From Snow to Savannah by Ant Williams

From Snow to Savannah by Ant Williams

What's the Best Luggage for Touring with Minimal Space in a Mini Cooper?

Shiva was a tough sell for a choice of a backpack. Shiva read all the reviews one could find on our Roadster Mini RuckSack. With funds in hand, Shiva stepped up and bought a Mini Ruck. Next, all that was needed was a Mini Cooper. Now Shiva's got one. A sleek yellow Cooper. So, does the Roadster work with a Mini Cooper? Does it make for perfect on-the-go storage in a Mini? Can it also carry the ever essential laptop in comfort? The answers to these questions follow.

Dear Red Oxx,

A while ago I bought the Mini Ruck -in amethyst -and wrote that all I needed now was a MINI cooper, and here I am: with a bright yellow Mini!

We are getting ready to tour across the US, and will have many adventures to share in an Adventure Journal. Stay tuned!

The Mini Ruck is made for the MINI. It fits in the "boot" as if custom made for it, with plenty of room to spare (and this with the rear seats up!). I say this because even a traditional book pack like those made by Bean or North Face did not fit width wise, and took up more space! Like the Mini Ruck which looks deceptively small, the MINI is large in ways unexpected. Having the Mini Ruck andSpecial thanks to Anthony "Ant" Williams for permission to use the article.

Yeah, I know, a bit of a quirky title, but true. I actually stole the words from one of my companions. I had one of the Red-Oxx Safari Beano series of bags, and was stuffing copious left over magazines and other paraphernalia into it. The mission to get out of there as quick as possible so we could all head for the slopes at Tahoe. The bag was coming along before being re-packed, loaded (not too carefully I might add) onto an airliner, and transported half way round the globe back to Africa. So, "From Snow to Savannah" is not too far off the mark.

The little company from Montana known as Red-Oxx which has been going for some 15 years, approach their trade with a serious commitment to quality. Owners Jim and Perry use only the highest quality materials and fittings - down to stainless steel D shackles and clips and rugged zippers - and offer a lifetime unconditional warranty. Their philosophy is to make gear knowing what it must endure and guarantee it does not fall apart or malfunction, letting a customer down in some remote or hostile part of the planet where quick repairs are not an option. That is why they back their product with the lifetime warranty saying "You break it, we Marvel. Then we replace or repair it, no questions asked!" Now that is how it should be.

But that is not the real reason I like their products. They are incredibly well thought out, functional and ergonomic. I have yet to use kit which really does fill my needs when off fishing like those from Red-Oxx. I acquired a little matching shaving bag with my Beano Bag which is just as functional, sturdy and well made. The designs used at Red-Oxx are the result of guys who know the outdoors, use the kit themselves, and ensure they serve the purpose for which they were designed. Ask them how they get from Montana every year to all the shows on the show circuit... they drive! And I believe it takes weeks, but that is what they are about.

As for my bag... well it survived the ski slopes - which is a lot more than most of us poor Africans did on those slippery down hills - and it survived the rigors of carting a full load back through the not-too-gentle luggage handlers at several airports, all the way back to the African Savannah.

I have yet to really fill it to bursting point - I probably would not be able to lift it if I did - but it goes everywhere with me, and is coveted by many. That is the other thing, the gear looks good too. Oh, because of all this individual attention, these products will only be seen in selected outlets (Red Oxx Factory Store ONLY - Ed), through their web site ( or bought at the various shows and conventions they attend. Like their advert says "NOT sold at a store near you!"MINI Cooper is teaching me more valuable lessons about the importance of minimalism in an old fashioned American way:

  • That less is more
  • That it is better to have ONE piece (of luggage) that will be durable, functional, and versatile than many that don't serve the purpose
  • And that things well made and with attention to detail provide an every day pleasure that is hard to measure!

Keep up the great products at Red Oxx.
~Shiva Subbaraman

We're thinking of downsizing our wheels, too. A friend's Toyota RAV-4 was quite intriguing. And guess what luggage he used on a trip to Montana's Prairie? A Roadster Mini Ruck.

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