The Bottomless Bag

Stio's Basin Tech Tote is a catch-all for throw-and-go packing

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Price: $109

Sizes: 59L

Dimensions: 21" x 6.75" x 14.75"

Materials: 600d Cordura® EcoMade recycled poly ripstop

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PHOTO: Maggie Kaiserman

Packing in a duffle bag usually makes me think of wrinkled clothes, exploding shampoo bottles, and a general jumbled mess. It reminds me of the time my high school boyfriend packed for college by emptying his closet into a large black trash bag and dumping it in the back of his car. I prefer the structure and organization of stiff-sided suitcases with designated compartments. However, when packing for a recent camping trip to the Pacific Northwest, I realized four walls can be limiting—and I needed something more secure than a trash bag.

Stio’s Basin Tech Tote had gone unused for months before this because initially I couldn’t figure out when and where to use it—it’s big and oddly shaped. But with a sleeping bag, two-person tent, sleeping pad, my puffy, clothes for four days on Vashon Island plus a bottle of tequila laid out on my bedroom floor, I needed big. And I needed simple.

The bag’s padded floor helps give it structure, so it stands up and zips wide open from either end for easy loading. With nothing to fold or keep particularly organized, this bag is the perfect catch-all for throw-and-go packing of big or bulky items. The few zippered pockets inside and out are great for stashing smaller items like unmentionables, charger cables, and a beanie. Even full, it fits the carry-on requirements of most airlines as well.

Fill 'er up. There's room for all of your winter essentials in here. PHOTO: Maggie Kaiserman
Fill ‘er up. There’s room for all of your winter essentials in here. PHOTO: Maggie Kaiserman

The Basin Tote got the job done for a long weekend on the island, and I’ve since loaded it up for car camping trips and treks to the mountain. It easily holds my boots, helmet, and outerwear—or two weeks worth of dirty clothes to the laundry mat because your landlord is a bum and won’t fix the dryer in the basement. At 59 liters, it’s a serious weight commitment when full, so the option to alternate between the comfy shoulder strap and the handles is clutch. Essentially, this is a bottomless bag for transient skiers. If you don’t know where you’re going to be this winter, throw this in the back of your car. You’ll use it.

And abuse it. Constructed of recycled polyester ripstop fabric called Cordura EcoMade, the Basin Tote is very durable. Cordura uses a manufacturing process that turns post-consumption plastic water bottles (which I hope you never use!) and turns them into the yarn that makes the fabric of this bag. So not only does it reduce waste, but simply by being a durable, long-lasting product, it is sustainable.

The DWR finish stands up to light rain and muddy parking lots without soaking the contents of the bag. I’ve also spilled a number of things on this bag, and at first I was washing it to get the stains out, which worked, but lately I’ve just been leaving them. Adds character, right?