If there's one thing the last few years have taught us, it's that it never hurts to be prepared. The COVID-19 era no doubt had many of us either building survival kits or picking up a pre-packaged one—just in case things got out of hand and we ended up in a "SHTF" scenario. Fortunately, it never came to that, but we're a little warier just in case. A lot of survival systems are on the market these days that are designed to offer a little peace of mind with everything you could possibly need for a disaster or emergency. We recently got the chance to check out one of the most impressive kits on the market right now, the Decked X Uncharted D-Bag Emergency Kit.
We know that's a mouthful, so we'll probably just refer to it as an emergency kit from here on out. The key thing to know is Decked X Uncharted Supply Co. knocked it out of the park with this one. When it comes to a ready-made bug-out bag for just about any scenario, this is as close as it comes to being perfect. We're going to run down everything that's in this bag and how it can be useful to you. We also tested key pieces of equipment to see how they'll really perform in the field when you need them.
Specs and Contents of the Decked D-Bag Emergency Kit
Decked says this kit is built to keep two people alive for "the first 72 hours of an emergency situation." They've broken this kit up into different portions covering the different tools and items you might need, and they are helpfully grouped into different heavy-duty sealed bags so you can find what you need at a moment's notice. In no real order, this is everything that price tag gets you grouped by need area.
Shelter and Warmth
- Two knit hats
- Two sets of insulated and waterproof gloves
- Two sets of hand warmers (the standard single-use kind)
- One simple emergency tent
Air quality and vision control
- Two air filtration masks
- Two sets of over-eye goggles
- Two glow sticks
First Aid Kit
- One zippered first aid kit (more on the contents later)
- Two antibacterial wipes
- Three emergency blankets
- One emergency splint
Power and communications
- One Zeus Portable power station/emergency jump starter
- One flashlight with batteries and multiple light modes
- One crank radio and USB charger
- One full-tang knife
- Duct tape
- Waterproof matches
- 100 feet of paracord
- One folding emergency shovel
Food and Hydration
- One Sawyer water filtration system
- Refillable drinking pouch
- 2,400 calories worth of ration bars (MRE-style)
- 48-ounce stainless steel water bottle
Whew—as you can see, there's a lot here. The contents are essentially Uncharted's Seventy2 Pro survival kit. Decked packed it all into their popular weather-resistant, hybrid hard shell D-Bag. As you might guess, it's not small by any means. It measures 19 inches by 16 inches by 9 inches outside and holds about 42 liters of gear. I want to talk about the bag first because it's simple, effective, and extremely well made. The outside and side panels are a 900-denier TPU-coated nylon. It gives the bag a very rugged quality. I wasn't afraid to toss it around because the hard shell helps protect the contents quite nicely. Feel free to chuck it in the bed of your pickup or on the ground. It's not going to hurt the contents of the pack.
I'm something of a stickler for the little things on a bag—namely the zippers. Too many companies seem to cheapen out on those these days and put tiny, inefficient ones on their products. I'm happy to say Decked did not. They gave the D-Bag large, YKK zippers. And they gave them a nice, heavy-duty plastic pull. No fumbling trying to get this bag open in dark or extremely cold conditions. The bag has a horseshoe-shaped opening that gives you complete access to the entire contents of the bag. It also makes it extremely easy to pack up and find exactly what you need. No digging around.
The only real downside to the bag itself is that some people aren't going to find it comfortable. The hardshell back isn't exactly form-fitting. The shoulder straps are padded—but again, it's more function than form. I wouldn't want to hike long distances with it, but it'll do the job. That's really all there is to say about the pack. Let's go over the pros and cons of the full kit.
- Great, nearly complete all-purpose kit.
- D-Bag is extremely tough and durable.
- Excellent, full-tang knife and ferro rod.
- Waterproof matches that just won't go out.
- Knit hats are extremely warm.
- Gloves are very comfortable.
- Flashlight is excellent with automatic SOS signaling mode.
- Crank radio runs for a long time on just a minute of cranking.
- Goggles and masks are a great component missing from many other kits.
- Tent is simple to set up and use.
- Water bottle is well-built, and water consumption tips are printed on the side.
- Sawyer water filtration systems are top-notch.
- Compatible with Decked Drawer system.
- Zeus covers jump starting and phone recharging scenarios.
- First aid kit is missing a few items I'd like to see.
