Goruck GR1 vs Setout Laptop Backpack

A military-grade backpack designed for tough situations seems at first-blush to be a perfect fit for travelers. Or is it too much for a city adventure?

Not Designed for Travelers

Goruck says their GR1 backpack is “comfortable in cities, war zones, and at our events.” It should be. It was designed by Special Forces soldiers.

For starters, the GR1 backpack has a bombproof laptop compartment. Now, if you’re a war journalist, perhaps this is the backpack for you. But can it be possible that this level of toughness is overkill for a non-war-zone traveler? Toughness certainly comes with a fair amount of tradeoffs.

For example, GR1 doesn’t have tuckable shoulder straps, so your backpack’s straps will catch on every other seat down a plane’s narrow aisle. It also doesn’t have a pass-through sleeve for use with a rolling suitcase, so you can hook it right on your suitcase’s top.

Don’t you think your trip will be smoother with a laptop backpack that’s designed for travel, not informed by Special Forces experience?

That’s what you get with the Setout Laptop Backpack. Tuck your backpack straps for streamlined maneuvering down that tight aisle. Or when you’re in a professional setting like a business meeting.

The Setout also has a pass-through sleeve that suddenly transforms your laptop backpack into a personal item that doesn’t topple off your suitcase and crack your laptop when you speed-walk through the airport.

It's the details that make the Setout Laptop Backpack more ideal for air travelers.

No Water Bottle Pockets

Goruck GR1 is clearly designed for soldiers. So you’ll see silent zipper pulls, extra-padded shoulder straps, and molle attachments.

But where’s your water bottle pocket to rehydrate on dry plane or long train rides? Sure, GR1 has a hydration port to store a hiking-style bladder. But no water bottle pockets. Which is unrealistic for city travelers.

Wouldn’t it be easier if you just had a normal-sized water bottle to fill up (and drain easily)? And a pocket to store said water bottle in?

That’s why we included a lie-flat water bottle pocket on the Setout Laptop Backpack. So you stay hydrated and ready for whatever the road throws your way.

Missing Organizational Panel

Your laptop backpack acts as your office on the road. Meaning: organization is vital.

So you find what you need when you need it. Like your favorite pen that glides across the page. Or your noise-cancelling earbuds to drown out the super-loud couple at the nearby table.

When you travel with the GR1, prepare yourself for a life of never finding what you need.

Because their laptop backpack doesn’t have an organizational panel. You know, that handy little pocket on the front of your laptop backpack with small pockets for pens, notebooks, cards, lip balm, earbuds.

It's the key to a well-organized laptop backpack, and it's featured in the front pocket of the Setout. You won't waste time scrabbling through your backpack for your noise-cancelling earbuds when the baby in the row behind you won't stop crying.

Too Pricey

The GR1 is designed for the long-haul of a muddy, bomb-laden road. And the $395 price sure reflects that mentality.

That’s a steep price to pay for a backpack that’s unideal for travelers who don’t encounter the rigors that a soldier does.

Let’s be honest. Wouldn’t it be better to shave down that price and use that extra $270 you just saved on an off-season flight to Paris?

Us too. That’s why we priced the Setout Laptop Backpack at a super reasonable price of $125. So your body and wallet are happy.

Suited for Travel -- Not War

When you’re looking for a reasonably priced backpack that’s still tough enough for daily travel -- not suited for wartime dangers, thank you -- check out the Setout Laptop Backpack.