I know I had found the perfect (for me) shoulder bag when I got the Belstaff Colonial 556. Now I think I have found the perfect backpack… or at least the one I am going to keep for the next decade or so. It’s the Goruck GR1.
What I love is the clean minimalist look and military inspired design. Years of owning North Face type bags… I was just tired of all the straps most of which I never used. I’ve also tried out a few Maxpedition bags and although very nice, I have to say this one is better built. The clamshell opening is a great trick to access everything and pack. It’s a page out of roller luggage. It holds the perfect amount of stuff either clothes for a weekend away or my travel photo gear. It can also hold my 15” Macbook Pro. Combined with lens pouches (either Lowepro or lighter Newswear), this is the only camera backpack I have been happy with. Most Lowepro and Tamrac backpacks are just so bulky even when not loaded out just because of the inherent non-removable foam padding. And the intangible that is hard to tell from the pictures is how well the bag is made. 1000D Cordura… so thick and plush. It’s a little stiff now but should break in nicely. And MADE IN THE USA.
And the fit! This is the best part. It’s amazing to carry. It sits higher up on my back and feels like I can carry it forever. It literally feels like it’s part of my back. I love that the strap has a bit of space between the bag and the where the padding starts. This seems to give it just enough separation from shoulder. Some people have complained about the lack of sternum and waist straps. But honestly, I never used the sternum strap on my other bags. This bag also fits more snug than any other backpack I have ever carried. It sits high enough on your back that a waist belt wouldn’t work any way. Kudos to the fit. It reminds me of the first time I used a Timbuk2 messenger bag… which I consider still the most comfortable messenger bags.
But it’s not perfect. The one thing that is slightly annoying is the bag bottom is at a slant to the front. So when you set the bag down, it tends to lean forward… and tip over. Not sure if this was a planned design… but it’s a bit odd. I have noticed my other backpacks that are soft have no bottoms either so it’s not an unusual problem… mainly my Marmot Garmsal. And at $295, it’s pricey. But honestly, compared to other photo backpacks… it’s right in range.
They also make larger GR2 and a smaller Echo. And check out the super cool Goruck Tough Mudder Challenge.
Official Description: (http://www.goruck.com)
GR1 is the original GORUCK product and represents GORUCK’s highest standards of functionality, durability, and a unique style. Built in the USA of 100% military grade materials and tough enough for Special Forces, GR1 thrives as a daypack in any environment imaginable
- Two compartments: one main, one hydration/laptop next to wearer’s back
- Main compartment opens flat, internal layout allows for optimal organization
- 17” tall hydration bladder compartment extra reinforced to securely take a laptop into combat
- External slant pocket provides quick access on the go
- 2”x3” Velcro on front allows you to customize GR1 with the patch of your choice
- Scars Lifetime guarantee
PRIMARY MATERIAL:1000D CORDURA
SIZE: 10.5”W X 20”H X 6.75”D
LAPTOP: PROTECTS UP TO A 17″ MACBOOK
VOLUME: 25.6 LITERS
WEIGHT: 3.2 LBS