Best Survival Backpacks of 2020 – Top Picks Reviewed

Have you ever heard of a 72 hour kit? Most authorities recommend having at least 62 hours worth of emergency supplies on hand for situations such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and other disasters. But those supplies will not be much of a help to you if you do not have a means of carrying them along with you. This is why it is so important to invest in a good survival backpack.

Comparison Chart of the Best Survival Backpacks


5.11 RUSH72 Tactical Backpack

  • Can also be used for everyday items
  • Compresses down easily when it is not full
  • Our best overall choice for survival backpacks
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VooDoo Tactical Men's Mojo Load-Out Bag with Backpack Straps

  • Our runner-up choice for the survival backpacks
  • Collapsible sides make this bag easily compacted
  • Comes with an adjustable, removable shoulder strap
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CONDOR 3 Day Assault Pack

  • Has enough room for a hydration bladder
  • Comes with grab handles for quick pick up
  • Our choice for best survival backpack for the money
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Drakon Outdoors Dry Bag Survival Backpack

  • Larger size will accommodate many different items
  • Exterior pouches are handy for quick access to items
  • The best choice for survival backpacks that are waterproof
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EVERLIT Survival Kit

  • Well made of high quality, durable material
  • Provides a good base of supplies with room for more
  • Our choice for best survival backpack for an emergency
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Ready America Deluxe Emergency Kit

  • Food bars and water are in foil packaging
  • Has enough supplies for four people for three days
  • Our best backpack for surviving the zombie apocalypse
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WolfWarriorX Military Tactical Assault Backpack

  • Has both a chest strap and a waist strap
  • Our best tactical option for a survival backpack
  • Comes with a compartment for a water bladder
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Maxpedition Condor-II Backpack

  • Can carry a hundred ounce hydration pack
  • Comfortable to carry even when fully loaded
  • Our choice for best smaller survival backpack
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What to Put in a Survival Backpack

Of course, the pack itself is not going to do you much good if it does not contain essential items. Here is what to stock your survival backpack with:


You are not going to last long in an emergency situation without some sort of sustenance. Make sure your pack is stocked with enough food to last you for 72 hours. It is also helpful if this food is the kind that does not go bad easily and does not require heating in order to consume.

Water or Water Purification System

You will last for even less time in an emergency if you do not have water! Water is essential to surviving any emergency. If you do not have the strength or the room in your pack to haul around 72 hours worth of water, make sure you have a purification system such as tablets in order to be able to drink water you may come across.

First Aid Kit

Hopefully injury does not add additional stress to an already intense emergency situation, but you never know what could happen. Better to be safe than sorry and have a basic first aid kit included in your survival backpack to deal with any injury situation.


Many emergencies are related to weather, and many may force you out of your home. Shelter could range from a full tent system to a simple emergency blanket, but whatever you choose for your pack, make sure it won’t be just you facing the elements.

Quick Take | Best Survival Backpacks

Before diving into our review of the best survival backpacks, here is a quick take of our top 3 picks:

Review of the Best Survival Backpacks

Now that you know a bit more about the essentials of survival backpacks, check out some of the best options we were able to find:


  • Heavy duty
  • Has PALS webbing
  • Comes with a waist belt
  • Unobtrusive color (black)
  • Well made of high quality material


  • On the heavier side
  • Zipper pulls are black, which makes it difficult to find the zippers on the inside of the bag

The 5.11 RUSH72 Tactical Backpack is the premiere when it comes to survival backpacks, no matter what you are looking for!

This backpack has tons of room and multiple inner pockets so you will be able to store your survival gear exactly how you would like, with maximum potential for organization. And if you do not pack it entirely full, this pack will also compress down easily to fit inside smaller spaces.

As a matter of fact, it can even fit into plane overhead compartments, so it can also be used for air travel. Some people struggle with buying a backpack that they only intend to use in emergencies, but this bag is versatile enough to also be used for transporting everyday items. You can’t go wrong with the 5.11 RUSH72 Tactical Backpack.

Bottom Line

The 5.11 RUSH72 Tactical Backpack is a fantastic, all-purpose survival bag that you will also be able to use everyday if you would like. It is on the heavier side of survival bags, though.  


