Disaster can strike anytime, and if you haven’t had the chance to download our free bug-out bag checklist and start your preparations, time is of the essence.
Packing your own bug-out bag means you can adapt the contents to your needs and circumstances.
Time is running out, however, and pre-made or pre-packed bug-out bags provide a quicker, less demanding solution.
Unfortunately, many of these products contain poor-quality items that will do little to help you survive a disaster – or even a camping trip.
We’ve spent many hours sifting through those products, getting rid of any that were heavy on bushcraft tools but light on first aid and those packed to the hilt with cheap tactical equipment but contained no food or water.
Our final list contains only a handful of high-quality pre-packed bug-out bags, but even these lack a few essentials. Don’t forget to add your important documents and items specific to your situation.
The bag doubles up as a flotation device and contains all the basics you and your partner need to survive 72 hours in the wilderness.
It includes food, water, first aid, emergency communication devices, shelter, and tools.
Five Pre-Made Bug Out Bags Reviewed
#1 Uncharted Supply Co The Seventy2 Survival System
The bag from uncharted Supply Co is what sets it apart from the crowd. Made of waterproof tarpaulin, it protects the contents and doubles up as an airtight flotation device. Remove the insert, and you’ll have an extra 48l of storage space.
Most pre-packed bug-out bags are low on food, and while 72 hrs high-calorie rations won’t feel like a feast to anyone, they will keep you going longer than a couple of energy bars.
Instead of water, this bug-out bag provides a 48 oz water bottle, water filter, and a syringe for cleaning the filter so you can collect, purify, and store at least a little drinking water. Assuming a water source is located close by, this should be sufficient to keep two people going for 72 hours.
As you’ve got both a radio and flashlight to hand, you can immediately signal for help. In the meantime, you can make yourselves comfortable using the survival tent and a Mylar space blanket.
Should you get cold, the enclosed beanie, hand warmers, and gloves will warm you up in no time, especially as you’re also equipped to make a fire. The enclosed multi-tool, foldable pickaxe/shovel, and paracord will help you make the most of your bushcraft skills, enabling you to harvest food and create additional shelter.
There are also enough first aid supplies and sunscreen to ensure you remain healthy and at least relatively hygienic in your bug-out situation.
The best news? This isn’t even the most expensive pre-packed bug-out bag on the market!
Its reasonable price and the fact that it’s been packed so meticulously make it by far the best pre-made bug-out available.
#2 LifeShield® All-In-One Bug Out Bag
The contents of this bug-out bag come close to the Uncharted offering.
There’s enough water and food to keep a couple of people going for a few days and a well-stocked communications kit complete with an emergency radio, flashlight, whistle, and waterproof matches.
Warmth and shelter are similarly well-covered with two body warmers, an emergency bivy sack, a two-person tube tent, and an emergency poncho.
There’s also plenty of fire-making equipment with waterproof matches, emergency candles, flint & steel firestarter, and WetFire starting tinder. There’s plenty of everything, which is part of the problem.
Instead of just supplying you with a good-quality multi-tool, the creators of this bug-out bag have seen fit to include a can opener, spork utensil, digger shovel, neck knife, and an 11-in-1 wallet tool kit. I can’t help feeling this is overkill, given that a decent survival multi-tool can perform all those functions and more.
The first aid kit is similarly obscure with its face masks and radiation blockers.
While this bug-out bag contains everything you might need to survive a couple of days, it also includes a few unnecessary gadgets that add weight.
If the contents were slimmed down to reduce the weight by a couple of pounds, it would improve the overall quality and make this one of the best pre-made bug-out bags out there.
#3 EVERLIT Complete 72 Hours Earthquake Bug Out Bag
The highlight of this bug-out is its supply of water. It includes three quarts of water and enough water purification tablets to treat another 25, which should be sufficient for two people to survive for at least five days.
While the food isn’t particularly imaginative, if you ration the two 3600-calorie emergency food bars, consuming just 500 calories a day, two of you could probably get by for nearly a week before you’d need to start thinking about making and using a slingshot for hunting.
There’s a thermal blanket and emergency shelter to keep you dry, a fire starter so you can create heat, and a 3-in-1 hand-crank flashlight, radio, and phone charger so you can call or signal for help.
Basic tools and emergency supplies include multi-function pliers, an emergency whistle, compass, and 100ft of paracord. You also get a wire saw and a multi-purpose tool card.
While this bug-out bag contains all the essentials, at 15lbs, I feel they’ve overdone it. I don’t know how necessary it is to include a multi-purpose tool card and a pair of multi-function pliers. Nor do I see the need to put in 100ft of paracord when half that would reduce the overall weight and still be more than adequate.
However, my biggest bugbear with this bug-out bag is the bag itself. It’s water-resistant but neither waterproof nor airtight, so its uses are limited. I’d much rather pay more for a bug-out bag that can be used as a floatation device and airtight storage unit than pay less for one with limited versatility.
