As a former military member, I know the importance of finding the best backpack for rucking. Rucking is a vital part of my training as a full-time RVer due to it convenience and ease of transport for the equipment. The right backpack can make all the difference in your performance and comfort. In this blog post, I will review some of the best backpacks for rucking on the market today. So if you’re looking for a rucking backpack to help you train or complete a mission, read on.

Best Choice

Rucker – Long Range

Go Ruck Rucker - Long Range - EarlsGuide

The Rucker – Long Range is a rucking backpack for the toughest rucks and ruck workouts. The added lumbar support is a plus. The 4 handles allow this pack to be used for ruck workouts during the march or after reaching your destination.

Best Value

Bullet Ruck – Classic

GoRuck Bullet Ruck - Classic - EarlsGuide

The Bullet Ruck Classic combines the best of an everyday carry bag with the ability to carry heavier loads at a moment’s notice. Perfect for military personnel or civilians. The Cordura nylon back panel makes the pack comfortable to carry.


GoRuck GR2 – USA

GoRuck GR2 - USA - EarlsGuide

This rucking backpack is based on the Special Forces medical packs, which open up completely flat. Perfect for heavy loads or outdoor adventures. This tactical backpack also features a bombproof laptop compartment.

Runner Up

Oakley Urban Ruck Pack

Oakley Ruck Pack - EarlsGuide

The large-capacity Oakley rucking backpack is made of Cordura nylon ripstop fabric that features an exterior water bottle pocket. I love the show compartment and cushioned eyewear pocket that keeps glasses handy. Only Oakley would think of this. 

Hidden Gem

GORUCK Plate Carrier

Go Ruck Plate Carrier - EarlsGuide

Sometimes you want an alternative to a rucking backpack. The Plate Carrier allows you to carry heavier loads without an entire weighted backpack. Comes in small, medium, and large sizes.

How to select the best rucking backpack

Trying to choose a good rucking backpack can be overwhelming with all the available options. You might be an experienced or just getting started with rucking. It doesn’t matter. With my evaluations and reviews, you will have all the information needed to make an informed decision. I will highlight the Best Choice, Best Value, and Premium Selection rucking backpacks and give reviews for other popular brands to provide you with a good sense of what you should look for when choosing a good rucking backpack. Additionally, depending on your needs, I will provide some good everyday carry bag recommendations that are suitable for laptops or daily use when you are not out on the trail.

9 Things to look for when picking one rucking backpack over another.

While all rucking backpacks share the same ultimate purpose of getting you and your gear where you need to go with ease, it can be hard to figure out which one is the right fit for you. When comparing different brands and models, there are some essential features to look out for to ensure you pick the perfect backpack for your adventure.

Make sure to check for padded shoulder straps, a rucking weight pocket, and MOLLE compatibility – as these features will ensure that your backpack fits comfortably and supports all the extra weight you may be rucking with.

Decide what you are going to use the backpack for

Finding the right backpack is more than just finding a bag that looks good; it’s about finding one that fits your specific needs.

If you’re looking for a rucking or tactical backpack, you’ll want to ensure the main compartment is large enough to stash all your gear.

On the other hand, if you’re only looking to fit in some occasional exercise alongside daily use, you may not need such a tactical pack; something smaller and lighter might suit your needs better.

The first step is deciding what your goal is with the pack and then finding one that works for you.

Does it have padded shoulder straps that meet your needs?

When it comes to backpacks, the shoulder straps you choose to carry your gear can dramatically impact comfort and carrying capacity.

To maximize both comfort and capacity, you should look for a rucking backpack with heavily padded shoulder straps.

This might mean cushioned foam or specialized padding designed to support areas like your collarbone where added pressure can be intense.

Making sure your tactical backpack’s shoulder straps, whether for tactical use or everyday use, meets your needs is key if you’re aiming for longer rucking sessions without discomfort.

Does it include rucking weight pockets?

Finding the right rucking backpack is important if you are looking to cover heavy loads while moving.

Unlike a regular day hiking pack, a backpack designed for rucking will have reinforced pockets specifically made for weight distribution, like a weight pocket or two to carry heavy plates.

This way, you can rest assured that your backpack can withstand heavy weights associated with a ruck march or workout, so you don’t have to worry about it failing during the activity.

With this in mind, make sure to choose the best rucking backpack to get the best fit and performance from your heavy load.

Does the pack have enough zipper compartments for your needs?

When it comes to backpacks, having enough zipper compartments can make all the difference. It is important to choose a bag with a main compartment that offers plenty of room for necessary items. In addition, external pockets are great for quick access to items you may need on the go.

For more organized packing, look for separate compartments within the main area and pockets with quality zippers that do not easily snag or break. Be sure that your pack has all of your desired zipper compartments to give you the perfect fit and meet all of your needs.

