12 Best Survival Backpacks in 2017

A good backpack can get you through some tough times. Whether you are a student with a heavy load to carry or the outdoorsy type, they can save your back. They can also save your life in some cases, which sent us on a search to find the best survival backpack.

The knapsacks on our list cover two areas but serve one purpose – survival. One type of bag is a full kit containing supplies you may need in the event of a natural disaster or one of the manmade variety. These bug-out bags may not be of much use when the apocalypse comes but can help you out in several other situations.

Our second style of pack is empty but just as effective. These survival backpacks tend to be sturdier than most and come with special compartments and accessories. Gun holsters, tool pouches, and water bladders are all things you will find on these models, but you will have to stock it yourself as there are no goodies included.

Top 12 Survival Backpacks Comparison Table

DesignNameBag or Full KitMultiple ColorsRating (1-5)
  1. PREPPER’S FAVORITE: Emergency Get Home Bag with First Aid Kit Kit No 4.9
  2. 5.11 Tactical Rush 72 Backpack Bag Yes 4.8
  3. Extreme Survival Kit Two For Earthquakes Kit No 4.8
  4. Military Tactical Assault Pack Backpack Army Molle Bug Out Bag Backpacks Bag No 4.6
  5. TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack Bag Yes 4.5
6. SOG Ninja Daypack Bag No 4.5
7. Monkey Paks Tactical Backpack Bundle Bag Yes 4.5
8. Emergency Zone 840-2 Urban Survival Bug Out Bag Emergency Disaster Kit Kit No 4.4
  9. 4 Person Premium Survival Kit Kit No 4.4
  10. Red Rock Outdoor Gear Large Assault Pack Bag Yes 4.3
  11. Wise Food 5-Day Survival Backpack Bag Yes 4.2
  12. Waterproof Hiking Bag,Spider-BX(TM)Military Camping Bag Bag Yes 4.1

Buying Tips to Keep You from Bugging Out

Surviving a tough situation or disaster is hard enough. Finding a great Bug-out bag or survival pack is far easier however as long as you remember these rules of the wild.

Size

If you are looking for a survival backpack with supplies, they are usually geared towards 2-4 people. There are singles available as well, but 2-person packs aren’t that large and can be easily carried by most folks. In other words, unless you plan to carry another pack, you are probably better off going with a 2-person stocked survival pack at a minimum.

Consumers opting to pack their supplies or gear have countless things (and options) to consider. If you are carrying a firearm, you may want a tactical survival pack. Hikers and backpackers will appreciate a backpack with a full frame that helps you carry larger loads over tough terrain. Outer pockets, water resistance, and the quality of the material used are also important things to keep in mind.

Color

When looking for the best survival backpack, color may not be at the top of your list but should be. It may seem like a minor thing compared to size or durability, but some consumers may want to blend in. Survivalists that want to stay ahead of any incoming trouble would want to stay hidden. Needless to say, a bright Red or Orange backpack is not going to be of much help.

Camo backpacks used to be the way to go, but now you can find a rucksack in almost any color you would want including earth tones that blend in with the elements and cool White packs for snow. If you do want to go the camouflage route, there are several options to choose from as well with digital, classic, and urban just to name a few. On the flipside, if you want to keep a high profile during a disaster go for a brightly colored survival backpack in Red, Yellow or Orange.

Style

There are several types of backpacks aside from the traditional 2-strap setup most of us have carried.

  • The Swiss Army style – Packs are more rugged, usually made from canvas and leather and can sometimes have a small frame for support.
  • Hiking packs – Have larger frames on the exterior and are ideal for folks that need to pack a lot or are going to hide out in the mountains for a while.
  • Frameless models – Are the most popular, however, and make up most of the survival backpacks on our list.

Need to stay hydrated or concerned about a clean water source? Well, you can get a pack with a built-in hydration bladder to keep you refreshed. MOLLE-style tactical bags are great for firearm enthusiasts and have more pouches and attachment points than other styles.

If you simply need to pack light and stay nimble, a sling pack could be your new best friend as these come with a single strap and cane be slung across your back or chest. Sports backpacks and backpacks with internal frames geared towards hikers are also options if rugged enough as they still allow you to stay light on the go.

Top 5 Best Survival Backpack Reviews

1. Prepper’s Favorite Emergency Shoulder Tactical Bag

This survival backpack is of the “packed” variety which means you are getting a slew of supplies to keep you safe in the case of an emergency. Obviously, you’re getting a solid backpack as well, and this one is a sling bag with one strap. It’s made from rugged polyester and is said to be military grade, so it should be able to withstand any hazards on the trail.

