GORUCK Bullet Ruck (10L) vs. GORUCK GR1 (21L) for EDC

GORUCK probably needs no introduction to the awesome packs they make. However, they make packs of difference sizes, which one is best for me as an average built, 5’5 female? My first go-to was the GORUCK GR0 (now the GR1 21L), which was recommended for those under 6 feet. It was my daily EDC pack for about half a year. I didn’t plan on switching to a new pack anytime soon. When ‘Christmas-in-July” sale happened, I bought the GORUCK Bullet Ruck (10L) as my weekend pack. After using the GR0 for half a year, and recently switching to the Bullet, I think I’ve found my perfect EDC pack 😀

Goruck GR0 and Goruck Bullet side by side

Goruck GR0 and Goruck Bullet side by side

Long before I switched to the GORUCK Bullet Ruck for EDC, I just didn’t think the Bullet was big enough. It is about the same size as the 5.11 Moab 10, which I disliked for EDC because it was a struggle to fit my laptop in it. Well, I also am not a ‘sling-pack’ kind of person. So from the Moab 10 I went back to my Belkin laptop backpack. Which is an amazing small backpack, in terms of utility and the amount of items it could fit. However, I wanted something more durable. After much research, I got my first Goruck pack, the GR0.

Switching to the GORUCK Bullet Ruck (10L)

The day after completing my first GORUCK Light Challenge with the GR0 (see how I packed for the event), I needed a temp-replacement backpack for EDC since the GR0 is still air-drying from the cleaning last night. The Bullet was resting by the wall, it is usually my weekend pack…”let me try to stuff my laptop (Macbook Pro 13″) in it….Wait…it fits!!”

How about after adding a protective laptop sleeve? “Still fits!!!”


GORUCK Bullet can fit the Macbook pro 13″ in a laptop-sleeve. Charger fits nicely into the mesh compartment.

Goruck Bullet Ruck 10L with laptop inside

GORUCK Bullet zipped up, laptop in.

Done. For the next month, I didn’t switch back to the GR0. Life was no different, if not better. The drain-holes in the Bullet Ruck was useful when I have to carry rinsed-but-still-wet rash guards in the bladder compartment after BJJ practice.

Goruck Bullet 10L at BJJ

Back compartment of Goruck Bullet is perfect for fitting my rinsed-but-still-wet rash guards

So will I use the GR0/GR1 again?

So far, I don’t see myself going back to the GR0 except for travel or when I need to ruck heavier than 25lb. And GORUCK events because its easier to secure the metal ruck plate in the GR0/GR1 (i.e., laptop compartment, sleeve pocket, and internal molle).

GR0 is perfect for traveling

GR0 is perfect for traveling – at Red Rock Canyon

Obviously there are pros to using the GR0/GR1 for EDC. The laptop compartment is so well-designed for the GR0, it is really the main thing I miss when using the Bullet. However, the smaller size of the pack allows me to be more agile throughout the day. I am not a true minimalist, I love gears and ‘things’ 🙂 However,  I appreciate downsizing and carrying the minimal necessities. The GORUCK Bullet Ruck fits my lifestyle.

Here is the break down of the pros and cons of using the GR0 or the Bullet Ruck for EDC.

Pros of the GR0 (GR1 21L) compare to the Bullet

  • Laptop protection:  It has a bomb-proof laptop compartment. Because of the padded false bottom, the laptop never touches the ground when it goes into the laptop compartment. Packing up after work is “speedy” because I can basically drop my laptop in, zip up, and go.
  • Large-enough: Big enough to go on a week-long trip. 21L is big enough to fit an extra pair of shoes, jacket, jeans, multiple shirts, laptop, tablet, book, and toiletry.
  • Tougher fabric (added rigidity): 1000D Condura is used for the GR0/GR1/GR2. Super tough fabric and highly water resistant. The GR0 is overall a more rigid backpack than the Bullet Ruck. In the long run it is likely more durable than the Bullet. However, a tougher and more rigid construction also decreases comfort a little. It is a tradeoff.
  • Internal MOLLE for attachments: The GR0/1/2 all have MOLLE inside the main compartment. This allows the user to attach pouches (e.g., GORUCK Field Pocket) for additional organizations. Another usage for the MOLLE is to attach a ruck plate pocket to position ruck plates higher on the back. (See this post for comparisons of different ruck plates)

Pros of the Bullet Ruck (10L) compare to the GR0

  • Small: Everything you need, and nothing you don’t need. I like that it doesn’t feel like I’m carrying a huge backpack when I only have a laptop and an extra jacket or water in it.
  • Drain holes: Having the drain holes in both the main compartment and bladder compartment allows me to store some wet-items without worrying about carrying a puddle of water in the pack. (FYI: It is possible to add your own drainage holes to the GR0).
  • Softer fabric (added conformity and comfort): Being made of 500D Condura instead, the Bullet Ruck’s fabric is softer to the touch, and a bit less rigid (also due to the lack of frame sheet). However, the slightly decrease of rigidity in the Bullet Ruck is made up by its added conformity to my back. Even when rucking a 10-20lb load, the Bullet conforms a bit better to my back because it is less rigid. This could really come down to personal preference.

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