Any mountain guide, special forces soldier, medic, or first responder will tell you, how you respond to an emergency in the initial 72 hours determines whether you make it out alive or not. Despite popular belief, food is the least of your worries when a catastrophe strikes. You can only last three seconds without air, three hours without shelter, three days without water, and three weeks without food. That’s why having the best survival kit for every scenario is critical to get through these first few hours or days. And given what 2020 and COVID-19 have revealed about the thin veneer of our society and its pathetically weak supply-chains (remember the toilet paper, paper towel, and flour shortages?), now might be a good time to consider getting a survival kit.
Are you going camping or on a solo adventure in a remote area? Or do you get tornado, earthquake warnings in your local home area? Are you and your family susceptible to being evacuated due to hurricane and wildfire threats? What is in your basic survival kit or emergency bag? What opening or closing mechanism does the go-bag use? Quick access to a pre-packed cache of vital supplies can mean the difference between life and death or serious injury. A lightweight survival kit should allow you to carry as many items as possible in one bag to keep you alive until help arrives.
In this guide, we review 17 of the best survival kits that are of the design, quality, and ease of use necessary in an emergency. These survival kits are adequate for at least three days, at the home, office, or in the great outdoors.
1. Spyderco Warrior Hawk Hatchet
Seventy2® is a well-thought 72-hour survival kit comprising a military-grade portable insert tucked in a lightweight, waterproof 600D Tarpaulin shell. Here, you can expect to find thirty high-quality survival tools color-coded for easy reach. There is an elaborate manual printed at the back of the insert, helping experts and beginners effectively use each item.
And, when facing a flood crisis, wear the backpack on your chest to help you stay afloat. The go-bag uses sternum straps, waterproof zippers, and many outer pockets for your phone, keys, and other smaller personal items.
- A roll down top for quick access
- All tools are ready for use
- Uses a reflective logo for visibility
- Discrete grey and black colors minimize scrambling in a panic situation
- Brand: Uncharted Supply Company
- Material: 600D Tarpaulin
- Carry Weight: 11 lbs
2. Ready America 70380 Essentials Emergency Kit 4 Person 3 Day Backpack
When you need to get your family ready for a natural disaster, workplace accident, or an environmental hazard, the Ready America emergency kit is your budget-friendly solution. It is a plastic backpack with all the essential supplies to last a family of four up to 3 days until the rescue team takes over. The emergency water and food will stay fresh in temperatures of between 22°F to 149°F for at least five years. Plus, the 107 items in the first aid kit are useful for any medical emergency. Keep this kit at home, let a child carry it to school, or have it nearby on your office desk.
- US Coast Guard Approved emergency food and water
- Enough for a family of four
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Brand: Ready America
- Material: Plastic
- Carry Weight: 19.41 lbs
3. Emergency Zone 4 Person Urban Survival 72-Hour Bug Out/Go Bag
When you reside in a busy city like New York or Seattle, you want an outdoor survival kit backpack in a stylish yet discrete go-bag fit for an urban commute. Such a kit will have survival tools, a first aid kit, supplies for making a temporary shelter, clean food and water, a water purification unit, essential hygiene products, and a means to signal and communicate for help. The Emergency Zone Urban Survival Bug Out bag is a 72-hour survival kit that will supply four people with the above essential items to keep them alive when an emergency strikes.
- Comfortable, discrete backpack design that blends with the crowd
- Lots of utility pockets to keep your kit organized
- US Coast Guard Approved food and water rations
- Includes a detailed emergency guidebook
- Brand: Emergency Zone
- Packaging: Black Reinforced Backpack
- Carry Weight: 25.8 lbs
4. EVERLIT 72-Hour 2 Person Earthquake Emergency Kit
When an earthquake strikes, there can be multiple fire outbreaks, power outages, or even civil unrest resulting from panic. In such circumstances, you want to have the right tools and accessories to keep you warm, hydrated, nourished, and address any injuries due to falling objects like glass. That’s where the Everlit 72-Hour 2 Person Earthquake Emergency Kit comes in. This best survival kit backpack was created by a team of US military veterans conversant with coping strategies in a disaster situation. It includes vital food, water, a water filtration system, and a 200-piece first aid kit that will get you through the aftermath of an earthquake.
