Review: The Professional J.R. Bullivant Solar Backback

I am not usually one for buying “ready made” survival kit. Far too often they are packed with inexpensive lower grade supplies in a bag that is less than ideal for long-term use. I received an offer a couple months ago to receive and review the J.R. Bullivant Solar Backpack.

On the with show…..



J.R. Bullivant offers several survival kits at various prices. This particular one – in their Professional-series, is considered their deluxe, top-end model. My perception on this kit is it is made for the person who has concerns, and wants something in his vehicle or vacation cabin – but does not want to go through the trouble of buying their own pack and trying to assemble it themselves. It is geared more towards surviving an Urban Disaster than a Wilderness one.


The J.R. Bullivant Solar Survival Kit and my new dog – Bella


The kit contains many items that would be considered typical in a survival kit – and several that surprised me.

Here is the list:

  • Personal Power Generator with Charging Cables – this consists of a small rechargeable battery pack, assorted cables to attach the battery pack to other devices such as phones, along with cables which the solar panel can charge the battery pack or other devices.  By the way – the battery pack can be charged via a wall outlet, USB port, or car adapter.
USB Charging Adapter
  • 2-in-1 Charging Adapter – this is a great adapter and has come in handy. Basically – you can plug it in a wall, or in a car power outlet – and charger the battery power pack or your own devices.


  • Ballistic Shield – Sitting along the back of the backpack this shield is mean to provide protection to the user in case of a possible shooting. The shield is a Level 1 type – meaning it can provide protection against ammunition such as .22LR and .38 caliber. Not complete protection by any means – but certainly better than the backpack I carried in school.


  • Emergency Escape Hood – This is similar to a gas mask except it totally encloses your entire head. This is great for those with beards and wearing glasses. Protection against smoke, biological agents, and your Uncle Frank after he has eaten a couple bowls of chili.


  • Water Purification Bottle – Pretty self explanatory. Bottle contains a filter which removes contaminants from ponds, faucets, lakes, rivers, and streams.


  • Trauma Kit with Blood Stopper – Here are the ingredients to this kit:  Small Bandages (4), Conforming Gauze Bandages (2), Blood Stop™ Trauma Pad (4), Roll of Gauze Wrapping (1), Non-Woven Sponges (4), Antiseptic Cleansing Wipes (2), Anti-Mosquito Towelette (2), Triple Antibiotic Ointment (2), Sling (1), Ibuprofen Pain Reliever & Fever Reducer (9, 2 tablet packets), and Anti-Diarrheal Tablets (6, 2 tablet packets)


  • Two-way Communication Radio – Basically – a nice FRS/GMRS two-way radio. 


  • Personal Fire Extinguisher – This is one of those items that surprised me. I never really considered adding a fire extinguisher to a kit before – but it certainly has its uses. Besides putting out a small fire – this fire extinguisher would be excellent for crowd control. Imagine in an urban environment and a group of 3-4 guys want your box of original Twinkie’s, a blast or twelve from a fire extinguisher may get them thinking about alternative snacks.


  • Radiation Detection Card with Iodine Pills – Nuclear accident or terrorist attack  – will be glad that these are in the kit.


  • Urban Combination Tool – This is basically one of those orange whistle, compass, match holder combo thingumabob’s. 


  • Cylume Lightsticks – ’nuff said


  • Self Defense Fogger – If you happen to come across a bear this will come in handy. If not – can be used for self-defense against a single attack or small group.
Self Defense Fogger
  • Microfiber Blanket – Another multi-use items. Drying off, soaking up blood, washing, or keeping warm – it is included.


  • Chemical Resistant Gloves – Hands are extremely valuable and keeping them in working order is important. Protection from  the trauma of moving sticks, fallen tree’s, etc.  – gloves will be very welcome. Some type of chemical spill could also occur and being able to navigate your way through it without touching it would be beneficial.


  • Emergency Foil Blanket – This is like your typical emergency blanket.
Emergency Foil Blanket
  • Emergency Foil Sleeping Bag – Like a big emergency blanket that will cover you. Use in combination with the microfiber blanket for best warmth generation.


  • Emergency Poncho – Rain protection.


  • Body Warmer and Hand Warmer – Chemical warmers for those chilly nights.


  • Pandemic Protection Mask – This is basically a dust mask – a N95.


  • Pill Organizer – This allows you to keep up to 7 days of spare medicine…..just in case. A good idea.


  • Lock – Yes, a lock for the backpack. Yeah – seems a bit overkill as someone can just pick the thing up and walk away with it.


  • LED Flashlight – A small, inexpensive multi-led flashlight. Cheap – but I have many of them and they work just fine.


  • Compressed Towel Tablets – Unique item here. Washing up or wiping down – add water and you have a small towel.


  • Duct Tape – Of course! A mini-roll is included.


  • XL Sack Pack – Basically a container to carry extra supplies. Good idea.
UltraSack Pack
Ultra Sack Pack
  • Instant Hand Sanitizer – Get rid of those germs!!


  • Urban Signal Device – Hand crank radio receives weather bands as well as AM/FM. The hand crank allows the device to create its own power and also charge other devices via a USB port. Nice option!


