Let’s review the Rucker 3 backpack from GORUCK.
This is the 3rd generation of GORUCK’s Rucker backpack – it’s made specifically for fitness training purposes.
We’re going to focus on these features, and what is new and improved from the last version (the Rucker 2).
The Rucker is the ultimate backpack as fitness tool – and is a far better choice than the GR1 or Bullet for this purpose. And now it gets even better with this 3rd version.
Why? That’s what we’ll explain in this review.
In this review of the Rucker 3 we’ll take a close up look at Rucker 3 Versus Rucker 2.
GORUCK Rucker 3 Review on YouTube
Why read when you can watch?
Here’s a short overview of the Rucker 3, from our YouTube channel:
GORUCK Rucker 3 Strap Improvements
Here’s one BIG improvement.
The undersides of the shoulder straps use a new, less abrasive material called: 210D HT (High Tenacity) CORDURA.
It’s smoother, slicker, and it is not abrasive.
You can see the difference in these side by side shots with a Rucker 2.
Overall, this is a good thing. We’ll have to wait and see how durable it is.
Can you ruck in a tank top or other sleeveless shirt?
Yes, but remember the top side of the shoulder strap is still 1000D – and the underside of your arm is going to rub on that – over and over and over…
I wouldn’t go long distances shirtless or without sleeves, personally. Short distances are OK.
The back panel uses the non-abrasive material as well.
The straps have the same amount of foam inside (as far as I can tell) and also look the same from the top.
GORUCK Rucker 3 – Improved Framesheet
For those of us that use the Rucker with just a plate – the original framesheet in the Rucker 2 was a disappointment.
It was not stiff enough and tended to curl over when you had a plate up in the elevated plate pocket – and nothing else in the pack to give it support.
It then gave a bouncy, trampoline effect with every foot step.
They’ve fixed this with the Rucker 3. The frame sheet now runs the entire width of the bottom of the pack – and it works much better under these conditions.
GORUCK Rucker 3 – Reflective Panel
I ruck in the dark near roads quite a bit, so this is a solid win.
GORUCK Rucker 3 – Lumbar Support
They’ve added a 10 mm EVA foam lumbar support on the back.
It’s using the same 210D material.
I like it. The lower back is one of the areas where I would get rubbed raw (even through a shirt!) on really long rucks.
GORUCK Sternum Strap Improvements
You’ll get the new version of GORUCK’s Sternum Strap with the Rucker 3.
It’s bigger, and in the case of chest straps – bigger IS better.
First of all, the chest strap gives you a way to control where the straps lay on your shoulders and traps.
You can dial things in for precise comfort, or make a change as needed to stave off fatigue.
The sternum strap is highly recommended if you are going any distance with weight.
The strap itself is now wider – that means it cuts into your chest / pecs less when tightened.
The buckle is much bigger and more robust.
I’ve over tightened and broken lesser chest straps – while in the middle of a LONG hike.
The only possible downside to the new chest strap? It makes a much louder CLICK when you snap it in place.
it’s also slightly shorter overall length than the previous strap (I’d say about 3/4″).
GORUCK Rucker 3 – What Hasn’t Changed
In comparison the Rucker 2, a whole lot has been kept the same.
And that’s a good thing.
There’s still an elevated plate pocket, and an elastic pocket.
This means you can carry your ruck plate high (and highly secure) or lower as you desire.
The Rucker will work with both the GR1 style ruck plates (taller and skinnier.)
There’s still a D ring for your hydration bladder.
There’s also a velcro panel up top to route the hydration tube.
All the same zippered pockets and what not – all the same.
GORUCK Rucker 3 – How Did I Test?
How did I arrive at all these conclusions?
Extensive testing on the ruck march – and in GORUCK’s Sandbag and Ruck Training program.
I’ve compared the Rucker 2 and Rucker 3 side by side.
NOTE: The only version of the Rucker 3 available now is the 20L. The Rucker 2 used in testing is bigger volume – it’s a 25L.
I’ve used the Rucker 3 for ruck marches ranging from 3 miles to 7 miles (to date).
Long range testing is still in progress, and coming soon.
GORUCK Rucker 3 – Best Fitness Backpack In Summary
When it comes to fitness, the Rucker 3 is even better than it’s predecessor.
It’s cheaper compared to some of the other GORUCK packs, but more importantly it has features specifically for fitness workouts.
Handles, an elevated plate pocket, padded straps – and more.
The big differences with the Rucker 3 that make even better are the improved framesheet, the new, less abrasive material on the straps and back panel, and the built-in reflective stripe.
Get the Rucker 3 and you can’t go wrong.
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