Best Bug Out Bags
Perhaps you spent the weekend binge-watching your favorite zombie TV show, and it left you wondering just how prepared you would be if you had to make a last minute break for it. When an emergency strikes, there is little time to carefully consider the things that you will need when fleeing to safety- no matter if you are fleeing from zombies, terrorism, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires, or hurricanes. When the sirens are blaring, and the welfare of you and your family is at stake, you want to be able to reach for something that is fully equipped with all of the things that you will need if you are on the move for the next few days. That is where a great bug out bag comes in.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 13 hrs of research
Lightweight (weighs about 7 pounds) and easy to carry
Top Ten Bug Out Bags
1. First My Family
Lightweight (weighs about 7 pounds) and easy to carry
Some feel it doesn’t come with enough products
Despite the misleading name, this design is made to be used by just one person. However, it is offered at such a low price point that you will be able to buy one for every member of your family so that each person can customize their own pack to suit their specific needs.Read more
The pack is pretty simple and straightforward. It’s a simple red narrow pack with a small zippered pocket along the front that is great for accessing gear quickly. The smaller narrow design might not hold as much gear, but it is perfect for storing in small spaces for when you need it.
The contents of this product are pretty simple and are great for a starter set for those that want something a little more substantial but need a place to start. This pack includes rationed water packets, non-GMO 2,400 calorie food rations, and a pretty extensive first aid kit. It also offers a flashlight, a survival whistle, ponchos, an emergency blanket, and a multi-tool.
This is one of the more affordable options to make our list. It might not come with all of the additional items that you have seen on some of the other designs, but the lower price point means that you will be able to pick one up for each member of your family.
Bags that have limited products included in their design aren’t always such a bad thing. This fact means that it typically comes at a significantly lower price point, and if the pack itself has enough room, it just means that you will be able to personalize it with gear that you know you will need when the chips are down.
2. Wise Company
Gourmet food rations
Some of the materials may feel cheap
Perhaps you want something a little more simple, but that is still focused primarily on food and water rations without spending a lot of money. The Wise Company offers an abbreviated version of the Ultimate Arms Gear design. It has all of the food options and fewer of the additional gear. If you need something that is a little less extensive- this is the ticket.Read more
This pack is offered in a green camouflage design, and it has two cargo pockets along the front to allow users to organize their gear for easy access. It has a long, narrow design that will fit in the trunk of your car or storage space without taking up a lot of room so that you can forget about it being there until the day that you need it.
Wise Company focuses primarily on food rations. It comes with 32 servings of gourmet options such as southwest rice and beans, chili, and oatmeal. It provides 24 fuel tablets to cook with, but keep in mind that it doesn’t include a pot to cook it in. Miscellaneous components include a stainless steel cup, matches, a meager first aid kit, a face mask, emergency blanket, poncho, whistle, and a deck of playing cards.
The value is where this pack really shines. It is offered at one of the lowest price points found on this list, and will likely set you back about the same amount that it would take to fill up your gas tank before hitting the road. It doesn’t offer all of the options you might find with other designs but offers enough room in the pack to add the gear that you think you will need.
Users love the food options offered with this design that you won’t find in some of the other options. Plus, it has all of the additional tools you will need to keep going up to 5 days, and it comes in at a really affordable price point.
3. The Earthquake Bag
Packaged with everything that users would need
Hand crank flashlight that is also a phone charger
Two types of rationed water options
Users are blown away by all of the gear that is included with this pack. It has everything that someone would need if they are being displaced by an earthquake or other natural disasters, and all of the components are of high quality so that they will not let you down when the times comes that you need to use them.Read more
This pack comes in a brightly colored red that is easy to spot even when there are alarm bells going off in your brain. It has a lot of separated compartment space so that it is easy to find the exact item that you are looking for quicker than in they were all in one large compartment. It also sports a narrow design that makes it lightweight to carry on your back and offers a small footprint in the trunk of your car or in a storage area in your home.
The contents of this pack have everything that users will need when they are on the move away from danger. It comes with rationed food as well as packets of water, as well as hydration bags that come with water purification tablets. It also has a pretty extensive first aid kit that offers users things such as bandages, wraps, q-tips, alcohol wipes, and tweezer. The hygiene kit has all of the things that you would use at home, such as floss, toothbrushes, combs, razors, and shampoo. Miscellaneous items include a flashlight that is able to change your phone with a hand crank, gloves, ponchos, notepad with pencil, body warmers, matches, and an emergency blanket.
