It’s been 15 months since I reviewed my Red Oxx Metro daily bag, and I thought readers might be interested in what it looks like today.  This bag has been used every day – well, every weekday – for 15 months, as well as accompanying me on numerous trips.  It’s been tossed into my car, set down on numerous parking lots, paved and unpaved, and just generally not babied at all.

First, an image from the original review:

Red Oxx Metro

Several shots taken this past weekend…  First, an overall shot of the front of the bag:


And the back:

Rear of Metro

A close up of one of the main zippers.  About the only wear I could find on the bag was the plating being rubbed off in a couple of spots on the zipper hardware (look closely; click for a close-up view):

Zipper detail on 15 month-old Red Oxx Metro

A shot of one of the D rings, also showing no wear on it or any of the adjacent components.  If the strap hardware looks different, it’s because it’s a Bihn Absolute Strap…

D ring on 15 month old Red Oxx Metro

The bottom of the bag sports what looks like a couple of water marks and some slight indications of wear:

Bottom of 15 month old Red Oxx Metro

Finally, a detail shot of one of the YKK #10 zippers and nearby components; all look like new:

Detail shot - 15 month old Red Oxx Metro

This bag is closing in on a year and half’s use, and it still looks essentially the same as it did the day I took it out of the box.  The Metro isn’t inexpensive at $140, but I’m a firm believer in that old adage, “You get what you pay for.”  This is a bag that should last for a very long time.

You can see the Metro and other Red Oxx products, all of which are made in Montana, by clicking here:  Red Oxx:  Quality Luggage in the Spirit of Adventure

If you’ve had experiences with Red Oxx products, please share them by commenting. And for the record, I have no connection to Red Oxx other than being a satisfied customer.

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19 Comments on Red Oxx Metro update: 15 months later

  1. MattM says:

    I’m not surprised. I have several Red Oxx bags but the Sunchaser is my gym bag that normally gets used 5 days a week. I’m not sure but I bet I’ve had it for nearly 2 years and it shows no sign of wear. And this is a gym bag we’re talking about so it takes tons of abuse. I also have the Gator which is a mini version of the Metro and it’s doing fine too but I don’t use it frequently.


  2. Michael W. says:

    Hey, since you are the most responsive interblab publisher I know of, any chance of a picture or two showing the “scale” of this bag?

    That’s one thing missing from manufacturer websites.

    I’d love to see this stacked next to the new MLC + your 10.6″ netbook + an old fashioned 8.5×11 spiral bound notebook (or ream of copier paper or yellow pad) to get a sense of its scale.

    I’ve actually been thinking about getting the Metro’s fatter cousin, the CPA, not for use as a briefcase but as a travel bag – when I called up RedOxx they told me they use a CPA all the time as their “personal bag” without getting hassled by the ticket counter or boarding agents.

    And yes, the zipper paint has rubbed off on the zipper on the back of my Gator after about 6 months (but not on the main compartment zipper on top. I figure from carrying the bag against the side of my body.

    Good to see you publishing more frequently again. Your articles are concise, useful, articulate, and you publish the most “intelligent” pictures around – I don’t know why manufacturers with their commercial product photographers don’t do as well. Maybe because they are trying to hide, you are trying to reveal, important details?


    Kevin Reply:


    Try as I may, I cannot get images to display in comments… try this URL for the photo you requested:

    and this one:

    Hope these help!

    As for posting frequency, golf season here in The Middle of Nowhere is winding down, so I have more time available. Thanks for your always insightful, brilliant, spot on comments about my writing & photography skills. Ha.


    P.S. Note that the strap on the Metro is not the Absolute… trying out one of the candidates for the Shoulder Strap Comparo 2. Can you tell what it is?


  3. Michael W. says:

    That’s actually quite helpful, it looks like a very useful size although technically I thought the volume was the same as the Gator – I think the CPA would be way too fat. The Metro looks sweet. And it will handle a netbook and other books much better than the Gator. I’ll think about getting one….

    What I said about your publishing skills is accurate. I left out geography and pathfinding….


  4. Kevin says:

    Yeah… I thought the CPA would be far too large. I can put a bunch of stuff plus my (work) ThinkPad in the Metro without any problem.


  5. Luke says:

    How much smaller is the Gator than the Metro? From the dimensions on Red Oxx’s website, it looks like a Gator will fit a 10″ netbook (might even fit one of the new 12″ netbooks, or a MacMini) and a pad of paper. Will it? The Metro looks like it is about the size of a regular laptop bag. I think that the Gator would be a better fit for me when i travel with my Air Boss than the Metro because it looks like I can get the Gator and a second pair of shoes in the center section of the AirBoss, and the Metro would take up the entire length.


  6. Michael W. says:

    I have carried a 10.6 notebook in my Gator with no problem. The website dimensions are almost accurate – they don’t take into account the end pouches or side pouches. You could probably pack the Gator in the Air Boss the way you describe. The shoulder straps on both are quite heavy so maybe you would only need the one shoulder strap shared between the two bags, if the Gator will always be inside the Air Boss when they are together. Of course the Gator has a hand strap as well.


  7. Luke says:

    Thanks for the reply. If you don’t need to carry a normal sized 15″ laptop on a regualr basis, the Gator seems like a better bet for a daily bag. I would probably go with just one strap, and transfer it between the two bags. When the two bags were together, the only time the gator would be out would be when it was undernrathe the seat and the airboss was in the overhead.


  8. Michael W. says:

    Luke, fwiw the Gator IS my daily carry bag right now…although sometimes I am tempted to try the Metro.


    Kevin Reply:

    Michael, Luke: I’ll be posting a review of a different daily bag in the next day or two – an alternative to the Metro that (arguably) lacks the Red Oxx uber toughness, but which is loaded with features and dimensions that are perhaps superior to the Metro for business use. And in its own right, it’s pretty tough also.


