2 Day Assault Backpack
Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 3.09 pounds (1.4 kg)

YouTube video

Introducing the Mystery Ranch 2 Day Assault Backpack, an exceptional bug out bag designed for the keen adventurer. Derived from its military-grade sibling, the 3-DAP, this compact version doesn’t compromise on quality or functionality and stands out due to its signature 3-Zip opening. The adjustable shoulder straps ensure a comfortable fit for various body types. While it lacks a waist strap, the bag remains remarkably comfortable when filled to its maximum 27-liter capacity. The unique tube-shaped design enhances its capacity, providing more room than most standard box-shaped backpacks. While the side pockets are somewhat bulky – perhaps to hold large water bottles – the bag ingeniously incorporates compression straps to compact the contents and reduce loading size. What sets this bag apart is the ease of access to its main compartment – thanks to the signature 3-Zip opening. Inside, there’s ample storage with two mesh pockets, two pouches, and a padded compartment suitable for a laptop or hydration pack. To augment its already discreet profile, it features a MOLLE webbing front – perfect for blending in. Besides, the 500D Cordura construction with YKK zippers enhances its durability while adding an aesthetic touch.


  • Superb build quality for durability,Shoulder straps are adjustable for comfort,Offers ample storage with large compartments,Exceptional accessibility via tri-zip system,Lower back padding enhances comfort.


  • Lacks a secure base due to loose compression straps,
  • Missing waist strap for weight distribution.
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2. Condor 3 Day Assault Pack

Condor 3 Day Assault Pack
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)

YouTube video

Allow me to present to you the Condor 3-Day Assault Pack – an impressively voluminous backpack ideal for a duo survival kit compilation due to its ample storage space. The backpack boasts a generous main compartment, equipped with two mesh pockets and compression straps to ensure your belongings stay securely in place. Additionally, this backpack comes with copious front and back pockets, as well as side pockets and a compartment specifically designed for hydration bladder.

Offering seven organization areas, including external MOLLE webbing, this backpack is your perfect partner for securely holding all your gear. Comfort hasn’t been compromised for capacity in this creation. The comforting padding on the back and shoulder straps ensure a pain-free carry, even when the backpack is filled to its maximum capacity. To improve stability, the designers thoughtfully incorporated chest and waist straps to ensure a custom fit for your back.

The backpack’s durability isn’t to be doubted either. The use of Cordura Nylon, a premium fabric exercised in military-grade and high-end backpacks, testifies to the pack’s robustness.


  • Superb weight balance and stabilityCrafted with high-quality, durable materialsAbundant compartments and side pockets An adjustable harness accommodates diverse body types


  • Design flaw in zipper and zipper flaps
  • Inadequate internal structure

3. 5.11 Tactical RUSH24 Military Backpack

5.11 Tactical RUSH24 Military Backpack
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)

The 5.11 Tactical RUSH24 Military Backpack is an optimal choice for both professional and personal use. This bag is a versatile blend of functionality and durability, designed to withstand the most challenging circumstances. As the smaller sibling of the military-grade RUSH72 model, the RUSH24 has captured the attention of both civilians and military personnel alike. Constructed with a robust 1050D (‘Ballistic’) nylon, this backpack is both tear and water-resistant. The featured YKK zippers and MOLLE webbing amplify its practical design, ensuring a secure storage solution for your gear. Its generous main compartment is perfect for emergency essentials, while multiple side and front pockets offer room for the rest of your gear. Despite some internal space compromise due to expanding pockets, the addition of compatible pouches via 5.11’s MOLLE and SlickStick webbing resolves this minor drawback. Experience the comfort of a thickly padded back and contoured shoulder straps. With a sternum strap and compression straps included, you can effortlessly keep your pack compact. Balancing both weight and storage, the RUSH24 serves as an excellent tool for all your survival kit carrying needs.


