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Best Bug Out Backpacks for Every Prepper: Survival Made Simple

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You have just experienced a natural disaster and now you are forced to leave your home in a matter of minutes.

Would it not be best to have all your essentials in one place that you could grab and go without doubting you have everything that you would need?

Getting yourself a great bug out backpack will ensure you are always prepared, no matter what. A good-quality bag that can hold all the essential items you would need for the next 72 hours.

Now you may be wondering what makes a good bug out backpack. well wonder no more because we have a list of the best bug out backpacks for you in one place.

Our Best Bug Out Backpacks: Reviews and Comparisons

1.EMDMAK Military Tactical Backpack

EMDMAK Military Tactical Backpack, 42L Large Military Pack Army 3 Day Assault Pack Molle Bag Rucksack for Outdoor Hiking Camping Hunting
  • 【42L Large Capacity Backpack】EMDMAK Tactical Backpack...
  • 【Versatile With Multi-Compartment】Our Military Backpack...
  • 【Sturdy & Comfortable】 With dual zippered closure and...

Product Highlights

The EMDMAK military tactical backpack is a great option for a bug out backpack. It is a medium-sized bag that will incorporate your emergency items with ease.

The general rule is to not carry more than a third of your body weight and this bag will help you maintain a healthy backpack weight.

Available in 7 different colors, including black and tan, you will be able to blend in with ease and not draw attention to the fact that you have essential items with you.

If you are unsure what to include in your bug out backpack, then our list of 100 items you forgot to put in your bug out bag will be a great reference for you.


  • This is a good sized tactical bag. At 42 liters and with dimensions of 15.36″x 19.69″x 11.81″ (W*H*D), it can fit all your necessary emergency items comfortably.
  • It is a versatile backpack with different compartment sizes, both large and small. You can find a spot for items of all sizes.
  • The backpack is reliable and allows a snug fit. Made of high-quality nylon, the material is waterproof and durable. With breathable mesh, it is comfortable to carry.
  • Additional free accessories are included: 1 x Tactical MOLLE 500ml Water Bottle Pouch, 2 x USA Flag Patches, 1 x1.18” Paracord Lanyard Keychain(total length19.68”), 4 x Multipurpose D-Rings Grimlock Locking

What We Like About EMDMAK military tactical backpack

We like the medium size of this bag. It is big enough to fit all your essential items, but not so big that it is unmanageable to carry.

It is durable and made of high-quality material on the outside that lasts through months of regular use.

The extra accessories are a great bonus for preparedness enthusiasts. We like the molle webbing system that allows you to add extra items to the bag as and when necessary.

What We Don’t Like About EMDMAK military tactical backpack

The zippers seem robust at first but after time, they tend to break quite easily with little pressure or resistance. The placement of the chest strap is uncomfortable if you plan on carrying a large amount of weight.

The inner pockets are not as durable as the outside and this causes tears after short periods of use.


  • Great medium-sized bag to fit all items
  • Durable and waterproof material on the outside
  • Fantastic extra accessories to complement the bag
  • Great molle webbing system for extra functionality


  • Weak zippers that break easily
  • Badly placed chest strap when carrying heavy loads
  • Flimsy inner pockets that are not as durable as the outside material

2. Exos Bravo Tactical Assault Hiking Camping Backpack

Exos Bravo Tactical Assault Hiking Camping Backpack Rucksack Bug Out Bag Daypack MOLLE Equipped Hydration Pack Compatible
  • Capacity: 34L 2073 CU in. Plenty of room to hold your...
  • Inner Main Compartment: 18" x 10" x 5" Inner Secondary...
  • Outer Top Compartment: 5" x 8" x 3" Outer Bottom...

Product Highlights

The Exos bravo tactical assault hiking camping backpack is a good, smaller choice for a bug out bag.

It still comfortably fits a water bladder as part of your essential items. There are 5 options in terms of colours, including black, tan, grey, olive and grey/black.

