Packing for a holiday trip and preparing for a survival adventure are the two ends on a spectrum, you know.
Once you are in the wilderness, you do not get many options to shop or even expand your inventory. That is why you have to use all your senses while packing for survival adventures, and the right backpack can help you a lot.
Now, a random backpack from the market is not the ideal solution for survival trips.
Instead, you would have to consider several factors, including the design, capacity, durability, and additional features. In other words, a survival backpack is your best friend when you travel and survive in the world, and you have to choose the product so well.
This picking is easier said than done. The reason is simple: there are so many backpacks in the market, and you can easily get lost. In addition to the standard categories, you can now find hybrid varieties. Of course, these mixed categories come with their advantages and disadvantages.
And we found that choosing the right backpack can be a challenging affair for most people, especially those who are new to survival adventures.
We thought we could help a bit, though.
After talking to a number of survival adventure experts and going through countless reviews, we have listed some of the best survival backpack options in 2021.
Regardless of where you are going and the nature of the adventure, the following backpacks can help you carry the right amount of stuff. You just need to know what you are looking for in terms of capacity and all.
Best Survival Backpack – Reviews & Buying Guide For 2021
Winner: 5.11 Tactical RUSH24 Military Backpack
- Total capacity: 37 liter
If you are looking for a survival backpack that can double as a versatile backpack on normal days, you should definitely consider the 5.11 Tactical RUSH24 Military Backpack.
It combines many of the things you look for in a perfect backpack that both survival enthusiasts and regular college students love them. Given that you may not spend the whole year in the wilderness, it is good to have a backpack that you can use for college or office, right?
This product comes from 5.11, and it has been active in the industry for years. Therefore, you can expect top-notch after-sales services without a problem.
- The 5.11 Tactical RUSH24 Military Backpack has a total capacity of 37 liters, which is ample space for almost every survival adventure you come across. You have enough space to store all the equipment you need for camping and cooking, for instance.
- 5.11 has done a great job of arranging the design as well. Although it may not look so in the first look, this backpack comes with a total of 29 compartments. In addition to the spacious main storage area, you get dual zipping side pockets as well. The design is just the right choice for versatile uses.
- We also found that it is very easy to get used to the 5.11 Tactical RUSH24 Military Backpack. You will love the grab-and-go handle and the adjustable sternum strap when it comes to moving around while carrying this backpack.
- Thanks to the signature design from 5.11, the Tactical RUSH24 Military Backpack works fine with an immense variety of products from the manufacturer. For instance, you can hook the backpack up to the 5.11 Tier system, including the ultra-durable 1050D nylon.
- If you want to pack many things without taking much space, you would also love the organization options within each compartment. You can use the area to correctly arrange a variety of items, such as your water bottles, first-aid kits, and other gadgets.
- Regardless of where you keep the materials, the survival backpack can offer top-notch protection. It is possible, thanks to the custom-made straps and adjustable controllers. They offer individual safety for compartments so that you can stop worrying.
- Last but not least, the 5.11 Tactical RUSH24 Military Backpack comes with a water-resistant design. It is a handy feature if you would like to get the maximum out of your survival adventures. You have a backpack that keeps up with your experiences.
- Some users say that the manufacturer could have included a quick-access pocket, which is useful for storing snacks and maps. This is a limitation since you have to open the zippered compartments to access almost anything.
- We should also consider that the 5.11 Tactical RUSH24 Military Backpack has a considerably outdated design. Therefore, you may miss some features that you may see on advanced survival backpacks in the market.
- It’s also true that the multi-purpose backpack is a little expensive from an affordability standpoint. Considering that the design is not waterproof — just water-resistant —, you seem to be paying a high amount for the product.
- The 5.11 Tactical RUSH24 Military Backpack does not come with any additional features as such. However, it is good that you can connect the backpack to products from 5.11.
If you are looking for a classic survival backpack that does not let you down, the 5.11 Tactical RUSH24 Military Backpack is an excellent option, indeed. However, you should keep aside any expectation for ultra-modern features or a relatively new design.
Instead, the price you pay reflects in the high capacity of the backpack and the multitude of compartments.
Runner-Up: Tacticon 24BattlePack Tactical Backpack
- Capacity: 40 liter
Many of us may not want to spend a huge amount on a survival backpack due to obvious reasons.
For one, it makes sense to keep things minimal since you are planning to embrace the wilderness.
However, this does not mean you can compromise the quality or features of the backpack. Fortunately, though, the Tacticon 24BattlePack Tactical Backpack brings the best of both worlds.
Without spending a fortune, you can get one of the best backpacks for continuous backpacking and survival trips. As such, the product has been designed for soldiers and enthusiasts in mind.
