Going All GORUCK

Almost, but not quite.

I’ve been experimenting going with all GORUCK gear and nothing else. The kit I have to work with is:

Is that enough for all my bag needs? I’ve been trying to see if it was, but after a couple months I can tell you that it is not enough. The Field Pockets are too small for how I pack, the GR1 is too big for daily carry of my iPad Pro, while the Bullet Ruck is too small to carry the iPad Pro (despite being perfect for my MacBook).

The GR2 is fantastic for travel, but it also weighs 5.3lbs when empty — which is a lot if you were wondering.

There is a lot I find compelling about an all GORUCK setup. It looks great, wears great, and packs well. It’s a setup where I can always carry more than I expect I can. And staying with one brand makes choosing between bags a matter of size, not of which one might fit whatever for the day.

It’s the downsides that kill the setup for me. Carrying the large GR1 to a coffee shop with just an iPad Pro, notebook, pen, and headphones is such overkill and one the main reasons this setup doesn’t work for me. I had solved this with the Bullet Ruck + MacBook, but I’ve had to revert now that the iPad Pro is my computer and start using the larger GR1 now.

But what really breaks the system is the GR2 and needing to carry a small bag inside of the GR2 when I travel. I can’t fit either of my smaller GORUCK bags into the GR2 without losing significant space in the bag, so when I travel I effectively would make my GR2 the only bag when I get to my destination. Which means that I would have to carry around a huge bag the entire time and that is far from ideal when you are traveling for business.

To combat this I broke from my GORUCK only system to carry my Tom Bihn Daylight breifcase — which fits well inside the GR2 — but takes up the entire front section of the bag. There’s no clear solution, perhaps the Shadow Rucks that GORUCK used to sell might have been an option, but I won’t know because I never purchased one. And even still, the problem is compounded by needing to be somewhat packed so it can be pulled out of the GR2 when you get on a plane, or in like circumstances.

It’s not just a matter of fitting another bag into the GR2 it’s about making use of that bag in transit. If I only needed a smaller bag when I arrived, then that is doable — perhaps not with GORUCK gear, but certainly with many bags I have. It is the fact that I don’t want the GR2 at my feet when I fly, but yet want access to charging cables, snacks, and my iPad.

There are other brands I could go all in on — Tom Bihn would be very easy to accommodate this type of a setup, but then I would be moving back to a bag that I like slightly less than my GR1 and Bullet Ruck. There also still exists the problem: that when you want to travel with one bag while in transit, it’s going to suck when that one bag doesn’t fit at your feet comfortably.

I still hold out hope that either:

  • GORUCK will build a bag that is small and holds my iPad Pro.
  • I will build a bag that solves this.

I am guessing the latter will come first.

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