  • Increased capacity with tier system compatibilityRobust, water-resistant nylon constructionComfort focused, heavy load shoulder strapsWrap-around MOLLE webbing and lashing points for enhanced storageSuperior internal compartment organizationDemonstrates effective weight distribution


  • Absence of bottom padding
  • Potential weak seam issue in pocket zones
  • Lack of a waist strap

4. Osprey Stratos 34 Hiking Backpack

Osprey Stratos 34 Hiking Backpack
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 2.95 pounds (1.34 kg)

YouTube video

Being an adventure enthusiast, I’m constantly on the lookout for gear that serves multiple purposes. Now, let’s delve into the Osprey Stratos 34. A 34L hiking backpack, it serves as an ideal bug out bag despite lacking tactical features like MOLLE webbing. Its versatility combined with ample storage positions makes it an exceptional choice for survival kits.

One attribute of the Stratos 34 that I found convenient is its dual zipper panel. It provides full access to the main compartment, making it a step up from typical top-access bags. However, the tube-like frame can limit interior space and lacks the outward expansion capacity that you might find in a counterpart like the Mystery Ranch pack.

This backpack boasts adjustable shoulder and waist straps guaranteeing a customized fit. The waist strap features two zippered pockets for easy access to essential small items. Crafted with 420HD Nylon fabric, its construction provides substantial tear resistance and waterproof capabilities, enhancing the longevity of the pack.

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One bonus feature that stood out to me was the well-ventilated mesh back panel intertwined with the lightweight air suspension frame. This integration promotes weight distribution, making the load feel lighter and ensuring a comfortably prolonged carry.


  • Dual zipper panel for easy main compartment accessAdjustable straps encourage ideal fitHigh-quality 420HD Nylon fabric hiking backpackEquipped with a mesh back panel for comfort


  • Interior space could be larger due to narrow frame
  • Slightly hefty price for daily usage

5. Mardingtop Tactical Backpack

Mardingtop Tactical Backpack
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Size: 17.7 x 11.8 x 7.1 inches (45 x 30 x 18 cm)

Meet the Mardingtop Tactical Backpack, an affordable solution for your bug out gear requirements. Packed with a punch of utility, this backpack is all about balancing quality and cost-effectiveness. It comes in three accommodating sizes but the 35L variant stands as an exceptional choice for emergency preparedness. Showcasing reliable construction, this tactical backpack offers multiple compartments, making organization and access to your survival gear incredibly hassle-free. The Mardingtop Tactical Backpack incorporates a 600D polyester fabric construction that shines in color retention, making it availability in an impressive array of attractive hues. However, like any other product, it’s not without its shortcomings -the polyester fabric lacks resilience against water and is not as durable as other backpack materials. Conversely, the backpack proves its reliability with high-grade zippers and buckles, adding to its longevity. You’ll be glad to know that comfort isn’t compromised either. The backpack features sponge padding on the shoulder straps and waist belt for enhancing user comfort during long treks. Adjustable sternum straps offset the shoulder weight, ensuring a well-balanced carry. For the adventurers out there, the backpack equips MOLLE webbing and bottom straps, allowing the attachment of additional storage items.


  • Value for money Vibrant color choices Multiple compartments for better organization Comfortable sponge padding


  • Fabric may lack durability Not water-resistant


To summarize, we have gone through dozens of bug out backpacks and decided that 5 are worth your consideration. Out of these, the absolute Best Bug Out Backpack is Mystery Ranch 2 Day Assault Backpack which we highly recommend as our overall best.

If money is not an issue, you can consider Mystery Ranch 2 Day Assault Backpack as this is our Premium Pick.

Otherwise, there’s no shame in spending prudently, Mardingtop Tactical Backpack is the Budget Option.

Our other reviews you may find useful in your research:

What You Should Know Before Buying bug out backpacks


This buying guide will provide you with all the features and details that matter when choosing the best bug out backpack for your emergency kit. From capacity and durability to material and fit, the guide will help you understand why a tactical pack is better than an ordinary hiking backpack when it comes to choosing a bug out backpack.


