The Best Garage Storage Containers – A Buyer’s Guide

7 min

Clever storage solutions are not only a great way to keep your garage organized but they can also preserve the quality of the items you are storing by guarding against damp, mildew and damage.

Having extra space is often a luxury and by ensuring that any storage space is neat and tidy you can ensure that you get the best from your area as well as making it a practical and usable space.

Not all storage boxes were created equal, and with a vast variety of options on the market, it can be difficult to know where to start.

With different options of opaqueness, stacking choices, lid closure decisions, size and shape alternatives – I have provided an extensive and exclusive list to help you decide what you want, what you need and the best products on the market to suit your needs.

Max. Volume gl.
Weight Capacity
Our Rating
400 lbs

 Best Overall Buy 

65 lbs

Best Stacking Boxes

Can carry a lot of weight

Best Looking Box

For light weight

Best Bulk Buy

75 lbs

Big Budget Buy

For light weight

Best One-Off Purchase

Can carry a lot of weight

Smallest Containers

For light weight

Best Design

For light weight

Biggest Box

Can carry a lot of weight
Most Functional

Ziploc WeatherShield Storage Box – Most Functional

Ziploc Weathershield are big brand names in the market of storage goods. With this one buy, you will get four 60-quart boxes which are around the mid-range size of the boxes I have reviewed.Ziploc Quart Storage Box

The price of these four boxes are on the upper-end of the scale however they do have some of the big bonus features that most people would look for when shopping for containers.

The clip-tight locking mechanism can be fragile which results in it snapping or breaking.
Is This Item Recommended?

If you are looking for storage boxes and aren’t overly concerned about the locking mechanism, then these are worth considering. They have nesting capabilities, are damp proof and can be bug proof (when the locking mechanism works). They are a solid buy, at a solid price from a renowned brand.
  • Clear containers help you see what’s inside which makes them highly functional
  • Weathershield seal protects from damp
  • Snap tight lids keep the contents safe and bug proof
  • 4 boxes are included in the one purchase
  • Designed with safety grooves for stacking
  • Fragile locking mechanism
  • The clear plastic may not be ideal if you are storing photosensitive items that should avoid light

Rubbermaid Commercial BRUTE Tote with Lid – Best Budget Buy

Rubbermaid Commercial BRUTE Tote with LidRubbermaid is another well-known brand and have put forward a good offering here.

You will get a very sizeable 20-gallon container for a very reasonable budget price – which is ideal if you are only looking to purchase one box.

The internal shape of the box means that it is wider at the top than the bottom.

This could mean that you are limited with regards to the shape of some items being stored.

Is This Item Recommended?

If you are looking for a general storage container that doesn’t need to be air tight then this is a great buy for the price. It is called the Commercial Brute tote and it is definitely a brute, with reinforced elements and sturdy handles.
  • Snap-on lid
  • Reinforced bottom to protect container when being dragged
  • Sturdy handles for easy lifting
  • Heavy duty
  • Waterproof
  • Not an airtight seal
  • Lid not entirely secure
  • The internal measurements are wider at the top than the bottom

Sterilite 110 Liter Ultra Latch Box  – Biggest Box

Sterilite 110 Latch BoxIf you are in the market for very large-scale boxes, then this 4-pack from Sterilite will be worth some consideration.

Offering the largest internal storage of any of the boxes I have reviewed you also get a 4-pack for a one-off purchase.

The lids on this item are very delicate and weak which doesn’t lend well to stacking.

Is This Item Recommended?

If you are needing vast quantities of storage space, then this is the buy for you. However, they are not ideal for stacking and are not airtight so if you are short on room or storing foods then you should look elsewhere.
  • Comes as a four pack
  • Stackable for lightweight products
  • Heavy duty lid with latches
  • Clear with a white lid
  • Flimsy lid can crack under pressure
  • Not air tight

Mount-It! Folding Storage Crate Collapsible Container – Best Design

Mount-It! Folding Plastic Storage Crate

This is a well designed and well-thought-out product which has taken into account the varying needs of those who are looking to buy storage containers.

The collapsible function of the boxes is a huge plus for anyone who wants to use these for transportation or does not need to store items on a fulltime basis.

The design of the handle holes on the side of the boxes does not make them waterproof or airtight so you will need to bear this in mind depending on what you intend to store.

Is This Item Recommended?