There are 4 compartments, 2 inner and 2 outer compartments of varying sizes. It has a double-stitched grab handle for comfortable carrying. The bag incorporates heavy duty zippers to keep your items safe and secure.


  • A smaller 34-liter capacity bag. Big enough to house a hydration bladder.
  • A backpack with multiple compartment sizes helps to fit all your essentials, big and small. The inner main compartment is 18″ x 10″ x 5″ and the inner secondary compartment is 16″ x 9″ x 3″. The outer top compartment is 5″ x 8″ x 3″ and the outer bottom compartment: 10″ x 8″ x 3″.
  • The bag is well ventilated, with mesh padding for the back and strap area.
  • Side and front load compression systems.

What We Like About Exos bravo tactical assault hiking camping backpack

The compact size of the bag makes it easy to carry but big enough to fit all your essential items in. The backpack is hydration-ready, including a zippered hydration compartment with a tube port.

It includes a military-specified molle system that you can use to attach additional storage as necessary.

What We Don’t Like About Exos bravo tactical assault hiking camping backpack

The biggest issue with this backpack is the weak straps. The stitching is poor, and with any form of weight, the straps break. This is problematic from a bug out bag perspective.

No one wants an unreliable bag that could break when you need it most. For a family, this bag would be too small as a bug out bag and would only really be suitable for a single person.


  • Compact size that can fit most essentials
  • Hydration ready. Can accommodate a hydration bladder with a tube port
  • Multiple compartment sizes add to the versatility of the bag.
  • Military-spec molle webbing system for extra add-on storage


  • Weak straps that break with any weight
  • Smaller size is only suitable for an individual, not a family

3. ARMYCAMO Expandable Backpack

Product Highlights

The ARMYCAMO expandable backpack is a very adaptable bag. It ranges in size from a smaller size and is expandable if you need a bigger option. The backpack is very durable and tear resistant.

It is capable of handling high activity but will equally be good for lighter use; it is extremely versatile. With multiple compartments and mesh components, it is easy to accommodate all of your essentials with ease.

A big plus is the 100% money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the product.


  • A versatile-sized bag with a capacity of 39 liters is a smaller option and is expandable all the way up to 64 liters to be able to accommodate more items.
  • The bag measures 20 1/2″ x 15″ x 7 3/4″ to 12 3/4″ when fully extended. It has an accordion zipper that accommodates expandability up to 5 inches deeper.
  • It has multiple compartments and zipper pockets to organize all of your items with ease. The bag even has a hydration compartment.
  • A durable backpack made with the finest 600-denier polyester makes this bag tear-resistant and able to handle very active use.

What We Like About ARMYCAMO Expandable Backpack

The expandability of this bag is one of its best features. As a bug-out backpack, each person’s needs will differ.

This bag is perfect for a single person and family alike with its great sizing options.

The bag has front molle webbing for customizable storage.

The bag is made of good-quality, durable material that is able to handle all types of conditions, including being waterproof.

It is comfortable to carry with non-slip shoulder straps and an adjustable-height sternum strap.

What We Don’t Like About ARMYCAMO Expandable Backpack

While the material of the bag is durable, the stitching in certain areas is not the best, and it does tend to open up after repeated use.

The zippers on the bag are also not the strongest, but only after repeated use.

If you are using this as a bug out bag in case of emergencies, then these issues should not affect you too much.


  • Expandability of the bag size makes it very versatile as a bug out bag
  • Comfortable carrying with non-slip and adjustable straps
  • Made of high-quality and durable material
  • Front molle webbing allows customizable storage


  • Weak stitching in certain areas allows breaks
  • Zippers are not the strongest with repeated use

4. 5.11 Tactical Backpack

5.11 Tactical Backpack – Rush 12 2.0 – Military Molle Pack, CCW and Laptop Compartment, 24 Liter, Small, Style 56561, Ranger Green
  • COMPARTMENTS - Tactical Backpack featuring 16 individual...
  • DURABLE - Made from durable 1050D nylon, this military...
  • TACTICAL - Molle compatible with the wrap-around molle/5.11...

