Professional RUCKSACKS are EXPENSIVE! There... we said it. It’s the most common observation from every first time purchaser. The follow-up question is usually whether there are suitable, affordable alternatives. Can’t we just use a school grade backpack? In fact, what’s the difference between a backpack and a rucksack anyway?
Ultimately, it comes down to durability. You have to find a bag that can handle the weight with limited wear and tear. Plus, according to YouTuber and health consultant, Rob Stuart, there are 4 things you need to look for in your first RUCKING bag.
1. Waist Strap (Hip Belt)
Unlike nature-loving backpackers who like to keep weight high around their shoulders, military-inspired ruckers know weight distribution is best kept near the hips and close to the body. It's the best way to support heavy weight without putting unnecessary pressure on the spine.
2. Top Strap (Sternum Strap)
Constantly adjusting your shoulder straps as they attempt to slide to the edge of your shoulders gets annoying, and it causes the entire bag to sag lower and lower. Secure your load up high with a sternum strap.
3. Hard-Shell Liner (Frame Sheet)
The bag needs internal support beyond its load content. A good ruck bag will hold its form through the use of a plastic or metal liner. Some are removable (often called a frame sheet) while others are sewn into the fabric. More expensive ruck sacks will include liners that are molded to fit the curved contour of your back.
4. Pockets (Compartments)
Finally, a good ruck sack will have functional pockets. Truthfully, basic backpacks typically have pockets too, but you want to make sure the pockets are large and strong enough to compartmentalize weight distribution for workouts and real-world use.
Along with these above essentials for workout ruck sacks, look for extra features like eyelid grommets at the bottom of the sack for drainage and plenty of options for strapping on accessories.