Greenroom136 is a name many people in the carry community are aware of. They have been around for a decade now, put out a lot of products and even collaborated with us at TPP on their 2021 ‘Sardine Tin’ run. The name comes from Patrick’s (the owner of GR136) old work space in his old house. A green room at his address of 136. Yup…. mystery solved, and moving on…
GR136 started in 2011 with one bag, and a need that that had to be filled. Patrick was working for a large company, doing a lot of travel and living out of his bag. After some chatting with a buddy, he decided he was going to fix his need for a good bag, quit his job and start his own company. This is how the Junkmonkey (the first GR136 bag) was born. And more products have followed. Patrick’s business has grown but still offers services seen with small operations, like one-off custom builds and a huge range of options in their W?ldcard program. That’s where my VX Rainmaker comes in.
|Weight||2.5 lbs||1.13 kg|
|Capacity||1342.5 cu. in.||22L|
|Primary Materials||Cordura VX42 nylon outer shell/420D poly coated Oxford nylon Ripstop inner shell|
Quality and Comfort
This is not my first rodeo with GR136 or the Rainmaker pack, though this was my first offering in VX from them. The fit and finish are what I’ve come to expect from Greenroom’s Cordura models: solid, well built and up to par for every task I put it to, whether that’s everyday carry, dad-bag or a daypack for hiking.
In each of these scenarios, the bag was very comfortable to wear. It felt good on the back and the new hip belt was great to have while hiking. The belt is also removable and attaches with the a thick 2″ piece of webbing to some sturdy YKK hardware.
The top grab handle is the same wide 2″ piece of webbing as the hip belt. This width fits the palm nicely. This made passing the bag to the passenger seat of the car easy and not a painful task.
One question I have been asked a lot is whether the X-Pac version lighter than the 1000d Cordura version. The answer is yes, but for 2 reasons: first, the VX42 is a lighter material. Second: My Cordura bag is 27L, where my X-Pac is 22L. So the bag overall is smaller and therefore lighter.
Organization and Access
As far as organization goes, the Rainmaker has a lot. Some may say too much. I lost things in this bag by forgetting I stuck them someplace. In wrapping up my testing, I found 3 packs of business cards in different areas of the bag. I had no idea I had more than one pack in there.
Through the W?ldcard menu I added both the sunglass pocket and the slim zip pouch. I could have gotten away with just the sunglass pocket. I personally wear prescription spectacles, so I don’t use the sunglass pocket on any bag for its intended purpose, but I find that they are a handy pocket on any bag, where I’ll toss in my work ID, a pen and any other super quick grab items. If I’m carrying a camera with me, this is the perfect place for some camera batteries. You’ll always need them, and need them fast.
Where the Rainmaker really shines is the front admin pocket. On this VX build, I went with the peel down front pocket. This is such a great option for this bag. It allows the user to really see, access and organize this area of the bag. On my first go around with the Rainmaker I did not choose this option. I thought the pocket looked odd, out of place, and to be honest ugly.
The front pocket ended up being my favourite part if this bag. It made me wish I’d given it a shot years ago. It peels down enough to allow full access to the whole panel of the bag, but it does not completely zip open. This allows the pocket to still be used as a dump pocket. At the same time, the pocket has its own dimensions so it does not take up internal space in the main body.
The Rainmaker does also offer a secondary admin area. The rear clamshell laptop area has some more organization, with two liner pockets and 2 pen slots. I found this area useful for keeping work/video ideas separate from my journal/checkbook stuff. An additional feature in the laptop area is the actual laptop sleeve. You can have this made removable, but this is not a drop down option when building up your pack. If you want this, you’ll need to include this as a note in the bottom “Note” section of your bag build.
An additional note on the laptop sleeve: the 22L version sleeve does fit a 15″ laptop but the sleeve will be a little short for the computer. I found I could still close the flap on the sleeve, and the bag has no issues closing, but the laptop does not fully fit into the sleeve on the 22L version. The 27L version did fully cover my 15″ laptop (multiple laptops for that matter).
The main body of the bag is a large space, and even the 22L fits a lot of stuff. I was very impressed by everything I can fit in the pack. The capacity felt more in the 25-26L range to me.
The Rainmaker’s main compartment is not just a large cavern: there are two zipper mesh pockets on the front side of the pack, as well as a large liner pocket and some PALS on the back side. I mesh pockets aren’t stretchy but they do offer enough dimension to them to easily get your hand inside to grab the item you are fishing for. I used these to keep my packable rain jacket in, and one of my organizer pouches that I access a lot.
With my daily EDC in the bag, I still had plenty of room for any incidentals I might pickup during the day. And yes…. I was easily able to fit the stuffy I bought my daughter at the zoo inside once she realized she didn’t want to carry it in 90 degree heat.
I’m not a fan of where the main zipper stops when opening the bag. My build has water bottle pockets, and the zippers end about half way down the pockets. This creates an issue when trying to zip the bag back up as the zippers tend to get a little lost. This is not applicable of you get the clamshell version of the pack.
I added some paracord to the zipper pulls, which helps to find the zipper a little easier when it gets buried. It also helps to stop the zipper from going further down, when there’s a water bottle in the pocket.
The paracord also helps to alleviate the second negative point to this pack (and most Greenroom136 packs) the jangly zippers. Greenroom136 use some beefy YKK zippers and they can get noisy. Adding a bit of paracord helps to curb that a bit, but the real solution would be to cut the zipper pulls off and go straight paracord. There is an option to order a bag with paracord straight from GR136.
That’s about it for the negatives on the Rainmaker. One neutral point I would like to mention is the straps, or second strap rather, as a tendency to roll or flip in on you. This is due to the padded strap not attaching to the back of the bag. The strap is connected via a 2″ piece of webbing, so it has a solid attachment to the bag. But the webbing has a tendency to flip in.
And let’s end on a positive note. One of the great additions to GR136 packs is the high vis gold liner. My older version has grey, but I am really happy with the gold. It hasn’t gotten dirty like I thought it would (though I’m sure over a longer time period it will start to show signs of wear quicker than grey) and it does make fishing for that lost item at the bottom of the pack much easier.
- The black VX42 blends well for both the office and urban environments.
- Plenty of built in organization to help dial in your carry.
- New removable hip belt is nice to have for hikes and easy to take off when not needed.
- This is not a pack for the minimalist. There are a LOT of pockets and organization.
- This is not a ready made pack. These are built to order, so there is a wait for your bag.
- This is not a quiet pack out of the box. It features the signature GR136 zipper jangle.
The Greenroom 136 Rainmaker is a pretty solid bag. I was personally more of a GR136 Genesis fan before I received the VX42 version of the Rainmaker, but I have flipped. I am find the bag to be very versatile and it has great access.
The peel down front pocket is a great feature, that I wish I had added to my original Cordura version. It really added to the functionality of the bag.
No product is perfect, but I found the negatives of this pack to be far outweighed by its positive features. And the jangly zippers are a quick and easy fix.
Video review link – https://youtu.be/26xh0AKpG5s
Disclaimer: The W?ldcard Rainmaker was provided by Greenroom136 for use in this review. The content of the review was not discussed with Greenroom136 before publication. Our reviews are impartial and never altered to keep a brand happy.