Preparedness is your key to survival. To be prepared for any wilderness or emergency situation,it’s important to invest in high-quality gear. One of the most essential pieces of gear is a heavy-duty survival backpack to house and transport your supplies. Survival backpacks are versatileand can be used forwilderness adventures or to stow supplies for emergency situations. This article will be your guide to finding the best survival backpack. It will outline the features to consider when looking for a survival backpack, how to find the right size for you, and give product reviews of some of the most popular survival backpacks on the market.
Features to Consider:
1. Backpack Type
There are two types of backpacks most suitable for survival purposes: hiking backpacks or military/tactical backpacks. Hiking backpacks are designed to carry large amounts of gear for long distances. They’re built to maximize space and comfort. Tactical backpacks more rugged and capable of holding up in all weather conditions. They generally have multiple compartments and give you enough room for all the gear you need. However, compared to hiking backpacks, they’re not as comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
To ensure that all of your gear fits into your backpack, find a backpack that’s the right size. The capacity of backpacks is usually measured in liters. For a 3-night trip in the wilderness, you’ll need a backpack that has a 30-50-liter capacity. For up to 5nights, look for a 50-80-liter pack. 70+ liter backpacks are the size you’ll need for extended trips.
3. Internal Frame
Opt for a survival backpack with an internal frame that’s hidden inside the pack and provides you with load support to transfer the weight from your shoulders to your hips. External frames can be bulky and backpacks without frames offer less support for weight-bearing.
Weight is an important consideration when buying a survival backpack because it needs to be portable and have a fairly low weight prior to loading it up with gear.
5. Padded Hip Belt
A padded hip belt is recommended to increase the comfort of your backpack on your lower back and hips. Having a hip belt that’s cushioned and well-built, will help prevent sore spots on your lower back and hips when carrying heavy loads or wearing your backpack for a long period of time. A good hip belt also helps stabilize your backpack and transfer some of the weight from your shoulders to your hips. Some hip belts have small pockets that allow you to store necessary items, such as maps, a compass or knife.
6. Padded Straps
Padded shoulder straps will help distribute the weight from your pack and reduce the impact on your shoulders to ensure that you can travel far distances with a heavy load. Also, make sure that the shoulder straps are wide. Narrower straps are more likely to dig into your shoulders and cause you discomfort.
7. Sternum Strap
Having a sternum strap pulls your shoulder straps together and keeps your shoulders from being pulled back. Transferring the weight from the outside of your shoulders to the center of your chest makes carrying your heavy load a whole lot easier.
It’s essential that your survival backpack is waterproof to ensure that your gear and food supplies stay dry. Your pack needs to be durable enough to stand up against all weather conditions, and while crossing waterways, such as rivers and creeks. For those who are worried about the weight of waterproof materials, there are also backpacks made with lightweight,water-resistant materials. Then you can just bring along a rain cover for extra protection. The degree of waterproofness you choose to invest in comes down to the outdoor environment you’ll be exposed to.
Waterproof and water-resistant survival backpacks are made out of strong materials, such as nylon, that aren’t always the most breathable. Having a backpack with ventilation technology, such as a mesh back panel, will ensure that your back is kept comfortable and cool during long treks with a heavy load. Backpacks without ventilation technology will usually make your back hot and sweaty.
Having a backpack with compartments allows you to organize your gear and find it easily once you need it. Compartments are convenient and reduce the amount of time spent rummaging for supplies.
Expansion features allow you to add more essential gear to your pack when needed. Look for backpacks with extra pockets, webbing, straps or exterior loops that allow you to attach or carry a water bottle, sleeping bag, knife or compass easily.
12. Finding the Right Size
When looking for the right sized backpack, what it comes down to is your body size, strength and endurance. The liter capacity measures give an approximate idea of the backpack size you’ll need, but it’s also important to find a backpack that will fit your body size and that you can actually carry. One way to find the right backpack size is to measure the length of your torso. Measure the vertical distance from the base of your neck to the center of your hip bones. If your torso length is 16 inches or less, look for a smaller/shorter survival backpack. Medium survival backpacks are ideal for people with torso lengths between 16.5 inches to 19.5 inches. For torso lengths 20 inches and up, a large/long survival pack will suit you well. There are also backpacks specifically designed for women to ensure a better fit.
Now it’s time to take a look at some of the survival backpacks you’ll find available on the market.
3v Gear Paratus 3 Military Style Tactical Backpack
3V Gear’s Paratus 3 backpack is made with a modular design that’s essentially 3 packs in 1. It has two attached MOLLE pouches and a detachable deployment bag with a waist or shoulder strap. The main pack has two large-zippered compartments and interior pockets and organizers to ensure that you can stay organized and find your gear quickly when needed. The Paratus 3 is made out of a heavy-duty weather resistant 600 Denier PVC backed nylon material to give you protection against the elements. For extra durability,it has double stitched seams and self-healing coil zippers with paracord pulls for noise reduction. Its expansion features include fasten points and multiple D-rings.
