Best Bug Out Bag for Preppers

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What is a Bug Out Bag? A BOB or Bug Out Bag is a portable gear pack that one requires when evacuating from a disaster. You may have also heard other names for this bag, INCH bag (“I’m Never Coming Home Again”), SHTF bag (“Shit Hit The Fan”). “Bug-out” is a military terminology used by the U.S. army units. You use it to retreat and survive when faced with threat.

A bug out bag contains bare supplies that help you get through for the next 72 hours. This 72 hours gives you enough time to reach your “safe” location. Your “safe location” is where your long term supplies are located. If you are in a hurry and you are looking for the Best Bug Out Bag, then REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical Backpack is our favorite pick.

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Jules and Ken

Jules and Ken

We are Jules and Ken. We are outdoor lovers, travellers and writers all rolled into one. You have seen our posts here reviewing lots of different types of outdoor gears, camping equipment, kayaking to cycling. Our reviews are guided by our years of experience being outdoors. We are happy to share our knowledge with you to make a better choice when you are outdoors.

As there are so many choices out there, finding the perfect bug out bag can be confusing. At Outdoormagnet, we have performed hours of detailed research and have narrowed down 5 bags as our top picks for Best Bug Out Bag For Preppers.

Best 5 Bug Out Bags

Why you need a bug out bag

If the area where you live is prone to disasters, or political instability, then having a bug out bag is a necessity. As there is more awareness of the potential disasters strikes, preparedness is key to survival. It works like insurance, you need it, but you do not want to use it. Here is a list of top 10 survival gear to survive.

A Bug Out Bag needs to be light, packed with essentials only, and ready to go. Avoid carrying too much weight as you get fatigue easier. Remember the more survival skills you have, the less gear you need to pack in from your bug out bag list. Your go bags needs to be tough enough to take in serious abuse.

One amazing thing is you can make out the most of this bag. You can use it daily for hauling your gym clothes and computer and have taken on a few overnighters. For camping, the bug bag should be able to store your bug out bag contents. Example your tent, knives, camp food, clothing and your gears. Some camera enthusiasts use it to transport camera gear when filming mountain biking or hiking. For fathers, it works as a great diaper bag. This is much cooler than a giant diaper bag with flowers or duckies all over it.

How to choose a bug out bag


The ideal weight for the bag is dependent on your body weight. In general, it is between 10% to 20% of your body weight, which works out to be around 20 to 40 pounds. If you workout less than 3 hours a week, then your backpack should stay under 20% of your body weight. If you are actively working out all the time, you can max out till 30% of your body weight. So when you choose the bag, take into consideration the original weight of the bag itself. It should be able to take in the weight of your essentials.


The last thing you need is the bugout pack to fail on you when you need it most. Check the quality of your gear. It needs to be of durable and water resistant material to endure abrasion and rain. These features will prevent from damaging your valuables inside. Zippers should be sturdy with double stitching and waterproof well.


One of the most important things to consider is comfort and fit. You may be lugging your bag around for days. Look well padded shoulder pads to absorb the brunt of the weight you are carrying. Hip straps and hip padding allows the weight to be supported by the muscles at your thighs and hips. This balances out the load on your shoulders by shifting the center of gravity. This is good for your back.


You want a bugout bag that has a large compartment to store your big items. It should have enough space to fit your gear without being too big or bulky. Neither should it be too spacious as it will not hold your bug out kit well, making it out of balance. There should be plenty of pockets to organize your subitems so that you can efficiently access them.


When you consider the capacity bag, take into account your physical ability to carry them. The larger the volume, the higher the mass you need to carry. To give you a good idea, look for 5-10L in capacity if you need a grab and go approach. If you are looking for a bag the long haul, then go for a 12-24L bag.

Other versatile features:

  • MOLLE Compatibility
  • Rain hood
  • Hydration bladder compatibility
  • Water bottle pocket
  • Dedicated sleeping bag compartment

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This military backpack is made of high density fabric. Some users have feedback that it feels very durable and thick while not being too heavy. It does a good job of shedding water due to its water resistance. But, it will not hold up to torrential rains as it is not waterproof. Thus, you may want to buy an extra backpack rain cover. It holds on well with its reinforced double stitching. So it is hard to rip a seam even if you pull hard.

