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GORUCK GR1 vs. GR2 vs. GR3: Differences and Reviews 2024

GORUCK GR1 vs. GR2 vs. GR3: Differences and Reviews 2024

    If you are looking for a tough, versatile bag that does as well in cities and daily life as on adventures in the mountains, you can’t do better than a GORUCK backpack. Proven in the toughest environments in the world and built to Army Special Forces standards, GORUCK rucksacks are the absolute best for everyday carry, rucking, and traveling. There are a handful of GORUCK rucks to choose from, the GR1, GR2 and GR3 being the most prominent and admittedly all look alike, so how do they compare? What's the difference and similarity between them? Which GORUCK backpack is right for you and your life outside of rucking? In this guide I will be taking a closer look at GORUCK GR1, GR2 and GR3 from price, design, size, materials, comfort and durability to find the best option for your individual needs. Let's start now!


GORUCK GR1 vs. GR2 vs. GR3: Overview


Official Price: from $335

Materials: 1000D Cordura w/ 210D Back Panel and Shoulder Straps

Best Use: Daily Carry, Rucking, Weighted Workouts

Reviews: The GORUCK GR1 is the original GORUCK pack that excels in daily life and does even better during adventures and under heavy use.  At 21L and 26L ( the design of both versions are essentially the same just different dimensions) , this bag is perfect for carrying everything you need in a day. Military inspired, near bulletproof construction, minimalist and utilitarian design and aesthetic, and simple yet versatile function that makes this bag great for digital nomads and day hikers with heavier than average loads.Whether you're commuting to school, work, or the gym, GR1 has your back.


The GR1 has a single compartment design that opens flat. There are  3 internal pockets including 1 large elastic pocket, 1 large mesh zippered pocket, and 1 small go-to pocket to keep things organized.  It also offers  1 external slant pocket for quick access to keys snacks, and other small items. “Rainproof”, abrasion resistant, tested to hold 450lbs and ready for whatever you throw at it. Plus, each GR1 is built to last and comes with our Scars Lifetime Guarantee.


Opens Flat making it easier to pack and 


High price may not be justifiable for all
Durable: will last a lifetime of use, backed by lifetime warrantyHeavy compared to other similar sized packs
Tough: can handle 450lbs loads

Comfortable, over padded straps and back 

panel handle heavy weight well

Size/cut is perfect for full range of motion 

and well secured weight

Multiple pockets and external slant pocket 

to keep things organized

Bombproof laptop pocket is super useful, 

great protection, and rainproof (for laptop

 and documents)

Great rain resistance and water resistance all around, thanks to water resistant, abrasion 

resistant, and tear resistant Cordura Nylon

MOLLE Attachments let you customize GR1 how you want


Official Price: from $405

Materials: 1000D Cordura w/ 210D Back Panel and Shoulder Straps

Best Use: Weekend Travel, Rucking Weighted Workouts

Reviews: The GORUCK GR2 is ~14L larger than the GR1, coming in 26L, 34L and 40L models with a two compartment design that both open flat. Internal organization in the form of zippered mesh pockets and divider panel between the main compartment and front compartment make it easy to stay organized without additional packing cubes. Well selected, durable materials, like 1000D Cordura and mil-spec plastic hardware, combined with GORUCK’s US based, construction make this a pack that can hold upwards of 450lbs and a lifetime of abuse. Despite its travel prowess, the GR2 still rucks as well as the GORUCK GR1 and is great for weighted workouts.


The GORUCK GR2’s design combines minimalist simplicity, to avoid having extra things that can go wrong, with just enough internal storage, organization, and compartmentalization. There are 2 compartments including inner compartment with 3 pockets and outer compartment with 3 pockets and a built-in field pocket. Separate compartments, plenty of pockets, and open flat design make this bag perfect for travel – as long as you don’t mind the pound or two of extra weight.  The bag comes with a hefty price tag but you absolutely get what you pay for.

