Over on Everyday Carry, Jonathan Tayag looks into whether he thinks the GR1 is still ‘worth it’ from a value perspective in 2019. He writes:
And while you definitely get serious quality for your purchase, there’s so much competition in the EDC tactical bag market in the present day that it’s hard to really say that the GR1 sets itself far enough in front of the pack to justify it.
He then goes on to list a few bags you might consider instead of the GR1, all of which are supposed to be able to replace it, but none do. Because there is no one to one camprison out there when it comes to the GR1. There is no other backpack on the market that is what the GR1 is, and anyone who has used one for long enough can immediately tell you that.
There are plenty of GR1 clones (including at least one on that list of his). There are plenty of tactical looking and/or marketed bags. There are plenty of bags made from 1000D cordura. And so on and so forth. There’s plenty of shit out there is what I am saying.
Some of them are also good bags. But none of them are as brutally simple, functional, and versatile as a GR1.
So is the GR1 worth It?
Hell yes. What the fuck. Yes, it is basically $400 to buy this backpack which is not at all an insignificant amount of money and is downright nuts for many people wanting to spend it on a backpack. But then again, as I mentioned before, it’s not actually that much money in the grand scheme of what good bags cost.
But the bags I put on that list could be considered cherry picked right, so let me add some further perspective with more ‘normal’ selections that you see people who put thought into their bags carry:
- Tumi, one of the biggest brands for traveling business people sells a backpack called the ‘Alpha Bravo’ and you will see it recommended all over. People love it. It costs $475. So $80 more than a GR1, and it is a shittier bag. I see it all the time at the airport.
- Rimowa, you know those really fancy hard sided roller bags that you see tons of people carrying. The cheapest one of those bags is a cool $540. And that’s a bag you’ll only use when you fly on a plane. And one that everyone seems to have, or at least a cheap clone of it. Whatever.
- Peak Design’s everyday backpack is $259. It is cheaper! But guess what? It is not a versatile bag, it is a specialty bag. Which is why you don’t see many people fawning over it after long periods of usage. So you spend $259 on it, you’ll still need at least one more bag when you decide that you actually don’t want to be limited in what you carry by your bag.
- Ona Bags sells a beautiful 1000D backpack, $449.
- KillSpencer Rucksack, $425.
Any of those bags you’ll see at the airport. Because either you care about what you carry, so you spend money to get something nice. Or you don’t care what you carry and your backpack has a company logo on it because you got it free somewhere and everyone who sees that knows you got it for free and don’t give a shit, and it’s probably Swiss Gear or Timbuktu. ‘But it is a really nice bag, it just has a Google Cloud logo on it.’ Cool. Cool cool cool. Cool.
The GR1 is perfectly in line with all of its peers. Bags like the constantly mentioned Evergoods CPL24 is underpriced. The GR1 isn’t overpriced, it is that some companies are not pricing goods high enough (to their own detriment, but that’s another article all together). (I’ll have a post about that CPL in the coming weeks.)
So is the GR1 still worth it in 2019 at $395? Yes. Yes because there is no other bag like it and it has not in any way been lessened over time. It is still, hands down, the best backpack money can buy.
The GR1 is much like the Rolex Submariner, there are many like it, but none of them are a Submariner. And that matters.
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