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Best Vehicle Storage Solutions
If you’re like me, it’s important to you for everything to be stored in its own special place. I’m not ashamed to share that I’ve spent hours upon hours online searching for the right storage solutions over the years. When it comes to preparing for off-road adventures, the right vehicle storage solutions are just as crucial as other accessories like suspension and lights.
Your vehicle essentially becomes your home away from home when you go off road and depending on the length of your trip, the amount of items and gear you bring along significantly increases. Luckily, today there are vehicle storage solutions for just about anything; from large storage options like roof racks to smaller options such as storage bags and cases.
We’re going to have some fun below going over the various vehicle storage solutions and talking about some great products to ensure you’re always prepared and comfortable during your trip.
|Review Of The Best Vehicle Storage Solutions|
|General Vehicle Drawer Systems|
|Aluminum Storage Cases|
|Truck Bed Caps||Truck Bed Covers|
What Types of Storage Solutions Are There?
If you’ve ever seen a vehicle on the road with large gear like a bike, tent or kayak on the roof, then you’ve almost certainly gotten a glimpse of a roof rack. Roof racks are just that; a set of bars or slats on a base which you secure to the roof of your off-road vehicle. They are a pretty versatile and convenient off-road storage option because they allow you to pack a variety of gear, especially large ones without using the internal space of your vehicle. Depending on the length and the way you set up the slats, it can also be used to set up your roof top tent and sleeping spot during an off-road trip.
No roof rack? No problem. Rooftop bags are another great overlanding storage option which utilizes the top of your vehicle. It’s basically a jumbo sized bag which you pack up with all the items you want to take off-road with you, usually up to 100 - 150lbs. We recommend securing the bag to the roof of your vehicle in advance to aid a seamless packing process. Be sure your rooftop bag is properly installed and be mindful of your speed when driving; a good limit is about 85mph.
Don’t think the exterior is the only way you can use your roof to maximize storage. For storing smaller items such as radios, keys, sunglasses and more, a roof console is a nice choice. There are many sizes and styles to suit your vehicle and tastes, plus the console includes additional interior lighting.
The options for storage bags are pretty much endless. They are available in a wide range of styles like duffels and backpacks and for a wide variety of purposes. The appeal of storage bags is the super strong and durable material they are made from. These storage options can withstand most conditions and in many cases can even be water resistant to protect your items inside.
Dry bags are what you’d expect; bags designed to keep their contents dry. Dry bags are the best option for keeping items such as sleeping bags, clothing and especially electronics nice and safe. They are also ideal if you need a bag while taking part in water activities like kayaking or surfing. Imagine being carefree in the water with your phone and charger secured in your dry bag.
Cargo Boxes & Cases
Cargo cases and boxes give you the comfort of packing a large quantity of items into a secure and convenient storage device. The boxes are made from heavy-duty, long lasting material so you don’t have to worry about your items getting damaged; even the more fragile ones. Pack the storage cases and boxes on the roof of your SUV, the bed of your truck or even in your large trunk. It is also a good option for car storage, if you’re only looking for a temporary storage solution. You can also opt for some stackable cases, for easy packing into your vehicle.
Rear drawers are popular overlanding storage systems for those with the space in their trunk or for truck beds. You would usually find items like clothes, cooking items, hygiene items, tools and more in these drawers; basically how you would use your drawers at home but for your off-road items. The rear drawers come in different styles, materials and sizes. When shopping for this type of storage solution, make sure you measure the space in your vehicle so you select the correct height, width and length.
Ever packed up your cargo or cooler in your vehicle and struggled every time you needed to take it out to get the contents? Storage slides are your solutions to this inconvenience. Storage slides are available as cargo slides, fridge slides and truck bed slides; each serving a different purpose.
A bed slide makes it easy to store and access larger items in the back of your truck such as portable refrigerators, large gear, etc. Cargo slides serve the same purpose, but are smaller in size and are usually mounted in the trunk of your vehicle. Fridge slides are specific to accessing coolers during your trip, so you don’t have to lift it in and out every time. For fridge slides especially, be sure to measure the cooler you plan to use with your slide so you get the correct size.
Review Of The Best Vehicle Storage Solutions
The types of storage options are pretty straight forward so we won’t spam with you with too many more details about how the items below work. Instead let’s focus on some recommended brands and why you’ll love them for your off-road adventures.
Decked Drawer Systems
From brainstorming in a diner and wooden prototypes to now being the distributers of one of the best storage solutions on the market 20 years later, Decked has proven their commitment to quality and innovative products for the off-road industry. Their products are durable, reliable, competitively priced and 100% manufactured in the USA.
The Decked drawer systems are a game changer in truckbed storage. Never again will you have to worry about everything being thrown around in the bed of your truck, because everything stays in its place. The Decked drawers are made of long lasting, weatherproof material and have a loading capacity of 2000lbs. Yup, even after you’ve packed these truck bed drawers with 200lbs of gear each, you can pack up to an additional 2000lbs on top of them for even more storage space. They’re like a truck vault.
Dimensions: H: 12” x L: 64.54” x W: 63”- 71”
Type: Rear Drawers
General Vehicle Drawer Systems
There are lots of other drawer storage systems available, so if truck bed drawers aren’t for you, there are loads of great rear drawer storage options for your car to choose from.
If you don't know where to start, one preferred choice for car drawer systems is Front Runner. Their drawer systems are made in South Africa, and designed to fit multiple vehicles such as the Toyota 4Runner, Toyota Tacoma, Jeep Wrangler and more.
