The Most Expensive, Versatile Storage Bin Ever: RUX 70L Review
I love gear storage and organization solutions, but I don’t typically seek out the fancy options. Look around my garage and you’ll find shoeboxes holding mittens, winter hats, and headlamps. Nearby two $11 plastic totes are filled with different helmet/goggle combinations and four pairs of ski boots. Under the stairs, more plastic containers hold our camp kitchen supplies, sleeping bags, and backpacks.
Whenever we set out on an adventure-filled road trip, we simply toss the bins in the back of our Mazda CX-5, next to a pair of Patagonia Black Hole duffels, a few other totes full of nonperishables, and a cooler.
My method of gear arrangement (“system” is probably too generous) isn’t elegant. But it’s long served me well and only set me back around $400 all-in.
So, while I was impressed when I first heard about the RUX 70L storage bin/bag/case, I admit my eyebrows rose at a triple-digit sticker price for the single item. However, after testing it on multiple half-day outings to Eldora, a weekend ski trip to Steamboat, and a week-long road trip across Colorado (filled with lots of packing and unpacking), I’m convinced the RUX 70L really is something special. That is if you can get over the price tag.
In short: The RUX 70L ($298) promises to be a hard-sided gear case, soft-sided utility tote, backpack, and duffel bag in one. And there’s no question this durable, waterproof shapeshifter delivers for those willing to stomach the cost. Setting it up takes some practice, and is far more time-consuming than a tote. But the versatility in the design of the RUX 70L goes well beyond any of the run-of-the-mill storage containers that my garage is full of.
Upon initially unboxing the RUX 70L, I found the product squished down in long-term storage mode. It comes with four corner stays, two carry straps, and two compression straps all made of climbing-grade, 20mm nylon webbing.
It wasn’t immediately clear to me how all the pieces worked together. So, I turned to the instructions included in the packaging (a handy QR code links to video tutorials) and began working the stays into the four corner compartments. The process takes a bit of finesse.
But once I had them in place, I appreciated the snap-bracelet-style design. That allows them to either remain rigidly upright or compress down again with a simple chop to all four corners.
Next, I moved on to the two loose carry straps (the compression straps come already attached). These also required a glance at the instructions to understand how they attach to the utility rail.
The first time, the whole assembly process took me about 10 minutes. Now, after more practice, I can get the job done in sub-90 seconds. That’s not bad given the versatility the different configurations allow.
Admittedly, though, it’s a far more involved process than using a ready-to-rock bin or tote.
Packing up the RUX is a breeze. Just like my plastic bins, the RUX is a gaping abyss ready to hold outdoor toys and grub. On different occasions, I filled my RUX with our collection of ski boots, grocery items like a gallon of milk and cans of chili, supplies, ski apparel, etc.
The company also sells a RUX Bag ($80) and RUX Pocket ($40). These feature buckles to attach to the utility rail and handles for on-their-own transport. Convenient and thoughtful touches? No question. But they also come with fairly hefty price tags of their own.
Those who live by the adage “a place for everything and everything in its place” might do better with a more compartmentalized (albeit smaller) option like the Mountain Hardwear Camp Tough Tote Bag ($75). That bag has six handy exterior pockets in addition to its central hole.
Once the RUX is full, I can easily secure the lid with four tugs on the handy corner straps. It’s clear the lid isn’t going anywhere without some serious force, but if I really wanted to batten down the hatches, the two compression straps add an extra level of security.
The tri-fold lid, which rolls over once or twice (your choice) to allow easy access to the interior, is another creative touch, especially for someone like me who habitually adds extra must-haves at the last minute.
Glancing through the RUX’s overwhelmingly positive consumer feedback (4.9 stars out of 118 reviews), I noticed that one person threw a bunch of ice in their RUX to keep their bevvies cold. It’s not the best cooler around, but it’ll do in a pinch.
To be clear, that isn’t the RUX’s intended use (the sides aren’t insulated). But hats off to that buyer for taking advantage of the waterproof TPU-coated nylon in a creative way.
Where the RUX really shines compared to my handy dandy plastic bins is in the variety of ways I can carry it. The two side handles make it easy to transport like a standard bin (this was my preferred hauling method). But I can see the hands-free backpack mode coming in handy this summer when moving gear from my car to the campsite.
The straps can also be reconfigured to facilitate an over-the-shoulder carry, an over-the-forearm market-style carry, and a standard single-handed carry.
The RUX’s quasi-rigid rectangular silhouette puzzles together well with other similarly shaped gear in the back of a car. Yet because the sides are soft, it affords more give than your standard bin (great for squishing into a full trunk). I was also impressed to find the corner stays didn’t buckle under the considerable weight of a full cooler.
The brand boasts that the RUX’s rugged, 840D exterior is “tough as nails.” That’s a lofty claim indeed. But after the RUX survived car trips jostling next to my skis — as well as a few stabbings with the business end of my ski poles — I’m convinced the material is pretty darn tough.
And if the RUX’s integrity does fail due to a manufacturing defect the brand covers it under a lifetime guarantee. Even after extended use, if your RUX rips, or breaks somehow, the brand will replace it.
I only traveled with the RUX inside the car. But given the tight-fitting lid, extra security of the compression straps, and waterproof nature of its exterior sides, I expect the RUX could easily withstand snow, slush, and road grime if you were to drive with it on a roof rack or hitch-mounted cargo carrier.
It’s slightly too big to carry on a kayak or smaller paddleboard. But for an overnight rafting trip or on a longer touring paddleboard, it could be used to protect your gear, food, and electronics from water.
Storing the RUX 70L Long-Term
Once the fun is done, it’s easy to hose off the RUX and flip it upside down for air-drying. There are then multiple configurations in which the RUX can hibernate. This is another area where the RUX’s versatility sets it apart. Squish it almost flat (the experts recommend taking the corner stays out to prevent kinks), and it takes up minimal space on a shelf.
If your garage has slatwall hooks or an L track, the RUX can attach to the wall. Store the RUX full of gear, and the side-panel window allows you to see at a glance what’s inside (that is, if you store it neatly).
Scan the QR code in that same window to access the RUX web app (because of course there’s an app for this thing) and register your specific RUX. There, you can also itemize what’s stored inside your RUX, set up packing lists, open a map to see where your RUX last was, and more.
But That Price …
Look, obviously there are more affordable storage bin options out there. For $300 you could buy around 26 black and yellow plastic totes. You could buy a Yeti 35 cooler. Or you could buy two 40L Patagonia Black Hole Duffels — which are also water-resistant, easily storable, and can be carried in one hand, on your shoulder, or like a backpack.
So, why on Earth would you get the RUX 70L instead? It does offer more versatility than the rest of those options. And, it is extremely durable. Then there are the fun features like that app and the panel window that shows you what’s inside.
Whether or not those features justify the price point, is subjective and will depend heavily on what people are using it for. But it’s a really hard thing to look past. Especially when the alternatives are so much cheaper.
Rux 70L: Conclusion
There’s no question that the RUX 70L is overengineered. But that’s the beauty of this versatile gear-hauler. Bin, tote, duffel, beer cooler, or backpack: The RUX 70L can be whatever you want it to be. It’s made with burly, waterproof materials, offers numerous carrying configurations, and has a lifetime guarantee. There’s even the accompanying app.
The caveat to all of these benefits — the sizeable hit to your wallet. Even buying one of these is expensive — and people often need more than one storage container. Do the features built into the RUX 70L justify the nearly $300 price point? For some organization-happy adventurers, it will.