The Best Survival Backpacks In 2023

Last updated: Today

Erin Carpenter

Top 5 Best Survival Backpacks 2023:

  1. Gelindo Military Tactical Backpack
  2. Mardington Internal Frame Backpack
  3. Drakon Outdoors Survival Backpack
  4. Condor 3 Days Assault Pack
  5. AmazonBasics Internal Frame Backpack

Are you on the hunt for the best survival backpack?

You’ve come to the right place.

If you are an adventurer, hunter, or a hiker, you need the right gear that will help you get by once you start exploring the outdoors, especially if you do not shy away from difficult terrain and dangerous conditions.

A durable backpack capable of protecting all your valuable equipment is a must, and thus you need to invest some time and effort to find the one that will improve your odds of success.

Even if you are an expert survivalist and can manage with what nature provides, you will still need to bring along some essential survival tools such as a tactical knife, your compass, first aid pack, or Ferro rod. A survival backpack would be an ideal place to store these items. 

The survival backpack allows you to carry all your emergency tools & gear that can mean the difference between life and death. Therefore, the choice of a survival backpack is not to be taken lightly. It must be up to any challenge and durable enough to withstand constant use and abuse as well as harsh conditions. 

So, how to find the best survival backpack on the market?

We will help you, but you will have to make the final choice as no bug out backpack will fit the needs of absolutely everyone. 

See Also: The Best North Face Backpack

5 Best Survival Backpacks In 2023: Detailed Reviews

1. Condor 3 Days Assault Pack – Loaded with pockets to organize your gear

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Condor 3 Days Assault pack is a heavy-duty survival backpack loaded with useful features. Besides a large central compartment, it also has seven separate pockets of different sizes that allow you to organize your gear and documents, plus two extra pockets on each side for your hydration systems.

It measures 22″ x 17″ x 11″ and has a total capacity of 50 Liters. The main compartment measures 22″ x 12″ x 8″.

This practical backpack features molle webbing for you to attach your equipment or smaller packs. The drag handle is there when you need to move quickly.

The contour shoulder straps are padded for your comfort while the strong stitching makes sure they can handle the load. A sternum strap and removable waist belt keep the backpack in line with your body and help you carry heavy loads.

The foam pad back panel adds to the overall comfort but also makes sure your back stays dry by securing optimal airflow. The compartments have drainage grommets too. The nylon material proved to be reliable, durable, and able to withstand the elements.

This backpack officially weighs 2.5 pounds, but it feels heavier than that. If you are an ultra-light packer, you might want to skip this one. On the other hand, it is an excellent choice for those of you who value good organization.


  • Made with high-quality materials
  • D-Ring for attaching equipment
  • Separate compartment to fit up to two 3L hydration bladders 
  • Comfortable contour shoulder straps
  • A sternum strap and waist belt to balance weight
  • Drag handle
  • Individual foam pad back panel 


  • Feels heavier than advertised
  • Not suitable for ultra-light packers

2. Mardington Internal Frame Backpack – Large capacity backpack you can rely on

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The Mardington Internal Frame Backpack is a military survival backpack that offers a surprising variety of features that make it suitable for most users. The large 65-liter capacity allows you to store all your survival gear and days’ worth of water and food. Molle loops are also available for any awkwardly shaped items you cannot fit into the bag. As a bonus, you have detachable pockets to store small items such as your compass or flashlight. It measures  11.4″x 7.1″x 35.4″ in total.

Water-resistant 600D polyester, YKK Zippers, and a rain cover guarantee your gear will remain dry during rain or snow. An internal frame provides a solid structure that protects your things while you are on the move, so nothing gets damaged.

The load sits high up, and there is a waistband that helps balance the weight by transferring some of it from your shoulders onto your hips. Even when it is full, the combination of wide shoulder straps, waistband, and chest straps distribute the weight properly and help you avoid fatigue.

You can choose the color to best suit the terrain you plan to go over. The price is quite reasonable as well, so if you need a large capacity backpack and can handle the extra weight, you can opt for this Madrington backpack.


