Best Bug-Out Bags for 72 Hours in 2021

Having a 72-hour bug-out bag full of emergency rations and supplies isn’t being paranoid; it’s being prepared. Hurricanes, earthquakes, and a full range of other natural disasters are all a guarantee given enough time in the right place

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Finding the best bug-out bag could help keep you and your family safe. It will hold everything you need to survive the first 72-hours after disaster strikes, so picking the right one could save your life.


How We Researched the Best Bug-Out Bags for 72 Hours in 2021

33 Expert Reviews Considered 16,002 Consumer Reviews Considered 8 Hours Researching 101 Products Evaluated

Best Bug-Out Bags for 72 Hours in 2021 3 Features That Make Better 72-Hour Bug-Out Bags

If you’re looking for the best bug-out bag, there are three major features to consider: the bag’s capacity, frame, and material.


A BOB should be about the size of a carry-on item for air travel, and as a general rule, you don’t want it to weigh more than 15-20% of your body weight. That said, a larger-capacity bag gives space for bulky items you may need, like outerwear.

At the least, you want your bag to fit all your 72-hour necessities. For that, a 40-50 liter capacity will suffice. If you’re willing and able to travel light, you might get away with bags as small as 25 liters.

2. Frame

The frame of your bug-out bag determines how comfortable it is to carry. You want contoured and padded straps that sit firmly on your shoulders. The pack’s base should never hit more than a couple of inches below your waist, and it should have a waist or sternum strap for stability.

3. Material

The best bug-out bags are made with nylon because it’s durable and water-resistant. Some bags use polyester; they typically don’t last as long but are more affordable.

Having a bag that’s water-resistant and able to keep your survival gear dry is crucial; how long you need the bag to last is up to you. If you’re packing a bug-out bag purely for 72-hour emergencies, it might not matter whether the bag is polyester or nylon. If you plan to use the bag for training, hiking, or other purposes, having nylon is critical.

Regardless of the primary material, you want a bag that has MOLLE webbing. MOLLE (modular lightweight load-carrying equipment) webbing refers to a series of nylon strips sewn onto your bag to create attachment points for various accessories. It allows you to attach your knife, paracord, or other pouches, keeping your gear organized and close at hand.

Best Bug-Out Bags for 72 Hours in 2021 Top 5: Best 72 Hour Bug-Out Bags

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Reebow Military Tactical Backpack

Our Top Pick

Versatile and affordable; that’s what comes to mind when I think of the Reebow Gear Military Tactical Backpack. This pack is ideal for backpacking, trekking, and of course, 72-hour emergencies. If I was going to buy a new bug out bag tomorrow, this is the one I’d pick.


The assault pack-style design on the Reebow Gear Military Tactical backpack makes for efficient, organized storage and comfortable carrying.

The outside of the pack is equipped with MOLLE webbing and outer buckles to provide support. The shoulder straps are padded and comfortable for prolonged use. It also has a waist strap to help with weight distribution.

Inside, the pack features a side and front load compression system to keep your gear in place without the need for extra zippers and fastenings. It also has a compartment for a hydration bladder, though you’ll have to purchase the bladder separately.


The Reebow Gear pack has a 40-liter capacity, which is plenty for 72-hours worth of survival gear. The bag measures 13 x 20 x 11 inches and can easily fit a first-aid kit, change of clothes, water, canned food supplies, and a small camping stove.


Designers used polyester rather than nylon on this bag, which I would usually complain about. However, this bag uses 600D material. That’s a heavy-weight, water-resistant polyester made to withstand the elements. It’s not nylon, but it still does the job.

The only durability issue we can note is with the chest strap. Depending on the frame of the person wearing it, the strap may pull at an odd angle that will cause it to tear with use.


Compared to other military tactical backpacks, the Reebow Gear pack is exceptionally affordable. It’s also versatile; you can use it for backpacking, for school, or as a bug-out bag. It even works as a carry-on item for air travel.