This Mount-It storage crate has clearly been designed and considered with the users in mind which means it has bumper amounts of great features that can suit a variety of needs, all for a mid-range price.
  • Collapsible – folds down to just 3 inches
  • Flexible and durable plastic – safe against scratching and cracking
  • Stackable boxes. Nesting system for secure vertical stacking
  • Dual sliding locks
  • Label holders for content identification
  • Pack of Three
  • Handle holes make this not waterproof of airtight

Sterilite Industrial Tote 6-Pack – Smallest Containers

Sterilite Liter Industrial Tote

These are the smallest individual containers that I have reviewed and that’s not a bad thing! We don’t all need huge amounts of storage, so it is great that Sterilite have taken that into account and provided these six 15-gallon containers and all for a good mid-range price.

As could be expected for smaller boxes you should only use these for lighter items. They buckle more easily than others and therefore this should be considered before purchase or use.

Is This Item Recommended?

For lightweight and smaller storage needs, this is a great option for a great mid-range price.
  • You get 6 boxes and 6 lids which is a good one-off purchase
  • Tight fit drip-resistant lid
  • Deep recess lids allow for vertical stacking
  • Black coloring means you are unable to see inside
  • Plastic buckles easily so only store light items

Akro-Mils Storage KeepBox with Attached Lid – Best One-Off Purchase

Akro-Mils 12-Gallon Plastic Storage KeepBox with Attached Lid

Not all buyers are in the market for colossal amounts of storage – sometimes just the one box will do! This Akro-Mils container is the best one-off purchase as you will receive one good sized box for a more than reasonable price.

The lightweight nature of these boxes means that they do crack under pressure and therefore are only suitable for lightweight storage.

Is This Item Recommended?

For a cheap one-off buy you can’t beat what this container gives you. Ideal if you are not needing storage on a full-time basis as the boxes nest within each other when empty.
  • Full length hinge pin
  • Stackable with lid closed
  • Nest inside each other when lids are open
  • Flimsy material will crack if dropped
  • Only suitable for storing lightweight items

IRIS Weathertight Store-It-All Tote – Big Budget Buy

IRIS 82 Quart Weathertight Store-It-All Tote
If you are wanting to splash the cash, then this is the buy for anyone with a big budget.

Ideal for buyers who need to keep their items safe and secure – but only if you are willing to cough-up more cash!

For the cost of these four containers, you may expect all your needs to be covered within the price. However, if you do intend to use padlocks on these boxes then you will have to buy 4 individual locks for each box to secure each corner.

Is This Item Recommended?

The latch handle is a good design feature allowing for the lid to remain on and locked when the box is being carried. However, this is an expensive investment purchase which may not suit everyone’s budgets.
  • Stainless steel buckles
  • Lockable to secure contents – inbuilt hole for zip-tie or padlock
  • Latch handle allows container to remain locked while carrying
  • Waterproof and airtight due to weathertight seal
  • Sturdy for stacking
  • Unable to see contents due to color
  • Four padlocks are needed to secure each bin

Life Story Stackable Closet & Storage Box Containers – Best Bulk Buy

Life Story Black Stackable Closet & Storage Box

If you need a number of separate storage boxes, then this 6 pack makes a good one-off buy.

The overall quality and durability of the containers is not in the league of other boxes that I have reviewed, and it does lack some of the more desirable design features. However, these would make great storage containers for a closet or for lightweight items.

The plastic is quite fragile and not ideal for a great deal of movement due to the flimsy handles.

Is This Item Recommended?

Quite delicate boxes which are really only suitable for storing out-of-season clothing or lightweight items. They are not ideal if you are needing to move the boxes around a lot as the handles are prone to breaking.
  • Snap-lock lids
  • Stackable
  • Built-in carry handles
  • Solid color prevents seeing contents
  • Thin plastic and only suitable for lightweight storage
  • Handles break off easily

HDX Tough Polypropylene Plastic Storage Tote – Best Looking Box

HDX Tough PolypropylenPlasticTote

Just because you’re in the market for storage containers it doesn’t mean that they have to look dull.

In a field where most boxes are either plain utility grey, black or clear – it is good to find a buy that will suit the eye!

There are no carry handles, so these are not ideal if you want to move your boxes around.

Is This Item Recommended?

