Gear, How To, Other

GORUCK Kydex Frame Sheet Upgrade Instructions

Simply the best quick and easy upgrade you can make to your ruck. Below are step-by-step instructions on how to make your own frame sheet. But, first, why make this upgrade?

Here’s a quick image to show the difference between the standard GORUCK Frame Sheet (white) and the Kydex Upgrade (black).

goruck-kydex-upgrade-12

Step 1 – Get Your Supplies

Note – This upgrade took me 30 minutes +/-.

goruck-kydex-upgrade-1

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  1. KYDEX V Sheet – 0.118″ Thick, Black, 12” x 24” (I forgot to take a picture of the sheet.)
  2. Sharpie
  3. Snips – Note: People ask if they can use a Dremel or utility knife. Personally, I’ve never tried, but if they cut, I assume they’d work. 
  4. Clamps
  5. Medium Sandpaper
  6. Sanding Sponge (or any type of block)

Step 2 – Remove the current frame sheet.

Open the laptop compartment of your GORUCK GR1 and unhook the Velcro seal of the frame sheet. Reach in and pull our the frame sheet.

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Step 3 – Trace the frame sheet onto the Kydex sheet

Use the clamps to ensure that the sheet doesn’t move or shift as you trace.

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Step 4 – Begin cutting the sheet.

A couple tips for cutting:

  1. Cut just inside your outline. Cutting “on” the line will result in slightly larger sheet than the original.
  2. The frame is hard and doesn’t bend well. I’ve found “chipping” away pieces helps.
  3. Don’t worry about slightly rough edges, we’ll smooth those out later.

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goruck-kydex-upgrade-6

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Step 5 – Smooth out the Edges

Take your sandpaper and sand sponge and file down all the edges.

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goruck-kydex-upgrade-10

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Step 6 – Insert the new frame sheet into your ruck.

This is a HUGE pain in the ass. And, I mean huge. As you work to put in the new Kydex frame sheet you will quickly understand why GORUCK uses the cheap thin plastic sheet by default.

I don’t have any real tips for this step except that once you get the sheet to start going in, just alternate pressure to the right and left side to slowly ease it in.

Let me reiterate, this is a pain in the ass.

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Step 7 – Enjoy the amazing support and awesomeness.

It is like a whole new ruck.

DISCLAIMER!!!

Mod your ruck at your own risk. You could easily rip the frame sheet case trying to insert the Kydex sheet and SCARS doesn’t cover stupid.

Also, if you ever have to send your ruck into SCARS for a repair, you are required to remove the Kydex sheet.

Why I did this mod?

I carry my ruck plate in my laptop compartment on top of a cut down yoga block to get it higher (image below). I found when I did this that the ruck plate had the tendency to “bend” the ruck at the junction of the plate and the yoga block. It drove me crazy. Adding the Kydex sheet completely solved the problem and, honestly, made my ruck exponentially more comfortable.

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Got Questions?

Drop them below and I’ll see what I can do to help.

22 Replies to GORUCK Kydex Frame Sheet Upgrade Instructions

  1. Thanks for this! Have you ever ran into issues like you mentioned, ripping the frame sheet pocket? Is the Kydex able to bend slightly while inserting, as I’d bending it into a ‘C’ shape, like the method Goruck uses?

    Thanks!

    1. I’ve done 2 of these and not ripped the pocket, but it always feels like a possibility. The rip would likely be at the insert point on the “flap” if that makes sense. Due to the rigidity of the kydex, it is really hard to get any bend when inserting. That’s what makes it such a pain in the ars. That’s also why you’re using kydex :). Only tip is to make sure you don’t cut it too big by cutting right on your outline.

  2. For your purposes, it seems like you could also make a smaller kydex sheet and put it in *with* the plastic one. A bit more thickness, but wouldn’t have the PITA factor of getting it in, and also wouldn’t risk any damages. Thoughts?

    1. Interesting idea. I haven’t made one of these since the tutorial, but if I did I would most certainly make my cuts at least 1/16″ (maybe 1/8″) in from the outline to ease the insert issue. Guessing that wouldn’t impact performance. Not sure there is any need to keep the other one in there.

  3. Was able to complete this over the weekend. Thanks for the step-by step instructions. And yeah, no kidding – trying to get the kydex sheet in a pain!

  4. Yo brotha! I followed your instructions to a T and it came out great! Thanks for posting the info. And you’re right….huge HUGE pain in the ass to get the kydex back into it. Good stuff!

  5. Kydex is REALLY easy to bend to get the sheet in.

    Not sure why you had such issues. I mean, you DID HEAT IT UP with a hair dryer to make it flexible prior to inserting back in the pack… right?

    Try at your own risk.

  6. Thanks for this! The Kydex 0.118″ is so much stronger and an excellent upgrade to any GoRuck. I replaced the frame sheet in my GR3 and it made such a difference when it’s packed out, especially with a laptop. I found that a Dremel with a 426 cut-off wheel worked best to cut the Kydex, it was more precise which meant less sanding later.

  7. One thing I did that made it a lot easier was to outline the kydex with painter’s tape before tracing the old plastic sheet. Made it a lot easier to see my lines for my cuts and prevented pieces of the kydex from falling about when trimming. Just my experience after doing this a few times.

    1. Awesome tip; I did the same thing and used a Dremel to cut the Kydex sheet. Results were fairly smooth edges that were super easy to sand/smooth afterwards.

  8. This worked awesomely. Helped me a lot during my Milruck Tough + Brave in Sweden last weekend.

    It only took a minute to put the kydex sheet in though, so it wasn’t a hassle at all :O

  9. As a comparison to the standard GR1 & Kydex framesheets, would you please add a picture up top of your Rucker’s framesheet supporting the same weight? Even though it’s not possible to access the Rucker’s framesheet without permanent mods, I’m interested in a strength comparison with Kydex & GR1 framesheets.

  10. Thanks Ryan! We installed the Kydex sheets in our rucks today, worked perfect. I actually have a question about the yoga block you used so that you can put the weight in the laptop compartment…. Is it a special closed cell type foam so water doesn’t soak into the blocks and make the pack even heavier? Or are all yoga blocks the same. Just wondering if there is a certain kind that won’t absorb water. I want to move the weight to the laptop compartment. Right now I have it in a Shaddox Tactical insert made specifically for GoRuck plates. It does allow the weight to sit higher inside the main compartment and I have done several events with this set up, but I did notice it makes it annoying to pack the rest of the gear and water bladder inside. I want to try your setup in the laptop sleeve for the next event….whenever that will be 🙁 Thanks so much! -Heidi

    1. Heidi,

      I think all yoga blocks are basically the same. I just grabbed the cheapest one I could find and cut it up. No we had any issues. Hope that helps.

    2. Heidi,

      I think all yoga blocks are basically the same. I just grabbed the cheapest one I could find and cut it up. No we had any issues. Hope that helps.

      Ryan

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