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#125849 - 03/01/08 05:42 AM Re: Bug-Out-Bag options [Re: xavier01]

Whatever you choose, do not to go cheap. During high school my book backpacks would always fail. Either a shoulder strap would rip off at the top, or the zipper would derail, or the fabric would rip or fray or thin. School backpacks are just not made for anything other than light loads.
Remember that Made in China = Cheap! Buy American. We need to support our own infrastructure AND we have quality control in this country.
Make sure the fabric is at least 1000 denier (note that denier is a weight rating not a strength rating) cordura; better yet get the American-made Allied Signal Fibers Tru-Ballistic 1050 denier fabric; it meets U.S. Military Specification #MIL-C-12369F-GL. It is a smoother fabric than cordura, which looks textured. Don't get the foreign 1680 so-called ballistic fabric. 1680 is cheaper, but it is not as rugged. You don't want your backpack to fail you anymore than you want your boots to. A BOB needs to be a quality bag.
I would PLAN to pay no less than around $100 for a quality BOB, and make sure you inspect its construction to be sure that it will NOT let you down. What I mean by this is find out what materials it is made with, and whether or not Velcro is what you want, etc. You might want those superfluous pockets, you might not. Make sure it is large enough that there is some room left in it when fully packed. This reduces strain on the stitching and fabric, and eases getting at stuff, and also allows for an extra water bottle and stuff found in transit. There should be a reason for every feature. Notice if the stitching is up to par or not. Turn the bag inside out and look at it.
It must have comfortable shoulder pads and waist pad. It should also have a sternum strap. External attachments points are great for strapping and also for pouches. You should be able to attach bulky items to the outside, like a tarp, iceaxe and snowshoes, or hatchet.
After you buy it, load it up and walk a mile or two with it on. Run with it on. Jump with it on. Give yourself time to return it to the store if you don't like how it rides.
Be sure to go with a reputable, AMERICAN brandname that offers a lifetime warranty. But even this is no guarantee that it will not fail, so know what you are buying.
I wouldn't worry about if it looks military, unless you plan to use it in an "enemy" country. It is a BOB, so it probably should be inconspicuously colored, although it doesn't need to be camouflage.
Also, heat seal all loose edges on the inside nylon (if any) with a lighter to prevent fraying. Get a large ALICE pack waterproof liner to keep everything dry, or just use a heavy duty trashbag and tie it off.
Bottomline: Your BOB should be chosen to best suit your particular bug-out plan. Don't compromise when it comes to such a vital piece of gear as a BOB. Insist on quality: functionality, versatility, and ruggedness.

Anything else?

#125850 - 03/01/08 06:42 AM Re: Bug-Out-Bag options [Re: ]
katarin Offline

Registered: 06/29/06
Posts: 127
Loc: Ca, usa
What if you cannot afford to spend 100 just on a bag?
100 for a bag just isn't in my budget right now. So what other options do i have?

#125851 - 03/01/08 08:05 AM Re: Bug-Out-Bag options [Re: katarin]
TQS Offline

Registered: 03/12/06
Posts: 141
Loc: Humboldt County, CA
I equate value with price. "You get what you pay for" is true for most people. But there is of course nothing to prevent you from spending $300 on a BOB if that's the kind of gear your plan calls for.
If all the BOB you can afford is a grapefruit skin, go for it! LOL
The Bell Curve says ignorance is normal.

#125852 - 03/01/08 08:20 AM Re: Bug-Out-Bag options [Re: katarin]

I've thought about your question and I must say that even though the answer is rather obvious to me, I'll share it with you anyhow.

IT DEPENDS...on which of the following scenarios best applies to you:

1. If you're like me, thus almost everything you touch breaks somehow, then I suppose if you can't afford an immortal BOB, you'll have to save money and wait until you can. There you go.

2. If you aren't like me, thus even the most delicate rip-off sees you through the rough and tumble, well, maybe you're a fairy. In other words, I don't know.


