Best Backpack for Burning Man

best backpack for burning man
Photo courtesy bookfinch via flickr. Used under a CC BY 2.0 license.

Question: I am going to Burning Man in 2023. What is the best backpack for Burning Man? Is a fanny pack or hydration pack the ultimate bag? What should be my everyday carry (EDC) when going to the Playa? Is there a Burning Man packing list?

5.11 Tactical Backpack

5.11 Tactical Backpack – Rush 24 2.0 – Military Molle Pack, CCW and Laptop Compartment, 37 Liter, Medium, Style 56563, Double Tap
  • COMPARTMENTS - Tactical Backpack featuring 29 individual inner and outer compartments, a roomy main storage area, a hydration pocket, padded laptop compartment, large sunglass pouch compartment, and a CCW Conceal Carry Weapon compartment.
  • DURABLE - Made from durable 1050D nylon, this military backpack is water-resistant and features self-repairing YKK zippers. Equipped with an adjustable height sternum strap, two external compression straps and contour yoke shoulder strap system.
  • TACTICAL - Molle compatible with the wrap-around molle/5.11 slick stick web platform, internal multi-slot admin compartment, hook and loop nametape, flag patches and glove-friendly pull tabs perfect for first responders, PPE, military, or patrol.
  • DIMENSIONS Main Compartment 20" x 12.5" x 8", Front Admin Pocket 12.5" x 11" x 2", Hydration Pocket 17" x 12.5", Total Capacity 2275 cubic inch / 37 liter total. Weight: 4.2 lbs. Customize your bag with purpose built pouches.
  • NEW 5.11 RUSH 24 2.0 - Can be used as a military or army pack, range bag, hunting backpack, survival backpack, hiking backpack, or everyday outdoor backpack. This assault pack is ready for any rescue or adventure for all of your gear and equipment.

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5.11 tactical backpacks are top grade. They feature YKK zippers, which are metal and repair themselves. The material is water resistant, with excellent stitching.

This go bag offers ample storage for all your Burning Man gear in the Nevada desert. There is room for a hydration pouch like a Camelbak bladder or multiple good water bottles.

The Molle webbing ensures upgrade pouch expansions. It is a two shoulder strap bag with a chest strap and waist strap.

Although 5.11 products are more money than the generic backpacks, 5.11 bags will hold up all the abuse you can throw at it on the Playa.

This is one of the best Burning Man go bags. It’s not too small. It’s not too big.


WOLF TACTICAL Molle Backpack Small Tactical Backpack Small Concealed Carry Backpack CCW Backpack Bug Out Bag 24L EDC Daypack
  • 【HEAVY DUTY TACTICAL DAYPACK】★ Constructed with rugged, weather resistant nylon material, our EDC Daypack features a compact and lightweight design, and a spacious 24L capacity with multiple compartments, internal organization pockets, and dual-opening zippers throughout. This is the perfect backpack for travel, range, hiking, or everyday use.
  • 【CONCEALED CARRY COMPARTMENT】★ The large back compartment dedicated to EDC features a full-open clamshell design for easy access to your gear. With one side lined with fleece and equipped with the included CCW holster, and the other side loaded with MOLLE and elastic straps, you can easily carry your handgun, pistol mags, admin pouches, and all your EDC gear.
  • 【SMALL, RUGGED, LIGHTWEIGHT】★ This compact military daypack is just the right size for hiking, camping, biking, fishing, hunting, and other outdoor sports. A breathable, padded mesh back provides comfort and includes a pocket for tablets or hydration bladders. The padded adjustable shoulder straps offer superior load-bearing weight distribution for all day long comfort.
  • 【LASER-CUT MOLLE SYSTEM】★ Upgraded laser-cut MOLLE webbing on 3 sides not only gives our backpack a sleek, tactical look, but offers the ability to further expand its storage capacity. Easily attach additional MOLLE pouches and equipment to carry more range or survival gear and everyday carry essentials.
  • 【TRUSTED WOLF TACTICAL QUALITY】★ Wolf Tactical makes mission-ready tactical gear built to last. We are based in the USA and dedicated to great customer service. Full refund if your expectations aren’t met for any reason. Feel confident with your purchase.

