Swiss-Link Boxes/ Storage Cases | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

Swiss-Link Boxes/ Storage Cases

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enjoitheride

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Hello, everyone. Does anyone have any experience with the SL aluminum boxes? I know they are made in China, as opposed to the other companies being of European make. I’ve been looking at Zarges and Alu-box, but the price of those are quite high just to store my dry goods and cooking gear. I’ve thought about using just some Rubbermaid Roughnecks, but long term, I’m not sure if the durability. I don’t like disposable things, as they just end up in land fills.

Anyhow, just wanted to see what everyone thought/ is using.

Thanks for any advice!
 

MMc

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I use Action boxes. mine are 20 plus years old. I do have tape over the vents. You are storing food and cooking stuff, spending big money for a high end case for storage is pretty silly to me. If they are riding on the top of your rig maybe something water proof for the dry food. I put off the Action boxes for a couple of years because of the price. "if you take care of your tools they'll take of you"
 

Jim SoG

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I took a note from Michael when I started out and use
Plano 1919 Sportsman's Trunk
Now I add some self stick weather strip foam stuff in the lid and it is pretty much water and dust proof..... There is a video on his packing and use, I got one for kitchen, one for food, one for equipment/other. I leave them packed (except certain food) and just stack in my garage till next trip. 3 is perfect for me and the wife and they ride on the roof rack.
Not sure of current price as I bought mine years ago (still going great, tough).

Jim
 

enjoitheride

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I took a note from Michael when I started out and use
Plano 1919 Sportsman's Trunk
Now I add some self stick weather strip foam stuff in the lid and it is pretty much water and dust proof..... There is a video on his packing and use, I got one for kitchen, one for food, one for equipment/other. I leave them packed (except certain food) and just stack in my garage till next trip. 3 is perfect for me and the wife and they ride on the roof rack.
Not sure of current price as I bought mine years ago (still going great, tough).

Jim
Plano boxes seem like a great idea, also! Thank you for sharing this.
 

cug

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Don’t know what people say about them, other than that they are expensive.

Personally I like mine - currently I have two K470 boxes (plus some really old ones I still use sometimes) because I wanted the metal corners and they were worth it to me. I have not tried whether they are water or dust proof since I transport them in the car, but I’m not too worried about it. One carries my kitchen gear (Jetboil Genesis + pots, pans, plates, etc. plus the spices and coffee gear, pretty much everything other than the pantry items; the other has the recovery gear I rarely need, and an old one as a pantry). We used older Zarges boxes in my company back in Europe and they were very durable, holding up to tons of abuse, but sometimes got a bit out of shape - mind you, that abuse was HARD.

If you want guaranteed dust and waterproof, get Pelican boxes. Aluminum can dent, lids can get out shape, rivets may leak small amounts of dust or water - hasn’t happen to me yet though. Still, I use Pelican for camera gear and other electronics, Zarges for the rest.

Price wise they are similar, and I think way better value than Roam or some other Overland hyped brands.
 
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enjoitheride

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Don’t know what people say about them, other than that they are expensive.

Personally I like mine - currently I have two K470 boxes (plus some really old ones I still use sometimes) because I wanted the metal corners and they were worth it to me. I have not tried whether they are water or dust proof since I transport them in the car, but I’m not too worried about it. One carries my kitchen gear (Jetboil Genesis + pots, pans, plates, etc. plus the spices and coffee gear, pretty much everything other than the pantry items; the other has the recovery gear I rarely need, and an old one as a pantry). We used older Zarges boxes in my company back in Europe and they were very durable, holding up to tons of abuse, but sometimes got a bit out of shape - mind you, that abuse was HARD.

If you want guaranteed dust and waterproof, get Pelican boxes. Aluminum can dent, lids can get out shape, rivets may leak small amounts of dust or water - hasn’t happen to me yet though. Still, I use Pelican for camera gear and other electronics, Zarges for the rest.

Price wise they are similar, and I think way better value than Roam or some other Overland hyped brands.
I really appreciate the feedback. Thank you!
 
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bgenlvtex

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Where are they going to live?

Inside a truck, or strapped onto a roof rack have entirely different demands.
 

static

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One of the big advantages I see to the aluminum cases is their space-efficiency. I've still sorting out my storage system, and the thing that frustrates me about plastic cases, even the really good ones, is the discrepancy between internal and external dimensions. To get their strength, they have lots of kinks and corrugations, which I get, but there ends up being lots of little voids of wasted space between (and inside) the cases. This pushes me to larger cases, which are awkward and heavy. Smaller cases are ideal for organization and maneuverability, but the wasted space adds up really quickly. The aluminum boxes have more or less straight sides, inside and out, making it easier to maximize usable storage space. Of the plastic options where super-strength isn't a requirement, the Front Runner Wolf Packs seem the best out of what I've been able to find so far, but they are perpetually sold out.

Just another dimension (heh) to consider...

Kris
 
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enjoitheride

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One of the big advantages I see to the aluminum cases is their space-efficiency. I've still sorting out my storage system, and the thing that frustrates me about plastic cases, even the really good ones, is the discrepancy between internal and external dimensions. To get their strength, they have lots of kinks and corrugations, which I get, but there ends up being lots of little voids of wasted space between (and inside) the cases. This pushes me to larger cases, which are awkward and heavy. Smaller cases are ideal for organization and maneuverability, but the wasted space adds up really quickly. The aluminum boxes have more or less straight sides, inside and out, making it easier to maximize usable storage space. Of the plastic options where super-strength isn't a requirement, the Front Runner Wolf Packs seem the best out of what I've been able to find so far, but they are perpetually sold out.