  • Versatile
  • Has MOLLE expansion
  • Heavy duty and strong
  • Comes with a free wallet
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty


  • Heavy
  • Bag seems to be able to fit more gear than the stitching could hold

The VooDoo Tactical Men’s Mojo Load Out Bag with Backpack Straps is a close second behind the 5.11 RUSH72 Tactical Backpack as the strongest option for a survival backpack.

One of the defining features of this backpack is it has an adjustable shoulder strap with a movable pad, so you will be able to position the strap exactly how it is best comfortable for you (or even remove it entirely if you do not like it, it also comes off!). 

Its collapsible sides are excellent for making the bag more compact and easily stored when it is not in use. It has eleven assorted exterior pouches, plus webbing to attach even more pouches if you find it necessary. If you are seeking a backpack that will maximize comfort while still carrying your survival gear, look no farther than the VooDoo Tactical Men’s Mojo Load Out Bag.

Bottom Line

The VooDoo Tactical Men’s Mojo Load Out Bag with Backpack Straps is a great backpack that is adjustable to your specific comfort level. It can accommodate more gear than it can carry, though, so just watch out how much you pack it.  

Best for the Money:
CONDOR 3 Day Assault Pack


  • Has a removable waist belt
  • Wide range of color options to pick from
  • Multiple different strap configurations allow for full customization
  • Condor provides additional add-on bags for sale if you want to enhance your pack’s capability


  • Some components of the bag will easily tear
  • The zipper cover tends to get tangled up in the zipper

The CONDOR 3 Day Assault Pack is the survival backpack for you if you are looking for a cost effective bag with a decent amount of versatility. It has grab handles on both the top and the sides, so you will always be able to quickly snag your pack.

The inside of the back has enough room for a two or three liter hydration bladder, so there is no need to stress about having access to water.

And if you are worried about that water weighing you down, forget about it: this pack is specially designed to provide the most even weight distribution possible, with adjustable shoulder straps that have a large amount of padding.

Some users report that even when they have crammed the bag completely full, they are able to forget they are even wearing it at all. This is probably also due to the wide range of different strap configurations this pack provides, so users can really customize exactly how they would like to carry it.     

Bottom Line

The CONDOR 3 Day Assault Pack is an awesome pack if you are looking for maximum versatility, but keep in mind there have been some quality issues with it.


  • Compatible with MOLLE
  • Chest strap is adjustable
  • Well made and designed
  • Has multiple internal pouches
  • Drakon provides good customer service


  • It can be difficult to see the interior of the bag because it is very deep

The Drakon Outdoors Dry Bag Survival Backpack is the backpack for you if what you are most concerned about is a bag that is waterproof.

This pack will keep your gear completely dry even if it is fully immersed in water – users report they have taken this bag out paddle boarding and it has gone with them over the side, and their electronics inside the pack have been completely fine afterwards.

It is on the larger side, meaning it will be able to accommodate pretty much anything you could ever want to fit inside it. It also boasts multiple exterior pouches, which are handy for quick access to items. It is versatile, as it can be packed down to be small and light for day trips.

And regardless of how much you are able to stuff inside it, it is always still light and comfortable to carry. Plus, in true survival situations, it could even act as a water container itself.       

Bottom Line

The Drakon Outdoors Dry Bag Survival Backpack is the number one choice in waterproof survival bags. Just know that the bag is very deep and it can be hard to see what it inside the bag after it is packed.   

Best for an Emergency:
EVERLIT Survival Kit


  • Waterproof
  • Compact and portable
  • Compatible with MOLLE
  • Bag arrives carefully packed
  • Flashlight beam can be adjusted


  •  Included knife and sharp edges on survival multi tool are quite dull  
  • Many of the items inside the kit do not come with included instructions on their use

The EVERLIT Survival Kit is a fantastic option if you are not looking to stock up your survival backpack yourself, but instead want one that comes already packed with everything you could possibly need.

The EVERLIT kit has it all: a flashlight, cotton swabs, a knife, a survival multi tool, itch cream for bug bites, antibiotic ointment, a flashlight, a glow stick, an emergency blanket, alcohol prep pads, disposable gloves, bandages, gauze pads, first aid tape, metal scissors, burn dressing, a CPR mask, safety pins, tweezers, wound dressings, wipes, a paracord bracelet, a poncho, and a flint and scraper for lighting a fire.

