Best Bug Out Backpacks

10 Best Bug Out Backpacks in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

(Last Updated On: June 28, 2021)

To find the best bug out backpack, you need to search a whole lot of styles, features, and usability to find the ideal fit for you. Bug out bags are becoming increasingly popular as the threat of an accident or natural disaster is rising. If you’re new to prepping, you may wonder what a bug out bag is. For starters, its the holy grail of bags whenever a disaster strikes.

Whether it’s an earthquake, explosions, floods, violence, or war, being prepared will always be better than not. And by putting together a bug out bag, you will be more than prepared when the time comes. A great bug out bag will have most of the essentials needed to sustain yourself a minimum of 3 days.

In a Hurry? The test winners after 12 hrs of research

5.11 Tactical RUSH72 Bug Out Backpack

5.11 Tactical RUSH72 Bug Out Backpack – Premium Pick

Why is it better?

  • Lots of space and organization (pockets, zippered compartments, etc.)
  • Dual compression straps
  • MOLLE everywhere
  • Main zippers go nearly down to the bottom of the bag, allowing for clam shell opening

REEBOW GEAR Military Bug Out Backpack

REEBOW GEAR Military Bug Out Backpack – Best Value

Why is it better?

  • Very spacious. 2 main compartments, and back compartment for a hydration bladder, and 2 smaller compartments
  • The rugged design holds up well against abrasion and other forces
  • Its waterproof design makes it good for carrying electronics or books on campus or out on trails
  • Breathable and comfortable shoulder straps

Best Bug Out Backpacks – Overview

If you’re not sure where to start, our guide to the best bug out backpacks for survival is here to help you get going. For every contingency, scenario, and price range, we have looked at some of the largest, hardest, and overall best bug out backpacks out there. Survival backpacks and 3-day backpacks are also similar types of bags that you can use as an alternative.

Bug Out Backpacks Reviews

1. 5.11 Tactical RUSH72 Bug Out Backpack – Premium Pick

5.11 Tactical RUSH72 Bug Out Backpack

The 5.11 Tactical RUSH72 Bug Out Backpack is engineered to be a full-featured bug out bag that provides ample space for gear and accessories while remaining rugged and reliable enough for extended excursions or tactical deployments. Built from high strength, water-repellant rucksack made with 1000D nylon, this bag is ideal for recreational use or as an operational bug out bag with dual-zippered front and main compartments with molded grip pulls.

Compatible with 5.11 Tier System, and the Rush Tier Rifle Sleeve, the pack features unmatched storage capability, a wrap-around MOLLE and SlickStick-compatible web platform, adjustable shoulder and sternum straps, a 60-oz. hydration pocket, and durable, water-resistant construction. Adjustable dual density closed-cell foam shoulder straps; cinching waist strap and dual compression straps keep your rucksack pack secure and comfortable. Our handy guide to the best tactical backpacks features more great products like this.

Key Features:

  • Water-repellent & made with 1000D Nylon
  • Dual compression straps on the outside of the bag
  • Velcro ports on each side for securing a hydration bladder drinking tube in place
  • Multiple integrated organization pockets
  • Adjustable dual density closed-cell foam shoulder straps

Specifications:

  • Brand: 5.11
  • Capacity: 55L
  • Dimensions: 23″ H x 13.5″ W x 8.5″ D
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs
Pros
  • Lots of space and organization (pockets, zippered compartments, etc.)
  • Dual compression straps
  • MOLLE everywhere
  • Main zippers go nearly down to the bottom of the bag, allowing for clam shell opening
Cons
  • The bag is heavy at 5.5 lbs
  • Drain holes in main compartment can let sand in

2. Direct Action Dragon Egg Bug Out Backpack

Direct Action Dragon Egg Bug Out Backpack

The Direct Action Dragon Egg Bug Out Backpack is a lightweight and versatile 2-day pack suitable for the role of a basic assault backpack or larger EDC pack. The Egg shape allows the pack to have a smaller height and width than other packs with similar capacity. It also makes it more comfortable with belt kits or ballistic vests. The front pocket features an internal organizer for GPS, writing utensils and other small essentials

Its 25+ liter capacity makes this 2-day backpack great for both patrol and advanced tactical duties. Designed for military and law enforcement operators, however, the camo/solid color selection also makes it a great choice for outdoor enthusiasts. The low profile look and feel makes it a perfect everyday carry bag.

