GORUCK’s bags are known for their clamshell designs. In something this large, having full and easy access to the interior is wonderful for packing efficiently. This feature alone is something I truly appreciate when packing. There’s nothing worse than having a spacious bag that’s difficult or cumbersome to access.
Starting with the interior, the main cavity is open, spacious, and is lined with loop material which allows for hook-backed pouches to be attached to create a dedicated organization system. Or you could also completely ignore it, and you won’t find it getting in your way. The front flap houses three zippered compartments (one opaque and two open mesh). These allow you to store smaller items for quick access. However, they don’t have their own dimension, so they’re ideal for flatter items such as small travel essentials, power adapters, or perhaps even your travel documents.
As we move on to the GR3’s exterior, you’re going to find handles on both sides plus the top which are typical GORUCK, which is to say, beefy and very secure. The front panel features GR’s signature rows of PALS webbing and 2×3″ patch field. You’re also going to find PALS on the bottom of the GR3, but it’s thick 2″ strips which allow for overflow packing using lash straps (which are not included with the bag). In addition, you’re going to find compression straps and buckles on both sides. These help manage the size of the bag if it’s not completely loaded out. It’s worth noting that you *can* compress it down a pretty fair amount. But it is always going to be a huge bag so keep that in mind.
The last area to talk about is the back panel, where you’ll find two thickly padded shoulder straps and a familiar sectioned panel pattern which you’ll see across all of their packs. This is solid Cordura® with only slightly raised sections, so the majority of the surface will be in direct contact with your back. Basically, it’s going to make you sweat. It does however feature one slightly different element not found on other GORUCK packs. That is a pass-through that allows one to attach a padded hip belt for weight distribution. The hip belt is included with the GORUCK GR3 and can be stored inside the bag when not in use.
The final feature callout here is the laptop compartment which is, in a word, enormous. You could easily fit a positively huge laptop in here should you desire. But for most of us who typically carry a 13-15″ device, it will fit absolutely without trouble. The compartment still maintains the false bottom found on their other packs, so your computer will be well secured inside.