Tuesday, March 12, 2013

First impressions: Go Ruck Radio Ruck

The quest for a high-end backpack...

Tactical backpacks are the best there is if you are in search of a 'bomb-proof' gear hauler.
I've cycled through a few packs and found that there are not many out there which are built to last.
My preferred packs came from Kirafu (a company dedicated to hunting and military luggage) and I have at least four different packs.
But the humidity here had worn down the nylon, especially its polyurethane coating.
My favourite are the Scout and Tailgunner. These packs are used very frequently and are pretty worn-down.

The Kifarus
I don't want to go down the path of the Mystery Ranch backpacks (a company headed by the dude who founded Dana Designs) as they are getting really common here. 
Also due to its high price point and unattractive design, I stay away from Mystery Ranch.
The options are limited and I've narrowed down to packs from Kifaru, Gregory Designs and Hill People Gear.

Retiring the Camelbak HAWG 500

Admittedly, I've had a good run with the Camelback HAWG 500.
Its capacity of 26 litres enables me to haul a tonne of junk for every day carry.
One thing is for sure, the HAWG is not that well built and I don't really need a hydration bladder.
I bought the pack so that I could use the hydration pack with my Kifaru Scout.

Officially retired: The HAWG 500
And Eureka!

I read a post on the Usual Suspect Network by a user on his GoRuck GR-1 rucksack. 
It was pretty impressive, which led me to checking out GoRuck's website.
Now, there is a pretty good selection of backpacks and the one that caught my attention was the Radio Ruck.
This is a pack that I would consider in the 'nice' size range at 24-litres.
By looking at pictures, I can't really base my first impressions.
So, after much thinking, I pulled the trigger by ordering the GoRuck Radio Ruck from the company.
For the uninitiated, GoRuck is founded by a former soldier. So, most of his designs were based on his personal knowledge and field experience.

The Radio Ruck with my boy in the background
Winning hearts and minds: Excellent customer service...

I placed an order for a GoRuck Radio Ruck and a pocket organizer and it took about five days for the pack to arrive from Seattle, Washington.
The duty and sales tax came to RM70, so, not a big issue.
I guess that the guys at GoRuck are experienced enough to expedite foreign orders and I am very happy with what I get...


Even with its small cargo compartment, this pack did not disappoint

Built like a tank: The tough components on the pack

Crafted with pride: Made in the USA
No Sir, that ain't a Mystery Ranch pack..

Hahahah!!! Speak about breaking away from the main flock, this GoRuck really impressed me.
The layout in the pack's interior is the secret to why its gaining popularity and respect among ruck users all over the world.
I found it to be really neat with zippered organizers to put all my gear and junk.
Unlike the HAWG, I need to be particular on what I carry to shed the unnecessary weight and bulk.
The pocket organizer integrated nicely with the pack using a MOLLE attachment system.
Its enough to carry some of my essential gears and gadgets and I'm pretty happy with that it can provide in terms of space.
Now, on the whole, the Radio Ruck is one pack that doesn't shout "TACTICAL!".
Beneath its low-profile appearance, you will find a really humble pack which is well-built.
For the price, I'd say that its money well-spent.
I love the padding on the pack's webbing and it really hugs on to my body when I haul it.
That said, there are potential to acquire the GR-1 including some really cool accessories from GoRuck in the future..
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