Top 5 Best Bug Out Bags 2016: Essential Checklist for BOB Survival Gear

Bug out bags, also commonly called bail out bags, go bags, SHTF bags, survival bags, among other common names, can be helpful for those who wish to prepare themselves for emergencies, such as natural or man-made disasters.

They are great to have on hand for when you need to get out of a situation quickly – such as in the middle of the night, hence the name. The best bug out bags allow you to “bug out” of an area as soon as you need to, so you can get to safety.

Since you may not have time to pack or prepare to leave home so quickly, an emergency bug out bag is a wonderful addition to grab and go – simply pack them with a variety of items that you believe will be valuable to you in a pinch.

What should be in a bug out bag?

A few essential bug out bag contents are fire starting materials, medical supplies, and even freeze dried meals, and if it comes down to needing to get up and run quickly, you will have everything that you and your family need to get away. While most bug out bag kits are designed to last the person for up to seventy-two hours, a lot of other bug out kits are designed to be more in depth, often lasting weeks or even months.

How long a survival bag lasts depends on what you pack and how much space you have to pack things.

When looking for the best bug out bag, it is important to look for features that you believe will be helpful when it comes to packing your bag, storing your bag, and actually using your bag if the need arises.

For example, if you plan on adding to your bugout bag on a regular basis, you might want to look for one with plenty of room for additions. If you are considering purchasing equipment such as solar chargers for electronic devices, or lanterns that require solar energy to recharge, it can be beneficial to find a bob bag with plenty of loops and other places to hang these items from, so that they may get plenty of sunlight during the day. These features can make a big difference when you are out in the wilderness.

Bug Out, Survival Bag Reviews

Here is a review of five of the best bugout bags on the market today, and after a brief overview of each item, they will be broken down into several points that will help you make a decision about which is the ultimate bug out bag. Our checklist includes type, size and weight, and whether or not the item is weather proof.

Paratus 3-Day Operator’s Pack MOLLE Compatible Tactical Backpack Review

bug out bag essentialsWith four different color choices (black, olive drab, coyote tan, and grey) this weather resistant pack is a great choice for your bug out bag list! The bag, priced at around $80, is a great investment for those who are looking into creating a survival gear bag.

Not only does the bag have a main compartment with several smaller ones, but it also is practically three bags in one, due to the attached MOLLE compartments on the bag.

Complete with heavy duty zippers, the seams have double stitching to prevent tears and handle heavy loads. With a heavy duty carry and drag handle, padded shoulder straps, and an adjustable padded waist belt, the bug out bag backpack is one of the more comfortable ones to wear, even at full capacity.

A Velcro identification panel on the outside of the bag allows you to identify your bag, especially if you have one packed for each family member, and a separate compartment for a hydration bladder allows you peace of mind for keeping your water safe.

  • Type: On Shoulder Backpack
  • Size and weight: 20”H x 12”W x 5.5”D for main compartment, additional for MOLLE attachments. 5 pounds.
  • Weatherproof: Yes

Condor 3-Day Assault Pack Review

go bag essentialsThe Condor 3 Day Assault Pack comes in an assortment of colors, including olive, black, tan, and camouflage, and has a large load capacity that makes it a great bug out bag for those looking to pack essentials for 72 hours.

This 72 hour bug out bag is constructed to be taken out on rugged terrain and used in the wilderness. It can hold two three-liter hydration bladders, has a waist strap, external side compression straps, and heavy-duty handles.

The bag has seven total compartments, giving plenty of storage space for your bug out gear, not counting the two compartments on the back. The Condor 3 Day Assault Pack has grommets on all of the pouches, which allow for drainage should the bag get wet. The bag has plenty of D-rings for hanging items and attaching items that require solar power.

The back of the bag is padded, which allows for plenty of airflow and comfort for the wearer. While the bag is a bit more expensive than others (depending on the color you choose), it is of high quality and popular among those who are looking into bug out bags.