#4 Complete Earthquake Bag
This affordable bug-out bag snuck its way into fourth place with its color-coordinated packaging and expert video guide. It contains many of the items found in our top three picks, including 2 x 3600 calorie food bars, an emergency water supply, and water purification tablets.
A tube tent, sleeping bag, body warmers, and poncho provide adequate shelter and warmth, but there’s little in the way of fire-starting equipment, which could be a problem. Instead of a simple fire starter, the makers of this kit saw to include tiny tubes of toothpaste, waste bags, and pocket tissues instead. True survivalists may say they’ve got their priorities wrong!
When it comes to communications, things improve considerably. Not only will you have a 3-way hand crank flashlight, radio, and phone charger, but you’ll also be able to draw attention to your location with the 5-in-1 whistle.
Another benefit of this bug-out bag is that it has a detailed video guide showing you how to use each of its components, and 1% of the purchase price goes to a disaster relief fund.
This pre-made bug-out bag ticks all the boxes regarding price, content, and organization. However, it would be even better value for money if the bag was upgraded to a dry bag and some of the hygiene products replaced with something a little more practical.
#5 MyMedic 10 Essentials Kit
With its dry-bag exterior, this bug-out bag is versatile and durable. It also covers the basics very well. The emergency water sachets contain nearly half a quart, and there are also water purification tablets, a bottle, and a water filter.
This kit contains calories to keep a couple of people alive for several days and enough first aid supplies to deal with the most likely injuries and health issues.
A space blanket and bivy provide emergency shelter, while a hat, gloves, and socks are available for warmth and comfort. Rather than making you wrestle with a flint and steel fire starter, this bug-out bag gives you two packs of Instafire food-safe fire starters. With these, you should be able to start a total of 24 fires, which should be plenty if you’re only out in the wilderness for a few days.
A few essential items are missing from this bug-out bag. There’s no radio, for example, which means you’ll have to use fire or the solar-powered head torch to signal for help.
On the plus side, this bug-out bag weighs just 8lb – half that of the heaviest product on our list. It also includes a first-aid and survival guide so that even the most inexperienced prepper can survive the bugging-out experience.
How To Find The Most Practical Pre-Made Bug-Out Bag
Packing your bug-out bag is the only way to ensure you’ve got everything you need. Even with the best pre-made bug-out bag, a few essentials may be missing. If you have allergies, for example, you may need to pack an EpiPen.
Perhaps you’re very cold intolerant and know you’ll need more than an emergency poncho and bivy sack to stay warm.
A pre-made bug-out will give you the bare bones, and the ones we’ve focussed on here are designed to sustain two people for 72 hours.
The most important six areas to focus on with this type of bug-out bag are:
The outside of a bug-out bag is just as important as the contents. A dry bag that can also be used as a flotation device gives you two items for the price of one.
My husband’s rule of packing is that every item should have more than one use and when it comes to bug-out bags, I agree with him.
Food and Water
Few of us leave the house without a bottle of water, and when we’re fleeing for our lives, it needs to be high on our list of priorities. Even though over half of the world’s population lives within 3km of a body of fresh water, carrying some water with you is just common sense.
While not all bug-out bags contain water, most provide something to purify and store drinking water. If you find a bug-out bag without this essential, it’s probably not worth bothering.
Food is another essential. Even if it’s only enough to give you the bare minimum you need to survive, you’ll be grateful for it when the only other options are roasted cockroaches and a handful of suspect berries.
Not having a comfy place to lay my head at night is my worst nightmare and only professional survivalists are confident enough about their bushcraft skills to contemplate building a survival shelter on the first night.
An emergency bivy and a space blanket are the bare necessities for shelter, and every pre-made bug-out bag should contain these. Sleeping bags and tents offer a more luxurious experience – one that I would struggle to sacrifice!
Fire and Light
Fire gives you so much more than just warmth – it offers protection against wild animals, creates light, and provides a way to roast your cockroaches. No one should head off into the wilderness without some kind of firestarter and a flashlight, making these critical components in any pre-made bug-out bag.
Being able to communicate gives you the possibility of being rescued or, failing that, at least tracking down other valuable resources. At a minimum, every survivor should have a flashlight and whistle. The best emergency and shortwave radios for preppers offer a stronger lifeline, and even if your bug-out bag doesn’t have the latest model, something is better than nothing.
If you know your stuff, the 7 most useful trees for survivalists and preppers will give you a comprehensive first aid kit. For those who can’t see the wood for the trees, however, a basic first aid kit could be critical for your survival.
The best bug-out bag is one you’ve planned, researched, and packed yourself. However, if you haven’t the time, inclination, or checklists to complete this process, a pre-made bug-out bag offers a useful alternative.
We think the Seventy Two Survival System from Uncharted is the best option for most people as it provides the essentials, has a high-quality bag, and is well organized.