The Best Premade Bug Out Bag for Emergencies

by Tommy Grant

This is an updated review guide on the best premade bug out bag. Our first review roundup was several years ago and we will continue to update as new products are released and as new premade survival kits are available.

Using a premade bug out bag may sound like a shortcut- but we recommend it for most people who prefer not to spend a ton of time on their survival kits. The key is getting a quality premade bug out bag; where the gear won’t fail on you when you need it most. There are plenty of imported bags that are filled with junk out there, so be careful not to just grab the cheapest option you find. If you go cheap, it may make sense to get less gear in the bag rather than cheaper gear. This will let you add quality items that you need while keeping the core of the bag together (and not replacing items). There are hundreds of premade kits out there.

This is where we come in. We’ve been able to whittle down the field quickly with a little research and just by recognizing quality gear, tested them, and now the results are in: the overall best, a starter option, and an upgrade solution. If you need to jumpstart your bugout preparedness, one of our picks will help you evacuate confidently.

Contents (Jump to a Section)

The Best Premade Bug Out Bag

JUDY Mover Max

Versatile, Expertly Curated, with a Durable Bag

This 72-hour kit is the best way to kickstart your preparedness with top-rated gear that will keep up with any emergency.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

JUDY has plenty of well-curated kits but this one stands out as a premier bug out bag building block. The PVC bag itself is a dry sack, and all of the essential gear packed inside is top-notch. It has our favorite water and food solutions in it and very little ‘tactical fluff’.

The contents of the Mover Max include:

  • Dry Bag Backpack
  • Hand Crank Radio
  • First Aid Kit (101 Pieces)
  • Multi-Tool
  • 14x SOS Water Pouches
  • 4x KN95 Masks
  • 4x Glow Sticks
  • 7x Millennium Bars (our favorite emergency food bar)
  • 4x Ponchos
  • 4x HotHands Hand Warmers
  • Emergency Gloves
  • 2x Biohazard Bags
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Wet Wipes
  • 2x Packs of Pocket Tissues
  • 2x Emergency Whistles
  • 4x Mylar Blankets
  • Duct Tape Roll
  • Quick Dry Towel

Many of the premade bug out bags we tested pack non-essential items so they can market a larger number: “300 piece bug out bag kit”- but those kits have 299 useless items in them. JUDY does an excellent job at just covering the essentials and skipping the junk to give us a premade bug out bag that is a great value. The JUDY Mover Max is the premade kit to get if you are starting out prepping.

Budget Premade Bug Out Bag

Ready America Emergency Kit

Cheap, Essential Gear, on a Budget

Those on a budget will appreciate how this kit covers the essential bases but allows you to add tools yourself without compromising.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

If you are looking for a cheap pre-made bug out bag, you won’t find a better deal than the Ready America 2-Person 3-Day Backpack. Similar to our top pick, they have stripped out all the non-essential items to provide a true bare-bones bug out bag with a great price.

The bag includes:

  • Bug Out Backpack (Mid Capacity, High-Vis Red)
  • 2x Mayday Ration Bars (2400 Calorie)
  • 12x Mayday Water Pouches
  • First Aid Kit
  • 2x Mylar Blankets
  • Whistle
  • 2x Cyalume Glow Sticks
  • 2x Emergency Ponchos
  • 2x Dust Masks
  • 2x Nitrile Gloves

Although a lot of items could be added or upgraded to higher quality gear, this Ready America kit is a solid starting point with cheap essentials.

Upgrade Premade Bug Out Bag

Uncharted Seventy2

Organized, Packed full of Quality, with Best in Class Tools

If you are looking for all of the best gear from one place: Uncharted makes it easy with their Seventy2 premade bug out bag.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

If you want the best, without the hassle of having to piece everything together… the Seventy2 by Uncharted is the clear way to go. Every detail of this kit has been thought out and engineered to near perfection. For starters, most pre-made bug out bags skip quality on the bag itself- not the case here. The bag is ultra-high quality, waterproof, durable 600D tarpaulin, with a 26-liter capacity, and has an organizational insert.

