CAMPING & HIKING

Best Bug Out Bag Backpack: Always Ready to Get Out in Seconds

Mark Foster
Written by Mark Foster

Are you living in an area that is prone to earthquakes, tornadoes, or some other natural disaster that literally comes without a warning and gives you just a few minutes to grab your stuff and evacuate? Were you ever in a situation where you didn’t have enough time to pack the essentials that will help you survive the next 72 hours before the disaster ends? Well, what you should always have packed and waiting in the corner, is the best bug out backpack the market has to offer.

Choosing the best bug out backpack deserves careful research and consideration because it needs to be both appealing and functional. After all, this backpack is going to be your best friend and savior for years to come. However, finding the model that suits your personal needs is not an easy task, especially when there are literally thousands of different models on the market. But, that is exactly why we are here, to help you in your quest.

The bug out backpack that’s accessible and tailored to suit all of your needs is out there, you just need to find out which one is it.  This is where we step in! We did an extensive research of all the important features to consider and compared 8 best models on the today’s market, that are perfect for bug out situations. Read carefully, take some time to think and choose the best one for you.

Our Top Picks

ProductWeightDimensionsBest usePrice
Osprey Packs Atmos 653.55 pounds6 x 14 x 27 inchesBackpacking, climbing and hikingCheck price on Amazon
Sandpiper of California Long Range7 pounds10.5 x 26 x 15.5 inchesMilitary, backpacking, travelingCheck price on Amazon
Explorer Tactical5 pounds20 x 11.5 x 11Sports activities, military, camping trips, excursionsCheck price on Amazon
Spec-Ops Brand T.H.E3.1 pounds18.5 x 9.5 x 9.5 inchesEveryday use, military, sports activities, excursionsCheck price on Amazon
5.11 Outdoor Tactical RUSH243 pounds7 x 20 x 12 inchesEveryday use, sports activities, excursionsCheck price on Amazon
Maxpedition Vulture-II3 pounds20.5 x 16 x 7.5 inchesEveryday use, sports activities, short hiking tripsCheck price on Amazon
Monkey Paks MOLLE3 pounds20 x 12 x 5.5 inchesBackpacking, camping, hikingCheck price on Amazon
3V Gear Paratus 4.45 pounds20 x 12 x 5.5 inchesPrepping, military, camping, hikingCheck price on Amazon

Things to Consider Before Buying

There are so many different choices to make when selecting a backpack and so many things to look out for when picking just one. The things you have to look for in a backpack are slightly different from those features of a hiking bag or duffel bag, and some of them are highlighted below.

Tactical vs. Civilian Style

This is just down to style and look. There are some features in the design of the tactical type which you can’t find with the civilian style such as more pockets, thicker fabric, sturdier design and more color combinations. These features are available for the tactical style because it is designed for military-like use.

Tactical Bug Out Backpack

Whereas the civilian design is focused on the everyday use and does not really require all of the extra features. As a result, the tactical style bags are more expensive. Whatever style you do decide to go for, ensure that you buy an established brand name.

Size

This is another very important thing to look out for. Do you want to go with the light bug out approach or do you want a more massive bag?

Perhaps you are a single person and you only need stuff for yourself, or you are a family man and you want to have a little more gear in there to supplement what your family might need. This will inform your decision on what size of bag to go for.

Color

Color is something that a lot of people are particular about. And this choice of color is primarily down to user preference. However black is a very common choice as it blends in well in an urban environment.

Backpack Color

Image credit: swatmag.com

For people who are in a snowy area, perhaps a white bag is a better choice. The main consideration here is to choose a color that blends in well with your environment.

Frames: Internal vs. External

You want a backpack that has either an internal or an external frame. Something that will give you an extra layer of support.

Some backpacks don’t have this frame and this makes it difficult to carry the bag for extended periods of time. Most bags that have this frame have the internal frame.

Best Fit

Choose a backpack that fits your torso very well. You don’t want it to be too loose or too tight. A backpack that fits your torso perfectly is going to help balance load and help you carry more gear for extended periods of time.

Bug Out Backpack
Shoulder straps, chest straps and waist straps are also key features to consider for best fit. These straps will help fit the bag on your body in the best possible way. The waist strap is very important because it allows you to carry the majority of the weight on your hips and allows you go greater distances as it is much easier to carry weight on your hips than it is on your shoulder.

Price

Backpack prices depend mostly on fabric, size and brand and most of them cost between $100 to $300. Those that are a bit pricier are usually big-name brands such as Osprey or North Face, but they’re usually bigger and have special padding and additional features such as a water bottle holder, whistle, etc.