- Pack isn't the most comfortable in a long walk.
- Couldn't get the USB charger to work with the radio.
- Food rations aren't the tastiest.
Overall, I found the items of this kit to be rather pleasing and functional. I'll go into more detail on a few select items below, but I did want to briefly mention the Zeus portable jump starter and USB charger. I've already reviewed one of these neat devices in the past. You can read my full thoughts in my dedicated review of that product. But I felt it was a great idea to add one of these to the kit. They're ruggedly made and give about 20,000 mAhs of power to jump start a vehicle or simply to recharge a phone in a pinch. I've used mine to keep my phone charged while deer hunting. The Zeus also comes with a powerful LED flashlight that adds to the functionality.
The First Aid Kit
I wanted to talk about this first because emergency medical aid is not something to take lightly. The kit that Uncharted has packaged here is its First Aid Pro kit. This kit costs about $65 and is no slouch. Here's what's included:
- Extra emergency blanket (brings the kit's total to three)
- Nitrile gloves
- Splinter probes
- Stainless steel bandage shears
- Adhesive dressings
- Safety pins
- Skin cleaning wipes
- Smart bandage wrap
- CPR kit
- Adhesive dressings
- Triangular bandage
- Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
- Resuscitation face mask
- Cotton gauze swab
- First aid booklet
As you can see, this is a solid kit. There's a nice array of items to fit a variety of first aid situations. The CPR kit caught my eye first mainly because, at the time of this writing, we're only about a week removed from NFL player Damar Hamlin's collapse at a football game. Fortunately, he was revived and saved from an apparent cardiac arrest. Needless to say, the importance of CPR is heavily on the minds of everyone right now, and it's great to see a kit that embraces the technique. Uncharted included some short, quick reminders in the pouch on how to proceed with CPR if you ever find yourself in a situation that requires it. If you've never dealt with such a situation before, it can be easy to forget what to do in the pressure of the moment.
However, I'm of the firm belief that every first aid kit can and should be improved by adding to it after you buy it. There are two items that I think deserve a spot in every first aid kit if they aren't already there, and neither is present in this one. The first is some sort of insect sting relief. The other is a painkiller in the form of aspirin or Tylenol. This isn't a huge knock against the kit included here, as the basics are here. And there's room in the pouch to add both quite easily. Another addition I would highly recommend is a blood clotting agent for serious wounds. It's a bit of a head scratcher for me that Uncharted didn't include one here. They don't take up a ton of room and can be quickly added after the fact, but it feels like something that should be standard.
Those missing items aside, everything in this kit is of solid quality, especially the tweezers and shears. I've seen a lot of companies go cheap on these items in first aid kits, but not Uncharted. I also want to mention the pouch itself. It's very clearly labeled so you can find everything at a moment's notice without having to pull everything out and examine it. Sometimes, it's the little things that make or break a first aid kit. In this case, it really helps make it.
Tools and Fire
This is where this survival kit really shines in terms of quality. The included knife is Uncharted's Empire knife, and I was immediately impressed the first time I picked it up. It's a full tang knife with a nice amount of heft to it. It just feels incredibly natural in the hand. Part of that is thanks to the ergonomics offered by the rubber grip. It gives the user a great deal of control over what they are doing. The main edge was razor sharp straight out of the packaging, and I was also impressed with how quickly the serrated part will saw through smaller limbs. You won't want to cut firewood with it, but this is a solid bushcraft knife that's perfect for a bevy of survival scenarios.
Uncharted also included a bottle opener and a glass breaker at the end of the handle for a little more functionality. As if that wasn't enough, the sheath has an extra pouch with a sharpening stone. Speaking of sharpening, Uncharted made the blade from 420 stainless steel, which is a wise choice for a survival knife. It's not the hardest steel on the planet, nor does it have the best edge retention. However, it's easy for even novices with no experience to sharpen. It also offers some good corrosion resistance. There's also a small ferro rod, and it sparks quite easily for those scenarios where you don't have matches or a lighter close at hand.
I really think this knife was an inspired choice for this kit, especially for anyone who isn't a hardcore survivalist, due to the ease of maintenance and ergonomics. I was surprised to learn it normally retails for only $40, as it feels much nicer than that. I feel like even the most hardcore of knife snobs will find something to appreciate in this blade.
