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The 3 Best Backpacks for an Emergency Kit | Fit Any Budget

Finding the best backpack for an emergency kit is often overlooked in its importance. Issues like comfort, storage space, and even discreteness are common concerns. Whether you are looking to build a bug out bag or just a simple hurricane, earthquake, or tornado preparedness kit, you have come to the right place.

Here are the three best choices for an emergency kit:

  1. The 5.11 Rush24 Tactical Backpack is the best overall.
  2. The 24BattlePack Tactical Backpack is the best mid-range choice.
  3. The ProCase Tactical Backpack is the best for a low-budget price.

Note: Amazon links are included for your convenience.

Throughout this article, you’ll learn all of the details about each of the backpacks above to help you find which one you should purchase. You’ll also figure out what you should be looking for in an emergency kit backpack since they have specific necessities.

Three different color tactical backpacks on a bench

The Best Backpack for Your Emergency Setup

If you’re ready to get the best of the best, then you don’t need to look any further. The 5.11 Rush24 Tactical Backpack has more than enough compartments and special features to keep you ahead of the game. There are dozens of velcro patches on the outside to attach additional gear, or you could remove them to save space.

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This high-quality backpack comes in several colors, including Multicam, Black, and Flat Dark Earth. Regardless of which color you pick, you’ll be able to take advantage of the non-rip nylon material. It doesn’t fray or get caught, even on the zippers and around the edges. The bottom is double-layered to prevent damage from long-term use.

It also comes with interior webbing to strap your gear, water bottle pouches, a hydration reservoir, and a protective bag for your glasses. Thanks to the padding on the back and straps, you won’t feel that nagging, digging feeling that comes with cheap backpacks. It’s an excellent all-around choice for tactical enthusiasts.


  • Comes in a wide variety of color combinations
  • Ultra-comfortable padding inside and out
  • Multiple compartments for laptops, sunglasses, water bottles, and more
  • Removable velcro patches for additional equipment

Related Tactical Backpack vs. Hiking Backpack | How to Choose.

The Best Mid-Range Bug Out Backpack

Next up is the 24BattlePack Tactical Backpack, a mid-range bug-out backpack that’ll last countless years with proper care. Although it only comes in one color (Camel/Tan), it has all sorts of customizable features for you to mess around with. For example, there’s a velcro patch for flags and other labels, or you could use it to attach more gear.

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Another useful feature is the multitude of supportive buckles around the backpack. You can stuff it with all sorts of items and lock the buckles in place to prevent the bag from sagging. Not only is it stylish and protective for your items, but it also takes the strain off of your back. Combined with the waist buckle, you’ll be as mobile as possible.

The padding on this backpack is as breathable as you’ll find. When you move around, the air is released from the cushions to keep your back and shoulders ventilated while you wear it. There’s also a moisture-wicking interior lining to prevent sweat from building up. For such an affordable price point, nothing comes close to this backpack.


  • Comes with the best padding around
  • Supportive buckles and straps throughout the backpack
  • Hydration bladder compartment and water pouches
  • Strapped laptop compartment

The Best Budget-Friendly Emergency Backpack

If you’re making a bug-out backpack but you want to save some of your budget for other equipment, try out the ProCase Tactical Backpack. It has everything that you need to keep your items secure without requiring a boatload of money. This backpack comes in Black and Khaki, both of which have similar security buckles as the last choice on the list.

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This entire backpack is also covered with MOLLE webbing to give you space to store velcro items around the exterior. If you can’t fit everything inside, you can definitely store it on the outside. Even if you don’t want to use the patches, you can still hook your items to the loops and D-rings found throughout the backpack. Perfect for attaching carabiners.

Nothing is worse than profusely sweating while lugging around a backpack on a hot day. Fortunately, this company decided to add enhanced moisture-wicking, ventilated lining, and padding. You’ll be able to walk around with this backpack for hours without pouring sweat as you might with most other backpacks on the market.


  • Covered in MOLLE webbing for additional items
  • Five high-quality compartments for pens, laptops, and other devices
  • Lined with comfortable, breathable padding
  • Supportive buckled straps

What Should You Look For?

Tube Tent in Survival Kit

Tactical backpacks differ from traditional backpacks for several reasons. They’re made to withstand harsh environments and disaster scenarios, but they also provide you with many more storage options. Let’s examine the top five things to look for when you’re buying a backpack for emergencies.

  1. Consider the backpack’s capacity. You need to know how much gear you can store inside. When you’re calculating your requirements, don’t forget to add water, food, and other essentials to the list. Most backpacks should be at least 35 liters of capacity to qualify for emergency kits. I recommend picking up some carabiners as well for additional external storage.
  2. Is it comfortable? Most people think that comfort doesn’t matter since you’re trying to survive, not relax. However, you’d be surprised to learn the countless injuries that happen from lack of comfort. Rashes, infections, and cuts are all side effects of wearing backpacks with uncomfortable straps.
  3. Look for additional support. Whether it comes in the form of back buckles to hold the gear upright or waist and chest straps, you should have one or more lines of defense against gravity yanking your gear downward. Your back will thank you later, and your backpack will last longer.
  4. Do you prefer MOLLE webbing? Being able to strap additional items on the outside of your backpack is nice, but some people don’t want it at all. Remember that some of the backpacks above have removable webbing, while others don’t. It provides undeniable benefits, but everyone has different requirements.
  5. How will you carry water? D-ring clips, carabiners on loops, side pouches, and hydration reservoirs are all viable water storage options. Everyone wants to carry their water differently, so try to find a backpack that suits your demands. As far as weight efficiency is concerned, hydration reservoirs and side pouches are the most balanced.
  6. Is remaining discreet important? If you don’t want the general public thinking you might have something worth taking, you might not want to carry a backpack that looks like you are well-prepared. In other words, avoid gaudy military-style backpacks. While the top backpack in this article is fairly discreet and was chosen with that in mind, here is my favorite backpack for that specific purpose.

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As you can see, emergency backpacks have many different possibilities. The best backpack is the one that you feel most comfortable using. Some people might want MOLLE webbing and hydration reservoirs, while others might prefer the luxury of all-around padding and supportive straps.

Try to write down a list of your wants and needs before buying a backpack. After all, it’s the most important part of your kit. Without a good emergency backpack, you won’t be able to carry even half of your gear. Make a list, review the backpacks above, and choose the one that’s best for you.

Final Thoughts

Emergency kits, whether for house or car, can only hold so much, so choosing the best one for you and your family is of utmost importance. You want to be able to comfortably carry everything you need wherever you go. Then, you’ll be able to access multiple compartments and enjoy complete comfort throughout the day while dealing with times of strife.

Indeed, backpacks are an integral part of disaster setups. In my opinion, you need a good tactical backpack to carry your gear around. Even if you feel that emergencies will never happen to you, it’s always a good idea to have a small bug-out bag ready for the worst-case situations.

Here’s a recap of the post:

  • MOLLE webbing is great for adding extra equipment.
  • A good backpack is key to longevity and thriving in a disaster.
  • Supportive straps and buckles take the weight off your shoulders and back.
  • Storage capacity and comfort are paramount.

For more, check out How Much Does a Backpack Cost (By Type With Chart).