Does the rucksack have enough MOLLE webbing for your needs?

When shopping for a rucking backpack, it’s important to ensure the pack has enough MOLLE to carry and attach accessories.

The shoulder straps should be large enough to support heavy loads. MOLLE webbing is often sewn directly onto the shoulder straps and other parts of the bag for extra support.

With well-designed bags, you can easily attach anything from pouches to water bladders with strong buckles or straps.

You don’t want your bag filled with all your accessories but not have enough MOLLE webbing or shoulder straps to hold them in place securely – no one wants to carry around sagging bags. So while it takes a little ingenuity, consider how you’ll use your pack and ensure it offers enough MOLLE and shoulder harnesses for ultimate comfort and security.

Does the rucksack have a history of solid reviews?

When considering a rucking or tactical backpack, it is important to check out the reviews.

Start by looking at the reviews on the manufacturer’s website; look for what current or former military personnel have to say about it.

This will give you insight into how durable and long-lasting the rucking backpack can be in various scenarios.

You should also look for everyday user reviews.

The perspective of regular people like yourself can shed light on smaller details such as comfort, organization of space, and ease of use that may not be captured by a larger-scale reviewer.

By gathering these perspectives from all walks of life, you can feel confident in selecting your rucking or tactical backpack.

Does it have an adjustable Chest or Sternum strap? (Or is one available?)

Having a chest or sternum strap on your rucking backpack is key in properly supporting the increased weight you will be carrying.

The straps should be adjustable so they cater to your body size and height. If not included, ensure that the pack can add one, so you have an even weight distribution.

When fitting your bag, make sure your shoulder straps are comfortable but snug and that the chest strap sits across your torso at the midpoint of your sternum to hold everything together. 

A chest strap is essential for optimum comfort and safety when carrying heavier weights during a military-style workout.

Does the Pack come with a waist or hip belt as an option?

Having hip or waist belts as an option for your rucking backpack is essential for comfort and performance.

They help stabilize the weight and make sure the pack is evenly distributed, which is especially useful when carrying heavier loads.

The hip or waist belt prevents movement up, down, and side to side, all of which could otherwise be unpleasant and cause you to lose your balance. In addition, hip or waist belts keep the pack secured against your body better, which becomes increasingly important with more weight.

Ultimately, a hip & waist belt is a great additional feature on a rucking backpack that will make all the difference in how comfortable and secure the pack feels.

Does the pack have the ability to carry extra water?

Hydration is one of the most important factors to consider when you’re out on a ruck.

Depending on the temperature and the terrain, hydration needs can change in an instant.

To ensure your backpack can accommodate that shift, ensure you have a rucking pack with either hydration bladder compatibility or an external water bottle pocket – whichever works best for you!

That way, you’ll always be prepared for any hydration needs that come up on your outdoor adventures.

Earl’s Guide Best Rucking Backpacks:

Rucking backpacks have never been more accessible, and with our assessments of Rucker – Long Range, Bullet Ruck – Classic, and GR2 – USA, there’s a perfect bag for everyone.

Our Best Choice is Rucker – Long Range, which combines lightweight durability with adjustable comfort straps that ensure the backpack fits perfectly.

The Bullet Ruck – Classic gives you an unbeatable value option when it comes to rucking backpacks.

Our Premium choice is GR2 – USA: Its ruggedness is unmatched, creating an essential rucking companion for your long-term adventures.

Best Choice
Go Ruck Rucker - Long Range

Rucker – Long Range

Are you looking for a rucksack designed specifically to hold up during the most strenuous endurance events? Look no further than the Rucker Long Range.
It boasts padded straps and fabrics specially tailored not to cause friction burns, and its added lumbar support ensures comfort even when worn shirtless!
With 10mm of foam padding along the back panel’s bottom edge, providing an ergonomic fit that won’t rub against belts or pants seams, this pack will surely be your go-to in any rugged situation.

  • Lumbar cushioning protects your back’s natural curve.
  • For safety, a high-visibility reflective line runs across the front.
  • Top, bottom, and all sides have padded handles.
  • 4 rows of external MOLLE pack webbing on the front and sides allow you to personalize your ruck, such as by adding a Padded Hip Belt.
  • It opens flat, making it simple to pack and manage. The design of Special Forces medical rucks are similar.
  • Compatible with GoRuck Ruck Plates

See Full List of Features

The Rucker – Long Range backpack is perfect for any professional or outdoor adventurer. It comes with padded shoulder straps and sternum straps to make it more comfortable to wear, and it also has a padded hip belt for added support.

Whether you’re carrying supplies for a long hike or commuting to work, this backpack will help distribute the weight evenly and keep you comfortable.