Product Highlights

As a single person, you may want a bag that is the perfect size for one. The 5.11 tactical backpack is perfect for you. It is a compact bag with inner and outer compartments for all of your needs.

It includes a laptop compartment, hydration pocket, and conceal carry weapon compartment (CCW). The backpack is durable, water-resistant, and has self-repairing zippers.

It is molle compatible with wrap-around molle as well.


  • A compact 24-liter capacity bag that allows for storage of all the essentials. It is a smaller size bag so be sure not to pack unnecessary items. Check out our 17 survival items you don’t need in your bug-out bag to make sure you don’t pack unnecessary items.
  • A variety of compartment sizes and options are included in and on the bag. This includes a laptop compartment, a hidden CCW compartment, a fleece-lined eyewear compartment, and a rear hydration compartment.
  • Made with durable 1050D nylon, this bag is sturdy. It is also water-resistant and has self-repairing YKK zippers.
  • The bag is molle compatible with the wrap-around molle for safe storage of your equipment in the diverse ways you may require it.

What We Like About 5.11 tactical backpack

The size is good for a single person for a bug out bag and because it is small, it is also lightweight and easier to carry. The bag is made well and very durable and it is aesthetically pleasing too.

The different purpose compartments add to it’s functionality and keep the relevant equipment safely stored in its place. The molle compatibility allows more versatility in your storage.

What We Don’t Like About 5.11 tactical backpack

While durability and good quality come a hefty price tag, this may not be an option for all in terms of affordability. The size of the bag while perfect for a single person, may be too small for a lot of preparedness buffs.

If you want to make sure you have a more comprehensive amount of items in your bug out bag, then this bag will be too small for your needs.


  • Compact bag is great for a single-person bug out bag
  • High quality and extremely durable
  • Specialized compartments and molle compatibility adds to its versatility


  • High-priced backpack
  • Too small for a bug out bag for more than one person

5. CVLIFE Tactical Backpack

CVLIFE Tactical Backpack Military Army Rucksack 60L Large Assault Pack Detachable Molle Bag
  • Tactical backpack is made of 600D(900X600) high density...
  • Spacious military backpack has one main large compartment,...
  • 50-60L extra large capacity, ample rooms for laptop,...

Product Highlights

This CVLIFE tactical backpack is a versatile bag that has detachable smaller bags that can be used as a fanny pack and first aid kit if necessary. The bag is made of an enduring polyester material that is high-density and water-resistant.

It is multipurpose and can be used in a capacity between 50 and 60 liters, so it is large and diverse. The molle system allows for additional items to be added to the bag with ease as needed.


  • A bag with versatile capacity between 50 and 60 liters that is large enough to easily incorporate all your emergency items.
  • There is one main large compartment with a removable front compartment that can be used as a fanny back. The detachable side compartments can be used as a first-aid kit.
  • The bag is made with durable and water-resistant polyester, incorporating a molle system that can expand your storage capacity.
  • Adjustable straps allow for a comfortable, secure fit.

What We Like About CVLIFE tactical backpack

The bag is affordable for its size. The large backpack allows you to incorporate all the items for your bug out bag and more.

If you need ideas of what you would need in an emergency situation, refer to the build a kit section on the government ready website to help you better prepare for disasters and emergencies.

The detachable compartments of this bag take its versatility to the next level. The front compartment can double up as a fanny pack and the detachable side pockets can be used as a first aid kit.

What We Don’t Like About CVLIFE tactical backpack

The straps are not as strong as advertised and often break with additional weight, not something you want to happen with a bug out bag. The straps are not placed in the best position and are not easily adjusted to ensure the promised comfort factor.

The zipper quality is also not great, with a few uses, the zips often break.