So, as you can see, it provides a really strong base of survival supplies. Plus, this backpack also has room for more if you see fit to customize to your own individual needs. It is well made of high quality, durable material that will last a long time.  

Bottom Line

The EVERLIT Survival Kit is an awesome, ready to go kit that you will not have to add anything essential to. But you may want to familiarize yourself with the contents before experiencing an actual emergency, as it does not come with any included instructions.

Best for a Zombie Apocalypse:
Ready America Deluxe Emergency Kit


  • Lightweight
  • Coast Guard approved
  • Hygiene items such as masks and gloves were sealed inside ziplock bags for maximum sanitation
  • Comes with a card with all the expiration dates so you will know if/when you need to replenish supplies


  • Does not include waterproof matches
  • Backpack is not made of very high quality material

If you are constantly on the edge, waiting for the zombie apocalypse to finally hit, the Ready America Deluxe Emergency Kit can help ease your stresses and guarantee you will be ready when the brain eaters arrive at your door.

This bag contains everything you would possibly need to escape the undead: survival food, masking tape, water purification tablets, a water bottle, a personal hygiene kit, and a multi purpose tool which can serve as pliers, a screwdriver, a file, a wire snip, a bottle opener, and a knife.

But coolest of all is this kit’s included emergency power station, which features a hand crank unit with a flashlight, an AM/FM radio, a cell phone charger, and a personal alarm.

One minute of turning the crank will produce enough power for thirty minutes of light, two minutes of cell phone talk time, or fifteen minutes of radio. It’s definitely important to be able to communicate with the living when you are surrounded by zombies!      

Bottom Line

The Ready America Deluxe Emergency Kit is the kit to have if you are trying to be the one who survives the undead reign. Keep in mind you may need to pack your own waterproof matches, though.  


  • Well made
  • Expandable
  • Heavy duty
  • Water resistant
  • Has lots of room
  • Zippers can be locked together


  • Bag can be a little front heavy
  • When fully packed, is too large to be a carry on item on a plane

The WolfWarriorX Military Tactical Assault Backpack is our best choice if you are looking for a tactical option for a survival backpack. It has a number of stand out features, including a compartment for a water bladder.

If you plan on packing your survival pack completely full and are nervous about carrying it long distances, never fear. The WolfWarriorX has the regular waist strap you will be able to find on most survival packs, but also a chest strap for additional stability.

It boasts a large amount of pockets so you will be able to find a spot for basically any item you could ever need. It also has a cinch strap for a water bottle, so you are guaranteed quick access to your water supply.

Its zippers can be locked together to prevent accidental opening under stress. Really, you will not be able to find a more secure option than the WolfWarriorX Military Tactical Assault Backpack.      

Bottom Line

The WolfWarriorX Military Tactical Assault Backpack is the best choice if you are looking for a tactical survival backpack. If you are looking for a versatile bag you could also use for plane travel, though, you may want to look elsewhere.  

Smallest Survival Backpack:
Maxpedition Condor-II Backpack


  •  Versatile
  • Heavy duty
  • Has plenty of room
  • Compatible with MOLLE
  • Well made of high quality material


  • No breathable mesh on the back side, so you may experience some sweating

The Maxpedition Condor-II Backpack is a great survival backpack if you are feeling a little overwhelmed by the heftier packs on this list. It is on the smaller side, but do not worry – you will not be compromising on storage space with this survival backpack!

It has enough room to carry a hundred ounce hydration pack, with plenty of space left over. And it is comfortable and easy to carry even when it is fully loaded up, which is in part due to the combination of its waist belt and its sternum strap, for a most effective weight distribution.

And do not think that just because it is small, it will not be as tough as a full size backpack – this backpack is plenty tough! Users report this pack is incredibly durable and will not have much wear and tear even after you put it through the wringer.       

Bottom Line

The Maxpedition Condor-II Backpack is an excellent survival backpack for those looking for something a bit on the smaller side. Just keep in mind it does not have any breathable mesh on the part that touches your back.   


Survival backpacks can really make or break it for you if you ever find yourself in an intense emergency situation. Make sure you invest in the right pack for you and your own individual needs, and your odds of surviving a natural disaster (or zombie apocalypse) will increase tenfold.