Bottom Line Up Front

GoRuck is one of many at the top of the food chain when it comes to rucksacks and packs. BLUF: The GR1 rucksack is solid, great construction, holds a very heavy load, comfortable on the back and shoulders. This pack will not disappoint.

Setting the Stage

I have personally and professionally traveled to 3 continents and nearly 37 countries, I have gone through many travel bags and luggage items in my 25-year career with the government. I am always seeking out new gear and items for traveling. Quality gear is essential to life’s missions. Quality gear for travel and everyday use begins with a company that prides itself on fulfilling any mission requirements necessary for success.

The GoRuck GR1-USA backpack is one of the most popular bags on the market today. With its rugged construction, ample storage, and sleek design, it’s the perfect bag for any active person.

The GR1-USA is made from 210D Cordura, a tough and durable fabric that’s designed to withstand the elements. It also features heavy-duty zippers and buckles, and reinforced stitching for added durability. The bag is available in two sizes, 21L and 26L, and three colors, so you can pick the one that’s right for you.

The GR1-USA has plenty of storage space, with a main compartment that can fit up to a 17-inch laptop, a front compartment with an organizer for small items, and two side pockets for water bottles or other items. There’s also a laptop sleeve for a 15-inch laptop, a hydration pocket, and a MOLLE panel for attaching additional pouches and accessories.

Out of the Box Impression

First thought is this thing is made with heavy fabric and looks like it will take a beating. The GR1-USA has plenty of storage capacity and is comfortable. The zippers are heavy and durable, unlike any other travel bags on the market. Stitching is solid and the padding on the back of the pack is sufficient for long travel schedules or long rucks in the field.

Field Test 1:

Loaded down with 35 pounds the pack held the weight evenly and there was not shifting of the weight while rucking. Field test one was conducted on a five-mile trail ruck. The GR1 is breathable, comfortable, and the padded straps did not pull on the shoulders like other similar packs on the market.

Field test 1: 5 mile weighted ruck run.

Field Test 2:

Field test two was conducted with a bow hunting load. The GR1 comfortably held a 3-liter water bladder in the very back zipper compartment. With ample storage pockets in the internal pockets, the GR1 held a Garmin Rhino GPS, a fold out solar panel, snacks for all day hunt, a personal first aid kit, and tools to fix arrows and a compound bow if needed.

Main compartment storage held a spare paper topo map, extra cold weather clothes, field spray, and a tree stand saddle platform. The external MOLLE hooks held my bear spray canister and spare carabiners.

Author's bow hunting loadout



Cost – 4.1/5.0 The MSRP comes in at $335.00 so it is on higher end of travel packs. When it comes to packs, most of the higher quality packs will run around $200 and higher. This pack is expensive and would be better suited around the $150-$200 (max) range to market to a broader range of backpack and travel enthusiasts.

Comfort – 4.0/5.0 One of the most comfortable day/travel packs I have ever owned. I would have given the GR1-USA a full five out of five if included a waist strap.

Durability – 5/5 As stated above, the durability of this pack is solid. In my opinion the GR1 will hold up to everyday travel requirements as well as being in the mountains on day hunts for whitetail deer or bear.

Functionality – 3.5/5 I would like to see this pack have a waist strap/cummerbund to help support a heavier load, but it functions well without one for two-to-three-day travel and daily commutes around town and in the field.

Weight – 3.5/5 The weight of this pack is slightly heavier than packs I have used in the past for daily travel but overall, it still sits in the “medium range” of packs.

Overall Rating – 4/5 I’d recommend this pack to any traveler, day commuter, or even the deer hunter going on a daily hunting trip to the woods.

Final Thoughts

Whether traveling through multiple cities or countries or being out in the mountains on a bow hunt, overall, the GoRuck GR1-USA backpack is an excellent choice for anyone who needs a rugged and reliable bag for active use. It’s extremely durable, has plenty of storage space, and features comfortable straps for a secure fit. It’s also backed by a SCARS lifetime guarantee, “you break it, they fix it,” so you can rest assured that your bag will last for years to come.


  • 210D Back Panel and Shoulder Straps: Zero abrasion on fabric and skin. All-new 210D HT (High Tenacity) CORDURA® on the back panel and underside of the shoulder straps doesn’t irritate skin or chew up apparel.
  • Opens Flat making it easier to pack and organize
  • Extra Padded Shoulder straps and top handle to carry heavier loads more comfortably
  • YKK zippers with silent, glove friendly zipper pulls constructed from parachute 550 cord
  • Bombproof Laptop Compartment next to your back is extra reinforced and has a false bottom so that when you set your ruck down, your laptop won’t even notice
  • A removable, hard plastic frame sheet stabilizes the laptop compartment and allows you to carry more weight comfortably
  • Multiple Pockets: 3 internal pockets: 1 large elastic pocket, 1 large mesh zippered pocket, and 1 small go-to pocket
  • External Slant Pocket: 1 external slant pocket for quick access to keys snacks, and other small items
  • MOLLE Attachments: 3 rows of external and internal MOLLE webbing let you customize GR1 how you want
  • Rainproof: Our rucks are highly water resistant aka rainproof
  • Perfect Travel Size: TSA Compliant and fits under the seat in front of you
  • Scars Lifetime Guarantee: The best guarantee on the market
  • Overbuilt in the USA


21L Dimensions: 11.5″W x 18″H x 5.5″D / 21L Weight: 2.8 LBS
26L Dimensions: 12″W x 20″H x 6.75″D / 26L Weight: 3.1 LBS
Primary Material: 1000D Cordura w/ 210D Back Panel and Shoulder Straps

Laptop Protection (21L): Fits most 15″ laptops
Laptop Protection (26L): Fits most 16″ laptops
External Slant Pocket: 21L: 11″W x 10″H / 26L: 11.5″W x 12.5″H
Internal Elastic Pocket: 21L: 11″W x 10″H / 26L: 11.5″W x 11″H
Internal Mesh Pocket: 21L: 11″W x 10″H / 26L: 11.5″W x 12.5″H
Internal Cordura Pocket: 21L: 11″W x 6″H / 26L: 11.5″W x 6″H


I received this product from the manufacturer through SpotterUP to be a product tester and give my feedback and thoughts on the product. The review does not constitute a legal opinion nor am I a representative of the manufacturer. This review is solely based on my personal testimony and use of this product as an industry subject matter expert. The review and opinions on this product are not of the manufacturer, the administrator for SpotterUp or any other authors. Readers are encouraged to review products on their own and choose what is best for your lifestyle and gear needs.

By Justen Keating

Justen Keating is a Marine with multiple combat deployments. A former contractor for the CIA, a podcast co-host on the Area of Operations podcast. He is the founder of Keating Global Risks, a firm that consults on protection of high-net worth individuals, trains law enforcement, and consults on travel security issues. He is the author of The Protector Series books, a contributing author for EP Wired Magazine, writes product reviews for Spotterup, and is fellow for National Security issues with the Joseph Rainey Center for Public Policy in DC.

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