13 Affordable GORUCK Alternative Backpacks

Photo Courtesy: Steve Mullis

There is good reason to look for alternative options to GORUCK backpacks. While their gear is great, it is expensive for some. If you’re outside of the USA, shipping fees and taxes can add up and make it too pricey.

However price is not always the reason why people may be looking for alternative options. Some of GORUCKs gear may not include some features that people find important to them while rucking. After analyzing 13 different GORUCK options, we found that the GR1, GR2, and GR3 we found that GORUCK’s alternatives have chest straps, quick release straps, back padding for air circulation and cheaper prices.

However, we also found that almost all GORUCK alternative rucksacks have a lot of common features with all GR1, GR2, and GR3 rucksacks such as:

  • Laptop compartment
  • Shoulder strap padding
  • Made from cordura
  • Water resistant

Table of Contents:

1. GORUCK Alternative 1- Direct Action Dragon Egg Backpack
2. GORUCK Alternative 2- Direct Action Ghost 31 Liter Backpack
3. GORUCK Alternative 3- 5.11 Rush 12 Backpack
4. GORUCK Alternative 4 – Condor Frontier Outdoor Backpack
5. GORUCK Alternative 5 – LA Police Gear Atlas MOLLE Rucksack
6. GORUCK Alternative 6 – 14er Tactical Backpack
7. GORUCK Alternative 7 – 5.11 Tactical RUSH 24
8. GORUCK Alternative 8 – 5.11 COVRT18 Rucksack
9. GORUCK Alternative 9 – Sandpiper Long Range Bugout Backpack
10. GORUCK Alternative 10 – Specs Ops Backpack
11. GORUCK Alternative 11 – 5.11 RUSH72 MOLLE Rucksack
12. GORUCK Alternative 12 – Akmax Military MOLLE Rucksack
13. GORUCK Alternative 13: Selighting MOLLE Hip Belt

We must clarify the difference between GORUCKs famous GR1, GR2, and GR3 rucksacks before diving into the different GORUCK alternative rucksacks so that you make the right choice when selecting your rucksack.

What’s The Difference Between GR1, GR2, and GR3

  • GR1 is the smallest rucksack coming in at 21 or 26 liters. The GR2 comes in at 26l or 40l, and the GR3 is the biggest option as it is 45l big. If you’re not sure if thats enough for you, check out our post, is a 65 liters backpack big enough.
  • GR2 and GR3 have a 17+ laptop compartment. But the GR1’s 16 inch laptop compartment should fit your ruck plate.
  • GR3 has the most variation of compartments and pockets.
  • The GR1 has only 3 MOLLE horizontal straps. The GR2 has 4 horizontal external straps. The GR3 has 4 horizontal straps on the back pf the backpack with 2 additional straps on the bottom of the backpack.
  • Finally, and the most obvious one, the price tag ranges between $325 to $395 with the GR1 being the cheapest option to the GR3 being the most expensive option.

Here are the main differences between the main specs of all 3 GORUCK GR rucksack options.

FeatureGR1GR2GR3
Opens FlatAvailableAvailableAvailable
Padded Shoulder StrapsAvailableAvailableAvailable
YKK ZippersAvailableAvailableAvailable
Size21L & 26L24L & 40L45L
Laptop CompartmentAvailable – 16 inchAvailable – 17 inchAvailable – 17 inch
Removable Plastic Frame SheetAvailableAvailableN/A
Pockets– 3 Internal Pockets
– 1 Elastic Pocket
– 1 Large Mesh zippered pocket
– 1 Small Go-to pocket
– 2 compartments
– 3 Inner compartments
– 3 Outer compartments
– Built in field pocket
– 2 Large interior pockets + 1 small interior pocket
– 1 external pocket
– 1 Large Mesh zippered pocket
– 1 Small Go-to pocket
MOLLEYes (3 rows)Yes (4 rows)Yes (6 rows)
Water ResistantYesYesYes
WarrantyYesYesYes
CorduraN/A1,000D1,000D
Hip BeltNot IncludedNot IncludedIncluded
Price$325$375$395
Prices may change depending on offers or other circumstances

GORUCK GR1 Backpack Alternatives

Here are the rucksacks that stood out to us as being the closest comparisons to the GORUCK GR1 rucksack.

