Sometimes it’s hard to accept the truth, but here it is: there’s no such thing as the perfect bag.
Here at Tools & Toys we love our bags: backpacks, messenger bags, camera bags, bike panniers, diaper bags… you name it. If it’s great, we love it. And we review it. And we tell everyone about it, because… well, that’s just what friends do.
We’re also fans of GORUCK and their bulletproof backpacks — or, as they prefer to call them, rucksacks — which we’ve featured several times on the site. The GR Echo, for example, is one of our favorite daypacks. The GR1 is GORUCK’s masterpiece of a backpack, and it thrives in any situation imaginable. And the GR2 is, simply put, the ultimate travel bag.
These are all very robust bags, and they complement each other well. However, for all their strengths, they’re not perfect. No bag is, which is why, sometimes, you need to adapt.
To their credit, the folks at GORUCK know this, which is why they designed their bags with expandability in mind from the very beginning. Thanks to the military-spec MOLLE system, GORUCK bags can be customized with a huge array of accessories, ranging from Field Pocket pouches to water bottle pockets, and many more.
Now, the MOLLE system usually works great, but even that is not always the best solution.
One of the most recognizable features of the GORUCK backpacks is their front slant pocket. This is a nice place to keep a few items easily accessible at all times, but there’s a small problem with it: when the bag is full, the pocket is so compressed that getting your hand inside and finding the right item is no easy task. This unfortunately takes away much of the pocket’s convenience and usability.
The Wire Dopp kit, an organizational sleeve designed to fit in the front slant pocket of all GORUCK bags, makes it a lot easier and far more convenient to carry some of your smaller items in this pocket.
Let’s take a closer look at it.
Like most things GORUCK, the Wire Dopp is made using military-grade materials, and it’s built to last. It is also made entirely in America, which is why GORUCK products often carry a premium when compared to other brands.
The main fabric is 1,000 Denier Cordura, a highly abrasion resistant material that also provides excellent protection against water. This is the same material used in all of their rucksacks.
In the case of the Wire Dopp, however, water resistance is irrelevant because all of its internal pockets are made of mesh in order to ensure visibility. Still, since the Wire Dopp is supposed to be carried inside your backpack, it should be well protected from the elements by the bag itself.
The zippers are high-quality YKK zippers made in the USA, with zipper pulls made out of 550 parachute cord. YKK zippers are known for their extreme durability and performance, even in the most difficult conditions. GORUCK tends to always use the same materials and parts in as many of their products as they can, which helps reduce inventory and streamline the manufacturing process. Since zippers are always the weakest link in the chain on everything bag-related, it’s nice to see GORUCK didn’t cut corners here despite this being a relatively affordable accessory.
Stitching throughout the product is of the highest quality, and everything is so well put together that we have no doubt this sleeve could outlast most other bags out there.
The exterior of the Wire Dopp is very minimalistic, featuring only a 2”x3” area of Velcro-friendly material, designed to attach a decorative patch of your choice.
The Wire Dopp is designed just like a bifold wallet: it folds in on itself to reduce the space it takes inside your bag. This is what allows it to fit in the front slant pocket of the GORUCK bags.
The two halves are kept closed by a plastic buckle, similar to the one found in the compression straps of the GR2 bag, although a bit smaller. Despite being made of plastic, these are really tough buckles, so there’s nothing to worry about here durability-wise.
Once you open the Wire Dopp you get instant access to all of its pockets. It is divided in three separate sections. The bigger one takes up an entire half of the sleeve, while the other half is divided in two smaller pockets. All three of these pockets are made of mesh, which allows you to visually identify their contents at all times.
Each pocket is closed by a zipper, and all three of them close towards the inner part of the sleeve, where it folds. That means the pulls are always kept neatly tucked in when the sleeve is closed, which shows great attention to detail on GORUCK’s part.
The zipper pulls are color-coded to each pocket in order to make it easier to remember where everything fits. This is another design cue found on many GORUCK products, although in this case, a simple glance is usually enough to locate any particular item thanks to the see-through mesh fabric. It may not be entirely necessary, but consistency in design is always appreciated.
Other than that, there’s really not much else going on here. Simplicity is one of the most appreciated qualities in product design, and it certainly is present in the Wire Dopp.
Real world usage
For the most part, the Wire Dopp performs exactly as advertised, and using it is usually a seamless experience.
The smaller pockets are ideal to carry cables, chargers, keys, USB drives and other small items, and since they’re made of mesh, everything is always visible, so finding those items when needed is not a problem.
