January 7, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents
Would you be ready to get out of Dodge in an emergency? Natural disasters can strike with no warning and necessitate the hustle of even the most seasoned survivalist. Preppers will tell you to keep a survival pack on hand, something we lovingly refer to as a bug out bag, or BOB. This article introduces to you some of the best BOB choices on Amazon, as well as what we liked and didn’t like about each. How about we sharpen your survival skills and get prepping!
In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:
10 Best BugOut Bags – Overview
Here are the top 5 picks (keep scrolling for more details and picks 6-10).
1. Maxpedition Pygmy Falcon-II Backpack
- We finish our bags with a triple coat of polyurethane for water resistance and add a final coat of DuPont Teflon Fabric Protector to repel the elements; Only the best components and designs are used
The Falcon-II’s little sister is the Pygmy. Our smallest choice in this list, the Pygmy has an 18-liter internal capacity. This is an especially good option for people built with a small frame.
Consisting of 1000 waterproof Denier Nylon, you will see water beading up and sliding off your pack. Not only is the fabric of good quality, so are the zippers. This is the kind of pack that can last.
The Pygmy Falcon-II has a Y-compression strap made from 1″ webbing. The sternum strap is removable if it is uncomfortable for you. The weight of the contents rests pretty high, which makes it easy on your back.
There are plenty of PALS webbings and MOLLE loops for attachments. This is great since the pack doesn’t come with very many compartments. Since this is the case, it is best to use this pack just for what is immediately needed like in a get home bag. Therefore we recommend carrying only 1 or 2 day’s worth of gear.
Other features are bungee cord retention, breathable padding, and two side mesh pouches for water. That being said, there is no place for a hydration bladder.
- Built for small frames
- Comfortable and easy on your back
- No hydration bladder
- Not many compartments
2. Reebow Gear 3 Day Assault Pack
- Military Tactical backpack size approx.:13"*20"*11" / 33*50.5*28CM (W*H*D),Capacity: 40L; Military backpack is made of high density fabric--durable and water-resistant
The BOB next up is the 40 liter (2,500 cubic inches) Reebow Gear 3 Day Assault Pack. This pack holds a lot of gear and is affordable, making it a great value. If you are looking for a pack that will hold 72 hours worth of supplies, this one is the way to go.
We wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for long-term use, however. It is made up of 600D heavy duty exterior material, but it may still not be as durable as other choices in this review. Due to this reason, we believe it is ideal for moderate use.
The Reebow Gear pack has MOLLE/PALS webbing, chest and compression straps, and a hydration compartment. The mesh back padding will keep you cool with its helpful ventilation. Additionally, the pack is water-resistant which opens up possibilities. Aesthetically, we like the patriotic American flag patch.
Some downsides are that the main straps and cinching strap are a little thin which can be slightly uncomfortable. Overall, this bag could use higher quality padding. Use it for emergencies, keep it in your car, but we wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for a long wilderness adventure. If you are looking for a cheaper option for an emergency preparedness pack, this one does the job.
- Great for emergencies
- MOLLE/PALS webbing
- Hydration compartment
- Chest and compression straps
- Not as durable as other choices
- Thin straps
3. Condor 3 Day Assault Pack
This tactical bug out bag can fit any sized person, unlike most options. This includes anyone from a smaller woman to a larger man.
We like this bag simply for the fact that you can fit any emergency tools you can think of. The 50 liters interior capacity has all the compartments you could need, and more. There are radio pockets, document pockets, pen holsters, and two hydration bladder pockets. You are also provided with MOLLE webbing to hang paracord, a knife, or any other tools you may need.
There are compression and sternum straps, as well as a removable waist strap. These straps will help keep your gear in place as well as making the pack easier to carry. There are also quick-release retention straps on the main compartment to help secure your gear, while still allowing you quick access to what you need.
We also like the drag handles on three sides of the bag. These allow you to quickly pick up the bag in any position, without disturbing the contents. Customize your pack black, multi-cam, olive drab, or tan.
Made of semi-lightweight Cordura, the Condor 3-Day Assault is probably not meant for long-term camping. It is not as durable as other choices but will work if you want to keep it prepared as an emergency kit. You can just grab it and go when SHTF.
- Can fit any sized person
- Plenty of room and compartments for all your gear
- MOLLE webbing
- Compression, sternum, waist, and quick-release retention straps
- Drag handles
- Ideal for emergencies
- Not so durable for long-term camping
4. 5.11 Tactical RUSH72
- 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
The RUSH72 is a large multi-tool pack, with an internal capacity of 55 liters. You can fit anything you need for 72 hours in this pack. This can be done with the use of the MOLLE webbing, a huge main compartment, a large front pocket, an admin picket, two side pockets, and a hydration compartment. There is also a fleece-lined top pocket for delicate things like sunglasses or your cell phone. Some of the internal pockets have quality YKK zippers, and some have elastic, all to compartmentalize your things.