  • Detachable pocket on top 
  • An internal frame prevents your gear from getting damaged  
  • Comes in several colors (camp, army green, navy blue, and black)
  • Water-resistant 600D polyester 
  • MOLLE webbing for extra gear
  • Adjustable chest strap 


  • Weighs 6 pounds
  • The bottom bag is hard to access

3. Drakon Outdoors Survival Backpack – Extra-durable and versatile backpack

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Drakon Outdoors Survival Backpack is made by a well-known and highly appreciated company that guarantees high quality and durability. Therefore, this backpack makes a safe purchase for all those who are searching for a durable, robust bag of a large capacity. It measures 7″x 12″ x 28″  and can hold up to 40 liters. 

There are four side pockets, as well as a large pocket on the back. A small pocket suitable for storing your compass, knife, or a flashlight is also there.  A full molle system allows you to attach any additional tools or packs you consider necessary. Unfortunately, the outside pockets are not waterproof.

Being made from 500D PVC material, this backpack can withstand all the elements as well as the rugged terrain. High Frequency welded seams keep the inside clean and dry too. The material will not get scratched or damaged easily, and that makes it suitable for the toughest terrains.  It is sturdy but also lightweight, and as a result, this robust backpack weighs about 4.4 pounds. 

The shoulder straps are wide and well-padded, and there is lumbar padding as well. Air ventilation will make sure your back stays dry.  A waistband and chest strap help balance the weight. 


  • Made of sturdy yet lightweight materials 
  • Welded construction
  • Full MOLLE system
  • Six additional compartments 
  • Durable and versatile
  • Large storage capacity 
  • Comes with a warranty 


  • Extra pockets on the outside are weather-sealed but not waterproof

4. Gelindo Military Tactical Backpack – Affordable but versatile backpack suitable for any outdoor adventure

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The Gelindo Military Backpack is a budget-friendly option packed with user-friendly features. If you are on a tight budget but do not want to compromise on quality, this survival backpack might be your best choice.

The camouflage design of this backpack is not only aesthetically pleasing but also helps you stay unnoticed in the wild. It measures 10.5 x 11 x 18.5 inches, has a capacity of 35 liters, and weighs 2.9 pounds. The main compartment is quite large, but there are many other compartments, pockets, and a molle system that allow you to organize your gear the way you want. 

We would like to set out a practical insulation compartment that can keep your food and water warm or cold for up to three hours. This compartment measures 17.7 x 9.4 inches and can hold a 3-liter hydration bladder. 

The wide waistband does not only help you carry the weight but also features two belt pockets that you can use to store small items such as your phone, pocket knife, keys, or flashlight. There is a centered sternum strap for added stability as well as generously padded shoulder straps for your comfort.  External compression straps allow you to expand or compress the backpack as needed.

The Y-strap prevents your things from falling out and adds to structural support when the bag is full. The material is water-resistant, although not of premium quality.


  • Extremely affordable
  • Padded straps for extreme comfort
  • MOLLE system
  • Two adjustable buckles on both sides
  • Belt storage
  • Insulation compartment for your water bladder
  • High-density fabric with double stitching and high-quality zippers
  • Safety reflectors


  • Material is not of the highest quality 

5. AmazonBasics Internal Frame Backpack – Budget-friendly water-resistant backpack 

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Last but not least is the AmazonBasics Internal Frame Hiking Backpack with Rainfly. It is one of the most durable backpacks out there and thus deserves a place on our list. It might not be designed as a survival backpack and is considered to be more suitable for hiking or camping. Still, large capacity, excellent organization potential, and the already mentioned exceptional durability make it more than suitable for this role as well.

Speaking of capacity, you can choose from three options (50, 60, or 70 liters) according to your personal needs and preferences. The expandable collar allows for additional 5-liter storage capacity. We have chosen to try out the 65-liter version. 

Total measures of this backpack are 16 x 27.5 x 7.5 inches. It weighs 5.11 pounds, which can be a lot if you plan to go over long distances.

The polyester material is of high quality and has a water-repellent coating. You also get a water-resistant rainfly so that you can carry all your electronic equipment worry-free. Do mind that it is not designed to hold extreme weight even though adjustable waistband and straps balance the load rather well.

There are numerous pockets and compartments to organize your gear as well as multi-directional compression straps to hold everything securely in place. The backpack has a large compartment designed to hold a sleeping bag too.


