Best Rucking Backpack for 2024: Elevate Your Outdoor Workouts

Best Rucking Backpack

Ready to take your outdoor adventures to new heights, or should we say, new trails?

Embarking on a rucking fitness journey can be a transformative experience.

I’ve been down the rucking path myself, and trust me, it’s changed my game – physically and mentally. But, man, finding the right rucking backpack to join me on those trails? That was a challenge.

Most Popular

Favored by beginners and experts alike, the GORUCK GR1 has earned its reputation as the go-to rucking backpack

Best Value
REI Co-op Ruckpack 40

Offering superior functionality and comfort at an unbeatable price, the REI Co-op Ruckpack 40 is the savvy rucker’s choice

Best CHoice for Beginner
REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical
REEBOW Gear Tactical

Perfect for those new to rucking, this backpack offers user-friendly features and straightforward functionality

Now, if you’re like me and have been scouring the web for all the rucking equipment that is a perfect fit and the right price point – you know for both those intense mountain hikes and your everyday urban adventures – then you’ve landed in the right spot.

The first thing you need is a great rucking pack to accompany you on your rugged expeditions.

Each one’s got its own charm, tailored for different adventures and tastes. They’re built tough to handle the elements, to bear the weight, and most importantly, to keep our back happy and pain-free.

A great rucking backpack can be all the difference between a successful, comfortable hike and a painful, uncomfortable one. Let’s get Ruckin’!

Short Summary
  • This guide provides an overview of the best rucking backpacks on the market, with features tailored to various needs.
  • Essential features for a rucking backpack include material, durability, comfort, and capacity/versatility.
  • Customizing your backpack is recommended for personalization. Hydration should also be considered when selecting a bag.
My Take

You can certainly do what I did to start rucking. Dust off that old backpack, throw a couple small dumbells in, and be on your way.

Eventually, you realize there are more efficient ways to do things. That’s when you look into purchasing a rucking-specific backpack and gear, such as weight plates or sandbags.

It might seem unnecessary initially, but it will make a difference in your comfort and performance. Plus, it’ll make your walks more enjoyable!

In this post, you’ll find top-rated backpacks such as:

  • Most Popular: GORUCK GR1
  • Best Value: REI Co-op Ruckpack 40
  • Best for Beginner: REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical
  • Best for Long Haul: GORUCK GR3
  • Best for Hydration: Osprey Skarab 30
  • Best Military-Grade: MT Military MOLLE Pack
  • Best Tactical: 5.11 Rush 24
  • Affordable and Durable: Kelty Redwing 30L
  • Best for Day Hike: Osprey Talon 33

Each backpack offers unique features and benefits tailored to different rucking needs, from an everyday carry bag to specialized military-grade durability.

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What are the Best Rucking Backpacks?

Rucking, a combination of walking with a weighted backpack, has gained popularity as a challenging yet rewarding form of exercise.

With various backpacks available on the market, selecting the best one to suit your needs can make the difference between an enjoyable experience and an uncomfortable one.

Here are some of the best backpacks to help you make the right choice.

GORuck GR1


Favored by beginners and experts alike, the GORUCK GR1 has earned its reputation as the GO-TO rucking backpack.

It combines exceptional durability with a sleek design and user-friendly functionality, ensuring it remains the most popular choice among rucking enthusiasts.

The GORUCK GR1 has earned its reputation as the most popular rucking backpack, thanks to its versatile design and ability to handle various ruck weights comfortably.

Creating a backpack that is tough and durable to handle whatever you through at it requires the right material.

Here are some key features of the backpack:

  • Constructed from 1000D Cordura Nylon for durability
  • Rainproof design to protect your gear from the elements
  • Bombproof laptop compartment for added protection for your electronics
  • Multiple pockets for easy organization

With its heavily padded shoulder straps and ergonomic design, the GORUCK GR1 offers the following features:

  • Ensures your comfort during long rucking sessions
  • Compatibility with the MOLLE webbing system allows for further customization
  • Versatile rucking backpack suitable for various activities

Whether you’re a seasoned rucker or just starting, the GORUCK GR1 is a reliable and popular choice.

