RUX 70L Review
The RUX 70L is handy for transporting supplies for outdoor adventures like camping or beach hopping. Carrying it as a backpack is pretty awkward, though.
- Compresses down almost flat for easy storage
- Convenient for carrying gear on outdoor adventures and road trips
- Material is easy to clean if it gets dirty
- Thin straps are uncomfortable to carry as a backpack
- The boxy shape can be a hassle when using as a duffle
- Doesn’t always stay upright if it’s not completely full
4.4 lb (2 kg)
19.5 in x 15.7 in x 13.8 in (49.5 x 39.9 x 35.1 cm)
Nylon, Polyurethane, Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU), EVA Foam, Steel
Ever find yourself looking for one huge bag that works as a backpack, duffle bag, carry case, and tote? No? Well, let us be the first to tell you that the RUX 70L is the multifunctional box/bag hybrid of your most unimaginable dreams. The RUX is definitely the travel accessory of someone’s dreams, though. It was fully funded via an Indiegogo campaign in four minutes and the creators finished at 2236% above their funding goal. No, that’s not an exaggeration. Check out that link!
Yes, you can actually use the RUX as a gear case, tote bag, duffle bag, and backpack. It compresses down flat when you’re not using it and can even be attached to slat walls in your garage if you opt for the optional slat wall hooks. You may be wondering, “how the heck is that even possible… or functional?” We were right there with you. Our curiosity was piqued enough to try it out, so we tested the RUX in several capacities over three weeks. Spoiler alert, it does not make a great backpack, and you may get lots of “wtf is that” looks when you wear it this way. That’s what our Instagram audience thought anyway, with only 9% of our followers saying they dug the look.
Trust us on this one. We once rode off into the sunset on a bike while wearing the RUX as a backpack because we had a ton of gear to take home. It was epic—and also kind of a lifesaver, because how else would we carry so much gear on a freaking bicycle? The weird looks were probably from people thinking we were their Uber Eats driver (cycler?) and wondering where the heck we were going with their food. Or maybe they were just jealous. No big deal, we love flexing on our haters.
Of all the ways to use the RUX 70L, we found it most useful on road trips and outdoor adventures. Stuffing the RUX full of sleeping bags, camp stoves, tents, and other camping gear and throwing it in the back of a truck was pretty satisfying. It also saved us a bunch of trips from the house to the car with smaller tote bags full of supplies.
Materials & Aesthetic
The RUX is made of a TPU coated 840D nylon with a DWR finish. For those not in the know, DWR stands for “durable water repellent.” The TPU and water resistance give the RUX a smooth, slick feel. It also means if you have to set it down on a muddy trailhead or sandy beach, you can hose it off later without the material getting soaked through. Then you can just dry it off with a towel.
There’s also a TPU window on one side so that you can see inside the box itself. Whether this is useful depends on your preference and what you choose to pack. Seeing the neon orange tent and thick sleeping bag inside didn’t add anything special to our experience using the RUX. You can also opt for the bundle that includes two nesting totes to help you organize everything inside, Russian doll style.
A spongy EVA foam lid on the top keeps everything covered, and a stretchy layer of elastic fabric underneath snaps it in place around the corners. The lid is removable and can double as a cushion if you’ve got nothing else to sit on in the wild, but it’s not quite thick enough to make a comfortable seat. Though if it comes down to sitting on a bunch of wet leaves or a foam RUX lid, the choice is obvious, so it’s nice to have the option. On the sides of the RUX are utility rails in case you want to use it for gear storage in your garage. You can just latch on the slat wall hooks that are sold separately.
Now, you may be wondering how this massive 70L maintains its shape while still being compressible. The malleable material helps, but the bistable steel corner stays are mostly to thank here. These are basically like adult snap bracelets that keep the RUX upright when you want them to and roll down when you want to compress it for storage. They even sound like snap bracelets, which is kind of fun.
Unfortunately, one of the corner stays in the pre-production sample we tested was defective. It caved in from the moment we unboxed it and just would not stay up, so our RUX had a sad little sag on one side. We want to emphasize that we received a pre-production sample for testing, which is probably the reason for the defect (the other three corners work like a charm). If you get your hands on a RUX, it’s unlikely you’ll have the same problem.
You’re supposed to be able to expand the RUX instantly by just holding the top and shaking it so steel bracelets will snap into place. This wasn’t quite the case for us, and we aren’t sure if the broken corner stay is to blame for this. It wasn’t smooth for any of the corners to pop into place when we tried getting it back to box shape after being fully compressed. Sometimes it took a few tries, plus a little assistance to our broken friend.
It comes in two colors, tan and green, which both give off tactical utility vibes. The tan version seems more neutral, while the green makes us feel like we’re about to live the primitive life as a wilderness survival expert.
Features & Usage
With all the ways that you can carry the RUX comes a mess of straps. First off, you’ve got the longer adjustable straps for duffle, tote, and backpack carry. These are made with climbing-grade nylon webbing in a bright orange color. There’s a thin amount of padding, but it doesn’t do much for comfort. This is especially true if you want to use it as a backpack or tote since they are relatively thin and cut into your shoulders.
Then there’s the nylon webbing handles on the sides for carrying it as a gear case. Finally, there’s a pair of compression straps on the lid that you buckle up to keep everything tidy when it’s compressed. It also offers an extra bit of security to keep the top closed. When you’ve got the RUX all strapped and buckled up, the profile looks relatively clean—minus the sag we had on the pre-production sample. When the backpack straps are out and you unbuckle the compression straps (which you must do to open the lid), it looks a bit messy. The straps are just kind of left dangling around the sides.
Inside, the RUX is basically an open space with a reinforced bottom that looks exactly the same as the lid. We liked how this thick bottom offered protection against tears and rips on our camping trip. We can confidently say that throwing it down on rocky or uneven ground won’t hurt the bag at all. If “bag” is even the right word to use to describe the RUX. We’re honestly still not sure. You can also opt for the EDC pouch that attaches to the inside and hangs near the top. This is a nice spot to keep small items that may migrate down to the bottom when in transit. Highly recommended.
When it’s fully packed, and especially if you’re wearing it over your shoulder, the RUX can be challenging to get through the door. It’s 70L for chrissake! We appreciate the number of things that can fit inside, but it is essentially a massive box, so not the easiest to maneuver around if it’s going to be hanging off your shoulder.
We used the RUX on a camping trip, day hike, road trip, to move house, and even to carry groceries. That last one probably isn’t its intended use, but then again, it is supposed to be a tote. What else are you supposed to do when you have ten bags of groceries and the only available parking spot is two blocks away from your apartment?
- The crate-like appearance hides its flexibility
- You can carry it like a backpack but it’s not as comfortable
- Really easy to pack thanks to its box-style openness
- Very useful on road trips and camping trips as it can fit a lot of gear inside
- It’s most comfortable to use as a gear case with the side carry handles
- Straps are not comfortable when carrying in backpack mode
- The boxy shape makes it awkward to carry as a duffle
- One of the steel corner stays wouldn’t stay upright so the RUX sagged a bit on that side, but we have a pre-production sample which could be the reason for this issue
- Compresses down nice and flat to save space in your garage or car when not in use