- First and foremost, the Tacticon 24BattlePack Tactical Backpack comes from a company developed and owned by a combat veteran. Due to this, the product is capable of understanding your needs on the run and has been designed with precision.
- Unlike the top pick we have mentioned above, this backpack isn’t a multipurpose one. However, on the bright side, you get a bag made of waterproof lining and rugged material. The company has also used relatively larger zippers that are easy to handle even when you are in a rush.
- Despite the affordable pricing it has, the Tacticon 24BattlePack Tactical Backpack has a top capacity of 40 liter, which is impressive. You can use the extra space to stuff everything you want for the trip, and the bag can handle up to 100lbs of weight.
- Thanks to the waterproof design it has employed, you can use this bag in a variety of conditions. In fact, the oversized zippers ensure that water does not enter the compartments and ruin the stuff you have stored inside.
- You can also spot some combat-oriented features in the package. For instance, the backpack comes with a built-in universal concealed carry gun holster. You also get the hydration bladder compartment that you can connect to additional accessories.
- Even though the manufacturer has designed the product for combat, there are some extra features worth noting. For instance, the dedicated laptop compartment can house laptops with screens as big as 17 inches.
- It is also impressive that the company offers a 1-year warranty for the entire backpack. The warranty is so inclusive that you can avail the same for the zippers and the stitching. This is another reason to trust the build quality of the Tacticon 24BattlePack Tactical Backpack.
- Although you get an impressively high capacity, the Tacticon 24BattlePack Tactical Backpack does not come with internal organization options. It means you have to find extra material to organize all the items within each compartment.
- Some customers have reported that the shoulder straps are a bit narrow when compared to other backpacks in the category. If you are carrying too much weight, this could be a little problem. It seems additional comfort is an area where the manufacturer has compromised a little.
- The lack of compartments can also affect the variety of things you can store in the backpack. It does not come with water bottle pouches, for instance. It would have been a nice one from an accessibility point of view.
As we mentioned earlier, Tacticon has included a number of features that soldiers and combat experts will appreciate. The built-in gun holster and the advanced hydration tube system are some of these. If you are into ground-level survival adventures, you would love these features.
It is also worth noting that you can use a variety of accessories with this tactical backpack. In the future, you do not have to purchase a new bag; instead, you can add some accessories that bring the features you need. The hydration tube is one of those options.
Unlike many of the products in this category, the Tacticon 24BattlePack Tactical Backpack is available in three different finishes. The best part is that you can choose between these finishes without worrying about extra payment.
Overall, the Tacticon 24BattlePack Tactical Backpack is an amazing product in that it checks all the necessary boxes right away. In the end, you get a combat-oriented survival backpack that you can use for up to three days.
It is indeed great that you don’t have to worry about construction quality while choosing this backpack.
In addition to the money-back guarantee from the company, the US-based company offers a 1-year warranty to the entire product.
Alternative: Direct Action Dragon Egg Tactical Backpack
- Capacity: 25 liter
There are times when you want to prioritize comfort and customizability over affordability.
If you are in that situation, you should consider the Direct Action Dragon Egg Tactical Backpack, which has a top capacity of 25 liters. By choosing a survival backpack from the pricier side of things, you get access to a number of extra features and improved customizability.
As you can guess from the design, this backpack is also designed for military and law enforcement personnel.
- The Direct Action Dragon Egg Tactical Backpack comes with one of the most high-quality designs we have seen. This backpack is made of cotton lining and can handle severe weather changes that you may witness in the wild.
- Compared to other products we have listed, this backpack comes with a modern design. The design not only gives you internal organization options but also offers dedicated compartments for devices like laptops and associated cables.
- As we mentioned earlier, almost every part of the Direct Action Dragon Egg Tactical Backpack is either removable or customizable. For instance, you can focus on the pockets you need and keep the non-urgent ones aside.
- The water-resistant coated Cordura 500D fabric does an exceptional job when it comes to protecting what you have inside. Even if you soak in the rain, the inventory will stay safe. It is also designed to be a 2-day backpack system.
- Like we mentioned above, the Direct Action Dragon Egg Tactical Backpack is on the pricier side of the market. Not everyone may not want to spend such a considerable amount on a backpack. However, it is an impressive investment, indeed.
- We expected the backpack to be waterproof, which is not the case. However, the current design only offers a level of water resistance.
Like the runner-up product we had mentioned, the Direct Action Dragon Egg Tactical Backpack is also using a combat-friendly design. You can use the extra compartments inside the main design to keep more stuff as well as to secure particular objects.
For instance, you can easily keep a 15-inch laptop inside the backpack.
We believe the Direct Action Dragon Egg Tactical Backpack is a great alternative for those who do not mind spending a considerable amount on a survival backpack.
