#2 - YOMP-SPEED No1 - GORUCK GR1 26L - EX-MODS


Those of you who follow know that I like to give my custom rucksack projects an identity. With that in mind it’s my pleasure to Introduce; “YOMP-SPEED”.

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WHY SPEED?
In the past months I find my hiking life style changing from very long hikes where strict paths, roads, bridges and public access, with all day gear inc cookset spare clothing, wet weather gear etc to a much quicker light weight style. Think cross country running with gear, a fast hike, a slow run and you’ll get the picture. These hikes take the shape of the usual, circular route but off track, off road, hill climbs, river, sea and lake crossings, as the crow flies, ignoring tacks and paths where necessary and legally possible. This requires different gear then I’ve been used to.


THE YOMP-SPEED
In posts to come I shall talk about boots, clothing, gear, first aid, food and water provision but first  the rucksack project, YOMP-SPEED!

GORUCK GR1 26L FACTORY FRESH - NO SUCKS TO EMBRACE HERE

In the post - #1 YOMP-SPEED No1 - GORUCK GR1 26L - MULTICAM BLACK VARIANT I talk about the basic GORUCK product my reasons for choosing it for this task and initial thoughts / reviews of the bag but simple put I chose the GORUCK GR1 26L for its quality of construction, simple design and platform familiarity, basically it’s the same as my other GORUCK packs so I won’t have to learn it.



BACK TO GORUCK SCARS - EXTERIOR CUSTOMISATION
So if you have read my posts about the YOMP-ENGINE you’ll know that I’ve already had compression straps added to a pack by GORUCK SCARS. This worked out great and showed me how useful compression straps are, not just for compressing but also for strapping auxiliary gear to the pack. This was going to be a have-to for this project as the YOMP-ENGINE has shown me that a large capacity pack isn’t always necessary the ability to be able to strap gear and pouches to the pack makes for an ultimately configurable model. So the adding of compression straps meant that I could chose the GR1 26L which is lighter than the GR2 and carry just as much gear albeit, not all inside.

STRAPS IN DETAIL
I wanted to make sure that if any of you wanted to follow these mods to your own pack that everything was easily accessible.

GORUCK GR1 26L inc GORUCK SCARS INSTALLED COMPRESSION STRAPS

GORUCK SCARS offers several services including adding compression straps, this is one of their standard services, I chose the 4up option, 2 at the top, 2 at the bottom. Annoyingly if we want SCARS mods added to a brand new pack, we have to order the pack, wait for delivery then send it back to SCARS??? The modified GR1 arrived back one sunny morning straps factory installed and like they had always been there. Straps done!

GORUCK SCARS X3 INSTALLED, MIL-SPEC DRAINAGE GROMMETS

DRAINAGE GROMMETS
For me drainage grommets are a prerequisite now so while my GR1 was at SCARS I had x3 drainage holes installed. This is another of the standard services GORUCK SCARS offer, with the option of x1, x2 or 3  grommets. For me, x3 grommets means quicker drainage so c3 it was.

BACK TO THE STRAPS
The strap and adjustment part of the compression system is sewn into the back of the pack the buckles are attached to the front with a 1” mil-spec webbing anchor point loop, this is good as means that when the pack is laying on its back and you come to un-clip everything falls away leaving zippers free to use.

UN-CLIP AND LEAVING THE ZIPPER FREE TO USE


The strap adjustment is about twice the width of the GR1 pack, again this is good and well considered to give you a pack as neat as it can be given it now has straps. This means that when GR1 is packed the compression strap is long enough to clip together and the lose end is no longer than the bag is wide.

GORUCK COMPRESION STRAPS ARE NEAT "N" TIDY BUT ARE THEY LONG ENOUGH? 

This is nice as we can tidy that lose end with a Web Dominator. But is that strap long enough? Well it’s perfect for its intended purpose but if we want to strap gear to the pack, are they too short? I think they are.

THE COMPRESSION STRAP EXTENSION
I made some strap extensions from x4 MIL-TEC 1.0" straps. Here’s what I did.

YOMP NOTES COMPASSION SYSTEM AND FIRE FORCE WAIST BELT, READY TO FIT

KIFARU WOODSMAN - copyright Kifaru
I like the look of hunting rucksacks like the KIFARU WOODSMAN that have compression straps that reach across the pack, keeping everything stable and allowing us to strap gear to the front. This is what I based this modification on. I bought x4 MIL-TEC webbing utility straps. I decided on these because they have a construction that closely matches the GORUCK standard. A slight issue was that they came with triglid buckles so these had to go leaving just a loop. I then bought x4 split bar buckles, I had x2 dual adjust buckles in my tool box so I used those for the front up quick release. I also bought x4 Condor siamese slick-clips for later in the project. The toughest part was removing the standard issue GORUCK installed, female buckles but with a steady hand I was able to do this quite easily with a small hacksaw. It was my decision to remove the original female buckles, after trying the pack with the standard GORUCK SCARS installation and after a lot of consideration I decided they had to go, leaving me with pack anchor-point loops.

