GORUCK released the GR1 Heritage to celebrate 10 years since the GORUCK GR1 entered development. The pack is made of waxed canvas as opposed to the standard 1000d Cordura and is limited to 300 backpacks. In addition the backpack only came in the 21L size which is in contrast to the original GR1 which was 26L.
GORUCK GR1 Heritage Unboxing Video
When this pack showed up I figured I might as well do a video unboxing for it. I’ve never spent this much on a backpack before so why not capture the moment? If you watch the video you’ll notice what looks like “buyer’s remorse.” I’d rather call it buyer’s uncertainty. I’m wasn’t sold on a $595 backpack then and I’m still not now. That being said I do really like the fabric, weight, and feel of the pack.
Two Day Photoshoot
This is an interesting preview post because it was shot over two days. The first day I wore the pack and my Triple Aught Design Shagmaster (Furmaster) hoodie. I call it the Furmaster because it leaves fur absolutely everywhere.
You’ll see that the pictures from day one the pack looks clean and crisp.
While the pictures from day two you’ll notice some green fuzz throughout. I thought about cleaning the fuzz off before taking the pictures. However there were enough good shots the first day that I wanted to show how the pack looks after actually wearing it.
While the “Furmaster” has more fuzz than a normal hoodie it’s important to see just how much hair the GR1 Heritage can collect. It’s a lot. Thankfully it brushes off fairly easily.
GORUCK GR1 Heritage Preview
The GORUCK GR1 Heritage is the first GR1 that GORUCK has made out of something other than Cordura.
It features a sewn in leather GORUCK Spearhead logo on the front. This means that there’s no Velcro to display your own patch.
The front also has the slant zipper pocket that become a distinguishing feature of the GORUCK packs. There’s no webbing on the front…
…just like there is no webbing on the sides. This pack forgoes many aspects that make the original GR1 look like a military(ish) pack.
The top of the pack features a waxed canvas handle with leather accents on top. In addition there’s leather beneath which covers the hydration port opening.
Here’s a better view of that hydration port opening. You can also see how the shoulder straps are sewn directly into the pack.
And here is how the top handle is sewn into the pack.
It rained a bit during the first day of taking pictures but that just allowed the water resistance to show.
There’s no webbing sewn into the shoulder straps which means there’s no way to easily secure your hydration hose. I’m a little curious why the hydration port is on this pack since external webbing isn’t present.
The bottom of the pack is leather and comes from Red Wing, Minnesota as does the rest of the leather.
The leather is a great touch and it’s nice to see how it’s integrated into the pack. It definitely gives the ruck a unique look and feel.
Side note: I’m not really sure where that red fuzz in the above picture came from. I wore my green “yeti” jacket the entire time so it must have gotten picked up somewhere…
The shoulder straps flip around to show the laptop compartment.
There’s the frame sheet area on this pack which includes the same plastic frame sheet as the GR line of packs. The GORUCK Rucker comes with a thicker frame sheet.
The waxed canvas gives the zipper a nice wave. In addition you can also see the internal webbing stitches on the inside of the laptop area.
The back of the GR1 features seven panels which is standard in the 21L series.
When flipped around the shoulder straps stay closer to the GR1 than the newer 1000d Cordura packs.
Opening the pack the first thing I noticed was that the zippers didn’t want to go all the way to the bottom.
The clam-shell design is nearly iconic when it comes to GORUCK packs…
…and it took a little extra effort to get those zippers to the bottom of the pack. Hopefully this loosens up with time.
Speaking of the zippers they feature the same pulls we’ve come to expect from GORUCK products.
Finally we’re getting into the inside of the pack! You’ll notice the three rows of six columns of webbing.
Although GORUCK did remove all of the external webbing they did decide to keep the internal webbing. This was a good move because it allows for some excellent customization options. The document pocket is present and still great for documents or a second laptop or tablet.
The top of the pack shows the hydration port exit.
It’s interesting just how much a difference a role fabric plays in how it looks.
The bottom of the pack features an “M” tag. This has been found on other 21L GR1s as well.
Flipping over to the other side you can see the top solid pocket and bottom mesh pocket.
The internal branding on the GR1 Heritage shows that this indeed the Heritage pack. It’s also made of leather and looks right at home.
For $595 it would have been really cool if these patches had been individually numbered. It doesn’t cost that much extra to number patches and it would have been a drop in the bucket at this price. Underneath “BUILT” there’s plenty of room for 001/300, 002/300, etc.
The zippers on the original few runs of GR1s were made in the USA. Roughly between 2013 and 2014 GORUCK started using YKK zippers that were made in Taiwan. It would have been rad to see some USA made zippers show up on this pack since it is celebration of the GR1.
The mesh pocket is nice and is what you’d expect from the inside of a GR1.
The waxed canvas is a very interesting material. You can see in the above picture that the zipper line is fairly straight.
With just a bend of the waxed canvas I’m able to make the bag hold the above wave. This isn’t anything good or bad just something I found interesting while taking pictures of the ruck.
Speaking of taking pictures of the ruck here’s the pouches I used for my camera gear. On the left we have a Transport Protector Cube from Triple Aught Design. That’s what I keep my fancy camera in. On the right it’s a Tech Pouch from Peak Design that I keep a lot of my Moment lenses in.
Getting back to the pack this thing looks clean. The lines and the design are top notch. The fabric feels great and I question why it has taken myself so long to get a waxed canvas pack.
It’s a phenomenal pack that I’m excited to carry. The leather and waxed canvas should break in nicely and give the pack a unique look.
There were only 300 of these made so I’m not too worried about it looking unique. With that in mind it’s fun not knowing how something will age.
The leather bottom is probably the area I’m most intrigued with. It will be interesting to see how it looks after a year (and more) of use.
I’ve only had this pack for a few weeks but I’m already a fan of it. Hopefully this makes sense… I’m a fan of the pack. I’m not a fan of the price. It’s tough to differentiate between the two because you have to pay one to get the other.
Do I think the pack is worth $595? I have no idea but for most people probably not. It’s a great pack but there’s so much you can do for $595 that I could write multiple posts over. For $595 I can fly down the west coast, take part in one or two GORUCK events, and fly home. My wife and I can take an AWESOME weekend away. I could buy a video-focused camera and possibly make better videos.
The list is pretty much endless. I think the better questions is whether if the pack is worth $595 to you. I mentioned this in the unboxing video but what you’re buying is a piece of GORUCK history. There were only 300 of these made and they commemorate 10 years since GORUCK started planning the GR1. Is it worth $595 for you to own that pack?
Only you can decide that one… and I won’t judge either way. Plenty of people think this pack is a waste of money and apparently 112 thought it was worth it as there’s currently 188 left in stock. In that unboxing video I detail the hoops I jumped through to get this pack and I’m happy with how it all turned out.
At the very least I hope this gives you a better idea of what to expect with this pack. If it’s something you’re interested in it can be picked up for $595 from GORUCK. Have any thoughts on the Heritage GR1? Let me know in the comments below!