Gear, Reviews

GORUCK Rucker 3.0 Review – Ongoing and Updated

The GORUCK Rucker 3.0 is the latest iteration of the popular “Rucker” offering from GORUCK. Improving on a number of deficiencies in version 2.0 and unveiling a number of innovations and enhancements, the Rucker 3.0 is positioning itself as the go-to rucking backpack for GORUCK events, ruck workouts, and rucking.

Check out our review of the NEW Rucker 4.0 from GORUCK.

This will be an ongoing review of the Rucker 3.0 that will be updated over time as we have more experience with it.

First look and Initial Review – Rucker 3.0

Check out the video below to see an initial look and review of the Rucker 3.0.

Here’s the quick and dirty: The Rucker 3.0 is one of the most comfortable rucks I’ve ever worn. Every issue I had with the Rucker 2.0 has been resolved. The new lumbar and 210D back panel fabric are game-changers. I simply can’t wait to put this ruck on and get some more miles. Stop reading and go buy one.

What makes the Rucker 3.0 so great?

Frame sheet

The frame sheet in the Rucker 2.0 was… bad. It was so bad I literally cut open my ruck trying to fix it.

The great news is that the frame sheet in the Rucker 3.0 is AMAZING! The rigidity is reminiscent of the Rucker 1.0, which is far stiffer than the Rucker 2.0. In addition, the frame sheet extends to the entire width of the ruck and does not taper at the bottom.

This is EXACTLY what I was hoping for. It is perfect.

Lumbar Support

This was a wildcard when I saw it. I had no idea how it would feel. After a short initial ruck, I was a believer.

As I note in the review video, it feels “interesting.” But, the good kind of interesting. The longer I had it on, the more I liked it. This is a really cool innovation.

210D back panel fabric

So nice, you can ruck shirtless, which I do in the review video above.

But, seriously, the fabric is make the ruck ride very smoothly on you back. It is really impressive. I’m interested to see how it holds up over time, but with the SCARS warranty, I’m not worried about it.

Reflective Strip

First seen on the GORUCK Speed Ruck, this reflective strip follows the front zipper line and is subtle, but noticeable.

I think what I like most about this is that I don’t have to add yellow reflective straps to the webbing anymore. It helps to maintain a clean look.


Ugh… 4 handles… you all know what I think about this. Two is plenty. The side handles are unnecessary and make the side of the ruck look too busy.

I get it. You love them. You want to add a couple more to the front and back. And then, maybe put a mini handle on the existing handles.

(end rant)


20L is the perfect size. End of story.

Drain Holes

This is a super nice addition to the Rucker. Having drain holes standard just makes sense. Really like this feature! (And, the look so happy.)

Initial conclusion on the GORUCK Rucker 3.0

I love it. Granted, my exposure is limited at this point. But, it has left a great initial impression on me. I can’t wait for more colorways to drop!

Obviously, I’ll need more time with it and to actually do a GORUCK event it in. But, for training, rucking, and ruck pt, I’m pretty sure I’m gonna love this rucking backpack.

Ready to get your own?

Got any questions or comments about the GORUCK Rucker 3.0?

Drop them in the comments below and we’ll be sure to answer the best we can.

19 Replies to GORUCK Rucker 3.0 Review – Ongoing and Updated

  1. I’ve got the new hip belt with the new 210D. Very comfortable and half the price of the old belt. A total steal!

    Have you tried this with a belt yet?

    Also… maybe you could cut the side handles off. But what’s nice is that the weight is centered on them for PT, unlike the top and bottom handles.

    PS- thanks for the free patch!!!

  2. Waiting till payday to get one. I sold my 2.0 to fund the next one. I just got tore up by the Vietnam Rucker too much to enjoy rucking with it. Looking forward for the new one. I’m either going to get a sandbag or the 3.0. My 6 yr old GR0 just feels perfect, although the hip belt is calling.

  3. Great reviews with a lot of good observations and recommendations. I agree: what’s with four handles on a small ruck (in comparison to an ALICE pack)?

    Hey… Maybe next time Calvin can ruck with you using the new ruck plate carrier?!

    Stay safe and stay healthy.

  4. Hi there.
    For the 25L. I have a 30lbs Rucker plate. Will it fit into the secondary pocket?
    Thinking of getting the 25L, and using the primary pocket for some 10LBs sandbag.
    Thank you!

  5. Can you ruck the 3.0 with a hydration bladder and a 30lb ruck plate?

    Also, did I miss it, or are theere no hydration bladder tube tunnels? How do we kit out a 3.0 with a GeigerRig or a camelback?

    Thanks, Jason

    1. Yes, I have a 3.0 (25L) and use a 3L source bladder with 20lb and 10lb plates. Also, there is a tube port under the top handle.

  6. Any thoughts on the small vs large frame? I’m 6” and have used a GR1 for years. The small frame intrigues me but wondering if some downside to it?

    1. 20L regular should be fine. My daughter has small frame and I feel like it is too small for me. I mean, sure I could wear it, but just doesn’t look quite right.

  7. Is there any way to remove or have SCARS customize the side and bottom handles? I haven’t pulled the trigger because I absolutely hate them!


  8. Is there any way to remove or have SCARS customize the side and bottom handles? I haven’t pulled the trigger because I absolutely hate them!

  9. “Highly water resistant, rain proof”I see it says? When I’m climbing Mt Fuji this next year and get rain on for hours during the climb will stuff inside stay dry? I plan on using the Rucker 3.0 20L as my primary combing pack. Thankyou in advance.

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