This price tag of this unit runs about in the middle of the road. It isn’t the most expensive design out there, but it is far from the least expensive. Considering all of the items that come packaged into this unit, we find that it is offered at a very great deal.
If you are in the market for something that will come with all of the tools that you will need when out on the go- this is an excellent option that comes from a very trusted company.
4. Prepper's Favorite
Comes with an Aquamira straw
Once packed, there is still a lot of room for a few essentials
3 color options
While some packs focus on one thing in particular such as first aid kits or miscellaneous items, the Prepper's favorite also includes 3,600 calories worth of "comfort food." The shining stars of this pack are still the supplies, but you won't find a freeze-dried snack in every kit. This product offers all of the basic tools and medical supplies that users will need when being displacedRead more
The exterior of this pack is offered in an olive, black, or brown design that has a large zippered exterior pocket on the front as well as a zippered main compartment to hold all of your essentials in an organized fashion. It is 10 inches tall and 8 inches wide, weighing 6 pounds before your personalizations, so it won’t only be easy to carry for long periods of time, but it also will not take up a lot of space in the trunk of your car or in a space in your garage.
Not only does it offer 9 individually packaged food bars (400 calories each with a 5-year shelf life), but it also includes an item called an Aquamira Water Filtration Straw. This straw allows users to drink out of any water source, and the straw actually filters out bacteria and impurities before it reaches your mouth. Other pack items include tools sets, a poncho, glowsticks, a notepad, an emergency sleeping bag and blanket, 50 feet of 550 paracord rope, and a 57 piece first aid kit.
The price of this design is pretty par for the course and costs the same amount as other similar designs. This seems to be the average price that users are willing to pay on these style of products. Considering all of the components included with purchase, we feel this comes at a great price.
If snacks and water are things that you are concerned about when being displaced from your home, this kit is going to be perfect for you. Not only does it comes with rationed snacks and an Aquamira Filtration Straw and that will give you up to 30 gallons of water with one use, along with extra water bags. With a few of your own personal touches, this bag will keep you afloat for at least a week, if you're frugal.
5. Zippmo Survival Gear
High-quality pack with multiple pockets
Plenty of room to add additional gear
High quality components
Not fully equipped
If you are serious about being prepared with a great first aid kit, the Zippmo design comes with just about everything that you will ever need when displaced from your home/medicine cabinet. All of the components are made from the highest quality materials, but some wish the backpack itself was a bit more durable. Seeing as how this pack is only built for 2 people, for 72 hours, I supposed the backpack doesn't need to last much longer than that.Read more
This pack offers more cargo pockets than most of the other designs out there on the market. It is actually wider than it is tall, making it more comfortable for carrying. One of the best features of this bag is the components, of course, and the room for customization or extra products. Each zipper is finished with a nylon rope pull, making each pocket accessible and also making it easy to attach something to the zipper with a carabiner. This pack also features adjustable shoulder and waist straps.
This pack focuses primarily on gear that will keep you comfortable while away from home. Tactical gear includes survival tools, food rations, water rations as well as purification tablets, ponchos, emergency blankets, and it even offers N95 masks. It also has an adequate first aid kit, as well as a signal mirror, tube tent, and sanitary kit.
This kit runs about the average price compared to similar items on the market. Some reviewers call this a great "jump start kit," making it perfect to add your own final touches on. For this price, some people would prefer to not have to add any extras, such as fishing gear or a compass. Some will be happy to hear that this product is in produced and assembled in the USA and has top of the line components.
If you are looking for a wonderfully advanced starter kit, this is perfect for you. It is customizable and will get you and a friend through the first three days of an emergency. Reviewers have raved about the quality of items inside the pack and feel much safer with this escape pack in the house or car.
6. Emergency Zone
Easy to carry
Pack as many cargo compartments
Some found that quality of pack components to be less than ideal
This was our favorite selection because it not only provides you with everything that you would need for a few days on the go, but it also comes in a nice organized pack that has a little bit of literature that will help deal with being displaced suddenly. Users love how well thought out the items in the pack are.Read more
The pack itself is very lightweight and has comfortable straps to make it easy to carry in a hurry. When it is completely empty, it weighs in at around 1.6 pounds and stands to be 19.5 inches tall, so it won’t take up that much space in the trunk of your car or in the back of a closet. It has a ton of cargo pockets so you can keep all of your gear neatly organized for easy access.
