The ITW GrimLoc is an awesome piece of gear. It’s incredibly functional, multi-puropse, and relatively cheap compared to pretty much any other rucking or hiking accessory out there.
They’re also made in the USA and BERRY compliant which is a pretty great bonus.
There are so many uses for these things but most of them revolve around attaching one piece of gear to another piece of gear. Examples include attaching a gun sling to body armor, attaching a pouch to some webbing, or attaching Triple Aught Design’s Control Panel to the inside of a pack not designed for it.
ITW GrimLoc Review
In this post we’re reviewing the ITW GrimLoc in regards to securing a hydration bladder hose to the shoulder strap of your ruck. We’ve got a Source Hydration bladder (also available from GORUCK) here which is by far our favorite bladder to use.
If you’d rather watch a video of this then you’re in luck because we have one made just for this.
If you’ve ever taken part in a GORUCK event (or similar event that combines rucking and PT) you know that the hydration hose can be a major issue if it’s not properly tied down.
It’s possible to slide the bladder’s mouth piece through the shoulder strap of a pack (if your pack has webbing) but that’s not ideal. It can pop out when you don’t want it to and can, somehow at the same time, be difficult to get out when you need it most.
Previously our packs used the ITW Web Dominator to hold the hydration hose in place and that worked for numerous GORUCK events. There’s nothing wrong with using a Web Dominator (or something else) but ever since switching to the GrimLoc that’s been it.
ITW GrimLoc Design
The GrimLoc is made of a high-strength polymer and is very light-weight. It was designed to replace carabiners in conditions where carabiners weren’t necessary for the job. You can see where it says non-load bearing right on the GrimLoc so don’t use it for climbing.
In addition, they have a “break away” technology which is just a fancy way of saying if you apply too much force to them then they’ll open on their own. The goal there was to prevent them, or the gear they’re attached to, from creating snag points and trapping you.
I should mention that even though I’ve used these on double-digit GORUCK events and during plenty of training and never has one broken away.
The GrimLoc is designed to attach on to 1″ webbing and, thankfully, GORUCK lines their shoulder straps with that.
To attach the GrimLoc you just need to slide it under the webbing…
…and ensure the webbing goes into the attachment area on the GrimLoc.
The pictures make it look quick and easy but it can be a little painful and take a minute or two. Just keep working it and you’ll get the GrimLoc in there.
ITW mentions that the GrimLoc has a “self purging port to eliminate sand” which, as far as I can tell, just means that if sand gets in there the side button will push it out the openings.
It’s reassuring to know that sugar cookies on the beach will not ruin your GrimLoc.
ITW GrimLoc Usability
To use the GrimLoc just hold the side button to unlock and open it. There’s two open positions on the GrimLoc with the first being a flexible position where the hook can move freely.
The second is when it is fully opened the hook locks into place and will stay that way until closed or bumped hard enough. Honestly… a slight bump is all that is needed and the hook goes back into the flexible, open position.
We’ve got our Source Hydration Bladder attached to our GORUCK GR1 using an HK Quick Clip right now and the hose is running out the top of the bag.
To secure the hydration hose just open the GrimLoc, put the hose in there, and close the GrimLoc. This ensures the hose will stay in place and won’t flop around during PT. If you’re curious what I mean by that check out our video on YouTube.
If you want to use the hose just press the button on the GrimLoc and open the hook, take the hose out, and drink that water. The GrimLoc is beyond simple to use and it’s one of those items that is on our pack at every single event.
ITW GrimLoc Quality
One thing to be slightly careful about is when you set the pack down make sure that it doesn’t land on the GrimLoc. We’ve never had one break on us but but one of our friends has had a few break when he tossed his ruck down and the weight landed on the GrimLoc. These things are made out of essentially a tough plastic which has its pros and cons. They’re light and won’t create snags but they’re also not indestructable.
Following up on that Albany GRT recommended (and I agree) that you want to attach these as low on your pack as possible.
If they’re too high on the pack (think first or second notches down on the shoulder strap) then a log can smash (and possibly break the GrimLoc) when you’re shoulder carrying one of those.
With all that being said we’ve never had one of these break on us so our experience with them is pretty good there.
ITW GrimLoc Value
At $3 these are cheap enough that if one does break it’s obviously not ideal but it’s also not the end of the world. We actually keep a number of these in our Challenge Bag we keep in the trunk of our car just in case we run into someone who ends up needing one at a GORUCK event.
ITW GrimLoc Review Conclusion
At this point an ITW GrimLoc essentially lives on every event ruck we’ve got around here. They’re easy to use, well thought out, well built, and incredibly cheap. If someone is coming to do an event here and they borrow a ruck from us there’s a 99% chance it will have an ITW GrimLoc on it. We love these things and hopefully everyone who grabs one from us loves them too.
If you want to grab one of these you can check them out in the All Day Ruckoff Online Store. If you have used one of these then consider leaving a review on our product page. Regardless if it’s positive or negative it will definitely assist your fellow rucker
Do you prefer to use something other than a GrimLoc to secure your hydration bladder hose? We’d appreciate hearing about it in the comments… we’re always looking for new gear to try.
ITW GrimLoc Review for Hydration Hose Management
At $3 there’s almost no reason not to give one of these a shot and after switching over to them we haven’t looked back. If you want to ensure your hydration hose doesn’t become an issue grab one of these and secure it.
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