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If you really want to give yourself a good chance of making it through an emergency situation, you need to be prepared. We've talked about this throughout the site: You will need to have an emergency kit on hand.
In this article, we will highlight some of the best examples of life-saving kits that are available on the market right now. We will also raise and answer some important questions regarding this particular item in a buyer’s guide.
Without further ado, let’s take a longer look at some of the top emergency kits.
Our Top 7: Emergency Survival Kit Reviews
Ratings & Price Check
Sustain Supply Co. Comfort2 Emergency Survival Bag
Uncharted Supply Emergency Survival Backpack - SEVENTY2
Emergency Zone Urban Survival 72-Hour Bug Out
Redfora Complete Earthquake Bag
Aootek Upgraded First Aid Survival & Emergency Kit
TRSCIND Survival Kit-3 / 13-in-1 SOS Tool
Ronin Outdoors Camping Gear Tactical Survival Kit 14 in 1
One of the things that is often overlooked when it comes to bug out bags is the design of the bag itself. Many makers of these specialty bags fill them up with all kinds of emergency supplies but then they don’t pay enough attention to how it feels when carried.
In situations wherein you need to be mobile, having an uncomfortable bag on your back is not going to be help.
Part of the reason why Sustain Supply Co.’s Comfort2 offering stands out so much is because the manufacturers clearly put emphasis on providing buyers with a comfortable bag. It’s certainly not the lightest survival bag you’ll ever see, but going from one place to another is not as much of a challenge with it.
The contents of the bag itself are pretty good. You’re getting a good amount of food and water in the form of a dozen Mountain House food packets, which are well known for being tasty, and a pair of water cartons. You’ll also have access to bowls and utensils as well as a water filter should the two cartons prove insufficient.
Other essentials you’ll be able to find in this Sustain Supply Co. creation include two emergency blankets, two whistles, bath wipes, a portable stove, and an outdoor knife.
I also want to highlight how many items in this bag are useful for the purposes of illumination or providing warmth. These include a flashlight, some snaplights, an LED lantern, as well as a Ferrocerium rod and some easy-to-use tinders.
It’s honestly a pretty well-stocked bag, though I would have preferred to see some other tools in there and some kind of protective mask too.
This emergency survival bag also comes with a first aid kit included. You’ll likely be disappointed by what it contains though. You’re getting bandages, pain relievers, gauze, ointment, and some gloves, but that’s not enough.
A good first aid kit should have more items included such as a cold compress and a thermometer among several other items. The first aid kit is certainly not terrible, but considering how crucial it is, you would like to see more thought put into it.
While Sustain Supply Co. offers you a larger survival bag that remains comfortable while you’re carrying it. Uncharted Supply Co. aims to surpass that by giving you a bag that’s lightweight and can even serve as a survival tool itself.
I really love how many survival-focused features are included on the Seventy2 Emergency Survival Bag itself.
Aside from being lightweight, the bag is also capable of serving as a visibility aid. The logo plastered across the back is not just for design as it is highly reflective. It could be the reason why you’re spotted even during nighttime.
The tarpaulin shell that envelops the bag keeps it well protected from torrential downpours and the roll top helps with that too. As an additional note on the roll top, it can turn the bag into a flotation device if the need ever arises.
Also attached to the bag is a whistle that’s obviously good to have on hand whenever you’re in an emergency situation.
Moving on now to the contents of the Seventy2 bag, your food option is a Datrex 2,400-calorie bar, which gets the job done in terms of keeping you full. You’re also given some water bottles, a syringe, and a water filter.
When you need to keep warm, you can reach into this bag and pull out different items you can wear. The heat pack is a nice touch and the mylar blanket and survival tent are particularly terrific additions because they excel at keeping you comfortable.
Lighting options include chem lights, a flashlight, and windproof matches. They are useful enough, but it wouldn’t hurt to have more light sources.
The mask and goggles will keep you suitably sheltered from the elements, while the 3-in-1 radio and the charger will enable you to stay updated on what’s going on.
I do have an issue with the tools that are found inside this bag though. Found inside the bag are some duct tape, a long spool of paracord, a survival knife, a fire starter, and even a tool that can work as both a shovel and pickaxe. All of those tools work as intended.
The problem is that the multi-tool, the one you’re likely going to use the most, is poorly made. If you can, replace the multi-tool with a utility knife because that will be better.
On the plus side, the first aid kit here contains more items and the sunscreen is a very thoughtful addition.
One last thing to note is the high price tag attached to the Seventy2 bag. The price is justified in my opinion, but it’s hard to blame anyone for passing on this because of how expensive it is.
Most of the emergency survival bags you’ll see are already stocked with plenty of items. In certain situations though, you may need to take extra stuff with you.
The Urban Survival 72-Hour Bug Out Bag from Emergency Zone is one item I can recommend if you need a big container for all of the things you want to bring when you’re evacuating your home. With its spacious interior, you can pack additional items such as clothes without having to take out the supplies already included.
The bag itself is surprisingly light given how big it is.