  • A good, large-size bag to incorporate all essential items
  • Detachable compartments add to it’s versatility
  • Water-resistant polyester material of overall good quality
  • Molle system allow additional storage capacity
  • Well priced for the size


  • Poorly designed straps that are not easily adjustable
  • Poor-quality straps that break easily
  • Zips that break after a short period of use

6. CRAZY ANTS Military Tactical Backpack

Military Tactical Backpack with 2 Detachable Packs, Army Assault Pack, Large Fieldline Molle Bag, Polyester Tactical Bag
1,034 Reviews
Military Tactical Backpack with 2 Detachable Packs, Army Assault Pack, Large Fieldline Molle Bag, Polyester Tactical Bag
  • Size: 11*11*18.1 inch, 50L (with 2 detachable bags), Can...
  • Constructed of durable 900 denier polyester, waterproof and...
  • Padded and adjustable shoulder strap, Mesh padded back panel...

Product Highlights

This CRAZY ANTS military tactical backpack is a nice mid size option for a bug out bag. It has 2 detachable packs on the side making the bag more multi-purpose.

The bag has a laptop compartment to safely accommodate your laptop. With padded and adjustable straps, the bag allows for comfortable carrying.

The bag is hydration pack-compatible. It has molle webbing on the front and sides to accommodate extra gear.


  • A midsize bag that accommodates 35–37 liters.
  • It has a laptop compartment and hydration pack compatible for up to 2.5 liters in the main compartment and 2 liters in the inner compartment.
  • The 2 side compartments are detachable and allow for more adaptability.
  • Padded and adjustable shoulder straps for secure carrying.

What We Like About CRAZY ANTS military tactical backpack

A good mid size bag that can incorporate all your emergency essentials. There is a laptop compartment to secure your laptop. The bag is hydration pack compatible for all your hydration needs.

The 2 detachable side compartments add versatility to the bag. The molle system allows for the easy carrying of additional gear.

What We Don’t Like About CRAZY ANTS military tactical backpack

The bag is sadly not waterproof. This is a downside, as you do not know the conditions under which you will need to use your bug out bag, so this is not great.

The durability and quality are questionable, with stitching pulling apart after light use and zips breaking as well.


  • Nice mid size bag to accommodate all necessary items
  • Detachable side compartments are multi purpose
  • Laptop compartment and hydration pack compatible
  • Good molle system for additional gear


  • Not waterproof
  • Poor quality and durability
  • Stitching that pulls apart and zip breaks after light use

7. 24BattlePack Tactical Backpack

24BattlePack Tactical Backpack | 1 to 3 Day Assault Pack | Combat Veteran Owned Company |40L Bug Out Bag (Black)
  • ✔ ULTIMATE PROTECTION FOR GEAR: This heavy duty...

Product Highlights

Often, one is left wanting when purchasing a bug out bag after the bag does not live up to expectations. You have an expectation of a military grade bag that you can use as your bug out bag and know it will be reliable when you need it most.

The 24BattlePack tactical backpack is perfect in terms of reliability, as the company is veteran owned so you can have peace of mind knowing it was designed with functionality in mind.

A great, smaller, expandable backpack that has a padded laptop compartment that accommodates larger laptop sizes. Waterproof lining with double stitching keeps this bag secure. It also includes a phenomenal warranty.


  • An expandable bag that can go from 20 to 40 liter capacity.
  • It has a padded laptop compartment that can accommodate larger laptops. It also includes a concealed carry gun holster and an insulated hydration bladder compartment.
  • Waterproof lining with double stitching and heavy-duty, oversized zipper that prevents rain and the elements getting into the backpack.
  • 1 year warranty and 100% satisfaction guarantee

What We Like About 24BattlePack tactical backpack

This smaller, expandable backpack goes from 20-40 liters with ease. This increases the versatility of the bag and allows it to be used for multiple scenarios.

It accommodates larger laptops up to 17 inches, which is bigger than the average size with these types of bags.