GORUCK Alternative 1- Direct Action Dragon Egg Backpack

The Direct Action Dragon Egg backpack is a strong contender to the GR1. One could also argue that it has a better bang for your buck. To avoid having you read paragraphs of text, we’ll keep it short and directly compare how both backpacks are the same, advantages of the Direct Action Dragon Egg backpack over the GR1 and vice versa.

Check out the Direct Action Dragon Egg Backpack on Amazon (link to Amazon)

What Do Both Backpacks Have in Common?

Both options have the following features:

  • Padded Shoulder straps
  • Are around the same size
  • YKK durable zippers
  • Laptop compartment is almost the same size
  • Strong frame
  • Water resistance

How’s the GR1 Better Than The Direct Action Dragon Egg Backpack?

The GR1 has the following feature that the Direct Action Dragon Egg does not.

  • The GR1 has a warranty whereas the Direct Action Dragon Egg does not (note: if you get it from amazon, they have a very friendly return policy, conditions apply though)
  • The GR1 comes in 3 different colors, whereas the Direct Action Dragon Egg has 2 different color options.
  • The GR1 opens flat, the Direct Action Dragon Egg does not.

How’s the Direct Action Dragon Egg Backpack Better Than The GR1?

The Direct Action Dragon Egg backpack includes the following features that the GR1 does not.

  • It has 7 more MOLLE straps than the GR1. This is great if you like to customize the way you carry your gear and if reaching your gear quickly is important to you.
  • It has a chest strap, the GR1 does not.
  • Includes quick release shoulder straps
  • It has a hip belt, the GR1 does not.
  • More organizer pockets than the GR1.
  • 2 elastic side pockets for your water bottle
  • quick release shoulder straps
  • Bottoms straps
  • Combat vent padding system on the back which increases breathability and prevents back sweat
  • The Direct Action Dragon Egg backpack is less than half of the price of the GR1 with almost the same, if not better, features.

Here’s the full direct comparison.

FeatureGR1Direct Action Dragon Egg
Opens FlatAvailableNot Available
Padded Shoulder StrapsAvailableAvailable
YKK ZippersAvailableAvailable
Size21L & 26L25L
Laptop CompartmentAvailable – 16 inchAvailable – 15 inch
Removable Plastic Frame SheetAvailableContains internal Stiffener for support
Pockets– 3 Internal Pockets
– 1 Elastic Pocket
– 1 Large Mesh zippered pocket
– 1 Small Go-to pocket
– 1 Main Compartment
– 1 internal pocket
– 4+ organizer small pockets
– 1 hydration bladder slot
-2 elastic water bottle side pockets
MOLLEYes (3 rows)Yes (10 rows)
Water ResistantYesYes
WarrantyYesNo
CorduraN/A500D
Hip BeltNot IncludedIncluded
Price$325$159
Prices may change depending on offers or other circumstances

GORUCK Alternative 2- Direct Action Ghost 31 Liter Backpack

The Direct Action Dragon Ghost backpack is similar to the Direct Action Egg backpack. Nevertheless, it easily goes head to head with the GR1. Let’s dive into why this backpack is a strong contender to the GORUCK GR1.

The Direct Action Ghost backpack is a 3 day assault backpack and as the name suggests, it’s a 31 liter backpack. It also includes a detachable pouch which allows you to further customize your backpack. The admin pouch adds 213 Cubic inches of space should you need the added weight. This is one of the main features that differentiates this backpack from the rest.

Check out the Direct Action Dragon Ghost Backpack on Amazon (link to Amazon)

Now let’s dive into what the Direct Action Dragon Ghost backpack is similar to the GR1, its advantages over the GR1 and vice versa

What Do Both Backpacks Have in Common?

The GR1 and Direct Action Ghost Backpack have the following in common:

  • Padded shoulder straps
  • YKK Zippers
  • Water resistant
  • Laptop compartment are almost the same size
  • Water resistance

How’s the GR1 Better Than The Direct Action Ghost Backpack?