Key Features:

  • Daisy chain webbing that runs along the front panel seam for attaching carabineers
  • Laser-cut MOLLE/PALS system
  • Patented Combat Vent System provides increased comfort for their users during prolonged use
  • Made with water-resistant coated Codura 500D fabric with multiple color/camo options

Specifications:

  • Brand: Direct Action
  • Capacity: 25L
  • Dimensions: 18.9″ H x 10.6″ W x 7.0″ D
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs
Pros
  • Plenty of room for accessories and laser Molle makes it possible for adaptations
  • The side loops are very handy
  • Size is optimal for 3 Day trip
  • Overall good build quality
Cons
  • The green interior makes it slightly more difficult to see what’s pockets. Recommend using a light color like yellow or orange
  • The shape makes the bag always roll forward when set on a flat surface

3. REEBOW GEAR Military Bug Out Backpack – Best Value

REEBOW GEAR Military Bug Out Backpack

The REEBOW GEAR Military Bug Out Backpack can be used as a 3-day assault pack, bug out backpack, hunting backpack, survival backpack, army backpack, trekking backpack or day pack for daily use. It has double-stitched seams throughout, heavy-duty zips and is made from a durable, water-resistant fabric. It works great with a 2.5L hydration bladder

In addition, this pack comes with an adjustable shoulder and waist straps. The shoulder straps have a good amount of mesh padding and there is a chest strap between them, so further adjust where the backpack weight falls on your shoulders. Like most military backpacks, it also has a MOLLE system, Molle webbing throughout for attaching additional tactical pouches or gear. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best military backpacks.

Key Features:

  • High-density fabric-durable and water-resistant
  • Molle webbing throughout for attaching additional tactical pouches
  • Double-stitched, heavy-duty zippers and utility-style cord pulls
  • Ventilated mesh padded back area & shoulder strap

Specifications:

  • Brand: REEBOW GEAR
  • Capacity: 40L
  • Dimensions: 16.6″ H x 14.7″ W x 4.8″ D
  • Weight: 2.82 lbs
Pros
  • Very spacious. 2 main compartments, and back compartment for a hydration bladder, and 2 smaller compartments
  • The rugged design holds up well against abrasion and other forces
  • Its waterproof design makes it good for carrying electronics or books on campus or out on trails
  • Breathable and comfortable shoulder straps
Cons
  • Not the best strap quality, so this pack is not recommended for putting a heavy load

4. Maxpedition Vulture-II Bug Out Backpack

Maxpedition Vulture-II Bug Out Backpack

The Maxpedition Vulture-II Bug Out Backpack is built for larger individuals and is designed for hauling lots of gear. Endowed with 2100 cubic inches (34 liters) of carry capacity, 3 generous compartments, and a wide bottom design; this is the backpack to pack it all into. However, like all Maxpedition bags, size does not infringe on comfort. Great for longer hikes, deployment, or buggin’ out.

A coating of 1000 denier ballistic nylon is the secret to the incredible toughness of this bag and the bag’s rugged surface makes it a real-world survival and bug out backpack that holds up to tremendous abuse. PALS webbing is included across the side surfaces of the case which provides incredible strength of the stitching used to keep these nylon strips in place.

Key Features:

  • 3 spacious main compartments
  • Concealed Carry Pocket
  • Base of the bag features a non-slip and abrasive finish
  • External PALS Webbing for attachments
  • Internal Pockets and loop fields for customization

Specifications:

  • Brand: Maxpedition
  • Capacity: 46L
  • Dimensions: 20.5″ H x 16″ W x 7″ D
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs
Pros
  • Plenty of straps to compress your bag
  • Water bladder/laptop pouch
  • Awesome quality: durable teflon-coated, 1000-denier Nylon – double stitching – and quality zippers with paracord pullers
  • Three-layered compartments for convenience and organization
Cons
  • Initially, outer material is abrasive to bare skin

5. Direct Action Ghost Tactical Bug Out Backpack

Direct Action Ghost Tactical Bug Out Backpack

The Direct Action Ghost Tactical Bug Out Backpack is a 30+ liter backpack, scalable and well suited for the role of a tactical 3-day pack. This makes the ghost perfect as a bug out backpack that can adapt quickly to changing situations on the ground while performing well in a number of roles. It features the main pack with two zippered compartments – first, larger, has an internal hydration sleeve and an accessory mesh pocket. Second, accessible from the backside of the pack is reinforced and will hold a large laptop computer.

