Bug Out Bags – Best of 2019 [Buyer’s Guide]

You can have all of the greatest survival gear in the world, but if you do not have an efficient way to carry all of it, odds are you will be too exhausted from hauling it around to even be able to use any of it effectively! You need a well-made bug out bag to get the job done. Check out the best bug out bags you can find here in this article.

Bug Out Bags Comparison Chart

Product

Rating

Price

5.11 Tactical Rush 72 Backpack

Condor 3 Day Assault Pack

Voodoo Tactical Mojo

Maxpedition Vulture-II Backpack

Eberlestock Skycrane II

What is a Bug Out Bag?

A bug out bag – contrary to what its name may imply – is not a sleeping bag designed to repel bugs. It is, rather, a bag with enough capacity to carry everything you need to survive when “bugging out” – also known as taking a break from civilization for a while. This break can be voluntary, as in a lengthy hiking or camping trip, or involuntary, as in evacuating from an emergency. In either case, a quality bug out bag is essentially for survival.

How to Choose a Bug Out Bag

There are a number of components that lead to a quality bug out bag that will be able to withstand the toughest circumstances and ensure protection for the gear so vital to your survival. Here are some of the most important:

Durability

This is the most important quality a bug out bag can have! The last thing you want is to be out in the middle of nowhere with a defective bag that has ripped and can no longer carry all of your essentials

Organization

In an emergency, the speed with which you are able to access your supplies can often mean the difference between life and death. It is important for a bug out bag to have a variety of both interior and exterior compartments and pouches so that you can organize your supplies in a strategic way, maximizing efficiency in an intense situation.

Maximize the space in your bag (5.11 RUSH24 Military Tactical Backpack, Molle Rucksack Bug Out Bag, Medium, Style 58601, Flat Dark Earth)

Comfort

It is not going to do you any good if you have the best, most durable, most versatile bug out bag available…but the shoulder straps rub you raw after hiking less than a half mile. You need to find a bag that can be hauled for long distances, and preferably those with some weight management so that they feel lighter than they actually are.

Quick Take | Best Bug Out Bags

Before diving into our review of the best bug out bags, here is a quick take of our top 3 picks:

Review of the Best Bug Out Bags

What bag could possibly meet all these specifications? Read on to learn about the best bug out bags of the year!

Pros

  • Large, but not difficult to carry
  • Made of high quality, durable material
  • Multiple compartments and pockets for easy organization
  • Good for both an every day carry bag and while camping or traveling
  • Users report being able to fill this pack with enough supplies to travel for an entire week, and up to three weeks if you pack really lightly

Cons

  • Does not have a waist belt
  • Side pockets are not big enough to fit larger reusable water bottles such as Nalgene brand bottles

The 5.11 Tactical Rush 72 Backpack is a great backpack that can serve multiple uses: an effective bug out bag for camping, an efficient backpack for traveling, and a useful bag for every day use. It has a large amount of room and multiple pockets to organize all of your supplies, but the bag itself is not bulky or difficult to haul around.

Speaking of pockets, how many bug out bags have you come across that have a pocket specifically designed just for your sunglasses, right on top of the bag and with a special soft lining to ensure your glasses will never be scratched up? The 5.11 Tactical Rush has you covered!

This pack also happens to be water resistant (although not completely water proof) and has a set of four slots at the pack’s bottom that could hold a sleeping roll for camping trips.

Bottom Line

The 5.11 Tactical Rush 72 Backpack is a awesome, versatile bug out bag that can also serve as a traveling backpack or a bag for every day use. Take note that it does not have a waist belt, so at extremely large loads, this pack could lose some usability.

Pros

  • Included removable waist belt
  • Comes in a variety of color patterns
  • Allows for 2 liter or 3 liter hydration bladder
  • Grab handles on top and sides for easily picking this bag up quickly
  • Condor provides additional add-on bags for sale to expand the Assault Pack’s capabilities

Cons

  • Zipper cover gets caught in the zipper a lot
  • Components of this bag have faulty stitching and tear easily

The Condor 3 Day Assault Pack is a versatile bug out bag with a wide range of capability. It has a lot of different strap options, so users can figure out the best method of carrying for their individual needs. These options are also easily adjusted for users’ height and weight, so this pack does not require a certain build to operate.

The frame of the bag is especially built for easy weight distribution, with the adjustable straps that also come with heavy amounts of padding. Some users report that they do not even feel the bag when wearing it, even when the bag is completely full!

The bag is more than enough to pack anything you may need – users have shared stories of using it for a disaster preparedness bag that can easily hold over 72 hours worth of emergency supplies. If you do find yourself needing more space for some reason, Condor provides additional add-on bags that easily strap to the Assault Pack.