X3 MORE BENEFITS
Three more benefits for this system above and beyond simply strapping bigger gear to my pack:

1. I wanted all buckles to match, so they're all comparable with each other
2. I wanted to use split bar buckles where ever I could so they are inter changeable. If one breaks for instance.
3. All straps can be removed leaving you with slick pack : )

DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME
It must be said, this mod can be made without removing the GORUCK SCARS female buckles. I would not recommend removing these buckles unless you have a the tools and experience.

THE ASSEMBLY


The fun bit. First I attached the female split bar buckles to the loop at the end of the MIL-TEC strap. Next I removed the original male part of the buckle from the GORUCK compression strap. No cutting required here, just unthread it.



Then thread the pack strap though the new male buckle. But why do this? Not all buckles are the same so in this case the GORUCK male part of the buckle didn’t fit the new split bar female half of the buckle. (Can’t tell you how much stuff like this annoys me). Anyway... repeat this operation for all the compression straps. The new straps are ready to attache. Now thread the centre release buckle on the lose end of the MIL-TEC straps and you're done and done.


Finishing touches? Remember the Siamese slick clips from earlier? Fit these to the original GORUCK buckle anchor loops, then clip your new straps in place. I recommend this as it keeps your new compression system in place and attached to the pack, less likely to loose it!



YOMP NOTES COMPRESSION SYSTEM FITTED. NOTE THE SIAMESE SLICK CLIP HOLDING IT ALL IN PLACE

The second tip would be to use web denominators to tidy up the spare strapping. This way you can keep it long for carrying large, bulky gear and neat and tidy when you’re not.

WAIST BELT
As I intend to use the pack for running as well a waist belt is going to be needed to stop the pack from swing around.

GENUINE GORUCK STERNUM STRAP FITTED

GRIMLOC WAIST BELT FITTING DETAIL.

I have future plans and ideas for a padded item but for now a simple, functional belt from Fire Force will do very well. This is attached to the GORUCK side MOLLE panels with Maxpedition Grimlocs. honestly I’m sceptical as to how strong this is but so far so good.

STERNUM STRAP DETAIL inc HYDRASION TUBE MOUNTING SOLUTIONS
GORUCK STERNUM STRAP
I ordered a genuine GORUCK sternum strap when I bought the GR1. It works and is a perfectly good sternum strap although I’m probably going to make my own from 1 inch webbing for 3 reasons:

1. A 1 inch buckle is easy to operate when wet and wearing gloves
2. A 1 inch strap doesn’t twist so much
3. A lot stronger and less likely to fail

I’ll update this post once done.

Exterior modifications are always on-going but for this stage, job done. I’ve been using this config for hikes and runs for about 2 mouths now and for me, it just works great. It’s heavier than some and not as light as others but it’s simple to use and as tough as I could ever need, a compromise I’m happy to make.

SHOULDER STRAPS QUICK RELEASE UPGRADE. THESE ARE THE SAME BRAND AS USED ON THE COMPRESSION SYSTEM SO ALL BUCKLES ARE INTERCHANGEABLE

I DO LIKE A GOOD FIELD STRIP

WHATS NEXT
Internal modification are still in development, I shall discuss those with you in the fullness of time.

PARTS / GEAR / SERVICES LIST:

GORUCK GR1 26L RUCKSACK
GORUCK STERNUM STRAP
GORUCK SCARS
RUCKSACK WAIST BELT 1.5" - FIRE FORCE
UTILITY STRAPS - MIL-TEC 1.0" 
SPLIT BAR BUCKLES
DUAL ADJUST BUCKLES - ITW NEXUS
SIAMISE SLICK CLIPS - CONDOR
GRIMLOCS - MAXPEDITION

ABOUT THE LINKS WITH-IN THIS POST.

I've included links so you can find out more or even purchase. In some cases items have been upgraded or discontinued so I have linked to equivalents, I hope that's OK.

RELATED POSTS:

#1 YOMP-SPEED No1 - GORUCK GR1 26L - MULTICAM BLACK VARIANT

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Comments

  1. Loe this as always! keep up the amazing posts. I love the idea of the Should straps quick release, was that a scars mod? I have always wanted something like the peak design should slides, to be able to remove or adjust the sizing of the bag in an easy manner. Do you have any thoughts on how to do something like that?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Unknown

    Thank you for your comment and reaching out - The quick release shoulder strap buckles were a mod that I made myself, I don't think GORUCK SCARS offer this as a service although things change all the time over at GORUCK.

    If understand you correctly, I don't know of a way to customise the shoulder straps to make the bag adjustable, I guess you mean for different back sizes? The GORUCK shoulder straps are permanently sewn into the pack so I can't see away of achieving what you're suggesting. Good idea though.

    Thank you once again and for your kind words.

    Neil aka (YOMP NOTES)

    ReplyDelete

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