The best storage box on the market, or an over-sized money box?
Whether your 4X4 is bursting at the seams when you’re hitting the tracks or you’re simply looking to have your gear more organised, most of us would jump at the chance to have better utilisation of space. When we weren’t completely happy with the plastic boxes we’d had for years, we agreed it was time to upgrade. While we knew of the standard types of storage boxes found in Aussie 4X4s, we wanted something different. It was time to think outside the box, so to speak, to see what else was available. And with more research, we uncovered a new entry about to be launched into the Australian market called Alu-Boxes.
WHAT ARE THEY
Alu-Boxes are lightweight storage boxes made in Denmark and constructed with 1mm corrosion-resistant aluminium. The box closures include stainless steel piano hinges and the tensioned fasteners provided can also be locked by adding a small padlock as a safeguard. There’s cast alloy reinforcing fixed to the Alu-Box lid corners, which are used as a stacking point for additional boxes, and the lids have been designed with a profile to sit over the box base to give added strength and protection when closed. Wide spring-loaded handles are mounted to sit flush with the box, and each handle has a rubber grip for better handling. Box construction incorporates aluminium welding and silicone sealing, and full solid rivets have been used for added strength. When opening the box, there is a seal that has been rebated into the box to prevent dust and water ingress. Straps have also been attached to the underside of the lid and the inside walls to prevent the lid from overextending when open. A number of box sizes and models are available, starting from 10 litres up.
HOW THEY WENT
Even upon first glance when we received our four 42-litre models, it was clear these boxes oozed quality, durability and they just looked good. We found there’s stacks (pardon the pun) to like about these boxes when they can be used for pretty well anything and everything. The 42-litre models were a good fit for us as their size was smack on for our needs (58cm L x 38cm W x 24cm H), and they’re extremely light, weighing in at less than 5kg each.
Packing the Alu-Boxes away in our truck’s canopy was never an issue given their stacking capability, but being lightweight meant they were just as much at home up on the roof rack, where we secured them using a couple of tie-downs that did the job nicely. You could also bolt the boxes to the roof rack for a more permanent mounting if need be.
The 42-litre model is a good all-round size and fit for a range of storage solutions, comfortably fitting tools, camera gear, or perhaps a go-to medical kit. In our case, we needed a solution for our welding and tyre repair gear which went in one box, and recovery gear in another. A third box took care of some clothing that was only used periodically during the trip, and the fourth box worked well to store items while having fun on our quad. Here we simply strapped a box to the quad’s front carrier to keep things such as camera gear, food, jackets, and anything else we needed while away from base camp. Dust can be a major headache when you’re travelling off-road, but we found the Alu-Boxes easily stood up to the dusty environment and wet conditions we experienced during our desert trip by keeping contents dust-free and dry.
Excellent! Having used our Alu-Boxes on two lengthy trips in a variety of conditions, we’re stoked with their performance. Their lightweight construction, size, versatility and durability means they’re good for throwing up on roof racks, stacking in the back of a wagon or ute, used on a quad, or simply chucked in the back of a boat. We even used a couple of ours stacked together as a table. There wouldn’t be many other bits of camping gear going around that are so versatile, so it would be fair to say that we think we hit the jackpot when we found the Alu-Boxes. They’ve simply ticked all our boxes (okay, that’s it for the box puns).
For more information on the Alu-Box range, go to drifta.com.au