While many of the features of the bag are designed for combat rather than survival, you can customize the design to a great extent. It is also one of the best kits for survival adventures right now.
Alternative: Tasmanian Tiger Mission Pack Mk II Combat Backpack
- Capacity: 37 liter
The Tasmanian Tiger Mission Pack Mk II Combat Backpack is another impressive alternative if you are looking for advanced arrangement options and premium construction.
On one side, the backpack features some of the best designs we have seen.
On the other hand, the company has designed the main and secondary set of compartments in a newfound fashion. Therefore, you can stay confident about the variety of materials in the backpack.
- Like we mentioned, the Tasmanian Tiger Mission Pack Mk II Combat Backpack comes with one of the best designs we can see in the market. The laser-cut design on the exterior provides not just the best support but also advanced accessibility.
- Since the backpack uses the water-repellent 500D Cordura fabric and YKK RC zippers, you can use it in an extreme variety of weather conditions. This comes as a solace for those who carry GPS devices and laptops during a survival camp.
- The backpack consists of 2 main compartments and 7 separate pockets. Even without the need of an external organizer, you get to control how much you store inside the backpack. This is a great deal if you want to utilize 100% space in the bag.
- The high price you pay for the backpack is due to the premium construction. The straps on the bag are designed to provide maximum comfort to the user even when the same has been customized to the maximum extent.
- There is no getting away from paying too much for this backpack. As a bug-out bag, this product stays on the expensive side of things. If you want different color options, you may have to pay more, which isn’t so convenient for all.
There aren’t any noteworthy extra features in this package.
If you are ready to shell out the extra dollars for the sake of comfort and customizability, you should consider what the Tasmanian Tiger Mission Pack Mk II Combat Backpack has to offer.
Apparently, the product offers one of the most versatile designs and construction quality we have seen. It is also a lasting investment since the bag uses high-quality materials.
Alternative: Teton Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack
- Capacity: 55 liter
If you think the products listed above are too niche for you, it is a good decision to look at the TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack.
This is one of the best survival backpacks with an internal frame, and it can assist you in a variety of situations, including hiking and camping.
We are also talking about one of the highest storage capacities seen in the market. Compared to the numbers you get, the product seems to have a reasonable price tag as well.
- Thanks to the simple design and dedicated arrangements, the backpack is a suitable option for those who have begun camping and survival adventures. The design even offers a dedicated space where you can store sleeping bags.
- Since it is designed for beginners, you can find many features you will not see in other products. For instance, the TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack comes with an integrated rainfly and enhanced bungee storage options.
- The internal frame of the backpack is more useful than you think. The system can provide you better support while moving through unknown territory, even when you carry too much weight. It is, again, a life-saver if you ask us.
- You can use the compression straps and gear loops to attach a wide variety of accessories to TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack. This comes in handy when you want to carry some extra camping-related gear with you.
- The construction of the TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack is not premium. It means you cannot expect the bag to withstand extreme weather or rough usage. After all, you seem to be paying a fraction of what dedicated survival backpacks cost.
Apart from the immense number of dedicated spaces and compartments, there aren’t any extra features.
In the end, the TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack brings everything you expect from a bag designed for multiple needs.
Even though you miss features like dedicated laptop storage and organization within internal compartments, this backpack is the best for beginners. It might just help you jump-start your survival adventures, thanks to the extra storage options and rainfly.
Survival Backpack FAQ
What should be in a survival backpack?
A survival backpack should have an inventory of items that you need once you are in the wilderness.
Based on the type of adventure you are looking for, you may need a portable stove, sleeping bags, GPS navigation systems, and other hardware. Those who prepare for multi-day adventure trips may need clothes as well.
Do you really need a bug out bag?
The answer depends on where you are and what you do, of course. However, if you find yourself in a place to rush towards adventures and emergency situations, a well-prepared bug out bag can help you smoothen things out. Sometimes, they can even save your life.
Where should you keep your go bag?
You have to keep your go bag in an ideal location from the accessibility point of view. After all, this is a bag that you want to grab and go in a few seconds, but you cannot subject the backpack to potential danger as well.
Therefore, you have to find a place that is equally safe and accessible.
How much water goes in a bag?
The amount of water that goes into a bag depends upon the method you use. As you may have seen above, some backpacks support hydration systems that you can attach for maximum space utilization.
In such cases, a backpack can handle several gallons of water, helping you survive for longer in the wild.
We hope you understand the sheer diversity of survival backpack options in the market.
Depending on how much adventure you need and the experience you have, you can pick one of them.
However, if you ask us, we would always recommend going for a premium product since it will last a solid few years, even with some rough usage from your side. After all, the survival backpack is your best friend in the wild, and you always need the best best friend.