There are three rows with six MOLLE loops on the interior, and it’s important to note that the side loops of this MOLLE are a bit shorter, to account for the smaller space on the interior. GORUCK GR1 Front Slash PocketOn the front, there’s a slash pocket which goes down the entire length of the pack. This is good for smaller, flatter items—however, if the main compartment is completely full it can be difficult to utilize this pocket. It’s not a super great quick-grab pocket either, because it goes down so far. It can actually be a bit tricky to get smaller items out if they’re wedged down at the bottom. We would have preferred this pocket to be a bit shallower so it could function better as a quick-grab pocket, but your mileage may vary.
Like the GR1, it has a reinforcing panel made from a light, but somewhat stiff plastic on the interior of the back panel. The Rucker also has something called a frame sheet too. But, it has a lot of other lesser features that really help too.
The main compartment of the Axiom offers a lay-flat clamshell design for access, while the front panel opens up to reveal a well-organized “admin” panel of multiple sleeves, pouches, and pockets. During testing, I dunked the bag very briefly in a bucket of water, and the interior barely got wet. It’s more safer, but harder to get in and out your laptopAs I’ve said, it’s a minimalistic bag.
We tested the GR2 for nearly 2 years and predict this will follow suit durability-wise. GORUCK GR1 in Ann Arbor, MichiganBut we do have one caveat here. All of this quality, durability, and support comes at a steep price.
The product of that ambition is a fantastic pack that serves digital nomads and backpackers travel better and more comfortably, protecting their tools of the trade along the way. However, a year into being on Bali, life changed even further – as I settled into being a “digital nomad” with Bali as my adventurous home. If you are super sensitive to extra weight on your back, about the weight of 2 x 12 oz. Water bottles, or 3 x smart phones, then absolutely reconsider. If you are an ultralight packer, then the GR1 likely isn’t up your alley. In the past few months, my beach workouts have become full on Crossfit style strength training.
Instead there are just three rows of MOLLE webbing on the exterior of the pack, three rows in the interior, and a single row on each of the straps. MOLLE webbing is convenient because of the added ability to attach more pouches for customization as well as tie-downs or clip-on equipment like a flashlight, multi-tool, tourniquet, etc. The GR1 has just enough webbing for the pack to be versatile, but not to scream “MILITARY” for those of us who like to be discreet at times. Urban cyclists often depend on their Timbuk2, panniers, or saddlebags to help with transporting items but the GR1 has worked well. I was worried about transitioning from a messenger bag to a backpack when cycling.
Quality is not something that is often argued over when it comes to the GR1. Some people have reported cosmetic stitching issues on US produced models, but they seem uncommon and are always covered by the bomb-proof Scars Lifetime Guarantee. Bring it up and you’ll have flocks of enthusiasts at your door to sing the good word of GORUCK. You’ll see this with some other makers, enthusiasts and critics included, but it’s few and far in between.
The reason we say it comes in a “variety” of colors is that GORUCK is constantly changing up their colorways, so depending on when you’re reading this review there might be some different colors on their site. At the time of this review, it is only available in Black and Ranger Green. The black will always be a mainstay—and our choice, of course—but the other colors tend to be some combination of what we listed above. There’s no official information yet – but rumors say it’ll have a softer, less abrasive material on the straps and back panel. On the other hand, if your ruck is fully packed with a lot of items, it works as desired.