• Storage and Organization 70% 70%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Durability 100% 100%

Price: $265

Dimensions: 20x12x6.75”

Weight: 3.20lbs

What We Like: Extremely durable, good internal storage options

What We Don’t: Limited external organization, bit big for an EDC pack

The GoRuck GR1 will be the last EDC Backpack that you ever need. It does merge slightly into the one-bag travel sizing, but I think that helps to show its adaptability. The main compartment is large, and the laptop pocket will hold up to a 16” laptop and is solid—no worries there. There is not much on the outside except for some Molle straps and a thin zippered pocket that will become the first place to look whenever you lose something. If you like the tactical look and feel of the GR1, then it is an excellent option. It even has a hydration bladder pocket and hose hole which is a nice addition. If you want to bring a backpack into a meeting and then quickly go into the forest to fight a bear while wearing a backpack the entire time, look no further than the GoRuck GR1.
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GoRuck builds indestructible bags. Their bags also lean towards more of a tactical look, with included Molle (Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment) hook-ups. The company was created by ex-military people, and that influence certainly shows in their designs. As for an Everyday Carry Bag, the GR1 is their smallest bag, and it still sits a bit larger than I would like for an EDC pack. That said, it really is quite functional.

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Storage and Organization

The GoRuck GR1 is a fairly straight forward backpack that also has some customization features that we really liked. As previously mentioned, the Molle attachments do allow for some customization with Molle compatible field bags that are sold separately by GoRuck as well as other tactical/hunting companies.

On the front of the pack, there is a “quick access” pocket that is huge and runs all the way to the bottom of the pack. This pocket is a bit awkward because when the pack is fully packed, the front pocket becomes very hard to use as it is very thin and compressed.

Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: GoRuck GR1 Backpack - Gear Hacker
Inside of the main compartment, there is an open-top elastic pocket on the backpanel that is great for holding a hydration bladder, as there is an access point for the hose out of the top of the pack under the top handle. Hydration bladder setups are rare in EDC packs, so it is nice to see GoRuck making room. Better yet—the whole hydration bladder setup is well concealed, so it doesn’t look like you’re out for a weekend hike every time you use the pack. Inside the main compartment along the back, there is more Molle attachment for internal organization. For some, it may be over the top, while for others, there can never be enough customization options. Along the front wall of the GR1 in the main compartment, there are two zippered pockets; one is mesh for added visibility while the other is cloth and great for quick access items. 

The GoRuck GR1 does not overdo the storage; there is ample space within the main compartment. There are no water bottle pockets on the side of the pack, which is also rare in the EDC pack market, but with the Molle straps and the hydration compatibility, there is the option to have lots of water in the pack.  

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Finally, on the outside of the GR1 and tucked underneath the shoulder straps, there is a laptop pocket. Your laptop will be well protected in this pocket, which has a false bottom to reduce any impact when setting the bag down. The backpanel is very rigid as well, so the laptop is not going to be bent along your back as you carry your bag.

Comfort

The GoRuck GR1 has two simple backpack straps. They are well padded but do not have any chest straps or a hip belt. For most EDC packs, you should not be carrying enough to warrant having a hipbelt, so it really is not a big issue. The backpanel of the GR1 is very rigid, which helps to spread the load of the pack along the wearers back. All in all, the GR1 is very comfortable and well padded.

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Material and Durability

Here is where the GR1 separates itself from the competition. GoRuck makes their gear so it lasts. Period. Using 1000D Cordura nylon and #10 YKK zippers, everything on this pack is essentially bombproof—as the saying goes. The zipper pulls are long and easy to use, which improves the user experience with just a tiny detail like zipper pulls. Along with the SCARS Lifetime Guarantee offered by GoRuck, no receipt necessary, if you purchase a GoRuck pack, it will most likely outlive you.

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The Bottom Line

If you are looking for a backpack that you will have for the rest of your life that could be used in just about any situation—from EDC to minimalist travel or even on a college campus, look no further. The one negative of the GoRuck GR1 is its price tag. At $265 for a 21l or 26l backpack that has limited organization and features seems a bit steep. However, as mentioned earlier, you will not need another backpack for the rest of your life. So if the GoRuck GR1 tactical look and approach to EDC is something that you like, it is an excellent choice.

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We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!