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10 Bug-Out Bags Worth Your Attention (and Money)



When SHTF, the first thing you do is reach for your BOB. But what good is a BOB anyways, without a proper BAG?

We’ve seen our fair share of bags, and you can find ALL TYPES of recommended set-ups online. Sometimes identifying the good from the utter crap can be harder than it would seem.

So – we sorted through the best of the best on to give you 10 of the highest ranking bags that were not only ranked well but also had the most reviews from folks who put each bag to test.

Besides, your BOB contents are only as good as the bag they come in. When everything else goes to hell, and all you’re left with is your bag to call your friend, you better make sure that friend will help keep you alive.

Here’s our ranking (from worst to best):

#10 – Red Rock Outdoor Gear Summit Backpack

The first bag on our list is a great, lightweight tactical pack made by Red Rock Outdoor. This bag comes complete with two large compartments with internal dividers. It also has two water bottle holders and a sleeve that will fit a 2.5 liter hydration bladder. Supporting this load are two mesh-padded backpack straps with a quick-release sternum strap.

“I’m not paid to write this. Love this bag, I just frickin love it”

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#9 – Sandpiper of California Long Range Bugout Backpack

The Sandpiper of California Long Range Bugout has capacity to carry your gear for days. The main compartment can handle all of your hydration, communication & organizational needs. The padded lumbar area & mesh lined back provide comfort for long hike.

Just a word of warning, this pack is HUGE.

“I traded in and got this pack. My… god… it’s massive. I mean I’m staring at it now and it’s almost as large as my laundry hamper, and it’s sitting on the floor leaning against my book shelf. When I have it fully up and on my shoulders, strapped down, any gear that is not strapped down inside you will feel around your bum. That’s how low it will hang. And I’m 6ft 2in. I truly love the pack – no joke.

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#8 – Military Backpack by Modern Warrior

Modern warrior produces some nice, basic military style backpacks that are durable, strong, and well manufactured. this one has large volume capacity. Great size for a day pack with lots of compartments for storage.

“I am a Desert Storm Veteran US Army served Twice in Kuwait and once in Iraq. I operated as a Company shooter better known as a Sniper. I expected a knock off bag based on price. However I was surprised at the bag. It was well constructed double stitched and reinforced.”

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#7 – Field Operator’s Action Pack

The Field Operator’s Action Pack, by Fox Outdoors, is constructed of rugged tactical polyester with a four compartment configuration.

Primary features include: one main compartment with large pocket ideal for hydration bladder or laptop computer; front compartment with a multitude of accessory pockets; secondary compartment includes dual mesh pockets; padded back panel compartment with pocket that is suitable for a laptop computer, hydration bladder or other items that require quick access; modular attachment points included on front and two sides; fully padded ventilated back panel, adjustable & padded shoulder straps with smart phone case, heavy duty zippers with pull cords and side cinch straps, molded top carry handle and hanging hook; waist belt includes dual zippered pockets.

“This is an amazing bag. I was looking for a good load and go, 72hour type bag for all the crap I take with me on missions. I was a little concerned about how much this puppy could hold. Well, I was suprised when I recieved it and was able to fit all my normal gear and then some. Bravo Fox, for creating a better practical bag than the cheap junk the US Army issues and expects us to use.”

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#6 – Sandpiper of California Bugout Backpack

Sandpiper of California claims this Bugout Bag is their most popular bag with well over 1 million units sold. It features large compartments gives plenty of space for cargo. Carry-on friendly, but large enough to pack multiple days of clothing.

“Don’t let the looks fool you. It looks military like with the PALS webbing but it’s not MIL-SPEC, however that’s not to say it’s a bad bag. I’ve been using this bag as my “everything” bag since 2005, when I saw them at FT. Benning. The size can’t be beat. At nearly 3200 cubic inches (fully expanded) it’s hard to beat. I use it daily for work, going on weekend trips, grocery shopping, playing air soft and it can serve as a bug out bag. I’ve used one in Iraq and it worked well for carrying some gear to different FOBs and it worked well on ground patrol missions.”

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#5 – Sandpiper of California Three Day Pass Backpack

Halfway through the list we have the Sandpiper of California Three Day Pass, a technical mid-sized pack complete with hydration system compatibility. It’s great for efficient travelers who appreciate functionality in a compact, multi-featured pack.

“I work in aircraft maintenance for the USAF and the sage green version of this is my ‘go bag’. It holds all the personal items I may need on a day-to-day basis on the flightline (rain gear, extra layers of warm clothing, communication headset, gloves, water, snacks, etc.) as well as being a personal bag on deployments/TDYs or even just out and about at home. It holds everything I need it to without being overly bulky or heavy. It has just the right amount of pockets so that I’m not having to search through entire big compartment to find what I’m looking for, and yet there’s no wasted space. The quality of the bag is what has impressed me the most. I’ve had it over a year and a half and it’s been through all weather conditions, rough treatment, and a few deployments.”

