Best MRE For Non-Military

By James Barton •  Updated: 03/26/20 •  15 min read

Are you looking for the best MRE meals available in your pursuit to be prepared for the worst?

Meals, Ready to Eat (MRE) are considered highly mobile and low-cost methods of feeding soldiers. However, they have also gained popularity amongst survivalists, preppers, and glampers.

You can also find MRE meals being used as humanitarian aid.

MRE meals were first introduced in the year 1975 as Department of Defense combat ration, and they have evolved since.

In this blog post, we will go through some of the best MRE meals available to buy on the market for you to choose from.

Let’s begin.

What Are MRE Meals? What’s in ‘Em?

As I mentioned in the introduction, MRE is an acronym for Meals, Ready to Eat. These were first introduced in 1975, and have come a long way since. When first introduced, MRE meals came with only 12 menus.

Now, they come in 24 and also include vegetarian options.

A standard MRE meal usually includes the following:

Some MRE meals also come with an accessory pack that contains utensils, a flameless heater, matches, spices, hot sauce, and gum.

Top-Rated MRE Brands: They’re Worth Keeping an Eye Out For

Before we get into the MRE meals, let’s take a look at some of the well-reputed MRE brands on the market. These brands have been around for a long time and are recommended by consumers.

Let’s begin.

1.   MRE

Meals, Ready to Eat is one of the best MRE brands on the market and is created by the US Department of Defense. These are only available to civilians if they are in surplus.

2.   Western Frontier

This brand focuses solely on producing MREs, and they do an excellent job at creating a diverse menu. The products are all verified fresh which means that you don’t have to worry about them being years ago–the freshness makes the brand a premium one.

3.   Mountain House

The company specializes in producing freeze-dried foods and offers high-quality, MRE meals to its customers. Most products offered by the brand have a shelf life of 30 years, which is excellent.

4.   Wise Company

Wise Foods creates simple, dependable, and affordable dehydrated foods. These foods are of high quality and feature an excellent taste. The foods they create have a 25-year shelf life!

5.   Augason Farms

Pioneers are creating high-quality Freeze-dried foods; Augason Farms is one of the most trusted brands on the market. The company is an industry leader when it comes to production standards. The food they offer has a 25-year shelf life.

6.   XMRE

XMRE is a premium MRE brand on the market that focuses on wholesome meals for you that have a long shelf life. The brand uses Military Grade Technology to ensure that the products they offer are top-notch.

7.   Datrex

This all-American company is one of the leading manufacturers of emergency rations. They MRE meals that they produced come highly recommended by campers, survivalists, etc. and are of excellent quality.

8.   A Pack

As one of the top-rated civilian MRE manufacturers, A Pack creates self-heated emergency meals that are durable, compact, nutritious, and shelf-stable.

9.   Sure Pak Meals by Sopackco

Sure Pak created waterproof and shelf-stable meals that taste delicious and come with rave reviews. The company has long-standing partnerships with the National Guard, American Red Cross, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Best MREs at a Glance

In this section of the article, we would like to go through some of the best rated MRE meals that you can buy on the market. All of these meals have passed our tests and quality checks.

So, let’s begin.

Top 10 MRE Meals Reviews You Can Buy in 2019

It’s time to get into the in-depth reviews and find out how each of these products fares.

Let’s get started.

1.   MREs Box B, Genuine U.S. Military Surplus

This box of MREs contains twelve genuine military-grade Meals, Ready to Eat. Each of the meals comes with the following:

You get 1250kcals of nutrition per meal which is my most people feel that this is the best MRE for backpacking.

The best part about these meals is that they are extremely light, which makes them easy to carry around–especially when you’ve got a heavy backpack! The food is flavorful and has a long shelf-life, which is excellent.

The package comes with a variety of meals for the foodie in you.

However, do keep in mind that these MREs are on the expensive side of things.

Bottom line: If you want to have the real deal–what soldiers have, The MREs Box B is just the right thing for you. The meals provide adequate nutrition and taste good at the same time.

