A pre-made bug-out bag is a survival kit that comes pre-compiled, pre-organized, and pre-configured to specific needs. These kits focus on the fundamental bug out bag criteria: basic preparedness, fundamental needs, and 72-hours worth of preparedness.
A pre-made bug out bag can be a good option for most people who are new to disaster prepping and want to take easy, fundamental steps to hedge against a disaster. Pre-made bags are also a good option if you aren’t ready to make a larger financial investment or time investment that is sometimes required when building your own bug out bag.
With this in mind, pre-made bug out bags are a good choice for you if you’re interested in a quicker solution to save time.
Additionally, you could purchase a popular pre-made bug out bag and use it as a base for your more customized and complete survival kit. Using a pre-made kit as a base, you can customize it based on your region, climate, family, and individual needs.
The guide below discusses the pros and cons of pre-made bug out bags, a list of the best pre-made bug out bags, and thoughts on pricing and selection.
If you decide a pre-made bug out bag is not the best choice for you, we recommend building your own from scratch, starting with a bug out backpack and a list of basic bug out bag items.
Considerations When Selecting a Pre-Made Bug Out Bag
When evaluating pre-made bug out bags, you need to ensure that it meets the basic criteria for a bug out bag and that it can meet your individual needs.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Does the bag include bug out bag essentials?
- Does it include 72-hours sustenance?
- What important survival items are missing?
- Am I paying for supplies I don’t need?
- What additional survival tools do I need?
- Does the quality of the survival bag, tools, and supplies meet my needs?
You should also keep in mind important considerations we discussed earlier in the bug out bag guide regarding considerations before building a bug out bag.
For example, where will your store it? Is this pre-made bug out bag for your home or your car? If it’s your primary bug out bag stored at home and doesn’t meet your minimum criteria in the questions above, it may be insufficient. However, if it’s a secondary bug-out bag stored in your car it may be okay to use as a back-up bug out bag.
- Where am I storing the bug out bag?
- Can I carry this bag over long distances? How much does it weigh?
- Is the pre-made bag designed to sustain the number of people I require?
- Do I need to add to this pre-made bug out bag by customizing for regional disaster propensity, urban survival, or wilderness survival?
If the pre-made bug out bag has a few downsides, you simply need decide which factors in choosing a bug out bag are most important to you, and use that criteria to decide. If the pre-made bug out bag you’re considering is limited and outside your price range, it might be better to build your own bug out bag, despite the time/opportunity cost.
Advantages of Buying a Pre-Made Bug Out Bag
- It is extremely convenient: it can be done in a single purchase and comes pre-assembled. All you need to do is choose the best pre-made bug out bag and get it sent to you.
- It saves a significant amount of time, including hours of research, product comparison, price matching, waiting to receive multiple items, along with compiling and organizing the bug-out bag.
- You can be relatively confident that a pre-made bug out bag will meet your most basic survival needs (they are unlikely to forget fire-making tools or water supplies). Pre-made bug-out bags are pretty good about stating how many people their survival kit will sustain and for how long.
- Pre-made bug-out bag sellers are generally long-standing disaster relief organizations or companies with experience in their field.
Disadvantages of Buying a Pre-Made Bug Out Bag
- Pre-made bug out bags sometimes are missing important items you might expect, such as a survival knife or all-purpose tool.
- Pre-made bug out bags may include items you don’t need, such as excess hygiene products or excessive food.
- Pre-made bug out bags may have a low price, but they may be overpriced for the value your receive. You may get one cheaper than if you built your own survival bag but it may include fewer important items, lower-quality items, or may have a high manufacturer markup.
- Pre-made bug out bags are mass made as an all-in-one one size fits all solution. They don’t contain items important to your personal survival needs, your climate, or your region. This is okay, but can make your go bag seem like it’s missing some corners.
Pre-Made 72-Hour Bags vrs. Building Your Own
There is no right solution for building a bug-out bag, selecting a survival kit, or even choosing which time of survival bag you should build. Each person is different, with different interests and needs, budgets, and different levels of time to spend.
You need to make your own decision. If you’re looking for convenience and time savings, pre-made bug out bags might be your best option. If you consider yourself a prepper and want the best survival kit, and you want to make sure it meets your personalized needs, you may be better off building your own.
Either way you should consider the most important factors in choosing a survival bag, and make your purchase decision based on that criteria.
Below is a short list of pre-made bug out bags and other pre-made survival kits. This list is just a preview, you can also view the best pre-made bug-out bags or the compete list of pre-made bug out bags.
Using a Pre-Made Survival Kit as a Base for Your Survival Bag
Using a pre-made bug-out bag or other pre-made survival kit as a base for your customized bug-out bag or other type of survival kit is an option not often discussed.
You can take the best value pre-made bag and turn it into a comprehensive bug-out bag by adding the missing items, or customize the kit based upon your personal needs.
Add additional wilderness supplies if you think you’ll be in a remote area (or if you turn it into an INCH bag). If you live in the city, consider customizing it for urban survival by adding supplies such as a gas mask.
Most importantly, you should customize your pre-made bug out bag based upon your region. This includes considering both 1) your climate and 2) your region’s disaster-propensity.
If you live in a climate that has extremely cold or hot days, extreme rains or dryness, a chance of precipitation like snow or hail, or other unusual weather patterns, this must be taken into consideration.
As a survival kit, the most important consideration is likely your region’s unique disaster propensity; that is, which types of disasters are more likely to happen in your area than elsewhere in the world, and how likely is a disaster in general. You can read more about location-based disaster planning and customizing your bug-out bag based on climate or specific types of disasters.
The Best Pre-Made Bug Out Bags
During our research on survival gear, bug-out bag supplies, and pre-made bug out bags, we’ve compared hundreds of survival supplies based on different criteria: price, quality, bag contents, existing customer reviews, size, weight, and other factors. You can compare pre-made bug out bags against this same criteria on our pre-made bug-out bag comparison table.
Based upon our research, we recommend the following top three pre-made bug out bags:
Pre-Made Bug Out Bags
These are the most popular and best value pre-made bug out bags available on Amazon. While building your own offers many advantages, buying a bug out bag pre-configured is a good option if you're seeking a fast, simple solution.
We believe these bags include the most important, critical survival kit items. We believe the product descriptions and company convey quality, and we believe the level of quality and selection of survival items is the best value when measured against the price.
Note that Survival Beacon earns a percentage of revenue from commissions generated from some of the products we link to. We pledge to remain unbiased and only recommend the best value products that we would by ourselves. You still pay the same price, but a small commission goes to support Survival Beacon.