Reviews

Best Survival Gear: Peace of Mind for Any Situation

Be ready for anything with our favorite survival gear options.

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BY Miguel de Guzman / LAST UPDATED ON September 30, 2021

Even if you're not a survivalist with an off-the-grid lifestyle, or someone who goes on camping trips every so often, you need to have the right items around to be prepared for the worst. Indeed, among the things this pandemic and the sight of empty store shelves last year taught us is that it's better to prepare for what may never happen than to be caught unawares. That's why when it comes to survival gear, you need  items that are useful, durable, and can be relied upon to work for most situations, no matter what the conditions are.

 

With the bevy of options in the market, however, the task of picking the right items to add to your survival cache can be downright confusing. So to help you, we created the guide below to help you prepare for anything that comes your way.

 

Best Overall
Kosin Emergency Survival Gear Kit
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Summary
Summary

This is a well-appointed kit with just about any survival tool you could think of for just about any situation.

Pros
Pros
  • Eighteen pieces of high-quality survival gear that are well-organized in a durable, easy-to-carry toolbox
Cons
Cons
  • Can be hard to find replacement items
  • Kit is smaller in size than you might expect
Best Overall
Kosin Emergency Survival Gear Kit
Best Value
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
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Summary
Summary

A handy and compact filter that can make almost any water source into drinkable quality.

Pros
Pros
  • Can filter up to 1000 gallons with just one straw 
  • Doesn’t use harsh chemicals, like chlorine or iodine. 
  • No batteries required
Cons
Cons
  • Filtration can be slow 
  • Will not filter out chemical toxins with a micron size below 0.2
Best Value
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
Honorable Mention
Gerber Bear Grylls Folding Sheath Knife
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Summary
Summary

This sturdy knife from Gerber is lightweight and has a drop point blade. With a rubber grip and high carbon stainless steel blade, it is built to last.

Pros
Pros
  • Comes with a pocket survival guide from Bear Grylls
  • Comes with a military-grade and mildew-resistant sheath
Cons
Cons
  • On the pricier side for a knife
  • Similar versions of the same knife come with a wider variety of survival tools
Honorable Mention
Gerber Bear Grylls Folding Sheath Knife
The Best Survival Gear
Amazon

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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Benefits of Survival Gear

  • Emergency preparedness. Emergencies don't happen often, but they can happen to anyone, and they can have lasting effects. Indeed, they'll typically occur when you least expect it. Whether it's a raging wildfire, a tropical thunderstorm, or an automobile breakdown, emergencies often come unannounced, and one of the best ways to reduce the impact of any disaster or emergency situation is to be prepared with the right survival kit. 
  • Provides peace of mind. One benefit of having survival gear on hand is peace of mind. With the right gear, you can rest assured that you'll be able to handle any emergency. Whether you intend to camp, trek, or prepare for a natural disaster, you'll need the right equipment, and in an emergency scenario, a well-rounded survival kitbag can mean the difference between life and death.
  • Buys you precious time in an emergency. Having a versatile and well-equipped survival kit on hand during an emergency can buy you precious time. Having the tools to treat an injury, cook food, or provide for other basic needs will increase your ability to mitigate loss, injury, and even death while waiting for rescue personnel to arrive.

Types of Survival Gear

Everyday Carry Survival Kit

Also known as "EDC," this type of survival kit consists of items that one might need for everyday emergency situations. An EDC kit should be small enough to fit in a pocket or a small bag, and while different people will have different items in their EDC kit depending on their needs, most will include basic survival tools such as a knife, a flashlight, or a tactical pen.

Bug Out Bag

A few notches above the standard EDC kit is what's called a bug out bag, or "BOB." The phrase "bugging out" refers to the decision to leave an area for safety after a disaster or emergency, so the items in a proper bug out bag should include the minimum required to survive in the field where help is days or weeks away. The usual items in a bug out bag include food, water, medical supplies, multi-purpose or navigational tools, and tactical vests

Top Brands

Vestergaard

Vestergaard started as a textile weaving company in 1957 in Denmark. Since then, the company went from manufacturing sewing machines to having a wide portfolio of humanitarian products, including mosquito nets and temporary shelters. In 2005, they developed the LifeStraw, an award-winning personal water filter that has turned into a brand of water filtration and purification devices. 