Here’s how the GR1 has a slight advantage over the Direct Action Ghost backpack.

  • GR1 opens flat
  • Includes warranty
  • Has 3 more colors

How’s the Direct Action Ghost Backpack Better Than The GR1 ?

Here’s how the Direct Action Ghost backpack is better than the GR1:

  • Includes quick release shoulder straps
  • Includes padded hip belt
  • Has a chest strap
  • Includes a detachable pouch (adding 213 cubic inches to the total space of the backpack)
  • Has 7 more rows of horizontal MOLLE straps than the GR1
  • Has more smaller organizer pockets
  • Has a dedicated hydration bladder slot
  • Has a total of 31 liters of space, it’s a bigger backpack than the GR1
  • The Direct Action Dragon Ghost backpack is about half of the price of the GR1 with almost the same, if not better, features.

Here’s a full direct comparison.

FeatureGR1Direct Action Dragon Ghost
Opens FlatAvailableNot Available
Padded Shoulder StrapsAvailableAvailable
YKK ZippersAvailableAvailable
Size21L & 26L31L
Laptop CompartmentAvailable – 16 inchAvailable – 15 inch
Removable Plastic Frame SheetAvailableAvailable
Pockets– 3 Internal Pockets
– 1 Elastic Pocket
– 1 Large Mesh zippered pocket
– 1 Small Go-to pocket
– 1 Main Compartment
– 1 internal pocket
– 4+ organizer small pockets
– 1 hydration bladder slot
-2 elastic water bottle side pockets
MOLLEYes (3 rows)Yes (10 rows)
Water ResistantYesYes
WarrantyYesNo
CorduraN/A500D
Hip BeltNot IncludedIncludes Padded Hip Belt
Price$325$179
Prices may change depending on offers or other circumstances

GORUCK Alternative 3- 5.11 Rush 12 Backpack

The 5.11 Rush backpack lineup is a popular GORUCK alternative option, and for good reason. It is a day pack made for rucking and other outdoor activities thanks to its organized pockets, durability, and functionality. Let’s dive into what the 5.11 Rush 12 backpack is similar to the GR1, its advantages over the GR1 and vice versa.

Check out the 5.11 Rush 12 Backpack on Amazon (link to Amazon)

What Do Both Backpacks Have in Common?

  • Both backpacks open flat
  • Padded shoulder straps
  • YKK Zippers
  • Similar size
  • Water resistant

Features That the GR1 Backpack Has That The 5.11 Rush 12 Does Not

  • Warranty
  • More color options

Features That the 5.11 Rush 12 Backpack Has That The GR1 Does Not

  • Chest / Sternum strap
  • Has more than 10 MOLLE straps
  • Has a dedicated hydration bladder spot
  • Made from 1050D cordura
  • The Direct Action Dragon Egg backpack is almost half of the price of the GR1 with almost the same, if not better, features.

Here’s a full comparison between the GORUCK GR1 and its alternate option, the 5.11 Rush 12

FeatureGR15.11 Rush 12
Opens FlatAvailableAvailable
Padded Shoulder StrapsAvailableAvailable
YKK ZippersAvailableAvailable
Size21L & 26L24L
Laptop CompartmentAvailable – 16 inchAvailable – 15 inch
Removable Plastic Frame SheetAvailableNot Available
Pockets– 3 Internal Pockets
– 1 Elastic Pocket
– 1 Large Mesh zippered pocket
– 1 Small Go-to pocket
– 1 Main Compartment
– 1 internal pocket
– 4+ organizer small pockets
– 1 hydration bladder slot
MOLLEYes (3 rows)Yes (10+ rows)
Water ResistantYesYes
WarrantyYesNo
CorduraN/A1050D
Hip BeltNot IncludedNot Included
Price$325$121
Prices may change depending on offers or other circumstances

GORUCK Alternative 4 – Condor Frontier Outdoor Backpack

The Condor Frontier is a popular option among ruckers since its features and specs closely match the GR1 for a fraction of the price. It stands out as they’ve really emphasized on breathability and comfort thanks to the special air flow system. Let’s find out why it’s a great alternative to the GORUCK GR1 rucksack.

