We've been searching high and low for great activewear that is made in the USA, so when we discovered GORUCK and all the rave reviews they had, we knew we had to try them out. Kristen has written about GORUCK in our guide on the best activewear made in the USA (link below) and tried out a few of the women's products on that guide, so I tackled testing for the men's products, including several pieces of GORUCK apparel, which I've listed below.
I've been wearing this GORUCK apparel for a few months now, so I'll go over my experience, what I liked, and what I didn't like about each piece of clothing. But first, for those who are unfamiliar, let's give a little background on who GORUCK is.
GORUCK got started in 2008 by the dynamic duo of Jason and Emily McCarthy. Jason, a Special Forces veteran, and Emily, a former member of the CIA, set out with one goal in mind - build the toughest rucksack the world has ever seen.
If you're unfamiliar with the concept of rucking, it is just the practice of walking with weight, born out of the military tradition of the loaded march, heading from one spot to another with all of your gear. That concept obviously has a lot of parallels to the backpacking and travel community and has also made its way into the workout community as well, especially folks who are really into CrossFit and doing weighted vest or pack exercises.
Anyways, GORUCK started with the indestructible pack and has blown up from there, producing everything from rucksacks to sandbags, footwear, and all kinds of apparel (which is what we are focusing on today).
There is a huge community around GORUCK too. They hold regular events led by Special Forces combat veterans, have tons of GORUCK clubs around the country, and have a great blog and podcast where they talk about leadership, service, and highlight stories from amazing individuals.
Oh yeah, and their gear ain't bad either. Let's get into some of the apparel I've been testing.
Here are the specific items I've been wearing for the last few months:
- American Training Shorts
- American Training Shirt
- Simple Pants (Lightweight, Charcoal)
- Simple Shorts (Coyote)
What We Like Best
I was really impressed with a lot of GORUCK's gear that I tried. Starting with durability and toughness (their signature quality), these shorts, pants, and shirts can go through just about anything.
For the workout apparel (training shorts and shirt), I've put these clothes through 2-3 workouts per week for the last several months that included: barbell exercises, kettlebells, calisthenics, cardio, boxing, rucking, and a variety of other movements. For exercises like barbell work and rucking specifically, there is a lot of contact with equipment, which can cause apparel to easily pill or tear over time. These GORUCK training shorts and shirt have held up really well through those workouts and repeated washes with almost zero blemishes or color loss.
When it comes to the Simple Pants and Shorts, I've gone on several hikes and camping trips wearing them with pretty much the same result - minimal blemishes and performed very well. I even got the shorts and pants wet a lot and they quickly dried to make my hiking experience pretty comfortable with them.
I thought the sizing for these GORUCK apparel items was pretty accurate. A lot of brands will "run big" or small, but GORUCK was pretty true to the sizing on their website and I didn't have to make any adjustments to the pants or shorts. The training shorts and shirt fit well too.
I really like the light weight of all these items. Of course, I got the lightweight option for the Simple Pants so that is a given, but still really enjoyed how breathable they are along with the shorts and other items. If you're going through a really long workout or multi-day hike, I would have plenty of confidence in GORUCK apparel to be breathable and comfortable the entire time.
Lastly, I really like the color and weight variety that GORUCK has available for all of their apparel. They don't overdo it, but provide simple color options that can go with anything. Different people have different preferences on the weight of the fabric too, so I thought that was a nice touch to have that option available depending on what type of climate you're in. I chose the lightweight option for the Simple Pants, but they also have a Midweight version that comes in at 187 GSM vs. 125 GSM of the lightweight version.
What We Don't Like
The performance of all the GORUCK gear that I tested was top notch. I think it is definitely worth the money if you have the budget. That being said, they are a bit pricey so if you are on a budget, this probably is not the activewear brand for you.
The only thing I was slightly disappointed with was some stock issues. There were a couple of color/weight combinations of the Simple Pants that I wanted to try that were out of stock and I checked back multiple weeks in a row with no luck either. So, you may have to compromise on lightweight vs. midweight or a color variation here and there.
Overall, I think GORUCK is one of the best premium activewear brands out there and if you have the wallet for it, this apparel is a great buy that will last you a really long time. Personally, I plan on upgrading a lot of my other workout gear to different colors/varieties of GORUCK gear because it performs just that good.