RoverTac

RoverTac is a smaller company based out of Northern Cyprus that is committed to the research and development, design, production, and selling of survival tools, like the RoverTac Pocket Knife Upgraded Multitool and many other tactical hammers, multitools, knives, and axes that are ruggedly and uniquely designed to be the ultimate in survival gear. It prides itself on innovation and high-quality design and construction. 

Marchway

Marchway primarily manufactures rugged and ultra-lightweight, high-tech camping gear. It is well known for its ultralight folding camping chair, drybags, and heavy-duty super light camping cots. It has a great reputation amongst serious hikers and backpackers, who appreciate the lightweight, solid construction of its products.

Survival Gear Pricing

  • Under $50: Survival gear in this price range might not be comprehensive enough to help you in every type of emergency, but they'll consist of items that can prove valuable in most crisis situations, including first aid supplies, camping gear, MOLLE bags, etc. 
  • $50 to $100: Survival gear in this price range can be expected to be more comprehensive and heavy-duty. Apart from the items mentioned above, they will also include things like survival shovels, portable shelters, and tactical clothing designed to get you through the harshest weather conditions. 
  • $100 and up: If you're willing to spend this much on survival gear, you can expect to get the most extensive and robust equipment to get you through a disaster and survive for days or weeks. Items in this price range will include expensive tracking equipment such as satellite-linked devices, EPIRBs, and other heavy-duty gadgets that can help rescue personnel find your location.

Key Features

Durability

One of the most important things to look for when choosing items for your survival cache is durability. Each item should be made from materials that won't break easily and can be relied upon to handle different conditions. Materials like steel, aluminum, blow-molded plastics, and waterproof fabrics are some of the materials you'll want your survival tools to be made from.

Comprehensiveness

Naturally, the best survival kits will have all the items you'll need to get through an emergency. Of course, you can't reasonably expect to have everything in one kit, but whether you're lost in the wilderness or are in the middle of a natural disaster, items such as flashlights, knives, multi-tools, and medical supplies will be useful in most emergency scenarios.  

Portability

A survival kit, especially an EDC kit, needs to be portable enough to take anywhere. Something too heavy and cumbersome will be a chore to lug around, and, in an emergency situation, you don't want to be weighed down by anything and be expending more energy than you need to. 

Other Considerations

  • Cost. In terms of cost, this is one of those situations where one can expect quality and to go up in price. Depending on your lifestyle and needs, however, it could be money well-spent. That being said, basic EDCs or bug out bags that can hold you up until help arrives and make a big difference in an emergency situation can also consist of budget-friendly items.  
  • Waterproofing. It's important that the items in your emergency preparedness kit are either waterproof or are contained in something that is. You'll need them to be functioning without issue after an emergency such as a flood or a hurricane, after all.
  • Restocking. A comprehensive and complete survival kit should be easy to restock from almost anywhere. It’s not full of obscure items that are difficult to find once you’ve used them all up. As your survival supply dwindles, you don’t want to have to search high and low for replacement items.

Best Survival Gear Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Kosin Emergency Survival Gear Kit

The Kosin Emergency Survival Gear Kit is a useful set to keep close at hand, particularly if you want to plan for all types of contingencies. It has 18 tools to keep you safe in any situation. This setup comes in a secure container that’s waterproof and durable enough to withstand the elements. It includes everything from a compass to an emergency blanket, a saw, a firestarter, a flashlight, and other safety tools like a whistle. All of the equipment is heavy duty with several items made out of high-grade steel for added sturdiness. 


The purpose of this kit is to help you survive any type of emergency with a focus on natural disasters. It's light enough to bring with you on any outdoor excursion, making it a good choice.

Best Value
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

One vital component in a survival situation is hydration. The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter lets you source safe drinking water just about anywhere. It is fairly compact, letting you fit it in with an existing survival kit you own. The straw takes any wild, freshwater source and filters the water to rid it of bacteria and parasites. The end result meets EPA standards for water quality. As a bonus, this straw uses no chlorine or iodine in the filtration process. You can filter up to 1,000 gallons of water with a single straw (less if the water source is heavily contaminated). 