  • Solar Panel Backpack – Last is the backpack itself. I like it. It does not scream out “military” or “prepper”. The solar panels work though you are not going to charge a dozen devices a day. I have hauled my pack around for the past few weeks and no issues at all. The pack seems plenty rugged enough for urban carry and is comfortable. 



The price of this kit is $495.00. Not cheap. I definitely see a market of this kit for those that just want a quality, pre-made kit. I consider most of all the components to be high quality and functional. I love the idea of the solar panels in the pack so charging can occur just while walking around. Adding a few more items such as a good knife would make the kit even better.

This kit will continue to ride in the back of my Jeep.

For full disclosure I received this kit for free in exchange for a review – positive or negative. My take – positive.

 – Rourke


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16 thoughts on “Review: The Professional J.R. Bullivant Solar Backback”

  1. Cute puppy.

    Looks like a great starting assortment of goodies for a GO BAG. Just one question – do you really have to wet the compressed towel in order for it to expand into a towel you will use to dry something with? That seems counter productive somehow.

    Be advised, chemical foggers don’t work well when the wind is blowing into your face. Actually, they work great as an assist for whatever assailant you thought you were spraying.

  2. Awwww….I’m in love with Baby Bella! O.K., so, lots of cold baby carrots for teething…they’re very healthy; other than the fact they may leave carpets slightly orange and her poo, as well, she should be allowed as many as she wants; my 7-8 year old rescues STILL love cold baby carrots as a treat.

    (Was there something about a bag in there?) 😉

  3. I strongly suspect most electronics will be superfluous in a real survival situation. At most, I would include a pair of GMRS radios and a means of charging. This generation is obsessed about their email, social media, and need to disclose the most personal of information. Most of that is a bother to my generation so I won’t need to charge my gen 5 iphone, etc. Do like the pup.

    Panhandle Rancher

  4. I get excited when I can get 10 – 20 extra cans of food each month in my stock – how am I gonna afford a $500.00 backpack? Even with those goodies, not good for me!

  5. Subject of solar backpacks Go here & build your own:

    Then enter solar backpacks in search field next to products. Total 102 differant styles to choose from, it’s the cheapest place to get good merchandize for the topic at hand, Custom orders most always accepted.

  6. As for the items listed above I can get some of them at cheaper wholesale prices …. 1 or many.
    3 million Sckoville Heat Unit Pepper-spray
    (leave a 300lb. man in a fetal position), or Alaska Brand BEAR Repellant + numeriuos other self defense product’s.

  7. Rourke-good review-happy you get to keep the back pack.
    If I win the lottery I will purchase one- smile !!
    Oh Bella is adorable and she will be a good security pup for you.Our daughter is a prof. dog trainer so e mail me if you need any tips. Arlene

  8. Husky’s are fantastic survival dogs, particularly when the weather turns bitterly cold. They’ve been known to cut open their owners from crotch to rib cage and then crawl inside to stay warm….. their survival instinct is strong…. but I’m sure you’ll be fine!

  9. I was under the impression this was localized urban get home, or get to another, better location. And for that, I like it. Of course it would need tweaks, but for the folks that don’t, can’t, or won’t spend the time most of us do on the best ways to prep, it’s certainly a (albeit pricy) place to start. Myself, I’m thinking it might go along way for folks who take their kids out for day hikes and might get way in over their heads with some unexpected weather. I’m in St. Louis, and in the past ten days, the temp has gone from 50 to 93 to 60’s (those were the high temps). This IS normal here. Just a few months ago, a family did not make it home from such a day hike. The father was an Air Force veteran and thefamily was into Scouts. This man knew what prepared is. He took his kids out for a day hike, and they did not make it home alive. I, for one, think 500 dollars is MORE than worth it to not have this tragedy visit my family or loved ones. My aunt is a prime example. she would never think to do this for herself, yet i could get her to keep something like this in her car (and leave it there at all times) then, just take some fresh water bottles and jerky, if nothing else when i see her to freshen up the kit a bit, and the kids think its cool when you show them how to use the stuff. Personally, that’s exactly how I started prepping in the first place! Yeah, I spent too much at first on stuff that wasn’t so useful, however, having something in the car and then something I could carry whenever we out bike riding and park walking, then exploring, and hiking, etc etc in case we got stranded or hurt is precisely what got me more and more interested and educated and why I continue learn to this day. We all have loved ones who think we’re nuts, but ask yourself, how many of those LOVED by us ones have we just gifted a pre made or (much better yet) handcrafted, practical BOB or GHB to? You can’t make the horse drink, but you sure as hell can show his ass where the water is 😉

  10. Re: Solar Druid,
    Forgot to mention, thank you for the link. Will definitely check that out this weekend. Been looking for something portable, effective, and solar, just can’t make up my mind what best to spend my $$ on. Trying to work smarter, not harder, and all. Appreciate the heads up!

  11. John Gault,
    You are a very bad person – you made me spill my coffee. However, don’t you think Bella might find the odor from Rourke’s Paleo diet somewhat objectionable?


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