Person With Backpack

So, if you don’t need all these features there are some pretty nice backpacks in a price range from $100 – $200 that will serve their purpose as the bug out backpacks. Just keep in mind that it’s durable, strong and lightweight.

Best Products on Today’s Market

Now that you know what are the most important features to consider before buying a bug out backpack, it’s time to check out our reviews. In no particular order of ranking, these are some of the best models you must consider.

Osprey Packs Atmos 65 Backpack

Price: Approx. $240Osprey Packs Atmos 65 Backpack

Weight: 3.55 pounds

Dimensions: 6 x 14 x 27 inches

Specific features: A floating top pocket, zippered front pockets, sleeping bag compartment with a detachable divider

Best use: Backpacking, climbing and hiking

The Osprey Atmos 65 Backpack is a very comfortable backpack with an adjustable foam harness built into it alongside a hip belt which gives it an excellent torso fit. It is designed with a ventilated mesh back panel and airspeed suspension, which gives it a great carry.

Anybody who has used this bag had only good things to say as it meets all of their expectations. There is no real issue with the quality of the bag at its price point. The only reported problems are always shipping and product defect-related.

The bag is available in Glacier blue, has built-in chest, hip and shoulder straps for fit as well is fully equipped for use in backpacking, climbing and hiking. When comparing to other bags of similar size, this bag might be one of the best on the market. Another great thing about this Osprey bag is that it has a stretchy front, excellent cinch style and lots of pouches on the hip belt.

PROS:

  • Additional features
  • Breathable
  • Storage
  • Comfortable
  • Plenty of pockets
 CONS:

  • Small belt pockets
  • Insubstantial buckles

Related: Most buyers who opted for this bag chose this Grabber Space All Weather Blanket. Designed to retain and reflect over 80% of radiated body heat will be a nice addition to the bag. Also, if you are planning on going for a longer backpacking trip and you need to keep your backpack weight to a minimum, this blanket will do the trick.

Check the price on Amazon

Sandpiper of California Long Range Backpack

Price: Approx. $140Sandpiper of California Long Range Backpack

Weight: 7 pounds

Dimensions: 10.5 x 26 x 15.5 inches

Specific features: Available in 3 different colors (black, brown and camo), larger capacity for extra gear, multiple attachment points for extra equipment, easily customisable to suit your own specific needs, MOLLE panel, hydration compatible, padded lumbar area

Best use: Military, backpacking, traveling

Sandpiper of California Long Range Backpack was designed to carry more gear than your average backpack and with the built-in padded lumbar area and mesh lined back, you can carry the bag for extended periods of time comfortably.

The main compartment of the bag is designed to easily expand so you can carry all your hydration, survival and communication gear. Another great thing we liked about the bag is that it has lots of pockets and attachment, not to mention the organizer panel. These parts will definitely keep your backpack organized to the max.

The good and the bad of this bag all centers around the size of it. If you are looking for a lot of space you’ll love this bag, but if you don’t need that much space we advise you avoid it in order to put the weight to the maximum. It’s really down to your preference and making the right choice for you.

PROS:

  • Price
  • Size
  • Lots of compartments
  • Customizable
  • Padded lumbar area and waist belt
 CONS:

  • 1000 denier cloth would be better instead of 600
  • Not made in the USA

Related: Although this backpack is great for several days hiking adventures, if you’re planning for a really long camping trip, then we advise this Sandpiper of California Rolling Loadout Luggage. Most buyers choose to buy the backpack and this luggage bag together as they’re a great traveling combo.

Check the price on Amazon

Explorer Tactical Backpack

Price: Approx. $35Explorer Tactical Backpack

Weight: 5 pounds

Dimensions: 20 x 11.5 x 11 inches

Specific features: Adjustable compression straps, padded adjustable shoulder straps, 3 handles, 6 pockets, durable 600D polyester

Best use: Sports activities, military, camping trips, excursions

Explorer Tactical Backpack is a budget backpack that gives you so much value for the money you spend. It is robust with one large compartment, 6 pockets and 3 handles.

The backpack has also been designed to expand a further 3 inches if you happen to have filled it up. It is excellent for all your camping trips, excursions and paintball gear, as well as any 72 hour, go pack.

The biggest issues we found with this bag is that if you’re bigger or weigh more than the average, the bag might not be able to fit you, as well as the waist belts, will also be of no use in this case. Also, the side pockets aren’t as deep as they should be and the zippers sometimes can get stuck.

However, this bag is very roomy with a deceptively large main compartment and the small pockets makes it easy to organize your stuff very well.

PROS:

  • Price
  • Lots of compartments
  • Size
 CONS:

  • Weight
  • Side pockets could be a bit deeper

Related: You will not go wrong if you opt for this LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, that is mostly bought with the Explorer backpack. It removed almost 100% of waterborne protozoan parasites and bacteria which will make your water filtered of contaminated water. It’s a perfect product to have for all emergency situations.