Check out the Condor Frontier Backpack on Amazon (link to Amazon)

What Does the GR1 and Condor Frontier Backpack Have in Common?

If you’re looking for a GR1 alternative with a lot of similar features, you may want to look into the Condor Frontier. Both rucksacks have the following features.

  • Both backpacks open flat
  • Padded shoulder straps
  • YKK Zippers
  • Similar laptop compartment size
  • Water resistant

Features That the GR1 Backpack Has That The Condor Frontier Does Not

The GR1 has the following features that the Condor Frontier backpack does not have:

  • 21L & 26L volume compared to 20L
  • 3 different color options compared to 2 colors
  • Warranty

Features That the Condor Frontier Backpack Has That The GR1 Does Not

Here are the features that the Condor Frontier backpack has that are better than the GR1.

  • 9 more MOLLE straps
  • Padding in the laptop compartment
  • D rings to attach more gear
  • Air Flow System on the back to increase air circulation to keep you cool
  • Detachable waist belt
  • Quick release shoulder straps and buckels
  • The Condor Frontier backpack is almost a third of the price of the GR1 with almost the same, if not better, features.

Here’s the full direct comparison between the GORUCK GR1 and its strong alternative option, the Condor Frontier.

FeatureGR1Condor Frontier
Opens FlatAvailableAvailable
Padded Shoulder StrapsAvailableAvailable
YKK ZippersAvailableAvailable
Size21L & 26L20L
Laptop CompartmentAvailable – 16 inchAvailable – 15 inch
Removable Plastic Frame SheetAvailableN/A
Pockets– 3 Internal Pockets
– 1 Elastic Pocket
– 1 Large Mesh zippered pocket
– 1 Small Go-to pocket
– 1 Main Compartment
– 1 Back Compartment
– Organizer small pockets
– 1 hydration bladder slot
MOLLEYes (3 rows)Yes (12 rows)
Water ResistantYesYes
WarrantyYesNo
CorduraN/A500D
Hip BeltNot IncludedIncluded
Price$325$105.95

GORUCK Alternative 5 – LA Police Gear Atlas MOLLE Rucksack

The LA Police Atlas MOLLE backpack is a more budget friendly alternative to the GR1 rucksack. It’s made from 900D Cordura meaning that the material of the backpack is strong and durable.

Check out the LA Police Gear Atlas MOLLE Backpack on Amazon (link to Amazon)

What Does the GR1 and LA Police Atlas Backpack Have in Common?

Here’s what the GR1 and it’s alternative, LA Police Atlas backpack have in common.

  • Opens flat
  • padded shoulder straps
  • Similar sized laptop compartment

Features That the GR1 Backpack Has That The LA Police Atlas Does Not

Here are the features in the GR1 that outperform the LA Police Atlas backpack.

  • Warranty
  • More color options

Features That the LA Police Atlas Backpack Has That The GR1 Does Not

Here are the features in the LA Police Atlas that out perform the GR1.

  • Bigger in size
  • Both the front compartment and main compartment open flat
  • More MOLLE straps
  • Includes a padded hip belt
  • Padded back to increase air circulation to keep you cool
  • The LA Police Atlas backpack is less than a third of the price of the GR1 with almost the same features.

Here’s a direct comparison between the GR1 and its close alternative, the LA Police Gear Atlas.

FeatureGR1LA Police Gear Atlas
Opens FlatAvailableAvailable
Padded Shoulder StrapsAvailableAvailable
YKK ZippersAvailableNot Available
Size21L & 26L40L
Laptop CompartmentAvailable – 16 inchAvailable – 15 inch
Removable Plastic Frame SheetAvailableN/A
Pockets– 3 Internal Pockets
– 1 Elastic Pocket
– 1 Large Mesh zippered pocket
– 1 Small Go-to pocket
– 1 Main Compartment
– 1 Back Compartment
– Multiple mesh interior pockets
– 1 hydration bladder slot
MOLLEYes (3 rows)Yes (30+ rows)
Water ResistantYesYes
WarrantyYesNo
CorduraN/A900D
Hip BeltNot IncludedIncluded + Padded
Price$325$80
Prices may change depending on offers or other circumstances

GORUCK GR2 Backpack Alternatives

GORUCK Alternative 6 – 14er Tactical Backpack

The 14er tactical MOLLE backpack has a simple yet functional design. It stands out from the other GORUCK alternative backpacks options as it does include a 100% lifetime warranty. It’s packed with a lot of different functional features that we’ve packed nicely below.

