Rux 70L Storage System Review
Given a passing glance, the Rux 70L storage system could be mistaken for one of those plastic, store-bought bins collecting dust in your basement. In fact, the 70-liter Rux I've been testing for the last several weeks doesn't look all that different—in color, size and overall appearance—from the 18-gallon storage container full of Christmas decorations I recently lugged out of the basement.
Can the Rux storage bin improve how you store and move gear? We put it to the test to find out.
Upon closer inspection, however, the Rux reveals several key differences. For starters, it forgoes the usual plastic build for a softer yet equally sturdy nylon housing. It's also covered with a variety of straps, fasteners and handles. While it's still essentially a “box,” these various extra features and inclusions make it more of a portable storage solution than a simple container. It's designed not as a means of storing and stashing away items for months at a time, but rather, as an on-the-go gear hauler for outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes.
Does the Rux's durable design and portable perks make it better than a significantly cheaper packing container or duffle bag? Let's dive in to discover if it's just a glorified bin with a premium price tag, or your new go-to gear-carting solution.
Price: $265 | Volume: 70 liters | Dimensions: 19.5 x 15.7 x 13.8 inches | Weight: 5.3 pounds | Max Load: 50 pounds | Materials: 840D TPU coated waterproof nylon (bin), PU coated compressed EVA foam (base), nylon webbing (straps), composite nylon (frame)
The most significant thing separating the Rux from more traditional storage bins is its task-driven design. The materials that make it up aren't merely aesthetic, but supportive of its various functional features too. It’s largely constructed of 840D TPU coated waterproof nylon that sheds moisture, dirt and unwanted debris, which means it’s durable yet pliable.
In practice, this thoughtful design allowed me to squeeze more gear into it than a more rigid bin would ever allow. That little bit of extra give in the nylon material can make all the difference when you need to cram one—or several—almost-forgotten items at the last minute.
Case in point: After I'd “finished” packing the Rux with gear for a recent outing, my son decided he needed to bring a second pair of shoes, gloves and his favorite plush companion. With little effort, I was able to add these items to the already-stuffed Rux. Of course, the container's small viewing window and bungie-fastened, tri-fold lid only added to the convenience when packing it to the brim. The latter feature, that tri-fold lid, is also great when you need to fish out an item but you’d rather not completely remove the top.
The Rux's flexibility is most apparent in its ability to completely flatten. The corners of the container are made rigid by slender lengths of steel that look and feel like one of those kid’s slap bracelets. Installing these “corner stays” can be an obscenity-inducing affair, but once they're in, you needn't mess with them again.
When the Rux is empty, you simply give the corners a nudge and it collapses like a pole-less pop tent—built-in compression straps ensure it says flat. As the container's signature feature, it's a cool, convenient inclusion that works as advertised. That said, I generally enjoyed using the Rux so much and so regularly that I never really felt the need to squish it down and store it away for any length of time. That’s one of the best compliments I can give this do-it-all bin, but it also undermines one of its key selling points.
What I did find more useful was the Rux's ability to stand up to rain, mud and other unwanted elements of the outdoors. I packed it with a number of absorbent items— blankets, sweatshirts and knit hats—and sat it in the grass during a rainstorm and when I returned the next morning to check on the equipment, everything inside was bone dry. Sure, the bottom was caked in mud, but its PU-coated underside also did its part to keep all the wet nastiness out. Best of all, I was able to quickly remove all the built-up grime with a few passes of the garden hose.
From bungees to blankets, the Rux can store the day's essentials with ease.
The Rux is at its portable best when carried by its side handles—which kind of feels like carrying a cooler—or when using its tote-like straps. The former method can be leveraged by two people when lugging heavier loads, while the latter is a lot like hauling a duffle bag at your side.
The carrying straps can also be adjusted, allowing for shoulder and backpack-like transport, but unless you’re built like a Sequoia, slinging the wide container over your shoulder can feel a bit unwieldy, as it stretches about 16 inches from your torso. It's certainly workable, especially for short distances, but a smaller person carrying a full Rux in this fashion won't be comfortable for long.
Wearing it like a backpack is similarly uncomfortable and awkward. It's too big and bulky and, unless you've packed it sideways, your stuff's going to be jostled around when carrying it on your back. Toss in the fact that the straps contain no padding, and this method isn't much of a selling point. All that said—and in the design's defense—the makers of Rux don't advertise this carrying method as a backpack replacement, but more of an “in-a-pinch” solution to free up your hands. In other words, if you want to cut down on those tedious trips to and from your car, you can technically strap it to your back while lugging other gear with your hands.
Regardless of how you haul the Rux, its versatile strap system makes it an absolute breeze to use. A pair of removable, adjustable straps manage the tote-, shoulder- and backpack-carry methods, and you can swap between the three techniques in seconds. The straps’ plastic fasteners easily pop in and out of place, and adjusting the length of each strap is an equally frustration-free affair. So whatever method you choose, you needn't worry about making much of a commitment to it or breaking a sweat.
The hard shell of the Rux bin allows you to use it like a tabletop.
Whether you're an avid camper, hiking enthusiast, seasonal skier, occasional mountain biker or diehard outdoor adventurer, you'll have no problem finding a use for the Rux. More than that though, it'll likely eliminate much of the disorganization and frustration that might otherwise plague your gear packing and transporting routines.
But while it's marketed to the sort of demographic that might enjoy sleeping under the stars or exploring the path less traveled, I was just as impressed by its ability to tackle more mundane tasks. Before putting the top back on my Jeep Wrangler this fall, for example, I loved using the Rux to keep extra clothes and other essentials at-the-ready in my backseat. After years of imperfect solutions—and plenty of soggy sweatshirts—the Rux addressed a problem I didn't even realize needed fixing.
As we enter the colder months here in New England, the Rux now sits on my porch where it’s packed with boots, gloves and scarves, all of which are easily accessible whether we’re playing in the snow or shoveling the white stuff. Even better, the entire pack can be tossed in the trunk for a trip beyond town, or a few hours of sledding or ice skating down the road.
The convenience the Rux brings to everything from camping to cookouts can't be understated, but its premium price makes it more of a luxury item than a necessity. Having used the Rux for several weeks, it's hard to imagine going back to an unruly pile of bins and bags. In fact, I'm seriously considering investing in a second Rux to live permanently in the back of my Jeep. That said, depending on your needs and budget, you're mileage will vary. But if you have the means and crave a better storage solution, the Rux is hard to beat.Price: Volume: Dimensions: Weight: Max Load:Materials:Best for:Skip ifRux 70L Storage System Design: More Than Another Storage BinRux 70L Storage System Performance: Mobility Meets VersatilityRux 70L Storage System Verdict: A Solution At A Premium Price