GORUCK Price Increase — Some Thoughts

My thoughts on GORUCK price increases and whether the GR1 is still “worth” it.

It’s September, which means that on average the price of everything GORUCK sells is now 20-30% more expensive than it was last month. This is the first time a lot of the GORUCK stuff is going up in price, notably the GR1 and GR2. Because of this a lot of people have been asking for my thoughts.

Steve and I covered what we thought of the increases on the apparel on Everyday Wear (spoiler: yikes). Here I want to talk about one specific item, my favorite, the GR1. From the first day the GR1 was sold, it would set you back $295. An occasional sale on some select colors (never black) might net you a brand new GR1 as low as $250. Used you were looking to spend between $225-265 depending on the color and condition of the bag.

GR1s have always been expensive.

The argument most people make about GR1s and the new price increases is that these bags last forever. The warranty is outstanding as well. So really, you only need to suffer the price once and you’re good. Right? Others outright feel as though GORUCK is on a money grab and have accused them of everything under the sun.

I’m in the camp that thinks these price increases are reasonable. I think the argument that they are justified because of quality is an opaque argument to make for consumers about pricing though. So instead I want to tell you why a GR1, the same ones sold last month, are worth $395 now. Yes, you read that right, they increased the price quite a lot.

GR1s are worth $395 because the market says they are.

When you buy a house, you don’t go off of your gut to price it, or to agree to the price — nor do you go off of what the house last sold for. Instead you look at the market to see what things are selling for, and have sold for. Let’s do the same here, what’s a GR1’s competitors sell for:

Those bags run the gambit, but they all pretty clearly show that in the premium backpack category, the GR1 at $295 was criminally under priced. Further, those are all big sellers, they aren’t some bullshit Kickstarter bags I found to support an argument. And at $395, the GR1 isn’t overpriced, but rather it is on par with the market. Even if you omit the Dyneema bags, the current price of the GR1 is fair.

That’s insane right?

And, if you already own a GR1, you should be ecstatic about the price increase, because the value of your used bag just increased as well. It’s too early to tell by how much, but I am guessing close to $295 for a used GR1 will soon be the going rate, or what you paid for it initially.

Purely from a “what else is available at this price” stand point, the GR1 is a fair price at almost $400. Which brings me to the next question I have been getting: would I still buy one at $395?

Yes. But I probably wouldn’t own three of them as I currently do. And, honestly, there’s not a good reason to own that many, other than I am absurd.

The bag hasn’t changed. When I heard about the price increase I was fine with it even guessing at how much it would be. Seeing the number, yes it is big, but the bag is still worth that. Especially given the others bags on the market I have tried replacing a GR1 with.

The GR1 has always felt underpriced to me. It didn’t when I first bought it, but almost 8 years later with that bag still looking brand new and countless readers telling me how much they love theirs, $295 was a steal for a GR1. At $395 it’s not as easy for many to go and buy, I get that. But I am also here to tell you that it’s worth every penny of $395.

That list I started this post with, if every bag on it were $295 and the GR1 were $395 — I’d still buy the GR1 over all the others — and no I have not tested most of those bags. And why would I? The GR1 is perfection.

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