Check out the 14er Tactical MOLLE Backpack on Amazon (link to Amazon)

What Does the GR2 and 14er Backpack Have in Common?

  • Opens flat
  • Padded shoulder straps
  • YKK Zippers
  • Similar sized laptop compartment
  • Backpack sizes are similar and average out
  • Warranty

Features That the GR2 Backpack Has That The 14er Does Not

  • Made from 1,000D cordura, compared to the 14er’s 600D
  • More color options

Features That the 14er Backpack Has That The GR2 Does Not

Here are some features of the 14er that make it a great alternative to the GR2.

  • Hip belt included
  • More MOLLE straps
  • Chest straps
  • The 14er MOLLE backpack is less than a third of the price of the GR2 with almost the same features.

Here’s a direct comparison between the GORUCK GR2 and it’s alternative, the 14er MOLLE Tactical backpack.

FeatureGR214er Tactical Backpack
Opens FlatAvailableAvailable
Padded Shoulder StrapsAvailableAvailable
YKK ZippersAvailableAvailable
Size24L & 40L35L
Laptop CompartmentAvailable – 17 inchAvailable – 15 inch
Removable Plastic Frame SheetAvailableN/A
Pockets– 2 compartments
– 3 Inner compartments
– 3 Outer compartments
– Built in field pocket
– 1 Large front pocket
– 1 Lare main compartment
– 1 Mesh zippered pocket
– Side water bottle pockets
MOLLEYes (4 rows)Yes (13 rows)
Water ResistantYesYes
WarrantyYesYes
Cordura1,000D600D
Hip BeltNot IncludedIncluded
Price$375$95
Prices may change depending on offers or other circumstances

GORUCK Alternative 7 – 5.11 Tactical RUSH 24

The 5.11 Rush 24 backpack is a strong contender and great alternative to the GORUCK GR2. The features in the 5.11 Rush 24 are almost identical to the 5.11 Rush 12 backpack, except this is a bigger rucksack coming in at 37 liter. We really like the side buckles. These side compression straps, on both sides of the rucksack, keep the weight load closer to your back to maintain proper posture, and it can be loosened to pack more things to your backpack.

Check out the 5.11 Rush 24 Backpack on Amazon (link to Amazon)

What Does the GR2 and 5.11 Rush 24 Have in Common?

Here are the common features between the GORUCK GR2 and its alternative, the 5.11 Rush 24 rucksack.

  • Opens flat
  • Padded shoulder straps
  • YKK Zippers
  • Similar sizes
  • Laptop compartment
  • 1,000D Cordura
  • Water resistant

Features That the GR2 Backpack Has That The 5.11 Rush 24 Does Not

The scars lifetime guarantee is the essentially the only feature that gives the GR2 a slight advantage over its alternative, the 5.11 Rush 24.

Features That the 5.11 Rush 24 Backpack Has That The GR2 Does Not

Here are the features that may want you to choose the 5.11 Rush 24 over the GORUCK GR2 rucksack.

  • More MOLLE straps
  • More color options
  • Chest / sternum strap
  • Rucksack compression straps
  • 2 front straps
  • The 5.11 Rush 24 backpack is almost a third of the price of the GR2 with almost the same features.

Overall, the 5.11 Rush 24 is the closest alternative to the GR2 given the discussed features.

