When GORUCK was only an idea, I bet every dollar I had on an idea for a simple black bag that would become GR1. In that process, I got a lot of feedback, almost all of it negative:
- The backpack market is too crowded, good luck.
- It’s too simple, it’s supposed to have your logo all over it or nobody will know who made it.
- It feels tough but it weighs too much, the outdoor market will never use it.
- There’s too much MOLLE webbing.
- There’s too little MOLLE webbing.
- More Velcro.
- Less Velcro.
- Other backpacks have those pencil holders. Why doesn’t yours?
- It should have elastic on the side for a water bottle pocket.
- Where’s the headphone jack?
- The shoulder straps are too thick.
And yet if you’re a slave to all criticism nothing will ever get done. So we did it our way and counted on the universal truth that simple and classy is a timeless sexy look, and when it performs as we knew it would, it’s a winning idea.
The first time I ever felt great about GR1 was when a Special Forces buddy came back from Afghanistan in 2011 and told me he used his on every single raid he went on, which was pretty much every night. It was a validation of usage in the harshest environment known to man, and he trusted it as I’d hoped he would. At that point, I knew we were onto something special because he was back in America, still using it as his dayruck.
Baghdad meets NYC and it’s called GR1.
Find GR1 here.