Most reviews happen within a few weeks of getting the product, this Life+Gear Wings of Life review is not one of those. I received the bag from work after we finished analyzing samples, it’s been collecting dust for the last year in the closet and has been moved around a little in that time but like most bug out bags it just waits until you need it.
Before jumping into the specifics of our Life+Gear review we will detail the specs as communicated from the manufacturer so you will have an idea of everything that comes in the bag and have a better feel for what we are going to cover. The bag is water resistant and is equipped with a variety of storage pockets & sleeves. The bag is filled with the following items;
- A tarp for emergency shelter or ground cover
- 3- day supply of food for 1-person
- 3-day supply of water 1-person
- All weather poncho and thermal blanket
- Hygiene kit
- First aid kit
- Writing pad and pen
- Signaling whistle, compass, signaling mirror
- Magnifying glass
- Leather/cloth gloves
- Respirator mask
- Multi-function tool
The first thing we look at when evaluating a 72 hour kit that is meant as an all inclusive solution is to look at the quality of the items. Many kits on the market are items purchased from the dollar store and thrown together with a hefty price tag for the whole survival kit. While it’s nice to buy one product and have it crossed off the list, that doesn’t mean the overall value is good and this is one area that definitely showed to be weak with the Wings of Life bug out bag.
The items like the poncho, emergency blanket, multi-tool and hygiene kit were no better than you find at the local dollar store or bargain basement emergency prep website. Would they work for 72 hours and get you through the time? Yes mostly, but even after little use such as playing with the multi tool we managed to bend it when gripping it tight. Worst yet the bag also started to tear in one of its see-through pouches. Again all we did was empty the pocket’s contents and refill them a few times and a tear developed. Maybe we got a bad kit… but based on the number of problems in such a short time I just think this is a crappy made kit.
The Wings of Life survival kit does cover most of your bases. Food calorie bars CHECK. Pouched water CHECK. Basic yet crude emergency blanket CHECK… and on and on. While we can go over what it has I would rather mention what it doesn’t have and what I would recommend adding to it.
1. Real food. MREs or even Mountain House freeze dried food pouches (Pro Pak’s if space is tight in your bag). Calorie bars are ok but MREs have the same shelf life and combined with a flameless heater won’t require a stove.
2. Good quality multi-tool. The tool is a piece of crud, you will want a multi-tool like a Gerber or something along that line as they can come in hand in a variety of uses like making kindling so you can make a fire which is why you will need a…
3. Firestarter, our favorite is the UST Sparkie. While you can start a fire with the included mirror it won’t work without sun. Warmth is one of the key survival needs and if it is really cold outside that emergency blanket alone will not get the job done.
4. Water filter and/or purification. The water pouches are nice but won’t last long especially if you are spending effort to improve your circumstance. Find a way to treat water and include a…
5. 2.5-5 gallon collapsible water container. You are going to need this so you don’t have to go to the water source every time for water.
6. Flashlight and emergency radio. The fact it doesn’t have these two makes me just want to stop writing about this section of the review out of anger!
At a retail price of $149, the Wings of Life Survival Kit is in the middle price point of most 72 hour kits but when you realize that it only provides for one person it isn’t a very good deal. If the quality of the bag and its components were of higher quality our score of 2.5 out of 5 would be higher but that simply isn’t the case.
At a price of $45 I’d recommend it, but knowing what I could put together if I pieced a kit with individual components with $150 makes me say go elsewhere if you are paying near the retail asking price.
Ease of Use
While I have been somewhat tough on the kit so far (though honest) there are some nice concepts in the kit, mainly the design of the bag. While I am not a fan of the colors (I’d rather have a simple black bag that doesn’t scream 72 hour kit) there are some nice features such as see through pockets which will help you quickly recognize where everything is as well as labeled departments. The ideas are neat but as mentioned in the cost section above the innovation isn’t worth the heavy price tag.
Related: Why it is important to take London Ontario CPR training before heading in the trip.
Rarely are you ever going to come across the PERFECT bug out bag for your and your family. Reason being is that your family is unique, your location and circumstances are unique, and no matter how complete of a kit you find it will lack some key additions to make it perfect for you and your conditions.
Space is a very important aspect of a 72 hour kit. You are going to want to include extra clothing, possibly a sleeping pad or real sleeping bag. You might need space for certain medical equipment and or medication. The key to any 72 hour kit is thinking through EVERY possible scenario and planning for it and since hard goods are going to be the answer for a good number of the possible issues that may come your way you are going to need room to put those items.
The Wings of Life does have some extra room but in my opinion it isn’t enough for what I would add to it. The external ties make it easy to connect different items to the outside of the bag but the lack of confidence in them holdig up due to other parts failing so quickly makes me nervous about relying on this bag.
The Life+Gear Wings of Life is a decent survival kit. For someone wandering the aisles of Costco (one of the bigger retailers to carry the product at one time) who has little experience or know how would benefit by grabbing one instead of expecting disaster services to save the day but you are on my site, a site devoted to people that take the effort to learn and prepare right and that is why we can’t recommend this kit to the average person. It simply is not of a high enough quality to rely upon for any length of time whether it is playing with it or using it for 3 days or a week.
Save your money up and build your own survival kit for the biggest bang for your buck or get a more complete bug out bag from a retailer that is spending less on marketing and polish and more on the contents within.
Backside of the Life Gear Wings of Life Rainfly for the Life Gear Wings of Life Side pocket containing tube tent/ground cover Wings of Life with internal contents