Recommendations on a go bag?

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by Jeff Brackett, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. Jeff Brackett

    Jeff Brackett Monkey+++

    You guys have been at this a lot longer than I have, so I figured I would come to the experts. :)

    I've gathered a lot of basic bug-out gear over the years, but don't actually have a true BOB to put it in. My better half is beginning to see the value in doing so, and I thought I would strike while the iron was hot. So, what are your recommendations on a good bag/pack for use as a BOB? I was about to order a couple of Maxpedition Falcon IIs and then read a review of it on here where it was mentioned that it was too small to serve as one.

    That being the case, any recommendations? Budget is about $200 and I need two bags.
  2. Bcgarrick

    Bcgarrick Monkey

    I've been looking at the 5.11 rush series, specifically the 24/72 series. Heard great things on them...
  3. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    I use what I am accustomed to, a large ALICE pack. You have to use an external frame on the large ones, and they're big enough for me. There are certainly more comfortable/lighter/larger rigs within your budget, but I doubt they'd compete in sheer durability. (Only kids book bag that never wore out) With the latest (wide) frame pads and straps it's not a bad carrying pack, but like I said, I've carried one a lot, so I'm used to it.

    My frame has a pack shelf on the bottom, so the frame alone can be used for load carrying. It also gives me nice anchor points and cubby holes for gear that I might need to access quickly.

    Consider spreading out the load of your BOB into smaller bags that duplicate the important items and enhance the BOB. (Small EDC belt kit, larger at work belt kit, shoulder bag & GMHB in the car, and finally your BOB.) This may reduce the size of your BOB slightly, and help distribute the load if well thought out. That way if you can't get to the next level you have something at hand. The classic Navy SEAL "Two is one and one is none" routine.

    Great that you're both involved in this. Keep this in mind when selecting
    packs. Just because you have a large pack, that doesn't mean you have to stuff it full. My winter BOB is pretty stuffed, but the summer version gets the extra material strapped down and ends up only about half full.
    Once your BOB is in active use you might carry it around empty to haul stuff back to your BOL. (water, wood, food) That's when a big, fat, tough pack with an external frame shines.

    USMC (Retired)
  4. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    Have you read through the old posts? There's lots of info on BOBs.

    Check out L.A. Policegear. They have some cheaper BOBs. Also check eBay...sometimes, active duty personnel sell their stuff. I've gotten an ALICE pack and MOLLE II pack for dirt on there.

    Sportsman's Guide also has some good deals every now and again:
    Military Backpacks/Bags - Rucksacks At Sportsman's Guide

    I have some Maxpedition stuff and find it top-quality. However, it is really expensive IMO.
    Cephus likes this.
  5. Jeff Brackett

    Jeff Brackett Monkey+++

    Poked around a bit, but wasn't really sure what keywords to search on. Just found a recommendation for the Vulture II. Looked up the specs and it looks about right. Looking very seriously at that one.
  6. STANGF150

    STANGF150 Knowledge Seeker

    Jeff, ya might have read my review. Catch is mine was the PYGMY Falcon II, not the fullsize Falcon II
  7. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    There's an in-depth review of those packs over on with good photos if you want to see a side x side.

    How much gear do you plan to be carrying? That should determine what pack you need.

    Here's the cheap pack I was referring to:

    LA Police Gear 3 Day Backpack

    You could try something like that to see if it's what you need. If not, it's cheap enough to keep and it would be worth a mint come SHTF.
  8. Jeff Brackett

    Jeff Brackett Monkey+++

  9. gmt48

    gmt48 Monkey+

    Like Hot Diggity, I use a military surplus ALICE Pack. In fact, much of my gear is military surplus. It's hard to beat stuff designed for field use by military ground units and meets MILSPEC standards for durability and practicality. Shop some of the online military surplus stores and you should be able to find one with frame for around $50.
  10. Jeff Brackett

    Jeff Brackett Monkey+++

    Never found the review over there with the photos, but the link you provided was pretty convincing. I already pulled the trigger on a couple of Vulture IIs, but for the price I think I can swing a few of the LA bags in the near future, too. It'll be interesting to compare the two. Thanks for the info.
  11. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    Sorry...yeah, me neither. Maybe it was in the VIP section or on another site. I can't remember.