If you are looking for something a little unique to brighten up your garage or basement space, then you will find bold coloring and reasonably tough storage for a very practical price.
  • Secure snap on lid
  • Stackable
  • Great color choices
  • Strong
  • No carry handles
  • Blue and yellow which may not suit everyone

IRIS Utility Tough Tote 4 Pack – Best Stacking Boxes

This IRIS tough tote is a good solid buy if you are not overly bothered about having all the bells and whistles that can be found on other containers.

These containers do not have many added features such as waterproofing or being airtight.

Is This Item Recommended?

These are very durable and sturdy boxes that have been designed specifically for stacking and their deep lid design prevents slipping and makes nesting very easy.
  • Durable
  • Grooves with lock holes for padlocks
  • Deep lid makes stacking easy
  • Non-slip nesting
  • Lids don’t stay on very well
  • Expensive

What To Look For When Buying Storage Containers

With so many options available on the market it is hard to know where to start when purchasing storage containers for your garage.

Whilst it may seem like a relatively easy buy some forethought is needed. For example, if you are looking to store items that are either emotionally valuable or financially significant then you will need to ensure that you have considered waterproofing options. If you are a prepper looking to store food goods, then airtight and bug-proof containers are a must.

Here are some key elements to look for, when in the market for storage boxes for your garage:

  1. Weatherproofing:

Weatherproofing is a huge deal when it comes to storage. If your containers are not waterproof, then there is often no point in splashing out money to purchase storage! Most containers come with some level of waterproofing but depending on the design – for example, if there are handle holes in the side or joint holes in the lid – then the contents will be open to the elements.

If you are storing items in a basement or garage that can be prone to flooding, then waterproofing is a must.

  1. Cost:

There are a variety of containers on the market which can reflect every budget. Be aware that high-cost containers do not always mean you will get a sturdy and solid buy. Sometimes a box can contain all the bells and whistles that you think you need but the overall strength is poor.

There are also a lot of branded items available but again, these do not guarantee a good buy- despite their sometimes-inflated prices.

If you are looking to store items or either emotional or financial worth, then it may be better for you to opt for a container that is at the higher end of your budget – consider that these storage containers are effectively an extension of your home and therefore it is not always a worthwhile place to be frugal.

  1. Safe and Secure:

If you are looking to store expensive items, then security is a must. Many box options come with in-built security measures such as padlock attachments or holes to zip-lock the lid to the base. Security isn’t always about keeping thieves at bay – if you are looking to store chemicals / potentially dangerous belongings away from kids then a lockable and secure container cannot be overlooked.

  1. Easy Set-up:

Unlike with metal or wooden boxes, you can set-up a plastic container within seconds. Often only needing to snap the sides together or simply add the lid! Generally, no tools are required which is ideal for those who don’t own any or are not confident with a more experienced level of construction.

  1. Maintenance Free:

Plastic boxes come with their own benefits compared to wood or metal containers. Wood has a tendency to rot or attract bugs, metal can rust, and both will likely require some sort of protective paint coating on a regular basis.

Plastic boxes are a maintenance free option and require no looking after at all. However, if you are concerned about the plastic containing BPA – in particular, if you are storing food goods – then you may want to consider the materials used within production as part of your requirements.

  1. Stackable or Moveable:

Often the purpose of containers is to save room and to achieve this they need to be stackable and withstand extreme weight from those boxes nested on top. Whilst a container may seem robust, the plastic can become fragile overtime due to consistent pressure or exposure to varying elements.

If you do need to stack containers, then ensure that you opt for a buy designed for such tasks. Storage containers often come with specialized grooves or feet to make nesting them safe and secure.

If you are looking for containers that need to be easily moved, then consider the set-up of the handles, how comfortable the handles are, whether the container has a reinforced bottom for dragging, or even consider collapsible boxes which can be folded down when not in use.


As with any purchase, you will need to draw up a list of requirements before making any decision – especially with high-cost, investment containers.

Storage can be a useful and sometimes vital extra to any home, so it is always worth the extra shopping-around, and sometimes money, to keep your belongings safe, dry and secure.

The ten storage containers reviewed above will offer something for everyone – all having separate features and bonus options for whatever your necessities are.

[Total: 2   Average: 5/5]


Passionate about DIY for over 10 years and all the new tools, I give you through this blog all my advice, tips, tests in all areas: carpentry, electricity, masonry, gardening, home automation ...


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