Check the price on Amazon

Spec-Ops Brand T.H.E. Backpack

Price: Approx. $150Spec-Ops Brand T.H.E. Backpack

Weight: 3.1 pounds

Dimensions: 18.5 x 9.5 x 9.5 inches

Specific features: Removable 2 inch waist belt with easy adjustments, dual external access port covers, dual compression straps with integrated load loops on pocket faces

Best use: Everyday use, military, sports activities, excursions

Spec-Ops Brand T.H.E. Backpack is made from Cordura nylon fabric which is one of the toughest fabrics of the super durable 1000D category. It is designed to withstand all the stress impacts of excess use of carry and drag handle.

Essentially, this bag was built to last and designed for military uses, but what is great about it is that is also perfect for civilian uses too. So, if you are looking for a good bag for your sports activities or hiking trips, this one might be the one for you.

The bag is water-resistant and very roomy at 2550 cubic inches. It also has a very durable build with heavy duty zippers installed. Overall, this is a great addition to the military pack line. The only real con of this bag is that it comes at a relatively higher price, but, at the end, you get what you pay for.

PROS:

  • Durability
  • Waterproof
  • Roomy
  • Lots of compartments
  • Heavy duty zippers
 CONS:

  • Price
  • If you’re bigger, it might look like a kid’s backpack on you

Related: Designed for the Spec. Ops. backpacks to fit perfectly, this Spec Ops Main-Frame will be a nice addition if you buy it together with the backpack. The bag will fit into the main compartment and is great for holding laptops, paperwork, file folders and other things you need to carry on a daily basis.

Check the price on Amazon

5.11 Outdoor Tactical Rush24 Backpack

Price: Approx. $1305.11 Outdoor Tactical Rush24 Backpack

Weight: 3 pounds

Dimensions: 7 x 20 x 12 inches

Specific features: Extensive wrap-around platform, adjustable height sternum strap, reinforced grab handle for better grip, eyewear pocket, mesh pockets, water-repellent coating

Best use: Everyday use, sports activities, excursions

The 5.11 Outdoor Tactical Rush24 Backpack is more of an everyday carry bag as it is designed to carry enough gear that will last you 24 hours hence the 24 in the description. It has been specially designed to provide excellent storage capacity and organization with its over 20 compartments.

This backpack has been designed to go with you wherever you go regardless of the climate or situation with its excellent mobility features. It is very well designed with a look and feel that is very appealing and it has a lot of room for organizing all of your things. It also has the self-repairing zippers which make it easier for you when it seems the zips are falling out of place.

Some of the most notable drawbacks of this bag are that it has no waist belt, and it is not built to carry as much load as other bags are. Also, there are some minor issues with the stitching as it can sometimes start to unravel.

PROS:

  • Water-repellent coating
  • Self-repairing zippers
  • Great storage
 CONS:

  • No waist belt
  • Less load than other bags
  • Quality of the stitches

Related: Specifically designed for use with tactical backpacks, this C5 Smartphone/PDA Case will be a nice addition to this bag. Made of 1000D nylon, this case will keep your PDA or phone secure and easily accessible. It also has a high-impact locking clip which makes this pouch extremely practical and durable.

Check the price on Amazon

Maxpedition Vulture-II Backpack

Price: Approx. $140Maxpedition Vulture-II Backpack

Weight: 3 pounds

Dimensions: 20.5 x 16 x 7.5 inches

Specific features: 1-inch sternum strap, 2-inch integrated belt, triple coat of water-resistant material, available in 4 colors

Best use: Everyday use, sports activities, short hiking trips

The Maxpedition tag of this bag is apt because it is guaranteed to give you the best support for maximum expeditions. The main standouts of Maxpedition Vulture-II Backpack, are the water-resistant finish with a triple coating of polyurethane and a final coat of DuPont Teflon fabric.

No matter the climate, be it rain or snow, this bag is ready to go with you anywhere and you can rest easy knowing that all of your gear is safe. The nylon 1000D fabric used in its design also gives it excellent sturdiness.

The only real issue is that this bag is a bit smaller than some of the other backpacks of its category and it lacks organizing compartments, but the pack is very roomy with lots of smaller front compartments that are pretty spacious and one large main compartment.  It also has a slip pocket, which is a nice addition if you’re into the organization. Overall though, we believe it is a very good backpack for everyday use.

