- Buyer's Guide
The Carry Awards :: Pack Config Selects…
Our Fourth Annual Carry Awards are in full swing and we’re eager to pinpoint worthy contenders. Whilst the voting is live and open to the public (and to stir up a lil’ inspiration), we thought it would be rad to rope in carry-savvy crew we respect to share their top recommendations on what rocked in 2015. Dishing up their top three picks below are the good folks from Pack Config…
Ever since picking up their 10L Bullet, GORUCK broke my ‘just in case’ packing lifestyle and replaced it with a mediumly ruthless approach to what I carry. My Bullet is in constant use, but the areas where I felt it lacked still frequently nag me to drool over the GR1. The price jump is the main thing that has held me back. But here’s where the release of the Rucker swoops in to save the day.
The Rucker is the legendary GR1 – stripped back. It’s been re-designed to focus on rucking and accommodating their ruck plates. With this new focus, things like the dedicated laptop compartment (which of course you don’t need for rucking or out on the trail) and the internal MOLLE have been removed in favor of a slightly lighter and hydration-focused pack. This almost describes the 10L ruck I own already, but the extra capacity, reinforced carry handle, side MOLLE, internal plate pockets (which will still fit a laptop if necessary) and built-in frame sheet all fill the gaps I felt my Bullet had. GORUCK could have easily priced this new model at $20-$50 less than the GR1, but instead they’ve passed on their cost saving to us, the user, by slashing it down to under $200. They’ve also added a splash of color in the webbing to differentiate the ruck from their other models. The more affordable price for a “full size” pack and the stripped-back beauty of the Bullet firmly make this the next ruck on my radar.
Nat Wagstaff – Pack Config Founder & Editor-In-Chief
Blue Ridge Overland Gear’s motto, “Organize your stuff. Enjoy your time outside”, shines through amongst their entire product line. This particularly holds true for their flagship EDC kit bag known as the Got to Go Bag. The GTG Bag excels at packing the everyday essentials through the week, and securing your gear for the trail or stream. It handles this dual role by blending tactical modularity into the perfect shape and size for a true everyday carry bag. The exterior webbing and ample hook and loop panels allow the user to customize the bag to serve their purposes at any given time.
This year Blue Ridge Overland Gear debuted the second iteration of the GTG Bag, and added a host of new additions to their design. For the first time the GTG Bag is available in coyote and grey colorways in addition to the original all black. 2015 also saw the switch to a blaze orange lining to increase interior visibility. The coyote and grey versions have color-matched interior hook and loop fields, while the black GTG Bag borrows from the grey model to avoid undoing the work of the orange interior. The GTG also incorporates an interior padded divider that attaches to practically anywhere in the main compartment. This divider allows for secure carry of electronics, or keeping the load organized while on the move. The outside of the bag includes reverse coil zippers, a lay flat carry handle, and a well-placed D-ring for attaching small accessories. Other features that make the bag a standout carry option are the ample use of spacer mesh, a well-padded and fully adjustable shoulder strap, and optional accessories such as a padded waist belt and a mesh beaver tail known as the GTG Trunk. This full Mil-Spec Made in the USA bag is tough enough to take along on countless adventures no matter where you carry it.
Rick Stowe – Pack Config Contributor
The 2015 Triple Aught Design FAST Pack EDC is a worthy contender for awesome pack of the year. The pack was updated to fully clamshell and it was a welcome change. No more lost items in the abysmal depths of the pack! The new roll-top compartment, while not a new concept, is a welcome modification to the original design. You can keep your laptop or tablet secure and separate from the interior area where your water bladder might go. For me, the new redesign of the pack is most impressive in the way that it carries and the way that it wears. With the new pack geometry and new higher ride position on your back, it feels as secure as could be even when stuffed and moving side to side, while you’re tearing up the trails or dodging lollygaggers as you’re sprinting to your gate with minutes before departure. The redesigned padded shoulder straps add to that “oh so snug” feeling. This pack is all about the ability to adapt. The interior attachment points allow for many different options, including TAD’s own CP1 Control Panel or one of my photo inserts with a few slight modifications. The face of the pack features webbing aplenty, so there are so many options for getting all pouchy with it.
The newest 2015 TAD FAST Pack EDC is like a hug from your better half after a long time apart…makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside and it just doesn’t want to let go.
David Massey, Senior Pack Config Contributor