GORUCK RUCKER 4.0 25L “TROPIC THUNDER”.


This is the first GORUCK product I’ve received that actually intimidated me when I first pulled it from its packaging, I propped it up, still in its plastic bag and I felt like it was goading me, “Ye come on then, if you think you’re hard enough”.




This is the RUCKER 4.0 25L the most Spartan, stripped down, speed not comfort GORUCK variant ever produced, this is a pure-bred, competition rucking machine, war tested and battle bitten. Try hard and it will take you to victorious Valhalla, If not, get ready for breakfast in hell.
But of course you might be new to GORUCK and the sport / activity of Rucking and wondering what the hell I’m talking about???

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WHAT IS THE RUCKER FOR?

The RUCKER is designed from the ground up for specialist competition level rucking duties. Ok so for those who don’t know, Rucking is basically going for a hike, with a group of friends, probably around your local park with some weight stuffed in a RUCK sack, the best bit? there’s usually a beer and cheers at the end, it’s good fun, social excise in the great outdoors, what’s not to like? Anyway that’s how it all starts, your challenges get bigger and better the more your confidence and fitness grow and before you know it your competing in; 24 - 48 hr GORUCK Star Courses with 40lbs on your back and d’you know what? there’s still a beer and a cheers at the end. You can find out more //HERE


So the RUCKER is designed for Rucking, it’s a super durable, mil-spec rucksack that accommodates weight or specialist RUCK PLATES comfortable on your back, above your head or out stretches arms. Find out more about the RUCKER concept //HERE

With the concept of Rucking comprehensively explained : ) lets take a close look at the BRAND NEW RUCKER 4.0 25L.

RUCKER 4.0 25L ANATOMY

EXTERIOR FRONT 


Getting straight into it, the top drag handle is the first of four, yep four! drag handles on the RUCKER. If you own a GORUCK already, a GR1 26L for instance you’ll already be familiar but as this variant is constructed for 500D CORDURA Tropic Multicam it feels more refined in the hand and yet, some how, still just as strong and reliable. How’d-da-do-dat?


The 2”x 3” hook and loop field remains, “GOOD”! and has been improved in that it’s been Satin stitched all the way round meaning theres no hook and loop edges to get snagged on and fray. The US flag motive has been replaced with with the GORUCK leading arrow which is also satin stitched, nice.

GORUCK has a well deserved reputation for building great quality, over engineer gear with impressive attention to detail the RUCKER 4.0 is at the apex of this of this movement and has plenty, plenty, plenty more of this obsession to come.

No front pocket, it’s been removed, what do I think about that? So-far haven’t missed it.

Where the pocket was is a; dark in the day, glow in the dark panel so you can be found if you pass-out in a ditch and keep the traffic off your ass when rucking in the dark You know I love that.


Next down is the 3 rows x 6 columns MOLLE field made from very robust, mil-spec webbing. To the right is another GORUCK leading arrow embroidered into the webbing, nice.

The flanks of the RUCKER has 2 more super comfortable, left and right drag handles, cross stitched and barracked for that all important strength and durability. Next down are the standard pattern of 3 rows x 2 columns MOLLE fields, same spec as up front.


The base of the RUCKER 4.0 25L doesn’t feel as thick as the original GR1 for instance, I think I know why this is and I’ll get to that a later. There is the 4th and last grab handle constructed to the same specs the others and x2 Chucky, mil-spec grommets for drainage. I’m quite stocked these are as standard on the RUCKER, I installed my own, on my 1st GR1 it’s great I don’t have to do it now : )


For me this is first RUCKER I’ve seen in real life so I was interested to take a closer look at the new derma friendly carry system. So what’s this about? the original standard issue GORUCK is made from very abrasive 1000D material very tough and durable but if you use in warm weather, wearing just a Tee shirt or a base layer then by the end of a days ruck it’s probable that you will have worn holes in garments and worst still some pretty nasty sores on your back. As the GORUCK is used and wears-in this gets better never-the-less the RUCKER with its new 210D HT (High Tenacity) CORDURA carry system fabric is a very welcome upgrade. It’s much softer to the touch then the original and much less abrasive. It’s suggested that it’s possible to train with a fully loaded RUCKER, in the heat and sweat, shirtless and complete the session unscathed. The HT CORDURA material is also used on the underside of the shoulders straps as well as the back and lower lumber support panel it’s also used on the inside of the Hip Belt!!!