FeatureGR25.11 Rush 24
Opens FlatAvailableAvailable
Padded Shoulder StrapsAvailableAvailable
YKK ZippersAvailableAvailable
Size24L & 40L37L
Laptop CompartmentAvailable – 17 inchAvailable – 15 inch
Removable Plastic Frame SheetAvailableN/A
Pockets– 2 compartments
– 3 Inner compartments
– 3 Outer compartments
– Built in field pocket
– 2 front compartments
– 1 Large main compartment
– Several interior Mesh zippered pockets
MOLLEYes (4 rows)Yes (19 rows)
Water ResistantYesYes
WarrantyYesNo
Cordura1,000D1,000D
Hip BeltNot IncludedIncluded
Price$375$140
Prices may change depending on offers or other circumstances

GORUCK Alternative 8 – 5.11 COVRT18 Rucksack

The COVRT 18 MOLLE backpack is a great alternative to the GORUCK GR2. This 30L stands out as the front pocket can be rolled down neatly to access the MOLLE web pouches. Durability is heavily focused on since it’s designed to be a military style backpack which even has a special hidden pistol pocket. Let’s look into how the 5.11 COVRT18 stands up to the GORUCK GR2.

Check out the 5.11 COVRT18 backpack on Amazon (link to Amazon)

What Does the GR2 and 5.11 COVRT18 Have in Common?

Both options have the following features in common.

  • Open flat
  • Padded shoulder straps
  • YKK Zippers
  • Averages out to be the same size
  • Similar sized laptop compartment
  • Water resistant
  • No hip belt

Features That the GR2 Rucksack Has That The 5.11 COVRT18 Does Not

Here are the features in the GR2 that outperforms the COVRT18 backpack.

  • Frame sheet
  • Warranty
  • 1,000D cordura

Features That the 5.11 COVRT18 Backpack Has That The GR2 Does Not

Here are the features in the COVRT18 that outperforms the GR2 backpack.

  • More MOLLE straps
  • Paddded back to allow air circulation to keep you cool
  • Chest strap
  • The COVRT18 is less than half the price of the GR2

Given our analysis, the COVRT 18 has the most features in common with the GR2 rucksack. The main differentiating factors are the 1,000D cordura in the GR2 compared to the COVRT18’s 500D cordura. Both backpacks are very durable though.

The price point is also a key point that will influence your decision to choosing one over the other. The GR2 is more than double the price of the COVRT18’s. Branding is a key differentiator here, but the 5.11 also has a great reputation in the industry.

Here’s a full breakdown between the GR2 rucksack and its close alternative, the 5.11 COVRT18 backpack.

FeatureGR25.11 COVRT18
Opens FlatAvailableAvailable
Padded Shoulder StrapsAvailableAvailable
YKK ZippersAvailableAvailable
Size24L & 40L30L
Laptop CompartmentAvailable – 17 inchAvailable – 15 inch
Removable Plastic Frame SheetAvailableN/A
Pockets– 2 compartments
– 3 Inner compartments
– 3 Outer compartments
– Built in field pocket
– 2 front compartments
– 1 Large main compartment
– Several interior Mesh zippered pockets
MOLLEYes (4 rows)Yes (6 rows)
Water ResistantYesYes
WarrantyYesNo
Cordura1,000D500D
Hip BeltNot IncludedNot Included
Price$375$140
Prices may change depending on offers or other circumstances

GORUCK Alternative 9 – Sandpiper Long Range Bugout Backpack

The long Sandpiper Long Range Bugout backpack is a great alternative to the GR2. It checks the marks for all the essentials you need in a backpack.

Check out the Sandpiper Long Range Bugout backpack on Amazon (link to Amazon)

What Does the GR2 and Sandpiper Bugout Have in Common?

Both backpacks have the following features in common.

  • Multiple color options
  • Same amount of MOLLE straps
  • Similar size
  • 1,000D cordura

Features That the GR2 Rucksack Has That The Sandpiper Does Not

Here’s how the GR2 outperforms the Sandpiper Bugout backpack.

  • YKK Zippers
  • Plastic frame
  • Warranty

Features That the Sandpiper Rucksack Has That The GR2 Does Not

Here’s how the sandpiper outperforms the GR2.

  • The main features are honestly so similar, except for the price point. The sandpiper is less than half of the price of the GR2. Branded is, in our opinion, the biggest differentiator as well as the warranty.