This pack has non stop features. It has many things built in. The MOLLE system everywhere makes for easy attachment of other tactical gear. It has many outer sections which is great for organization. It is thoughtfully designed with 2 large compartments to separate gear and food items. This is so that you do not mix dirty gear beside your water and food containers. The back compartment is hydration compatible which works great for a hydration bladder.

Its heavy duty zippers are smooth and stout. One amazing feature is that it can be unzipped all the way open to lay flat like a suitcase. It gives easy access to all the materials at the bottom of the bag.

This survival bug out bag is built with ventilated mesh padded back area. This  makes it breathable and cools your back especially on hot summers. It is equipped with plenty of adjustment straps to hold the weight closer to your body for a more comfortable ride. The waist strap keeps your heavy load steady on your back while running with your backpack.

Its size is approximately 13″*20″*11″ (W*H*D) with a storage capacity of 40L. This backpack is capable of being overstuffed to a ridiculous degree. It holds nearly everything in your bug out bag checklist and still fits in the overhead compartment on the plane. When you do not have a full pack, the backpack can be compressed to be very small by tightening its side straps.



  • Very affordable
  • Very popular
  • Many organization sections
  • Tough
  • Covered in MOLLE from top to bottom
  • No external drink pouches
  • Not waterproof

This is a high performance backpack. The materials and workmanship are top notch. This is the real deal as it is made of heavy construction 1050D Nylon. It is protected with water-repellent coating. Your items will not get soaked during a hike with small showers. It is super-stitched seams and has a thoroughly reinforced grab-and-go handle. This allow this bag to be slung on hundreds of trucks, dropped in muddy salt water and yet still have a long life ahead.

The MOLLE webbing is super useful to modify the bag to suit you. It has plenty of webbing to create more storage. This allows you to add a molle attachment for an additional 1000ml water bottle carrier. You may need it as its zippered side water bottle pocket does not fit a tall water bottle. If you have a handgun in your bugout bag, you will either need to secure the bag in a safe or have a hand gun safe for their pistol,  perhaps the Vaultek Lifepod

This is a huge backpack with 2275 cubic inch / 37 liter total capacity. To give you an impression of the size, some users were able to store two gallon-sized milk jugs side by side at the bottom while still having 45% of the upper compartment available. Or it can fit two volleyballs, a towel and 1 litre water bottle in the main compartment.

It is built with self repairing YKK zippers, because they self-lubricate the more you use them. These dependable heavy duty zippers make opening and closing a breeze. Another thoughtful touch is its zippered fleece-lined eyewear pocket to keep them at the ready.

It has twin drainage grommets at the bottom of the pack. This will enable snow melt to drain out of the bag to protect your boots and bug out bag essentials. It is perfect for use as a patrol backpack or trekking pack. This pack is also a hydration bladder compatible with 2 ports at the top of the pack for the water line.


The “yolk-style” straps distribute the weight across the back and shoulders. This reduces the strain on the back. The suspension padded straps contours well to the shoulders.  There is enough strap length to adjust to much larger frames. This makes long hikes bearable as it still feels comfortable with a heavy load.



  • Wrap-around MOLLE/5.11 SlickStick web platform
  • Large and roomy
  • Super durable
  • Heavy duty YKK zippers
  • Comfortable straps
  • No waist belt
  • Not 100% waterproof
  • No proper water bottle holder

This tactical range backpack is built with an impressive quality of material. It is made with 100% high-denier nylon with DuPont Teflon treatment with YKK zippers. YKK zippers are our favorite type of zippers as it is super durable. Its heavy-duty construction does a great job to take as much as whatever you can throw at it. It is tripple stitched to accommodate the weight this pack will see.

What makes this bag stand out is its functionality as a range bag. On one of the side pockets, there are 3 separate removable, zippable pistol pouches. It comes with handles to slide them in and out of the bag. Each pouch accommodates 1 pistol and 4 magazines. It has a padded divider so that your items will not get messed up. Some users find it a little snug for full frame pistols, but works great for smaller ones. Another cool feature is the front pocket, which unzips to drop flat to offer a working surface at the range. 

