This post is more of a comparison between the two shirts instead of a review. If you’re looking for a review we have a review of the GORUCK Tough Tee completed and have one for the Rucking Tee in the works.
GORUCK has two styles of tee shirts in production right now branded the Rucking Tee and the Tough Tee. The Rucking Tee (shown above) comes in at $55 while the Tough Tee (shown below) is priced at $35.
Although they look very similar in nature and have a nearly identical cut there are a few noticeable differences between the two shirts.
To start off let’s look at the materials the shirts are made out of. You can tell from the above picture that they’re each made out of something different.
The Tough Tee is 74% Nylon/16% Polyester/10% Spandex while the Rucking Tee is made of Polartec which is 7% Nylon/93% Polyester. From a “feel” perspective the Tough Tee is definitely the more comfortable of the two if you are looking for something to wear out to a bar or restaurant. Don’t get me wrong… it’s still a very durable shirt (I’ve taken it through GORUCK Light and GORUCK Tough events) but it feels more like a standard wear tee.
The Rucking Tee on the other hand feels thicker, heavier, and like something you would wear to ruck in. The GORUCK descriptions for the shirts has the Tough Tee at 0.50 lbs and the Rucking Tee at 0.31 lbs but I don’t believe it. The Rucking Tee feels like two Tough Tees sewn together in terms of toughness and durability.
Both of my shirts are size large because I wear size large shirts. The above weight is from the Rucking Tee coming in at 0.6 lbs and the bottom picture is the Tough Tee at 0.4 lbs.
From this we can say that the Rucking Tee weighs roughly 50% more than the Tough Tee and it’s always nice to have my initial thoughts validated. If you’re curious the scale I used was the Etekcity Digital Luggage Scale which is usually sold for under $10. I originally bought it to weigh my sandbags but it has proven to be a fairly useful tool.
When it comes to sizing the two shirts are cut very similar. The neck lines are nearly identical and the widths and lengths appear to be almost the same. Honestly, from what I can tell both feel like the same style cut when worn.
The sleeves on the Tough Tee are a little shorter than the ones on the Rucking Tee but there are numerous explanations for that. I’ve owned the Tough Tee much longer and it has seen the washing (and drying) machines at least three or four times as many times as the Rucking Tee. We all know that heat can shrink apparel. Neither of these shirts are new so take that into consideration when judging them… but that also should speak well to the quality.
Both of the shirts are over-engineered in the exact same way. They are stitched up and down and it doesn’t look like they’ll be pulling apart any time soon. I’m honestly curious just how much thread is used in each of these shirts. They definitely didn’t skimp on the thread.
Absolutely everywhere is stitched so that there’s a very small chance they’ll fail. I’ve taken both of these shirts through dozens of training events, GORUCK events, and out on the town and both of them could pass off as new or near-new.
The material used on the Tough Tee can pill a little but the Rucking Tee hasn’t seen any pilling yet. If you own a GORUCK pack then you know it is possible for them to cause shirts to pill. The Rucking Tee seems to be immune to any pilling brought on by the 1000d Cordura used on those packs while the Tough Tee seems resistant.
Both shirts are awesome in their own right and, to me, have their own use cases. The Tough Tee sees wear when I’m looking for a standard tee to wear or even if I’m heading to the gym. The Rucking Tee sees use when I’m doing sandbag workouts or going out for a ruck. In terms of comfort I put the Tough Tee ahead but in terms of durability I’ve got to hand it to the Rucking Tee.
If you’re looking for another standard style tee to add to your wardrobe then go for the Tough Tee… it definitely fits the build there. If you’re looking for a tee that you can ruck in or seriously abuse then grab the Rucking Tee. Hopefully this gives you some more insight into both the GORUCK Rucking Tee and the GORUCK Tough Tee. If you’re still curious about these shirts check out our review of the GORUCK Tough Tee!