    Here's one I found, but not the one I was thinking of.

    Maxpedition Vulture II - Survivalist Forum
  12. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

  13. Jeff Brackett

    Jeff Brackett Monkey+++

    Well, my Maxpedition Vulture IIs came in (after considerable delay). Very nice, very well made. I haven't had time to pack them yet, and am probably going to hold off for a bit to do a comparison.

    You see, I also ordered a pair of the LA Police Gear 3-Day backpacks. Guit pointed them out to me and they looked very similar. Reviews were good, and the price was about 1/3 of the Maxpedition bag. Figured I would do a side-by-side comparison once the LA bags get in. I'll let you know what I find.

    Thanks for all the advice and links, everyone.
  14. Suerto

    Suerto Monkey+

    I know it's a little late, but the wife and I use surplus frankenpacks, they come with a plastic external removable frame, and plenty of exterior straps to ties stuff too..

    We carry roughly 25-35lbs of gear in them, and that includes 3 days of food, clothes, basic cooking, tent, first aid, and ammo..

    Bigger and more comfy than the Alice packs somebody was fervently advocating up thread.. :)
  15. Huntinbull

    Huntinbull Monkey+

    Is your a frame a PRC frame? Used to have that combo. Worked well with the shelf. I now have the ALICE on the ALICE frame. I miss the shelf, but it still gets the job done.
  16. Expatman

    Expatman Monkey

    Whatever you do I would suggest that nobody buy the MOLLE ruck on cheaperthandirt that looks like a copy of the Camelback BFM. I had one back in 2007 and one of the plastic buckles broke with little to no use. I was simply using the pack to carry some body armor, change of clothes and some admin stuff to and from class for a week or two. It is cheap crap and I should have known but I took the risk.

    I think it is better to buy once and have it last forever. I now have several packs that I use for work that would all be great for medium sized BOBs.

    THE Pack from Spec Ops.

    Camelback BFM (Great pack. Very high quality. Kind of expensive.)

    My old Army ALICE pack (medium)

    My old Army ALICE pack (Large. Awsome pack for the money. I can load this up as much as I want or as little as I want. Great all round pack for the money)

    Mystery Ranch 3 Day Assault pack (my current favorite. Love the tri-zip/top loader design. May be a little small for some but it does have the ability to add molle pouches if desired. Also kind of expensive for some.)

    Kelty MAP 3500 (Great pack for those who want military quality with a civilian style)

    As you can see, I have a pack fetish. Can't help it. I have learned to just "go" with it.
  17. Jeff Brackett

    Jeff Brackett Monkey+++

    Still waiting on my LA Police Gear 3-Day backpacks. Got an email from them the other day that said they should be shipping "late April". Chatter on their forum hints that they are going with a new manufacturer, and that the changeover has screwed up their currently scheduled shipments.
  18. Pyrrhus

    Pyrrhus Monkey+++

    I'll second that on the MOLLE. I got one when they first came out (USMC). It was in about 30 pieces and had a video with it to show how to put it all together. Then the frame broke. The Marine Corps looked at it and thought, "it's huge, we can stuff a bunch of crap in it!", but when you filled it with heavy stuff the frame would readily break. It was also telling that the MOLLE would come with 5-7 replacement buckles right out of the box. Hated that thing. USMC went to ILBE in a few short years, and the Marine Corps hates to get new stuff.

    I have two SOC (Sandpiper of California) bags that I love. They aren't cheap, but the Three Day Pass is the best configured bag I've ever seen. The organizer compartment is magnificent.
  19. Jeff Brackett

    Jeff Brackett Monkey+++

    Got word yesterday that LA Police Gear is finally shipping my 3-day packs. Woohoo!
  20. Jeff Brackett

    Jeff Brackett Monkey+++

    Got my LAPG bags in. They're good, especially for the money, but the Maxpeditions are MUCH better.

    I'll do a comparison and post it in a few days.
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