Open flat designLacks a sternum strap to help with better comfort
Provided great organization for everything I needed without packing cubes1-2lbs heavier than most non-travel backpacks

Two compartment organization (front and main) and zippered panel pockets made 

smaller pouches (hygiene bag, first aid kit, 

packing cubes) unnecessary


Mesh zippered panel pockets and built in 

internal pockets provide great, non-

intrusive organization

Easily accessible “bombproof laptop 

pocket” in zippered back panel

Extra Padded Straps and top handle to carry heavier loads more comfortably

1000D Cordura all around – “rainproof” 

thanks to water resistance

Lifetime warranty with SCARS Lifetime guarantee


Official Price: from $435

Materials: 1000D Cordura w/ 210D Back Panel and Shoulder Straps

Best Use: Long Term Travel, Camping

Reviews: The GORUCK GR3 is a massive, maximum legal carry-on travel pack that carries well, looks great, is designed for longer term travel, and will undoubtedly stand the test of time.You will never check a bag and never drag anything behind you ever again with GR3. The 45L GR3 is the largest possible carry-on rucksack, sized to fit in the overhead bin of all major airlines.The 35L GR3 maximizes packing space in a compact form factor, sized to fit in all overhead bins.The simple, clamshell design that opens flat makes everything in the bag easily accessible.  There are 2 large mesh zippered interior pockets and 1 small go-to zippered pocket plus external slant pocket for quick access to small items.


To make the most of the GR3, pick up some packing cubes, either GORUCK’s bulletproof set of GORUCK packing cubes, or cheaper packing cubes on Amazon. With the addition of packing cubes, the GR3 essentially becomes an airline carry on sized dresser that fits comfortably on your bag. The GR3 is tested to 450lb loads, so it will last through any adventure you can throw at it.To top it off, GORUCK’s Scars lifetime guarantee makes this the best travel backpack on the market and my bag of choice for traveling abroad.


Opens flat making it easier to pack and 


The heavy-duty construction makes the GORUCK GR3 1lb-2lbs heavier than other 45-liter bags

Extremely durable: tested to 450lb loads, 

abrasion and water resistant

Tricky internal organization

Practical front-loading design with wrap 

around zipper makes accessing anything in 

the bag quick and easy


2 large mesh zippered interior pockets and 1 small go-to zippered pocket plus external 

slant pocket for quick access to small items

“Bombproof” Laptop compartment 

protects your laptops and makes security 

checks a breeze

Heavily padded shoulder straps and back 

panel make the GR3 comfortable on long 

hikes with heavy weight

Integrated Removable Hip Belt helps spread the load across your hips

2 Compression Straps on each side allows 

you to pack the bag full then cinch the 

straps down

Scars Lifetime Guarantee

Where to Buy GORUCK GR1, GR2 and GR3? (4-4.6% cashback)

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GORUCK GR1 vs. GR2 vs. GR3: Full Comparison

Before diving into my in-depth discussion, look at the table below to get a key specs of them.

            GORUCK GR1                        GORUCK GR2GORUCK GR3
Primary Material

       1000D Cordura w/ 210D Back Panel and Shoulder Straps

Dimensions11.5"W x 18"H x 5.5"D12"W x 20"H x 6.75"D12.5"W x 18"H x 7.25"D12.5"W x 20.5"H x 9"D12.5"W x 22”H x 9”D12.8”W x20”H x 7.5”D14"W x22"H x 9"D
Weight2.8 LBS3.1 LBS3.9 LBS4.1 LBS4.5 LBS4.3 LBS5.15 LBS
Laptop ProtectionFits most 15" laptopsFits most 16" laptops11.5"W x 16.5"H
12"W x 18.5"H
12"W x 19.5"H18.5” H x 12.5” W19.5"H x 13.5"W
Opens Flat
Internal Pockets
Padded Top Handle

What do GORUCK GR1, GR2 and GR3 Have in Common?

1. Materials

The GORUCK GR1, GR2 and GR3 all use 1000D CORDURA® nylon. This material is the gold standard for hard use packs as it is abrasion resistant, has been tested to a 450lb tensile (tear) strength, and is water resistant.  Plus, all of the three travel rucksacks use YKK zippers with silent, glove friendly zipper pulls constructed from parachute 550 cord. The YKK zippers  are arguably the toughest zippers available.
2. Open Flat Design

Similar to the design of military medic's bags, all of the three GORUCK travel rucksacks have a wrap around “clamshell” zipper that opens flat to reveal everything in the bag.  This is extremely convenient over top opening bags and making packing and organizing much easier. 

3. Bombproof Laptop Compartment

The GORUCK GR1, GR2 and GR3 all featured bombproof laptop compartment which is a quick access zippered pocket that is overly padded and has a “false bottom” created a space between the bottom of the compartment.  This “false bottom” prevents the laptop from touching the ground, and being damaged. In addition, an extra frame pieces inserted behind the laptop compartment padding add rigidity to the back panel, both to protect your laptop and your back when carrying a weight plate.