The most important part about any kit is what comes inside. This unit comes with all of the toiletries that you would need, such as a roll of toilet paper, toothbrushes, combs, shampoo, razors, and soap. It also has a pretty basic first aid kit that is basically bandages, tape, and alcohol wipes. It comes with 12 packets of rationed water, a pop-up tent, ponchos, and hand warmers, as well as a few miscellaneous items.
Another great feature about this product is that it comes in at a lower price point that some of the others. While the price tag is still pretty high for a pack that is filled with basic supplies, it is a great jumping off point without spending a lot of money like some of the others you will find on the market.
Many users find that this design is an excellent place to start. It comes with all of the things that you will need if you are on the go, no matter what the climate or where you are. The pack has enough room in it so that you can also pack some personal things that are unique to your needs as well.
Packed with high quality gear
Crank flashlight with charging port for phone
Innovated pack with extra places for additional gear
Weighs in at 17 pounds- which is a little heavy for some users
This design really shines in the construction of that pack that stores all of your supplies. Not only does it come with everything you will need when being displaced, but it also stores it in a pack that is perfect for being on the move and has quite a few additional features built right into the exterior.Read more
The exterior of this pack is perfect for taking with you on the go because it has a lot of features that will allow you to add additional gear to the exterior. The front has a molle web design that allows the user to clip things onto the front that they don’t want to put in the main compartment. It also holds bottles of water along the sides and quality zippered compartments on the front. It also has a pocket that is designed specifically for important documents.
Users will find everything that they will need for their time on the go inside of this pack. It comes with a personal hygiene kit that comes with toothbrushes and toothpaste, shampoo, razor, and soap. The first aid kit is pretty extensive and has everything that you will need to patch up any minor scrapes and cuts. It comes with rationed water packets as well as water purification tablets. Miscellaneous items include a pop-up tent, emergency blanket, and a crank flashlight that will also charge your phone.
The cost of this design runs about in the middle of the road, and will likely set you back the same amount of money that you would spend on a high quality 4 person camping tent. Considering all of the high-quality components included with this pack, we find it comes in at a very reasonable price point.
For those that want a pack that is going to be able to hold up and carries more items than what is included, this is going to be an excellent option to store in the trunk of your car or closet to give you peace of mind in the face of an emergency.
8. Sustain Supply Co
Great food rations and portable stove
Very basic first aid kit
Sustain Supply Co is a name that kept coming up over and over throughout our research. Users love this brand because not only do they know the things that users will need when being displaced, but they also supply many different sizes and quantity options for different size families and various needs.Read more
The pack design doesn’t have all that many exterior pockets, so sifting through the main compartment might be a little bit of a hassle. Users love the quality, of this pack, however. It has comfortable straps and a long, narrow design that not only makes it very easy to carry when on the move, but it also makes it easy to store in your closet or the trunk of your car without taking up all that much space.
The Sustain Supply Co options focus more on rationing water and food options over everything else. This pack comes with 48 packets of rationed water, 24 Mountain House food rations with a portable stove to cook on, as well as 4 bowls with utensils. It also comes with a simple tool for cutting, ample lighting as well as a fire starter kit, and a first aid kit. It is a little lacking in the personal hygiene products since it only comes with 2 packs of wipes.
We hope you are sitting down for this, because the cost of this product is one of the most expensive out there on the market, and will set you back about the same price that you would spend on a mid-range portable generator. However, all of the components are of the highest quality, so there is no risk of them breaking when the time comes that you need them.
Users love Sustain Supply Co because they bring consumers the highest quality products that won’t let them down even if they have been sitting in a pack for a year. Where this pack shines is with rationed food and water- is has more quality food and equipment than any other design out there on the market.
