- Buyer's Guide
YOMP NOTES: GORUCK GR1 Rucksack EDC
Blacksmithing, snowboarding, mountain biking, digital design, trekking and gear. Neil Stevens is a man with diverse experience and interests, but his love for the outdoors has always been a constant throughout his life. Neil’s blog YOMP NOTES is dedicated to sharing his outdoor adventures. Not to mention his passion for creating tailored carry setups to get the job done. And when it comes to his EDC, a GORUCK GR1 is the pack that makes that happen. But it’s the partnership between this rugged pack and carefully selected accessories that really delivers the efficiency and adaptability that Neil requires.
Neil kindly allowed us to republish that setup below, in all its gear-filled glory…
An EDC (Every Day Carry) can be all kinds of things to all sorts of people. It is the gear we carry every day. Our keys, phone, a knife, maybe a torch, another knife and so on.
Some carry this equipment in their pockets, others in organized zip-around pouches and others in their rucksacks. That’s me, that’s what I do, I carry in my rucksack because I tried the others and for me, a rucksack works best.
WHAT RUCKSACK FOR MY EDC?
So after several weeks of research I decided upon the GORUCK GR1 21L. My pack would have to fit several criteria. Its aesthetic would have to work in quite formal professional situations as well as down the pub and for me, the GORUCK does just that. Just the right amount of formal boxy cool and MOLLE utility chic make the GORUCK design just right for my EDC. There are many videos and blog posts about the GORUCK, so here I’m going to talk about what I did inside this rucksack to really make it hum for me.
The GORUCK GR1 has 6 columns x 3 rows of MOLLE that are integral to the rucksack’s design. A slight issue is that it doesn’t fit the usual NATO spec for MOLLE i.e. 2.00″ instead of the standard 1.5″ wide? I think I get why this is. In theory it makes it easier to weave MOLLE-enabled pouches into this ladder but in reality, it means some pouches won’t fit unless you position them left or right; central is quite awkward.
However this internal MOLLE is a great enabler, allowing us to customize the rucksack in any which way we like. The genius is it gives us enough features without trying to second guess what we want but gives enough options to achieve exactly what we need. As I said, the GR1 gives us enough so that we are asked to think and be creative with just how we want the rucksack to work for us. Was this judgement on the part of the GORUCK designers or just luck? At the end of the day I don’t care, all I know is I like it a lot.
MY GORUCK EDC INTERNAL CONFIG
For me this EDC is all about the interior. To the untrained eye, the outside of the rucksack is quite neutral but the inside? That we can have some fun with. I had an idea as to how I would need the bag to work for me. I would need an easy-access pocket at the top, where I can keep pens, light tools, notebooks etc. I would need a pocket for my phone and somewhere to carry my morning coffee. Wallet and business cards could go in the top front pocket of the rucksack.
First aid, earphones and cables and chargers could go in the bottom mesh pocket. The outside slant pocket is where my keys would go. You may have noticed that in every case, I haven’t stuffed pockets with kit! I’ve done this in the past, seeing my EDC as a suitcase that should be packed! This time I wanted my bag to be able to carry my everyday useful items and still have plenty of room to carry my jacket should I get too warm or the shopping or extra work files etc.
So I see the main compartment of the bag as having 4 zones of carry: x2 organized pockets at the top. A free zone underneath for general duties and behind the RIP for large A4, 15.4″ laptop-sized items.
I have deliberately left these last two zones empty, ready for when I need them. I’ve been using this config for several months now and for me it works well.
I’ve tried several options here and I may well try others in the future but for now, I have settled on this configuration:
All attached to a Grey Man Tactical Rigid Insert Panel or RIP if you’re in the trade (I’ll get to that in a bit) is a Maxpedition AUP pouch, Vanquest Hydra Bottle Holder and attached to the front of that is a Maxpedition PHP. The all-important, dedicated pocket for my phone. For me this solution works really well. The AUP is for my tools, pens, notebooks etc., all easy to reach at the top of the bag should it be on the floor, maybe resting against my chair in the office.
These new additions to the Maxpedition AGR line are perfect and could have been designed for this exact purpose. This doesn’t happen very often but when it does, I really enjoy it. Next to this, the Vanquest Hydra Bottle Holder keeps my morning coffee or tea easy to reach and upright.
This is a very well designed piece of kit. It has a shockcord lace system so it can be adjusted for different-sized bottles or even other kit, such as auxiliary power sources (batteries) and even one time, a solid state external hard drive, very useful. I use the AUP front MOLLE panel for need-to-grab items such as my everyday pen, a small torch and from time to time charger cables kept in order with a couple of Web Dominators.
As I mentioned earlier in this piece the GORUCK has an internal MOLLE field which is great but for me, if used as intended, would restrict the use of the bag. And bearing in mind the issues stated earlier about the MOLLE’s non-standard, non-NATO layout I had to think of something which quickly presented itself as the Grey Man Tactical Rigid Insert! I’ve used MOLLE inserts before with my day hike rucksack but for me the Rigid Insert had an advantage.
1. Looking very clean, neat and tidy and yet just the right amount badass.
2. It’s rigid which means your equipment has a firm foundation, which means that zipping and unzipping pockets one-handed is much easier, which is very useful when reaching for something or in a line at a check-out.
The RIP is attached to the GORUCK’s internal MOLLE via 2 ITW side lock buckles. As I write this, I’m not sure if this is the best way for me to swing the RIP but for now this is how I’m doing it. This allows me to unclip the RIP easily from above with one hand, enabling me to slide larger items behind it such as a laptop sleeve, files or mags. Alternatively the buckles and straps can be adjusted to allow for larger (fatter) kit while remaining clipped in.
So what’s with the quick release? This is an advantage in two main situations:
1. To quickly unclip to slide items behind it.
2. To unclip and remove the RIP entirely, leaving the bag empty and ready for another mission, where all the space is needed and my everyday gear isn’t.
IN CONCLUSION – THE GORUCK GR1 ENABLES US
The GORUCK GR1 enables us to customize the interior so we can carry exactly as we wish, without lots of extra straps and fuss. As well as its primary purpose of enabling us to carry lots of weight, over long distances, and smile at the end of it.
For me, at home, at work, at a conference, at the beach or on a speed march for charity this rucksack is understated utility chic, a classic example of being more than it seems — and for that I love it.
THE PARTS LIST:
If you would like to put together an EDC like this I have compiled a full parts list with links below. Do let me know how you get on:
ABOUT THE LINKS WITHIN THIS POST
I’ve included links so you can find out more or even purchase. In some cases items have been upgraded or discontinued so I have linked to equivalents, I hope that’s okay.
Leave a comment. Tell me what you think. What does your EDC rucksack look like? It would be great to hear. Thanks very much for taking the time.