  • Type: On Shoulder Backpack
  • Size and weight: 22″ H x 17″ W x 11″ D, 4.5 pounds
  • Weatherproof: Yes. Grommets for drainage if bag gets wet

Explorer Tactical Assault Military Backpack Review

what to put in a bug out bagPriced at just under $50, the Explorer Tactical Assault Military Backpack is a great choice for those looking to invest in a quality bail out bag at an affordable price.

The bag, which is made of a very durable 600 D nylon, has seven different compartments for storage – a spacious main compartment and six smaller compartments. The three handles on the bag, as well as shoulder straps and a belt strap, allow for easy portability while on the go.

This survival backpack even has the ability to expand up to three more inches after you’ve already filled it – making it easier to store some of the things that you feel you need to have with you, even if your bag is already filled to capacity. The bag also has a MOLLE strap so that you can add loops or other items to your bag to completely personalize it and make it your own!

  • Type: On Shoulder Backpack
  • Size and weight: 20″ x 11.5″ x 11″, plus 3″ expansion. Weight is 3 pounds.
  • Weatherproof: No

Voodoo Tactical Men’s Mojo Load-Out Bag with Backpack Straps Review

best bug out bag backpackThe Voodoo Tactical Men’s Mojo Load-Out Bag with Backpack Straps might be the most expensive bag on the list, but the lifetime warranty, as well as many other features, make it a great investment for the serious survivalist.

Multiple colors, such as black, tan, olive, and camouflage make it easy to choose a color that will be best for the situation you are using the bag for.

The pouch has eleven zippered pouches to store gear, and plenty of MOLLE loops to attach even more. There are compression straps on each end of the bag, which allows the pack’s weight to be distributed evenly. The shoulder strap is adjustable and comes with a moveable pad that will make carrying the bag much more comfortable.

  • Type: Duffel Bag
  • Size and weight: 39″L x 18″W x 15″H, 5 pounds
  • Weatherproof: No

Monkey Paks Tactical Backpack Bundle Review

premade bug out bagModerately priced at $60, this bag comes in a variety of colors as well, including tan, ACU digital camo, black, OD green, and multi-camo.

The tactical bug out bag holds enough equipment for a three-day trip (72 hours) out in the wilderness, and the separate compartment and inclusion of a hydration bladder means that you can stay properly hydrated while on the go.

The bag itself has plenty of MOLLE loops that allow you to attach other bags and gear to your bag, and also include three smaller MOLLE bags, giving you additional storage space for your entire bug out bag checklist of items.

The durable material allows you to use it even on the toughest terrain, and the paracord zippers, which are large, are rather quiet, so you can remain undetected while outdoors. The bag is double stitched, which allows it to withstand rough use, and is weatherproof, which makes it the perfect bag to take outdoors.

  • Type: On Shoulder Backpack
  • Size and weight: 20”H x 12”W x 5.5”D main compartment, expandable with MOLLE bags, 4 pounds.
  • Weatherproof: Yes

My Vote for the Best Survival Backpack

what is a bug out bagWhile it seems that the best deal from this list is the Explorer Tactical Assault Military Backpack, at only $50, it might not be the bag chosen by most, as you really do pay for the quality of the bag that you receive.

In my opinion, the best bug out backpack of the list is the Paratus 3 Day Operator’s Pack Military Style MOLLE Compatible Tactical Backpack. While not the cheapest option, it seems to have the most to offer in terms of features.

The Paratus backpack has plenty of space to offer the user, as well as the option to add on additional bags because of the MOLLE webbing on the bag. The weatherproof design allows for the bag to be taken out on a variety of terrain, even in the rain, and it will help the contents of the bag to stay dry. There is plenty of padding on the bag, which will help to keep you comfortable while carrying the bag.

That said, take a look at what your needs are and plan accordingly. I have five different survival go bags because survivalism isn’t a one size fits all thing. What works for some in a bug out bag packing list might not work for others.

The bottom line is, you can’t go wrong with any of these bags, but my personal favorite is the Paratus 72 hour bag.