Best Bug Out Backpack – Guide & Reviews

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you are at least somewhat familiar with the concept of preparedness. If you are not familiar with the concept, it’s probably a good time to start learning.

Disaster could strike at any time, and you do not want to look back and think that you could have taken extra precautions but did not.

Also, if you are not familiar with the concept, you may hear the term “bug out back” and immediately think of doomsday preppers waiting for the zombies to come.

First off, you’re going to look pretty silly when the zombies do come, and we’re happily surviving while your brains are being eaten.

Secondly, bug out bags are precautionary measures against any type of emergency. A power-outage, hurricane, bad thunderstorm or even a wrong turn on a hiking trip could put you in need of survival measures.

These are all realistic reasons why it is important to have a proper bug out bag. Even if the worst never does occur, it doesn’t hurt anything to be ready.

There are any number of things you may need in the case of an emergency, and it is important to first get the right bag to hold these items. That’s why we put together this list of the best backpacks available to use as bug out bags.

Recommended Best Bug Out Backpack

1. Military Tactical Assault Bug Out Bag

Military Tactical Assault Pack Backpack

Editor Rating:

This is a perfect backpack to use for a bug out bag. Tactical assault backpacks such as these are often designed with this very purpose in mind.

One very important feature of this bag is its MOLLE system. MOLLE allows you to attach additional equipment without taking up additional space.

This is a tactical backpack, which means it is slightly smaller than a hiking backpack. However, tactical models such as this normally have many additional features and compartments that make up for the lack of space.

The smaller design also allows it to be carried more easily. This model is also hydration bladder compatible which allows you to stay hydrated while keeping both hands free for other important tasks.

Dimensions of this model: 11 inch width, 18 inch height, 12 inch depth. The size of this one is smaller than some of the others, but specialized compartments and compression technology makes up a lot of the difference. Plus, the smaller dimensions usually make a bag easier to carry for long periods of time.

​Pros:

  • MOLLE system allows additional attachments without taking up space
  • Military/tactical style backpack specifically designed for use in the emergency scenarios
  • Double-stitched, heavy duty zippers and utility style cord pulls
  • Padded back area
  • Durable, ventilated mesh padding shoulder straps
  • Hydration bladder compatible

Cons:

  • Smaller size than hiking style backpack
  • Hydration bladder is not included with the backpack
  • Sternum strap not specified

2. Exos Bravo Tactical Assault Backpack

Exos Bravo Tactical Assault Backpack Rucksack

Editor Rating:

This is another bag that was designed with survival in mind. It comes with a hydration bladder system that could be very important.

It may not seem as though it would be a vital difference, but the ability to carry and access your water quickly could be a huge factor in a worst-case scenario.

It also allows you to stay hydrated without dropping any other task you may be performing with your hands. The Exos Bravo backpack is also perfect as a bug out bag because of its specialized pockets and compartments.

Aside from the usual storage area, it contains one inner main compartment (18 x 10 x 5), one inner secondary compartment (16 x 9 x 3), one outer top compartment (5 x 8 x 3) and one outer bottom compartment (10 x 8 x 3). It also has several MOLLE attachments.

It is made of 600D polyester with a double-stitched grab handle. The ventilated mesh padding on the straps allow for flexibility and durability. It also has a padded back area, the importance of which cannot be understated.

Many people underestimate the importance of comfort when deciding upon a bug out bag which is a huge mistake.

You will be carrying the weight of kindergartener on your back for possibly days at a time; you don’t want it to be any more painful or difficult than it has to be.

​Pros:

  • MOLLE attachments allow for additional equipment to be carried without taking up additional space
  • Specialized compartments on top and bottom allow for specialized equipment to be added
  • Heavy duty zippers along with utility style cord pulls- Side and front load compression system helps enables the owner to carry the same amount of supplies without being as bulky
  • Ventilated mesh padding for strap and back area helps with comfort and breathability

Cons:

  • Multiple specialized compartments are useful but limit what can be carried
  • Bulkier than some of the other bags in this review
  • Could be difficult to carry for smaller individuals

3. Paratus 3 Day Operator’s Tactical Backpack

Paratus 3 Day Operator's Pack

Editor Rating:

This bag is so perfect as a bug out bag that it has almost everything you could want in the name!

