Top 10 Backpacks for a GORUCK Event

goruck interview steph brownellCheck out these backpacks that have been worn in recent GORUCK events around the country.

Not everyone that does a GORUCK event will have that same pack.

There are a few GR alternatives out there.

What is the best backpack? One that fits your body and you know where everything is in time of need.

Check out the list below and you make the best decision which one is right for you.

#10: BlackHawk Predator pack review:
PROS: it has a lot of MOLLE straps for additional storage, example I will keep all my AR15 mags and gun gear will external addons. Where ever there isnt another pouch on this thing, there are more MOLLE straps. I think the best and most unique place you will find them is on the hip strap.. How convenient?

Some may find that it is a little heavy for a bag and I agree, HOWEVER, the BLACKHAWK! S.T.R.I.K.E. Predator Pack feels very durable, I’d take that extra pound or two and have a reliable bag rather than a light one with cheap straps and zippers thats going to break when i need it.

Yes there is ONE con/pro (in my opinion) the hydration pack is a little hard to get in and out, bad thing? no not really but it can get annoying, especially when you fill that entire pouch. one thing i did like about the pouch is that it has two straps on the top of it that keep it is the bag and prevents it from sliding down when upright. This is a 32 liter pack.

#9: Maxpedition Falcon II review by James:
I bought this bag in 2009 from an Army Surplus store for more than they advertise here on Amazon. Worth every penny. I saw it in person before buying so the surprise was not the lack of size, it was the ACTUAL size once you filled her. The Maxpedition Falcon-II Backpack expands in just the right way to make everything from 72hrs worth of clothing to my 15 inch laptop fit. The bag fits fully packed under the seat of a larger airliner. The load is comfortable, and with the external compression straps I’ve stuffed the bag but also held jackets, a tent and a water bottle. The Molle attachments are great because I can add additional compartments, bags, firearm magazine pouches.

I’ve been on several deployments overseas with the military and even more travels around the world with this bag and I do not fear it will ever break. The bottom is a rubberized/coated plastic and cordura. It does not have drainage holes. However, there is a water bladder pocket that is great for putting things you might fear could be pick pocketed or you want to hide, and it does have drain holes in case your bladder ruptures.

Maxpedition pack review

#8: Voodoo Tactical backpack review by Jim:
voodoo tactical packSo I basically sh** myself when I got this. It just looks like it could kick your ass. There is one large pocket that is pretty expandable and 2 smaller pockets as well.

I am currently using the Voodoo Tactical 3-day Assault Pack as my “bug out bag” for any kind of natural or man-made disasters, but am planning on taking it on a 2-3 week mountain survival trip.

Basically, i’ll be going into the mountains of West Virginia and this will be storing all my gear. A steal at under $80.

#7: Tactical Tailor operator pack review by Bill:
This pack I bought after having Tactical Tailor recommended by a friend. I saw the prices and materials and figured it was a reasonable gamble. This is covered in webbing wich has worked well for adding pouches or retaining small items like pens (2 at a time), knives and lighters. The Tactical Tailor Operator Pack
has been used by me as a pillow, drag bag, foot ball (I have active kids), and otherwise been abused beyond all reasonable levels.
It has been dragged on stone and dirt alike, been used as a shield when walking through thick brush (keeping my face safe) and shows no meaningful wear.

The only thing I have to complain about is it has no internal storage organization which would be handy, and it is not water proof or resistant.

Bottom line is if you don’t want to buy another pack and want one that stands up this is what you need. There are even holes at the bottom of the pack near your back for inserting a load belt.

#6: Kelty Redwing 32 review by Kwan:
This is my 4th Kelty backpack, and I am a big “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” kind of guy, and Kelty has always taken great care in filling my hiking/backpacking needs, and this Redwing continues the streak.

I got the Kelty Redwing 32 Backpack as a day hiking pack with room enough to cook up some lunch on the trail, or to be able to brew a cup of tea at a scenic spot. Its just like my Redwing 50 I use for overnight/weekend trips, only smaller. It carries all I need, and then some, while still remaining comfy with the waist belt and padded shoulder straps.  The best part about this backpack is that its currently on sale with a code (

#5: Camelback M.U.L.E pack review by DC:
This is the perfect backpack for those who take epic MTB rides or long hikes. First, there’s the huge bladder – 100oz will get you 3-5 hours in all but the most difficult conditions. With a good mix of ice, you can expect this to stay cold for almost as long as you have liquids. Next, storage. There’s a large storage compartment and a smaller compartment that has small object storage inside. Keeping all your critical stuff is just simple – a pump, extra tubes, food, phone, wallet, toolkit. Unless you’re planning on never coming back, you’ll have room to spare. Then there’s fit. With all this space and storage, the pack can get heavy. The CamelBak M.U.L.E. Rucksack can put a fair amount of weight on the lower back, particularly for a cyclist, but with exceptional back and strap padding and straps with a lot of adjustment, you can really minimize the overall effect. There are some nice touches, like loops to retain excess strap when they are tightened up so they don’t flop around. Something to be aware of – but weight is weight, regardless of the pack.

