GoRuck GR1 Backpack Massive Review

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This is a review of the GoRuck GR1, one of the most iconic backpacks in the past 15 years due to it’s brand, quality and aesthetic.

4:35 Nomatic Travel Bag: http://bagworks.co/bag/nomatic-travel-bag/
13:57 Tom Bihn Synapse 25: http://bagworks.co/bag/synapse/
14:21 Wandrd PRVKE: http://bagworks.co/bag/wandrd-prvke/

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More from their website: http://bag.gg/GoRuck
Our original piece of gear, designed and proven by Special Forces soldiers operating in Baghdad and New York City. Each GR1 takes 4 hours to hand build in the USA, and comes with our Scars Lifetime Guarantee. It thrives in cities, airports, warzones, when rucking, and at all GORUCK Challenges. But no matter what, the toughest part about GR1 is the person wearing it.

Your laptop costs $2,000, that’s why we made GR1 the best, and toughest bag ever built. The separate compartment next to your back is extra reinforced to securely take a laptop into combat. And you can get it in and out easily.

YKK zippers with silent, glove friendly zipper pulls constructed from parachute 550 cord. There is no good reason why zippers pulls should make noise when rucking (or assaulting). Ours don’t.

3 rows of external and internal MOLLE webbing let you customize GR1 how you want. MOLLE is the same system used by our Armed Forces to attach life-saving sensitive equipment.

By military-spec submersion tests, waterproof means you could repeatedly submerge something and its contents would stay entirely dry. Our rucks are highly water resistant aka rainproof.

Three internal pockets: one large elastic pocket, one large mesh zippered pocket and one small go-to zippered pocket. External slant pocket provides quick access to keys, snacks, and other small items.

A removable, hard plastic frame sheet stabilizes the bombproof laptop compartment and allows you to carry more weight comfortably. If there were no frame sheet, the ruck would curl in on itself too much when you cinch it down on your shoulders.

We built a false bottom in the bombproof laptop compartment so that when you set your ruck down, your laptop won’t even notice. This adds labor to the build of the ruck, but it’s necessary for max function.

Special Forces Grade Materials
The materials we choose are proven to thrive in war. YKK Zippers perform despite Middle East sandstorms, and 1000 denier CORDURA® is the preferred material for Special Forces rucks due to its strength to weight ratio and durability.

Badass American Construction
High stress points are strength tested at over 400 lbs. GR1 is capable of holding more weight than any human should ruck with.

The Special Forces curse clearly states, the more space you have, the more stuff you’ll pack. But, sometimes you need more stuff, and fit matters. The 21L GR1 is 18″ tall and the 26L GR1 is 20″ tall. The Classic 21L GR1 fits all shapes and sizes. If you’re ~6’+ and/or want 5 additional liters and 2” of additional height, go with the Larger 26L. When moving through airports, commuting, or rucking, the goal is for your ruck to be high on your back. No matter how tall you are, the 21L will rest 2” higher than the 26L.

When in doubt, go with the 21L.


papa zulu says:

How tall are you?

Les Siffreddies says:

GR1 21L as a single travel bag: attach your hotel kit on the front molle and drop it when you arrive. And your plane kit in a thin molle pouch on the side. Also drop it at the hotel. And you have your 21L daily carry at destination.

Riley Sellars says:

Can you do a video of bags that are good for school?

zeniacastrejon says:

Has anyone ever tried to take this GR1 on Spirit Airlines as a personal item? I know personal items are supposed to be 18x14x8 inches but I was hoping this bag would still work.

dg1115 says:

Any thoughts on the Northface Overhaul 40?

Samatar says:


Coaster Mech says:

This review sealed the deal!

I was looking at a few American made bags. After watching this review with the great visuals and colorful commentary my mind was made. I literally went and ordered one (GR1 26L in black camo) immediately afterwards.

Now we just need you to expand from bag reviews and cover any product that i may be interested in!

Get Lost says:

Would you be able to compare this GoRuck GR1 to a RecycledFirefighter “The Chief” backpack?

kneda01 says:

Great review man ! Hopefully you’ll get your hands on a CPL24. I’d like to have your opinion on this one !

Steve Chu says:

Can you review some more camera backpacks? Like Brevitē?

John Arciuolo says:

Have you ever reviewed or used a Manhattan Portage. Thoughts?

Ryan Leal says:

Great review! Would love a review of some sling backpacks too.

Benoît Grogan-Avignon says:

This makes my GR2 look like overkill for travel… man…I was quite happy with myself for a bit. Also, got the @thebrownbuffalo Conceal on your recommendation and THAT is one hell of a daily carry. Thanks Chase, keep it up!

