The “Ruck” Personal Utility Case: Big Strength In a Small Box

Introduced in early-2019, the Ruck Personal Utility Case by Pelican is an evolution over its predecessor. It provides a reinforced, crush-proof personal items case that can store sensitive electronics, documents, tools, or any other essential items safely and securely.

The Ruck Personal Utility Case comes in three different sizes, the R20, R40, and R60 but are of the same design. All are constructed with a rubberized exo-skeleton design made from ABS and Polycarbonate. The result is a container with an abrasion and impact-proof shell, that also passed IP68 submersion testing and is rated waterproof (to 2 meters for up to 30 minutes) and protects from water, dirt, snow & dust.

External

The R20/40/60 has an external shell made from two types of polymer, with rubberized protective bumpers to protect the shell from accidental droppage.

Each utility case has a dual pivot hinge latch for easy one-handed opening, and stainless-steel pins that ensure smooth movement.

To prevent water and dust penetration, the Ruck also has a single built-in pressure valve, similar to other Pelican protective cases, that also allows balance of air pressure.

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Internal

Internally, the Ruck distinguishes itself over previous personal utility case designs in that it includes a snap-in, flexible lid organizer, and a rigid MOLLE-style divider tray (with included hook-and-loop straps).

Inside each Ruck is a rubberized O-ring that ensures moisture or dust does not penetrate the storage space.

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Specifications:

  • R20
    • External Dimensions: 9.84” (L) x 6.12” (W) x 2.89” (D)
    • Internal Dimensions: 7.63” (L) x 4.70” (W) x 1.90” (D)
    • Internal Volume: 0.04 ft³
  • R40
    • External Dimensions: 9.84” (L) x 6.12” (W) x 2.89” (D)
    • Internal Dimensions: 7.63” (L) x 4.70” (W) x 1.90” (D)
    • Internal Volume: 0.04 ft³
  • R60
    • External Dimensions: 11.14” (L) x 6.86” (W) x 3.88” (D)
    • Internal Dimensions: 8.90” (L) x 5.37” (W) x 2.96” (D)
    • Internal Volume: 0.08 ft³

The R20/40/60 is available in OD Green (featured), Tan, Black, and Emergency Orange.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostGood (4/5): The model evaluated was the largest of the Ruck cases, the R60 ($64.95). This version of the Ruck cases is large enough to fit most personal electronics, folded documents, and smaller pocket tools. The closest comparison to the Ruck would be the Otterbox 3250 ($35.99) (following a significant drawdown by the company) but yet is still smaller than the R20 ($44.95). Alternatively, the Ultrabox 407 ($34.65) by Underwater Kinetics has roughly the same dimensions of the R60, but not the interior features. For the most part Pelican has cornered both the market and design for personal utility/dry boxes and their products can be found on a number of secondary vendor sites that can often have 10-15% off coupons applied to further defray the cost. Given the legacy of Pelican, the diversity of the Ruck case size and utility, and the lifetime guarantee that comes with the Ruck, the cost is well placed.
  • Comfort Fair (2/5): Bulky. The R60 is a large, beefy sized case that really only had application packed into a large backpack (and when it was, it took up considerable space) or mounted in a vehicle or ATV (probably the best application). The exo-skeleton gave the box its superb durability, but also made it easy to snag on straps, mesh, or slide-release buckles on its many 90-degree angles. The smaller R20/R40 is better suited for individual carry/use, but the R60 really should be used with larger equipment that needs tools, electronics, or other items kept nearby.
  • Durability – Excellent (5/5): Probably damn-near indestructible. Given the two types of polymer materials (which themselves are well-known for their resistance properties), the stainless-steel hinge material, and its relatively small design (which is to say in comparison to full-sized hard cases) the Ruck was very difficult to really do anything to the case or its contents despite being thrown, dragged, or stomped on. That’s not to say it would keep the items inside perfectly protected against impact, but if you packed the utility case so there was no excess space to allow for movement then electronics and other sensitive items were properly protected. The likely reason is the exo-skeleton acts similar to a building super-structure in that it mitigates stress away from the point of impact to across the overall structure.
  • Functionality Good (4/5): In comparison, the Ruck case was a nice improvement over traditional, empty square type dry boxes wherein it is basically a watertight shell. The flexible lid organizer was easily removable and allowed for organization not typically considered in most utility cases. The MOLLE-type divider tray came with three hook-and-loop straps to assist in immediate use and mounted/attached watches, cables, and tools. Aside from the shell, the O-ring also helped ensure the contents remained free from moisture or dust. Otherwise a good aspect of the Ruck’s function was built into its overall durability. The latch system on the Ruck cases was an improvement over the Go Case hinge system, and was more secure. For the R60, because of its size, in the future Pelican may want to consider adding mounting points or spacers on the bottom to allow straps or other mounting hardware to secure the case to a vehicle or ATV. This would make it easier to attach.
  • Weight Good (4/5): An (empty) R60 weighed 2.34 pounds (the R20 is listed as 1.26 pounds and R40 is 1.68 pounds) which is rather light considering the case’s size and durability. The storage capacity is limited to only the space of the interior, so was impossible to overload it. For the model evaluated; a cell phones, extended battery bank, cabling, shot timers and all manner of personal items fit comfortably inside. Obviously the smaller R20 and R40 are smaller and will fit less, but the R20 still could fit a smart phone easily. In comparison the smaller 3250 by Otterbox weighed 0.87 pounds or the Ultrabox 407 by Underwater Kinetics weighed 0.9 pounds – neither of which had the added functionality of the Ruck’s lid organizer or divider tray and this accounted for the minimally extra weight.

Overall Rating – Above Average (19/25)

Product Link: https://www.pelican.com/us/en/products/cases/personal-utility-cases

IMG_2889I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author. The views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

 

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