Best Value
REI Co-op Ruckpack 40

REI Co-op Ruckpack 40

Offering superior functionality and comfort at an unbeatable price, the REI Co-op Ruckpack 40 is the savvy rucker’s choice. It’s proof that great value doesn’t have to compromise on quality, making this backpack an excellent choice for the budget-conscious adventurer.

For those seeking the best value for their money, the REI Co-op Ruckpack 40 is an excellent choice. This rugged backpack offers:

  • Made of recycled ripstop nylon fabric, ensuring durability while also being environmentally friendly
  • Padded back panel and shoulder straps for maximum comfort
  • Sternum strap and padded hip belt for added support during rucking adventures

The features of the bag include:

  • Spacious main compartment
  • External pockets
  • Attachment points
  • Compression straps
  • Laptop compartment
  • Smaller pouches

These features make it easy to organize and secure your gear. Additionally, its compliance with the TSA makes it travel-friendly.

With the REI Co-op Ruckpack 40, you get a versatile rucking backpack that won’t break the bank, making it a great alternative to the traditional alice pack.

Best for Beginner

REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical

Perfect for those new to rucking, this backpack offers user-friendly features and straightforward functionality. Its robust construction and uncomplicated design make the REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical the ideal starter pack for any budding rucker.

If you’re new to rucking and looking for an affordable option, the REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical is a fantastic choice. This heavy-duty backpack offers the following features:

  • Constructed from reinforced and high-density polyester or tear and abrasion-resistant nylon material, ensuring durability without sacrificing comfort.
  • 40-liter capacity, providing ample space for your gear.
  • Double-stitched, heavy-duty zippers and utility-style cord pulls for added strength and convenience.

With these features, the REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical backpack is perfect for beginners.

Though it may not have as many pockets or compartments as other options, the REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical offers a cost-effective solution with a robust construction, MOLLE webbing, and comfortable cushioning. As you gain experience and learn more about your specific rucking needs, this backpack will serve as a solid foundation.

Best for Long Haul
GORuck GR3


Designed for the long-distance rucker, the GORUCK GR3 offers superior capacity and comfort for those intense, extended journeys. Its exceptional resilience and ample storage make it the ultimate companion for any long-haul adventure.

For those planning extended rucking sessions or adventures, the GORUCK GR3 is an ideal choice. Here are some key features of this backpack:

  • Generous 45-liter capacity
  • Constructed of extremely durable 1000D Cordura material
  • Multiple compartments and external attachment points for ample space for all your gear

Comfort is not compromised in the GR3, as it features thick padding and ventilation channels on the back panel, additional padding on the shoulder straps, and a detachable padded hip belt.

The hydration features, including a clip for a hydration bladder and other hands-free hydration features, make it easy to stay hydrated during your long haul rucking adventures.

With the GORUCK GR3, you can confidently tackle any extended rucking challenge.

Best for Hydration

Osprey Skarab 30

With a dedicated hydration reservoir and easy-access drink delivery system, the Osprey Skarab 30 ensures you stay well-hydrated on your rucking expeditions. It’s the perfect blend of practical design and hydration functionality, making it the ideal choice for the health-conscious rucker.

Staying hydrated is crucial during rucking, and the Osprey Skarab 30 makes it easy with its dedicated hydration reservoir compartment.

This 2.5L reservoir backpack is specifically designed for hiking and other outdoor activities, where hydration is a top priority. The comfortable, adjustable straps ensure a secure fit, while the bucket-style opening allows for easy packing.

Not only does the Osprey Skarab 30 prioritize hydration, but it also offers a lightweight design and comfortable padding, making it perfect for day hikes or shorter rucking sessions.

With its focus on hydration and comfort, the Osprey Skarab 30 is an excellent choice for those who want to stay refreshed and comfortable during their rucking adventures.

Best Military-Grade

MT Military MOLLE Pack

Constructed to military-grade standards, the MT Military MOLLE Pack offers unparalleled ruggedness and reliability. Its robust design and customizable MOLLE system make it a top choice for those seeking authentic, military-grade durability and versatility in their rucking adventures.

For those seeking military-grade durability, look no further than the MT Military MOLLE Pack. This backpack boasts a 65-liter main section, detachable pouches, and robust nylon construction, ensuring it can withstand the toughest conditions. Its compatibility with the MOLLE system provides further customization options and convenient access to your gear.

