Best Survival Backpacks Reviews & Buying Guide 2020

Survival backpacks are different from your ordinary bags; they are designed to accommodate all you need to take with you on an outdoor trip. It doesn’t matter if you are hiking across the country, or climbing some of the steepest mountains if you are crazy enough to conquer the outdoors, then you know how important it is to own just the right gears.

We will be reviewing the best survival backpacks you can buy in 2020 and also be sharing with you our buyer’s guide, and answering some of the frequently asked questions, so you know what to look out for in a quality pack. Without any further delays, let’s get started with the review.

10 Best Survival Backpacks Reviews


TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack

The Scout 3400 is one of the most famous brands of backpacks from TETON Sports, who happens to be a popular name when it comes to durable camping bags. It includes all the storage space you need for your trip, as it can hold more than 55 liters in its internal compartment. It is a perfect bag for lightweight travel as it weighs just about 2kg, making it a suitable survival bag for both youths and adults.

Some features ensure the wearer of the backpack stays comfortable at all times, such as the multi-position torso adjustment, which makes it possible for the pack to fit a wide range of body type. Also, the durable open-cell foam lumbar pad and molded channels help with the airflow and extra comfort.

Space is not a problem, as you get multiple compartments and pockets for strategic packing. The bungee storage is perfect for keeping your jackets, and you also get an integrated rainfly sewn into the bag to keep your content dry always.

The only drawback is that you cannot fly with the backpack as the bag dimensions exceed the standard of most airline carriers, but aside from that, it is worth checking out.


  • Durable backpack
  • Enough storage space
  • Rainfly keeps content dry
  • Fits different body types
  • Suitable for youth and adult


  • Not ideal for air travel

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GEAR Military Tactical Backpack

If you love to look like a soldier dressed for a tactical mission, then you should check out this military backpack from REEBOW GEAR. The design of the bag makes it ideal for an assault pack, range bag, or for hunting, hiking, and any other survival activity where you need a competent backpack.

With a storage capacity of 40 liters, you get all the space you need to carry your survival essentials with you. The bag also features a molle webbing system that allows you to attach additional pouches and gears to your backpack. There are features in place to ensure that the bag is durable enough to withstand any terrain or weather conditions.

The bag fabric is a heavy-duty material that is resistant to water and dirt. Other features include double stitching, sturdy zippers, and utility-style cords that you can easily pull to make adjustments. For added comfort, there is a side and front load compression system with a ventilated padded back area and completely breathable shoulder straps.


  • Made from durable fabric
  • Ample storage space
  • Features quality zippers
  • The back area is padded
  • Highly water and dirt resistant


  • Poor waist belts

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ALPS OutdoorZ Commander + Pack Bag

The Commander backpack from Alps OutdoorZ also makes it on our list of the best survival backpack for any outdoor trip. Made of durable nylon ripstop fabric, you can expect that you wouldn’t need a replacement after a few months.

You get ample storage room with the main compartment, spin-drift collar top, lashing loops, and multiple exterior pockets, giving you all the space to carry what you need on your trip. The frame of the pack includes a unique lashing system with three extension straps for hurling extra load, such as meat to your camping area.

Other features include a spotting scope pocket for your scope, a drop-down rifle holder, and a freighter shelf to secure heavy loads. Making adjustments is also super easy as the Commander offers torso adjustments making it possible to fit all body types. If you need a backpack that can fit your sleeping bag, tent, blankets, clothes, food, water, and still have room for other valuables; you can try the Commander from Alps OutdoorZ.


  • Long-lasting bag material
  • Can carry a lot
  • Easily adjustable
  • Includes a scope pocket
  • Lashing system for carrying a load


  • Straps need proper handling

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MOUNTAINTOP 70L/75L Internal Frame Hiking Backpack

If you enjoy hiking across a long distance, then you know how important it is to travel light. The lightweight design of the Mountaintop hiking backpack is one of the features that we love about it. In addition to a stylish design backed by a sturdy internal frame, you also get a bag that is comfortable on your back.

The bag material is water-resistant nylon that keeps the content of the bag safe. So this makes it an excellent choice for traveling in wet weather conditions. There is enough room to keep all your gears with different compartments to keep them organized. The zippered side pocket is spacious enough to hold your jacket or an umbrella. The separate bladder sleeve in the main compartment can be used to store a water bottle for hydration. You can also check the main compartment of the bottom of the bag if need be, which adds for a fascinating design.

