Although we all should know better, I’ve seen a harmful trend among the preparedness crowd in recent years–the massively overloaded, heart attack-inducing, mega bug-out-bag. It seems that the bigger the pack, the more likely you are to put a cast iron frying pan in it. OK, maybe I am exaggerating a little, but you get the point. In a quest to save myself from myself, and to help others down the minimalist path, I began researching smaller bags and backpacks that would do the trick. I think I have a winner, and you won’t believe the price tag!

U.S. Spec Medium Transport Pack, available through Sportsman’s Guide represents a great balance between low cost, good quality, and smaller size. With a ridiculous MSRP of $30, decent stitching and design, and a 1,150 cubic inch capacity with abundant modular webbing attachment points, this could be your favorite new BOB.

With abundant positive customer reviews, an overall favorable appearance, and the bargain price, I pulled the trigger on one of these rugged little gems, and I’m really glad I did. Here are its features:

– Tough 100-percent heavy-duty 600 Denier Polyester
– Padded shoulder straps that are adjustable at the top and bottom to fit all sizes
– Carry handle at the top of the bag
– Quick-release hip belt and sternum strap
– 5 cinch straps to stabilize the load
– 4 gear compartments with internal mesh pockets
– Hydration bladder compartment and port
– 16″ x 9″ x 8″ with a weight of 2 pounds, 6 ounces

With a price like this, it should come as no surprise that this isn’t an American-made product (it hails from China). My other gripe is that the zipper pulls jingle quite a bit, though a little tape fixes that in short order. At the end of the day, this is a fine pack at a great price.