The MT Military MOLLE Pack features:

  • Durable construction
  • Lightweight design
  • Comfortable to carry during extended rucking sessions
  • Military-grade durability
  • Versatility for various environments

It is an excellent choice for those who require a backpack that can endure the most demanding environments and carry heavier loads.

Best Tactical

5.11 Rush 24

Designed for optimal organization and quick access, the 5.11 Rush 24 excels in tactical functionality. It’s the prime choice for those who appreciate meticulous organization and quick, easy access to their gear during their rucking endeavors.

For the tactically minded backpacker, the top choice is the 5.11 Rush 24 backpack. Here are some key features:

  • 29 individual inner and outer compartments
  • Designed with MOLLE panels for endless customization and easy access to equipment
  • Comfortable padding for carrying gear without sacrificing comfort
  • Numerous pockets for organizing and storing items

The 5.11 Rush 24 is not only functional but also stylish, with a tactical design that is both eye-catching and practical. If you’re looking for a backpack that offers a tactical edge and exceptional organization, the 5.11 Rush 24 is the perfect option.

Affordable and Durable

Kelty Tactical Redwing

Combining budget-friendly pricing with a resilient design, the Kelty Redwing stands out as an affordable yet rugged option. It’s proof that you don’t have to compromise on durability when looking for a cost-effective rucking backpack.

If you’re looking for an affordable and durable backpack, the Kelty Tactical Redwing is an excellent choice. Here are some of its features:

  • Made from 500D nylon for durability
  • Padded and adjustable straps for comfort
  • Internal frame for added support
  • Removable waist belt
  • Multiple pockets for easy organization

With the Kelty Tactical Redwing, you can carry all your gear in comfort without breaking the bank.

In addition to its affordability and durability, the Kelty Tactical Redwing also features a dedicated laptop compartment, an external water bottle pocket, and several smaller pockets for organization. This versatile backpack is perfect for those on a budget who still want a reliable and durable backpack.

Best for Day Hike

Osprey Talon 33

Tailored for the day-trip adventurer, the Osprey Talon 33 packs superior comfort and functionality into a compact design. With just the right capacity for essential gear and featuring a lightweight construction, it’s the quintessential companion for any day hike.

For those who enjoy day hikes or shorter rucking sessions, the Osprey Talon 33 is the perfect choice. This lightweight day hiking pack offers a comfortable carrying experience, with padded straps and multiple compartments for easy organization. Its 33-liter capacity ensures you have enough space for all your gear without being weighed down.

The Osprey Talon 33 is not only comfortable and lightweight, but also offers a stylish design that is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. If you’re looking for a rucking backpack that is perfect for day hikes and shorter rucking sessions, the Osprey Talon 33 is an excellent choice.

How Can the Best Rucking Backpack Benefit You

Ruck Hike

When choosing the perfect rucking backpack, there are essential features to consider that can make all the difference and allow you to benefit in your rucking experience.

These features include comfort, material, durability, capacity, and versatility.

Beyond where to hike, understanding these essential features, you’ll be better equipped to choose the ideal backpack.

Comfort Factors

Whether its a great pair of rucking boots, or your rucking pack, comfort is critical, as it can significantly impact your overall experience. Look for features such as:

  • Thick back panels
  • Padded shoulder straps
  • Chest or sternum straps
  • Hip belts
  • Compression straps
  • Frame sheets

These features, including adjustable shoulder straps, a rucking weight pocket, and a waist belt, will ensure a comfortable and secure fit during your rucking sessions.


Where do you want the weight loaded (shoulders or on your hip)? Considering this makes all the difference in comfort.

Additionally, consider the ventilation and breathability of the backpack, as it can help keep you cool and dry during strenuous activities.

By prioritizing comfort features in your rucking backpack, you’ll enjoy your rucking sessions without unnecessary discomfort or strain.

Material and Durability

The material and durability of your rucking backpack are crucial, as they directly impact its ability to withstand the strain of carrying heavy loads for extended periods.

High-quality materials like 1000D Cordura Nylon reinforced stitching and water-resistant coatings are essential for a durable rucking backpack that can withstand the rigors of your rucking adventures.