2.   Western Frontier MRE 2019

If freshness and a diverse menu is what you’re looking for, the Western Frontier MRE 2019 is the right pick for you. These MREs come highly recommended by survivalists, backpackers, etc. and are highly-rated.

One of the best things about the Western Frontier MREs is the fact that they have been verified fresh and are packed recently.

They offer a variety of cuisines for the foodie in you, which include vegetarian, traditional, Mexican, Asian, and Italian meals. You can also find a large assortment of snacks, desserts, and beverages.

Let’s weigh the pros against the cons, shall we?

There’s one thing, though.

The desserts don’t taste as good as people would like them to be so, don’t get your hopes too high.

Bottom line: If you’re looking for fresh MRE meals with a diverse menu, you should definitely look into getting the Western Frontier MRE 2019 meals. Some people believe that these are the best MRE for camping because of the options.

3.   Mountain House Classic Bucket

The Mountain House Classic Bucket comes with twelve pouches, each of which contains 2.5 servings.

While the buckets that the MREs come in aren’t of the best quality, the meals in themselves are excellent.

The meals that come in this bucket are:

All of these meals come with a 30-year taste guarantee–if the food doesn’t taste good, the company will replace the product for you at no cost!

The meals are easy to prepare–all you need to do is to add hot water, and you get a perfectly good meal in a matter of ten minutes!

However, you do need to note that these are a little on the expensive side of things. The beef products, too, aren’t the best.

Bottom line: The Mountain House Classic Bucket is the perfect choice if you’re looking for flavorful meals that’ll last a long time in storage.

4.   Wise Company Emergency Food Supply

When it comes to MREs, the Wise Company Emergency Food Supply is one bundle you need to check out. The variety pack includes 60 servings of fresh food that comes with a 25-year shelf life.

These multi-use ready-to-eat foods make up for an all-in-one survival food kit to help you stay prepared for emergencies.

These MREs are also excellent for hikers, backpackers, etc. as they’re extremely light in weight, flavorful, and meet all of an individual’s nutritional needs. All you need to do is to add water and wait for 12-15 minutes for the food to get ready.

But, do keep in mind the fact that these MREs leave a weird aftertaste that some people don’t care for.

Bottom line: These MRE meals offer you long-term storage options at a good price. The container is stackable and easy to carry, which is a plus.

5.   DATREX Emergency Food Ration Bars

The 2,400 calorie DATREX Emergency Food Ration Bars are of the top-selling MRE bars that you can find on the market. These bars are excellent if you wish to stock up on emergency food rations as they are packed with nutrients.

Designed for use on land as well as sea, these food ration bars can be used in situations where you don’t have access to normal food supplies.

One of the best things about the DATREX ration bars is that they’re baked and packaged in the United States in facilities certified by the FDA. These bars contain all-natural ingredients, have no preservatives, and don’t provoke thirst.

They also feature a 5-year shelf life, which is pretty good.

Adventurists believe that these are the best MRE for camping! However, they do taste dry.

Bottom line: If you’re looking for something that’s compact, easy to carry around, and tastes good, the 2,400 calorie DATREX Emergency Food Ration Bars are the right pick for you.

6.   Sure-Pak MRE Case Pack

If you’re looking to buy MREs that don’t need to be refrigerated, then, the Sure-Pak MRE Case Pack is something you should look into getting. Made in the United States, each box contains 12 meals and 6 flavors.

Each meal comes in a waterproof packaging, which makes this kit great for emergencies.

Additionally, you get a flameless ration heater.

Each kit comes with an entrée, side dish, wheat bread or cracker, dessert item, beverage powder, spread, and condiment packs. The kit also includes a napkin, spoon, wet nap, pepper, salt, coffee, creamer, and sugar.

However, keep in mind that these packs don’t contain the accessory kit.

Bottom line: The Sure-Pak MRE Case Pack is a good choice for you if you’re looking for the best MRE for backpacking and a variety of flavors.