- A rugged, water-resistant backpack, easy to transport
- Well-stocked with military-grade tools and accessories
- Includes a 200 piece first aid kit
- Brand: Everlit Survival
- Packaging: 600D Polyester Backpack
- Carry Weight: 19 lbs
5. Emergency Zone The Essentials Complete Deluxe Survival 72-Hour Kit
The Essentials Complete Deluxe Survival Kit from Emergency Zone has a holistic approach towards disaster preparedness, allowing every family access to emergency supplies at an affordable price. That is, a family of 2 or 4 persons can choose either a red or black backpack full of survival essentials, ample compartments, and a 53-page information guide booklet to ensure you make the best use of your emergency supplies.
Each package has multipurpose use to last two or for persons up to three days. The contents include US Coast Guard Approved and SOS branded food and water supplies, a Frontier straw filter, a weather band radio for weather alerts, tools, lights, 53-piece first aid kit, temporary shelter supplies, and hygiene products.
- Survival kit ideal for evacuation, floods, civil unrest, and earthquake preparedness
- The food rations have a 5-year shelf life
- Includes 2AA batteries
- Easy to use by an expert and a beginner alike
- Brand: Emergency Zone
- Packaging: Red or Black Unmarked Backpack
- Carry Weight: 21.5 lbs
6. Sustain Supply Co. - COMFORT2
Sustain Supply Co., the makers of the Comfort2 premium survival kit backpack, believe in sourcing top quality emergency supplies at reasonable prices. That’s why, when you unbox this bag, you can expect such items as 12 servings of Wise Company food rations for backup calories and nutrition, a portable stove and cookware, and 3L DATREX® Water.
There are two whistles with lanyard, a firestarter, dual-layered emergency blankets, 48-piece first aid kit, Cyalume snap lights, Morakniv 511 knife, an LED lantern with 30 LEDs, and bath wipes. These are products recommended by most survival instructors across the world for their superior quality. They are sufficient to keep two persons comfortably prepared for a disaster for up to three days.
- A large grab-and-go backpack with convenient pockets for quick evacuations
- Strive to provide comfort and survival for at least 72 hours
- Includes premium quality supplies that you can trust
- Brand: Sustain Supply Co.
- Packaging: 600D Polyester Water-resistant Backpack
- Carry Weight: 16.65 lbs
7. EVERLIT Survival Kit 40-In-1
The Everlit Emergency Survival Kit 40-In-1 is a compact and lightweight emergency kit in a MOLLE layout backpack customized by a team of US military veterans. It consists of 40 emergency supplies that will equip you for any disaster when camping, hiking, or traveling with friends and family. These supplies include a tactical knife, flashlight with three lighting modes, a paracord bracelet, a thermal blanket, and a first aid kit. It makes an excellent gift to anyone keen to learn about the basics of outdoor survival.
- Has convenient Velcro panels that stick to a car seat for quick access
- Available in Camo and black color themes
- Has a 1-year satisfaction warranty
- Most tools are for multipurpose use
- Brand: Everlit Survival
- Packaging: Water-resistant Vinyl-coated Backpack
- Carry Weight: 15.2 oz
8. CHANGKU EILIKS Emergency Survival Kits 11 in 1, CHANGKU Multi Professional Tactical Kit
The CHANGKU EILIKS Emergency Survival Kit incorporates 11 essential items to help you survive should you slip and fall while on a camping trip or get lost or stranded in the backcountry. Your kit includes a heavy-duty tactical military knife, a loud whistle, a very bright flashlight, flintstone, a shake-proof, waterproof updated compass, and a thermal blanket. Each item is of high quality, guaranteeing your safety when most vulnerable.
