Best Bug Out Bags: The Most Reliable Packs Experts Trust

By "Just In Case" Jack | Updated: 07/25/2023

How To Find The Best Bug Out Bag To Stash ALL Your Gear

Best Bug Out Bag

So you want the “BEST”?

Well, I wish it was that easy…

The truth is, it’s not that simple, but stick with me, and we’ll get pretty darn close.

I will go over in detail all the things you need to choose your bag.

And then, I will share with you what I think is THE best bug out bag on the market today.

So let’s jump right in…shall we?

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Best Bug Out Bag Features To Look For

A bug out bag should be:

  1. Ridiculously durable
  2. Intelligently designed 
  3. Customized to your specific body dimensions

Durable because you will be sorry if straps tear, zippers break, or cloth rips mid-bug out.

Intelligently designed so that you can access your most critical survival gear fast.

Having the right bag size so that it won’t slow you down or wear you out due to body fatigue.

Because you and your bag are about to become best friends.

And nobody wants a wimpy best friend, right?

↓ My EXACT Bug out Bag Build ↓

Purpose of a Bug Out Bag

Let’s recall what our bag is REALLY for, so we can make wise choices.

It’s NOT intended to be a mini house and cannot hold all your unnecessary “Stuff.”

Too much “gear” will slow you down.

When selecting your survival bag, a good rule of thumb is to decide what you need before buying the pack.

↓ 7 Reasons Why EVERYONE Needs A Bug Out Bag ↓

Make a List Of Essentials

Before settling on a bag, figure out what you plan to put inside of it.

Because a bug out bag is just a portable survival kit, right?

So start with a bug out bag checklist and pick and choose the gear YOU want to pack.

This can help figure out you’re overall pack size.

Bug Out Bag Checklist eBook Cover - a man walking away wearing a military style backpack

Want a free 104 item bug out bag checklist?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

What’s your ultimate goal?

Is it a 3-day (72 hours) bug out?

Or do you want a full-fledged INCH bag (I‘m. Never. Coming. Home.)?

Do this before you purchase because it’s no fun to find out you don’t have enough room once you have your bag.

Carefully consider which tools, gear, and survival supplies will be the most useful to YOU on the go.

Your choices should be based on important factors such as:

  1. What survival gear do you know how to use
  2. Your current survival skill level
  3. Your regional weather conditions
  4. What obstacles you may face
  5. Density population of your county

Also, remember that your initial checklist of items may change over time as you acquire more survival skills.

However, don’t let that keep you from doing this worthwhile bug out planning today.

So What’s The Best Bug Out Bag Size?

The proper bag size is based on your torso size.

Measure yourself from your neck to your hipbone.

Some manufacturers sell bug out bags specifically for men, women, and children to make it easier to find the right torso size.

The bottom line is:

Your bug out bag must fit comfortably on your hips.

Here are some basic torso size guidelines to help (always double-check these figures with the bag manufacturer before purchasing):

  • Extra small (for torsos up to 15 1/2 inches)
  • Small (for torsos from 16 inches to 17 1/2 inches)
  • Medium (for torsos from 18 inches to 19 1/2 inches)
  • Large (for torsos 20 inches and up)

Plenty Of Storage Space

Backpack storage space is usually measured in cubic inches of space.

The higher the number, the more volume you have for all your gear.

Of course, you’ll want one with plenty of storage space for all your stuff.

And some extra storage space is typically not bad as long as you don’t feel the need to fill every space just because “it’s there.”

Having a little bit of extra space helps with future expansion and gear swaps.

But again watch the overall weight!

↓ 10 Tips To Reduce Your Bug Out Bag Weight ↓

The Best Backpacks Include Separate Compartments

The best designs includes several zippers, pouches, and other visible and hidden storage options.

Unlike a duffel bag, a bug out bag shouldn’t be randomly stuffed as full as possible.

In real-world survival situations, you won’t have time to dump all your supplies out on the ground to find what you need.

Instead, look for a bag with lots of separate compartments for food, clothes, and gear.

That way, you’ll have easy access those items.

The more zippers, loops, pockets, and straps your bag has, the more organized it will be when you need to find something fast.

If you decide bigger is better and opt for a larger bag, you’ll be able to fit a ton of stuff, don’t forget that you’ll have to carry all that gear.

A good pack will typically have the following design components:  

  • Compression Straps
  • Sternum Strap
  • Top Lid
  • Hydration Bladder Pouch and Tube Port
  • MOLLE System
  • Hip Belt & Hip Belt Pockets
  • Water Bottle Pocket
  • Dedicated Sleeping Bag Compartment
  • Internal Frame
↓ Everything You Need To Know About MOLLE ↓

Lightweight and Comfortable

Advanced military bags include very large capacities.

But there’s no point in that unless you’re preparing for a military-style bug out (think lots of guns and ammo).

Most military personnel are trained to carry bags weighing upwards of 70 pounds on their backs for many miles.

If you don’t have this type of training, you’ll want to keep your bag lightweight and comfortable.

Honestly, your bag weight could get you killed.

It’s easy to think of many life-threatening scenarios if your bag slows you down.