The Rucker Long Range backpack is perfect for those looking to get serious about rucking. This versatile rucking backpack excels at carrying heavy loads and features a spacious main compartment that can easily accommodate additional supplies and carry weights.

An optional hydration system is also available, allowing you to stay hydrated on all your journeys! For those who want a reliable, versatile pack for all of their weight-bearing needs, it’s hard to go wrong with the Rucker Long Range.

Best Value

Bullet Ruck – Classic


The Bullet Ruck – Classic is a versatile daypack that accommodates any situation that comes your way! Whether you’re heading to the pool, taking a day hike, or even rucking with weights, this bag has you covered. The comfortable shoulder straps make carrying the ruck no problem, while the external slant pocket provides extra storage to fit everything you may need. So forget lugging around multiple bags and keep it simple with the Bullet Ruck – Classic.

  • Opens flat for easy packing and organization.
  • Streamlined design with a single compartment and three internal pockets, one of which is for your Ruck Plate.
  • All Plates weighing 10LB, 20LB, and 30LB will fit in the plate pocket.
  • Three rows of external MOLLE webbing allow you to customize with other MOLLE-compatible equipment.
  • Rainproof: This ruck is extremely water resistant, often known as rainproof.

See Full List of Features

GoRuck Bullet Ruck - Classic

GoRuck GR2 - USA

GoRuck GR2 – USA


The GR2 – USA is the perfect choice for those who need a reliable and adaptable bag. It features a molle webbing system, making adding more items as needed easy. Not only that, but the clever design ensures that heavier loads are distributed evenly so it’s comfortable and secure. And if you’re carrying a laptop around, the rucksack also has an extra-reinforced compartment to keep your device safe.

  • Bombproof Laptop compartment accommodates laptops up to 17″ in size.
  • There are two compartments: Inner compartment has three pockets, and the outer compartment has three pockets as well as a built-in field pocket.
  • Opens flat, making packing and organizing easy.
  • YKK zippers with silent, glove-friendly zipper pulls made of parachute 550 cord.
  • SCARS offers a Lifetime Warranty.

See Full List of Features

Runner Up

Oakley Urban Ruck Pack

Brand: Oakley

The Oakley Urban Ruck Backpack is a fashionable and durable bag that can accompany you on all of your trips. Sturdy Cordura fabric resists scuffs, wetness, and wear-and-tear for a long-lasting backpack experience – and it comes in two cool colors! With extra padding for glasses or shoes inside, a safe laptop sleeve, and an adjustable drawstring closure, it’s never been easier (or cooler) to handle everyday tasks while looking stylish.

  • 29.5 liters of total capacity
  • Comfortable mesh shoulder straps.
  • Comes in two colors: matte black and medium brown with black accents.
  • Special padded pockets for your glasses, water bottle, and even an additional pair of shoes
  • Protective laptop sleeve.
  • No separate compartment for ruck weight plates.

See Full List of Features

Oakley Urban Ruck Pack

Hidden Gem
GORUCK Plate Carrier

GORUCK Plate Carrier


Built to Carry Ruck Plates and nothing else.
Simply a Plate on your back, no zippers, straps, or MOLLE.
Engineered with an extra secure hook + loop closure to keep Ruck Plates® high and tight on your back.

  • Comes in Standard Size or Long to carry 30 & 45 lb weights.
  • Great alternative to carrying an entire rucking backpack
  • Inability to carry other items in pack.

See Full List of Features

Other Great Choices:

Our Pick
GoRuck Bullet Ruck - Laptop

Bullet Ruck – Laptop

The Bullet Ruck – Laptop should be at the top of any everyday carry list because of its amazing size, versatility, and toughness. This great everyday carry backpack is perfect for either work or rucking, incorporating an additional laptop compartment to store your tech gear securely. Whether you’re looking for a reliable everyday bag for everyday use or need something special for an upcoming excursion, this bag is guaranteed to get the job done in style.

Our Pick
GoRuck Rucker 4.0 - 25L

Rucker 4.0 – 25L

The Rucker 4.0 – 25L rucksack is an essential piece of equipment for rucking and rucksack training. It is built for long-distance rucking, designed with lightweight material and optimal durability in mind. A breathable back panel helps keep you comfortable while the sleek look makes it perfect to take from exercise to everyday lifestyle use with ease. This rucksack was made specifically with rucking in mind – no fluff, just rucking! Ideal for weekend warriors or beginner ruckers, this pack is sure to elevate your rucking game in no time.