The paddings on the shoulder straps help to reduce the load of the bag on the back. A sternum strap and waist belt makes it easy to carry the bag for a long distance. Also, you can make adjustments to the straps so you can travel with the backpack comfortably. We also love that it is available in a variety of colors to choose from, but we find this 70 liters green bag to be suitable for all season.


  • Suitable for lightweight travel
  • Large storage space
  • Water-resistant bag material
  • Different color options
  • Stylish hiking design


  • Not suited for air travel

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AmazonBasics Internal Frame Hiking Backpack

With an internal frame and durable polyester bag material, the AmazonBasics hiking bag is durable and ideal for rugged conditions. The large storage compartment can store a king size sleeping bag and other must-have camping essentials.

The multi-directional compression straps make it easily adjustable for a secure fit. The thick padded shoulder straps and lumbar support provide added comfort for those long-distance hikes. The exterior coating of the bag features water-proof materials, and there is also a rainfly and water-proof bag cover for when it rains. You also get a one-year warranty when you buy from the manufacturers, which gives you enough time to check it out.

Finding a survival backpack that can be used by both young and the young at heart is not at all easy, which is why we recommend the AmazonBasics hiking backpack for family use. There are different size options, but we find the 75 liters’ capacity to be comfortable for 12 years and older. The extra five-liter extension collar can serve as storage space for those who are tall. You get to choose between a black and green colored backpack, which may not be a good fit for those looking for other color options.


  • Easy to transport
  • Available in size options
  • Water-proof cover included
  • Durable polyester bag material
  • Large storage compartments


  • Limited color options

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Mardingtop Hiking Internal Frame Backpacks

Also on our list of the best backpack for outdoor use is the Mardingtop. Built for all-season hiking trips, we find it to be suitable for all types of recreational activities, including fishing, trekking, traveling, or even a tactical military backpack.

The bag material is a long-lasting 600D polyester that is resistant to both dirt and water. It is available in a 65 liters’ capacity with extra 10 liters storage space on the top lid. There is an internal frame to keep the bag in shape and provide support when you carry it. There is enough room in the main compartment to accommodate a sleeping bag and a few clothes. You can also stash some gear in the detachable side pockets, and the molle webbing could serve as an attachment for your tools or a trekking pole.

Making adjustments to the bag is possible with the help of the breathable waist belt. The belt can extend over a waist of 49 inches, making it suitable for a wide range of body types. For added comfort, there is a chest strap in front of the bag, and there is a rain cover included to keep the content of the bag safe on a wet day.

A sturdy zipper and buckle system helps to secure the contents of the bag. There are numerous color options available to choose from, but we find this black to be easy to maintain.


  • Large storage capacity
  • Durable polyester material
  • Water-proof cover included
  • Comfortable to travel with
  • Color options to choose from


  • May not be suited for air travel

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Orca Tactical Backpack

If what you need is a mid-size survival backpack that is suitable for outdoor use, then this 40 liters Orca Tactical rucksack may be worth checking out. It has enough room to last a three-day camping trip. There are different sections of the bag where you can tuck away your essential gear.

The bag fabric is a durable polyester that is reinforced and double-stitched at all stress points. To help secure the bag are YKK zippers with nylon pull that are both tough and resistant to rust. A distinctive coating exterior of the bag makes it resistant to water and scratches. The shoulder strap is breathable and contoured with a padded mesh for added comfort on the back.

Although it may not be a large bag, it provides you with a bit of organization for your outing. The front of the pack has two padded large and two smaller compartments. In the large section is a mesh and zipper storage pouch, and there is also an elastic band to hold things in place. There is also a molle webbing system in the front and side of the bag for attachment of tactical molle gear. You can make your pick from four color options, and we recommend the black or khaki for all-season backpacking.


  • Different storage sections available
  • Durable bag material
  • Fabric is resistant to water and dirt
  • Molle webbing system in front and side
  • Comfortable on the back and shoulders


  • Can only hold 40 liters

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WolfWarriorX Backpack Military Backpacks

Finding a quality backpack at a fair price is almost impossible, which is why we included the WolfWarriorX for those on a tight budget. For its small size, the bag can carry a lot as the main compartment can expand from 39 liters to 64 liters. You can do this with the help of the zipper on the side of the bag, and the buckles can help to secure the contents to ensure everything is in place.

Sometimes used as a school backpack, it can serve a variety of purposes as it has four main loading spaces with a water bottle mesh pocket. The fabric of the bag is both durable and water-resistant, and barely traps dust and dirt. So it can be suitable for use in all weather conditions. Traveling with the bag fully loaded is not all that stressful on the shoulders and back. The padding on the shoulders helps to reduce tension while the straps on the chest and waist help to distribute the weight evenly.

