Over the years I’ve own several backpacks. From small day packs to combat specific rucks to alpine packs. I’m always wearing one on the field, while working or while having fun in the mountains.

Back in 2010 I was looking for a durable, no frills, easy to carry ruck and I was getting frustrated with what the market was offering. I needed something that could be used in the field but without being overly tactical, durable but also stylish. I tend to be rough on my packs and the ones out there seemed not to make the cut.

Then I found GORUCK.

GORUCK was founded by a member of the US Army Special Forces. All GORUCK gear features simple designs geared towards usability – everything you need, nothing you don’t. If you happen to need more, then you can always customize the rucks. This ruck and the rest of the gear they make are built in the USA with American materials by skilled American workers, and they have a lifetime guarantee. They are built to last.

The ruck that caught my attention initially was the GORUCK GR1. The GR1 is the original ruck, it features:

  • Capacity: 26 liters
  • Built in the USA of military-grade, highly water resistant Cordura 1000D
  • Two compartments: one main, one laptop/hydration next to wearer’s back
  • Main compartment opens flat, internal pocket layout allows for optimal organization
  • 17″ tall compartment next to the wearer’s back extra reinforced to securely take a laptop or hydration bladder into combat
  • High stress points are strength tested at over 400 lbs
  • External slant pocket provides quick access to keys, snacks, and other small items
  • 2″x3″ Velcro on front allows you to customize GR1 with the patch of your choice (patch is not included)
  • Scars Lifetime Guarantee

Features that I really like in this ruck:

The straps are uber comfortable. Once the pack is on your back it doesn’t move. The design is done in such a way that makes having a waist or sternum strap unnecessary.
The laptop compartment serves also as hydration bladder carrier, is padded and secured by a frame.
The main compartment opens flat, making it ease to organize and find your gear. The MOLLE webbing inside can be used to customize and attach pouches. In the picture below I attached GORUCK’s own pocket: the GORUCK GR1 Field Pocket.
One of the coolest features are the silent zipper pulls. Made out of paracord 550 and protected by rubber tubing. GORUCK uses the best zippers as well, the durable and made in the US YKK.
All packs feature a square of Velcro that can be used to attach patches. I attached my GORUCK Tough patch, one earned after taking the GORUCK Challenge.
And finally, there are 2 pockets inside the pack that will help you keep your stuff organized. The zipper pulls are color coded for more organization. The flap also has the one an only label on the ruck.