The secret to living well in small spaces—as I have for most of the past decade—is to be very organized. As the artist and filmmaker Van Neistat so eloquently put it, the key to being organized is to kit your shit. Of course, you need to have the right kits to put your shit in.
A good kit does three things well. First, it has to hold all the stuff you need in that kit. Second, it has to be easy to get whatever you need in and out. Third, it has to take up no more room than is necessary. You don't want a giant plastic tube to hold the four wrenches, duct tape, and baling wire that makes up the repair kit in the car. By the same token, don't try to stretch the heck out of that old canvas bag you inherited from who knows where just so the breaker bar can stay with the sockets. Get a bag that makes it easy to get the breaker bar in and out. Otherwise, the kit is a failure.
As you might imagine with this life philosophy, I have accidentally become a collector of bags, boxes, and bins. I spend more time than I should in military surplus stores (parachute bags will change your life), thrift stores, hardware stores, and anywhere that's likely to have a box or bag. At this point, you're either nodding your head and smiling along or you stopped reading. For those of you still here, I have an awesome kit to tell you about: the Rux 70L waterproof bag/box packing system. It's a great kit for your big shit.
Rux likes to say that its 70L “packs like a box, carries like a bag.” I think that's a fair slogan that gets to the heart of why I like it. It's all the good parts of a box combined with all the good parts of a bag.
The firm top and bottom help maintain a box structure and give it the ability to stack. (Well, sort of. It really depends on what's inside and what’s on top.) The lid is very easy to open. At the same time, the sides are soft so the Rux ends up being only as tall as what's inside, which means there's no wasted space.
The 70L is waterproof, and there are a couple of points to clip on a strap. The strap system is well-designed, and it's a good way to carry the Rux when it's not too heavy. When you really load it down, you'll want to use the handles.
There are all sorts of accessories to help you organize your gear. I did not test any of these, but if you need kits to put inside your kits—always a good idea—then the Rux system has you covered.
Depending on how you use your Rux, there's one more feature that may appeal: the Rux app. An app for a bag? Yeah, I know. But the app is pretty handy for making a list of what's in your Rux. (You can use it, even if you don't have a Rux.) Just remember to use a packing list only if you keep it updated with the actual contents of your kit. Bad information is worse than no information at all.
If you're the sort of person that likes to keep things organized and tidy—the sort of person who knows that you need to, ahem, kit your shit—the Rux 70L bag makes a great addition to your system.
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