Jake Thomas says:

B U S I N E S S. P A P E R S

Amr Khalifeh says:

I’ve developed an odd habit of watching these reviews as entertainment just because of Chase’s style. Like when I’m bored and wanna watch something, I just pop a Chase Reeves bag review.

james Truscello says:

if that bag had one or two pockets on the top that were built with dimension so i could get my shith in and out without worry about how tight i packed my cloths i would sooooooo buy one or two. love the simple look, love the material but when i am 8 hours in a plane i want to reach the snacks, the earbuds, the battery pack, the splitter so my wife can listen in on my movie and the extra underpants that you might need when your 60 without fuching asking someone to hold my drink so i can stand up and pull my bag from under the seat and apologize for hitting the lady in the head. the synapse is so not cool but the easy access pockets make it so i don’t care, they are so stupid easy to use that i don’t have to remove my bag out from under the seat most of the time. i would love to be cool and still have some easy access dedicated space kind of pocket on a GoRuck and i would be soooo sold For EVER! know what im saying! ya feel me bro!

james Truscello says:

ohhh, shoooot. i just looked at the goRuck page and they have a new green color for G1 with tan mole that harks back to WWII, if those mole were green i think i would totally have to explain a new bag to my wife. any body got a spare couch?

Scott Blume says:

Awesome stuff Chase! Any chance of hip pack/bum bag/ utility bag reviews?

Joseph Pitt says:

I’ll be honest…wasn’t sure there’d be a business papers place in the GR1 as the lifestyle seems more like “I don’t need business papers; I need maps for going into the wilderness alone with my bag full of ruck plates!”

Poley King says:

I ended up buying the GR2 today, debated the 34 vs 40L since I’m 6′ 200. I already have a 22″ roller so guess i should go with something smaller. They also offer 25% OFF for Active Duty Military, Retirees, Veterans, and Military Spouses, as well as First Responders, Government Employees, Teachers and Students.

stan_sprinkle says:

I used my GR1 26 a few weeks ago for a 2-night business trip to Hong Kong, complete with a suit jacket and a pair of dress shoes inside. Thing is friggin solid. Here’s my GR1 tips and tricks:
– This Tom Binh waist strap attaches perfectly to the molle webbing on the side of the bag, if you’re into that. I have one because it comes with the Tom Binh “Cafe Bag”, which I own, but you can buy the strap for $10 ( https://www.tombihn.com/collections/accessories/products/gate-keeper-waist-strap?variant=16645278599)

– I use an old point and shoot camera case – with no camera, because smartphones – that I attach to the molle as a sort of quick access pocket

– Small carabiner on the molle web on the inside of the bag, and use those Tom Binh “organizer pouches” tethered to the “key straps”, jam the pouches down in the business papers pocket

– On the airplane, stand it upright on the floor and lean it on the seat in front of you… it’s tall enough that it makes a pretty good footrest

someguyinnj says:

Been using a Synapse 25 for EDC which fits my workstyle well and handles all my dongles… 😎 but always wishing for a little extra “what if” space in case the wife sends me shopping during the day or I want to ditch the jacket in the afternoon. Think this or the 34L GR2 would work? I’m on the larger side so the big bags aren’t too much of a concern.

Samuel Lyons says:

Awesome review! How tall are you sir? Looking at getting a new bag and trying to relate how it would fit. Thanks!

Kevin R says:

Really happy to see you review the GR1, I bought my GR1 over 4 years ago and it has been my go-to bag ever since. Hundreds of trips, 15 countries and thousands of miles later it is as good as the day I bought it. You are absolutely correct about the personal bond that develops between you and this bag. I own and have used many of the high-end competitors to GoRuck, but non have that intangible quality that comes with the GR1 and GoRuck gear overall.

Seth Kazarians says:

Great review!

Cary Kuo says:

When the fabric is loosen up it doesn’t look that big. I have a 26L and people are always amazed how much stuff I can put in yet it doesn’t look huge.

Lightspeed 1138 says:

GoRucks MOLLE is not stitched at the standard interval. Only GR pouches will fit without having to mount a pouch off center. None of my standard MOLLE pouches fit square.

Michael Günther says:

Chase, thank you! you inspired me to hit the road with only my goruck sk26 (that’s the slick version of the gr1 26l). I was traveling 4months with it. What an experience! So much freedom!

Wan Daus says:

How tall are you Chase?

Sergio Enriquez says:

review 5.11 tactical rush24

Jo C says:

looks good…but not enough compartments….rather buy the aer duffel 2

CorkKNIFE says:

Best Goruck review so far (I’m up to 6:00)

jouwen lee says:

Nice review.

Agreed to you that it should have actual pocket space on the front pocket so it’s still accessible while inner bag space is full.

I read now the company has skimmed in the latest version:
1. No more top hole access from the back zipper area, so one can’t put hydration pack in the back panel laptop compartment and allowing the hose to go through that missing hole to come out from the handle area.
2. No more tougher (1050D?) ballistic bag bottom Cordura nylon, just 1000D.

Michael says:

Dear Chase , please have a look to Axiom 18 from Triple Aught Design… i just received mine in France , and you know what … i guess this is the best EDC bag ever.. tough , look great , well thought , organisation up to the user using all available accessories , modular in any sense … really don’t have any relative to TAD , just have a look to that’s bag , you will be in love .. only down side laptop compartment is not suspended so need to care when bag touch the floor…

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