The low profile look and feel makes it a perfect everyday bag. If you are looking for a heavy-duty backpack for your laptop, tablet, iPad, hydration bladder, etc. or just a solid base for your bug out bag. Additionally, there is a zippered, soft velour-lined, glasses pocket in the upper portion of the pack and a flat zippered pocket below it. Carrying straps of the Ghost MK II backpack is wide, and padded with stiffened closed-cell foam, with side release buckles for quick doffing. Waistbelt of the Ghost MK II pack is a fully functional PALS/MOLLE belt that can be detached from the main body and used on its own with included low-profile suspenders.

Key Features:

  • Cordura 500D laminate construction
  • Laser-cut PALS/MOLLE on front and sides
  • Hydration bladder compatible
  • Heavy-duty YKK zippers
  • Padded computer sleeve with separate access

Specifications:

  • Brand: Direct Action
  • Capacity: 31.5L
  • Dimensions: 20.5″ H x 11.8″ W x 7″ D
  • Weight: 5.04 lbs
Pros
  • The hip belt is detachable and comes with straps that you can attach magazines, holsters, etc.
  • The laser cut MOLLE looks fantastic and contributes to the slim-profile look
  • The shoulder straps are well contoured and have nice padding
  • The buckles themselves are made of duraflex and the zippers are all YKK
Cons
  • The water bottle holders are secure enough for biking and walking but not for running or jumping

6. Exos Bravo Tactical Bug Out Backpack

Exos Bravo Tactical Bug Out Backpack

The Exos Bravo Tactical Bug Out Backpack is the perfect choice for people looking for a bug out backpack on a budget. With a 34L capacity, the five zippered compartments provide plenty of space to secure large tools and gear as well as compartments and pockets to organize small components. The rearmost zippered compartment is great for carrying a water bladder as it has an output for the drink tube, or it could be used to carry a standard size 15″ laptop instead. Built with a focus on quality and functionality, the Bravo’s outer shell material is durable 600D polyester with extra reinforcement at load bearing seams and strap connection points.

Ventilated mesh padding on the shoulder straps and back area provides superior comfort and airflow. Each side has a Velcro loop pad to attach any standard embroidered or PVC Velcro patch. For security, the cord pulls can be cinched together by zip tie, cord, or through the suspension straps to deter would-be pickpockets. External MOLLE webbing is stitched according to military specifications, with 1″ tall webbing and standard 1″ spacing. This webbing is compatible with MOLLE pouches and accessories, creating the ability for the user to build a fully modular pack system.

Key Features:

  • Padded strap and back areas
  • Front-load compression system
  • Heavy-duty zippers and D rings on the shoulder straps
  • Zippered hydration compartment
  • PALS webbing on the outside of the bag allows MOLLE attachment

Specifications:

  • Brand: Exos
  • Capacity: 34L
  • Dimensions: 18″ H x 10″ W x 5″ D
  • Weight: 2.4 lbs
Pros
  • Double-stitched grab handle as well as ventilated padding around the areas which matter most
  • The hip and chest straps really help transfer weight to prevent neck pain
  • Plenty of compartments and sleeves
  • The zippers do not get caught in fabric and do not unzip on their own
Cons
  • Does not come with a water bottle holder

7. Paratus 3-Day Operator’s Tactical Bug Out Backpack

Paratus 3-Day Operator's Tactical Bug Out Backpack

The Paratus 3-Day Operator’s Tactical Bug Out Backpack is a great choice if you’re looking for a high-capacity pack that includes everything you’d like from a comprehensive bug out backpack. The Paratus tactical backpack makes long-distance hiking or walking easy and comfortable, while the detachable deployment pack and MOLLE pouches allow you to ditch the larger pack for rapid excursions. This makes the Rapid Deployment Pack perfect for keeping your med kit and other essentials.

The Deployment Pack is fully MOLLE compatible and will attach to any MOLLE pack, vest or other gear. This compact pack has a convenient grab handle or it can be carried with the concealable waist/shoulder belt. Padded shoulder straps, double-stitched seams, self-healing zippers, and heavy-duty 600D PVC backed polyester make the Paratus tactical backpack weather-resistant, strong, and lasting. Our guide to the best MOLLE backpacks offers more great products like this.