7.   Augason Farms 30-Day Emergency Food Storage Supply

The 30-Day Emergency Food Storage Supply from Augason Farms. The bucket contains 307 servings and is an excellent choice for emergency situations.

This supply comes with a 20-year shelf life, which is amazing.

The bucket is easy to transport and watertight to help you be ready for anything. The menu featured is versatile, and the meals are good to taste. Some of them include Maple brown sugar oatmeal, creamy chicken rice, instant potatoes, etc.

Augason Farms ensures that the food is of high-quality and can be stored for a long time.

However, do keep in mind that the meals come in large packs of about 6-12 servings.

Bottom line: If you’re looking to be prepared in case disaster strikes, the 30-Day Emergency Food Storage Supply from Augason Farms is the right choice for you. The bucket is easy to carry and stackable, and the food is good to taste.

8.   Western Frontier Ultimate MRE Case A and Case B

These Genuine US War Fighter Ration Meals by Western Frontier come with 24 meals that are verified fresh by the company. You can consume these meal packs while camping, hiking, fishing trips, etc., or store them for the long term.

With this pack, you get 24 different and delicious entrees.

These MREs were made for troops in combat situations and provide excellent nutrition. Each pack contains roughly 1250 calories and a large assortment of desserts, milkshakes, snacks, coffee, hot chocolate, etc.

The bundle also comes with an accessory pack.

These meals come with a shelf life of 5 years, which is quite decent. They stay fresh longer when stored in a cool, dry place.

But, you do need to keep in mind that the cheese spread in some meals may not be up to the mark.

Bottom line: The Western Frontier meals are a good choice if you’re looking to get different meals in one box and decent shelf life.

9.   Sopakco MRE Meals Ready To Eat Case Pack

If you’re looking for MREs strictly for survival or emergency use, the Sopakco MRE Meals are definitely worth looking into. These meals are low in sodium, heat up quickly, and tastes good.

You will find 14 packs of food in this pack, which include entrees such as Chili Mac, Spaghetti, Cheese tortellini, Ravioli, Vegetable Lasagna, Penne pasta, etc.

These are definitely worth your money. Regular campers feel that this is probably the best MRE for camping.

However, do keep in mind that these aren’t full MRE packs.

Bottom line: You should go for the Sopacko MRE Meals if you’re looking for affordable, military-grade meals to stock up on your emergency supplies.

10.  A-PACK Ready Meal 12 MRE Kit

Finally, the A-Pack Ready Meal 12 MRE Kit is the last product that we’ll go through in this roundup. Made in the United States, this MRE kit contains high-quality foods that taste good.

These meals come with reduced sodium content, which is excellent.

The pack weighs a total of 12lbs, which makes it easy to carry around and contains 12 MREs. The meals come with several delicious recipes such as Beef Stew Spaghetti, Black Beans and Rice, Chicken Tetrazzini, etc.

The best things about these meals is the fact that they don’t have an expiration date, which is awesome!

These meals also come with a self-heating mechanism.

This MRE kit also comes with a variety of cuisine options to choose from. This includes Italian, Asian, and Indian food options that you won’t find elsewhere!

But, the self-heating mechanism can fail, so you need an alternative method as well.

Bottom line: The A-Pack Ready Meal 12 MRE Kit is a good option if you’re looking to get a variety of cuisines that are easy to carry. This pack is probably the best MRE for backpacking.

In Conclusion…

Did you find the best MRE meals for you? Let us know in the comments…

MRE meals aren’t just used by the military anymore. More and more people buy them for various reasons–fishing trips, camping, trekking, preparing for survival situations, etc.

These meals are packed with nutrients, feature a long shelf life, and help meet your caloric needs.

Do you have questions? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

James Barton

James Barton

Hi, I'm James. I am the founder and main editor for The Survival Corps. I have been a part of the survival and prepping community since my mid 30's as I downsized and started to prepare to be self sufficient in a time of crisis.