The bag goes the extra mile to ensure it is waterproof with a waterproof lining, double stitching and heavy duty oversized zipper to keep the bag contents nice and dry. The 1 year warranty and 100% satisfaction guarantee gives you peace of mind.

What We Don’t Like About 24BattlePack tactical backpack

The bag claims to be made in the USA but according to the label on the bag it was made in China.

This is false advertising. Overall the quality is ok but certain straps are not easily adjustable and some items tend to break if the bag is used regularly.


  • Great smaller sized expandable bag
  • Accommodates larger laptops up to 17 inch in padded compartment
  • Securely waterproof
  • 1 year warranty and 100% satisfaction guarantee


  • Not made in the USA as advertised
  • Average quality that does not last with regular use
  • Certain parts of the bag are not adjustable

8. Tactical Backpack For Men

Falko Tactical Backpack - 2.4x Stronger Work & Military Backpack. Water Resistant and Heavy Duty Large Molle Backpack (50L)
  • 2.4x Stronger Fabric - durability is not just a feature,...
  • Unmatched Pockets - Designed for supreme organization, this...
  • YKK Zippers - Enjoy the smoothness and reliability of the...

Product Highlights

If organization is top priority for you, then the Tactical backpack for men is a great choice. The bag has 7 front compartments and 2 main compartments incorporating laptop and hydration storage.

The bag is made out of lasting material that is both water and UV resistant. It is a larger sized bag with a big capacity but has 8 compression straps that can compress it if you need a smaller bag option. Made by a USA company with a lifetime warranty.


  • A large 50 liter backpack with compression straps that can compress the bag to 20 liter.
  • 2 main compartments including a laptop and hydration compartment and 7 front compartments perfect for organization.
  • Tough material that is 2.4 times stronger than standard bags that is both water and UV resistant.
  • Made in the USA with a lifetime warranty against material or craftsmanship defects.

What We Like About Tactical backpack for men

This larger backpack with 50 liter capacity has a great volume to accommodate all your essentials with ease for your bug out bag needs. The multi compartments is an organizer’s dream and keeps all your items where they need to be. The material overall holds up when it comes to the promise of water and UV resistance.

What We Don’t Like About Tactical backpack for men

The bag quality is questionable as stitching seems to come out after prolonged duration of use. This means the durability aspect is not great which is not ideal when using this as a bug out bag.


  • A good large volume bag
  • Organizers dream with multiple compartments
  • Water and UV resistant
  • Made in the USA with a lifetime warranty


  • Stitching splits after time
  • Durability is questionable

Final Verdict

All 8 bags are great options for a bug out backpack. They each have their own pros and cons and with a bug out bag it mostly comes down to personal preference and requirements.

What might be a good option for a single person would not work for a family. Some preparedness enthusiasts are more comprehensive in what they want to include for their bug out backpacks and will need a larger option to fit all their essentials.

Overall most of the bags are well priced and of good quality and durability which is what you want for a bug out bag, something you can trust.

Some of the bags have slightly more cons that would deter you in using them as a bug out bag mostly around durability and reliability which is of utmost importance. While you could use any of these as a bug out bag we would still like to give our best recommendation.

A good option that should work for most preppers is the ARMYCAMO expandable backpack. The bag is of a medium size but it is expandable as well, going from 39 liters to 64 liters.

It is made with durable material that is waterproof and tear resistant and is able to handle multiple conditions and terrains. It has many compartments that accommodate organization of all your essentials.

The bag has a front molle system which allows additional gear storage. The shoulder straps are non-slip and with an adjustable sternum height strap, this makes this bag super comfortable to carry.

The slight stitching and zip issues only occur with extended use so as a bug out bag that you will only be needing in an emergency situation this bag will be ideal.

It also has a 100% satisfaction guarantee which gives you peace of mind on the quality of the bag. It also looks almost like a regular backpack which will allow you to blend in with the crowd and not call attention to how prepared you are.