The GoRuck GR1 or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bag

I got one. The GR1 Java (The brown one). It changed my life.

Without me, my bag is useless. Without my bag, I am useless.

Anyone that knows me knows that I always have an EDC bag with me. It’s like my home base. In it I have my laptop, assorted chargers, mini med kit, small assortment of work tools, and everything else I may need throughout the day. As someone that commutes an hour and a half every day for work, I need to take some things with me. Because there are two types of people in this world: People who think ahead and people who say things like “Hey, do you have any asprin in your bag?” (The answer is yes, yes I do.)

So let’s just get down to it.

The GoRuck GR1.
GoRuck GR1 Review
This is my bag. There are many like it but this one is mine.

I got one. The GR1 Java (The brown one). It changed my life. I have always had an EDC bag. That decision alone has made my life a whole lot easier. Having everything in one spot always no matter where I am. That’s a real game changer. But I was always wanting more when it came to my bag. The bags I’ve had were either breaking or just plain annoying to use. So I bucked up and read a million reviews online. The internet was telling me to get a GoRuck. I wanted something that was buy it for life. I am a man of routine. When I walk into Subway they start making my sandwich before I even say anything (Chicken Teriyaki with bacon on wheat. Try it. Trust me.) When I find something I like I want it to stay that way. I decided this was going to be the last backpack I was going to buy. This bag wasn’t cheap but I was tired of toting around irritating EDC bags. The whole point was to make my life easier. So I buckled down and spent the money. So…

Was it worth it? Yes. Oh god yes.
Without me, my bag is useless. Without my bag, I am useless.


If you have searched online for a backpack you have already heard about it. And for good reason. This thing is a god-damned jewel. Made in America from 1000 denier CORDURA® and strength tested at over 400 lbs. this ruck makes your old L.L. Bean feel like it’s made out of paper. This is why I got one. I need a backpack that can get up and go as often as I do, and the last thing I need (again) is for a strap or zipper to pop off when I need it the most. The heavy duty straps are padded and super comfortable, even under heavy loads.

And the zippers… I had no idea I could get excited about zippers. The YKK Zippers that GoRuck uses are the smoothest, most robust zipper on the market. The best kind of zipper is one you don’t notice, which you wont on this bag. The zipper pulls are even made from 550 paracord. Can you say overbuilt?

Let’s talk about MOLLE.

MOLLE webbing was invented for military use. So was this bag (GoRucks founder, Jason McCarthy is a Green Baret.)  You might feel like it some mornings but if you are like me you aren’t traveling into a warzone. Regardless, MOLLE webbing is the best attachment technique I have found in terms of versatility and dependability. Along with some classy/understated MOLLE straps on the front and sides of the bag, the top inner portion of the comes equipped with MOLLE as well. When I first saw this bag I pictured myself clipping some pens and maybe a small flashlight to the webbing on the inside. I have since used it to attach a water bottle holder and a small organizational pouch which is EXACTLY what I needed for my everyday use. Then it dawned on me the genius of this design. The minimal amount of pockets coupled with MOLLE on the inside allows YOU to decide how much micro organization you want inside the bag, allowing you tailor fit the compartmentalization to exactly what you need. This is one of the biggest reasons people fall in love with this bag. No two people are going to use this bag the same way. It becomes perfect when YOU set it up to fit your needs.

I’m going to do a post soon about how exactly I set mine up, as well as some customization tricks I figured out along the way.

Are you one of those people who doesn’t need a backpack that survives a warzone? Are you saying to yourself “I work at a computer all day, I don’t need some mil-spec, overbuilt, gym bag. I just need something to bring my laptop to and from work”?

Well how does this hit you? Bombproof Laptop Compartment.


No seriously, the main thing I needed in an everyday carry bag was something I could put a laptop in and not worry about opening it up at work to find that it was now a shattered mess. They put a plastic frame sheet in the bag to keep it rigid (Read: hold it’s form) and protected. This is coupled with a false bottom in the laptop compartment that keeps it off the ground when you put it down. I feel like my laptop is safer in this bag than it is on my desk.  The fabric this bag is made from in rainproof so unless you go swimming with this thing your laptop is going to stay dry when walking around in the rain. This makes electronics happy. I could keep fawning over this bag but I wont. I just want to mention that this bag has a lifetime warranty and they build it like they don’t want to have to fix it. I like that.

I’m going to post some follow up posts about this bag and how I set mine up in the near future. Until then head over to and them it out.



98 %
70 %
Build Quality
100 %
100 %
Ease of Use
95 %
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Dave Estes is the editor of, graphic designer and is usually that guy that has that tool you need in his backpack.
  • CruisingTroll

    I’m not going to knock the GoRuck, I have no experience with it. But I will say, I doubt very much it will make my old L.L. Bean feel like paper. My Bean bag is over 30 years old. Definitely NOT paper, believe you me.
    Whether a Bean bag from this century is cut from the same cloth is an open question.

    • Can you do me a favor and look and see if there is a tag that says where it was made? Your comment made me do a little digging and I found out that LL Bean now makes their classic style bag in Vietnam. I am willing to bet that your 30 year old bag was made in the US and is absolutely better quality than what they are producing now. That being said, LL Bean still makes a decent bag, I had one all through high school and it served me well. Might be an interesting topic for another article. Thanks for reading!