Best Travel Backpacks: GoRuck GR3 - Gear Hacker

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GoRuck GR3 Review: Best One Bag Travel Backpack for Hiking 2020

Best One Bag Travel Backpack for Hiking 2020

  • Organization 70% 70%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Security 80% 80%
  • Laptop Protection 90% 90%
  • Weight 70% 70%

Price: $375

Weight: 5.15lbs (2.34kg) 

Dimensions: 22x14x9”

Capacity: 45l

Laptop Size: 15” 

What We Like: Made for travel and outdoor adventures.

What We Don’t: Limited organization, boxy.

Talk about a beefy backpack. The GoRuck GR3 is as military-inspired as they come with MOLLE straps and velcro everywhere. GoRuck certainly had a demographic in mind, but I think that the GR3 is compatible with many kinds of travelers. The laptop space is “bombproof,” as mentioned by GoRuck, and with a large amount of internal storage plus the added internal pockets, there is space for everything. The main difference is that the harness system is comfortable and they have made the pack compatible with a hydration bladder, something you don’t see very often in the travel packs world. For those reasons, the GoRuck GR3 is the Best One Bag Travel Backpack for Hiking in 2020.

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Pros

Laptop and Electronic Storage Pocket

Harness System

Cons

Boxy shape

Material Aesthetic

Weight: 5.1lbs (1.7kg)

Dimensions: 22x14x9” 

Capacity: 45l

Laptop Size: 17”

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Pros

Slim Design

Can Accommodate a 17” Laptop.

Cons

Looks Like a Suitcase with Backpack Straps.

Weight: 3.9lbs (2.4kg)

Dimensions: 22x14x9” 

Capacity: 45l

Laptop Size: 17”

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  • Laptop Protection 90% 90%
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Pros

Zipper Security Systems

Price

Cons

Top Loading

Weight: 2.6lbs (1.17kg)

Dimensions: 21x14x8.25” 

Capacity: 40l

Laptop Size: 17”

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Pros

Great Harness System

Internal Storage

Cons

Laptop Sleeve Location

Weight: 3.17lbs (1.44kg)

Dimensions: 21x14x9”

Capacity: 40l

Laptop Size: 15”

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Pros

Multiple Access Points

Stow Away Harness System

Cons

Price

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Dimensions: 21x14x9”

Capacity: 40l

Laptop Size: 15”

Best Travel Backpacks: GoRuck GR3 - Gear Hacker

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  • Organization 70% 70%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Security 80% 80%
  • Laptop Protection 90% 90%
  • Weight 70% 70%

Pros

Made for Travel and Outdoor Adventures

Cons

Limited Organization

Boxy

Weight: 5.15lbs (2.34kg) 

Dimensions: 22x14x9”

Capacity: 45l

Laptop Size: 15”

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Pros

Internal Organization

Durable Material

Cons

No Frame

Awkward Straps

Weight: 3.4lbs (1.5kg)

Dimensions: 22.75x18x6.75”

Capacity: 45l

Laptop Size: 17”

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Pros

Adjustable Hipbelt

Good Company Values

Cons

Thin Harness System

Weight: 3.5lbs (1.6kg)

Dimensions: 20x12x8”

Capacity: 35l

Laptop Size: 15”

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Pros

Shoe Compartment

Slim Design

Cons

Small Size

Hipbelt Sold Separately

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Dimensions: 21.5x13.5x8.5”

Capacity: 33l

Laptop Size: 15”

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Pros

Waterproof

Water Bottle Pocket

Cons

Odd External Material Set Up

Weight: 4.5lbs (2.05kg)

Dimensions: 21x13x6.5” (expands to 7.5”)

Capacity: 45l

Laptop Size: 17”

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Pros

Included Rain Cover

Laptop Suspension System

Cons

Harness Stowing System

Weight: 3.12lbs (1.415kg)

Dimensions: 21.6x13.7x7.87”

Capacity: 35l

Laptop Size: 16”

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Pros

Looks Great

Waterproof Material

Cons

Hard to Organize

Limited Pockets

Weight: 3.3lbs (1.5kg)

Dimensions: 20x15x8”

Capacity: 40l

Laptop Size: 15”

Founded by a Green Beret (American Special Forces), it is easy to notice the military design that is flowing through the GR3’s veins. With exterior MOLLE gear attachment points and a velcro patch area, this pack is built to tackle the mountains of Rockies but is equally comfortable on city streets. With hydration compatibility, extra padded shoulder straps, and a solid hipbelt, we named the GR3 our best One Bag Travel Backpack for Hiking. 

Best Travel Backpacks: GoRuck GR3 - Gear Hacker

Storage

At 45l, this is the largest possible carry-on you could find. The main compartment opens flat for easy access to everything in your pack. Internally there are three pockets, two large mesh zippered pockets, and one small go-to zippered pocket. On the exterior of the pack, there is a zippered slant pocket for quick access to small items, such as your passport.

Best Travel Backpacks: GoRuck GR3 - Gear Hacker

The MOLLE gear attachments around the exterior and bottom of the pack also allow for equipment to be clipped on, from sleeping bags to camera tripods. There is even an interior D-ring that a hydration bladder could be attached to, turning the GR3 from a commuter pack to a hiking pack.

Laptop Sleeve

The laptop sleeve is close to the body, and as stated on GoRuck’s website, it’s “bombproof.” Now, I’m not going to try and test that, so I’ll just take their word for it. The reinforcement on the backpanel is noticeable, and I felt like my laptop would live comfortably in that pocket all day. The pocket can easily house a 17” laptop.

Best Travel Backpacks: GoRuck GR3 - Gear Hacker

Comfort and Harness System

The GoRuck shoulder straps are well padded for carrying comfort under a heavy load. The integrated and removable hipbelt is also very comfortable and helps to support a heavier load. Along the side of the pack are compression straps to keep your cargo secure and reduce weight shifting while moving. 

Best Travel Backpacks: GoRuck GR3 - Gear Hacker

Under a fully loaded pack with a week’s worth of clothing and a stocked electronics pocket, the Outbreaker is extremely comfortable. It is able to direct weight to your waist and will make for a very good companion while hiking uphill to your next hostel in Cusco, Peru. The backpack also has load lifters and a sternum strap to help with cargo management. 

Security and Material

The GR3 is made with 1000D Cordura, a highly durable weave of nylon. This durability does impact the weight, as the GR3 weighs in at a beefy 5.15lbs. With the comfortable shoulder straps and hipbelt, most of the weight will go unnoticed, but it is something to be aware of.

Best Travel Backpacks: GoRuck GR3 - Gear Hacker

The Bottom Line

While the backpack is missing some standard backpack features like a side water bottle pocket, it will still handle itself very well in the backcountry. The few pockets and large open main compartment make quickly packing or organizing very painless. The “bombproof” laptop pocket is great, especially as it protects the most expensive item in the bag (for me at least). 

The main drawback is the price. At $395, you could buy 3 Eagle Creek Wayfinders. I want to love it, but the price and the fact that it is missing some classic features, like a water bottle pocket and a small valuables pocket, is too bad. I think if you can look past the price, the backpack is set up nicely for transitioning from airport carry-on to alpine daypack. For this reason, we named it the Best One Bag Travel Backpack for Hiking.

Best Travel Backpacks: GoRuck GR3 - Gear Hacker

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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!