Uncharted also included their multi-tool pro in this part of the kit. And while I felt it to be a slightly lesser quality than the knife, this is still a solid tool, and Uncharted included a small case for it standard. This tool includes pliers, wire cutters, a bottle opener, a small serrated saw, scissors, and a knife. Of course, it also has screwdrivers, both Phillips and flathead.
The other major tool here is a small folding shovel. It's a classic three-point hinging and locking design. Almost every outdoor gear maker in the world makes a shovel like this. The one included in this kit is slightly smaller than most you'll find on the market. That's not a bad thing, as I don't expect anyone does any major digging with the slightly larger version either. This shovel is made of grade 50 steel, which is known for its hardness. The head cuts quickly into the earth, even in colder conditions when I tested it here in Michigan. One could use this for digging catholes if they are in an area that requires them, or if you simply don't want to make your presence known in an area. There is a small saw on the blade, but I did find it a bit dull. Honestly, the knife does a better job of cutting small limbs than the shovel does.
I think most people who break out this shovel will likely be using it to help un-stick a vehicle in mud or snow. There is a pick end that will help with breaking up ice, too. It's not going to be comfortable for bigger jobs; but for smaller ones, it's going to do the trick in a pinch.
The last thing I wanted to mention about this part of the kit is the matches. Packaged in a nice plastic box with a little cotton for tinder, Uncharted and Decked packed some high-quality stormproof matches here. There's a striker on the side of the matchbox, and you barely need to drag it across that to get a roaring flame that burns much longer than a standard match.
Uncharted touts these as being water-resistant, so I struck one and threw some snow on it. The flame sputtered and went out momentarily before it came roaring back. You have no one to blame but yourself if you can't light an emergency fire using one of these. They're so easy to strike that I think even a child could get a campfire going with these matches. Not that you'd want to encourage them to play with them, but they could do it in a dire situation if warranted.
Warmth, Water, and Air
Included in this kit are two knit acrylic hats and two sets of waterproof gloves that are insulated and waterproof. They might not stand up to the most bitterly cold conditions, but they were quite comfortable for the 30-degree temperatures I experienced when I was testing the tools outside. I really like the knit hats; in fact, I might keep one of those out for use in my outdoor activities the rest of this winter. The gloves feature a nice fleece lining that adds a little more comfort than you'd normally get from a pair of waterproof gloves. They've been dipped in silicone and nitrile to help give them that waterproof texture. Another nice feature that isn't advertised is that the inside of the gloves is a tacky surface that's going to help you grip tool in wet or cold conditions. The gloves aren't perfectly form-fitting, but they offer a good amount of dexterity for building a fire, working on a car engine, or building an emergency shelter.
Packed in with the gloves is a standard Mylar emergency shelter. It's as simple as tents get, just a basic 8 feet by 3 feet. Throw the Mylar over the included cord tied between two trees, and you've got shelter for the night. Mylar, of course, is designed to reflect body heat back and keep you toasty warm in less-than-ideal conditions. Uncharted says it's big enough for two adults, so it might be a little cramped if you have children with you. But these tents are so compact that it's easy to add a second one without taking up too much room.
I did also want to briefly mention the air and vision section of the kit. Included here are two sets of goggles and two air filtration masks. We know there's a lot of people who hate masks in the wake of COVID-19, and it's scary to think about scenarios where you might need stuff like this. However, I will say that the mask is extremely well made. They're N99-compliant, which means they filter up to 99 percent of airborne particles. They're going to protect you not just from possibility of contamination from viruses but also dust, pollen, and air pollution. In uncertain times, who knows where else a mask like this will come in handy? One major upside to these masks over a standard mask is how much easier it is to breathe in them thanks to that filter. It makes a world of difference when engaged in physical activities.
Speaking of filters, this kit includes a high-quality Sawyer mini water filter. There's not much we can say about Sawyer that hasn't already been said. It's a simple system that will purify water just about anywhere on Earth. It'll remove harmful things such as E. coli, salmonella, and cholera. It'll also remove microplastics and tiny parasites. Drinking water is one of the most important things in any survival situation, and we appreciate that Decked and Uncharted went with one of the best options on the market for when your life is on the line.
There is also a 48-ounce stainless steel water bottle here to help keep your purified water for long periods. Uncharted helpfully printed some water conservation tips for survival scenarios directly on the bottle to give you guidance when you may need it most. It's smart thinking putting these tips there, because not everyone is likely going to remember them if it's been a while since they brushed up on their survival skills.