Its unassuming design is touted as a selling point by the manufacturers, but I don’t agree. I would much prefer to have a bag that I can see clearly no matter how much light is available rather than one that the people around me won’t notice.
Disappointingly, the straps on this bag are also not as durable as what you’ll see on the other items featured in this article. Tug on them too hard and you risk creating tears in the fabric.
I was pleasantly surprised by how many items are found inside this bag’s first aid kit. It contains all the essentials as well as some other items that are often omitted by other emergency bag providers such as the tweezers and the cotton tip applicators.
Numerous items designed to shield you from the elements are also in this bag. There’s a two-person tube tent in here and two reflective sleeping bags. If it’s raining and you need to move around, you can also wear the ponchos and the hand warmers.
For sustenance, you have numerous water pouches and a one-liter container that you can use for purifying water. There’s also some water purification powder in the bag, and that should help ensure you’re never dehydrated. The 3,600-calorie bars are nothing to write home about, but they also provide you with the energy you need for survival.
The light sticks and flashlight are reliable and all the other important tools are also here, including a utility knife, a whistle, some duct tape, rope, gloves, a can opener, and even some playing cards if you’re waiting out a storm or just trying to stave off boredom.
Lastly, the contents of this bag will help you remain more comfortable because it has several hygienic items. You don’t see toothbrushes and shampoo often included in survival bags, which is why it’s such a pleasant surprise to see them here.
Redfora’s Complete Earthquake Bag attempts to win you over with its value proposition. It’s one of the more affordable survival bags that are currently available and it also doesn’t short you on the supplies.
Let’s start with what you’re getting in this survival bag.
The tools on hand include a durable utility knife, some nylon rope, leather gloves, as well as goggles and a mask that will be able to keep dust particles at bay. All of those are common sense inclusions in what is intended to be an earthquake bag. The pencil and notepad included are not things you’ll usually find in survival bags, but it’s never bad to have those around.
When you need to stay protected from the elements, you can pull out the two-person tube tent or make use of the mylar sleeping bags. The emergency ponchos and body warmers provide some very welcome comfort.
The hand crank flashlight, the bright stick, and the candle provide more than enough lighting, but I’m disappointed by the lack of fire starters. You will want more than waterproof matches if you’re trying to make it through the first 72 hours after disaster strikes.
I have no complaints about the food and water because you’re getting all you need plus a good amount of water purification tablets. Some hygienic items are also coming your way.
The manufacturers also boast that this bag comes with a 107-piece extended life first aid kit. Here’s the thing about that first aid kit though: While it does indeed feature a lot of items, certain essentials including pain relievers are not present.
Considering that this is an earthquake bag, it’s odd for the manufacturers to not include something that would help a lot during a disaster that often causes plenty of injuries.
Going back to the bag, it’s well made and durable, but it doesn’t offer the same kind of waterproof protection as the other options available. That’s not surprising since this is an earthquake bag, but it’s still good to know.
Let’s transition now from the bug out bags to the survival kits, and we can start by examining the Upgraded First Aid Survival Kit from Aootek.
Something that I want to highlight right away is that this is not the original version of this survival kit. Certain components of it have been changed and adjusted after the folks at Aootek received comments from buyers.
To be more specific, the utility knife and the scissors have been redesigned to be made more durable. It’s nice to know that this company is not content to just let an inferior product sit out there with their name on it.
Still, not everything inside this kit is perfect. The flashlight in particular is difficult to work with. That’s even more annoying because you usually need the flashlight when it’s getting dark out, but you may have a tough time getting it to work at that point.
Apart from the aforementioned items, other tools included in this survival kit include a multi-tool plier, a tool card, a compass, a whistle, a fire starter, and a few items that will be useful for fishing. The wire saw is also an addition that will prove handy in quite a number of situations.
Noticeably missing from the kit is a signal mirror and a filter or tablet that you can use to purify water. Those are essential items to have for anyone spending plenty of time outdoors, so not having them in the kit is a shame.
The first aid kit bundled together with this survival pick is similarly well-stocked. You’ll receive several bandages, items that can be used to clean wounds, safety pins, gauze pads, wound dressing, an emergency blanket, and even a CPR mask.
All of those items are placed inside a sturdy and compact pouch that you can place inside a small bag or perhaps a backpack.
When you’re thinking of buying certain items, you often have to consider if functionality or design matters more to you. The same thing happens when you’re looking at survival kits.
The Survival Kit-3 by TRSCIND is probably one of more stylish variants of this particular item that you’ll be able to see on the market today. It folds up nicely into a neat package and you can store it inside a pocket on your outdoor jacket if you want to.
The tools inside this kit look great as well.
It’s impossible to look at the military knife without commenting on how finely crafted its handle is or how it resembles something that an action hero would pull out while fighting off a horde of enemies in a movie.
The flashlight is smartly designed and will still be in working condition even after you drop it a bunch of times.
You’ll also find a wood cutter, a multi-tool that can be carried around as a card, and an emergency blanket.
If you’re taking this survival kit with you on a hiking trip, the carabiner and paracord bracelet with the compass embedded in it will provide valuable assistance. The Ferrocerium rod is something you’ll be glad to have if you’re too tired to continue the journey home but want to stay warm as you camp underneath the stars.