Now for the contents. This bag is rated for 3-days in the wild and loaded down with survival items including a fire starting kit with tinder and tabs, a Mylar sleeping bag and Polar Shield emergency blanket. Those will keep you safe from the elements while 3600 calorie food rations will help keep you energized. Water won’t be a concern either if you find a source as the kit has filtration straws, strainers, and water bags.

On the first-aid front, you will receive a quick field guide, alcohol pads, hydrocortisone, ibuprofen, bandages, tape and various other medial items. We have just touched on a few of the 57 items included in this pack as there are more implements included to lend you a hand during a sticky situation.

2. 5.11 Tactical Rush 72 Backpack

The 5.11 Tactical Rush MOLLE backpack is one of our favorites and the best option if you need an all-around pack that can work for anything. If you are into the tactical game or hunt, you will appreciate the loops on the outside and multiple attachment points; this allows you to hook extra gear on and makes getting to cartridges or mags a breeze. Regardless of what you use the pack for, everyone can get behind the large external “shove it” pocket.

The Tactical Rush is constructed from tough 15D nylon and has a PUx2 coating to repel any water headed your way. The inside lining, flaps and pocket bags are coated as well and rugged with 21D nylon. There’s even a quick access pocket up top for shades and a hydration pocket with a zippered pull. Other features to keep in mind would include an adjustable sternum strap and internal frame support with a system of inserts and rods. This bag also has compression straps to lock everything down tight when you need to move swiftly.

You’ll get plenty of room with this survival pack along with multiple inner pockets and an Admin panel in the front. The Rush is available in classic Camouflage along with colors like Sandstone, Dark Earth, Black, and Storm.

3. Zippmo Extreme Survival Emergency Backpack

The Extreme Survival Kit from Zippmo it geared for two individuals, but still light enough for one if you choose to roll solo. Fully loaded the bag weighs in at 17lbs and has enough supplies to last two people for around three days. Again, if you are a lone wolf, you can live like a king for a full week (or longer) out of the bag. You can even play a bit of solitaire thanks to an included deck of cards.

Gin Rummy won’t keep you from starving however so thankfully they have included a couple of emergency food packs with 24 bars to go along with 20 Datrex water packs. You can filter your own if you find a source of water as well with 50 aqua tabs, but there aren’t nearly as many first-aid items in this bug-out bag as you’ll find in the sack from Prepper’s Favorite but there are more tools.

A Carbon Steel survival knife is included along with a ring wire saw button compass, signal mirror, and a BRW Tube Tent. There are body warmers if you get cold and a refuse bag if you need to go. We still need to be sanitary in an emergency. While the Extreme Survival Kit is sparse in a few areas, the pack itself is a bonus.

It is camouflage, and a MOLLE backpack similar in style to the ones used in the military. That means it is tough and sports multiple attachment points to stow gear and other goods.

4. Reebow Tactical Military Assault Backpack

Reebow’s Assault Backpack is one of the larger ones on our best survival backpack list in regards to what it can hold but remains small in form. It measures 11” x 18” x 12” and is water bladder compatible although you will have to supply your own. It is also resistant to the elements and extremely tough with double-stitched zippers and 600×600 density fabric.

This bag can haul a hefty load, but your back won’t ache like it may with other packs. That’s due in part to a compression system on the side and front which pairs nicely with the ventilated shoulder straps. In regards to the inside, this baby unzips to give you access to three different sections inside which is great for sorting miscellaneous gear and goods. The bag is only available in Black, and the molle spacing is listed at less than 1/2” if you plan on attaching a lot of gear or modular pouches to the outside.

5. TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack

Now for something built for serious outdoorsman and people that plan on going off the grid for more than a few days. This is an internal frame backpack, so you are going to be able to carry more with it than any other knapsack on our list without feeling the strain. That’s due to its overall size as well considering it has an internal capacity of 55 liters. It’s even more impressive when you consider it weighs in at only 4.5 pounds.

When it comes to staying comfortable, you will be thankful for the padded straps which adjust to accommodate a wide variety of torsos. The same can be said of the open-cell lumbar pad. There is also an integrated rainfly tucked away inside the bottom, and it’s tougher than some of the MOLLE bags with a 600D Oxford canvas exterior that can withstand the outdoors with ease.

The size of this pack may put it out of the running for folks with limited space, but it is perfect if you need to carry more than a typical backpack will allow or heavier items. It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty and is available in Hunter Green, Coyote Tan, and Mecca Orange.