Our Pick
GoRuck GR1 - USA


If you’re looking for the best rucking pack that can also double as a hiking pack, look no further than the GR1 – USA. It is renowned for being the toughest rucksack ever built, with its large main compartment and intelligent feature design. The best part is that it’s designed to last a lifetime, so you won’t have to worry about finding another first-rate backpack anytime soon. So if you need a rucking or hiking bag that looks great, fits perfectly, and holds up well in any environment – then get yourself the GR1 – USA today.

Rucking accessories:

Going on a ruck can be an intense experience and selecting the best gear for your trip is essential. Choosing the best rucking backpacks can help make your outing much more enjoyable, but it doesn’t just stop there – with accessories designed to give you a more comfortable feel, you can take your rucking adventure to the next level!

For example, if your bag does not come with one already, adding a hip belt or chest strap to provide extra stabilization of your load can be helpful on uneven terrain. Strap extensions may be necessary if adjusting the straps and clips to fit your body is uncomfortable or even impossible. Lastly, padding in areas that contact your body can add cushioning against the weight of the bag.

If you’re intent on making sure nothing stops you from reaching maximum enjoyment on your upcoming outing, investing in additional gear and accessories may be right for you.

GoRuck Padded Hip Belt

Padded Hip Belt

Invest in a padded hip belt for rucking. Not only is it adjustable for your comfort and stability, but chest straps and a sternum strap can be added for even more stability. It offers certified military readiness capabilities so you can trust that your pack will keep up with where your rucking takes you. Plus, you have the ability to attach or remove the hip and waist belt depending on whether you are using the pack for daily use or while going on a mission. Get ready to explore the world around you with a reliable and comfortable rucking set-up!

GoRuck Sternum Strap

Sternum Strap

For anyone looking to gear up for rucking, a chest strap is an essential piece of equipment. A chest strap specifically designed for rucking, such as the durable Sternum Strap, will not only help keep your load securely in place while on the move but also offer adjustable comfort. The easy-to-use strapping system allows you to easily adjust and tighten the chest strap as needed, ensuring that the weights are evenly distributed throughout your chest so you can concentrate on taking your steps. For those who don’t prefer chest straps or need to take a break during their journey, fear not – most chest straps such as a Sternum Strap can quickly and easily be removed while still providing optimal support when desired.

GoRuck Water Resistant Rain Cover

Water Resistant Rain Cover

Water resistant rain covers for your rucksack are the perfect accessory to protect your bag against the elements on those days when you haven’t quite managed to read the weather forecast correctly. Water resistant rain covers are lightweight and easy to pack away in your bag when not in use. When fitted correctly they provide full protection from wind, rain and even snow while keeping everything inside your bag dry and protected. Some advanced designs also include backpack straps so you can carry it as a separate bag if needed. The next time you’re packing for an outdoor adventure, consider adding a water resistant rain cover to make sure every journey is a successful one.

GoRuck Hydration Bladder

Hydration Bladder

Rucksack hydration bladders are an amazing invention for hikers or anyone looking to keep active outdoors. It is a water-filled bladder that sits inside the pack and connects to shoulder straps via a convenient mouthpiece. These bladders ensure you stay hydrated from within the comfort of your own bag without having to stop in-between sessions. Not only do hydration bladders help reduce fatigue, but over time they allow you to develop proper habits of staying hydrated at all times while on an adventure. Whether trekking through mountains or just on your daily morning jog, having a hydration bladder with shoulder straps can make activities more enjoyable and comfortable. See out guide to the Best Hydration Bladders for Rucking.

GoRuck Weighted Ruck Plates

Weighted Ruck Plates

Weighted plates for the ruck are a great way to add extra resistance and challenge to any rucking workout. Not only do ruck weights allow you to increase the load of your rucksack backpack, but they can also be used independently for a Bodyweight Ruck routine. It is important to purchase ruck weights that are specifically made for rucking — avoid using dumbbells or other weights designed for other workouts. Making sure you store ruck weights properly will extend their life and keep them intact during rucking workouts, ensuring the best possible results each time.!

When it comes to picking out the best rucking backpack, there are a few things one has to consider. If you intend to multi-purpose it as an everyday carry bag, make sure the backpack has a laptop compartment for added convenience.

Additionally, adjustable shoulder straps can really make the difference in terms of comfort when using your backpack for heavier loads – this is especially true for a tactical rucking backpack which will often be laden with the maximum weight possible.

Don’t forget to think about any extra gear and accessories that may go along with your chosen rucksack as well; these could prove incredibly useful when dealing with different terrains and weather conditions that may be encountered on your journeys!


Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase a paid plan. These are products I’ve personally used and stand behind. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy.

Last Modified:

May 27, 2024 @ 13:52
Robert Earl
Robert Earl – Earl’s Guide


Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase a paid plan. These are products I’ve personally used and stand behind. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy.

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