If you buy a bug-out bag for the first time, you could be wondering about the things you should consider during the selection process. A bug-out backpack should be practical and should have compartments to hold all your necessary items. In addition, it should be easy to carry around.
You can check multiple backpack reviews on our website Ready and Armed. Here are things to consider during the backpack selection process.
Table of Contents
Go For High Quality
Although high-quality backpacks are pricey, they are durable enough to hold the items you would need during your trip. A higher-quality backpack is definitely worth the investment.
You might be carrying the bag in rough conditions, whether in an outdoor environment or urban environment. A high-quality bag can take some abuse and should be water-resistant.
You can search for a high-quality bag from trusted online vendors, but you can get a quality bag from the local stores. It is better to look at and handle the bag at the store to ensure it is of the desired quality.
The Bag Must Be a 2-Strap Backpack
Sling bags might not carry the expected weight during an emergency, and it is wise to choose a pack with two straps. The straps should be thick to ensure that they do not break under stress.
The straps should not be cheaply made, and you should opt for the military-grade as they are made for harsher conditions. The straps determine whether the bag would serve its purpose or not.
Get a bag with a Hip Belt
A hip belt supports the weight distribution making it easy to carry the bag around. The belt distributes the bag’s weight from the shoulders to the hip.
Transferring this weight makes the legs feel more robust, thus increasing stability during a hike. You can get a backpack with a removable belt for situations when the bag is light and does not require weight distribution.
A functional bag can be expensive but is worth the investment, and it is better to pay more for a high-quality bag than to opt for a cheaply made bag. However, if your budget is limited, you can stick with your budget; if you have enough money, you can opt for a new bag.
However, if your budget is restricted, you should not opt for a low-quality bag as you can buy a lightly used, high-quality pack rather than a new cheaper bag. You can find gently-used bags in the thrift shops near you. Thrift shops have military-grade bags at half the price of the new ones, and they serve the same purpose as new bags.
Choose a Bag with a Volume in the 45-55L Range
You should consider the size of the bug-out bag, as it needs to be large enough to carry everything. However, it shouldn’t be too big as a more oversized bag might end up having more equipment than you can carry.
The bug-out bags can either be large, medium, or small. Assuming it is your first bug-out bag, you should choose the medium-size pack of about 45-55L.
A bag that weighs less than 40 liters would be too small for your items, while one which weighs more than 60 liters would be too large. A large bag might be challenging to carry on your back and is impractical since you can’t guarantee that you would have access to a vehicle and gasoline during a bug-out event.
Be Sure It Fits Properly
The bug-out bag should fit adequately; a bag that does not fit well might be difficult to carry around. A smaller size bag might not fit you well, leading to discomfort, while a larger one could be difficult to carry on your back.
The bug-out bag should have compartments that carry all the items you would need during an emergency. Bag compartments allow you to organize all things quickly and in a streamlined way.
The bag should have both large and small compartments for managing both the large and small items. Ensure all the compartments are closable with zippers, straps, or Velcro as it ensures moisture and dirt do not penetrate from one compartment into another.
Choose a Tactical Bag with a Sturdy Frame
Tactical bags are practical as they are sturdy and can carry heavy loads, and you should choose one with a strong frame. The bug-out bag should weigh about 15% of your body weight which means men can carry a backpack weighing 30-40 pounds comfortably while women can carry about 25-35 pounds.
A frameless bag might not distribute the weight evenly, which means you could have more weight on one side, hurting your back and posture. Moreover, the frame makes it possible to organize items in the bag seamlessly. Finally, a frame will make your bag more durable.
Choose Front-Load Bags or Hybrids Rather Than Top-Load Bags
The front loader bags have a clamshell-style opening like a suitcase, making it easy to pack your belongings. The level of accessibility makes them suitable for moving every item around during an emergency. The bag allows for ergonomic packing, which ensures fair distribution of the bag’s weight.
The top-load bags do not offer easy access to the items in the bag. If you need something, you might have to remove most of the items to find a specific one.
Choose the Colors Which Best Match Your Personality and Purpose
Bug-out bags come in different colors, and you can choose the colors that match your personality. Most people would go with neutral colors such as green, grey, camo, or black, but you could choose to have a little fun with color choices.
Unless you wish to make sure you can move about on foot with as little notice as possible, you should not shy away from bright colors such as red, yellow, lime, and pink. Let your bag bring out your personality and bring color to your life.
The style and size of the bug-out bag you choose will determine the number of items you can carry and the comfort of the pack. Therefore, it would be best to select a sturdy bag with a frame that ensures fair distribution of the bag’s weight, leading to maintaining a proper posture. In addition, the bag should have suitable compartments to store your personal belongings effectively.