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Gear Diary: GoRuck Yourself

I’ve been thinking about this ever since I left a certain forum so I’m going to come out and say it.  I like GoRuck.  I don’t like everything they do and I’m not a fanboy by any stretch but I have a real problem with the unwarranted ridicule that’s thrown their way.

I’ve been carrying their 10L Bullet Ruck since this past April when they launched their Steals and Deals promotion and I like it.  It’s been a great little bag to take to the gym or throw in the car; especially at the price that I paid for it (around $100).  It has a simple layout that’s easy to access and its comfortable to wear as long as I don’t try to overload it.  I’d never ruck a load upwards of 35 lbs in it like the GoRuck site says.  My load limit would be much less.  But, it’s still a great little pack.

I wear my Mesh Tac Hat every damn weekend.  I’ve found nothing like it out there anywhere.  Super comfortable.  Tougher than nails.  No button on top.  Not covered in hook and loop.  Deep but still relatively low profile.  Absolute perfection.

 

My favorite lid - the GoRuck Mesh GR Tac

My favorite lid – the GoRuck Mesh GR Tac

 

I’ve said this before but I’ll repeat it here.  My biggest problem with GoRuck is that, unlike most companies that sell gear, they haven’t made improvements to their original designs since launch.  Rather than milking the GR1 and GR2 for all they’re worth, I’d like to see them make an effort to take feedback from the GoRuck community and the blogosphere to improve the features of both packs… hopefully at a similar price.

 

The (still) Original GoRuck GR1

The (still) Original GoRuck GR1

 

I’d also kill for the Mesh Tac Hat in another color other than Black.  The full panel hat isn’t as comfortable.  Don’t tell me the mesh doesn’t come in other colors.  Other companies have done it.

Other than that, GoRuck is a veteran owned company that produces gear made in the U.S.A.  That’s not to like?       

I’ve also been fortunate enough to meet some people who took the GoRuck challenge and some of their other events.  They are not “douchebags”.  At least there aren’t any more douchebags among their ranks than any other segment of the population.  In fact, it’s quite the opposite.  I’ve found them to be a health conscious fun-loving group that are a little off-center in their willingness to pay someone to torture them for extended periods.  But hey, that’s cool.  Knock yourself out people.  I get it and I’m down.

Look… everyone is entitled to an opinion (at least in this country).  So if GoRuck’s over-the-top marketing or high prices piss you off then I get that too.  But, it’s really easy to be a hater without trying a companies kit and spout venom under the veil of anonymity on an internet forum with malicious intent.  Don’t be that guy.  You’re better than that.  I’d like to think that we’re all better than that.         

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13 Responses so far.

  1. Rexx says:

    Awesome post, Blaine! Goruck has some nice product: I’ve got the 15L Bullet and the GR1, and love them. The Bullet broke in like a charm, while the GR1 has taken a bit longer to feel comfortable. But I love the design and the simplicity of the rucks especially when a lot of other gear seems to lean towards the overtly-tactical appearance. And gotta love veteran-owned, veteran-supporting small business.

    I agree with you on the much-needed revisions on the Goruck rucks. I’d like to see the GR2 scaled down to 32L, with a removable hip belt and sternum strap, included in the price. I saw on their newsletter that they are testing a new ruck with a hip belt, and it definitely looks like it is in the early stages.

  2. revvdup says:

    I’m very interested – what suggestions would you have for improving the GR1? I would like to hear it from you who spends a lot of time around backpacks

    • Blaine B. says:

      revvdup – my suggested improvements, which for the most part were detailed in my original review of the GR1 last year, would be all about improving the carry comfort under load. Adding a smoother nylon for the contact areas and raised Dri-Lex Aero Spacer mesh or a similar material for the back panel to improve comfort and airflow. Making the sternum strap standard and not an add-on. I’d also add a reinforced removable framesheet with an aluminum stay for added support.