Here’s a full breakdown and comparison between the GR2 rucksack and its alternative, Sandpiper bugout backpack.

FeatureGR2Sandpiper Bugout
Opens FlatAvailableAvailable
Padded Shoulder StrapsAvailableAvailable
YKK ZippersAvailableNot Available
Size24L & 40L26″ long 15.5″ wide 10.5″ deep
Laptop CompartmentAvailable – 17 inchAvailable – 15 inch
Removable Plastic Frame SheetAvailableN/A
Pockets– 2 compartments
– 3 Inner compartments
– 3 Outer compartments
– Built in field pocket
– 2 front compartments
– 1 Large main compartment
– Several interior Mesh zippered pockets
MOLLEYes (4 rows)Yes (5 rows)
Water ResistantYesYes
WarrantyYesNo
Cordura1,000D1,000D
Hip BeltNot IncludedIncluded
Price$375$143.50
Prices may change depending on offers or other circumstances

GORUCK GR3 Backpack Alternatives

GORUCK Alternative 10 – Specs Ops Backpack

Check out the Spec Ops backpack on Amazon (link to Amazon)

The Spec Ops Everyday Carry backpack is a strong contender to the GR3. Let’s find out why that is.

What Does the GR3 and Spec Ops Have in Common?

Here’s what both of these rucksacks have in common

  • Open flat
  • padded shoulder pads
  • YKK Zippers
  • Made from 1,000D cordura
  • Water resistant

Features That the GR3 Rucksack Has That The Spec Ops Does Not

  • Laptop compartment
  • Plastic frame sheet
  • Warranty
  • 1 more color option
  • Made in the USA

Features That the Spec Ops Rucksack Has That The GR3 Does Not

  • Compression straps on the side of the backpack
  • More MOLLE straps
  • Chest strap
  • Quick release straps
  • The Specs Ops backpack is less than half the price of the GR3 rucksack

Here’s a full direct comparison between the GORUCK GR3 and its alternative, the Specs Ops backpack.

FeatureGR3Specials Ops
Opens FlatAvailableAvailable
Padded Shoulder StrapsAvailableAvailable
YKK ZippersAvailableAvailable
Size45LN/A
Laptop CompartmentAvailable – 17 inchN/A
Removable Plastic Frame SheetN/AAvailable
Pockets– 2 Large interior pockets + 1 small interior pocket
– 1 external pocket
– 1 Large Mesh zippered pocket
– 1 Small Go-to pocket
– 2 front compartments
– 1 main compartment
MOLLEYes (6 rows)Yes (18 rows)
Water ResistantYesYes
WarrantyYesNo
Cordura1,000D1,000D
Hip BeltIncludedNot Included
Price$395$175.50
Prices may change depending on offers or other circumstances

GORUCK Alternative 11 – 5.11 RUSH72 MOLLE Rucksack

The 5.11 is back on the list with their biggest sized MOLLE rucksack, the 5.11 Rush72. This rucksack is a 3 day backpack that includes all the features you’ll want in a large rucksack. This is definitely our favourite alternative rucksack to the GR3.

Check out the 5.11 RUSH72 MOLLE backpack on Amazon (link to Amazon)

What Does the GR3 and Rush72 Have in Common?

These backpacks are rather similar, here are the features they have in common.

  • Open flat
  • Padded shoulder straps
  • YKK Zippers
  • 17 inch laptop compartment
  • Made from 1,000D cordura
  • Water resistant
  • Made in the USA

Features That the GR3 Rucksack Has That The Rush72 Does Not

The only thing that the GR3 has that the RUSH 72 does not have is warranty. We question how often one would use the warranty though given that both options are made from 1,000D Cordura, meaning they are both durable rucksacks.

Features That the Rush72 Rucksack Has That The GR3 Does Not

Here are the features that make the RUSH72 a superior option to the GR3.