The compression straps help keep your gear close to you, allowing for a comfortable experience, even with a heavy pack. The shoulder straps are made of a closed-cell form made of comfort, and the waist strap will keep your pack centered.
The exterior consists of 1050D nylon. With this tough, water-resistant fabric, you will be able to take it into any tough environment. This high-quality RUSH72 pack makes it a contender for an ideal survival gear pack. However, comfortability and utility come at a high price.
- Many compartments
- MOLLE webbing
- Large capacity
- High quality
- Comes in a variety of colors
5. Maxpedition Vulture-II Backpack
With the capability of a bug out bag and a daily rucksack, the Vulture-II is a good investment. Take it with you on a hike, and when you aren’t using it, fill it with your emergency items like tools or MREs. The main compartment and front pocket give you plenty of room for all the essentials. There aren’t many compartments to organize your items, but there is some external MOLLE webbing which you can customize to your needs.
There is also a concealed carry pocket for a backup firearm. For this reason, we highly recommend the Maxpedition Vulture-II for law enforcement officers or anyone with a registered firearm for emergencies.
There are multiple compression straps as well as a Y-style strap to make the pack easy to carry.
Made of 1000D nylon and with 34 liters interior capacity, this is a light tactical pack that you can carry on long hikes. Additionally, the bag is Teflon-coated which enables it to withstand water and resist stains. Great for grueling adventures as well as emergencies, this BOB does it all!
- Comes in black, foliage green, khaki, and OD green
- Concealed carry pocket
- Not many compartments
- Smaller interior capacity
6. Direct Action Dragon Tactical Backpack
- NEW DESIGN - Dragon Egg Mk II have redesigned side pockets that are equipped with elastic for expansion. They also have the new Direct Action logo
Another great BOB choice for law enforcement is the Direct Action Dragon. It works best as a 2-day tactical survival bag. You can also use it as an EDC (everyday carry) due to its smaller 25-liter capacity.
This pack comes with a main compartment with an internal pocket, rear compartment, front pocket, and side pockets. The main compartment allows for a hydration bladder, while the rear compartment has padded sleeves, YKK zippers, and Duraflex plastic buckles. There is a detachable waist belt with a Velcro ID panel, as well as MOLLE side pockets.
We recommend this pack especially for people with a smaller frame due to its egg shape: a smaller height and width. Though comfortable, the straps are relatively thin. Also adding to the comfort is the Dragon’s thick back padding.
Choose this bag if you are looking for a smaller and compact survival bag. It also works great as a low-profile, larger EDC pack. The good quality and versatility of this pack make it worth the high price.
- Water-resistant 500D cordura fabric
- Egg-shape, compact design
- MOLLE webbing
- Smaller capacity
7. SOG Ninja Tactical Day Pack
- Water repellent backpack great for daily commute, travel, and hiking; modular design with large main compartment, front zippered pocket, and more
If you are in the market for an affordable assault pack, the SOG Ninja is a great choice. It is a smaller pack with an internal capacity of 24.2 liters. With this space, it has a large compartment as well as a zippered front organizer pocket. There is a smaller pocket, top pocket, stretchable side pocket, hydration bladder pocket with tubing port, and plenty of MOLLE webbing. Though this pack is small, it still fits a lot of gear due to its many compartments.
There is an option to add the SOG accessory pouch if you need more storage. Simply attach it to the MOLLE webbing. We also like the 2 grommeted drain holes, and the 4 points to attach a sleeping bag.
Made of water-resistant polyester instead of nylon, the SOG Ninja may not be as durable as other nylon options. The yoke-style adjustable padded straps and sternum slider add to comfortability. The contoured foam back will help provide you airflow in hot weather.
What we like most about this pack is the price. It is one of the cheapest models on this list. And, the SOG Ninja comes with a lifetime warranty. Pair it with a survival kit for an emergency, or use it as an EDC, or for travel and hiking.
- Lifetime warranty
- Lots of compartments
- Can attach a sleeping bag
- Some users complain of poor sewing quality and stiff zipper
- Material quality not as good as others
8. Maxpedition Falcon-II Backpack
- We finish our bags with a triple coat of polyurethane for water resistance and add a final coat of DuPont Teflon Fabric Protector to repel the elements. Only the best components and designs are used.