For your comfort, the pack has an adjustable padded waist belt and body contoured shoulder straps. It also has a separate compartment for a hydration bladder. Its overall size is 2890 cubic inches (approximately 47.7 liters). The Paratus 3 also fits most airline carry-on requirements, making it easy to travel with. Be aware that this pack is not designed for prolonged hikes because of its lack of a frame, sternum strap and heavy material.
3v Gear Velox Ii Large Tactical Assault Backpack
The Velox II gives you 1628 cubic inches (approximately 26.7 liters) of space for hiking, travel or for survival preparedness. It consists of two compartments with internal organizers and external zippered compartments. The pack has a clam shell wide opening system with self-healing zippers and paracord that give you easy access to your gear. The Velox II has MOLLE webbing on the bottom and compatibility for extra attachments and pouches to give you more space. It’s made out of 600 Denier PVC backed nylon that’s rugged and weather resistant. For your comfort, the pack has an adjustable hip strap and contoured shoulder straps that are easily adjustable. The shoulder straps have D-rings that allow you to easily add a sternum strap.
To keep your back cool and comfortable, the pack has an EVA molded vented back panel. It has side and top mounted compression straps and a reinforced drag handle. The main compartment has a hydration bladder pocket, but no structure to redirect the drink tube. 3V Gear offers a lifetime warranty for their backpacks.
Mil-Tec Military Tactical Backpack
Mil-Tec’s tactical backpack has two separate main compartments and two front pockets. The main compartments have zipper and mesh inner pockets to help keep your gear organized. All compartments and zippers can be easily opened and closed with the sturdy, 2-way zippers. This tactical backpack is made with a PVC coated 600 Denier polyester that’s rugged and water resistant. For extra durability, it’s made with durable stitching and rubber-lined pockets. For your comfort, it has an adjustable hip belt, adjustable padded shoulder straps, and a padded back panel. To give you extra space, the pack has loops, D-rings and MOLLE attachment points. The D-rings on the shoulder straps allow you to add sternum straps for extra comfort.
It has strong compression straps to keep your gear compact. The pack also features a built-in Velcro pocket that can fit your hydration pack. The carrying capacity of the backpack is 36 liters.
Reebow Tactical Assault Backpack
Reebow Tactical’s assault backpack is made with a 600×600 density fabric that’s durable and water resistant. For extra durability, the pack is double stitched, and has heavy-duty zippers and utility-style pull cords. It features various sized pockets and storage options to keep your gear organized and easy to find. For your comfort, it has a padded back panel and ventilated mesh padding shoulder straps. This survival backpack is hydration compatible and can accommodate 2.5-liter hydration bladders. It also features a side and front load compression system. This 34-liter capacity pack can be used as a 3-day trekking backpack, survival backpack, military rucksack or as a hunting backpack.
Teton Sports Scout 3400 Backpack
The Scout 3400 is a durable hiking backpack with a 55-liter capacity. The pack features a large sleeping bag compartment, several other compartments, and pockets to keep your gear organized and easily accessible. The main compartment is securely fastened with two-barrel lock drawstrings. This hiking backpack is made with 600 Denier diamond ripstop and a 600 Denier Oxford canvas shell for extra durability. A rainfly is also included to keep your pack from getting wet. For extra gear storage, the Scout 3400 has a front mesh storage pocket and gear loops for anything from ski poles, an ice axe or shovel. It also features multi-directional compression straps. For your carrying comfort, the pack features fully adjustable padded shoulder straps, open-cell foam and mesh back panel, padded waist strap and bendable aluminum stays. The torso length is even adjustable between 15 and 19.5 inches, making it a great backpack for men, women and youth.
Mountaintop Hiking Backpack
Mountaintop’s 60-liter capacity backpack is made with an internal frame for your carrying comfort. It has a padded hip belt with pockets to give you easy access to a camera, knife, compass or map. The padded back panel also has a torso adjusting system to help you find the right length for your body. It has front access zipper that allows you to quickly access the main compartment. For extra storage space, the top lid has an extension collar with two drawstrings to give you 5 more liters of space. The bottom access of the pack has an internal drawstring divider that allows you to make a bottom compartment for clothes, shoes, sleeping pad or sleeping bag. It also has a bottom loop, trekking pole attachment and two hooks to attach extra gear. The main compartment has a sleeve for a water bladder and hydration access for the tube.
Sunvp Hiking Backpack
SUNVP’s hiking backpack is made out of high-quality nylon that’s water and abrasion resistant. It also has an integrated rain cover in the bottom compartment to keep you pack protected against the elements. The main pack has a 45-liter capacity. The storage bag on top has a stretch pocket and harness to give you an extra 5 liters of space. For your comfort, it has a ventilated suspension system with an adjustable sternum strap and a detachable hip belt with zip pockets for easy access to small essentials. The sternum strap even has a whistle buckle for emergency purposes. Its expansion features include: bottom backpack straps, front pockets, stretch side pockets, trekking pole/tool attachments and a sleeping bag compartment.
When it comes to finding the best survival backpack, look for a pack that’s durable enough to withstand the outdoor elements, spacious enough to fit your gear, and comfortable enough when carrying heavy loads. Research various backpack models to find the one that will be suitable for your survival needs. Also, be sure to try on a wide range of backpacks to ensure you invest in a survival backpack that’s compatible with your body type and fitness level.