It’s easy to use, making it great for survival scenarios. This water filter straw is an affordable way to ensure that your survival kit is equipped with a safe water solution.

Premium Pick
Gerber Bear Grylls Folding Sheath Knife

f you want a tried and tested product from a top brand, then this serrated-edge folding knife from Gerber is an excellent choice. Also endorsed by survival expert Bear Grylls, it is a sturdy and dependable knife for all of your outdoor adventures. It is made of high carbon stainless steel with a drop point. It has an ergonomic rubber grip for comfort and safety in your hand. It comes with a nylon sheath that is military grade and mildew resistant. The sheath can be carried vertically or horizontally. Compact and lightweight, this knife will not let you down while you camp, hike, and thrive in the wilderness. It comes with a Bear Grylls pocket survival guide with plenty of tips and tricks to keep you alive and safe in emergency situations. For a knife, it is definitely a higher price. 


However, you are paying for top quality as well as a trusted brand. Certain Gerber knives come with emergency whistles and a fire starter, but this one does not.

Best Versatile
RoverTac Multi-Tool Survival Axe

When you want a single survival tool to help you tackle any emergency, consider the RoverTac Multi-Tool Survival Axe. It is as compact as a standard hatchet but includes a wide range of features to make survival easier. The axe comes sheathed for safety and opens up to a set of 14 tools. You can use this stainless steel axe as a hammer and saw, helping you build or source firewood. It also comes complete with a knife, bottle opener, and pliers. Featuring a fish descaler, it helps you eat on the go. 


By fitting all these tools into a single piece, you don’t have to worry about being bogged down in the wilderness. Instead, this lightweight and versatile axe helps you tackle whatever situation arises without wasting energy by carrying unnecessary supplies. While there are many survival axes on the market, this one is especially durable and unique.

Most Durable
Marchway Floating Waterproof Dry Bag

Regardless of the emergency, your survival gear needs to stay dry. The Marchway Floating Waterproof Dry Bag prevents damage to your emergency supplies. When used properly, it stops your food from getting moldy, your clothes from getting wet, and your firestarter from failing. The bag is able to hold 10 liters of contents (though you can get it in larger sizes). Each bag is entirely waterproof. It’s made out of tarpaulin material with a firm seam to prevent the risk of rips or tears. The sturdy textile won’t puncture, making it ideal for on-the-go purposes. It’s designed to float on water, so it works for storms, floods, and any other situations where dampness poses a threat. 


Built to last, this durable container is an excellent way to keep your gear in one place, safe and protected.

Honorable Mention
FiveJoy Military Folding Shovel Multitool

If you’re looking for a great all-in-one survival tool, look no further than the FiveJoy Military Folding Shovel Multitool. This shovel is constructed from high-quality, strong, carbon steel and aerospace-grade aluminum that will withstand years of harsh use and tough environments. It’s rust-proof, waterproof, and fracture-resistant. Its clever design allows it to function as a heavy-duty shovel, serrated saw, sharp axe, hammer, and more. It also comes equipped with a hidden rescue knife and saw, paracord, fire starter, bottle opener, and emergency whistle, making it a versatile survival tool that's an excellent addition to your survival gear collection. 


Even better, the entire shovel only weighs 1.2 pounds, so you can easily add it to your pack and carry it long distances without worrying about a lot of extra weight that can lead to exhaustion.

Honorable Mention
Go Time Gear Life Tent Emergency Survival Shelter

If you’re looking for a durable, lightweight, easy to use shelter option, we recommend the Go Time Gear Life Tent Emergency Survival Shelter. It’s a great addition to your survival pack, bug out bag, camping gear, or hiking pack that will keep you warm, dry, and alive in harsh conditions. This two-person tent is fully waterproof and constructed from extra rugged puncture and tear-resistant polyethylene material that will withstand a wide variety of weather conditions. It’s quick and easy to set up, weighs only 8.7 ounces, and can double as a waterproof sleeping bag or space blanket. 


It comes equipped with a 550-pound paracord drawstring for set up and a strong, 120-dB survival whistle that can be heard by potential rescuers up to a mile away. The paracord can also do double duty to tie down or repair gear.