4. Extra Padded Shoulder Straps

GORUCK's travel rucksacks are designed to carry heavier loads than your average backpack. In order to stay comfortable under loads, The GORUCK GR1, GR2 and GR3 all have thick, extra padded shoulder straps compared to other backpacks.

5. Mesh, Zippered Panel Pockets

Zippered mesh pockets line the panel in all of the three GORUCK travel rucksacks to help keep all of the small items organized.

6. Strength Tested to 400lb Loads

The GORUCK GR1, GR2 and GR3 all strength tested to 450lb loads. This means that the top handle and shoulder straps can all withstand 450lbs of stress at minimum. Heavy duty nylon stitching, reinforced stretch points, and the use of 1000D Cordura Nylon and milspec webbing throughout make this possible.

7. SCARS Lifetime Guarantee

The GORUCK GR1, GR2 and GR3 all offer SCARS Lifetime Guarantee.  Under this guarantee, if your travel rucksacks ever breaks or succumbs to wear and tear, GORUCK will repair or replace it free.

What are the Main Differences between GR1, GR2 and GR3?

1. Size
The major difference between the three GORUCK travel rucksacks will be the size, to suit different uses, ranging from the 21L GR1 to the 45L GR3. GR1 is a dayruck, GR2 is a weekend ruck, GR1 is a long-term ruck.

2. Compartmentalization and Pockets

In order to make each ruck better for their different uses, pockets and compartmentalization are different in the GORUCK GR1, GR2 and GR3. 

For instance, the GR1 is a smaller, single compartment ruck for daily use. It features 3 internal pockets, including 1 large elastic pocket, 1 large mesh zippered pocket, and 1 small go-to pocket plus external slant pocket for quick access to small items.

The GR2 has a two-compartment setup, with a main pocket and front separate compartment behind the front panel, to make it easier to stay organized on weekend travels. The main pocket has 4 internal pockets including 2 large mesh zippered pockets, 1 small go-to zippered pocket and 1 built-in field pocket. The front separate compartment has 3 internal pockets including 1 large elastic pocket, one large mesh zippered pocket, and one small go-to zippered pocket. There is also an external slant pocket for quick access to small items.

The GR3 is a large bucket-style single compartment ruck that can carry your entire life on your back. It features 2 large mesh zippered interior pockets and 1 small go-to zippered pocket plus external slant pocket for quick access to small items.

3. Compression straps

The larger a bag is the sloppier it can become without compression straps, while the smaller GR1 is completely fine without them. So the GORUCK GR3 has 2 compression straps on each side allows you to pack the bag full of gear, then cinch the straps down and keep the ruck closer to your back.

4. Integrated Removable Hip Belt

The GORUCK GR3 features integrated removable hip belt that  integrates into the back panel which  help spread the load across your hips, which helps significantly while hiking or moving long distances. While the GORUCK GR1 and GR2 do not. So from this perspective, the GR3 may be more comfortable to carry.

Bottom Line

GORUCK GR1 vs. GR2 vs. GR3: Which Travel Rucksacks is Best for You?

There is a reason the GR1 26L bag is GoRucks best selling bag. It really is an almost perfect daily do-everything bag. You can ruck with it, use it as an EDC, and even one bag travel with it.  anyone who values durability and simplicity will like the GORUCK GR 1.

Based on Special Forces medical packs which open up completely flat, the GORUCK GR2 is got all the pockets and all the organization and is carry-on compliant. You can travel hands-free and leave all the roll bags in the dust. I know a lot of people love the GR2 34L and it really is a good bag. However, it only holds slightly more than a 26L GR1 but the GR1 has a much lower profile which I prefer. So I might choose GR1 rather than GORUCK GR2. As for the 40L GR2  which are too similar in size with GR3. So if I need to carry a lot, I would just go for the GR3.

The GORUCK GR3 is the largest bag in GORUCK’s line and is designed for world travel. You can think of the GR3 as an extremely durable suitcase that fits on your back.  It  is so large that it'll make minimalist packers turn tail and run; this monster is for maximalist carry. You can literally carry your entire life on your back with the GR3. So the GORUCK GR3 is excels when you need to carry a lot and stumbles a bit when you don't.

2024-03-13 01:57287