Another smaller bag with lots of utility is the Maxpedition Falcon-II. This is one of the best Maxpedition packs in our opinion, due to its durability and comfortably built design. With an internal capacity of 25 liters, you might not expect much. However, there are numerous independent compartments with pockets, pouches, and PALS attachments to store from your biggest to your smallest gear. And if you want even more storage, you can unzip the YKK zippers to make the main compartment roomier. One thing this pack lacks, however, is side pockets for your water bottle. There is a bladder compartment you can use instead.
Consisting of 1050-Denier high-quality material, you will find that this pack stands up to tough use and water. Additionally, the Teflon fabric protector will keep it clean and easy to maintain. Take this bag with you on your toughest expeditions; it will not disappoint.
The Falcon-II was made for a moderate load. We suggest not carrying more than 30 pounds of gear. If you are carrying heavier weight, it may be a little more than the pack can comfortably handle. Though the straps are quality-made, they do not have thick padding cushioning you from the weight. The shoulder straps are padded, thankfully.
This compact pack is long and narrow, allowing you to move with ease. Take it on a long hike or bike ride and enjoy its lightweight quality. You can also use it as a grab-and-go bag by keeping it full of emergency gear in all the various compartments.
- Tons of compartments
- Compact design great for ease of movement
- Low-quality stitching
- No water bottle storage
- Not ideal for heavy loads
9. Kelty Redwing 44 Tactical
The Kelty Redwing may look like a hiking backpack, and it can be used that way, and for so much more. We would also define it as a technical backpack as it can be used for summit climbing or a ski trip. There is no MOLLE webbing, so it isn’t as expandable. However, that is not necessarily a negative thing since attachments can throw you off balance. Use the Redwing as a day pack or a 72-hour bag.
This bug out bag was made for long-term comfort. Instead of an internal frame, It uses a single light beam aluminum stay to make heavy loads easier on you. The straps for the chest, compression, and waist allow for the load to be better supported by your core muscles. You can also strap bulkier gear to them.
Made from durable materials like 500D Kodra nylon for the exterior. Additionally, adding to the durability are the seams’ double stitching and the YKK zippers sewn from the inside out. Sewing the zippers in this way helps keep dust and water out. However, they are not as durable as some other options on this list.
We like the laptop sleeve, water bottle pouches, spacious main section, quick access top pocket, and capability to add a hydration bladder. Color choices come in black, forest green, and navy.
- Comfortable and ergonomic
- Includes straps to make a heavy load easier
- Laptop sleeve, water bottle pouches, space for a hydration bladder
- Zippers aren’t as heavy-duty as other options
- The u-zipper design does not allow for quick access to your gear
10. CVLIFE Outdoor Military Tactical Backpack
- Tactical backpack is made of water- resistant 600 fabric, water-resistant and durable.
An affordable BOB is the CVLIFE pack. It may not be the right choice for heavy-duty use. However, we would recommend it for traveling, hiking, backpacking, and of course for bugging out. This pack has tons of space, in fact, the most in this list: 60 liters.
Since it is a bit bigger than the rest, it is a little heavier than the rest. For this reason, we recommend it for people with a larger frame.
The CVLIFE pack is made of 600D nylon water-resistant material. Though it is sturdy and the stitching is ok, this is not the most quality material. So, if you need a more durable pack, you might want to look at one of the more expensive choices.
However, what this pack lacks in quality, it makes up for in volume. You can easily pack extra water, a first aid kit, a fire starter kit, a poncho, and a rain cover. There is one large compartment, a front detachable bag, and two detachable accessory pouches. Easily store your toilet paper, toothbrush, headlamp, pliers, water filter, or water purification tablets to prepare for a survival situation. Strap on tactical pouches or a sleeping pad.
Use the adjustable shoulder straps, chest belt, dual compression straps, and waist straps to centralize the heavyweight of this pack. There are rain diverting flaps which will allow the rain to roll right off, keeping the contents nice and dry.
We think the CVLIFE pack is a great value. With the amount of customizable storage you get, it is well worth the price.
- Lots of room and plenty of compartments
- Many detachable, customizable elements
- Great for people with a larger frame
- Not great quality
As our favorite, we chose the Maxpedition Falcon-II Backpack. We like the combination of versatility, durability, and amount of compartments it has. All these qualities are imperative in a bug out bag.
What Should I Put In My Bug Out Bag?
If you aren’t sure what to put in your new survival pack, we have included an easy bug out bag list for you. The items can be remembered in the 5 C’s of Survivability Rule:
- Cutting (bring a knife)
- Combustion (ways to light a fire)
- Cordage (bring paracord)
- Container (bring water or water filter)
- Cover (bring some kind of shelter)
Bonus tip: Not sure how to use paracord? Check out these quick tips on 5 useful ways to use it in a survival scenario!
Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he’s not writing, he’s probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.