Best modular bag for car?

Hi guys,

I’m pretty new to prepping and have been reading a ton of stuff on this site. I’m in the middle of assembling my kit but I really could use some recommendations for a bag.  I have almost all of the items of a level 3 kit stored throughout my truck but scattered throughout. I’m ideally looking for some sort of modular bag to use that I can attach smaller packs or bags on/in based on the situation I’m in.  For example, I want to keep all my clothes/hygiene in a small day pack and possible use this also as a gym bag or emergency change of clothes for work. I also want to be able to strap a sleeping bag and tent if I’m in a bugout situation but leave in the truck if I’m just trying to get home.  I also have a rather large molle ifac  (9”x7”x5”) that would be nice to strap to the bottom or side but keep easily assessable.

I am leaning toward an Osprey Aether AG 60 or a Deuter Aviant Voyager 65+10. Both of these have removable daypacks but I’m worried they will take up two much space in my truck (won’t fit under the backseat)

Does anybody have a good recommendation for a bag in the +/-40L range with attachment options for top, bottom and sides (or separate daypack options)?  Conversely any recommendations for internal bag pouches?



  • Comments (18)

    • 2

      What is the purpose of your kit in your vehicle? Is it going to be a bug out bag, get home bag, shelter in place bag, or a combination of all three?

      • 4

        Its really a combination of all three with a priority on Get Home.   The truck itself is setup for a bugout I just have way to much onboard gear to carry by foot.  So I’m looking for some sort of modular approach to carry the right stuff on foot based on the situation. 

      • 2

        If you have the space, the Deuter looks to be a much smoother modular option. After watching these videos, the removal of the day pack is so much easier and requires less steps in the Deuter than the Osprey.

        The Deuter looks to be comfortable, low key (as to not draw attention to yourself), and will probably store all you ever will need. I like the front and top loading capabilities.

        I shoot for bags in the 40L range so both of these are too big for me.

      • 2

        Thanks,  I’m with you. I think either would work but i’d like to find something comparable in a 40L size. But i can’t find anything. 

      • 2

        Have you thought about buying the 40L of your choice and a separate day pack of your choice and rigging up a DIY solution to make a Deuter type pack?

        I’ll keep an eye out and see if I can find any 40Ls with the modularity that you are wanting, but if nothing exists, we may have to get creative.

        I like your thinking and want something similar for myself, so I’ll do some hunting and see what I can find and help each other out.

    • 2

      I have only get home kit in my car and have it stored by category under the back deck of my hatchback except the FAC and fire extinguisher that are more accessible.  That means the daypack is collapsible so it will fit in the shallow space and not able to support a full BOB (which is at home).  I am typically less than 15 miles from home (even closer since the pandemic).  Most categories are in eagle creek specter packing cubes because they are light, strong, fit the space and are easy to get into by the zipper.  And they help contain and compress much of it too.   The plan is to fill the pack with what I need before I leave the vehicle to head home (earthquake scenario).  I have found this helpful in locating items as well since all the small tools are in one XS cube, for example.   You could sort your on-foot items and have them stored where they fit and the put in a larger pack that your considering. It may not need to be a modular pack, but I can appreciate the flexibility.  

    • 2

      Maybe an old ALICE ruck or newer medium size MOLLE surplus ruck could work? Throw in some webbing with buckles and it’ll carry anything you want.

      I would say maybe something like a GR2 but the vertx EDC holds the same more efficiently.

      Maybe also sorting your gear to be sure that putting it all in a 65 liter bag isn’t crazy heavy, especially for a get home situation. It’s very easy just starting out to over pack.

      Maybe a larger draw string sports bag for clothes and then some carabiners to hold it on whatever you put your main stuff in. I would say a half decent school bag or panel bag should organize things decently

    • 2

      The Prepared has reviewed an ILBE pack here

      It looks to be quite modular but is also quite different than the two technical bags the OP gave as an example.

    • 2

      REI has a nice modular ruckpack.  Here’s some relevant snippets from the description:

       Included 20-liter daypack can be attached to the main pack for a combined 80 liters of capacity, or it can be carried separately when traveling light
       Removable minipack can be used for day trips and comes complete with a tablet/hydration sleeve

      As with other products mentioned on this thread, it’s quite a bit larger than what the OP is looking for.  My guess is that modular pretty much means committing to something large and cavernous.

