I spent the first 18 years of my life on the beautiful coast of South Carolina.
In my free time, there was a good chance you’d find me surfing, golfing, or playing soccer.
One afternoon after our soccer team had a poor outing the weekend prior, our coach decided to teach us a lesson.
He handed each of us a potato sack and commanded, “follow me.”
We proceeded to run 1.5 miles to the beach, but this was no ordinary beach day.
“Fill ’em up,” he barked.
Reluctantly, we did… and we spent the 90 minutes doing carries, drags, squats, and lord knows what else.
“Dump ’em – follow me,” he said.
The run back to the school was brutal – the whole afternoon was – but it was the motivation we needed.
I went to a tiny school, graduating with only nine other kids. We had enough guys in the upper school to field a soccer team with one substitution.
We made it to the State championship that year, losing in extra time.
You may be wondering what this has to do with the GORUCK Sandbags, and I would say ‘a lot.’
That was my first experience training with sand, and it’s one of the biggest reasons I continue to train with sand.
The GORUCK Sandbags 2.0 are some of the best workout sandbags I’ve used. They’re durable, versatile, and space-friendly.
In this review, I’ll detail everything you need to know about the GORUCK sandbags, including what I like and dislike.
Let’s dig in.
GORUCK is well known for its quality rucking equipment, outdoor apparel, sandbags, and more.
There are a couple of things I love about this company:
- SCARS Lifetime Guarantee – on everything GORUCK produces, you have a lifetime warranty against workmanship and defects. In other words, if you wear it out, they’ll repair or replace it without even needing a receipt.
- Veteran Giveback Program – GORUCK donates 1% of annual topline revenue to various charities that support those who serve, which includes the military, veterans, first responders, teachers, social workers, and military spouses.
I’ve owned several things from GORUCK, including their sandbags, ruck plate carrier, and ballistic trainers. I’ve been impressed with the quality and craftsmanship of each.
The sandbags, in particular, rank at the top of the industry in my experience (I’ve ranked and reviewed dozens of sandbags).
That’s not to say there aren’t drawbacks, which I’ll detail here, but these are hard to beat overall.
- Price: $119+ (Free Shipping over $95)
- Material: 1000D Cordura
- Weight Options: 40lbs / 60lbs / 80lbs / 100lbs / 120-150lbs / 200lbs
- Handles: 12
- Color: Black
- Warranty: Lifetime
- Made in USA: No
The GORUCK sandbags are constructed with 1000D Cordura, which is the gold standard for workout sandbags. The ‘D’ stands for ‘Denier,’ representing the thickness of the fabric. Most sandbags are made with this, so it’s not a unique material, but it’s noticeably high-quality from the moment you touch it.
The bags include double-stitched seams throughout to prevent tears at otherwise vulnerable spots. Each handle is further reinforced with Box-X stitching to ensure they don’t rip after prolonged use.
When inspecting the GORUCK sandbags, the most notable difference was the filler bags. It’s not uncommon to find filler bags with thinner material and less robust enclosures. The GORUCK filler bags are made of the same material and have one of the most confident-feeling enclosures I’ve seen.
Almost all filler bags from any respectable company will include double velcro enclosures, and GORUCK does too. However, these feel tighter and stronger than most others I’ve tried. They also include triple stitching on the filler seams. The 5.11 Tactical PT-R Weight Kit is the closest to matching it. I’ve used this bag many times and in many ways, and I haven’t noticed any sand seepage.
The outer shell then encloses the filler bag with a single YKK zipper. While many sandbags have single exposed metal zipper pulls, the GORUCK zipper has two zipper pulls with 2.25″ fabric extensions. This makes it much easier to operate, and it feels better in the hand. They also include a rubber coating over the fabric to prevent fraying.
Of all the bags I’ve tested, the GORUCK sandbags feel the most durable.
You can buy GORUCK sandbags in several weight increments, including 40lb, 60lb, 80lb, 100lb, 120-150lb, and 200lb. While this offers a wide range of weights, there are a couple of things to point out:
1.) Some other sandbags, like the REP and Garage Fit Sandbags, have a wider range with fewer bags. For example, REP offers a 50-125lb sandbag. If you wanted to get the same range from GORUCK, you would need to buy multiple bags – at least the 100 (and partially fill) and the 120-150.