PROS:

  • Water-resistant
  • High-quality fabric
  • Lightweight
  • Roomy
  • Sturdy
 CONS:

  • Size
  • No organizing compartments

Related: Maxpedition also offers extra products such as this pack of 4 TacTie Straps and this Maxpedition Bottle Holder that can be bought separately. A detachment of TacTie straps is pretty easy by hand and you don’t need any special tools to do so. Straps are completely interchangeable and reusable, while the bottle holder is designed to fit 1 liter sized containers/bottles and will keep your fluid at the right temperature and close to your hand reach.

Check the price on Amazon

Monkey Paks MOLLE Backpack

Price: Approx. $80Monkey Paks MOLLE Backpack

Weight: 3 pounds

Dimensions: 20 x 12 x 5.5 inches

Specific features: Innovative hydration water bladder that allows you sip water on the go, 3 MOLLE attachments, big teeth zippers with paracord to make them silent, 600D nylon fabric, 2 double zippered compartments

Best use: Backpacking, camping, hiking

Monkey Paks MOLLE Backpack is a must have for any unexpected emergency or impromptu camping trip or mission. So, if you’re a prepper, this backpack might become your new best friend.

The Monkey backpack comes with an ultra-durable design that allows you carry so much in an organized fashion with its removable waist, fanny and shoulder bag attachments and two detachable zippered side pockets. It is built to last in any weather and terrain and with its double stitched seams, you worry less about tears and rips.

The modular, lightweight load-carrying equipment design is excellent with plenty of room for a few days trip. Excellent stitching and zippers too, and the hydration bladder is craftily placed. The zippers are made with high-quality big teeth that function really smoothly and has paracord pulls that allows quiet operations.

The notable issue here is that the bag was not designed to carry a lot of weight so you have to be careful how much you load into it.

PROS:

  • Durable
  • Good quality stitches, double seams
  • Lightweight
  • Hydration bladder included
  • Roomy
  • Sturdy
 CONS:

  • Not designed to carry heavy load

Related: Considering the fact that this is a great “emergency” bag, having a LifeStraw Personal Water Filter and A2S Paracord Bracelet Survival Kit will make you even more prepared for any situation. Both products are quality and designed to endure any weather condition. Perfect for preppers!

Check the price on Amazon

3V Gear Paratus Backpack

Price: Approx. $803V Gear Paratus Backpack

Weight: 4.45 pounds

Dimensions: 20 x 12 x 5.5 inches

Specific features: Double stitched seams, adjustable padded waist belt, body contoured shoulder straps, MOLLE attachments, side release buckles, heavy duty nylon coil zippers

Best use: Prepping, military, camping, hiking

The 3V Gear Paratus Backpack is designed to be your travel companion whether you are going around the world on a black ops mission or just embarking on a personal journey of sober reflections.

Staying organized is easy with its rugged 600D nylon build with 2 large zippered compartments and additional interior pockets and two MOLLE pockets. This bag is also easily customisable with its compression straps and belts.

For the price, it is incredibly rugged with a great modular design and enough room to pack 3 to 5 days’ worth of gear. However, with its lack of a chest strap, frame and skimpy waist pads, it is not so suitable for prolonged periods of hiking.

This drawback becomes more evident after having utilized all the massive capacity and you have a heavy bag on your back. Overall, this bag remains one of the best bug out backpacks and you get value for money spent.

PROS:

  • Organisational pockets
  • Double stitched seams
  • Durable
  • Price
  • Hydration compatible
  • Adjustable
 CONS:

  • Not suitable for longer trips
  • Weight
  • No frame
  • Low-quality waist pads

Related: If you’re a true fan of camping and hiking and you spend more time outside than inside, then you can never go wrong if you also opt for this SurvivalSPARK Fire Starter with Compass and Whistle. It’s a multi-purpose emergency tool that will never leave you cold or in the dark.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

We have reached the end of our article with the 3V Gear Paratus backpack. When it comes to finding the right bug out backpack, it pays to be prepared, and, with this well-researched list to choose from and the various features that have been provided, you’ll be able to find one that is most suitable for your needs.

Bug Out Backpack

After you buy the perfect bug out bag, you’ll never be left unprepared for emergency situations. Just keep in mind that, in case of an emergency, you need to go light, and there’s a bunch of stuff that every emergency bag needs to have packed, so keep in mind to choose something lightweight, organized and big enough to carry all the necessary tools for your survival.

Now it’s your turn to share some thoughts. Do you have a great bug out backpack that we missed out on? Be sure to share your recommendations in the comments below. Happy prepping!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Foster

Mark Foster

Mark Foster loves to push his limits when it comes to survival in the wilderness. He might go for a 30-days adventure without any food or equipment except for a survival kit and a knife. We should mention that his survival kit has 122 items in it, so he know what he is doing. Mark is working on his book to share with the world all his experience gained during those brave adventures.