RUX Bag 25L Review

As tough as the RUX Bag 25L is, it’s surprisingly easy to compress and pack away once your picnic’s done.

Our Verdict

7.6 /10
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  • Fairly easy to fold and compress for a non-packable tote
  • Very open and easy to pack
  • Cleverly uses its internal pocket as a lid for a more boxy shape


  • Lacks rigid structure, so it leans and sags
  • We wish it had a shoulder strap for easier carrying
  • Thin handles aren’t very comfortable themselves

Technical Details

92 %

Carry-on Compliance

View 134/145 Airlines

  • Capacity


  • Weight (oz)

    9.77 oz (277 g)

  • Dimensions

    13.8 in x 12.2 in x 7.9 in (35.1 x 31 x 20.1 cm)

  • Notable Materials

    Polyester, Nylon, Hypalon®, Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU), Aluminum

  • Manufacturing Country


  • Warranty Information

    RUX Warranty

Buying Options

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Full Review

The humble tote bag has to be one of the travel gear world’s hidden-in-plain-sight wonders. It’s the simple concept of sack + handles that makes it endlessly useful when you just want to haul stuff from point A to point B. Whether it’s a bunch of bananas, a collection of doll heads, or even a Dutch oven (in our case), if it fits, you’ll have a much easier time lugging it with the tote than with your bare hands. Packing is relatively easy, too, since there’s usually only one compartment where most of your gear will go.

RUX Bag 25L Bench
RUX Bag 25L | Using the tote outdoors.

Yes, the basic concept remains unchanged, but that hasn’t stopped brands from spicing it up with their own takes; a case in point is the RUX Bag 25L. Its tough TPU-coated fabric handles the outdoors with relative ease, and it combines with the RUX’s other gear if you’ve already invested in those. Then again, it is lacking in other aspects, which we’re also looking into in this review.

External Components

Despite any aforementioned “spicing” the brand has done to this tote, the RUX Bag 25L is still a relatively simple design. There are no frills, save for the RUX logo near the bottom, and it’s just a plain rectangular tub design throughout. If you want some flair, you can pick the Green or Orange colorways. As for us, we’re sticking with our safe bet: Black.

RUX Bag 25L Brand
RUX Bag 25L | It’s TPU-coated for water resistance.

The base fabric is a 600-denier polyester. In terms of heaviness, this lands somewhere between the heavyweights like the 1680-denier ballistic nylon on some travel bags and the 200-ish ones of some liners. It’s sufficiently abrasion-resistant for outdoor use, bolstered by a TPU coating that gives it a rather slick and matte look.

The TPU coating makes it look somewhat similar to the RUX Waterproof Bag’s fabric, though that uses a different base material altogether. More importantly, though the TPU coating does an excellent job of repelling splashes, the RUX Bag 25L’s interior isn’t sealed, unlike the RUX Waterproof Bag. If nothing else, the TPU coating just makes it easy to wipe away mud and other stains.

RUX Bag 25L Hardware
RUX Bag 25L | These clip onto rails in the RUX 70L.

The lack of waterproofness is okay, though; that’s why the RUX Waterproof Bag exists. What’s more concerning is that the RUX Bag 25L isn’t as structured as its weatherproof sibling. This is partly due to the lighter and more flexible fabric, but this is also because of this tote’s layout—which we’ll take a closer look at later. For now, let’s check out the hardware scattered around this bag.

First are the clips on the extreme sides of the tote. They are specifically designed to mount on corresponding rails on the RUX 70L. In case you’re unfamiliar, it’s a huge crate-like bag, and you basically use the RUX Bag 25L to organize gear inside. The mounting process is fairly easy, making the tote a compelling add-on if you already have a RUX 70L. We’re not evaluating that piece in this review, though, so we’ll stick to checking this tote by itself.

RUX Bag 25L Strap Studio
RUX Bag 25L | These handles are quite thin.

The main compartment’s closure is a G-hook on an adjustable strap. It’s a very simple way to do this, but it’s effective and arguably more reliable than a zipper that could jam. On the flip side, the G-hook can disengage under the right circumstances, like if it’s loose or the tote gets jostled a lot. Fortunately, this didn’t happen during our testing since we always kept the strap cinched tight. Additionally, the G-hook doesn’t seal, unlike a zipper closure or a rolltop, so keep that in mind.