  • MOLLE webbing system for accessories
  • Hydration bladder compatible
  • 40 L capacity carries enough for 72-hour survival
  • 600D, heavy-weight and water-resistant polyester
  • Waist strap may not be comfortable or durable depending on user’s body type

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5.11 Tactical Rush 72 Military Backpack

Runner Up

If you want a real-deal bug-out bag and are willing to pay for it, 5.11 Tactical’s Rush 72 backpack is the way to go. This bag can handle heavy-use and rough terrain, making it perfect for any adventure. The authentic, military-style means this bag can handle whatever you throw at or in it.


The 72 Rush backpack features large zippered front and main compartments. It also has a hydration pocket and a fleece-lined pouch for your sunglasses.

Inside, you’ll find thirty compartments to keep your equipment organized. There’s even an “Admin” pocket in the front pouch designed to give easy access to maps, pens, and essential travel documentation.

Outside, this pack features MOLLE webbing and molded grip pulls, so you can easily grab it and go. The front of the pack has a “shove compartment,” essentially a netted extension that holds bulky items like outerwear.

A padded hip belt and adjustable sternum strap aid with stability. However, the shoulder straps are a little on the broadside, at 10 cm across, which may be uncomfortable for smaller users.


The Rush 72 has a main compartment that measures 23″ x 13.5″ x 8″. Beyond that, it has a front compartment that measures 15.5″ x 11.5″ x 2″. It also has a hydration compartment built-in, for a total capacity of 55 liters.

55 liters is more than enough for a 72-hour trek, but if you ever needed a bag that could handle more, you’re in luck. The Rush 72 is compatible with 5.11 Tactical’s Tier System. That means you can hook additional pack storage onto the outside of this bag.


5.11 Tactical builds their gear to last. They designed the Rush 72 backpack using 500D and 1000D Cordura nylon. Cordura nylon is exceptionally durable and highly resistant to abrasion; this bag won’t tear or rip. It’s also water-resistant.


5.11 Tactical bags are pricey, but they feature quality worksmanship and should last for a long time. If you want a bug-out bag that you can train, camp, or backpack with, then the value of the Rush 72 backpack is undeniable, even at its higher-end price point.

  • Hydration Compartment
  • Water-resistant 500D/1000D Cordura Nylon construction
  • Large front and main compartments with several storage pockets
  • Shove compartment for bulky items
  • Compatible with 5.11 Tactical Tier System
  • Shoulder strap is relatively broad and may cause discomfort for some users

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Direct Action Dragon Egg Tactical Backpack

3rd Place

If you’re not worried about carrying any extra gear for your partner, children, or other family member, you may not need the standard 40-50 liter capacity bug out bag. You can probably get by with something far smaller, like this 25-liter capacity backpack from Direct Action.


This pack features a large main compartment, front and back compartments, and two side compartments for organizing gear. The front compartment features an admin panel for pens, maps, and travel documents, while the back compartment has a sleeve to fit and protect your laptop.

If you have a petite frame, this backpack is ideal because it has narrow but well-padded shoulder straps. The thin straps will fit better on slimmer shoulders, putting less strain on your back.

It also has a side pouch for your water bottle and is hydration bladder compatible.


The smaller 25-liter size of the Direct Action Dragon Egg Technical Backpack still holds quite a bit thanks to an efficient design. Though it’s listed as a 2-day backpack, I find that I can fit enough in the bag for three days as a single person.

Thanks to this backpack’s egg shape, you can squeeze in a lot! The middle of the pack expands easily, and the outer MOLLE webbing increases the amount you can carry by allowing you to hook on accessories.


500D Cordura nylon is extremely durable and water-resistant, meaning this bag will last. It shouldn’t tear even with heavy use.


If you have a smaller body type and are traveling alone, the Dragon Egg provides incredible value at a reasonable price. It’s not ideal if you’re tall or broad-shouldered and definitely won’t work if you need to help carry anyone else’s gear. The egg shape makes it great for everyday use, which adds additional value if you plan to use it that way.