If you’re unsure how much weight you can comfortably carry, take your bag on a hike or camping trip.

I made a chart to show you how much your bag should weigh fully loaded based on your size.

Keep adding items until you reach a point where more weight will significantly slow you down and make walking difficult (starting to get the hint?…weight matters).

Backpack Color

You’ll want to avoid bright colors and other features attracting unwanted attention.

Stick with neutral/muted colors to blend in with your surroundings.

Consider a camouflage bag if you live in a rural wooded area.

If you’re in a crowded urban area, you’ll want a gray man bag that pretty much looks like an ordinary backpack or oversized book bag.

The less conspicuous, the better.

Bug Out Bag Checklist eBook Cover - a man walking away wearing a military style backpack

Want a free 104 item bug out bag checklist?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

An Ultimate Bug Out Pack On a Budget

If you want to prepare but can’t afford large bags with all the bells and whistles, some options can still keep you prepared for a bug out situation.

Some less costly smaller bags can be found with a MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) system.

Purchase a smaller, more affordable pack with MOLLE and pack it with the bare essentials mentioned above.

The latest generation MOLLE is made out of laser-cut cloth to eliminate stitching that may compromise the bag’s integrity.

The point of MOLLE is that you can hang gear from the outside of the bag instead of packing everything inside.

You place the items you’ll need most on the outside of your bug out bag with this system.

This type of bag is an ideal choice if you’re on a budget, but you still want the ability to add easily attachable pouches over time.

Items you might want to hang from MOLLE are:

  • Survival Knives
  • Ammo Pouches
  • Canteen Pouch
  • Radio Pouch
  • Medical Pouch
  • Small Axe
  • First Aid Kit

The options are truly endless.

Where Are You Planning to Go?

One often overlooked aspect of bugging out is…where are you headed?

You need a plan; you need a location.

If you have a location sorted out already…kudos to you.

If not, it’s time to decide, but that’s a topic for another day.

Regarding your bug out bag, you’ll want to match the distance to your pack.

If your safe spot is your Dad’s house about an hour away, a very small survival go bag will work.

If you have many miles and a few nights to bare, then it’s better to have space for more “just in case” stuff.

And you’ll want a military-grade tactical bug out backpack.

Bug Out Bag Checklist eBook Cover - a man walking away wearing a military style backpack

Want a free 104 item bug out bag checklist?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

Ultimate Bug Out Bag Recap

  1. Take stock of what you plan to carry. This gives you an idea of the size you’ll be looking for and helps to keep you from getting swayed towards a more expensive purchase with space you’ll never use.
  2. Take key body measurements so that you know what the right bug out bag size is for your body type.  This is essential to ensure comfort.
  3. Once you get your bag and all your gear.  Pack it. Make certain everything fits and what the best location is for all the gear.
  4. Take your bag for a test run. This could be on a local hiking trail, at a nearby park, or some other place to walk around.
  5. List all the pros and cons of a new pack and make sure it’s comfortable.

The idea is to determine if you can walk comfortably.

If you stop to rest frequently, you probably have a bag that’s too much for you.

However, if you remain comfortable during the entire test run, you may have just found your best bug out bag.

At the end of the day, the best bag is one that fully fulfills all your storage and survival needs.

The Best Bug Out Bag On The Market Today

It’s time to share what I believe is the best ones available on the market today.

The Combat Bag From EVATAC (top recommendation)

evatac combat bagThis tactical backpack is as tough as they come.

It’s made from 600D polyester and has durable zippers, padded shoulder straps, a chest strap, and enough compartments to organize your survival gear properly.

This bag includes a generous 40L storage capacity.

It is the perfect size to fit all your gear yet small enough for everyday use.

It’s made from thick, durable 600D Polyester.

It comes with heavy-duty clips and zippers because your bag is only as good as its zippers and clips.

Padded shoulder straps and back panel for maximum comfort.

A comfortable bag is essential – especially if used for long bug-outs.

It has a quick lock chest strap to keep the bag secure even when running or scrambling.

This prevents the bag from bouncing off your shoulders while on the move!

All compartments are waterproof, which is a must-have feature for high-quality tactical bug-out bags.

It includes a total of ten separate carry compartments for maximum organization!

Heck, it even has a padded laptop section to keep your fragile items safe and secure from bumps and knocks for everyday use.

Similar bags with all these features sell for over $159 (some as much as $229 in many outdoor specialty stores).

But when this post was published, you could get The Combat Bag From EVATAC at a fraction of those lofty prices.

Click here to see if this amazing deal is still available on this excellent bug-out bag.

Interested? Check out my full review of The Combat Bag from EVATAC:

↓ Bug Out Bag Review – The Combat Bag by EVATAC ↓

Interested in this bag? Click here to check out the affordable price of this quality bag.

Prepare, Adapt & Overcome,

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  • Born & Raised On A Rural Farm In The Midwest
  • Mechanical Engineering Grad From A Major University
  • Engineer With A Major Food Manufacturing Company
  • 10+ Years Researching, Writing, & Teaching Preparedness
  • Mission: Help Folks Stop Living A Life Fragile To The Future
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