Overlanding is a thrilling experience, but it also demands meticulous planning and preparation. Finding the ideal storage solution for carrying and organizing your gear and supplies is a crucial step in the planning process. There are certain factors to consider when it comes to choosing the best cargo storage.
First of all, you need to utilize your space effectively while finding the most efficient way to organize your gear for easy access, setup and repacking. You should also consider the type of trip you will be taking. Is it a short weekend getaway to a nearby campsite, or an extended trek across the country?
Will you be close to a city center where you can restock your supplies, or are you going completely off-the-grid and need to support yourself for the entire timewise deciding on the best storage solution may seem like a daunting task, it doesn't have to be! Here are our tips for staying organized wherever your journey takes you.
Be Prepared and Leave No Trace!
"For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned," said Benjamin Franklin. Organization is essential for success both in life and overlanding! Having your essential gear organized and ready to go will save you time, energy, money, and frustration. A well-planned campsite alleviates stress, promotes safety, and allows you to always be prepared. Not to mention that a tidy campsite will make packing up easier and will ensure that you have as little impact on your surroundings as possible, so you leave no trace behind.
Now that you see the value of staying organized, let’s talk about your storage options. Here is a list of our top picks.
Roof racks and bed racks
Cargo nets, gear lofts, and hanging organizers
Interior cargo organizers
Portable storage containers
Dry boxes and dry bags
Canvas duffle bags and other storage bags
Jerry cans for liquids and water storage solutions
Modular storage systems
Portable refrigerators and freezers and coolers
Camp kitchen organizers
Canisters and storage bins
Storage Solutions For Every Vehicle
There are numerous storage options available, but the best configuration will be determined by your vehicle type and cargo capacity. We've compiled a list of the best storage systems for the most common vehicles. So, whether you drive a pickup, SUV, or sedan, we've got you covered!
Pickup trucks are classified into two types: open-bed trucks and closed-bed trucks (covered by a camper shell). Open-bed trucks are better for freight loading and unloading, as well as storing oversized items. Closed-bed trucks, on the other hand, provide a more secure alternative and shield your cargo from the elements such as dust, heat, snow, and rain.
A high-quality bed rack that will work with a tonneau cover is the Leitner Active Cargo System ACS Forged Bed Rack. Leitner offers an array of rack accessories, including gear pods for added storage. A Decked Drawer System or a utility storage box provide the ultimate access and organization for your tools and gear.
To optimize storage inside your truck bed, mount your gear on MOLLE panels. Prinsu’s universal and truck specific top racks are our favorite for mounting your roof top tent and other equipment to your camper shell. Many overlanders also design their own drawer and bed systems inside their truck tops, allowing them to tailor their space to their specific needs and preferences.
SUVs and Crossovers
SUVs and crossovers are popular overlanding vehicles that are in high demand. They are suitable for families, with plenty of storage and sleeping space. You can mount a roof top tent or turn your cargo compartment into a sleeping area by adding a memory foam or inflatable mattress. MOLLE cargo trays and systems, underseat storage, and rear organizers will significantly increase your storage capacity. These cars will seamlessly transition from backcountry roads to city driving.
There is no van more synonymous with modern van life than the Mercedes Benz Sprinter, and for good cause. Sprinters are easily customizable, have excellent 4x4 capabilities and clearance, and are available with either diesel or gas engines. The vans are recognized for their large passenger capacity, high-quality materials, and numerous safety features. A sprinter van is our top pick for a luxurious camping trip or long-term living quarters.
While you may not associate a sedan with off-roading, you would be surprised how easily you can outfit your car for a comfortable camping experience. Sleeping in a car is the easiest and cheapest way to travel. The seats can be reclined or folded down to make a continuous platform for an inflatable mattress. Roof cargo boxes or bins are your best option for gear storage. Do you want to install a roof top tent on your car? You certainly can! Simply add a set of cross bars to this Badass Tents soft top tent.
Pack Your Gear and Hit the Road
No matter what you drive or where you go, there are storage solutions to keep you organized. So, what are you waiting for? Your journey awaits.