#125853 - 03/01/08 08:23 AM Re: Bug-Out-Bag options [Re: jasond]
LED Offline

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
Another vote for REI Outlet. This Jansport looks like a good place to start. Med-large volume (2300cu in), okay back support, 50 bucks.


Here's a link to the start page:


#125861 - 03/01/08 12:02 PM Re: Bug-Out-Bag options [Re: LED]
cfraser Offline

Registered: 06/17/07
Posts: 110
Loc: Toronto area, Ontario, Canada
What ARE the brands of packs made in the USA these days? All my packs are made in the US, but those same brands nowadays aren't. On the web, I assume if it's not said they are, then they're not. And they hide those "made in" tags pretty well sometimes. That said, some of the made in China packs by US companies look pretty well-made.

#125864 - 03/01/08 12:50 PM Re: Bug-Out-Bag options [Re: ]
Nicodemus Offline

Registered: 10/30/05
Posts: 1341
Loc: Virginia, US
Remember that Made in China = Cheap!

Let me say right off that I agree with you and support the policy of buying American... To a painful extent at times it seems...

Anyway, having "done time" in the garment and sporting goods industry you'd be surprised at how expensive products from China can end up being for a consumer depending on who's label is attached. The attached label also goes to speak for the quality of the product a lot of times as well. What I'm trying to say is that just because some of these things are made in China it doesn't necessarily mean they product is low quality; It really depends on the brand name. You might be surprised to see the same stitching, quality of materials, and manufacturing techniques in a $200+ end-market product as you'd see in a similar $10 product, coming out of the same manufacturing plant and costing near the same to produce.

But it is true that there are the corner cutters. We hear the horror stories of course, but look at how much this country imports. It's seriously ridiculous.

Also, every year there are manufacturers who purchase or have products made in China, Afghanistan, India, Mexico and so on, who save a miniscule part of the production work to be done in America so they can add the "Made in the USA" label at the end of the process. Worse than that, there are the companies that just add the label no matter where the product is made.

Having said all that, I agree with your assertion that inspection of the product is key.
"Learn survival skills when your life doesn't depend on it."

#125868 - 03/01/08 01:32 PM Re: Bug-Out-Bag options [Re: cfraser]
Nicodemus Offline

Registered: 10/30/05
Posts: 1341
Loc: Virginia, US
Jansport is made in China and Thailand

Maxpedition is made in Taiwan IIRC

The North Face products are mostly Chinese made

I've seen Camelbak both as imported and Made in the USA, so it most likely depends on the particular product.

You're right though, one way to determine where the packs are made is whether they say "Made in the USA" right up front. Then again, if you read my previous post, it may not be the case. The garment/sporting goods industry is, in a lot of cases, a dirty business.

"Learn survival skills when your life doesn't depend on it."

#125882 - 03/01/08 06:17 PM Re: Bug-Out-Bag options [Re: ]
MoBOB Offline

Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 1219
Loc: here
Regardless of location of manufacture just take the time to inspect it in the store; tug, pull, turn inside out, use the zippers a bunch, tighten/loosen, ask them if you can put a dummy load in it in the store and walk around with it. If they really want a happy customer then maybe they will let you put it to the test, within reason, in the store.

Beware the "Made in U.S.A" label as meaning quality. Quality Control is a manufacturer's decision. The decision to implement ISO standards and maintain ISO Certification is strictly a company decision. Refer back to my first paragraph.
"Its not a matter of being ready as it is being prepared" -- B. E. J. Taylor

#125949 - 03/02/08 02:00 AM Re: Bug-Out-Bag options [Re: MoBOB]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
Echo that. I've seen some good stuff made in China, and great stuff from Taiwan. And a lot of garbage made in the US and Canada.

As for what and where...

What are your plans? That will narrow the range of sizes. Where can depend. I'm about to annoy some people and say avoid military surplus- yes it is cheap, becuase it has either been worn out by the military or the military decided it was junk. You can get lucky and find unissued items, but I've seen (and bought) "unissued" stuff that looked like it had been dragged behind a truck for a few miles. REI and Campmor are very good, particularly with the new year items coming out.

Edited by ironraven (03/02/08 02:09 AM)

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

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