So… what is the Rucker? The Rucker is built to do one thing which is help you ruck. It outside of the pack look identical to the GR0/GR1, depending on the size, which the only difference being the color of the webbing, which is blue (or green) instead of black.
The Rucker has a built-in frame sheet to support the weight you’re sure to be putting in it. The frame sheets are a nice touch and definitely necessary for packs you’ll be rucking with. From what GORUCK has said the frame sheet in these is at least twice as thick as the ones in the GR1 so they’ll hold up and support the weight that much better.
Inside the Rucker is a hydration bladder loop in lieu of three rows of webbing. The loop is nice as it keeps the bladder up-right and I’m guessing the absence of the webbing is what leads to part of the lower price point.
The key to the pack is the inside Ruck Plates Pocket which holds GORUCK’s Ruck Plates in place. It’s capable of holding two plates and uses a Velcro strap to keep them in place. I’m sure GORUCK has tested their pack but I’d like to get my hands on it with two 45 pound plates and see how it handles them.
I’m not going to lie… I was surprised there was no dedicated waist belt on the pack. Waist belts that aren’t integrated with packs generally either carry all of the load or stabilize the pack. It’s tough to make a non-integrated waist belt assist the shoulder straps in a way that compliments the distribution.
In addition to no sternum strap there is no included sternum strap. While not an expensive add-on sternum straps are considered necessary by most when choosing a pack to ruck with… which makes you think there would be one attached. Pick up a sternum strap at GORUCK for $12.
At $195 it’s a good $100 cheaper than the GR1. It definitely doesn’t appear as versatile as the GR1 but it’s hard to argue with that price if you’re just looking to do GORUCK events. Check out the Rucker on GORUCK’s site in both blue and green and let me know what you think.