Bottom Line

The Condor 3 Day Assault Pack is an extremely useful bug out bag that you will be able to fit any and all imaginable supplies into. Its versatility and ease of adjustment will make it accessible for anybody to use, even those unfamiliar with hauling around heavy packs. Keep in mind that some users report faulty stitching and quality issues, though.

Pros

  • Made of high quality material
  • Voodoo provides a lifetime warranty
  • Multitude of pockets and compartments for serious organization
  • Comes with an adjustable shoulder strap which is also removable
  • Can fit more supplies than potentially any other bag on the market

Cons

  • Bag is extremely large and somewhat unwieldly

The Voodoo Tactical Mojo is a fully stacked bug out bag that can carry anything you can possibly conceive of. It comes with eleven exterior pouches alone, and a vast multitude of interior pockets and compartments for some serious organization.

In addition to the exterior pouches, it also features a transparent pocket that can be used as an ID window – great for moving quickly through airport lines and TSA checkpoints. This bag is not just for commercial travel, though.

With its immense capacity, this is the ideal bug out bag for extended camping trips and providing everything you need for survival. Users report they have been able to fit enough supplies in this bad boy to last them two whole weeks!

Bottom Line

The Voodoo Tactical Mojo is one of the most efficient bug out bags available on the market today – you will be able to fit anything and everything in this bag. The tradeoff of such efficiency and versatility is that the bag itself is huge and, for people unaccustomed to hauling a bug out bag around, a little bit bulky. This is a pretty solid price to pay for a bag that can carry it all, though.

Pros

  • Adjustable straps
  • Comes in a variety of colors
  • Maxpedition is a reliable brand
  • Durable enough to last for years and years
  • Great travel bag for living out of while backpacking

Cons

  • Stiff material

The Maxpedition Vulture-II Backpack is a fantastic bug out bag from the reliable Maxpedition brand. Users report that even after owning this bag for upwards of seven years of camping and hard travel, it is just like the day they bought it, so you know for sure that when you buy the Vulture-II, you are purchasing quality.

The interior of the backpack is more open plan than many of the other bug out bags we have reviewed on this list, meaning that if you are seeking something without a million little cubby holes and pockets, this is the bug out bag for you.

It does have one interior compartment especially designed to hold a Camelbak or other kind of liquid bladder for use on long hikes. It is great for outdoor travel, being water resistant (though not fully waterproof). If you do find yourself needing more little containers or compartments, additional accessories can be easily strapped or Velcro-ed on to the bag’s tactile exterior. All in all, a great choice for a bug out bag.

Bottom Line

The Maxpedition Vulture-II Backpack is an awesome bug out bag that could potentially outlive you, it is just that durable. If you are looking for a bag that will be with you for the long haul, look no further than the Vulture-II. Keep in mind that the material is extremely stiff when it first arrives and will likely need some breaking in before it is fully comfortable to use.

Pros

  • Eberlestock provides a lifetime warranty
  • Made of high quality, durable material that will withstand bushwhacking
  • Additional Eberlestock packs can be added on to fully customize the individual experience
  • 3 different packs in one, with the “little brother” and fanny packs able to be removed and used as smaller packs if need be
  • Aluminum frame provides extra support, distributes weights evenly across a user’s entire back instead of concentrating it in the shoulders and hips

Cons

  • On the heavier side
  • Has places for a hydration bladder, but none that allow for hose access

The Eberlestock Skycrane II is one of the most expansive and hardiest packs on the market. If you are alooking for a pack that will be able to hold anything and will last you an entire lifetime, you will not be able to find better than the Skycrane.

Multiple users have reported that, after a lengthy search to try and find a bag that would be able to carry everything they want for their survival bug out bag, they have finally found success with the Skycrane. But just because you can pack a ton of supplies into this bag does not mean you will be struggling under its weight.

The Skycrane has a lightweight aluminum frame that even distributes the pack’s weight, making it seems like it is significantly lighter than it is, even when this pack is jammed full.   

Bottom Line

The Eberlestock Skycrane II is an excellent bug out bag for carrying along every essential item you could ever possibly need. It does have some imperfections, such as a lack of a hose escape valve, but all in all, you cannot find a pack more reliable and useful than the Skycrane.

Conclusion

Bug out bags are potentially the most important component of any good survival kit – there is no kit without a bag to put it in! Make sure you are assessing your own needs in a bug out bag, whether you need increased space, multiple compartments, a bag that is as light as possible, or some combination of all of the above. Bug out bags are essential to keeping yourself alive in extreme situations, and you definitely do not want to compromise on something that important.

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