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#4 – Direct Action Dust Tactical Backpack

This pack was originally designed for military and law enforcement operators. It offers a low profile look and feel that also makes it a perfect for your every day carry bag – not to mention a fantastic value for your money.

Key features include: 100% 500D Cordura fabric for durability; Unique Patented CVS-Combat Vent System for operator comfort during prolonged use; Lightweight, durable, non-moisture absorbing laser cut MOLLE/PALS system.

This is a fantastic design! It functions better than any backpack I’ve used or seen out there. The molle system is incredible and can be customized for any use. Ever detail in this backpack has been well thought out. However, the plastic sheathing on the zippers seems to be falling apart, I don’t see this as an issue on the packs capabilities now or in the future.

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#3 – Red Rock Outdoor Gear Large Assault Pack

The Large Assault Pack, made by Red Rock, is a larger version of their popular Assault Pack. This particular pack has four expanding compartments that provide up to 35 liters of storage. Internal dividers and zippered pockets are built in the three largest compartments.

The mesh padded back panel can hold up to a 2.5 liter hydration bladder, although bladder is not included. Reinforced contoured shoulder straps are constructed with mesh padding and are also fully adjustable. An adjustable waist strap and sternum strap help evenly distribute the weight of the load. MOLLE webbing straps armor this bag with points for customization making it an excellent choice for a bug-out bag.

“I originally looked at the Red Rock assault pack. I found it to be too small for what I wanted in a Go/Bug Out bag. I did come across the large assault pack at the 2013 NRA convention. Much better. This is a sturdy, well-built backpack. It has plenty of room and lots of places to store stuff. The main cavity is about 17-18″ tall and expands out 5-6 inches. Enough room for me to lay 4 full sized MRE packs horizontally, with room for about 2 more. There is a zipper compartment in the back and a webbed storage part on the front of that cavity. The center section is nearly as large and deep.”

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#2 – Maxpedition falcon-II Backpack

Number two on our list is a fantastic bag manufactured by Maxpedition. The Falcon II Backpack is their flagship product and it shows: Durable, ergonomic, and intelligently designed. This medium-bodied pack is well constructed with 1050-Denier water & abrasion resistant nylon. It’s ergonomic shape, padded shoulder straps and sturdy sternum & waist support make it very comfortable to wear, even for long periods of time.

Looking further, the Falcon II has layered independent compartments with tons of pockets, pouches and PALS attachment points – more than most backpacks twice its size. Pulling the dual-directional YKK zippers will expand the main compartment to reveal a full clamshell opening. You’ll find that the Falcon II is surprisingly spacious with room to accommodate your camping essentials and two (2) 100oz/3L water reservoirs.

This bag is an obvious choice for anyone who is looking for quality, size, durability, and comfort.

“I bought this bag in 2009 from an Army Surplus store for more than they advertise here on Amazon. Worth every penny. I saw it in person before buying so the surprise was not the lack of size, it was the ACTUAL size once you filled her. This bag expands in just the right way to make everything from 72hrs worth of clothing to my 15 inch laptop fit.

The bag fits fully packed under the seat of a larger airliner. The load is comfortable, and with the external compression straps I’ve stuffed the bag but also held jackets, a tent and a water bottle. The Molle attachments are great because I can add additional compartments, bags, firearm magazine pouches.”

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#1 – 5.11 Tactical Rush 24 Back Pack

Our number one pick is this premium tactical pack made by 5.11. This pack is renowned for it’s mobility, functionality, and premium build.

Its roomy main compartment features three interior mesh organizer pockets to keep your small accessories organized, a padded hydration pocket keeps you moving, and a fleece-lined sun glass pocket to help keep your eyewear within easy reach. It also features dual-side storage compartments with double-zip access, a large stuff-it pocket with an integrated draw cord provides expandable storage when you need it, and contoured compression straps ensure a stable, comfortable carry. If you foresee yourself customizing your pack, you’ll be happy to know that the wrap-around web platform is MOLLE/SlickStick System compatible, allowing you to customize your storage options as you see fit.

Simply put, the Rush 24 features enough customizable functionality that allows it to excel in any environment.

“I have had this backpack for about a year and a half now. It has logged hundreds of miles of day hikes and it is still in excellent condition. To date, I have had no problems or complaints about this pack.”

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The Stare” by Nicki Mannix is licensed under CC BY 2.0

hiking to Choquequirao, Peru” by Rick McCharles
is licensed under CC BY 2.0