The Paratus 3 Day Operator’s Pack is designed as a military-grade backpack and comes with many features that are absolutely necessary for any prepared survivor.

The thing that sets this bag apart from the others in this review is its versatile modular design. It can be carried as a backpack or a duffle bag and has several specialized, detachable compartments.

That basically means that this is three packs in one, so that you can carry what you need, when you need it. It is made of 600D nylon material that is super rugged and weather resistant along with being comfortable and easy to carry.

The “extreme duty self-healing” coil zippers are another feature that cannot be overstated. A bag is not going to be very useful if it falls apart, and this should not be a concern with the Paratus.

It also comes with velcro ID panel and a removable 3V gear shield rubber American flag morale patch. This is not necessary, but it’s cool nonetheless.

​Pros:

  • Versatile design basically means this is three bags in one
  • “Extreme duty self-healing” zippers mean reliability
  • Multiple MOLLE attachments allow for additional equipment to be carried without requiring additional space
  • Larger carrying capacity than other bags in this review
  • Super rugged and weather resistant

Cons:

  • Large overall capacity, but all the specialized compartments restrict what can be carried.
  • No hydration bladder system
  • Lots of bells and whistles could get in the way in emergency scenarios
  • Looks cool, but this could be a downside. More simply designed bags allow incognito travelling, but this one would make it obvious that you have lots of supplies.

4. Monkey Paks Tactical Backpack Bundle

Monkey Paks Tactical Backpack Bundle

Editor Rating:

This is a rugged backpack that provides all the space and features you would need without being too flashy.

As stated before, you want a bag that looks relatively plain to avoid showing the rest of the (less-prepared) world that you have a treasure trove of supplies.

This backpack comes with multiple MOLLE attachments as well as three different MOLLE bags. It is made of tough 600D nylon with heavy duty big teeth zippers and a paracord to keep them quiet. This bag is the best of all in this review for incognito travel.

​Pros:

  • All the features without all the show
  • MOLLE attachments and three detachable MOLLE bags included
  • Designed specifically for tough terrain
  • 2.5L large mouth BPA hydration bladder included
  • Perfect for incognito travelling
  • 100% manufacturer guarantee

Cons:

  • A little bulkier than some of the others in this review
  • Not as cool-looking as the others in this review

5. Tactic Shield Stealth Black Backpack

Tactic Shield Stealth Black Waterproof Full Featured Assault Pack Backpack

Editor Rating:

This is another model that is great for incognito carry and travel. It is made of 600D polyester with a double-stitched grab handle.

The ventilated mesh padding on the straps allow for flexibility and durability.

It also has a padded back area, the importance of which cannot be understated. Many people underestimate the importance of comfort when deciding upon a bug out bag which is a huge mistake.

You will be carrying the weight of kindergartener on your back for possibly days at a time; you don’t want it to be any more painful or difficult than it has to be.

Rear-padded, heat-release breathable mesh velcro panel and pockets provide extra carrying capacity and flexibility. It has adjustable padded and contoured compression shoulder straps along with adjustable chest and waist straps.

​Pros:

  • Coated PVC lining and pockets for water repellency
  • Probably the most comfortable of the bags in this review
  • ALICE webbing system throughout the bag in addition to multiple MOLLE attachments
  • Features four zippered compartments along with multiple interior pockets to help stay organized
  • Large capacity, incognito bug out backpack

Cons:

  • Bulkier than some of the other bags in this review
  • Not as many compartments as some of the others
  • Not as cool-looking, but again, that’s not necessarily a bad thing

Final Verdict

There are many things to consider when picking out the right backpack for this purpose. It isn’t like in school where it was all about the coolest colors and brand names.

In fact, you probably want the most uncool looking bag, so that all the less-prepared people don’t know you have a treasure trove if the worst does happen.

What is important to remember now is that all of these backpacks have features that could mean the difference between life and death, and depending upon your own specific needs, some may mean more than others.

Size, straps and space are important aspects of deciding upon a bug out bag, and those are just the “s” words. Body type, weight and strength are some of the individual factors that go into it as well.

There are many other factors that can go into determining which of these bags will work best for you and your family, but one of these backpacks should fit your specs.

Nelson V. Larsen
 

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