The Meals, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) is a food pack described as a “totally self-contained complete meal.” These meals have gained a lot of popularity in the survivalist and prepping communities because they’re excellent emergency foods. If you store them at around 80 degrees, they can last anywhere between three to five years.
Since their introduction decades ago, the variety of healthy foods in MREs has grown tremendously, in part because the Department of Defense (DoD) wanted to avoid servicemen and women experiencing food fatigue (or food monotony). As of 2019, there are a total of 24 menus people can choose from, including vegetarian options and a chicken burrito bowl the army added in 2017. Generally speaking, each MRE includes:
Here are 10 top-rated MRE brands that are sure to satisfy your survival food needs. (h/t to PreppersWill.com)
The MRE of the United States Military is probably the best MRE brand out there. They are mainly available for servicemen and women, however, they’re also sold to civilians in surplus stores. It boasts a very long shelf life with great taste and proper nutritional value. (Related: 10 affordable food and nutritional items you can stockpile before the big crisis hits.)
Meal Kit Supply manufactures MREs for the DOD and they get all their ingredients from United States Military MRE ration components. If you can’t find military MREs, these are the next best thing. They sell boxes filled with 12 MREs, good for four days (or six days if you ration yourself to two meals a day). Meal Kit Supply MREs have a shelf life of five years, and their MRE packs are waterproof and impact-resistant.
Augason Farms is one of the most trusted brands on the market that offers MREs and other survival products. They even offer survival MRE food supply buckets that can feed one person for 30 days, or a family of four for a week. These buckets also boast a 25-year shelf life. They are stackable, easy to carry and provide a variety of tasty meals.
Datrex is an all-American brand popular in the prepper community. While they don’t sell traditional MREs, their food ration bars are low-sodium packs of food that are made with military preservation standards in mind.
Sopacko is one of the United States Armed Forces’ official MRE manufacturers. They offer the Sure-Pack, a version of their MREs available for sale to civilians. Their MRE packs are waterproof, shelf-stable and made using the same technologies they use to make meals for the armed forces. It comes with a flameless ration heater, and each meal provides between 900 to 1,200 calories.
Western Frontier produces MREs for the civilian market. Their meals provide all the calories you need to sustain you if SHTF. Western Frontier MREs are excellent-tasting rations that contain 24 different entrees, and provide 1,250 calories per meal.
XMRE brands itself as a premium civilian option for MREs. They focus on making affordable MREs with long shelf lives that are made using military-grade technology.
Mountain House focuses on freeze-dried survival foods, but they also specialize in all sorts of MRE meals, with almost all their survival food products having a 30-year shelf life. Their Mountain House Essential Buckets are highly durable and provide flavorful meals.
The Wise Company creates affordable and dependable dehydrated, high-quality and great-tasting MRE meals. Their Wise Company Long-Term Emergency Food Supply buckets offer 1,080 servings per bucket, are great for bugging out due to their portability, and have a 25-year shelf life. This makes this product perfect for preppers everywhere.
MRE Star supplies MRE kits for various United States government agencies, like NASA, the CIA and the Department of Homeland Security. Their products are intended to closely match the taste and quality of official United States military MREs. They offer six different types of MRE Star Kits that are excellent for all needs at an affordable price, all while providing 1,250 calories per meal.
Whichever MRE you choose to stock up on, make sure it works for the kind of prepping you’re doing. Whether you’re buying MRE kits for stormy days or buying MRE buckets for long-term prepping, these meals will certainly provide the nutrients you will need to get through the day.