Decked also included Datrex emergency food rations in with the water supply. There's not a whole lot to say about these, other than they are GMO- and nut-free. They're not much on taste, but there's two packages with a dozen 200-calorie bars each. That gives you approximately 4,800 calories of food in total in the two small cubes for when you need that extra boost of energy. They've got a long shelf life, too. The ones in my kit have an expiration date of April 2027, so you can just kind of forget about them until they're needed.
The Flashlight and the Radio
These are the last two products I wanted to go into depth about with this review. That's mostly just because I think both are fine products that are perfect for what they do. I'll start with the flashlight. This is Uncharted's Tactical flashlight, and it puts out an impressive 800 lumens on the highest setting. The aluminum alloy construction feels nice and beefy in the hand. This is a zoom flashlight, and it has a few different light flash settings. Probably the most helpful will be the automatic SOS mode. Tap the button a couple times, and it automatically signals to potential rescuers that you need help now.
There's also a strobe setting that should be helpful for signaling your position. However, I also see this as being a helpful deterrent against an attacker. As I mentioned, this is an 800-lumen flashlight, and it hurts the eyes if you get hit right in the face. It will give you the extra time you need to escape. Decked and Uncharted include the three AAA batteries in a bag so they're ready for when you need this light.
The last product I want to talk about is the Uncharted NOAA radio. I've owned a few of these emergency radios over the years. Many companies make them, and they're inexpensive at $30. However, this one is a little nicer than most I've used in the past. It has a 2,200-mAh rechargeable lithium battery. And there's more than one way to power it. The radio has a small solar power panel on top. I used the hand crank to power it up for the first time. After turning the crank for just over a minute, the radio ran for hours.
Of course, you shouldn't expect stereo-quality sound out of a radio this small. However, it's very functional. This is the way to get news when other forms of communication are down during a natural disaster. This radio also has a siren alert and will keep you updated on the weather conditions, which can be quite helpful during hurricane or tornado season. The LCD display also acts as a clock.
The only downside to the radio is that the USB port that's meant to help charge your phone didn't work with my phone. It may have something to do with the fact that the included cable didn't have the proper connector for my Android. But that's not a deal breaker for me considering the Zeus power station is probably better for charging a phone.
The Value and Who This Kit Is For
Normally, I don't talk too much about the price of a product in reviews. However, it's really worth mentioning here. We know that some people might be a little hesitant to buy a kit like this thanks to the $650 price tag. However, this kit may be the best deal on either Decked or Uncharted's websites. It all boils down to how many of these items are priced individually. First off, the Decked military-grade D-Bag goes for $200 for just the bag itself. It's that well made. The Zeus power station goes for $150. Finally, the Uncharted Seventy2 Pro survival kit—which is the same kit included here, just with a different storage bag—goes for $589. That means buying all these items separately would cost approximately $939. Buying the Decked kit literally saves hundreds of dollars. It makes me wonder how the companies can afford to offer such a great deal. I didn't even go over every single tiny item that's included in the kit and the plethora of uses one can get from each item.
We know that some people might see a kit like this as something only hardcore preppers would buy as a bug-out bag for hypothetical post-apocalyptic scenarios. However, this kit would be ideal for natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods, too. It'll help keep two people alive until authorities can arrange for an evacuation from affected areas. That's why we think this kit is a great option for all sorts of users. Overlanding and off-road enthusiasts can rest easy that they've got a ton of tools in case of a breakdown far in the backcountry. Parents can feel more at ease giving their college-bound student one of these to pack in the back of the closet. Just in case. And elderly folks house-bound in areas prone to floods, earthquakes, or blizzards can rest a little easier knowing they've got a bevy of supplies. Just in case.
I would highly recommend adding to this kit some of the small items I recommended here. I'll probably add some .22 ammunition, some first aid upgrades, a fishing kit, and maybe even some clothing. Keep it in a handy, accessible location, and you've got the ultimate bug-out/disaster bag.
The bottom line is that Uncharted and Decked have made an incredible tool box of survival tools here for an incredibly affordable price. This makes it easier than ever before to put together a disaster prep kit. We hope we never have to use most of the items in this kit, but it will help me sleep a little better at night knowing that I now have it.
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