This kit will help you secure your water bottle thanks to the clip attached and the tungsten pen with the carbide tip is an unconventional addition that you can bust out if you want to carve your initials into the trees or something similar to that.
You should know that those are all the tools you’re getting in this kit. If you cut yourself or scrape your knee after stumbling, there are no first aid items here that can be used to clean and seal your wounds.
For those planning to tackle the great outdoors with the TRSCIND Survival Kit-3 in tow, be sure that you’re also taking some first aid items along for the trip.
Last up is the Tactical Survival Kit from Ronin Outdoors and it shares quite a few things in common with TRSCIND’s offering.
For starters, this Ronin Outdoors creation is also missing just about all of the first aid items you would want to have on hand in the event of an accident. The only thing you can really use should you sustain an injury of some kind is the tourniquet. That’s better than nothing, but I would still like to see more first aid items included.
There’s still nothing included that will help you purify the surrounding water, so be sure to attach the water bottle you’re bringing securely to the clip provided. You are getting a signal mirror though.
A quick rundown of the kit’s other contents reveals that you’re also receiving the all-important tactical knife, a multi-tool card, a pair of pliers, a wire saw, a double whistle, a paracord bracelet with a compass attached, a flashlight, an emergency blanket, a carabiner, and a fire-starting kit.
Are those all the things you’ll need for an extended stay outdoors? That’s likely not the case, but they should be enough to get you through one day and one night if that’s what you need.
There’s also no reason to complain about the durable and compact kit that makes carrying all those items easier.
In this section, let’s answer some of the frequently asked questions concerning emergency survival kits. If you aren’t very familiar with these kits, please read on to clear any bit of confusion that may be lingering in your mind.
Should I look for a smaller or larger emergency survival kit?
Whether you need a larger emergency survival kit or one that can be better described as compact depends on what you’re getting it for.
If your plan is to take the kit on a hiking trip, I would strongly suggest bringing one along that can fit easily in a pouch or a smaller backpack. The larger emergency survival kits are often bulky and they may only get in your way as you’re trying to scale some heights.
On the other hand, if you’re planning to go on an extended camping trip alone, you would be better served to take a larger emergency survival kit. You never want to be short on essential supplies while you’re in the middle of nowhere. By having a larger kit on hand, you can pack more items into it and ensure that you’ll be ready to handle any scenario.
How does a survival kit differ from a bug out bag?
Survival kits and bug out bags are not one and the same.
For starters, survival kits are smaller and they often contain fewer items. A utility knife, something to start a fire, a compass, a flashlight, and perhaps an emergency blanket are the only items that you must see in every survival kit.
A survival kit is basically intended to help you remain in good condition in an otherwise harsh outdoor environment where potable water and some natural food sources are the only things around you that can help.
Bug out bags are stocked with the intention of helping you make it through the aftermath of a disaster. These bug out bags usually contain everything you’ll see in survival kits along with some notable additions such as water bottles and even packets of dried food.
Manufacturers also often include complete first aid kits inside bug out bags. Even if a disaster strikes where you live, you should be able to survive for a prolonged period of time with the help of your bug out bag.
What do you need to see in a 3-day survival bag?
You’ll often see bug out bags marketed as items that will help you make it through three days. Any bug out bag claiming to do that should contain the following items, per Ready.gov:
- Can opener
- Dust mask
- First aid kit
- Moist towelettes
- Pliers or a wrench
A map of the surrounding area is also good to have, but you have to prepare that yourself.
If you’re wondering which items should be included in a first aid kit, the Red Cross has you covered. Here are the items you should see in a first aid kit:
- Absorbent compress dressings
- Adhesive bandages
- Adhesive cloth tape
- Antibiotic ointment
- Antiseptic wipes
- Breathing barrier
- Cold compress
Can I expect all emergency survival kits to contain those items?
You’ll be hard-pressed to find any kit that contains all of those items mentioned above, so be sure to check which ones are already provided. Also, if you’re going to be in the wilderness for the next few days, don’t forget to bring a signal mirror and something that can filter water.
Signal mirrors in particular are useful if you’re stuck on a ledge high up a mountain and your only hope is to capture the attention of aircrafts flying by.
Should I leave the items included in my emergency survival kit untouched until disaster strikes?
As much as possible, I would urge you to try out everything included in your emergency survival kit. That’s going to help you determine if all the items are working as they should.
On top of that, using the items beforehand will allow you to become familiar with them faster.
As you can see, not all emergency survival kits are created equal. Evaluate what your needs may be during an emergency carefully before putting your money down on any particular kit.
For my money, I would prefer having the Emergency Zone Urban Survival 72-Hour Bug Out Bag and the Aootek Upgraded First Aid Survival Kit because I think they are the ones that offer the most useful items.
You may very well prefer the other kits featured.
Regardless of which kits you prefer, take the time to examine them further and determine which one will serve you and your family the best. You never want to be caught off-guard during an emergency, and having a good kit on hand will prevent that from happening.