Every Day Carry: My GoRuck GR1 Backpack 2 Years Later

I bought my GoRuck GR1 backpack almost two years ago in February 2011.

On Saturday as I was pulling it out of my locker at the gym it occurred to me just how well made this thing is. It still looks brand new after two years of daily use for commuting and travel. Brand new except for a 1 inch rip in the outside pocket between the MOLLE straps. And then I reflected on that rip. And how this post could be titled…

How My GoRuck GR1 Saved My Life

“Saved my life” is probably dramatization and “serious injury and hospitalization” is closer to reality, humans are pretty resilient after all. Maybe I would have been fine without the GR1. But I can say that I walked away from a gnarly spill because of my backpack.

Me & Swobo Dixon

Photo: Blurry shot my wife snapped. We’ll just have to deal with it.

It was March 2011 and I was commuting 9 miles to and from work on my bike: a hybrid commuter with an single hub, fully enclosed gear mechanism. I bought it from Swobo, a local bike manufacturer. I’d been picking up a lot of nails with my tires and had at least 5 flats in the preceding month. I was probably tired, careless and handicapped by darkness the last time I’d patched the rear tube and put the wheel back on. And I definitely did not get the chain tension right.

Gallery: Evidence of various flat tires.

I had just pulled through a busy intersection at rush hour and was standing on the pedals, leaning over the front wheel and pedalling with my full weight to get up to speed. I had just cleared the intersection when the chain just came off with no warning, my feet hit the ground and my feet became a pivot point that my bike and the rest of me up and forward like throwing a lever.

I remember my hands hitting the ground (later I noticed that the palms of my gloves were ripped clear through), my head hitting the ground, then seeing sky and my bike flying over me. Then sliding along the ground with so much gravel and dirt scattering with me as if being blown by the wind.

When I stopped sliding I got up and aside from some ugly road rash I was o.k. – amazing! Thank God my travel continued in a straight line or I would have ended up in traffic and definitely would have been hit or killed. Instead I had just been slammed on my back at 20 mph, slid 4 feet and walked away from it.

GoRuck GR1 Backpack Battle Damage

My backpack would have been totally unscathed if I hadn’t stowed a glow-stick flashlight in the outer pocket which made for an irregular protrusion. The plastic that broke through the fabric was scraped off too, no match for the pavement. But all my other stuff – bike tools, iPad and portable hard drive – was fine. Scrapes and cuts not withstanding I was fine too, even went to the gym the following morning.


Photo: Road rash. The stuff you can’t see runs from my tailbone to collarbone. Oh look, there’s an inner tube in the background!

I love this bag, use it every day and wear it’s battle scars with pride. I cannot praise the build quality of these bags highly enough. Check out the GoRuck GR1 at GoRuck.com

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