Gear, Reviews

GORUCK M22 Rucksack Review

With a modern take on the M1945 WWII Rucksack, the GORUCK M22 is a well-designed departure from the traditional GORUCK lineup of rucks.

A top-loader with multiple exterior pockets and… wait for it… a water bottle holder, this limited release ruck is one that we are excited to hear that GORUCK will be releasing more of in (very tentatively) late 2023.

GORUCK M22 Full Video Review

M22 Feature Overview

Unlike the clamshell design of the GR series of bags, the M22 is a top-loader. This means that the top of the back is secured by two hooks in the front. While I have seen a number of people replacing these with other hooks and clips, I found the default ones to work perfectly fine.

When opened, the top of the M22 has the ability to expand to accommodate more load. Listed as 21L capacity, I believe that utilizing the additional space at the top could push the bag to 25L +/-.

On the inside of the top flap there is a mesh pocket. In the mesh pocket is a key ring attachment.

On the right side of the M22 is a zipper that runs the length of the ruck. Opening this section gives you access to the interior of the ruck. This is a welcome access point, preventing you from having to dig into the ruck from the top when you are wanting something from the bottom.

On the left side of the M22 is a zipper pocket that runs the length of the ruck as well. This one, however, provides access to a solid pocket that occupies space in front of the main compartment. The pocket is quite large, running the full length of the ruck.

On the back left side of the ruck is a most-wonderful quick access pocket. This is the perfect size for a phone, wallet, keys, and whatever you want to toss in. I love this access pocket!

While the main parts of the ruck on 500d Cordura®, the back and interior of the shoulder straps are the ever-so-smooth 210d Cordura® which is perfect for durability while not causing pilling or damage to your clothes.

The top of the ruck has a grab handle that is less beefy than the traditional grab handle on a GORUCK bag. While solidly stitched, it is just a piece of webbing and lacks the quality feel of other GORUCK bags.

The M22 does have a laptop compartment with a false bottom to protect your computer. The spec sheet on the GORUCK website says it can accommodate most laptops up to 14″.

There is also a moderately ridged frame sheet in the back of the ruck which provides stability without being overly stiff.

Finally, GORUCK found a way to satisfy the “give us a water bottle holder” crowd and integrated a clean and functional bottle holder on the M22.

My thoughts on the GORUCK M22

I was not overly excited when the bag was released. After getting it in my hands, my tune has changed. I love this bag.

My family recently got back into rock climbing and I have found this to be the perfect crag-bag.

The capacity is perfect for a few harnesses, shoes, and gear. The side access pocket allows me to easily grab gear I packed at the bottom of the ruck. The quick access pocket allows me to safely store my phone, wallet, and keys in an easy to fund and reach pocket. And, yes, the water bottle holder is perfect for my case because the bag is sitting down when I need water (as opposed to being on my back, when a bladder would be more useful).

While this could be used as a bag for rucking, the lack of a bladder passthrough would be a major downside for me. This seems to be a much better gym bag, EDC, or light travel bag.

In all, I really love this bag.

Will GORUCK release more of the M22?

The original release of the M22 was limited to, I believe, 1000 units which sold out within a week.

I reached out to several GORUCK sources and confirmed that there were, indeed, plans to produce more. The target release is currently late 2023, but I tend to hold GORUCK release dates with a very loose hand.

Since the M22 was designed after the M1945, which was renamed each subsequent year it was released, I wonder if the next iteration of the M22 will follow suit and be called the M23. And, if so, will GORUCK make any substantial changes to the M22 design.

What do you think about the M22? Anything you’d like to see changed for the M23? Sound off in the comments below!

4 Replies to GORUCK M22 Rucksack Review

  1. I think they will need to make an internal pocket like the scars
    side mole attached to it from start … like the custom

    make sure expert version ruck plate works fine and fits a 15 inch laptops

    because if it does not work with plate, the problem will be how will it distinguish it from other packs from market such as 5.11 apex ? only thing that makes GoRuck rucks it stands out is the ability to hold 20lb ruck plate …

    maybe make sure the laptop works fine with 2cm thick laptop? not air laptops … its not good for business laptops (dell, lenovo, hp) in asia market ..

  2. I think it is a great looking bag. I wish I was able to nab the green before it sold out so had to settle for the black. So far no complaints. I love my various rucks and it is nice to have one that isn’t so tactical looking but still cool looking.

  3. I’ve had this bag for several months and it is fantastic. The g-hooks work great for me and I have not felt the need to consider replacing them. If you plan to use the exterior pockets and/or water bottle holder, then I recommend packing them first since they take up space in the interior compartment. This will ensure you can easily access and stow your gear.

    The only additions I would like to see are d rings in the mess and side pockets.

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