Key Features:

  • All zippers are threaded with zipper pulls for durability and noise reduction
  • All MOLLE webbing is reinforced 
  • Four large pockets give you plenty of room to haul your gear
  • EVA Molded Back Panel with Vented Channels
  • Padded grab handle, double stitching, large zippers, and nylon reinforced webbing throughout

Specifications:

  • Brand: 3V Gear
  • Capacity: 40L
  • Dimensions: 20″ H x 12″ W x 5.5″ D
  • Weight: 4.55 lbs
Pros
  • Rugged, quality materials
  • Modular design is actually useful
  • Hydration bladder fits well, despite the hole for the drinking tube being extremely snug
  • Plenty of compartments for most essentials
Cons
  • Not designed for prolonged hiking (heavier, lack of chest strap, frame and skimpy waist pads)

8. Drakon Survival Bug Out Backpack

Drakon Survival Bug Out Backpack

The Drakon Survival Bug Out Backpack is a revolutionary survival backpack option that incorporates a high-performance waterproof bag with a high-capacity protective bug out bag The result is a bag that is practically designed to work under all circumstances. A large durable top latch was integrated to add extra protection and keep your roll-top seal in place. This bag has been tested to store up to 10.5 gallons of water using only the backpack itself without leakage. It can be filled at the water source and carried back to camp for processing.

The Drakon is constructed from 500D PVC Tarpaulin sheets with each seam hand-welded and checked to ensure a completely watertight seal across the whole of the bag. Equipped with a full MOLLE system, this pack offers more customization than any other dry-bag on the market. Attach your own MOLLE pouches for quick access to your specific gear or use the 6 included pouches that come with your purchase.

Key Features:

  • Made from ultra-durable 500D PVC material
  • High Frequency welded seams provide full protection from water, snow, mud, and sand
  • MOLLE system
  • Roll-top closure

Specifications:

  • Brand: Drakon Outdoor Equipment
  • Capacity: 40L
  • Dimensions: 20″ H x 16″ W x 2.5″ D
  • Weight: 4.45 lbs
Pros
  • Made from thick waterproof material
  • MOLLE straps allow easy customization
  • External mini packs add a lot of storage with quick access
  • Strong construction and very adjustable for comfort
Cons
  • The pack won’t stand up easily by itself

9. Voodoo Tactical Mojo Load Out Bag

Voodoo Tactical Mojo Load Out Bag

If you’re looking for a bug out bag that can be carried as either a duffel style holdall or on your back via traditional backpack strap, then the Voodoo Tactical Mojo Load Out Bag is a great choice. An impressive footprint allows the Mojo to incorporate 11 outer pouches of different sizes alongside a huge main compartment to literally carry anything you might need if an area is evacuated for up to 72 hours.

MOLLE webbing on the side of the bag further extends the Mojo’s capacity and allows additional bags such as or a medical kit to be attached and free up space in the stock compartments and bags. The main compartment’s capacity makes it ideal for carrying larger equipment such as a tent, sleeping bag or other similarly sized pieces of larger stuff, while the external pouches can be allocated to accommodate the smaller items that you need to carry.

Key Features:

  • 11 assorted sized exterior pouches
  • Lots of webbing all around the bag
  • Use carry handles or removable adjustable, padded shoulder strap
  • Double compression straps on each end

Specifications:

  • Brand: VooDoo Tactical
  • Capacity: 173L
  • Dimensions: 31″ H x 15.5″ W x 14″ D
  • Weight: 6.6 lbs
Pros
  • It has a lot of rooms
  • The D-rings are steel not plastic, the zippers are of excellent quality and there is plenty molle webbing to attach other molle comparable gear
  • The shoulder harness is plenty strong to carry this bag fully loaded and are fairly comfortable to use
  • When not in use the harness can be unhooked and tucked away nicely out of sight
Cons
  • The bag is larger than you might think

10. Eberlestock Halftrack Bug Out Backpack

Eberlestock Halftrack Bug Out Backpack

The Eberlestock Halftrack Bug Out Backpack is an extremely versatile and popular 3-day pack. It features two levels of varying-sized tuck-pockets lining its interior, MOLLE-style Padlock webbing racks inside and out, and a fold-down shelf that can be used to divide the main compartment into upper and lower chambers.

