If you are ever forced to bug out in an SHTF scenario you need to have a way to carry survival gear and supplies until you are able to reach your bug out location. You could pack some supplies in your vehicle. However, that doesn’t really help if you are forced to bug out on foot. So then the next viable option would be to have a bug out bag. In this post, we are going to be talking about the best bag for bugging out.
There are tons of recommendations online when you search for bug out bags. However, not every bag is right for you. Just because it works for one person doesn’t always mean that it will work for you. Everyone has different needs in a bag.
When I say everyone has different needs that means not everyone is packing the same gear and supplies. You may have your own personal preferences or limitations on what you can carry. So when searching for the best bag for bugging out there are a few aspects that you need to take into consideration.
4 Essential Features in the Best Bag for Bugging Out
When considering the best bag for bugging out you need to know what size bag that you need. There are a few ways that you can determine this. First, you need to put together a list of what gear and supplies that you need.
I have put together a list of what I consider to be essential bug out gear that you can download HERE. As I said though, these are just the essentials. You should build your bug out bag based upon your preferences.
There is going to be some additional bug out bag gear that you will most likely add to it. Now, you don’t want to pack everything and the kitchen sink. Remember, the bug out bag is designed to help you survive up to 72 hours. This should give you enough time to reach your bug out location where you plan to survive for the long term.
The more weight that you add to your bag effects how quickly you can move. So you will also want to take into consideration how much you can carry. This will help you to determine what size bag you will need.
Of course, bug out bags come in all sizes. This should be a consideration when you are searching for the best bag for bugging out for your family members. If you have small children then most likely their scrawny little bodies are not going to be able to carry 55 liters for long distances. Instead, you might want to opt for a smaller 20 to 30-liter bag for them.
The last thing that you want to have happened during a bug out is having your gear fall out because of a rip in the bag. You will want something that can carry heavy amounts of gear and supplies. So you will want to disregard cheap nylon bags. My personal preference is to go with 1000 denier nylon. Hey, but to each their own.
There are many rip resistant bags that you can find. Not only should it be tear resistant but you will want a bag that isn’t going to lean or slouch over time. If your bug out bag is leaning then that can also affect your travel time along with the amount of energy spent to carry it.
So the best bag for bugging out should be sturdy. For super sturdy backpacks, you can get one with a frame. This may add a little weight to your pack but it will prevent any leaning and slouching.
Another important aspect when it comes to quality is stitching. The small little stitches may seem insignificant. However, a few extra stitches can go a long way.
I typically look for boxed stitching around the grab handles. The grab handles are going to be the most used part of your bag. So you don’t want your handle ripping and tearing into different parts of the bag. If stitching does come apart you can always pack a sewing kit with your bug out gear.
Finally, the best bag for bugging out contains great quality zippers. Cheap zippers can render a bag useless if they fall off. Zippers are a pain in the ass to get back on track! The best type of zippers to look for are going to be YKK zippers. They are self-lubricating and get better the more that they are used.
Bugging out is not going to a fun walk in the park. You are going to be battling weather elements along with social elements like looters and social unrest. A lot of strategizing, ducking and diving is going to happen. With that being said, you want to limit the amount of stress that you are going to be dealing with.
Wearing an uncomfortable bag alone can add extra stress to the experience. If you have gone backpack camping then you know how much an uncomfortable backpack can ruin the experience. Being your bug out bag is literally going to be weighing you down, wouldn’t you want a comfortable one?
For comfortability, you will want a bag that has nice padding on the back side. Without padding, the gear and supplies in your bag could poke and rub against your back. The padding should also be ventilated. Bugging out is going to build up a lot of sweat especially on your back. Ventilation helps to ensure that you will get the air needed to keep you dry.
Having padded shoulder and waist straps add to the comfortability. A backpack with cheap padding can cause them to dig into your shoulder. The chest and waist straps pull the bag closer to your body which shifts the weight of the bag. That, in turn, makes it a lot easier to carry.
It has often been said that organization is the key to success. When you are bugging out you will want to quick access to the most important and frequently used items. That way you don’t have to constantly rummage around all the gear to find what you need.
Some items that I keep in the outside pockets and towards the top include first aid kits, gloves, flashlights along with a few other items. Organization also helps to ensure that items are not moving around while you are walking.
With my bug out bag, I pack items into relevant compartments. I’ve done a video on how to pack your bug out bag where I get into this a little deeper. You can check it out down below.
Best bag for bugging out
So using the parameters that I mentioned above there are a few bags that I would recommend. I have a lot of experience with them all. Of course, my recommendations are based on my preferences but I think these would cover most of your needs.