Top features for the Front Runner drawer systems are their easy installation, weight bearing capability and overall long-lasting quality. You can use it to easily transport items on longer overlanding trips as well as for moving the items from one campsite to another.
Brand: Front Runner
Dimensions: 969mm (38.1") L x 940mm (37") W x 350mm (13.8") H
Type: Storage Drawer
At Overland Gear Guy, soft storage bags and organizational gear for off-roading are their specialty. From their base in Utah, they continue to create versatile, convenient and durable overlanding storage systems. From rear organizer bags to tailgate trash bags, there is a storage bag at Overland Gear Guy for every purpose.
Truck Tailgate Storage Bag
A popular option is this tailgate storage bag for the rear of trucks. This vinyl storage bag was made to last and is loaded on your tailgate for storing your garbage during the trip. The location is perfect because it is separate from any other gear you have packed in your vehicle. The installation is super easy and can be adjusted to fit your specific truck.
Brand: Overland Gear Guy
Dimensions: W: 18” x L: 6” x H: 25”
Type: Storage Bags
Rear Organizer Bag
This organizer bag fits conveniently at the back of your seats and features multiple compartments to fit all of your small items. They are different styles and sizes of pockets, plus Velcro loops to attach patches. Of course, as expected with Overland Gear Guy, the quality is top notch and durable.
Brand: Overlanding Gear Guy
Dimensions: W: 36” x L: 24”
Type: Storage Bags
Aluminum Storage Cases
A popular choice for overlanding storage are these durable aluminum cases made to withstand all types of extreme conditions without corrosion and damage. Zarges and Alu-Box provide high quality, stackable aluminum cases in various sizes for optimal storage capacity.
Dimensions: 15"x 11" x 8"
Type: Aluminum Storage Box
Zarges Aluminum Cases
Zarges paved the way as the first company to develop light-weight aluminum material. The company has over 85 years of experience under their belt and today has a diverse and stylish collection of aluminum cases to choose from.
There are 25 size options ranging from small cases (15.7”x11.8”x7.1”) to large ones (66.9”x 31.5”x27.6”) and everything in between. Zarges aluminum cases are long lasting and can stand up to heat as high as -238 to 302 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dimensions: Various sizes
Type: Cargo boxes & cases
Wolf Pack Storage Boxes
Front Runner really outdid themselves when they created the Wolf Pack storage box, but we should not expect any less from a company who has proven themselves in the overlanding community.
The Wolf Pack is a favorite for storage needs. It is made from heavy-duty, black plastic and is perfect to store in your trunk and truck bed or your roof rack. The high quality case keeps your items safe and is long lasting in the extreme conditions of the outdoors.
Brand: Front Runner Outfitters
Dimensions: 20.1” L x 15.8” W x 9.1” H
Type: Cargo boxes and cases
As we discussed earlier, cargo slides and bed slides are convenient options for accessing your gear and heavy items from your truck bed or the trunk of your car. There are a variety of reliable brands and styles to choose from like Front Runner for your cargo slides.
Bedslide has a beautiful collection of truck bed slides for various brands including Toyota Tacoma, Tundra, Ford F150, F250, RAM and more. These bed slides are made in the USA and backed by a Lifetime warranty. They are built with Weatherdeck technology, guaranteeing the best quality and resistance to tough weather conditions.
Truck Bed Caps
Truck bed canopies add security to the back of your vehicle, keeping all your valuable gear protected during your trip. The canopies are available in different models and can be paired with other accessories to maximize versatility and customization.
RSI has taken the concept of truck caps even further by introducing Smart Caps. Built in South Africa and hitting the market as the first modular stainless steel truck canopy, it is the most sought out option right now. Smart Caps are compatible with most trucks including Ford, Toyota, Chevy, even the Jeep Gladiator.
Truck Bed Covers
For a sleeker and stylish look which maintains a flat appearance, truck covers are the way to go. They provide long lasting coverage and keep your vehicle clean. Truck bed covers are available in different styles and material. The tonneau truck bed cover, for example, continues to be a top choice for its unique design and anti-theft feature. The tonneau overlaps the tailgate on your truck, preventing access unless the cover is first unlocked.
BAK Industries Truck Bed Covers
BAK Industries is a reliable brand when shopping for the best quality truck covers. The company has been established in the off-road community for years and has earned the rank as America’s #1 brand for hard rolling truck bed covers. These covers evenly distribute up to 400lbs and work well with most brands including Ford F150, RAM and Toyota Tacoma.
Another leading brand is Retrax for electric retractable truck bed covers & tonneau covers. Founded in 1996, Retrax produces premium products which offer double the storage capacity both under and over the cover. The durable, weather and dust resistant slats were built to easily store large items on top of the cover, including bikes and roof top tents.
Let’s Wrap It Up
When it comes to choosing your vehicle storage options, there really aren’t any right or wrong options. It all boils down to how much space you already have and how much more you need to create. Will you be able to pack everything into smaller storage options like roof consoles and canvas bags or do you need to create more space using larger storage solutions such as roof racks and truck covers? Once you know what you want to pack and what you will need, the rest is just up to your personal preference.
For me, I have the tendency to over pack and I love comfort, so a roof rack to build a nice bed and a cargo box to stuff with all my essentials without limiting my interior car storage would be my go-to. What do you take with you off-road? Do you keep it light or do you need the bigger overlanding storage systems?
Remember, the sky is the limit when it comes to storage solutions so take your time and browse through the options and decide on everything that will make your off-road trip easier and comfortable.
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