It will carry two 3-liter hydration kits, mounted in side pockets, or two 2-liter bladders in side-sleeves if you want to keep the main side pockets free for other gear. The waistbelt features a 5 x 2 Padlock matrix on each side. A radio rack with large antenna portals is fitted to the back wall of the upper chamber. The pack has a Gossamer polycarbonate frame, is comfortably padded with deep-cut airmesh foam, and is well ventilated.

Key Features:

  • Padlock webbing tie-points all over the pack
  • Upper back wall radio rack with 3 antenna portals
  • Made with 1000D nylon finish
  • Padded shoulder pads and a longer waistbelt to maximize comfort

Specifications:

  • Brand: Eberlestock
  • Capacity: 35L
  • Dimensions: 24″ H x 11″ W x 7″ D
  • Weight: 6.2 lbs
Pros
  • Very sturdy pack
  • Plenty of MOLLE. On the top, bottom, sides and the inside
  • Internal divider is removable, and actually functional
  • Very sturdy zippers
Cons
  • There are 5 exterior pouches that have no top

Buying Guide

Range

Most of the best bug out backpacks tend to be advertised as having a length of 72 hours, and what this actually means is mainly how much equipment you will be able to carry on as well as realistic use-related comfort requirements over this period of time. The right bug out backpacks will provide enough space to carry everything from adequate shelter to emergency food supply, water filtration, protection, and other necessary tools and equipment for survival up to three days.

Organization

For every kind of survival backpack, internal organization and separation is something you’re going to want to search for when you think about the perfect bug out backpack for your needs and most bags can provide some sort of separating system to keep your equipment apart when inside.

Pockets

Pockets can vary by type and size across most bug out backpacks, but usually, you can look at a combination of open and zippered pocket space inside and outside the bag. Within the best bug out backpacks, map pockets and hydration bladder pockets are popular and are an ideal way to distribute and differentiate these components of your survival gear while traveling and on the trail.

Comfort

In general, comfort is essentially a balance between ample padding and a lighter weight so that the ability to move comfortably is not hampered by the pack. When you consider a given bug out bag’s comfort, you will also want to pay extra attention to how the hip belt of the pack is made. If properly loaded and put on, your hips should carry the bulk of the weight of your pack. That’s why extra padding can make a lot of difference in the hip belt.

Materials

Most of the best survival backpacks and bug-out backpacks tend to be built from some very hard-wearing and durable material like nylon or Cordura. Generally speaking, the best bug-out backpacks display the material properties of a metric called ‘ denier ‘ or ‘ D ‘ (e.g. 1050D nylon). A backpack’s denier rating does not specifically refer to the ‘ strength ‘ of the material used in the bag but refers to the weight. Strength is typically derived from the fabric’s actual weave, but in terms of abrasion resistance, a 500D bag will be less abrasion resistant than a 1000D bag.

Frequently Ask Questions

How big should a bug out backpack be?

A decent bug out backpack should have enough room to fit your equipment without being too bulky to make it uncomfortable. Small backpacks mean you’re leaving behind valuable life-saving tools. And too large bags don’t keep gear well inside, making them unstable and hard to handle when you get out of range. If you prefer a quick and light approach, you can choose a bag with a capacity of around 5-10L. A fuller go-bag intended to last you a whole 72-hour evacuation period could be about or greater than the 30L mark.

What is in a bug out pack?

It can seem difficult to pack a bug out bag as the challenge of not losing anything important can be challenging. There are a lot of checklists out there that tell you the important things you should always keep out of your bug bag. Hydration bladder, food and storage, first aid kit, clothes, tent, lighting, and other survival equipment are some examples.

Do you really need a bug out bag?

If there is any tragedy and a mandatory evacuation happens, it would obviously be nice to have a kit. Obviously voluntary evacuations are up to you though. If living in your home is unbearable because of incidents such as gas explosions, fires, nuclear catastrophes, floods, etc.; you’ll definitely need a bug-out pack.

When should a bug out bag be packed?

The whole idea of a bug-out bag is it’s packed and always ready to go. You may not have the time in a real emergency to throw the last few things into your bug-out bag that you really need. And the short answer to this question is that the bag should be always packed and ready to go. But you do need to be vigilant to check periodically any things in your bag that may expire or need replacement.

Conclusion

We hope this guide was helpful for finding the best bug out backpacks for travel as well as our guide on features to look for in a bug out backpack for travel. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this guide, feel free to let us know in the comments section.