      • 2

        Thanks guys for all the replies.  I’ve been doing a bunch of research the last day and am pretty much coming to the same conclusions as you. Gideon I read the ILBE review like an hour right before your post. I got some good points for how he separated his gear between packs

        What i’m finiding is that no real 40L has all the options i’m looking for. I decided to go with the Osprey Aether AG 60. I ended up getting a decent deal on it new even though its been discontinued. My primary thoughts went this way. 

        – If you take off the lid it’s not much bigger then some of the other 40L bags I’ve seen and you can lash it down.

        – It should blend in very easily here in New England and will hit better marks then a camo molle bag with the wife. 

        – I can attach a daylite pack to the front or shove a smaller bag in the beaver tail compartment (Similar to the Deuter)

        – There are lashing points to add more bags/equipment on all four sides. 

        – It should be able to carry and distribute a heavier load then most 40L’s

        I also like the idea of a bunch of the packing cubes to help organize.  

        Once I get everything packed in it I’ll post some pictures. I’ll also post some of how I fit the “modules” into my Raptor.  


      • 1

        Glad you figured out a good bag for your situation and got a good deal on it in the meantime!

      • 3

        Hi guys, 

        Based on the above notes I went and bought a ton of the eagle creek Pack-It bags.  I think the Specter line is now discontinued. If anyone is interested Sierra.com has  them pretty heavily discounted right now in various colors.



      • 6

        Well guys, I’m finally done with my kit and there have been a lot of ups and downs.   First off the Osprey Aether AG 60 has been a mixed bag. The click off top can’t really be clipped back on if its more then 1/3 off the way full.  I also had a hard time mounting my IFAC to the side of this pack.  I ended up buying an Osprey Daylite Plus pack to add to the mix (The non-plus version is way too small and couldn’t even fit my sneakers).   I’m now using the Daylite Plus as my gym bag and it can fairly easily be clipped to the front of the bag.  I’m also now able to set my IFAC on top of the bag and clip in in with the removable hood.   I’m finding this to be a very versatile pairing and it allows me to size up and down the pack based on my needs.  I originally had this dream of a bunch of modules under back seat that I grab and pull into the bag as needed but I quickly found I’ve bought way too much stuff and I don’t have enough room.  Instead, this has turned into most of my commonly used items in the backseat and the rest in the bed. I still have a bunch of modules just spread all around the truck that I can pull as needed.  I have a full excel file showing everything if anyone is interested.  I’m partly having buyer’s remorse and wondering if I should have just bought an uncharted supply 72 pro and put it under the back seat but keep coming back to the fact that I have way more equipment to cover me for more situations.

        Feel free to take a look at my public car pack kit and let me know where your thoughts.


      • 3

        I love the level of organization and the custom tags on each bag symbolizing what is in each!!! 

        Do you feel like the extra bag on the outside takes too much weight away from your center of gravity and makes you feel like you are falling  backwards? 

        Your car is well stocked and you are ready for the next disaster. Thank you for sharing your process and findings.

      • 3

        The daylite add on pack  is mainly filled with my clothes pouches and only weighs about 6lbs.  I really didn’t notice a gravity shift with or without it.  Perhaps the Aether AG frame is made for this as Osprey lists it as a highlight.   One thing I really like about this setup is I have spare room in all three of the bags so if needed I can situationally consolidate down or up. Additionally, if I’m with my family we can split the load into three separate packs with a few clicks.

        Attached are the labels if anyone wants to use them. Prepper Labels

      • 2

        This is a great set of picture labels that I’ll probably use for my own kit. What’s the barbell picture for? I would normally think exercise equipment, but that seems out of place in an emergency kit.

      • 4

        Yea, it’s for a gym/exercise gear. Given that it’s a modular set, I keep in the truck, having a gym pouch is very handy to grab after work. If it’s not needed I just leave it in the truck. It’s also a nice add if I’m in work clothes and need to walk to get home. It also acts as a second change of clothes if needed.

      • 2

        Kudos on taking steps to better prepare for many situations. Thank you for sharing your experience and lessons learned, as well as the excellent pictures!
        This looks very organized. Great work.

        Did you create those labels yourself?

        >One thing I really like about this setup is I have spare room in all three of the bags so if needed I can situationally consolidate down or up.
        >Additionally, if I’m with my family we can split the load into three separate packs with a few clicks.

        Both of these points seem fantastic. Kudos on creating something modular and flexible.