      I wouldn’t alter the organization other than adding hook and loop to the main compartment so an EDC’er could add additional accessory pockets if needed.

  3. John Viola says:

    You know, because of that forum, I thought you were one of those haters. But now I get it. I am a fanboy, and have done a couple of events. But you’re right. Innovate or die. They need to sharpen the focus a bit. It’s almost all on the events now.

  4. Alan says:

    Good idea Rexx, they could do a 1.5 with the extra layer like the 2 with the additional zippered pouches and packing space.

  5. Alan says:

    Blaine, that “certain forum” is rife with GORUCK critics whose main sticking point is usually the GR price points. Many have not even seen or handled GR products. A Casio watch may be the most accurate watch in your drawer but if you like Rolex or Omega watches at 20 times the price or more why should it bother anyone else (unless you steal the money or the watch).

    Regardless, a Goruck Radio Ruck is now my EDC with the GR1 filling in as needed. Right now I’m on a week-long trip with my GR2 which is great for train travel. (Just for fun I threw my Litespeed in for wandering around during the day.)

    That’s just my long-winded way of agreeing with your post, by the way, as usual. Looking forward to the next one!

  6. Rexx says:

    Hey Alan. Yeah, a GR1.5 would be cool. I like how the GR2 has the separate compartment on the top, and the slightly longer shape of the GR2 fits better for me (having tried out a friend’s). I hope that they start making some revisions this next year.

    I see you use the GR2 for travel. How many days of travel have you been able to get out of it without loading it down too much? I keep holding off on purchasing the GR2 until Goruck puts a waist belt or something on it to make 40L more manageable.

  7. Alan says:

    I’m using it on a one-week trip right now. There’s still a bit of stuffing room leftover despite the fact that I have a mid-layer arc’teryx vest and a GGG LAP along for the ride. The compression straps help keep it trimmed up. Note: cold weather is here (canada) early so extra layers, gloves, hats etc. are along for the ride.

    I’m not a big waist belt fan, but my usual use is travel not hiking, just hopping on planes and trains mostly. I do have bags with waist belts but they’re normally stowed or dangling.

    My only problem with Goruck bags is that I use my other bags less than I should And it’s hard to justify keeping TAD and MR. I did a back-to-back between the MR 3DAP and my GR2 and immediately dumped the 3DAP because it was less travel-friendly IMHO, at least for my use.

    I really should sell one of my GRs but cant bring myself to do it. I have one set of sternum straps which I thought I would use on all 3 bags (all black) but haven’t used it once; these bags don’t move, the straps stay put!

  8. gear queer says:

    i edc a gr1 java. i also see a ton of goruck hate in the edc community. i love its simplicity and lack of straps, plastic and velcro hanging off of it. the negative comments i get the most are about the price, not the quality or function. just here to show my gr1 java love.

  9. Gavin says:

    I am a Goruck convert. Over the years I have a host of bags which are all being replaced by Gorucks. My 10L Bullet is now my primary running bag, 17 years with running weight and I have never had a bag better. I have even purchased a couple of 20$Bandit pouches for it for trail running.

    So happy that I asked for a GR1 for my birthday to replace my Rush 12 edc which is starting to fail. Bought a Zulu Nylon Gear Mega Admin Pouch for it and a 20$Bandit med pouch.

    I know they cost a lot of money but when you know they are reliable and take the punishment it becomes cost effective over the years. Its basically the cost of 2 mid range bags which have died in the last 3-4 years.

    • Blaine B. says:

      Gavin – great to hear from an EDC brother in the U.K.! As I mentioned yesterday, I’m all about quality over quantity. I think the RUSH bags are a great value, but if you can afford higher end kit, there are definitely better options out there.

  10. James Gregory says:

    That forum sucks balls, for most folk on there it’s just $ envy. I have a Java GR1 and I love it. Great as a carry bag for a week long trick, super comfortable and I believe it will last many, many years. Always enjoy your stuff, keep it up. BTW, your TAD ranger is still going strong.

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