The Best MRE to Buy in 2023

best mre to buy

More formally known as meals ready to eat, MREs were first introduced in 1975 by the Department of Defense as combat rations for the soldiers on the front line. Today, MREs are a staple for survivalists. If you’re planning to add this resource to your survival food kit, this guide will help you figure out the best MRE to buy this year.

Many brands offer balanced meal options. We compared some of the different offerings and developed this list of the best emergency food supply choices.


The Best MRE in 2023

1. Genuine U.S. Military Surplus Assorted 4-Pack Flavor MRE

Meals ready to eat can be a lifesaver in an emergency situation. These affordable, military-grade meals don’t typically spoil quickly and can give you much-needed energy to keep going when you find yourself without fresh food in the wilderness.

Some MREs are better prepared to meet your needs than others, and the Genuine U.S. Military Surplus Assorted 4-Pack Flavor MRE pack is one of them.

One thing that convinced our team that this offering was an excellent option is the fact that it’s actually tasty! Anyone who has had their fair share of range patrol rations will know that’s rare.

This 1,250-calorie meal kit also has a lengthy shelf life, which makes it a great addition to any camping trip. 


  • It tastes great and has a long shelf life.
  • The MRE packs arrive completely packaged with everything you need.
  • It offers a high per-meal calorie count.
  • The brand ships remarkably fast.


  • The meals require some minor preparation before consuming.

This MRE is a great choice for outdoorsmen and survivalists for several reasons.

The packs offer an average of 2,200 calories per meal! This MRE also stands out because you can eat it with or without heating. However, for better taste, it might be best to warm it first if you have a heat source available (not included.)

The brand has also made sure to accommodate a range of dietary restrictions. This makes it an especially appropriate choice for the toughest survival situations because the last thing you want to worry about when conditions are already rough is a reaction to the food you eat!


  • This MRE offers calorie-dense balanced meals.
  • It can be consumed as-is.
  • It accommodates many dietary restrictions.
  • It comes with an accessory pack that has a spoon and towelette.


  • It may not appeal to people with a meat-based palette.

In the wilderness, you have to be on alert and ensure that your senses are firing on all cylinders. While possible, it’s challenging to accomplish such a feat on an empty stomach.

Products like Captain Dave’s 12 Military MRE Entrees ensure that when push comes to shove, you have a reliable resource you can count on to get all the energy you need to survive out there.

With a menu selection that features tasty meals like beef stew, chicken noodle stew, Asian-style beef, chicken fajitas, and chicken with rice and vegetables, to mention a few, you’ll not feel like you’re eating to simply stave away hunger.

In addition to offering such a wide array of food options, you’ll also be pleased to know that these meals are all recent-production and sold fresh. This further adds to the flavor and palatability of the meals.

The one drawback with these MREs is that they aren’t complete meals. Beyond this, you’ll always be glad you packed these for the road.


  • It offers a wide array of dishes.
  • This food kit pays more attention to the recency of production compared to many other brands.
  • It’s gluten-free.
  • It has a long shelf life.
  • It’s handy and compact.


  • Some minor cooking is required (heating with heating element)

How to Pick the Best MRE to Buy

Meal options are considerably limited in survival situations. When you’re in the wilderness and don’t have a store nearby to purchase food and survival equipment, having the right food to eat is essential. 

Here are a few crucial points to consider to ensure you get the best MRE for your needs and preferences:

The Taste of the MRE

Survival situations don’t mean your taste buds are dead. While taste might not be considered the most important factor, it’s always better when your food kit consists of meals you don’t dread eating.

The Level of Convenience Offered by the Meals

In most cases, you’ll only have a basic camp stove at most so the amount of preparation required is important.

The general rule of thumb with highly processed and preservative-loaded foods is, the easier the MRE is to prepare, the better it will be for even the toughest conditions.

The Calorie Content of the MRE

It’s important that an MRE’s calorie content will serve your needs. Most brands will list their calorie counts, so avoid brands that do not. Protein and vitamins are essential for surviving, and when you consume MRE’s with healthy calories, it’s beneficial to provide your body with added energy. 

The Health and Nutritional Value of the Meals Ready to Eat

As with calories, the health and nutritional value will often be highlighted by the brand. You just have to sort through and pick the ideal combination for you. There are a number of brands’ MRE’s that provide healthy calories, and some of the ones we provided above are good choices! 


What’s the best way to store MREs?

The best way to store MREs is at room temperature so they can last as long as three years or even more. However, storage above 100 degrees Fahrenheit is almost guaranteed to render the product unsuitable for consumption after 9 to 10 months.

These products don't last as long as they used to because they aren't made from freeze-dried products anymore.

Is it healthy to eat MREs?

On the whole, yes, it’s healthy to eat MREs. While they certainly won’t do your body as much good as fresh fruits and vegetables, they’ll ensure that you get the needed amounts of vitamins, minerals, and calories to stay in good condition.

Are there alternatives to MREs?

Yes, there are alternatives to MREs. For example, you could opt to get a jet boil camping stove which can help you boil water fast and last several hours. These tend to be cheaper than meals ready to eat as well.


Getting the best MRE to buy can save your life and make your outdoor experience even more worthwhile. We hope this guide has helped you decide the best MRE to buy among many of the available options out there. 

You can find more of the best MRE brands here.