HIP BELT


HIP belts are a relatively new addition to the GORUCK product line. It can be bought separately or in this case it’s included in the RUCKER 4.0 package. It’s attached via the MOLLE fields to the left and right of the pack and uses the same method as the GORUCK FIELD POCKETS. The belt is padded and has a super chunky 2” wide webbing belt and side release, slide adjustable buckle. The Hip Belt works nicely with the 10mm thick lumber support panel. I liked this as it made the pack feel like it was following the contours of my back, it felt like a good fit. I guess it’ll also help to keep stitching and seams away for me so less wear-and-tear which is always good.


SHOULDER STRAPS

Shoulder straps follow the same design as other GORUCKS. Super thick, super stiff and wide enough to spread heavy loads fairly comfortably for a full days ruck. There is the, by now iconic 1 row x 6 columns of 1” wedding. 




1” WIDE STERNUM STRAP

A nice upgrade is a 1 inch wide sternum strap, for me this is very welcome if for no other reason, then the larger buckle is easier to operate with wet, cold hands or while wearing gloves. obviously being 1” wide is actually more comfortable.


INSIDE THE RUCKER

Inside the RUCKER you will find quite a redesign on the standard issue GORUCK. The interior MOLLE field is gone, so too is the bellow pocket! It’s has been replaced with a large solid and reinforced pocket with a large, padded Velcro secured flap that also includes a  2”x3” Velcro field for a patch. (Love that).

 

This pocket is big enough to fit a 45lb RUCK PLATE!!!. Stepped on to of this is a second smaller pocket sized to fit up to a 30lb RUCK PLATE!!! Yep, as standard you could fit 75lbs of RUCK PLATES into this bag. Both pockets are closed using the same flap which I thought was good design.

 

There’s a removable 1.5x1.5” padded spacer that can be pushed to the bottom of ether pocket to accommodate shorter plates, really nice attention to detail. To prevent heavy steel plates damaging the main body of the RUCKER these pockets are set in by about 1” left and right and about 1.5” from the bottom, as mentioned earlier, this is why I think the GORUCK engineers opted for a thinner close cell foam for RUCKER’s base, given the RUCK PLATES are suspended away from the bottom and higher on the back.


D-RINGS X 3

I was surprised to find that RUCKER has X3 chunky, mil-spec interior d-rings. The usual to the top and centre of the rucksack is going to be good for swinging a hydration reservoir from. The second pair to the right and left of the main compartment and about level with the bottom of the smaller secondary pocket could be used for securing an auxiliary sand bag or some shockcord could be used to cinch down that reservoir and stop it swilling around so much.


ZIPPERS ARE NO MORE

The two pockets on the inside front of the clamshell are still there. The first being made of the same material as the rest of the rucksack, the second being larger and mesh, but in both cases, my god the engineers over at GORUCK have removed the zipper closures in favour of genuine Velcro brand, hook and loop.

 

The reason for this is that plastic or metal zippers are more prone to damage, especially if you’re dropping your RUCKER, full of steel plates onto your concrete drive way!!!

But don’t worry the Velcro closure is very secure so the webbing pull tabs are welcome.


TROPIC MUILTICAM 500D CORDURA

The paragraph title says it all. I really like the material, it’s lighter and has a nice refined feel to it. Actually it doesn’t feel any where near as robust as the 1000D of the original GORUCK but I completely trust that this fabric has been fully tried and test and found to perform tasks as required. The RUCKER has a stiffened internal frame sheet, this time it’s not removable. I’ve checked, it isn’t.


IN CONCLUSION THEN

For me this is the best built GORUCK product I’ve seen, a quick look over and I was immediately assure that for design, super tight, neat and tidy construction, someone who has a lot of pride in their work put this bag together and do you know what? A nice touch would be for the bag builders to sign each piece they make, so we can know who they are, so we can thank them for their exceptional work.

But in the end the RUCKER 4.0 is not just a rucksack that’s beautifully designed and built, it’s not even just a GORUCK, what it is, is a statement of intent;
"To try hard, do well, then die with no regrets".
Is that you? then get one already.



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Comments

  1. Nice review! Promise us two things, Neil: first, repeat your 40-lb. personal rucking challenge with this pack and second, keep us posted on your mods for it!!!

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