The 16 Best Survival Backpacks You Can Get

A backpack is incredibly important, they store and protect our gear from the weather and the eyes of others. They also organize our gear.

For preppers, two backpack designs are useful: The Hiking Backpack and the Tactical Backpack. Both are different and come at different prices.

green backpack with two water bottles in side pockets

They work differently from each other and depending on the needs of individual prepper, you might find one is better than the other.

For someone looking for a quick bug-out bag, a hiking backpack might be a good choice, as it will carry a sleeping bag, waterproofs, spare clothes and boots and supplies.

For someone looking to carry more or wants the option to change the pouches to suit a particular need, or just remove them to make a day bag, then a MOLLE bag would be a good idea.

What To Look For When Buying a Backpack

When buying a bag, for any reason, especially as a bug-out or an EDC bag then you need to know the bag is going to be reliable, so the material and brand are important, as is the number of pockets/compartments the backpack has, the band can indicate reliability, but also the material can.

There are two main backpacks I would look at when picking one for a bug-out: a hiking backpack or a tactical backpack, depending on the budget.

Tactical backpacks have special straps for MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) pouches or other attachments that you will not find on traditional hiking backpacks.

Waterproof or Water-Resistant?

One of the best waterproof materials to look out for is Oxford Cloth which comes in 600D or better, as this will help keep your gear dry, you can use dry bags and waterproof covers as this will double the waterproofing and help organize, being waterproof will help you if you need to cross a body of water.

Stitching, Zips and Buckles

You need to know the stitching is done properly everywhere as this will ensure your bag will resist water, and it will stay strong for a long time.

If the stitching is poorly done or parts are missed it will cause a malfunction and that is no good for a bag you need to keep your gear in.

The stitching needs to be done at the seams and where the buckles are attached to the bag as well as stitched at the adjustment strap, this is usually folded on itself and stitched to stop it from coming out of the buckle.

One of the best and respected zips is YKK and those should be the zips you should look out for to ensure quality and long life, other brands or no brand zips might not last as long or easily malfunction.

This is no good for a bag you need to last years to hold everything you need to survive.

Buckles are important, if these are of poor quality they will easily break. Some of the best buckles are YKK.

Shoulder Straps

Shoulder straps are something you also need to take care of when picking as you could be wearing your backpack all day and when you carry a heavy backpack it needs to be comfortable or you will not want to carry it as it causes you pain and injury.

The Best Survival Backpacks List

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Loowoko Hiking Backpack


  • 50 Litre Capacity
  • Breathable Back Support
  • “S-type” Shoulder Straps
  • Rip-stop Waterproof Polyester.
  • Rain Cover Included


  • A mat or sleeping bag on the side straps will stop the use of the mesh pocket
  • The 5L pouch takes up the room from the main compartment
  • The pack can be top-heavy
  • Will not stand on its own
  • No internal frame for a lighter backpack

The pack comes in many colors, the one linked to is green.

The way the straps are designed feels like they will help the wearer support the pack when walking long distances and will keep the wearer from having an uncomfortable back. However, the waist strap looks uncomfortable.

You can get it here.

Nevo Rhino Hiking Backpack


  • 50 Litre capacity
  • Waterproof Nylon
  • A Breathable and a Soft Back Support
  • Water Bladder Pipe Hole
  • Smooth Running zippers with loops
  • Rain Cover that works as a Poncho
  • Adjustable elastic strap
  • Multiple Compartments (large and small)


  • More day pack than a hiking backpack
  • The mesh pocket is unusable when using the side straps
  • Not a lot of straps

This pack looks more like a day bag you can use for work. It does look stylish and I would use it, I just would not feel comfortable using it for a bug-out bag, but others might, what I do not like is the bright pack cover. You can get it here.

