Milwaukee PACKOUT Modular Storage System UPDATED
The Milwaukee PackOut Modular Storage System is a new attachment system that allows boxes, organizers, and totes of multiple sizes and configurations to easily stack and lock together. Through an intuitive and quick attachment mechanism, the user is allowed the freedom to stack and lock the various PackOut tool boxes, organizers, and totes into any variety of configurations that best suit their needs.
The initial PackOut Modular Storage System consists of 8 products – 3 tool boxes, 2 organizers, and 3 storage totes. All of the items in the PackOut line are built with an emphasis on convenience, organization, and durability.
We’re going to break down the PackOut system in a couple of phases. First, we’ll look at each class of storage as a group. If you want to see the specific details of any individual piece, check out Page 2.
Editor’s note: This review originally published on November 14, 2017. It’s been edited to include new Packout products. To view just the updates, skip to Page 3.
Milwaukee PackOut Modular Storage System Tool Boxes
The foundation of the Milwaukee PackOut System is the rolling toolbox. In the same category are two other non-wheeled toolboxes. For common features, they all sport an IP65 rating against dust and water along with reinforced corners.
Milwaukee constructs all of the tool boxes in the PackOut line from impact resistant polymer. There are also Tick mounting locations on the lids.
The latches on each of the tool boxes are stout and give plenty of reason for confidence. I like that Milwaukee includes a metal washer to reinforce the padlock hole. However, one of our boxes already lost one, so you’ll want to keep an eye on those.
What I’d really like to see is the for the internal boxes on these to nest onto the Packout lids. But the design feature that allows the boxes to lock together requires some extra tooling for the boxes and bins to sit in them nicely.
Milwaukee PackOut Organizer Options
Things begin to shrink slightly when you move to the PackOut Organizers. The latches aren’t as substantial, but still excellent for the application. The handles are a bit smaller as well. However, the attachment points are just as solid as the tool boxes.
You’ll notice a strong resemblance to the Milwaukee Jobsite Organizers from recent memory. The internal boxes are the same and you can organize them the way you like. The lid also recesses into them so bits, fasteners, etc. don’t go wandering next door. The lids are transparent, so it’s easy to identify what’s in each box. Milwaukee crafts each bin using impact resistant polymers that have an IP 65 rating.
Like the internal boxes on the tool boxes, what’s missing here is the ability to set the bins into the top with a level of security.
Milwaukee PackOut Totes
Unique to the PackOut system is the integration of soft storage tote bags, which clip onto the top of any PackOut toolbox or organizer. You can attach the tote to the top of your PackOut gear for easier transport. These totes are available in three sizes – 10″, 15″, and 20″ with a variety of pocket and loop combinations. All of them feature 1680D ballistic material construction, as well as impact resistant molded bases.
What I really like about the integration of totes in the PackOut system is that it allows me to keep my hand toolsorganizedd separate from my power tools. Realistically, how often do you go to a job with no hand tools?
In the end, it’s a great way to ensure you can customize the entire system and grab just what you need for each job.
I’ve had a lot of requests to compare this system in both price an quality to what you can get from DeWalt or Ridgid. The short story is it’s a much better system, but it’s more expensive. That’s a slippery slope, though. It’s kind of like comparing an SUV built on a car frame to one built on a truck frame. Yes, they’re both SUV’s, but they’re not in the same class. That’s where the Milwaukee PackOut system is compared to the other portable storage options – it’s simply a different class.
What I love about the system is the customization that goes along with so many storage options. Optimizing the toolboxes for power tools and accessories, the organizers for fasteners, and the totes for hand tools, I can grab the components I need for any job and leave the rest in the shop or the truck. Plus, you have NBHD built in along with several convenient features on each piece.
Is there room for improvement? Absolutely. I’d really like all the internal bins and boxes to fit onto the PackOut locks and each of the components has tradeoffs here and there. But overall, this is the system every tradesman is going to want to get into. And Milwaukee has already told us this is only the beginning for PackOut.