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Buyers Guide

GORUCK GR1

Alternatives: Packs like the GORUCK GR1?

by , February 6, 2018

The GORUCK GR1 is without doubt one of the most frequently talked about packs in the carry world. Legions of enthusiasts passionately praise its merits, from its bombproof durability to its versatility. It’s an icon and a classic (and a fave here at Carryology). But surely it’s not the only pack of its kind? There must be worthy alternatives out there, right?

Well, there are. We’ve scouted out solid packs like the GORUCK GR1 that give it a good run for its money, delivering on military vibes, ruggedness and versatility…


5.11 Tactical RUSH24 (US$ 129.99)

5.11 Tactical RUSH24

If organization is a priority, and you’re happy with a strong tactical vibe to your gear, the RUSH24 should definitely be on your radar. A host of interior and exterior pockets and webbing attachment points give you great flexibility to tailor carry setups to different needs. It’s also hydration bladder compatible, ruggedly built with 1050D nylon, and offers a wide-opening main compartment for quick and easy access. This pack comes in at 37L, with a 24L and 55L option also available.

The Brown Buffalo Conceal Pack (US$ 139)

The Brown Buffalo Conceal Pack

Available in small runs in a range of colors, the Conceal Pack is a durable pack crafted with water-resistant 1000D Nylon CORDURA® and water-resistant YKK zippers. Made in California, the pack features a concealed side zip pocket for quick-access essentials, along with a choice of interior organization for pens, notebooks, a laptop or tablet, keys and other work and EDC items.

CamelBak HAWG Hydration Backpack (US$ 139.11)

CamelBak HAWG Hydration Backpack

This adaptable backpack keeps you easily hydrated on the go with an included hydration bladder, while also handling a range of day-to-day or short travel needs. The 23L pack is made with 500D CORDURA® fabric and features two compartments for organization, along with plenty of attachment points to secure quick-access items externally.

First Tactical Tactix 0.5-Day Backpack (US$ 159.99)

First Tactical Tactix 0.5-Day Backpack

With a variety of internal and exterior pockets, Hook & Hang Thru™ compartment and no shortage of attachment points, this pack gives you plenty of options for customizing your carry setups to changing needs and preferences. The clamshell-style opening lets you easily pack and retrieve items, while the durable build takes demanding use in its stride.

Vertx EDC Gamut (US$ 199.95)

Vertx EDC Gamut

The EDC Gamut offers a thoughtful blend of great access, organization and low-key aesthetics that blend into diverse settings. Front panel organization, wide-opening main and secondary compartments, multiple pockets, and tech storage for up to a 15″ laptop make this a versatile bag for work and play.

EVERGOODS Civic Panel Loader (US$ 229)

EVERGOODS Civic Panel Loader

The sleek style and versatile access makes this 24L pack a stylish choice for city use. But its durable, water-resistant build is tough enough to take on outdoor environments too. The pack features a clamshell-style main compartment, top and side carry handles, multiple pockets for organizing your gear, padded storage for a 15″ laptop, and hydration bladder compatibility.

Triple Aught Design FAST Pack Litespeed (US$ 245)

Triple Aught Design FAST Pack Litespeed

Extremely tough and adaptable, the FAST Pack Litespeed shares a lot of the GR1’s features. It’s built in the USA with 1000D CORDURA® fabric, is hydration bladder compatible, offers a clamshell-style main compartment for easy packing and access, and provides a range of pockets and webbing attachment points for organization. However, the 22L FAST Pack Litespeed has a more tactical exterior aesthetic than the GR1, which is something to bear in mind if you’re looking for a bag that won’t stand out in urban settings.

Triple Aught Design Axiom 18 Pack (US$ 245)

Triple Aught Design Axiom 18 Pack

If you’re keen on a TAD pack but want more understated urban styling that suits work and play, consider the Axiom 18 Pack. The weatherproof pack includes a front admin pocket and further quick-access pockets for organizing smaller essentials. There’s also separate front storage for dirty items or fast access to items like outer layers. Additionally, the back of the pack offers separate storage for up to a 13″ laptop. The main compartment features a clamshell-style opening, fits up to a 15″ laptop, and includes Helix attachment points for securing accessories and other items.

Prometheus Design Werx S.H.A.D.O. Pack (US$ 260.10)

The S.H.A.D.O. 28L backpack is a versatile bag that finds a good balance between urban and outdoor functionality. Rugged enough to embrace the outdoors but still understated enough to suit a lot of urban environments, the pack features dual clamshell-style compartments for general and EDC storage. An exterior cinch cord, daisy chain and pockets keep essentials within easy reach, and the main compartment includes a padded laptop sleeve. Made in the USA with 500D CORDURA® fabric, the pack features a bright orange lining for easier visibility and is also hydration bladder compatible.

Kifaru Urban Zippy (US$ 300)

Kifaru Urban Zippy

The Urban Zippy works well as both an EDC and travel pack. A useful range of organization options keep smaller items tidy and within easy reach, while a cinch cord and compression straps allow you to secure bulkier items externally. The functional design is backed up by durable US-made construction featuring 500D CORDURA® fabric.

Mystery Ranch 3 Day Assault CL (US$ 375)

Mystery Ranch 3 Day Assault CL

Looking for a tough hauler that embraces outdoor and urban needs? This hard-wearing 30L pack is well up to the task, made in the USA and built to take a beating. The 3-ZIP closure provides fast access to the main compartment, with a laptop sleeve that also doubles as storage for a hydration bladder. And with exterior pockets and webbing, you can easily add additional items as required.

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