Proper gear storage while traveling in your vehicle can always be an issue. Not only are you working with a finite amount of space, but it needs to be organized and properly secured away. Over the years I’ve tried everything from the cheap plastic bins you find at the hardware store to the heavy-duty aluminum Zarges cases that event James Bond or Jason Bourne would approve of. Recently I got to test out the Wolf Pack and FlatPack Storage Box from Front Runner Outfitters.
If the Wolf Pack looks familiar, it’s probably because the design has been around forever. Also called a South African ammo box by many, the Wolf Pack is made from injection molded heavy-duty plastic and features a removable lid. The lid is secured with a total of four latches, with one at each corner. The Wolf Pack measures 19.7″ x 15.7″ x 9″ on the outside with the internal dimensions of 17.7″ x 13.2″ x 8″. They sell for $40 each and are only available in black.
At first glance, you might wonder what’s so great about another plastic box. For starters, a lot of thought has gone into the design of the box itself. The lid is designed so that multiple boxes can be stacked on top of each other. While they don’t lock into place per se, the fitment is snug and quite effective. The lid is also completely removable so you can easily access your cargo. You can get in and out of the box without having to hold the lid open or prop it up with something. Another nice feature is integrated handles on each side that don’t protrude from the outer edge of the box. Sometimes exterior handles can get in the way when storing boxes in a cramped space like the back of your Jeep Wrangler or Toyota Tacoma.
The latches on the lid are designed to stay out-of-the-way when the box is opened. I’ve used boxes in the past when latches constantly get got on things or are in the way so this is a nice feature. However, given that the latches are plastic and the box is plastic, after some heavy wear and use in the field this may no longer be the case. Even if it did happen, it wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me in the slightest.
You can also upgrade you plastic latches to a steel version. The steel version will set you back another $6. I tried both version on the box that I tested and honestly could go either way as I think they both have their pros and cons. The steel have a nice sound when the lid clicks closed, but the plastic ones seem easier to operate. It might be a case of what works best for your own tastes and needs.
Internal storage on the box was quite effective. The roughly 18″ x 13″ x 8″ space holds a decent amount of gear while still allowing you to keep it effectively organized. I’ve had boxes in the past that were too big and you constantly had to dig deep and see what was at the bottom. I also liked the fact that side walls run straight down and don’t taper in like some of the Pelican cases. This allows you to maximize your use of the space entirely. While the boxes aren’t waterproof, they did keep out external moisture on the damp days when I left the boxes outside. I can’t speak to how they would perform in a downpour, but Front Runner posted a video on YouTube testing them with a garden hose and there wasn’t an issue.
The other product I tested was the FlatPack Storage Box. The FlatPack was designed by Front Runner to be a standalone storage container that works in conjunction with the Wolf Pack Boxes. It has the perfect dimensions to fit inside a Wolf Pack for transit or storage. The FlatPack is manufactured with a canvas exterior with rigid plastic walls and a vinyl lined interior. It features a heavy-duty zippered lid and a hook and loop style bottom so the box can be broken down and folded flat for storage when not in use. The FlatPack sells for $24.99 on the Front Runner website.
The FlatPack comes with an adjustable center divider to help organize your gear. The divider can also be removed depending upon your storage needs. The vinyl lined interior is a nice touch. If you’re transporting items that are dirty or accidentally spill something, you can easily wipe it down and clean it up. I have to admit that at first I had some reservations about how the bottom of the FlatPack was constructed. I pictured loading it up, lifting it up off the counter, and then watching all of my gear go crashing down to the ground after the bottom gave way. This wasn’t the case. I tested the FlatPack with both recovery gear (shackles, straps, etc) and loaded with shotgun shells and shooting accessories and I didn’t have an issue either time. I would be mindful of the weight of the internal contents when loading and using it just as I would with any bag, but I felt comfortable trusting my gear inside of it.
One of the nicest features about the FlatPack hands down are the handles. Front Runner really thought this one through as there are handles on every surface of the FlatPack with exception to the bottom. This allows you to pick up the box from any angle and definitely helps when using the box inside a cramped vehicle. I liked that I could carry it from the top or side depending upon what was inside and that each handle felt secure and sturdy. I also liked the added plastic sleeve on the outside of the FlatPack so you can label its contents for easy identification. Fitment inside the Wolf Pack can be a little snug if you over pack the FlatPack, but it works nicely.
The Wolf Pack and FlatPack combination works well together. You can storage multiple FlatPacks in your garage of office with each one pre-packed for a specific task or need. They can also be broken down and take up minimal space when not in use. When you’re ready to head out the door, grab the FlatPacks your need, toss them in the truck or Wolf Pack and you’re ready to go. I’ve been guilty in the past of buying storage boxes that worked for the truck, but didn’t work for accessing gear when I got home. This combo seems like a good solution to both functional storage that would work in either scenario.
All in all, I think both the Wolf Pack and FlatPack are good storage solutions. I think the size of the Wolf Pack was good for my needs and I like that I can stack multiple boxes together securely. The FlatPack is a nice solution for organizing your gear and I like how it works in conduction with the Wolf Pack. I could easily see using more FlatPacks for better garage organization and storage as well. As with any gear purchase, you should examine and identity your specific needs to see if something will work. That being said, I would easily recommended adding these two solutions to your short list for consideration.