RUX Waterproof Bag Review
The RUX Waterproof Bag is a large tote bag that handles kayaking and watery adventures with ease, though its bulky size poses its own challenges.
- A bag with lots of capacity you can take confidently near water
- Rolltop stows away neatly when you don’t need it
- Modularity allows you to remove and replace straps as you want
- Included straps nearly too thin to be comfortable
- Bulky size makes rolltop difficult to operate
- Handles feel too tight to carry on the shoulder
19.4 oz (550 g)
RF-welded TPU coated nylon
14.5 in x 11.5 in x 9 in (36.8 x 29.2 x 22.9 cm)
Nylon, Hypalon®, Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU), Woojin Hardware
Tote bags and water. That sounds like a recipe for disaster since tote bags are generally associated with simple, open designs. Boiled down to their basic components, they’re pretty much large sacks with two large handles. You get the occasional added features here and there, like zippered closures, additional pockets, and even the ability to transform into another style of bag.
That said, waterproofing is a particularly interesting feature to add since it makes using tote bags to haul tons of gear near water a little less risky. However, we found out that a huge size comes with its own caveat in terms of accessibility and ease of use. Find out how in the review below!
At the heart of any waterproof bag is the materials. The RUX Waterproof Bag uses an 840-denier nylon fabric coated with TPU, which makes it extra water-resistant. Moreover, the seams are RF-welded, which is a fairly common feature among waterproof bags. This kind of welding completely seals any gaps that would otherwise exist if the fabrics were simply stitched together. A neat side-effect is that most waterproof and water-resistant bags are also very easy to clean. This makes a lot of sense; if the fabric can repel water, it’ll probably repel most kinds of dirt and moisture, though you will still have to wipe them off manually.
You’ll probably want to keep the RUX Waterproof Bag clean, too, since it’s not bad-looking. It doesn’t look too utilitarian, especially in this Green colorway that reminds us a lot of Olive, a casual colorway we pick whenever we want to take a break from always picking black. At the same time, RUX also didn’t go overboard with the branding and just opted for simple printed logos on either side of the Waterproof Bag.
As for more practical features, the RUX Waterproof Bag has lash points on all four sides. They’re not as fancy as the nylon webbings you’d typically find on full-fledged travel backpacks or messenger bags. Instead, they’re closer to cut-outs in the fabric itself. Still, the edges have been smoothed out, so it’s not like they’re the sort of cut-outs that will fray over time.
Along the top are Hypalon-like loops, which a lot of the bag’s hardware hooks into. That includes the tote handles’ and the crossbody strap’s clips, plus a G-hook that acts as a fast and easy way to close the bag’s opening. We like the hardware RUX uses here, by the way. We can’t tell for sure whether they’re metal or plastic, but they feel very robust and light at the same time, and that’s more than enough for us.
Additionally, there are clips on the side that can hook onto the utility rails of the larger RUX 70L. Yep, this 25-liter tote is designed to nest into its much larger 70-liter sibling, either internally or externally.
Carrying the RUX Waterproof Bag is similar to carrying most other tote bags. That is to say, you’re stuck with fairly simplistic means. In this specific case, there are the tote handles and the lone shoulder strap, neither particularly beefy or padded. That said, their relatively small size is probably warranted, given that we’ve seen them retain water after getting submerged, making them all soggy and, more importantly, heavier. Fortunately, you can remove the handles or the shoulder strap individually, depending on which you prefer to use, lessening overall bulk.
The good news is that the shoulder strap, despite its rather anemic appearance, still manages to deliver a comfortable carrying experience. It has extra width along the section made out of the main body fabric, and that’s enough to distribute the weight. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on how heavy your gear is. Fortunately, you can swap in your own beefier straps, provided they can hook into those Hypalon-like loops we mentioned earlier.
The tote handles, unfortunately, feel a bit too tight to hang off your shoulder, so we recommend using them only for hand carrying. If you really want to achieve that tote-on-shoulder carry style, you can still use the included shoulder strap and just cinch it tighter for a closer fit.
Inside The Tote Bag
Given that this is a tote, we’re not surprised that the opening is wide and easy to access. The only potential obstacles here are the clips that hook into the 70L’s utility rails. You can remove those with a bit of effort, so it’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.
With a 25-liter capacity, the interior is spacious and easy to pack. A huge part of what makes packing easy is the RUX Waterproof Bag’s flat foam floor. Throw a piece of gear inside, and it doesn’t just immediately collapse the base like you’ve just thrown a bowling ball in a sack.
As a side note: Our prior experience carrying gear during kayaking trips mostly involved cylindrical dry bags. Unfortunately, those pack from bottom to top because of their shape, which makes gear access a pain point, especially if what you need is in the bottommost position. The RUX Waterproof bag sidesteps a lot of that by having a lot of horizontal space, allowing us to pack gear side by side, as well as stack them on top of each other.
Finally, we’ve arrived at the part where we show how the tote becomes totally waterproof. See the black liner fabric? You can pull that out, and it becomes the rolltop that completely seals the bag’s opening. Along the edges of its opening is built-in plastic to give it a bit of structure that facilitates rolling. Then, at the sides are clips that go together to complete the seal. It’s a very clever way to integrate a rolltop into a tote bag.
The only noteworthy caveat is that, because of the RUX Waterproof Bag’s relative bulkiness, it can be hard to do and undo the rolltop. In our case, we were trying to operate the rolltop while kayaking—with the bag directly behind us. Of course, this is likely just a worst-case scenario, and it was simple to pull the bag forward to get what we needed and then return the tote to its place at the rear of the boat when finished. However, it’s worth noting if you’re used to the small form factor of typical dry bags because it does significantly slow down gear access.
- Inside seems pretty roomy
- Dig that the waterproof opening tucks into the bag if you don’t need it
- Tote handles are nice and comfortable, though they’re not super padded
- Worked great on a camping trip for gear storage at the campsite and on a kayak
- Found it difficult to close the rolltop with one hand compared to a traditional cylindrical waterproof dry bag
- Easy to clean, which is great since this is designed for rugged adventures