The bigger pocket is perfect for carrying a Kindle, or maybe even an iPad mini. A full-sized iPad won’t fit in there, but it’s close.
This organizational sleeve works very well to get your electronic devices through a TSA security check in the airport, for example, or to carry all the adapters you need to connect your laptop to an external display for a talk or a presentation.
In general, the Wire Dopp is a great way to keep several related items together, while still being organized and segregated from the bag’s main compartment.
Design-wise, the whole point of the Wire Dopp is to be used inside the front slant pocket of the GORUCK rucksacks. In order to do that, you’ll need to be careful to pack only relatively flat items, so as to not increase the overall thickness of the sleeve beyond the point where it won’t fit in the pocket anymore. This is of course made worse by the fact that the Wire Dopp folds in on itself.
Still, even when carrying only flat items, if the bag is full you may have a hard time getting the Wire Dopp in and out of the front slant pocket. Due to the design of the bags themselves, the front pocket is heavily compressed by the rest of the bag’s contents, making the whole operation a bit uncomfortable at times.
This is not made any easier by the fact that the Wire Dopp’s buckle has a tendency to get stuck with the zipper of the slant pocket, and sometimes both hands are needed in order to get it out.
Luckily, if you own a GR1 or a GR2, you can also carry the Wire Dopp in one of the inner mesh pockets. These pockets are not as convenient or accessible as the front slant pocket, but they have the added benefit of being much easier to get in and out of.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to how you like to carry your stuff. If you’re happy letting smaller items swim in a big pocket, you may not need the Wire Dopp at all. If, on the other hand, you like to keep things organized and easy to find, this sleeve is a great way to do it.
Room for improvement
Just like there’s no such thing as the perfect bag, there’s also no such thing as the perfect accessory. Whether the Wire Dopp will solve any problems for you will depend entirely on the type of bag you like to carry, and how you like to organize items inside your favorite bag.
In general, the Wire Dopp does a great job of keeping things accessible and organized, but there are still a couple things that could be improved here:
The buckle often gets stuck when trying to get the sleeve in and out of the front slant pocket on all GORUCK backpacks. If this can’t be fixed by improving the buckle, maybe the best way to solve the issue would be to remove it entirely. After all, the buckle isn’t really necessary when the bag is closed, only when handling the Wire Dopp separately.
It’d be interesting to have different pocket layouts to choose from. The current 3-pocket layout works reasonably well in most scenarios, but depending on the stuff you need to carry, it may or may not be the best option for you. Unfortunately, the Wire Dopp’s pocket layout can’t be altered after purchasing it, and there are no alternative layouts to choose from when buying it.
1,000 Denier Cordura is GORUCK’s trademark material, but it might be a bit too heavy-duty for this product. The Wire Dopp is only a small accessory, it doesn’t really need to be as tough as the backpacks themselves. Using, say, 500 Denier Cordura instead would still provide plenty of durability, while making the sleeve lighter and slimmer. This would in turn make it easier to fit inside the front pocket of the GORUCK rucksacks, which is the whole point to begin with.
At $25, the Wire Dopp is a great value. It’s an inexpensive way to enhance the versatility of your GORUCK bags, making the front pocket a lot more functional in real world use.
But even if you don’t own a GORUCK bag, the Wire Dopp is still an excellent way to keep small items organized, and it can be used with literally any bag that is big enough to hold it, or even as a standalone item.
If you’re always carrying lots of cables and chargers for your devices, you can simply organize them in the Wire Dopp, throw it inside your favorite bag, and you’re good to go.
Due to their impressive build quality, materials, and the fact that they’re built in the USA, GORUCK products are usually more expensive than competing products from other brands. However, the Wire Dopp bucks that trend by remaining affordable enough to recommend to anyone, regardless of the bag they own.
If you own a GORUCK bag, though, the Wire Dopp is about as much a no-brainer as it gets in our book. It solves the main problem with the slant pocket, and it does so in a simple, elegant and reliable way.
As much as we like to look for it, there’s no such thing as the perfect bag, which is why buying and using the right accessories is so important.
All things considered, the Wire Dopp is everything a good accessory should be: it’s simple, extremely well made, and it provides useful functionality without increasing complexity or requiring you to significantly change the way you use your bag.
This organizational sleeve is a great add-on to any of the GORUCK backpacks, making them even more convenient for day to day use.
That being said, whether you intend to use it with a GORUCK bag or not, the Wire Dopp remains a very useful and affordable accessory well worth your consideration.