  • Egg-shape maximizes internal space
  • Durable and water-resistant 500D Cordura Nylon construction
  • Built-in Laptop sleeve
  • Hydration bladder compatible
  • Narrow shoulder straps not ideal for tall or broad-shouldered people
  • Relatively small size won’t hold any extras

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Condor Outdoor Products 3-Day Assault Pack

4th Place

If you were thinking of 72-hours as a minimum rather than a maximum, you might want a bag like the Condor Outdoor 3-Day Assault Pack. The label says 3-days, but this bag could easily hold enough supplies for a five-day trek.


This backpack features a large main compartment and seven additional pouches for organizing your gear. MOLLE webbing lines the outside of the pack, while contoured shoulder straps provide stability.

Though it does not have a laptop sleeve, this pack can fit dual hydration bladders. Should you choose to carry both of them, it has a padded waist belt and sternum strap for extra support. Unfortunately, the hydration bladder compartment is within the bag’s main compartment, which means that if your bladder springs a leak, you’ll have a problem!


With a 50 liter capacity, there’s no doubt this pack will fit three days of supplies and then some. Many veterans claim to have fit as much as five days’ worth of gear, and I don’t doubt that that’s true!

In general, though, this pack’s large and broad build won’t be comfortable if you have a shorter or more petite frame. It’s best to leave this pack to those who are taller and have broad shoulders.


This backpack features Cordura-like nylon construction. Cordura is technically a brand name, so Cordura-like nylon isn’t necessarily lacking in strength; it’s just the off-brand name. That means this backpack should last a long time, even in extreme environments.


This is a reasonably priced backpack that will hold everything you need. In terms of a 72-hour bug-out bag, it has everything we want to see, including MOLLE webbing, hydration bladder compatibility, and plenty of storage pockets.

  • Large capacity could hold up to 5 days of supplies
  • Compatible with dual hydration bladders
  • Contoured shoulder straps and padded waist belt
  • Large and broad design isn’t comfortable for shorter or more petite users
  • Hydration bladders are held in main compartment, making leaks a real risk

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CVLIFE Tactical Backpack

5th Place

With three detachable pouches, the CVLIFE Tactical backpack lends itself to many uses. Use the main compartment for all your bulky gear, and use the detachable pieces for grab-and-go purposes. Use one as a first aid kit and the others as a fire starter kit and wet weather pouch.


Being able to attach and detach extra pouches is what makes the CVLIFE Tactical backpack one of the best bug-out bags. It’s handy to have a first aid kit that separates from the rest of your gear! Otherwise, this bag is really one big compartment, with very few organizing pockets. There is no laptop or sunglasses sleeve.

The bag features rain diverting flaps to help keep gear dry in stormy weather and ventilated shoulder straps to keep you comfortable on hotter days. Plus, the MOLLE webbing system allows you to attach extra accessories.


This bag is flexible and holds 50 – 60 L, depending on how you pack. It’s the biggest pack on our list when filled to capacity and is uncomfortable to carry if you have a more petite frame.


600D Polyester isn’t as great as Cordura nylon, but it is durable and water-resistant. The bag shouldn’t tear or break with regular use.

If you were going to use this bag to backpack or go to school, it might wear out with time and would no longer be a good bug-out bag option. If it’s going to live under your bed or in a closet until emergency strikes, it should work fine.


The price point on this bag is very affordable, probably due to its polyester construction. For a bug-out bag, we think it’s a great option. However, that’s only true if you’re tall and strong enough to carry such a broad-shaped bag. If you have a smaller build or want to use your pack on a regular basis, it’s not the best option.

  • Detachable multipurpose packs
  • Hydration bladder compatible
  • Ventilated shoulder straps stay cool
  • Broad and heavy design uncomfortable for smaller users
  • Few organizational pockets outside of detachable pouches

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Best Bug-Out Bags for 72 Hours in 2021 Conclusion: The Best Bug-Out Bags for 72 Hours in 2021

Finding the best bug-out bag isn’t cut and dry. You need one that works with your body type so that it’s comfortable to carry. It also needs to hold 72-hours’ worth of supplies without tearing.

That’s why I love the Reebow Military Technical Backpack. It’s affordable, holds all you need, and is durable enough to withstand the elements. If it isn’t what you’re looking for, I bet one of the other bags on this list does the trick. You’ll be glad to have a bug-out bag packed no matter which one you pick!

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