SUGOIDAN Hiking Backpack


  • 60 Litre Capacity
  • Looped Zips
  • Waterproof Nylon
  • Multiple Compartments (Large and Small)
  • Padded Shoulder Straps
  • Breathable Back Support
  • Built-in Survival Whistle


  • Zips can get derailed and break easily
  • Uncomfortable on the shoulders if full
  • The material is not sturdy
  • Mesh pockets become unusable when using the side straps

The pack is stylish and looks like a nice bug-out bag, however, the waist belt looks tiny and thin, something I would not want in a bug-out bag. You can get it here.

Bseach Free Knight Hiking


  • 60 Liter Capacity
  • Includes Rain Cover
  • Padded Shoulder Straps
  • Multiple Compartments
  • Padded Back Mesh
  • Zipper Pullers
  • D Rings
  • Emergency Whistle
  • Hydration Bladder Compatible


  • Poor quality zippers
  • The straps can break
  • Low-quality stitching
  • Straps will loosen

The pack looks stylish and functional. The waist belt looks thick and has pockets for a smartphone or some kind of currency. As long as the pack is in a functional order it should serve as a good bug-out bag. You can get it here.

MountainTop Hiking


  • 40 Litre Capacity
  • YKK Zippers
  • Rain Cover Included
  • Water Resistant Polyester
  • YYK Buckles
  • Padded Straps
  • Top, Bottom and Side Straps


  • Mesh pocket is unusable when using the side straps

Straps might be close together for some people

  • No inside pockets to organise gear
  • Bright yellow rain cover

This is a nice looking pack. Everything will have a place and the waist belt looks thick and strong.

The rain cover is bright yellow, great for hiking, but needs replacing for a darker rain cover. You can get it here.

Beseach Framed Hiking


  • Framed
  • Water-resistant Polyester and Nylon Material
  • Rain Cover Included
  • Many Compartments
  • Separate Shoe Compartment


  • Poor stitching quality
  • Shoulder straps might be too close for some people
  • Cheap elastic
  • Poor quality zippers
  • Side mesh pockets are useless when using the side straps
  • Poor quality stitching

The pack looks good, it’s framed to help support the wearer, which is good. The waist belt looks supportive and has zipped pockets.

The rain cover is orange. So would need replacing for a darker color. You can get it here.

INOXTO Hiking Backpack


  • 40 Litre Capacity
  • 600D Ripstop Material
  • Multiple Compartments
  • Loops On The Main Body
  • Bottom Straps
  • Rain Cover


  • Zips not YKK
  • Straps might be too close for some people

The pack is stylish and functional. The waist belt looks thick and comes with pockets. It comes with loops that you can clip cups and other stuff to.

The rain cover is black, which is great for a bug-out bag. You can get it here.

Kerxinma Hiking


  • 60 Litre Capacity
  • Separate Shoe Compartment
  • Multiple Compartments
  • Water-Resistant Nylon
  • Cover Included


  • Might not suit tall people
  • Zips not YKK
  • Water bottle pockets are useless when using the side straps

The pack is minimalist but looks good and all your large gear, like a sleeping bag, can be attached to the pack. The cover is black. You can get it here.



  • MOLLE straps on the main body only
  • 75 Litre capacity
  • Lots of compartments
  • 600D Oxford cloth used
  • Breathable shoulder straps
  • Light and strong design


  • Thin buckles for the job
  • The seems can tear easily
  • The side pockets become unusable if the main compartment is full

The pack looks good in any color. Your gear can be stored how you like within and without the bag. The addition of MOLLE will allow the user to attack smaller packs, like a first aid MOLLE. You can get it here.

TianYaOutdoors Molle


  • MOLLE on the main body only
  • Personalisable patch velcro
  • 70 Litre Capacity
  • D Loops for carabiners
  • Survival Whistle Buckle
  • 900D Oxford Cloth
  • Multiple compartments


  • Low-quality zips
  • Can come unsewn in a few places
  • Molle straps are useless
  • Straps will break
  • It might not last a month of little use

The pack looks nice in any color option. The MOLLE looks like it limits the user with what you can attach, however, as long as you pack the backpack correctly to your needs it should be a good bug-out bag. You can get it here.