9. Storm Emergency and Survival
Pack is large enough to fill with more gear
Some users do not feel that the contents would last 3 days
If you were a little shell-shocked at the price tag of the Sustain Supply Co option, and you want to purchase something that cost a little bit less, the Storm Emergency and Survival option is one of the most affordable options out there on the market. Keep in mind, however, that the lower price point is due to the fact that it comes with significantly less gear, and will require you to fill in the gaps of the extra things that you might need.Read more
The pack design is pretty simple and resembles something that you might have carried your books in for school. It comes in a basic red design that doesn’t have any front pockets, so digging the things that you need out of the main compartment may be a bit of a pain. The good news is that there is a ton of extra room for users will have enough room to add components and gear that is specific to their needs.
The contents of this pack are as basic as you are going to get. It comes with 10 rationed packets of water as well as rationed food, a multifunction tool and a swiss army knife, a set of flares, a very basic first aid kit, 2 ponchos and 2 emergency blankets, and 4 hygiene wipes. These bare essentials are designed to keep 2 people up and functioning for up to 3 days.
The value is where the Storm Emergency and Survival really shines because it is one of the most affordable options out there on the market. Many users, however, feel that they need to spend a little bit of extra money to finish fleshing out the contents so that it offers more functions than what the included gear provides. If you want something basic and don’t want to spend a lot of money- this is your ticket.
It can be hard to spend a lot of money on something that you (hopefully) will never have to actually use. Storm Emergency and Survival knows that the price tag can be a hard obstacle to overcome, and has offered users a very basic kit that allows enough room in the pack to be able to really add essential gear to it over the years.
10. Ready America
Lightweight and easy to carry
Extensive first aid kit
Supplies may not last three days
Sometimes you don’t want to bother with something incredibly complicated, and you just want something that is simple and comes with all of the basics necessities. This Ready America option is great because it is slightly more affordable than some of the other options, and its basic design makes it easier to carry and store.Read more
The look of this red pack with black front pocket resembles something that you might have carried your books in for school. It has one main compartment and a smaller front compartment for easy access. It isn’t as narrow as some of the other designs, but it is a good bit flatter so that it will be able to fit into smaller spaces.
Ready America doesn’t just focus on one aspect for their packs, they offer up just a little bit of everything. One of the most notable features of this pack is the emergency power station that is included. This piece of gear serves as a flashlight, an AM/FM radio, siren, and can also charge your cell phone and it is powered by a hand crank. This pack also provides rationed water, a stainless steel multi-tool, ponchos, gloves, safety glasses, and a fairly extensive first aid kit.
One of the best features of this design is the affordable price point. While it isn’t the least expensive design out there, it is just slightly less expensive than the average price of similar options.
If you are looking for something that offers up all of the basics, and still gives you plenty of room for additional gear that is specific to your needs, this is an excellent option.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
One important thing that we need to note is that these products don’t run cheap. The most affordable option will still set you back about the same price that you would spend on a modest piece of luggage, and the higher priced options can run as high as the price of a gas powered generator. The good news is that you (hopefully) will only ever need to buy them once. We hope that this is something that you will pack into your closet and never need to actually use. With that being said, we made an effort to select options that spanned the lower end as well as the higher end and tried to stick to designs that ran about in the middle of the road. While the price tags of these products may sting a little bit, we feel that it is worth it in the long run.
There are a few schools of thought when it comes to the contents of these products. Some users want just the base minimum supplied- items such as food and water rations, hygiene products and basic tools. With the base set, users then like to fill in the gaps with items that are more tailored to their needs as well as the climate in which they live. Others, on the other hand, like to select products that are jam-packed with every item that will work in any situation. We made sure to select products that came with three basic necessities: water rations, first aid kits, and basic tools. Some of the most popular designs are the ones that not only include these basic features but also have food rations with easy to work cookware included right inside the pack. Other things found inside some of the more popular designs include LifeStraws, crank flashlights that are also AM/FM radios and charging stations. Pop up tents, emergency blankets, ponchos, playing cards, gloves, and face masks.
Contents serve little purpose if you don’t have an adequate way to store them as well as transfer them. We made sure to take a good look at the quality of the pack that was included, as well as what users had to say about how well the pack helps up when in use. We were drawn to options that offered a lot of extra cargo pockets along the front. Smaller pockets make your life just a little bit easier because they keep all of the content organized, and it is easy to find what you are looking for when things are compartmentalized. Also, packs that are a little narrow are perfect not only for storing in places, but they are also a little bit easier to carry- especially if you really weigh it down with a lot of extra gear. Designs that were too small or didn’t allow for any extra space to put any of your personal gear weren’t ideal, and we usually moved along to another design if we (and users) felt like the pack was too small, or was made from inadequate materials.