Question: What is a good waist belt to use with these packs?

We like the Condor Gen II Battle Belt to help keep the pack secure and act as a hip belt.

This will help distribute the load and put an equal amount of weight on your hips.

#4: 511 Tactical Rush Review by OD:
I have had this pack for a couple years and it has been a pleasure to own. There are plenty of other reviews that go into detail about the pack, so i wont do that here. But one thing this pack is missing is a waist belt. I have found that the Condor 241 battle belt with a 1-1/2″ web belt is a perfect combination for a waist belt on the 5.11 Rush 24 Tactical Backpack. For a belt I am using the Blackhawk! 1.5 inch instructors gun belt. The best part is that you can get them to match some of the colors this pack comes in. See a video review of the pack with an attached waist belt setup on youtube under the ODCaveman channel by searching for 5.11 rush 24 waist belt.

Question: What is a good glove to wear on the GORUCK event?

We like the Mechanix Wear MG-72-010 Original Glove. For $20 you will not find a better glove and they will last a long time.

This same gloves is used by many Special Forces groups worldwide.

#3: ALICE Pack review by Brad McLeod:
I wore the ALICE during the Atlanta GORUCK event in February. Yes; it is not the most comfortable or plush pack but it cost $35 and is more or less indestructible. I use it for training still and for doing sandbag type lifts overhead.

The Alice Pack is very versatile and has stood the test of time (40 years plus) as a go to pack for hauling gear. I will be handing this down to my son in a few years. Water bottles can fall out of the side pouches if your turned upside down… so you will want to put a hydration bladder in the back to solve that issue.

Question: What is a good fuel snack to carry on the 12 hour GORUCK Challenge?

It is up to you but we like a small amount of beef jerky, peanuts and raisins mixed and a Clif Shot Gel.

That should give you protein and carbs enough to make it through the night and finish out the event.

#2: GORUCK GR0 review by BK:
goruck gr0This pack is slightly smaller than the GR1 which makes it perfect for me. It is a total of 21 Liters; so only 5 liters smaller. Everything else is the same and you get the full warranty. If you looking for something not as big but will still get the job done on a Challenge or Light then this pack is for you. When you are done with that event.. hose it down and use it as a school day pack or to load up your pistols and ammo to take to the range. The GR0 backpack is a versatile ruck. This is not the pack to take on a GR Heavy… go with the GR2 for that.

GORUCK GR0 pack review

#1: GORUCK GR1 review by Philip:
goruck gr1 pack reviewI’ll be honest I got sticker shock the first time I looked at these bags, but having owned one for a while now I am satisfied with my choice. The bag is practical, and extremely tough- built to be beat up, and the SCARS warranty that comes on them is outstanding.

After 3 GORUCK Challenges, and numerous training rucks carrying 30-40lbs of bricks in the bag I had an issue with the shoulder straps on my bag, I sent SCARS an email and they sent me a shipping label to send it in for refurbishment. I put a real beating on this gear- it doesn’t come apart, and if there is an issue they stand behind it 100%. That kind of quality and customer service is worth the $$$ in my opinion.

GORUCK Pack GR1 and GR2 reviews

go·ruck [verb go + verb ruck] noun ruck is short for rucksack (aka backpack), it’s also a verb: to ruck is to move with a rucksack, and implies action, energy, and purpose. We build the best gear right here in the USA, we lead team-building endurance events based on our experiences in Special Forces, and we love to ruck.

Question: What about 511 vs GORUCK packs?

Answer: The 511 tactical is a good pack and cheaper than the GR.

Question: What about blackhawk vs camelbak packs? We see some of both packs on the GR events.

Question: Do you have any “RUCKER” reviews? Yes; go here:

Question: What bag do you use for every day carry EDC? I use the GR bullet as my every day carry EDC bag.

Question: Just picked up an Alice pack. Would you suggest using the pack with or without a frame? Any suggestions on securing the tube to the shoulder strap that connects to the water bladder?
Thanks, Steve

Answer: I would use the ALICE without the frame and use a small carbine to secure hydration bladder drinking tube to the shoulder strap.

Question: Do you have a review for the mil tac Camelbak mule vs goruck.

Answer: I personally use the Camelbak mule for mtn biking and love it. I use the GORUCK pack for day to day rucking and I believe it is better for carrying weight long distance.

Question: Do you have a review for the camelback coronado back pack vs goruck echo? We are working on getting that.

Related Articles:
Top 10 GORUCK Boots
Top 10 GORUCK Equipment

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