Honorable Mention
LuminAID PackLite 2-in-1 Phone Charger Lanterns

We definitely have to give an honorable mention to the LuminAID PackLite 2-in-1 Phone Charger Lanterns. This extra bright, inflatable LED solar-powered lantern doubles as a phone charger and can be a game changer in emergencies. It allows you the ability to have a reliable communication source and a much-needed light at the same time. The 2000mAh battery provides 150 lumens of light that can last almost 50 hours on low mode, giving you light all night long. It features five brightness settings and is collapsible for easy storage in tight areas. It can be fully recharged in 12-14 hours of exposure to direct sunlight, or 1-2 hours when charged via a USB cord. 


This little light is waterproof, shatter proof, and constructed from rugged TPU to withstand harsh environments.

Honorable Mention
LoneWolf 1 Person/1 Day Emergency Survival Kit

The LoneWolf 1 Person/1 Day Emergency Survival Kit is a durable and compact water-proof dry bag that contains everything a single person will need to cover the six essentials of an emergency (water, food, first aid, protection, communication, and light) for one day.

 

The kit includes three water pouches, a 400-calorie low-sodium food bar, a first aid kit with triangular and sheer bandages, a single emergency blanket, two light sticks rated for 12 hours each, and an emergency whistle with a lanyard. The bag itself containing all the items has a compass and a flint integrated into its straps, and you also get a handy emergency disaster guide that can no doubt be helpful to people new to emergency preparedness.

Honorable Mention
KKmoon 12-in-1 Survival Box

Any emergency survival kit will no doubt be enhanced by the addition of the KKmoon 12-in-1 Survival Box. This kit has everything you'll need. The box has a nice hard shell exterior that can take a beating, and it's compact enough to either fit in a small bag or be added to an already existing emergency preparedness kit. 

 

Included in the kit is a heavy-duty switch blade knife with a serrated blade, and a credit card sized multi-function knife that can double as a wrench, bottle opener, and saw. Additionally, the kit includes a tungsten steel pressure-tipped tactical pen that's strong enough to break through thick glass, a piece of flint, emergency blanket, zoomable LED lamp, and a military-grade compass.

Tips

  • Do your research. Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting, what it’s made from, and how to use it before you purchase any survival gear. What good is it to you if you can’t use it?
  • Read reviews. Good quality survival gear comes from companies with great reputations who have been in the industry for a long time and have many happy customers and a proven track record.
  • Think about where you’ll be using your gear the most. If you plan to be in a desert environment, don’t buy survival gear for snowy or cold climates. Tailor your kit to your own personal needs.
  • Try your gear out as soon as you get it to see if it will work properly and as advertised. Examine it for quality and reliability. An emergency situation is not the time you want to find out your gear fails you.

FAQs

Q: What are the top 10 survival gear products?

The top 10 survival gear items are:

  1. Fire Starter - reliable, waterproof, and easy to operate.
  2. Survival Knife - high-grade and rugged construction that is able to cut through almost anything.
  3. First Aid Kit - includes bandages, antiseptic, tourniquets, gauze, tape, scissors, and much more to handle injuries in the field.
  4. Water Filter - be able to get drinkable water anywhere.
  5. Emergency Blanket - keep warm, or use it as a shelter from the elements.
  6. Flashlight - allows you to see or be seen at night, making rescue easier.
  7. Cords - can be used for dozens of different purposes
  8. MREs - emergency ready-made meals to provide you calories and sustenance
  9. Compasses - be able to know where you’re going at all times, minimizing your risk of getting lost.
  10. Proper Clothing - protect your body from hypothermia or overheating.

Q: What is the best survival gear?

The best survival gear is constructed from rugged, durable, reliable materials and has a proven track record with many users. It’s practical and useful, and not based on gimmicks or things you don’t really need. 

Q: What do I need in my survival backpack?

A survival backpack should have the 10 things listed above, but also a lightweight tent or shelter option, flares, a bow saw or axe for cutting wood, plastic bags or tarps to wrap wet items in, a towel, extra footwear, and an emergency radio.

Final Thoughts

As we’ve mentioned, high-quality construction and materials are what make a great survival item, like in the RoverTac Multitool Survival Axe. Great survival gear is well thought-out in design and purpose, like the Kosin Emergency Survival Gear Kit. A comprehensive and extensive supply of survival items will greatly improve your chances of success in survival scenarios.