  • It’s a bigger sized backpack coming in at 55L, compared to 45L.
  • More MOLLE straps
  • Side compression straps
  • Includes a padded and strong hip belt
  • Includes a chest strap
  • More color options
  • The RUSH72 is much cheaper with arguable the same if not more features than the GR3

Here’s a full direct comparison between the GORUCK GR3 and its alternative, the 5.11 Rush 72 MOLLE rucksack.

FeatureGR3Rush 72
Opens FlatAvailableAvailable
Padded Shoulder StrapsAvailableAvailable
YKK ZippersAvailableAvailable
Size45L55L
Laptop CompartmentAvailable – 17 inchAvailable – 17 inch
Removable Plastic Frame SheetN/AN/A
Pockets– 2 Large interior pockets + 1 small interior pocket
– 1 external pocket
– 1 Large Mesh zippered pocket
– 1 Small Go-to pocket
– 1 Main Compartment
– 1 internal pocket
– 4+ organizer small pockets
– 1 hydration bladder slot
MOLLEYes (6 rows)Yes (14 rows)
Water ResistantYesYes
WarrantyYesNo
Cordura1,000D1,000D
Hip BeltIncludedIncluded – Padded
Price$395$219.99
Prices may change depending on offers or other circumstances

GORUCK Alternative 12 – Akmax Military MOLLE Rucksack

The akmax MOLLE rucksack is one of the biggest GORUCK alternative backpacks on the list. It stands out from the rest as it comes with 2 detachable pouches. This allows you to further customize the weight you want to carry.

Check out the Akmax Military MOLLE Rucksack on Amazon (link to Amazon)

What Does the GR3 and Akmax Have in Common?

Here are the features that the GR3 and its alternative the Akmax rucksack, have in common.

  • Padded shoulder straps
  • YKK Zippers
  • Similar Size (not including the 2 additional detachable pouches)
  • Water resistant
  • 1,000D Cordura
  • Hip belt

Features That the GR3 Rucksack Has That The Akmax Does Not

Here are the features that the GR3 wins over the Akmax.

  • Opens flat
  • More color options
  • Laptop compartment
  • Plastic frame

Features That the Akmax Rucksack Has That The GR3 Does Not

Here are the features in the Akmax that make it arguably a better alternative than the GR3.

  • 2 detachable spacious pouches
  • More customizable
  • More MOLLEE straps
  • Chest straps
  • Padded back to allow for air circulation
  • Quick release buckles
  • Detachable hip belt (can be used to only carry detachable pouches)
  • The price of the Akmax is less than half the price of the GR3 rucksack

If you’re curious about the sizing, since the size of the Akmax is in cubic inches, we can safely say that its the same size or not bigger than the GR3 (given the detachable pouches).

Check out our post, is a 65 liter backpack big enough to understand the sizing better.

Here’s a full breakdown of the GR3 compared to its alternative, the Akmax MOLLE rucksack.

FeatureGR3Akmax
Opens FlatAvailableNot Available
Padded Shoulder StrapsAvailableAvailable
YKK ZippersAvailableAvailable
Size45L3000+ Cubic inches
Laptop CompartmentAvailable – 17 inchN/A
Removable Plastic Frame SheetN/AN/A
Pockets– 2 Large interior pockets + 1 small interior pocket
– 1 external pocket
– 1 Large Mesh zippered pocket
– 1 Small Go-to pocket
– 1 Main Compartment
– 2 detachable pouches
– 2 front pockets
– 1 hydration bladder slot
MOLLEYes (6 rows)Yes (18 rows)
Water ResistantYesYes
WarrantyYesNo
Cordura1,000D1,000D
Hip BeltIncludedIncluded – Padded
Price$395$169.99
Prices may change depending on offers or other circumstances

Best GORUCK Hip Belt Alternatives

GORUCK Alternative 13: Selighting MOLLE Hip Belt

The Selighting MOLLE hip belt includes padding to provide comfort, its wide so it ensures that its not causing any tightness and helps with redistributing the weight. The buckles are think and strong. Furthermore, its cheaper than GORUCKs padded hip belt.

Check out the price of the Selighting MOLLE hip belt on Amazon (link to Amazon)

Check out our full guide on how to add a hip belt to a backpack to add this hip belt to your rucksack.

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