If you love gear as much as we do, odds are that you have difficulty storing and hauling said gear from time to time. Maybe you’ve cursed your current setup for being too disorganized, or not modular enough to shift from summer to winter. Maybe you even have a decked-out Sprinter van or a garage fit for a sultan, but need to pare down on the opulence for a night or two and hike some of that gear down to a campsite.
Traditionally, options for dealing with a plethora of gear have been limited to bulky storage bins or large tote bags that end up making a mess of things. That’s why, when the good folks at RUX offered up one of their signature storage solutions, the RUX 70L for a test drive, my eyes lit up with excitement. Could this really be the answer to all of my gear troubles? Only a good ol’ fashioned gear test would be able to answer that.
RUX: A New Innovation In Gear Storage and Transport
There hasn’t been much innovation in gear management since the now-everywhere black-and-yellow storage bins dethroned Rubbermaid boxes a decade ago. And if we’re really being honest, it wasn’t the hugest of innovations, despite being pleasantly stack-able. The RUX 70L rig, on the other hand, raises the bar for both storing and hauling your gear— even storing itself when not in use. That’s thanks to the collapsible rails that you place into the corners that allow it to stand up. Want to stash it when not in use? Just remove those same rails and it packs up. The Rux combines the best aspects of a plastic bin with the best features of a large tote bag to create a new and highly versatile category of gear-storage solutions.
That would be innovative enough to be noteworthy, but some other key features set the RUX apart as well. First is the modular clip system on both the outside and inside, allowing you to attach straps any number of ways and give virtually limitless options for transport. While most gear totes only have handles on the sides (as does this unit), clipping on the shoulder straps allows you to carry it like a backpack, over your shoulder, or however works to suit the payload and your particular carrying style. Or you can extend the included tie-down straps to make the lid pop up and hold even more stuff than the advertised 70 liters, should you have the need.
The lid is also a new innovation, allowing fold-back access on-the-fly when in a hurry. Despite being flexible, it was still sturdy enough to hold a 20 lb power station on top without seeming to harm it. And a durable side-window lets you see what’s inside without cracking the lid.
Unboxing the unit meant actually turning it into a box. It arrives in it’s stashed-away state, which shows how useful it is to not take up an entire storage shelf when not needed. Turning it into box form requires inserting the four collapsible side rails. This is the meat of what makes this product unique – any of the corners can collapse inward, which makes transporting easy when limited on space. I took full use of this when moving some stuff out of my storage unit and it didn’t quite fit between the handles. I simply had to press in on one of the corners and made it fit, whereas a plastic bin would have awkwardly sat on top, or required a second trip.
Two large carry straps are included and can snap into any of the utility rails for various carrying styles. In my opinion, these straps could be beefier, especially if carrying a large load, but they do the trick. Maybe down the line they will offer some more padded options, but nevertheless they do the job. The side rails also are compatible with slatwall panels for easy stashing in those tricked-out garages or storage sheds.
I’ve taken the Rux 70L camping and realized it’s way more handy than most other methods. Having a lid that can easily roll back to toss gear in on the fly is oh-so-convenient. Also having a window on the side can help when using multiple pieces, so you can easily see what’s inside.
|Packs down flat for easy stashing||Corner rails can collapse under weight|
|Lid can roll back for quick access||Shoulder straps aren’t padded|
|Infinitely customizable through clips and side rails||Pricey|
RUX 70L Notable Features
Here are a few of the features that set this unit apart from other options:
Weatherproof: It’s easy to clean and can withstand the elements. Lid has a rainproof closure.
Stackable: It can hold up to 50lb on top – just make sure the weight is evenly distributed.
Expandable: Extend the straps and the lid can rise up and suit more than just 70L.
Customizable: With clip points all over the outside and inside, you can rig it up to suit the unique needs of your particular mission.
Who It’s Best For: The RUX 70L is great for anyone who is moving gear to and fro often. It’s also great if you’re hard on gear and need something a bit more solid than a bag, but also need it to be more portable than a plastic bin. With its endless customizability, there’s ways to rig the RUX that are yet to be dreamed up.
Who It Might Not Be Good For: With a $300 price tag, it might scare off those on a budget. Since it’s fairly new and uses premium materials, it comes at a cost.
Having a new innovation in gear management is an exciting development, especially one that covers so many bases to fill gaps where other options fall short. With a multitude of customization options, weatherproof casing, and a lid that can fold back and also expand to hold even more stuff, we think a ton of people are going to enjoy having the RUX 70L. While the pricetag might slow down adoption by the masses, there will be plenty of adventurers who see the value in these for storing and hauling gear. So if you have the funds, a whole lot of gear, and no shortage of adventures, this will be one of those items that you will be happy that someone took the time to bring it to market.
Editor’s Note: For more gear reviews and features on The Inertia, click here.