The denier of the material is the easiest way to know if a backpack is of good quality. A low-value denier is lightweight and will tear easily, while a higher-value denier provides tear-resistance and durability. Fabric in the 400D – 600D denier range is preferable as it will be tough enough to handle the stress of an emergency evacuation without falling apart while being lightweight for easy portability. Nylon is the most common fabric for backpacks and also the best option because it offers water-resistant properties and is affordable. Polyester is also commonly used for cheap backpacks, but it is lightweight with a low-value denier and therefore not durable. Cordura is a premium quality fabric used in military-grade backpacks because it offers high abrasion and tear-resistance. Ballistic Nylon is also a thick, high-quality fabric that is typically in the 840D -1680D range, which makes it excellent for an emergency bag.

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The price of the bug out backpack you choose will determine its quality, durability, and effectiveness during an emergency. Cheap backpacks will have a low build quality that will fall apart, will have poor-fitting, and little comfort. Premium quality bags will prioritize the material used with double stitching on the seams to handle heavy loads. The zippers and the buckles are also big stress points, and good quality bags will have branded zippers such as YKK zippers that are smooth and solid for frequent use.

What do you really need in a bug-out backpack?

To give you a decent chance of survival, the Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends having the following top 10 items as part of your survival kit in your bug-out backpack: – 3-Day supply of water, including water purification, and food,

– Shelter such as emergency tube tents,

– First Aid Kit,

– Clothing and covering,

– Navigation tools such as compass,

– Communication tools such as your cell phone and radio,

– Lighting with a flashlight or solar lanterns,

– Dust mask to help filter contaminated air,

– Hygiene and sanitary items like bath wipes and toilet paper,

– Survival items like a knife, whistle, and paracord


When selecting a bug out backpack, size is a cardinal factor to consider. The backpack’s measurement will resonate with the quantity of survival gear you plan to stow away in it. Leading emergency institutions suggest a minimum of a three-day supply of survival essentials. Still, bear in mind, the pack needs to maintain a manageable shape for the sake of convenient movability. Typically, a backpack falling within the 30L to 50L spectrum offers ample room for a stand-alone survival pack alongside a sprinkling of personal necessity items. Not only does a bag of this size enable you to merge more seamlessly into your environment, but it also remains a manageable weight for back carriage.


The organization is a vital aspect when considering a good bug out backpack. Backpacks featuring multiple compartments provide enhanced organization for your survival gear, offering easy and quick access to minor yet indispensable items such as a flashlights, compasses, whistles, knives, or multi-tools.

Where organization is concerned, tactical bags shine. They possess superior features compared to hiking or technical backpacks, which usually lack external pockets. Tactical backpacks not only possess numerous compartments but also feature external attachment points such as MOLLE webbing and Velcro. Check out these Tactical backpacks for detailed insights.

However, while these additional attachment spots can be useful, it’s important to consider the aesthetic element of your backpack. It should blend in with your surroundings as much as possible to avoid drawing unnecessary attention to yourself. In a high-risk situation, a noticeable backpack can make you a target for unprepared individuals.

Avoid selecting backpacks with specific laptop sleeves or hydration compartments. Usually, in an emergency evacuation scenario, these features won’t be advantageous. Instead, your bug out gear is likely to include water pouches and water filters, making the hydration bladder redundant.

Questions and Answers About bug out backpacks

Are bug out bags necessary?

Yes, they are. A bug out bag is essentially a survival kit prepared in advance to help you get through an emergency such as a hurricane, earthquake, or wildfire that may cause you to evacuate your home for some time. These disasters often affect and disrupt utility services such as the water supply, electricity, and access to medical attention, which means that you will have a better chance of survival with a bug out bag.

How big should a bug out backpack be?

Your bug out bag should be easy to grab and go at a moment’s notice, and therefore should not be heavy. For simplicity, a 72-hour bug out backpack should be within the 30L- 50L range. A smaller bag will be lighter to carry but also limiting with space, while a larger bag will be too heavy and cumbersome. If you have other people in your household, you may want to consider splitting the load into two or more backpacks, depending on the number of people in consideration.

How many days should you be prepared to survive on your own using your emergency kit?

Government agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency regularly advises people to prepare a bug out bag that has enough emergency supplies to get each person in your household through the first 72 hours of the disaster.

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Picture of Agness Walewinder
Agness Walewinder
Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"
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