Just another dimension (heh) to consider...

Kris
Kris,

I am also frustrated by the lack of internal space by the plastic variants. The walls have to be so thick to achieve the strength. Wolf packs have completely straight internal walls. I’m not sure long term how they will hold up vs the aluminum variants. The metal boxes just have a cool aspect because they patina, dent, and look cool with age. I’ve always loved old exploration vehicles that have run the metal cases across Africa, and you see the story they tell. Maybe it’s just me.
 

static

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Kris,

I am also frustrated by the lack of internal space by the plastic variants. The walls have to be so thick to achieve the strength. Wolf packs have completely straight internal walls. I’m not sure long term how they will hold up vs the aluminum variants. The metal boxes just have a cool aspect because they patina, dent, and look cool with age. I’ve always loved old exploration vehicles that have run the metal cases across Africa, and you see the story they tell. Maybe it’s just me.
No doubt the aluminum boxes will hold up better over time, but at 3-4x the cost it's a tough call. But hey, practicality isn't the only consideration. There's nothing wrong with a little subjectivity, and the longer a piece of gear stays with us, the more valuable it gets through all the past adventures it comes to represent.

Anyone who claims they make all of their equipment purchasing choices on a purely practical, cost/benefit basis is full of crap :)

Kris
 
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enjoitheride

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Kris,

I am also frustrated by the lack of internal space by the plastic variants. The walls have to be so thick to achieve the strength. Wolf packs have completely straight internal walls. I’m not sure long term how they will hold up vs the aluminum variants. The metal boxes just have a cool aspect because they patina, dent, and look cool with age. I’ve always loved old exploration vehicles that have run the metal cases across Africa, and you see the story they tell. Maybe it’s just me.
No doubt the aluminum boxes will hold up better over time, but at 3-4x the cost it's a tough call. But hey, practicality isn't the only consideration. There's nothing wrong with a little subjectivity, and the longer a piece of gear stays with us, the more valuable it gets through all the past adventures it comes to represent.

Anyone who claims they make all of their equipment purchasing choices on a purely practical, cost/benefit basis is full of crap :)

Kris
This is very true. I’m looking at the new wolf packs that came out. The redesign looks nice, and they are much cheaper. To hold my dry goods and camp kitchen, I’m struggling to spend over 600.00 on boxes. Especially, since they aren’t being mounted out in the elements.
 

jmcgilroy

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Clearly, I'm just too cheap to spend $300 on a camping box but I also think that some of the plastic ones just aren't strong enough.
I'm actually considering cheap coolers in the $30-$40 dollar range. Lots of sizes to choose from and they're strong enough to sit on.
 
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static

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Clearly, I'm just too cheap to spend $300 on a camping box but I also think that some of the plastic ones just aren't strong enough.
I'm actually considering cheap coolers in the $30-$40 dollar range. Lots of sizes to choose from and they're strong enough to sit on.
That's an interesting idea! My intuition would be that the walls are too thick, but a ROAM or Pelican has like a 3" difference between internal and external dimensions, which isn't *that* much less than a cooler.

Let us know how this works out!
Kris
 

genocache

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I use Action boxes. mine are 20 plus years old. I do have tape over the vents. You are storing food and cooking stuff, spending big money for a high end case for storage is pretty silly to me. If they are riding on the top of your rig maybe something water proof for the dry food. I put off the Action boxes for a couple of years because of the price. "if you take care of your tools they'll take of you"

I use a couple of small Action Packers for my pantry and bath. They don't need to be weatherproof. Had them since the 80's. I use a medium Action Packer to take used lumber for firewood at camp. I find that care must be taken when buying cases. Mainly for size and what you will pack in them. For instance a Pelican 1650 case is fine if you want to fill it with a sleeping bag and clothes, but not if you are going to cram it full of Kitchen stove, pots, pans, utensils, propane bottles, cooking oil, etc...... If you are taking it in and out of your rig everytime you stop and it's too heavy for 1 person to handle. So I use my 1650 for my sleeping bag(unstuffed for loft) dutch oven in a bag and Kelly Kettle in a bag, that gives me room and packing material, in a manageble weight.
 
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MMc

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I have used Colman chest as a box for a while. it works pretty well, it did get dented as stuff moved around. It replace a inexpensive cheap container and was replaced by a action box. Having had many rigs and played with many up and down grades. A box that rides inside my rig isn't a priority enough hundreds of dollars on, I would rather spend it on mechanical upgrades or toys. The Wolf Boxes look very good for storage. If I was looking to replace the boxes I have they would be a strong consideration.

All of my boxes come out of the truck emptied cleaned and repacked after any trip. The sleeping bags live in a closet when not being used for loft. My high end boxes are for expensive and delicate things.

I retired 7 years early and did so by saving. So I guess I understand buying on value not fashion. YMMV.
 
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enjoitheride

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Clearly, I'm just too cheap to spend $300 on a camping box but I also think that some of the plastic ones just aren't strong enough.
I'm actually considering cheap coolers in the $30-$40 dollar range. Lots of sizes to choose from and they're strong enough to sit on.
Nothing wrong with that! I had a Yeti Tundra 45 I was using for stuff. It just took up too much space in my application, so I had to swap it out. But, a cooler that is more vertical would probably serve you well!