The important functions of the bag are well thought out for all the gear to take to the range. The layout is arranged in a manner of importance. Top pockets are mainly “oftenly used” items and lower compartments are “once a day” or “not so often” gears. GPS packs have a unique labeling system called the Visual I.D. Storage System. This shows what each pocket is designed to actually hold. Your “ears” fits well into the ear plug compartment. Your “eyes” will be able to hold nicely in your shooting safety glasses compartment.

MOLLE webbing is extremely well done for add ons like first aid kit, water bottle holder, wallet or your keys. It performs well especially in rainy seasons. There is a hidden built in rain cover in the small zipper on the back of the backpack to keep rain off the bag. s



  • Compartments designed for the range
  • Well constructed with MOLLE webbing
  • YKK zippers
  • In built rain cover
  • Visual ID Storage System
  • Gun pouches small for full frame pistols

This bug-out bag is a cavernous 50 liters bag. It comes with dimensions of 22″ x 17″ x 11″; 3038 cubic inches. If nothing of a huge crisis occurs, you can use it for a 3 days camping trip, setting up your tent in the outskirts. Its main compartments are super spacious for your go bag essentials even kayak paddles. It comes along with straps so that your items remain snug. When you add a few molle modules to the outside, you can extend the capacity of the bag!

It is smartly built with many key features for carryability. It has 3 grab handles with 1 on top and 1 on each side. This makes it very convenient to get hold of the bag from a trunk or back seat. This bag is made with premium materials and the stitches are first rate. So it handles weight like a champ. Its padded waist belt distributes the load from the shoulders to your hips. It keeps your shoulders from getting overly tired during long hikes. The waist belt can also be removed or tucked back into the sleeve to keep it out of the way.

This assault pack has a built in hydration compatible compartment for 2L or 3L bladders. It comes with routing holes for the drinking tube. Another plus, is the padding that is added to protect the hydration bladder.



  • Roomy
  • MOLLE straps
  • Durable
  • Comfortable shoulder straps which are thick and wide
  • Removable waist belt
  • Once full, it does not fit the overhead compartments

What makes this bag standout from other bags is it is a cross body backpack. It allows you to swivel the pack to a chest carry position. This allows you quickly access your passports and boarding passes in the airport. You do not even need to rest your backpack. This sling backpack makes the perfect fashion statement as a man purse. It can be more stylish than a backpack, and still hands free. The release strap release buckle on the strap makes it easy to take the pack off and put back on when you need to do it.

Its Anti-Theft Zipper Capture System is designed to prevent or at least delay theft. We thought this was a nice touch. It gives you a piece of mind that your bag is secure while travelling abroad or at home.

To address being a one strap bag, it comes with a secondary stabilizing strap. The strap works like a champ. It is ergonomically designed to stabilize the load to prevent the bag from slipping. This helps alleviate the weight and tension around the neck and shoulder.

This survivalist bug out bag has a huge option of organizing gear with MOLLE attachments and pockets everywhere. There is also a concealed carry pocket, for your weapon at the range. It has tons of room for your go bag list and fits a 15.4″ laptop with a capacity of 22.6L. Yet this bag can be flattened to any level via straps so it can fit under an airplane seat without any trouble. This bag is truly versatile.



  • Anti-Theft zipper capture system
  • Stabilizing strap
  • MOLLE attachments
  • Many organization pockets
  • Sling bag for easy access
  • Stylish
  • Not for prolonged activity as it is single strap


So don’t get caught off guard especially in time of emergencies. It is necessary to have a survival bug out bag ready for the unpredictable. Of all the 5 top bags we have reviewed, REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical Backpack wins on all fronts. It is the best choice in our review. The material is of top notch quality and durable to last you to your grandchildren! It has many features that you will find on high end tactical bags for the fraction of the cost. Its excellent MOLLE webbing system allows you to further customize your bag. You will be surprised how much stuff you can pack into the bag. You can’t go wrong with this investment. It is one of the most popular choices among tactical enthusiasts due to its affordability and quality.

What's Next

When you are outdoors, you are always at the mercy of Mother Nature’s elements. Thus, a waterproof bag should be an essential part of your outdoor gear list. To find out more check out our recommended Waterproof Backpacks.

I hope you enjoyed this review and if you have questions about any of the 5 best Bug Out Bags, or want to leave your own personal review, feel free to leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.

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