I'm of the opinion that you buy to certain criteria, which are different for each person (in no particular order):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.
- Internal and external dimensions as well as weight of the empty box. A lot of the plastic boxes are rather suboptimal in that regard, but even the aluminum boxes have a difference there that has to be kept in mind.
- Robustness required in terms of handling the day in day out use. I know that a Pelican case is excellent in that regard, even tougher than an aluminum box. But Pelican cases have also downside with the point above.
- Perception of quality: I could not live with a Wolf Pack box. It feels like garbage. It might be solid enough for some of my use cases, but it will annoy me every time I touch it.
- Personal preference for materials and handling: I like having proper handles, robust stacking corners, a lid that doesn't warp, etc.
- Usage flexibility – I might buy a box to store my kitchen today, but when I change my camp setup, if that box doesn't have the qualities for the new role, I have to buy again.
And personally, I'm not convinced by a lot of the overland gear that is sold these days, therefore I'm looking more at gear that has been around for longer and came from related needs and requirements. Not build for the purpose of milking a new trend. And I've been using Zarges and Pelican for over 30 years, that gives me the trust and knowledge of these products. Front Runner – let's put it this way: I'm not convinced. Not even close.
It also helps that I plain don't have to think about the price. An item is worth it to me if it does what I want it to do without getting in my way or annoying me in any way. That's value. The price is irrelevant in that case. It can be cheap, it can be expensive. What needs to be right is the value.