Can body bags be opened from the inside?

Have heard stories of dead people waking up on the autopsy table so the chances of coming too after they put you in a body bag is possible.

Can a body bag be opened from the inside, obviously a person would have to be pronounced dead before being bagged but mistakes can happen especially following a disaster where a lot of bodies are needed to be removed quickly.

This leads to another point, are body bags air tight? You would not want the smell of decomposing bodies wafting up from the bags, on the other hand the gasses produced would have to vent or the bag would blow up like a balloon. Would be a bad day if you survived death only to suffocate in an airtight bag. :eek:

Finally is there a reason for different colored bags, have only seen them on TV but they seem to range from black through shades of grey to white. Is it just the manufacturers choice or is there some color coding for different situations?

The red ones are for guys who have gone down on a woman while she was on her period.

Even if they can be opened from the inside, it seems unlikely that someone in a condition that could be mistaken for dead would be up to the task… :eek:

Argent. Notice that you’re in General Questions. Notice that you’re the second post in the thread and have contributed nothing to answer the OP. Just don’t do this. OK?

samclem GQ Moderator


I would say No.

From here, interesting read about how some in the millitary use body bags for other purposes.

A plot point in the first fX movie depended on a bag being openable from the inside.

Most zip fastenings in flexible material can be opened from the inside even in the absence of an internal handle, either by pulling apart the two sides, pushing down the part of the fastener that is there, or by manipulating the surrounding fabric so as to permit a grip - through the fabric - on the outside handle.

I don’t know if any of this applies to the kind of zip fastenings on body bags though - I’ll be quite prepared to concede that they don’t fall into the ‘most zip fastenings’ category.

A quote from your link “I aquired one prior to desert Storm and agree it works well. In addition to the looks from people who think you’re a bit morbid, I agree that you have to watch out for practical jokers. Besides jokers using the han dles, they can take advantage of the zipper going all the way up and the pull only being on the outside. I usually slept with a knife ‘just in case’ I had to use it to get out.”

“As a 11B before the days of gortex, this was cadillac baby! Combine this with a woobie with a zipper and you were good to go to about 40 degrees or so. I hadn’t seen anybody mention it, but I just turned mine inside out so nobody could joke with me, plus it let me zip the bag up from the inside… and nobody could zip me up! (body bags don’t have zipper handles on the inside–for those that don’t know)”

So, MIlitary Body bags have no internal access.


I’m mildly curious if the bags are sufficiently tightly sealed to suffocate in.

Don’t know about the Mil Spec BB, But have bagged more body’s than I care to remember.
The el-cheapo disaster pouch seen in the EMS that I have used most often tears.
We would get a high end bag on occasion and would only be reimbursed the price of the el-cheapo, What do you think the administration is most concerned about??
As for air tight, yes & no. any plastic bag/pouch can suffocate, And it seems they all leak just when it a bag time for that to happen.


If not, I’d suggest the bag manufacturer join forces with Panchos so some little raisable flags can be easily affixed in case one should one suddenly find themselves in need of more oxygen, medicine or, in an unlikely event, soft tortillas.

I would think that they’d make them so that the body bags would cause suffocation, just to be on the safe side, heh, heh, heh.

Thank y’all for interesting information on various uses of BB, had not realized there were so many uses for what I thought was just a BB.
Must remember never to go to sleep in a zipped up BB


I’d like to add I don’t think it’s wise to allow children to play with body bags, even if they are new. If they absolutely must have a body bag, you should poke some holes in it, and supervise their play.

Also, remove any corpses.

Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things.

(Ah, B movies.)

Do not taunt happy fun corpse.

In Australia

I used to carry two in the boot(trunk) of my car, that my wife got from the city morgue. They are made of some bright blue plastic-like material with a zip that goes all the way around them. It would be simple to unzip one from the inside.

People would ask “what is that” and point at them. When I would reply “bodybags” the conversation would grind to a halt.

You mean nobody would ask the next most obvious question?