- A well-thought-out survival kit
- Ideal for the outdoors, home, school, and office
- An excellent gift for family members who own cars
- Brand: EILIKS
- Packaging: Thermal Steel Black Box
- Carry Weight: 0.75 lbs
9. EMDMAK Survival Kit
If you want an affordable 72-hour survival kit to help you practice your survival techniques, consider getting the EMDMAK Survival Kit. Retailing at less than $20, it includes a multi-function tool, first aid kit, emergency flashlight, a compass, and an emergency blanket. You get to hone your survival skills with items that you will find in premium survival kits at this low price. Hence, it makes an excellent gift for kids or anyone new to emergency preparedness. Carry it on your next fishing, mountaineering, or hunting trip. Its light, compact, water-resistant case takes up little space in your backpack.
- Slim, shock-resistant design
- Budget-friendly price
- Easy to use and store
- Brand: EMDMAK
- Packaging: Stainless Steel Waterproof Case
- Carry Weight: 6.8 ounces
10. HSYTEK Survival Gear Kit 11 in 1
The HSYTEK Survival Gear Kit is a minimalistic emergency gear that you can upgrade to include premium professional pieces later on. It consists of practical items to keep you safe in an emergency. These items include multi-function tools like a tactical pen, survival bracelet, military knife, and a buckle compass. Each of these items is corrosion-resistant and is in a durable waterproof protective case. Further, there is a detailed user guide for reference.
- Includes 11 survival items
- Retails in a robust waterproof case
- Affordable; has a 12-months money-back guarantee
- Ideal in training kids or loved ones on essential survival skills
- Brand: HSYTEK
- Packaging: Waterproof Protective Casing
- Carry Weight: 0.86 Pounds
11. 2 Person Deluxe Survival Kit (72+ Hours)
Black Hawk Survival has four deluxe survival kits to sustain two persons for 72 hours in the event of an emergency. These kits are in Camo, Camo with wheels, red with wheels, or a waterproof dry bag for carrying convenience. Each package contains hand-assembled food and water rations with a 5-year shelf life, shelter and warmth essentials, light and communication kits, hygiene and sanitation products, and a first aid kit. Besides, there is a notepad, pencil, infectious waste bag, and survival playing cards to keep you busy and relatively stress-free as you wait for help to arrive.
- Includes premium emergency supplies and an easy to use guide
- There are ample toiletries and accessories for your comfort
- The backpack has a reflective stripe, uses bright colors for visibility
- Lots of outer pockets for extra storage
- Brand: Black Hawk Survival
- Packaging: Multi-pocket Hiking Backpack
- Carry Weight: 15lbs
12. Judy - The Mover Max
Now, if you need a family survival kit with all the essentials for a family of four in an emergency, packed in a waterproof go-bag, opt for the MOVER MAX outdoor survival kit. This emergency survival kit contains ten mini-meals, four glow sticks, a 109-piece first aid kit, four dust masks, four emergency blankets, four ponchos, an LED flashlight, two whistles, two tissues, a pair of gloves, and a quick-dry towel.
This kit comes in handy when you have a breakdown that keeps you isolated for days in a remote area. You can charge your phone, treat any injury or bruises, and stay nourished, hydrated, warm, and dry until help arrives.
- Waterproof, abrasion-resistant backpack
- Includes sufficient first aid, safety, and communication supplies for four persons
- Retails in a bright yellow go-bag for quick location
- Brand: Judy
- Packaging: 500D Tarpaulin
- Carry Weight: 15 lbs
13. The Preppi GoBox - 3-Day Emergency Kit
The Preppi GoBox is a 72-hour emergency kit for one person. It holds food and water supplies with a 5-year shelf life, a 95% filtering mask to protect you from inhaling deadly smoke. A poncho and a Myla space blanket will keep you warm and dry in the rain.