The water bottle pouch on the side ensures that you take your hydration with you, which is a plus for those long hiking trips. Another good news is that you get to pick from over ten colors so you can find one that matches your style.


  • Ample storage space
  • Easy to transport
  • The bag material is water-resistant
  • Durable zippers and buckles
  • Available in multiple colors


  • Not a large camping bag

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CVLIFE Military Tactical Backpack

The oxford fabric on this tactical backpack gives it a stylish outlook. The bag is a complete detachable combination that holds one main pack with three removable molle patches attached at the front and two sides. Even though it may look like too many things to carry, the bag is light and weighs under four pounds, so it doesn’t add more weight to your content.

You get enough room to pack all your travel essentials with you, with different compartments for easy access. The large main compartment can store your bigger gear, and when combined, the various sections can hold up to 60 liters. There is also the option of including additional materials using the molle system at the front and sides. It comes with a hand carry strap that gives you the freedom to move around with the bag. The straps are easily adjustable and padded to reduce stress on the shoulders and back.

Also, with a broad and thick waist and chest belt, you get to keep the pack steady when you put it on. Overall, we like that it can serve as a versatile bag for all types of outdoor activity and that you can easily organize your travel essentials in the different compartments. It is only available in four color options, including black and camo. But with three detachable pouches, you get to save money on separate bags.


  • A versatile bag for outdoor use
  • Helps organize travel gear
  • Can hold up to 60 liters
  • Comfortable to move with
  • Molle pouches for extra load


  • Not entirely a large bag

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Gonex 100L Hiking Camping Backpack

The Gonex backpack is the most spacious bag on our list of best survival backpacks. With a storage space or 100 liters, you get all the freedom to pack all you want for any outdoor trip. With high-quality fabric and an internal frame, you can expect the bag to be able to last a couple of dare-devil hiking or camping trips without any issues.

In addition to being lightweight, the bag material is resistant to water, wear, and tear, including corrosion. The suspension system features loops at the top and bottom of the pack and can accommodate a tent or a sleeping bag. The storage bin at the bottom can also help to hold your change of clothes, snacks, and food, while the top of the bag is for storing the bag cover.

The straps on the shoulder, chest, and waist are adjustable and padded with cushion to relieve pressure on long-distance trips. With the rain cover, you can travel in the rain or snow without worrying about your gear getting wet. There are only two colors available, olive and black, and we recommend the black since it requires less maintenance than the other. We did like the fact that it can hold a lot of gear and can serve as a camping bag for a couple or small family.


  • Can carry a lot of things
  • Rain cover for when it is wet
  • Comfortable on the shoulders and back
  • Resistant to water and corrosion
  • Can serve as a family backpack


  • Only suitable for adults
  • May require additional stitching

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Benefits of Getting a Survival Backpack

So you have been nursing the idea of getting a backpack for when next you go outdoors and don’t know whether or not it is a good investment. The truth is, whether or not it costs a few bucks or expensive, a survival backpack can help you in so many ways, and they include

  • Lightweight Travel 

Most survival backpacks adopt a design that makes it possible for the wearer to feel light on the feet even when the bag is full. Sometimes, the bags feature an internal frame with straps on the shoulder, waist, and chest that provides additional support. It also makes it easy to travel with the backpack across a long distance without getting worn out.

  • Storage Space

You will need to take all the materials you need for a successful outing with you. And these include a sleeping bag, tent, change of clothes, laptop, camera, and other travel essentials. You can only do this with the help of a quality travel bag. The best ones usually come with enough room to hold all you need. You can keep your water bottle close to you for hydration, and also pack your snacks and enough food for a few days trip. There are bags with a molle system that allows you to attach a tent or walking pole to your backpack.

  • Organization 

A backpack is necessary for any outdoor outing as it helps to keep you organized while on the move. In most cases, the bags have separate compartments that allow you to sort your things accordingly for easy access. You can fit your sleeping bag and other large gear in the main compartment while you can also get a hydration unit for your water bottle. There can also be a laptop section that can hold your PC and smaller pockets for your wallet, knife, lighter, or credit cards.

  • Good Investment 

For the avid hiker or camper, a survival backpack can be a good investment. You don’t have to spend much on one, but you do need to know that it costs more for a quality bag made from durable materials with a lot of room. If you do end up with a sturdy pack, you can expect that you won’t need a replacement soon.