Inside the bag, you’ll find top-notch gear including:

  • Sawyer Mini Water Filter
  • Nalgene Bottle (48 oz)
  • Datrex Ration Bar
  • UCO Stormproof Matches
  • Mylar Survival Tent
  • Sanitation Wipes
  • Paracord
  • Guardsman Multi-tool
  • Waterproof Compact Flashlight
  • Camp Shovel/Pickaxe
  • First Aid Kit w/ Gauze and Splint
  • 2x Cyalume Glow Sticks
  • Mylar Blanket
  • Sunscreen (SPF 50)
  • Radio/Flashlight/Charger Combo
  • Filtration Mask (99.9% Carbon Filter)
  • Duct Tape
  • 2x Heat Factory Hand Warmers
  • Goggles
  • Magnesium Fire Starter w/ Tanto Knife
  • Beanie
  • Cut-proof Insulated Gloves

The bag is a marriage between preparedness and minimalism, which is why they filter out all of the junk. To cap it all off, they value military members and offer 10% off to members and veterans when you buy through their site.

Christian does a great job explaining the thought process behind the design of the bug out bag and its contents here:

Everything We Recommend

Ready America Emergency Kit

Those on a budget will appreciate how this kit covers the essential bases but allows you to add tools yourself without compromising.

Where to Buy

$30* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

The Premade Kits We Compared

Our research narrowed the field down to several contenders that we tested: Ready America, Everlit, Guardian Survival Gear, JUDY, Sustain Supply Co, Uncharted, and more. This helped us eliminate cheaply made kits or kits that just weren’t a good value. The premade kits come with a lot of gear to test, so we’ve been at this for a few years now.

You can see our full list of review criteria below in the What to Look For section, with an explanation for each. We did specifically focus on ‘bag-type’ kits and passed over in-place survival kits designed for home or car-specific kits.

We’re always looking for new and better gear, so if you have a premade kit worth checking out, let us know in the comments. We review most of our tested gear annually so we can try to get it in the next roundup round and see if it will beat out our top picks.

What to Look For

The best premade bug out bags have several important features to look for:

  1. Value
  2. Essential Gear
  3. Upgrade Ability
  4. Size & Weight
  5. Versatility

Below, we break down what each of these means for a great premade bug out bag. When you get the right blend of these, you can find a great bug out bag without the leg work of putting one together on your own.

Premade Value

The whole point of a premade bug out bag is to save time and to save money.

You can save time researching gear, testing gear, and buying and stowing gear for a wide range of emergencies. A lot of people underestimate the time they spend researching gear.

You can save money because these companies use bulk buying power to get great prices on their gear, and then split them into these emergency kits. Mylar blankets are much cheaper if you buy thousands at a time rather than just one. A premade kit can also keep you from ordering crap gear, unnecessary gear, or redundant gear.

Essential Gear

How much gear should be in a bug out bag? That’s an age-old argument for both pre-made bug out bags and homemade kits.

We’ve delved deep into this topic in our comprehensive bug out bag guide, where we define and list out essential gear. Essential gear is needed as the backbone of any bug out bag, and any gear added on top of that makes the kit more versatile for different emergencies.

Upgrade Ability

You can upgrade whatever you want in any of your kits. When we review specific types of gear, we often list out our ‘upgrade pick’, which is the top-tier top quality gear in the segment. The only problem with upgrading is that you may already have some gear that does the same thing, just of lower quality.

This isn’t the end of the world- having more than one tool or a specific type of gear is preferred (we call it redundancy). A lot of times, redundancy is seen as a negative word, but in the world of prepping it’s a good thing. “Two is one and one is none” is usually the phrase we go to.