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The WolfWarriorX bag is a good bag go bag for Burning Man with a budget price.

The go bag offers ample storage space with Molle webbing. There is ample room for a CamelBak bladder and hydration hose.

The bag has multiple strap points, including shoulder, chest, and waist.

G4Free Tactical EDC Sling Bag Backpack

G4Free Tactical EDC Sling Bag Backpack with Pistol Holster Military Shoulder Backpack for Concealed Carry(Black)
  • DURABLE & WATER RESISTANT: The tactical sling bag is made of durable 900D Polyester with waterproof coating, water-resistant and scratch-resistant. Double-stitching for heavy-duty zippers, to make them last for a long time.
  • GREAT EDC BACKPACK & FREE GIFTS--- Tactical Sling Pack size approx is 12.9 * 13.8 * 5.9 inches. Weight: 1.7LB. Small size but has adequate space for carrying a 14” iPad, safety glasses, ear protection, spare magazines, wallet, etc on daily basis. Come with 6 PCS Free Gifts Accessories -- 1x USA Flag Patches, 1 x D-Ring Spring Lock Buckle, 2 x D-Ring Tactical Carabiners, 2 x Tactical 360 Rotation D-ring Clips.
  • MULTI POCKETS --- 1 main compartment, 1 holster/back compartment, 2 front pockets, 2 side pockets. A bungee cord in the front pocket for securing small items, the main compartment has a laptop compartment that fits 12.9 inch iPad and several interlayer pockets to keep the item organized. Super soft and ventilated padded back cushion for your daily activities. With 2 zippered side pockets as quick access for small necessities like coins, tissues, and cards.
  • WITH PISTOL HOLSTER --- Come with a holster with a magic sticker, hidden in the back compartment with double zippers. The top of the compartment opens by zipping about 3-4” down each side and a magic sticker along the top along with a shoulder strap with a clip. keeping your CCW stayed in place. ALL COMPARTMENT are equipped with SBS zipper with tab, quiet and high quality.
  • HUMANIZED DESIGN& MULTIFUNCTIONAL---Tactical sling backpack has an adjustable and comfortable padded single shoulder straps and also has added waist strap to keep the bag from swinging around your body as you move with it or bend down. Equipped with Molle Webbing and front load compression system Y strap for expansion. Perfect sling pack for the gunman. You can use the small tactical backpack as an EDC sling pack, chest bag, handbag, tactical, pouch, first-aid kit, a diaper bag, and so on.

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This tactical sling bag offers plenty of storage pockets for all the supplies you would need at Burning Man.

If you want a sling bag or a messenger bag, this 1.7 lbs unit has a size of 5.9×13.8×12.9. This is a good size and great bag for your buck.

With only one strap, it may not be as comfy as a multi strap bag. The ability to shed the bag quickly and is size make up for the comfort factor, though.

burning man go bag
Photo courtesy Ben Klocek via flickr. Used under a CC BY 2.0 license.

Find Burning Man supplies for 2023 on Amazon.

Burning Man packing list for EDC

  • A hydration bladder or large water jug
  • Collapsible cup
  • USB battery pack
  • Condoms
  • Lip balm
  • Goggles (day and night lenses)
  • Snacks (nuts, jerky, granola bars)
  • Band-aids
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Handkerchief
  • Folding seat
  • Headlamp
  • Bandanna
  • Dust masks
  • Sunscreen
  • Drivers license
  • Chewing gum
  • Wipes

Should you get a backpack, fanny pack, or slide bag?

A good, small or medium sized backpack with multiple straps gets my vote.

The attachments point make everyday carry bag comfortable. The downside is the extra surface area on your back. The Nevada desert is hot and so is a bag.

A good go bag for Burning Man is important. You want to carry all right gear for the festival.

A backpack can be strapped to your bike rack if you bring a bicycle.

Find the best backpack for Burning Man in 2023 on Amazon.

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