  • Exceptional durability
  • Two-color options (black or green)
  • Extendable collar 
  • Numerous pockets and compartments
  • High-quality polyester
  • Water repellent coating


  • Not designed to hold heavy gear

How To Choose The Best Survival Backpack

Every backpack has its pros and cons, plus you need to consider your preferences and your budget – all these things make the choice of the best survival backpack a bit tricky. 

We wholeheartedly recommend that you first define your criteria, and you will best do that by answering the following questions:

  • How much gear do you usually take with you?
  • Are you a neat freak that needs to have everything perfectly organized, or you simply throw your stuff into your bag and hit the road?
  • Are you going to use the backpack only for survival and emergency purposes, or you plan to use it daily? Will it double as a school, work or travel bag as well?

Once you answer these questions, you will have a clearer picture of what your survival backpack should be like, and you can go on to consider other important things such as:

1. Type Of Survival Backpack

There are four main styles you can choose from:

  • Outdoor Backpack: It features rugged construction and is designed to withstand the elements, but it is not too heavy, and that makes it comfortable to wear. It is a perfect choice for hikers who need to keep things light, but if you plan to pack up some heavy equipment, you might consider some other type.
  • Ultralight Backpack: If you plan to go over long distances, you want to travel as lightly as possible, and popular ultralight backpacks might be right up your ally. They are comfortable to carry, easy to find, and affordable. On the downside, they usually lack compartments that would allow you to organize your gear neatly.
  • Hunting Bag: The hunting bag combines the best features of the outdoor survival backpacks and military bags. Besides the blend-in design, these bags often feature the load filters and suspension systems that enable you to carry large amounts of gear. Typically, the external frame helps carry the weight of your equipment, and you often have a place to attach your bow or rifle too. 
  • Military Backpack: If you like to keep things organized, and are not overly concerned with the weight of your survivalist backpack, you should consider the military-style backpack. It is the best choice as far as organization and storage are concerned.  This type of bag usually features a MOLLE system that allows you to attach your gear to the backpack. 
    Of course, it is usually quite heavy but extremely durable and able to withstand harsh conditions as well. If you can carry a lot, you will surely benefit from this type of survival backpack. 

2. Color & Design

Even though this might be the category that is most dependent on your personal taste, we would still like to provide a few valuable tips for you. Namely, even though you might like flashy colors in your everyday life, it would not be the best idea to take a bright yellow bag on a survival mission. 

You will attract the unwanted attention of men, animals, and insects alike. Therefore, you should choose a discrete color and design that will blend in with your surroundings and help you stay unnoticed when you want to. 

3. Size Of Backpack

Survival backpacks come in a wide range of sizes. They are usually labeled as small, medium, and large, and you should choose the one that best fits your body. The best way to make sure you are buying the appropriate size is to take a couple of measurements before you make the purchase.

First, you need to measure the length of your torso (a vertical line from your neckline to your hipline). If you measured 16 inches or less, buy a small survival backpack. If your torso is up to 19.5 inches long, the medium backpack will be perfect for you. Finally, if your measurement is over 20 inches, you need a large size survival backpack.

For even greater precision, you can measure the size of your hips as well. Simply measure around your hips by wrapping the meter across your belly button and hip bones; this will help you identify the right length of the belt of your backpack. We advise you to allow the belt to straddle your hips approximately an inch above and below the measuring line. In this way, you will secure the optimal weight relief and comfort.


The hunt for the best survival backpack is over, and it is a success! You have the know-how, and all you need to do is choose the one that best fits your needs and adventures. The list is rather short, so it shouldn’t be much of an issue.

Nevertheless, we will help a bit more by selecting the top three survival backpacks. 

If you have a limited budget, we recommend going for a feature-packed & affordable Gelindo Military Tactical Backpack.

If budget is not an issue, and you do not mind a bit of extra weight on your shoulders either, opt for a high-quality Mardington Internal Frame Backpack.

For extreme conditions, you should best equip yourself with the extra-durable Drakon Outdoors Survival Backpack as it can handle almost anything!

Pack up, and start exploring!

About Erin Carpenter

Erin Carpenter has over 15 years experience in the diamond industry working with Artic Canadian Diamonds, Anglo-American Diamonds. She is recognized as an industry expert and has been quoted in publications such as USA Today, Forbes, The New York Times and more.