At the same time, you don’t want to start building up a ton of gear that you never use. There is a fine line between preparedness and hoarding. If you don’t touch a piece of gear in a year- you might be doing it wrong and need to self-evaluate. Too much gear is definitely a thing, and you need to be able to stay organized to stay prepared. If you do find yourself with tons of crap you aren’t using- donate it, throw it out, or make some quick cash on eBay.

When we look at upgradeability for premade bug out bags, we look at whether the gear they include should be replaced.

Size & Weight

A bug out bag is a mobile kit, so you’ll need to be able to transport it or carry it. Any seasoned backpacker can tell you that every ounce matters, especially in emergencies. Lightweight gear with good versatility is the way to go, and make sure you are physically able to carry your kit.

Versatile Gear

Any non-essential gear may still be needed for your specific situation. In our comprehensive list, we list this gear as “suggested gear” and “considered gear”- two additional tiers that can help establish the importance of including specific types of gear in a kit. All of this gear is designed to increase your kit’s versatility for a wider range of emergencies.

Why Bug Out Bags are Important for Survival

Bug out bags are part of an overall emergency plan, and are important for events that may cause you to evacuate your home. There are a wide range of emergencies, disasters, and events where it would be advantageous to ‘bug out’ – or leave your home. Some of these include:

  • House Fire
  • Hurricane
  • Flooding
  • Wild Fire
  • Nuclear Accident
  • Wartime Attack

The list goes on, and these are just the tip of the iceberg. To see all common threats and their matching risk score, you can check out our Prepper Risk Assessment. As you can see, the probability and impact of these events are very different, but your survivability for each of them can depend on how prepared you are to bug out.

With so many threats that require you to be mobile, bug out bags are a well-known preparedness priority. The Red Cross, FEMA, and CERT – all of these agencies agree that self-sufficient preparedness is important and that every family should have an Emergency Plan that covers evacuation.

Who Needs a Premade BOB?

Premade bug out bags can save a ton of time and money if the right one is selected. This makes it easier for people to get started with prepping, or to expand their preparedness for additional family members.

The main kit that a premade kit covers is of course:

You can oftentimes modify them slightly to create variants:

Whether the premade bug out bag is just a starting point, or a ‘fire and forget’ purchase- it can pay off to check out the comprehensive checklist and guide in the Bug Out Bag link above. We are constantly updating the bug out bag guide for new gear and recommendations based on the world’s ever-changing threat profile.

How We Review Products: We research thoroughly before selecting the best products to review. We consult experts in the field for a better understanding of what makes the gear great. Hours on end are spent field testing gear in stressful conditions. We assign performance criteria and impartially rate each tested item. You can support us through our independently chosen links, which can earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. After our review process, some of the items reviewed end up in our giveaways.

Sources and References

An objective look at the best premade bug out bag is useless without sources and references. We leaned on these for the book knowledge that we paired with our practical military experience and prepping acumen.

Ostrovskiy, G., et al. (2018). Contents of a Bug-Out Bag. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine; Cambridge. Volume 33. Issue 6. Pages 647-649. (Source).

Public Safety Canada. (2016). Emergency Kits. (Source).

Kim, T. (2012). A Study on the Survival Kit Development Preparing the Civil Defense Situation. Journal of the Society of Disaster Information. Volume 8. Issue 4. Pages 376-383. (Source).

The Final Word

Preparedness and prepping can look very different for people. Some people have plenty of time to read up and create their bug out bag, but the fact is that most people don’t have this luxury.

Beyond bug out bag contents, we also have plenty of tips and suggestions in our guides, starting with our comprehensive full guide, and including our articles on the cheapest bug out bag, kids’ bug out bags, and even pet bug out bags:

We presented quite a lot of information, but as always: if you have any questions let us know and we would be happy to help. Our research and testing settled on JUDY Mover Max as the best option given the value, type of gear included, versatility, and upgrade potential. Be sure to practice with your premade bug out bag- don’t just let it sit in the closet forever. Besides familiarizing yourself with the gear, you can also check expiration dates.

Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.

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