  • 55 Litre Capacity
  • MOLLE on each side, the main compartment covers the main body.
  • Multiple compartments
  • Waterproof Nylon
  • Padded back and shoulder straps
  • Lightweight
  • Draw close seal for the main compartment
  • D Rings for clips
  • Bag Straps on the main compartment cover and bottom of the bag


  • The adjustment straps will come undone
  • Smaller than advertised
  • Straps might not feel padded for some users
  • Short Belly strap for some users

The pack looks stylish and functional. There are three MOLLE areas: the front small compartment and both left and right bottle covers. The pack looks comfortable to wear all day. You can get it here.

5.11 Tactical RUSH72


  • Straps for MOLLE attachments or clips
  • Patch Velcro
  • Bottom Straps
  • 58 Liter Capacity
  • Hydration pocket
  • Large Waist Pockets On the Waist Straps


  • Stitching could be low quality
  • Not YYK zips

This is a really popular backpack and for good reason, the waist belt had two fairly large pockets, there is MOLLE in three places: the face of the pack as well as the left and right compartments.

You have to learn to pack the backpack, however, there are enough straps, compartments and MOLLE to hold what you need. You can get it here.

WintMing MOLLE


  • 70 Liter Capacity
  • Multiple Sections
  • Patch Velcro
  • Double Layer 600D Oxford Material
  • Breathable and Padded Straps
  • D Rings
  • Survival Whistle Chest Buckle
  • Reinforced Stitching


  • Straps might be close to the neck for some
  • Stitching quality might be poor
  • Clips are poor quality
  • Zipps are not YKK

The pack looks stylish and comes in many colours. You can attach a velcro patch to the bag to make it yours.

The pack has a large MOLLE on the face that will hold clips or MOLLE attachments. The waist belt looks uncomfortable to wear for a long time. You can get it here.

HongXingHai MOLLE


  • 100 Liter Capacity
  • Removable Waist Bag
  • 600D Oxford Cloth
  • Multiple Compartments


  • Buckles can be poor quality
  • Zipps are not YKK

This is a really good pack. There are two MOLLE areas and one is taken up by the day pack, the other is split into two to maximize the extra MOLLE packs or clips. The waist belt looks comfortable. You can get it here.



  • 75 Litre Capacity
  • 600D Oxford Material
  • Many Compartments
  • D Rings


  • It might come with poor quality stitching
  • It might come with poor quality buckles

This is a nice looking pack. Two small sets of MOLLE allow either small MOLLE packs or clips or a few larger MOLLE packs. The waist belt looks comfortable.

You can also personalize the pack with a velcro patch. You can get it here.



  • 42 Liter Capacity
  • Lots of Compartments
  • Lots of MOLLE Straps
  • D Ring
  • Free Water Bottle MOLLE Pouch
  • Free 4x D Clips
  • Free D Clip Paracord Key Loop
  • Breathable Back Panel
  • Adjustable Shoulder Straps
  • Velcro for Patches


  • Can feel cheap
  • Not YKK zip system

This has to be one of the best on this list. This is a backpack with MOLLE all over it: front two sections and the sides. The waist belt is thick and comes with small sections.

The pack might be small, however, the MOLLE will help by allowing you to attach extra sections, the bonus of this pack is it comes with extras. You can get it here.

Which One Is Right for You?

Each rucksack has pros and cons, you have to look at one that suits you better, you have to try a lot to find the one that is right for you.

If I had to make a bug-out bag for someone with $50 as my budget then I would most likely go with the EMDMAK 3 day MOLLE backpack as there are MOLLE straps everywhere which is useful for MOLLE pouches that contain a first aid kit or an emergency survival kit.

If you want reliability and something that is well made then you should do what I did which was get an ex-military bergen.

Mine is Ex-British Bergan which when the side pouches are attached come to 120 liters. The side pouches will also make two small 10 liter bags for a webbing harness that you can use for a day expedition.

What I like about the bergan is when the main bag is complete and used as a rucksack the cover for the main compartment has a pocket for waterproofs leaving the other compartments free for important gear.

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