Top 10 Backpacks for a GORUCK Event

Check 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.


The BLACKHAWK! 3-Day Assault Back Pack is a mid-sized, frameless backpack that features a detachable sternum strap and padded, removable waist belt for extreme versatility. The inside features a main compartment, small cargo pouch, and cargo pocket pouch to fit an optional 100 oz. BLACKHAWK! Hydration System.

The BlackHawk 3 Day Assault Backpack is constructed of heavy-duty 1000 denier nylon; compatible with BLACKHAWK! Hydration System; sleeping bag straps and padded shoulder straps with D-rings for equipment attachment.

It has detachable, elasticized sternum strap with silent release buckle; compartments are closed by durable YKK zipper and sliders with silent pulls; ventilating back panel and silent zipper pulls; dual side-detachable, padded waist belt; and a reinforced drag/carry handle.

The main compartment: 20”L x 13”W x 6”D Front Compartment: 14.5”L x 12.5”W x 2.5”D Cubes: 2000 cu. in. / 37 L. This bag is very versatile and you can pick one up for around $90 or less.

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The overall size 14.5″ (L) x 9.5″ (W) x 16″ (H), with a volume of 1400 and a weight of 3.0 pounds
3D breathable mesh padded back and ergonomic shoulder straps for a comfortable carry
Reservoir with bi-directional tube port (not included) fits a 100oz/3L hydration bladder
Exterior PALS webbing for attachment to MOLLE compatible accessories
Lockable rear CCW compartment fits large pistols

The Maxpedition Condor-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.

voodoo tactical packThis bag gives you a lot of options and extra room for gear if you wanted to haul a med bag.

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.

The bonus is that after a rucking event you can use this pack for pretty much anything. If you were going into the mountains of West Virginia you could add in extra rain gear or a small tarp. This pack will last you a lifetime.


The Spec Ops Ruck Pack is basically a take off on the original ALICE pack that was used back in the Vietnam war and has been used ever since.

The design is simple but works like a charm. If your looking for a no fuss pack that will last for decades this is the one.

We spotted this pack while on a GORUCK event in Atlanta and compared it to the Alice Pack. They are very similar.  This pack is 100% made in the USA and guaranteed for life
SIZE: 2,285.5 cubic inches total

Bottom line is if you don’t want to buy another pack and want one that stands up this is what you need.


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 Tactical 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.  I used it for ruck hike training and it did fine.


This is the perfect backpack for training and knocking out long endurance events like a GORUCK or Spartan. It has a lot of lattitude on how you can use it. It is smaller than the other packs but if you are just training for an event – or dont want a big pack –  this may be the right fit.

The Mystery Ranch Blitz 30 is ready for any training that you want to do outdoors. If you want to train for a GORUCK or do an overnight backpacking trip – this pack is good to go. I like that it has a removable webbing waist belt  that allows you to have access when you want it or keep it streamlined.

I like that it has quick access via the body panel gets you directly to load it up with a sand bag for training. If you want to use it in the field you can load up that body panel with the tools you need. If you need to take a lap top out in the field it has a padded floating laptop sleeve that fits laptops up to 15 inches. It has compression straps to keep your load secure and side pouches for water or snacks.
Weight: 3.8 lbs
Size: 1770 cubic inches


I have had this pack for a couple years and it has been a pleasure to own. But one thing this pack is missing is a waist belt. I used the 511 Tactical Rush 24 backpack in a GORUCK event in Philadelphia when I first got it.

I have found that the pack has a lot more uses as I use it also for work and put my laptop in it.  Last year I took it on an overnight ruck up to a local trail and carried a small bivvy tarp along with food and a penny stove.

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

We like the Condor 241 battle belt with a 1-1/2″ web belt is a perfect combination 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.

Check out this interview with SGPT Athlete GORUCK Finisher Jay Jairdullo who used the 511 Tactical Rush backpack.

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.

You will see alot of different gloves being worn at events and many athletes use the Mechanix. There are many similar brands and you can spend a lot of money if you want to. But I have found those to be the best bang for your buck. You can use them later around the home and for light construction.


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 at a local Army Navy store and is more or less indestructible. I use it for training still and for doing sandbag type lifts overhead.

The 5Star 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.

If you dont have much to spend on a backpack this is an ok route to go. You will definitely get many years of hard abuse out of it.

I still have this pack 10 years later and still use it for field work.

Check out this interview with an SGPT Athlete who finished the GORUCK Tough and also use the Army Alice pack.

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.


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 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 GORUCK GR1 backpack 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. from GORUCK Tough Finisher Frank G.

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.

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