Tuesday, April 9, 2013

GORUCK GR2 Review

A few months ago we reviewed the GORUCK GR1 and have been extremely pleased with it. Today we will be reviewing the GR1's big brother, the GR2. Currently the GR2 is the largest pack in the GORUCK line-up. Whether backpacking or traveling, the 40 liter capacity can carry enough gear to cover you for a few days. This article will be photo intensive- displaying all the features of the GR2.
This photo illustrates the size difference between the GR1 (tan) and GR2 (black). As I said above, the GR2 has a 40 liter capacity whereas the GR1 has a volume of 26 liters.



I had always wanted to see both ruck's beside one another when I was making a decision on which to purchase. I would classify the GR1 as a EDC bag or Day pack in size. The GR2 is better equipped for traveling or camping/hiking. I wouldn't think one would want to carry the GR2 as a daypack.
The exterior has a few similarities to the GR1 such as the 2" x 3" velcro patch along with the front slant pocket. Some of the differences are: 4 rows of MOLLE webbing on the front and side panels, compression straps, and a shorter slant on the bottom of the bag.

There is a snatch handle at the top of the pack as with the GR1. This one is constructed to be very durable. I can see dragging a grown man without problems utilizing the snatch handle. The shoulder straps are extremely heavy duty with a thick padding, making for a comfortable ruck (these straps are somewhat wider than the GR1 straps). The shoulder straps does not have a sternum strap. But after using the pack I've seen no need to have them. That also goes for a waist belt. I loaded this pack down with about 40 lbs of gear and had no need for a waist belt. The weight was carried well with the pack riding high on my shoulders.
You can see in the picture above, the GR2 has two main storage areas. Allowing the user to organize or separate items as needed. The compression strap binds down only the main compartment of the bag. I like this feature because I can store regularly used gear in the top flap without having to unbuckle the compression straps. One could also attach gear to the compression straps if they would like (i.e. sleeping bags or jackets).
Each of the flaps have a "clam-shell" design. Basically they fold out flat as seen in the picture above. Inside the top flap there is ample storage areas preventing items from getting shuffled around in transit. Again the GR2 efficiently organizes any gear in the two mesh zippered pockets. The mesh pockets allow for quick identification of items being stored.
This is what I like to call my "go-to" pocket on the ruck. It can be accessed from the top of the bag (without unzipping the front flap completely) and holds things that I need on a regular basis. This comes standard on all GORUCK rucksack's.

 If you will notice the paracord zipper pulls are color coded. On the top flap they are Desert tan and OD green on the inside flap. If you haven't read our GR1 review; the paracord lanyard pulls are wrapped with a shrink wrap tubing. It not only makes the ruck extremely quiet but the shrink wrapping has some "tacki-ness" that help with opening rapidly.
Probably one of my favorite features on the GR2 is the inside pouch. It's basically an extendable pocket. Making it easier to hold items that have depth to it, like a first aid kit. There are also internal mesh pockets inside of it as well (more gear management).
Moving on to the main section of the bag. One side of the bag has two mesh pockets with the other side being of the traditional GORUCK design. This is where one would pack the majority of their gear or clothing. I was able to pack a pair of combat boots, 3 pair of pants, 4 shirts, a tarp, and survival knife with much room to spare.
Looking to the inside of the main compartment there are 4 rows of MOLLE webbing and an elastic pouch. Just like all MOLLE webbing, one can affix items or attach one of GORUCK's pouches they offer separately.
As with the GR1 the GR2 has a padded laptop/hydration sleeve. It's capable of holding any laptop that will fit into the 20" tall pocket. This pocket is next to the wearers back and can be accessed without opening the main section of the ruck. It's bombproof and will protect a laptop without worry. A hydration hose will slide through a velcro opening in the top of the ruck. Check out our solution to the hydration hose retainer strap HERE.

The GR2 has the same understated look that I came to appreciate from the GR1. It has just enough tactical design applications to make it useful without screaming it's tactical. Its also TSA carry-on approved for those that were wondering.

GORUCK by far design's some of the most functional and durable rucksack's I've encountered. They are handmade here in the U.S. which makes it even sweeter. As with all GORUCK gear, the GR2 has a SCARS lifetime warranty. This ruck is on the higher end- retailing for $400. But it will be the last ruck you buy.

Check out the GR2 at GORUCK.

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