If there was one piece of advice that we would want to give in regards to your bug out bag, is that the most important feature is that you make it your own. These companies have offered you a great start to keep you healthy, warm, and satisfied, but it is up to you to make it perfect for your needs. Emergency situations are never ideal, and it is important that you keep calm so that you can keep your family calm. Certain items that other users have put into their packs are items such as dog toys and treats (emergencies are hard on our furry family members as well!), favorite books, puzzles, your favorite granola bars, pictures, playing cards, travel games, and special hygiene items. No matter what the circumstance, if you have a bag packed for an emergency, it will take a stressful situation and make it a little easier on you and your family. We hope that with the purchase of one of these products that you find peace of mind, but we also hope that you never have the need to use them.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
We hope we haven’t scared you. The reality is that disaster, of any sorts, could happen at any moment and it’s important to be prepared. While we hope that you never have to use a getaway bag, it is important to think about which items will benefit you when you need to make a run for it. You may prefer to partially or fully customize your bug out bag. Whatever the case may be, this will not be an investment you regret.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What’s the difference between these products and a survival kit?
There are a few differences between these and survival kits. These products are designed to be used by just about anyone, not just the adventurous outdoorsmen. They come with items such as food and water rations, recreational items such as playing cards, personal hygiene options such as toothbrushes and soap, and basic first aid kits. Survival kits, on the other hand, are designed for adventurous folks that may run into issues while out camping or trekking. Basically, the main difference is that these products should be stored in every house across the country, while survival kits are more for the adventurous folks that want to push the limits of where they can travel but want to tools on hand that would be able to get them out of danger.
q: How many days do they last?
Generally speaking, most kits are designed to last about 3-5 days. Many of the products out there on the market that claim they would last for 5 days wouldn’t really last that long according to many past users. It’s always important, especially in the face of an emergency situation, to err on the side of caution. Even though a pack might claim that ti can last up to 5 days, it would be wise to assume that it will last about 72 hours.
q: How does a LifeStraw work?
LifeStraw is something that you might have noticed is included in some of the higher end models and is a really innovative piece of technology. This little unit will allow users to drink out of just about any body of water, and all of the toxins are filtered out of the water before it even hits your lips. It does this through a filtration system that is found directly in the unit itself and is able to filter through an impress 1,000 liters of water (or about 264 gallons) before it needs to be replaced. This item not only offers more water than ration packs, but it takes up a lot less room and doesn’t add a lot of weight to your pack.
q: What else should I pack in mine?
That’s the great this about these products- you can pack whatever you like! Many users like to add things that will add a little bit of added comfort when in times of crisis, such as their favorite books or photographs. Others make sure that they also add a few pieces of gear for their dogs and cats such as treats and squeaky toys. If you decide to add things like your favorite protein bars, be sure you replaced them whenever they reach their expiration date. Most rationed food lasts up to 5 years, but just to safe make sure that you check the expiration label for each food item in your pack.
q: Where should I store it?
You can store it pretty much anywhere, but the important thing to keep in mind is that you want to store it somewhere that you can access easily. There is nothing worse than going to grab your pack and completely forgetting where you put it. This means that once you decide on a spot, be sure that you never move it, Many users like to keep theirs in the trunk of their car so that no matter where they are, they will have it close by. Others store theirs in cool dry places such as closets, under beds (this is our favorite place to store it), or in dry garages. Some users even go so far as to buy theirs in the ground.
q: How big should it be?
While you want to ensure that it is big enough to carry all of your necessities, you don’t want it to be so big that it weighs you down. You never know how long you will be carrying it, and the last thing that you want in a time of crisis is a big heavy bag on your back. Most of the modest-sized models weigh in at about 5-7 pounds, and the larger options that are made for up to 4 people can weigh upwards of 20 pounds. When you are shopping, keep in consideration how much you are willing to carry on your back for long periods of time. Some users may not be phased by 16 pounds, while it might be too heavy for smaller frames. Another thing to keep in mind is that you will want it to have just a little bit of extra room for you to place some additional items that you might need, such as personal items or a change of clothes.