Best bag for bugging out under $100 = Condor 3 Day Assault Pack
The Condor 3 Day Assault is my very first bug out bag. Condor specializes in producing great quality outdoor/tactical gear. It is a 55-liter pack. That means you have plenty of room for your gear and supplies without sacrificing the essentials that you need.
When it comes to quality you can’t find another comparable bag for the price point. The bag is constructed of 1000 denier nylon which is one of the strongest materials that you can find in a bag. It isn’t going to make the bag completely cut proof. However, it would take a lot of gnawing away for it to rip.
It is surprisingly comfortable to carry. The back and shoulder straps are padded. It is also equipped with a chest and waist strap to keep your bag close to your body making it easier to carry.
The one downside is that the bag isn’t super sturdy but reasonable for the price point. From time to time, you will need to adjust the contents in your bag to make sure that they are sitting upright. To make up for it the bag provides a lot of compartments that you can keep your gear organized in. With that being said this is my recommendation for the best bag for bugging out under $100.
Best bag for bugging out under $200 = Maxpedition Gyrfalcon Backpack
Maxpedition is a company that many preppers are familiar with. They are considered the market’s most innovative company when it comes to tactical gear, especially bags. Their Falcon backpack is so popular that there are many knockoffs from companies hoping to make a quick buck. Many people will even buy the knockoffs because it looks like a Maxpedition bag.
Maxpedition has a bigger version called the Gyrfalcon Backpack. It is very similar to the Falcon version but has a lot more room at 36 liters along with many compartments for organization. If you like tactical backpacks then you are going to be drooling after seeing how much molle webbing it has. The webbing gives you the ability to add additional modules to the bag.
The Maxpedition Gyrfalcon backpack doesn’t have as much room as the Condor 3 Day Assault bag. So you will need to be a little more conservative on how much you pack. This is when you should take advantage of multitools that serve multiple functions. You can even add DIY gear that will take up less space as well.
However, the quality that Maxpedition is many times greater than that of the Condor 3 Day Assault pack. It is made of denier nylon but the stitching goes above and beyond. So overlooked areas like the grab handles will have a much longer life.
The most notable aspect about the bag, besides the excellent quality, is that provides an internal frame system. This internal frame helps you to carry the bag without worrying about losing balance. You won’t have to constantly readjust your bag as it is super sturdy.
Along with the great quality and the sturdiness is the comfortability. The Gyrfalcon provides padding along the backside, shoulder and waist straps. Unlike the knockoffs, the padding is not rough like sandpaper.
Finally, the organization that Maxpedition provides smashes the competition. There are tons of compartments for organization and molle webbing to help keep your gear and supplies fixated. The price point is just right making it the best bag for bugging out under $200.
Best bag for bugging out under $250 = Vertx Gamut Plus
In my opinion, the Vertx Gamut Plus is the best bag for bugging out without looking super “tacticool.” Don’t get me wrong, I love molle webbing. I wish that I could have molle webbing on everything.
However, this bag looks like an everyday carry bag that you could take to work or while traveling. As a matter of fact, I actually use the Vertx Gamut, which is the smaller version, for my EDC bag. This non-tactial look helps you to be the gray man and prevent drawing unwanted attention.
One of the most impressive features of the bag is the sturdiness. Not once have I had to adjust the contents within the bag while moving around. On top of that, the zipper to the main compartment is placed on the top instead of on the sides. It does zip down to the bottom of the bag. But this top zipper makes it super easy to quickly grab items that you need in an emergency.
The Vertx Gamut Plus is comfortable to carry with the padded back and shoulder straps. The padded back provides ventilation to keep your back dry. The shoulder straps are so comfortable that you forget that you are even wearing the bag at times.
Another great reason that I love the Vertx Gamut Plus so much is because of all of the compartments for organization. Vertx truly thought of everything when designing the bag. It takes advantage of smaller spaces that you probably never thought about. For example, there are pockets behind the water bottle holder that you can keep smaller items like pens, small notebooks, etc.
Finally, the Vertx Gamut Plus comes with a conceal carry compartment that you can lock. The lock is not included but with the double zippers, you can easily lock the two. This prevents scumbags from stealing you precious metal while also giving you quick access.
Of course, I wouldn’t advise keeping your main conceal carry weapon in this compartment, but it is great to have for a backup. As a prepper, you want to have backups to your backups. On top of that, there is a compartment where you can place a soft armor panel that you can use for protection in the case of an active shooter.
Altogether, these would be my recommendations for the best bag for bugging out. If you have any suggestions or feedback then please leave your comment below. Your feedback helps the community prepare the smart way now so that we can thrive later.