And, the LED flashlight, a whistle, and a Swiss multi-tool, and even Poker playing cards come in handy at night. These supplies are in a book-size survival kit with a pop-out handle for portability. You can have it in the office or the car and grab it whenever a disaster strikes. Still, there is a larger family survival kit by Preppi ideal for more persons.
- Small, compact size for easy access
- Turn your disaster preparedness into a fashion statement
- Retails with a limited lifetime warranty
- Brand: Preppi
- Packaging: Canvas Go Bag
- Carry Weight: 6.3 lbs
14. ANTARCTICA Emergency Survival Gear Kits 60 in 1
Are you an outdoor sports enthusiast? The ANTARCTICA Emergency Survival Gear Kits 60 in 1 is your ideal wilderness survival kit. At a pound in weight, this go-bag has all your essentials for any emergency. Plus, it includes a paracord survival bracelet with an embedded compass, emergency knife, whistle, and fire starter.
So if you want to survive and thrive during your next camping, hiking, fishing, or hunting adventure, consider this military-grade survival kit. It includes 11-in-1 multifunctional pliers, tactical flashlight, wire saw, compass carabiner, and an emergency thermal blanket. These are a must-have for a convenient outdoor adventure and convert to survival gear should an emergency arise.
- 60 Stainless steel premium multipurpose items
- Discrete carry case fitting into a backpack or car
- Serves as outdoors supplies, emergency kit, and must-have self-defense items
- Brand: Antarctica
- Packaging: Military-grade waterproof backpack
- Carry Weight: 1.65 lbs
15. Sustain Supply Co. - ESSENTIAL2
Essential2 is a basic survival kit from Sustain Supply Co. Other kits available from Sustain Supply Co. are the Comfort2 and Comfort 4. As a minimalistic go-bag, the Essential2 equips you with survival items only. Hence, it has 1.5L water (Comfort2-3L, Comfort4-6L). Next, its Mainstay Food bars are sufficient for two servings. And, unlike the other models, you may have to buy an LED flashlight, portable stove, and cookware.
- Aims for survival in an emergency
- A small compact survival kit for two persons
- Fits well at the back of the car
- Brand: Sustain Supply Co.
- Packaging: Nylon water-resistant backpack
- Carry Weight: 16.65 lbs
16. Deluxe Urban Survival Kit - Red Backpack
The Deluxe Urban Survival Kit is a standalone bug out bag containing survival gear, water & food with a 5-year shelf life, hygiene and sanitation supplies, a 118-piece first aid kit, and light and communication tools. These supplies are in convenient packs to sustain 2, 4, or 6 persons for up to 72 hours in a flood, earthquake, pandemic, or any other disaster situation.
Each survival kit is in a red ergonomic backpack that features ample compartments and utility pockets, a firm grip handle, padded back panel, and chest straps. If you are new to some of the supplies, the emergency preparedness guidebook provides easy to follow steps on how to use each item, which is always handy when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
- Lightweight and compact backpack
- Discrete design for an urban resident
- Has additional space for medication, kids’ supplies, or important documents
- Food and water approved by the US Coast Guard
- Brand: Emergency Zone
- Packaging: Weatherproof Poly Bag
- Carry Weight: 15 lbs
Now that you know what to expect from the best survival kits for whatever scenario you are in, you can further customize it to make it sufficient for your unique needs. Depending on your exact situation and the loved ones that are in your home or who you travel with, you should also consider adding the following items to your survival kit:
- Prescription drugs
- Backup pair of prescription glasses
- Copies of identification documents
- Some cash in small bills
- Baby food
- Backup medical devices
- A paper contact list
- Backup batteries
Whether you choose to invest in individual or family-sized survival kits, your emergency survival kit should be something that you don’t leave to chance. Ensure that you always know where it is and that it’s easily accessible because emergencies don’t tend to give you a massive heads up or ample warning.