  9. Michael W. says:

    I think I have a solution for you: you need to get a sample CPA briefcase from RedOxx. I think your problem is with the width of the Metro, not its design (in reference to your MPB from Maxpedition review). It’s fairer to compare the CPA to the MPB than the Metro to the MPB.


  10. Luke says:

    Did I miss the new daily bag review? I just talked Red Oxx and they stated that the Gator won’t fit into the center compartment of the AirBoss unless the Gator is empty and folded up. Kind of defeats the purpose. Even though the Metro might be a little big for daily use, I think that it will fit in the center compartement while it has a typical flight load of netbook, magazine, water bottle, and maybe a snack. Kevin can you confirm? Thanks.


    Kevin Reply:


    Here’s picture of the Metro inside the Air Boss:

    And although it’s tight, here’s a shot of the MPB in the Air Boss: (The bottom can be compressed: )

    I probably will hang onto my Metro (sorry, MW!) for this reason, although I usually travel light with just netbook, a few jump drives, and maybe a couple of folders & a lined pad… so I don’t really need to carry a 2nd bag along in most cases.


  11. Michael W. says:

    @Luke – the RedOxx website says the AirBoss is 8″ thick and the Gator is 6″ thick – I don’t get it?

    Admittedly you’d have to pack your clothes on each side of the AirBoss but why on earth wouldn’t a normally packed Gator fit the main compartment?


  12. Luke says:

    RedOxx says it won’t fit. I think that the problem is that the center compartment of the Air Boss is less than 6 inches, and that the bottom of the Gator is rigid, unlike the bottom of the Metro.


  13. Michael W. says:

    @Luke – you mean to say that there isn’t a “main” compartment in the AirBoss that is “full thickness” – on the Steves classic, the main compartment is “full thickness” since the panels to either side of it will collapse out of the way.

    I’ll try sticking my Gator into my new edition MLC when I get home – the MLC has a non-collapsible laptop slot but the front slot is collapsible. The MLC, besides having a non-collapsible laptop slot, is also much smaller than the AirBoss.

    I have a similar problem. I would like to be able to just carry one bag onto the plane, then pull out my “seat side” bag. That part is easy to solve with many ultralight “peak” bags such as the Flash18 from REI. But the second part of the equation is having a nice bag for local destination use during the day. Obviously the Gator is good for that, heck it works for me here in the States. A lot of bags that can be stowed in the main carryon luggage don’t make good destination bags.

    I am presently resigned to just carrying a dedicated “personal item” bag in addition to my carryon luggage.

    For this purpose I’ve selected the Patagonia Lightwire Brief, which is kind of a much larger, poorer organized Gator. While I’m not pleased by its lack of useful organizing features (I got spoiled by the end and side pockets on the Gator), the Lightwire Brief is actually lighter, I think, than the Gator. Since it is much larger, that means I can more successfully stuff the Lightwire Brief with bulky but light items like a watchcap and fleece pullover. The nicely padded computer slot is too big for just my netbook, but since my 3-1-1 bag fits in there too, the extra space does not go to waste.

    I have to admit, though, for my January SE Asia trip, I’ve been tempted to stuff the small version of a Timbuk2 messenger bag into the Patagonia MLC. I would then use the Timbuk2 when taking a short urban walk the Foodland a few blocks away from the Soi on which my hotel is located, and reserve the much larger Patagonia Lightwire Brief for an (unlikely) taxi trip to MBK (MahBoonKrang Plaza near the National Stadium) and a movie theater – the movie theaters in BKK are frigid, and that is literal not metaphorical, and I generally need to take a fleece pullover AND a synthetic fill vest AND a watchcap if I am to endure their malevolent airconditioning and enjoy my movie.

    Why do I need a messenger bag just to walk a few blocks to a local supermarket with food counter? I’m just an inveterate worry wart. Even though I am in the heart of a truly Blade Runner-ian urban environment with water at 7-11’s and street vendors, I still carry my own water bottle everywhere, and also I worry about things like it might rain (well, the weather does change rapidly) so I carry a nylon rain shirt or collapsible umbrella, plus what if I walk off the hot boulevard into a hotel for a cold drink, I’d better take at least a thin pullover, and what if I get bored and need a book and need to read. Fortunately I don’t worry about what if I need to cook or do laundry, or I’d have to have a Hollywood set trailer following behind me with all the comforts of home on wheels.

    No, I’m not naturally a light packer although Kevin does continually point me in the right direction.


  14. Till says:

    Michael, did you think about a travel anorak already? Something with a hood (no umbrella needed) in three quarter length to cover your behind when you sit down somewhere and plenty of pockets for camera, glasses, water bottle, note pad etc.

    I have one from Cole Haan that I love. Scotevest makes some very nice ones, too. Blackcoat is rather elegant. In colder climates a Barbour jacket will work well.

    The extra sweater can be easily worn around the shoulders or tied around the waist. Very debonair look!

    Then just get an in-flight baggie with the necessities for the plane. Mine holds passport, pen, Ipod, headphones, tissues, lip balm, ear plugs, eye mask. That kind of stuff.

    There are quite a few thread on this on OBOW and FT. Do you frequent those?


  15. Luke says:


    Although the Air Boss is a total of 8″ wide, the compartments are divided along the long dimension of the bag, so the middle compartment is basically 4″ wide, with the two outside compartments at 2″ each.


    Thanks for the pictures. Since I don’t carry a laptop or a netbook on a regular basis so the Metro will probably work.


  16. Michael W. says:

    The Gator fits the MLC just fine but looks a little fat in there, and hogs a lot of space.


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