Last December my GORUCK GR1 turned 3. I bought my GR1 back in December 2010 after having tried the GR Echo for a few months. Back then GORUCK was in the beginning stages of their lineup of super tough rucks and the GORUCK Challenge was still in the single numbers and led by Jason McCarthy (the founder of GORUCK) himself.
The picture above is one of the first pictures of the GR1 that could be found on GORUCK's website.
Once I read the background of the founder and how he designed and tested the rucks I knew that I had found the ultimate ruck. I was looking for a backpack that can be used in both permissive and non-permissive environments and the GORUCK rucks were the logical choice.
Like I mentioned, I bought initially a GR Echo since I wanted to try a small ruck first. Once I saw the quality and outstanding craftmanship of the small GR1 brother, I was hooked. I bought a GR1 back in December and in January a GR2 for travelling and geting bigger loads on operations.
The GR1 is built in the USA with American materials by American hands. It is something I value over all. It features
- Volume: 26 liters
- Weight: 3.20 pounds (1.45 kilograms)
- Size: 12" W x 20" H x 6.75" D
- Made out of 1000 D CORDURA
- YKK with 550 cord zipper pulls
- 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, can hold up to a 17" MacBook Pro
- High stress points are strength tested at over 400 lbs
- External slant pocket provides quick access to keys, snacks, and other small items
- 2” x 3” VELCRO® on front allows you to customize GR1 with the patch of your choice
- Scars Lifetime Guarantee
In the pictures above you can see the ruck's front and back. With the 3 rows of MOLLE in the front and sides, the patch, silent zipper pulls, padded back and handle.
After 3 years of abuse, where I took 3 GORUCK Challenges with this ruck, went to 28 different countries, including some very unfriendly locales, dragged the bag through asphalt, mud, gravel, swamps, rivers, and other terrain, the ruck still looks like new.
The material has a lighter shade of black due to the washings, but it still holds strong with all the stitches still holding, especially on the hight-stress areas. The Cordura is softer now and the straps had molded to my shoulders, so the ruck gets more comfortable with use and abuse. The more you abuse this ruck, the better it is.
The main compartment opens flat, revealing a large compartment with a mesh pocket (this is the original model, the current one has a cordura pocket) and 3 internal rows of MOLLE that can be used to attach pouches and other MOLLE gear. On the ruck lid you have 2 internal pockets and the only label on the ruck stating that it was built in the Unites States,
Having this ruck open flat allows for optimal packing and access to your gear. It has served me well on dangerous and stressful situations when lives were on the line.
Overall I am extremely happy with my GR1. It is an expensive bag, but the price becomes a non-issue when you see the quality and you see how well it holds after many years of abuse. I am not planning on replacing it any time soon.
Some random pictures. The first 3 are of my GR1 used to rappel off a building during a project.
Below you have an interview with Jason McCarthy about GORUCK and the GORUCK Challenge. Watch it, it is very good.