In addition to the material, pay close attention to the zippers, straps, and frame quality.

Reinforced stitching in high-stress areas and high-quality zippers can prevent potential failures during your rucking sessions. By choosing a rucking backpack made from durable materials and with robust reinforcement, you can ensure longevity and a reliable rucking experience.

Capacity and Versatility

The capacity and versatility of your backpack are essential factors to consider, as they dictate the size and type of items that can be transported.

Rucking backpacks come in various capacities and levels of versatility, ranging from smaller everyday-use backpacks to larger, more specialized rucking packs.

Consider your specific rucking needs when choosing the capacity of your backpack.

Smaller capacities may be suitable for everyday use or shorter rucking sessions, while larger ones are better suited for extended rucking adventures or more specialized gear.

By selecting a backpack with the appropriate capacity and versatility, you can ensure it meets your needs and preferences.

Other Considerations to Customize the Right Rucking Backpack

Your choice of backpack will ultimately depend on your individual needs and preferences.

Customizing your backpack can create a personalized carrying solution that meets your requirements.

Whether you need additional storage for particular gear, increased organization, or improved accessibility, customizing your backpack can help you achieve the perfect balance of functionality and personalization.

Ruck Plate

When it comes to rucking, carrying weight is one of the most essential factors.

And we’re not just talking about throwing a few items in your backpack, or weighted vest if you prefer, and hitting the road.

No, we’re talking about the real deal: ruck plates!

But here’s the thing, it’s not just about packing the heavy load of weights; it’s also about how you carry them.

A good rucking pack is all about the straps!

The straps supporting the weight and the location of the plates within your pack really matters.

When you’re out there hitting those miles, you want to make sure you’re doing it in the most efficient way possible.

So, take the time to store ruck weights properly, adjust your straps, and pay attention to where those weight plates are sitting in your pack. Trust us; your back and your overall rucking experience will thank you.

Beyond the Shoulder Straps

We’ve discussed the importance of shoulder straps; however, a few features often get overlooked.

Take, for instance, rucking accessories. These small additions can make a big difference in the overall functionality of your pack. Carabiners, water bottle holders, and even tactical gear can all be helpful when you’re on the move.

So, the importance of separate compartments for different items must be considered.

Nobody wants to dig through a jumbled mess of clothes and gear to find their healthy snacks.

Additionally, exterior pockets provide easy access to maps or a water filtration system. Oh, and did we mention a laptop sleeve? Because let’s face it, we all must stay connected even in the wilderness. So consider these often-overlooked features!

Hydration and Rucking

Hydration is essential during rucking, as it can help prevent sunstroke, dehydration, and other health issues, so water bottles are your best friend.

There are those rucking backpacks that offer the compatibility with hydration reservoirs or dedicated compartments for water storage, making it easy to stay hydrated during your rucking sessions.

Practicing good hydration habits can make or break a successful ruck. Plan for regular water breaks, and consider carrying electrolyte supplements to replenish essential nutrients lost through sweat.

By prioritizing hydration, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable rucking experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

It is not necessary to buy a special backpack for rucking when you’re starting out – any backpack will do. Focus on getting started and having fun, rather than what pack you use.

For a safe and comfortable experience, it’s best to start with 10-20% of your body weight in your backpack and gradually increase it over time.

Rucksacks and backpacks are often confused, but the main distinction is that rucksacks are typically top-loading and designed for outdoor activities, whereas backpacks can come in a variety of shapes and sizes with various uses.

Backpacks are often used for school, work, or leisure activities, while rucksacks are more suited for hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities. They both provide a convenient way to carry items, but the design and features of each type of bag are tailored to different needs.

To maintain your rucking backpack, regularly check it for signs of wear or damage, clean it according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and store it in a cool, dry place.

Bottom Line

Finding the perfect pack is crucial for a more comfortable and enjoyable rucking experience.

Choosing from this list of the best backpacks for rucking sets you up for success. They meet your specific needs by considering capacity, durability, comfort, and customization factors.

With these options, a rucking backpack suits every need and preference. So gear up, stay hydrated, and embark on your rucking journey with confidence and determination.

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