2.) The 200lb option is very long at 71″ compared to other bags that are around 36″. This is because GORUCK uses the same 8.5″ diameter as they do on smaller bags. If you’re training by yourself, I don’t recommend the 200lb GORUCK sandbag. However, if you’re training with 2-3 people, it’s a great team tool.
For filler, I recommend play sand for most people. It’s affordable and easy to purchase at your local hardware store. It’s finer than some fillers like pea gravel, beach sand, rubber mulch, etc., but as mentioned earlier, I’ve never experienced seepage.
It’s also important to note that if you need to add filler bags, GORUCK sells Simple Sandbags to serve as the filler bags. These are different than what you get when you buy Sandbags 2.0. In other words, they don’t sell individual filler bags anymore, which is a downside given the extra cost (even if they’re more durable).
Lastly, don’t overfill your filler bags. If you do, they may not fit into the main bag, and they’ll be more susceptible to damage or seepage. Always fill a little bit less than the stated weight.
🚀 Fast Fact
Jason and Emily McCarthy founded GORUCK in 2008 out of their home. At the time, he was serving in the Special Forces and her in the CIA.
Handles & Versatility
The GORUCK sandbags are some of the most versatile bags you can buy. Most competing bags offer 7, 8, and 10 handles. GORUCK offers 12. This includes three horizontal handles and two neutral handles on both long edges, and two neutral handles on the ends.
While having duplicate long edges doesn’t necessarily add any more versatility, it makes using the GORUCK bags more efficient. I also appreciate the fabric handles, which I find much more comfortable than rubber-coated handles. To be fair, many other sandbags also have fabric handles. I don’t recommend rubber-coated handles in general.
For movements, I like using these bags for lunges, front squats, over-shoulder carries, cleans, and rows, but you can perform many other exercises in addition to these.
These bags have a clean and neutral look, which may or may not appeal to you. For instance, if you want a splash of color, I would recommend the REP Sandbags or Garage Fit Sandbags. Otherwise, I think these look great, and I love some of the details they added.
GORUCK offers a classic black in all weight variants and a black multicam in the 40lb & 60lb increments. I’m not sure why the multicam isn’t offered in the larger weights, but I would love to see this added in the future.
In the middle of the bags is a patch section where you can use the included GORUCK patch or add your own. They also offer a subscription called Tribe ‘N Training, which delivers daily workouts and a new patch every month.
Each bag includes contrasting embroidery with the GORUCK logo and bag weight (on filler bag). A sewn patch also shows the weight on the inside edge of the shell zipper lining.
The GORUCK bags range from $119 to $179, putting them on the higher end of the price spectrum. They’re not the most expensive, but they’re certainly not the least expensive either.
You’re paying a premium for the warranty and extra versatility. What you’re not paying for is ‘Made in the USA.’ While GORUCK does make numerous products in the USA, their sandbags are manufactured in Vietnam. This may be a downside to some.
The GORUCK Sandbags 2.0 get excellent feedback with nearly 1,000 reviews and a 4.9/5 average rating. Critical feedback was mainly limited to filler bags not fitting into the main bag, but this may be the result of overfilling. Positive feedback included versatility, durability, lifetime warranty, customer service, and more.
- 1000D Cordura Construction is highly durable
- Industry-leading 12 handles create great versatility
- 6 weight options ranging from 40-200lbs
- Lifetime warranty through SCARS Guarantee
- Sleek embroidery with optional patch section
- 200lb sandbag is 71″ long
- Black multicam is not available over 60lbs
In my opinion, the GORUCK Sandbags are the best sandbags on the market. I love the extra handles, the heavy-duty construction, and the overall aesthetic. The lifetime warranty is also great to have for peace of mind.
Sandbag training is an effective way to build muscle and improve conditioning while taking up a small footprint. It’s also less expensive than most traditional strength/conditioning equipment.
That said, these are priced higher than some other popular and well-reviewed sandbags.
Ultimately, I highly recommend GORUCK sandbags if you’re willing to pay more.