RUX Bag 25L Hardware Top
RUX Bag 25L | The G-hook is as simple of a closure as it comes.

The only means of carrying the RUX Bag 25L is by the pair of handles. They’re rather thin, though, as they’re folded over and stitched onto themselves to provide some thickness and a false sense of padding. You can already tell these aren’t the most comfortable handles for sustained carrying. Each end has a corresponding loop where you can hang additional accessories or, better yet, a proper shoulder strap.

Fit Notes

As we’ve mentioned, the thin handles aren’t very comfortable to hold for long periods, especially when we load the tote with heavy gear. The handles dig into your fingers, making you want to hurry up to wherever you’re going. They’re also not big enough to sling the entire tote on one shoulder, just big enough to hang off the crook of your elbow—which is also not entirely comfortable long-term.

RUX Bag 25L Walking
RUX Bag 25L | The thin handles aren’t very comfortable to use.

To be clear, the basic handles are totally fine if you’re just carrying the tote around a modestly-sized campsite. However, if you’re bringing this from the foot of a mountain to somewhere high, you’ll definitely want a beefy shoulder strap.

Inside The Tote

Again, the RUX Bag 25L’s design is quite simple, so packing it is also relatively easy. Undo the G-hook, and you can insert all the heavy gear you want until the compartment is full. Of course, we recommend planning and arranging your gear; you wouldn’t want your carton of eggs under your bottle of wine, would you? We loaded a few packing cubes and a laptop sleeve inside, exposing the chief issue with the RUX Bag 25L.

RUX Bag 25L Mesh Pocket
RUX Bag 25L | One of the pockets doubles as a lid.

It’s not a deal-breaking issue by any means, mind you. However, the RUX Bag 25L doesn’t have a ton of structure. The whole tote sags and shifts correspondingly to what’s inside. Once we set it down on a table, it lists to whatever side the laptop sleeve leans toward. Additionally, the floor also noticeably sags when carrying it.

Silver lining: the RUX Bag 25L’s rather flexible structure also makes it really easy to compress. For a tote that’s relatively rugged and not designed to be compressible like the Timbuk 2 Packable Travel Tote or Peak Design Packable Tote, the RUX Bag 25L folds down well, making it easy to store once you’re done with it. Mind you, it doesn’t compress into a neat little ball like the two we just mentioned.

RUX Bag 25L Sag
RUX Bag 25L | The tote’s soft structure is on display here.

Tote bags with extra pockets aren’t exactly rare, and the RUX Bag 25L certainly has them. You get two of them inside, sitting right across each other. They’re both made of a rather rough and stiff-feeling mesh, which makes sense for at least one of the pockets.

This pocket is only stitched along the top, letting the rest of it hang freely. This isn’t just an off-the-cuff design decision; this pocket’s bottom edge can be attached to the G-hook to form a partial lid over the main compartment. However, remember that this also raises whatever gear you have inside the pocket, and everyone can see your items since it is made of mesh and protected only by its snap-fastened opening.

On the opposite side is a similarly sized mesh pocket. The two key differences are that this one is fully stitched, so it can’t fold up, and there’s only one snap fastener. Otherwise, both pockets have a similar volume, being able to fit mostly everyday carry items like a wallet, smartphone, and a set of keys.

RUX Bag 25L Stuffed
RUX Bag 25L | It’s roomy like most totes.

However, we want to mention that these pockets exacerbate the tote’s soft structure. Once you have heavy accessories in them, they can cause the sides to collapse inwards, hindering access to your other gear. That said, it’s more of a nitpick since you can just move them out of the way.

Usage Timeline

Initial Usage

Condition: Excellent

  • The suspended organization pocket is a nice touch
  • Interested to see if the unstructured base is an issue
  • Materials and construction feel super solid
2 Weeks of Use

Condition: Excellent

  • Flexible design means you can really compress this thing down if you want to store it in a compact space like a travel backpack or closet
  • Lack of structure in the base and walls makes for a fairly floppy design, which impacts the ease of loading in our gear
  • Not the most comfortable to carry long distances when carrying super heavy gear because the handles lack padding
By Lauren Maternowski
Created January 15, 2024 • Updated January 15, 2024
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