  • A better experience 

Strapping your backpack on your shoulders, with your hiking boots and UV glasses or hats on, is one way to look stylish on an outing. So, in addition to finding the right adventure, you also need the right backpack for a complete outdoor experience. Burst out your camera and take some shots of you in your survival backpack. It can make an excellent addition to your social media feed or photo album where you collect all the memories.


What to Look for When in the Market for Survival Backpack?

You have finally decided on getting a new outdoor travel bag, but don’t know what to look for in the ultimate survival backpack. Firstly, there are many brands available in the market to choose from, which can be challenging for a first-timer to make a pick. Secondly, if you have not bought one before, then you may not know what features to take into consideration. Just as promised, we have a buyer’s guide to help you select the wheat from the chaff.

  • Durability 

Money is hard to come by, and it is only right that you get your money’s worth whenever you spend it. The best survival backpack should feature a long-lasting fabric that is resistant to both water and dirt. So you need not worry about traveling in the rain or snow. Check for bags that are a heavy-duty nylon or polyester material with sturdy zippers and buckles. There should also be an internal frame that gives the bag shape and check for double stitching and paddings where it is needed.

  • Comfort 

You should not compromise on your comfort since you would be walking a long distance with a load on your back. The best backpack should have straps on the shoulders with a cushion to relieve tension on the back. A belt on the chest and waist helps to distribute the weight of the backpack, making it comfortable to move around and also make adjustments.

  • Storage Capacity 

You will need a backpack with enough room to store all you need to take with you. There are bags with different storage capacity, and some can hold as much as 40 liters while there are others that can take up to 100 liters. So you need to consider how much space you require before selecting a suitable bag. There are different designs available, while some can serve as a versatile bag you can use for both school and camping, there are others built for hiking with detachable sections and sections in the front and side of the pack.

  • Water Proofing 

You almost cannot predict the weather conditions, and it is right that you take all precautions to keep your bag contents secure. One way is to choose a water-resistant backpack or one with a cover cloth that protects it from moisture. You can also check for a rainfly to keep the interior of the bag safe all the time. You should be aware that while most bags can remain dry in the rain or snow, you should not dip them in a large mass of water, as there is so much water it can resist.

  • Size 

Aside from the storage space, you want to consider the size of the bag. There are mid-sized bags and others that are on the broadside. So you need to select one that matches your size. A large-sized bag can work well for an adult but can be difficult for a kid or teenager to transport.


Frequently Asked Questions

We are aware that you may have additional questions when searching for a quality backpack to buy, so we have answered some of the faqs for those in the market for the best survival backpack.

  • Are Survival backpacks the same as tactical bags?

Commonly found in tents, a rainfly can also be an added feature in a survival backpack. They include them to aid in water-proofing and could help keep your contents secure. However, you can ignore it provided the bag material is water-proof.

  • Is rainfly important?

Commonly found in tents, a rainfly can also be an added feature in a survival backpack. They include them to aid in water-proofing and could help keep your contents secure. However, you can ignore it provided the bag material is water-proof.

  • Which size should I buy? 

There are different size options available, depending on the storage capacity of the bag. You should choose a pack that can hold all you need and comfortable to move with on a long distance. You can take measurements of your torso length and hip length and match it to your backpack.

  • How can I make adjustments? 

The straps on your survival bag should allow some level of freedom to adjust how you carry it. The waist and chest belt also give you some degree of adjustments and help to balance the bag on your person.

  • Can I board a plane with a survival backpack? 

You will need to contact the airline to know the type of carry-on that they allow. Ideally, you should not have any difficulty with a mid-sized bag, but you may not be lucky with a large-sized backpack.

  • How do I pack my survival backpack? 

Given their sizeable main storage area, you must pack the items you rarely need first if you load the bag from the top. And pack necessities such as the tent and food last so you can quickly access them when you need to. The outside pockets can be used to store a flashlight, compass, wallets for quick retrieval. If your bag features a molle system, it can also hold the things that you can’t fit into the backpack.


A survival backpack can make a difference in any outdoor trip. The majority are mostly spacious, comfortable to move with, and suitable for travel in any weather. The challenge is to find one that is durable and versatile enough to support hiking, camping, hunting, or any outdoor activity that needs a travel bag.

Our review of the ten best survival backpacks is an excellent place to begin your search for a quality backpack for you. Do not forget to revisit the buyer’s guide and frequently asked questions section when you decide to buy a new bag for outdoor use.

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