Some people are quick to dismiss preppers as conspiracy theorists. They mock their canned food collections and question why they have bug out bags filled to the brim.
“You’ll never need that stuff,” the doubters confidently claim.
But the government disagrees.
Yep, that’s right: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security actually encourages citizens to create 72-hour survival kits. The Red Cross, the CDC, and FEMA are also on board with emergency preparedness kits.
That’s where bug out bags come into play. Survivalists often store their 72-hour essentials in sturdy, spacious bags known as bug out bags or bug out backpacks.
When you search for the best bug out bag, make sure yours can hold:
...and everything else your family needs to survive severe weather, war, or the apocalypse.
Here’s the deal:
You can’t predict every disaster. You can only prepare for potential emergencies.
That’s why we’ve thoroughly researched best-selling bug out bags to find ones that withstand everything from earthquakes to civil unrest. Explore our bug out bag list below, whether you consider yourself a practical parent, a doomsday prepper, or somewhere in between.
Comfortable, practical bag filled with essential supplies, including things many of us might forget (bath wipes, anyone?) when packing our own bags. Great for families or roommates.
It might be cheaper - though less convenient - to pack your own bug out bag.
Lightweight yet resilient. We debated between this bag and another prepacked bag, but reviewers said the other bag was made from cheap, flimsy material.
Slide your arms through the thick straps of this backpack-style bug out bag and comfortably lug around more than 30 pounds of supplies. This bag contains everything your group of four needs to survive a 72-hour crisis, including bath wipes, food, water, flashlights, lanterns, blankets, and 24 packs of food.
There are plenty of zippered pockets, plus several easy-access pockets. The prepacked supplies take up most of this bug out bag's space, but you still have room for some extra essentials.
$300 may seem like a hefty price to pay for survival, but it averages out to just $75 per person. Sure, you could probably buy all the supplies cheaper and assemble your own bug out bag, but why do that when you can get this prepacked bag?
Shoulder straps and a sternum suspension belt help distribute weight evenly so your body doesn't ache while you're on the go. Available in several colors, including khaki, black, and green.
Depending on what you store inside, this bug out bag may have less exterior space (due to bulging) than the Condor.
Like most bug out bags, this one is crafted from resilient nylon. That makes it lightweight yet durable.
There are several colors available, including black, khaki, and multiple shades of green.
This spacious bug out bag boasts 2,100 cubic inches or 34 liters of carry capacity, so go ahead and load it up with supplies. Just be careful not to overfill the interior, as it may bulge into the outer pocket and leave you with very little storage space there.
Hikers and survivalists appreciate the double shoulder straps padded with plush foam. There's also a handy sternum suspension belt that helps distribute weight evenly across your body instead of pressing it all against your back.
This hiking bag has an average price compared to other bug out bags we've reviewed. It's a solid choice if you're not a big spender but don't want the cheapest option available either.
Big enough for deployment gear or a survival stash for multiple family members and friends. Boasts 11 exterior pockets, plus a spacious center and plenty of clips and rings for extra essentials.
It gets heavier than other bug out bags we've reviewed, but that's because it has more storage space.
Super durable - in fact, the bag is backed by a lifetime warranty. However, you may want to invest in a frame if you plan to fill this bag to the max.
This could have easily been our top pick if it wasn't so hard to lug around - but there's a good reason for that. It has 11 different storage pockets, plus a generously sized interior.
There are also plenty of clips so you can add extra bags, pouches, pockets, or whatever suits your style. This bag is compatible with MOLLE webbing accessories, so you can cram even more essentials into your newly added exterior pockets.
When you get tired of carrying the VooDoo Mojo as a duffel bag, take advantage of the adjustable padded shoulder strap. It's removable, so you can get rid of it if you don't think you'll need it.
This is one of the priciest bags on our list, but it holds more than most other bug out bags we've seen on the market. It's built to last and worth the price.
Seven spacious pockets provide a secure, organized home for your essentials. A sternum strap and waist belt create a comfortable fit, even during long journeys.
Be careful with the zippers! This is a common complaint for bug out bags from nearly every brand.
Resilient yet breathable. Several pockets have mesh, which helps promote airflow. There's also a foam back panel that helps prevent bulky supplies from scratching or scraping your spine.
There are plenty of pockets on this Condor bag, and it has more exterior storage space than the Maxpedition Vulture-III. We love that it utilizes the MOLLE system because we can customize our storage space and truly pack everything needed for an emergency.
For starters, there's a large load cargo capacity compartment equipped with a separate pocket for two 3L hydration bladders. There are also 3 document pockets, 2 radio pockets, pen holders, mesh pockets, and side pockets.
Folks hesitant to lug around a heavy backpack will appreciate the waist belt and sternum strap. These features help redistribute weight from the bag, and the padded shoulder straps also promote comfort.
Expect to pay an average price for an above-average bag. It's cheaper than the 5.11 Rush72 bag but more expensive than the Reebow Gear bug out bag.
Versatile bag transitions easily from survival kit storage to an everyday bag for school or cross-country adventures. Packed with pockets and pouches for your emergency essentials.
No major drawbacks, though some customers complain the shoulder straps could use more padding.
Brave brutal winds or heavy downpour with this heavy-duty bug out bag. The high-density material repels water and handles bumps and drops well. Survivalists also appreciate the mesh sections that promote air flow.
When you're dealing with an emergency, you need quick access to your survival gear. This Reebow Gear makes it easy to grab your supplies, whether you need a knife from the mesh pouch or a flashlight from one of the bag's many pockets.
The padded straps let you comfortably trek to a safe location, though they could have a bit more padding. Multiple zippers, pull cords, and buckles hold your supplies snugly inside the bug out bag.
Customers rave about the great value of this budget-friendly bag, which typically costs half the price of other bug out bags.
Features the trusted MOLLE system for convenient access and organization of your supplies. Built to survive wear and tear and keep your supplies intact.
Be careful not to yank on the zippers; some reviewers report that they break easily if you're too rough with them.
Dependable 1000D nylon protects your survival supplies through the elements. Closed-cell foam straps cushion your arms as you lug around this water-repellant rucksack, and a cinching waist strap lets you customize your fit.
This resilient bag has a 3,342 cubic inch 55 liter total capacity. Simply put, you can cram a lot of stuff in here for when the SHTF.
If you aren't familiar with the MOLLE system, just know it basically means you've got lots of customizable compartments for all your essentials. There are compartments for food, a compartment for glasses and gadgets, a fleece-lined device compartment, zippered pockets for first aid kits or important documents, and numerous other pouches and pockets.
We dig the expandable shove-it compartment that's the perfect size for a hoodie or jacket. There's also a rear hydration compartment.
Most preppers say this pack is worth the price, though a few wish it was cheaper. If you're looking for a similar bag at a cheaper price, check out the Reebow Gear bag on our list.