Car camping, overlanding, and #vanlife all require storage of necessary camping gear, and the plastic bin is a default solution. A visual inventory at any car camping site will reveal the available options, from the dirt-cheap home storage bins found at big box stores to army surplus ammo boxes. Throughout my adult life, I have tried all varieties of plastic bins. Eventually, each has broken or failed in some manner, left to die in a recycling bin or relegated to domestic use.
Front Runner Outfitters specifically designed the Wolf Pack bin for overlanding and car-camping use. This seemed like overkill or trying to force a product into a narrow market segment, but after over six months of purposely abusive use, I am declaring this is the last storage bin I will ever need for camping. Not only are the boxes incredibly durable, but the dimensions also work well for typical truck builds, van builds, and even the back of my Subaru. Securely locking lids, incredibly stable stacking, and rigidity that stands up to high tie-down tension seal the deal. After so many years of destroying or being disappointed with all manner of plastic bins, the Wolf Pack is the final solution.
Front Runner Wolf Pack Specifications
First off, the Wolf Pack’s physical dimensions make them extremely practical for car-camping and overlanding use; the 20.1″ x 15.8″ x 9.1″ size and 6.6-pound weight made the boxes easy to manage by even smaller adventurers. The height worked perfectly for the home-built drawer system in the back of my truck, being low enough to slide underneath the sleeping platform, while the width allowed double rows. The width also allowed double rows in the van with enough space remaining to walk through or secure a bicycle.
Front Runner fabricates the Wolf Packs out of roto-molded high-density polyethylene (HDPE) with structural features that add to strength and durability. There are drain and breather holes, and the lids secure with four latches. The sides are formed so there is no loss of space when nestling boxes side by side, while the lids and bottoms have deep interlacing channels for security when stacked vertically.
Wolf Pack Storage Bin Durability – Bomber
The Wolf Pack puts my other bins to shame. Modeled after ammo boxes, the South African brand bestowed the Wolf Pack with similar rigidity and strength. I stacked boxes and stood on them to access my van’s roof rack with no issues: no sidewall buckling or flexing and zero lid deformation.
I stacked multiple Wolf Packs in the back of my van to save horizontal space, then secured them with tie-down straps with as much tension as I could generate and, again, zero issues. And the deep lid and bottom channels interlocked in an incredibly secure way. I never worried about boxes sliding regardless of how washed out the dirt roads were. No bins ever came close to this type of security while stacked.
The rotomolded HDPE withstood harsh mistreatment. The Wolf Packs got stabbed by pedals and sharp dirt bike footpegs, the latter easily destroying other plastic bins in the past. The bins sat out in sub-freezing temperatures with zero issues during rough treatment, conditions that cracked bins of the past.
The Wolf Packs are not waterproof, partly due to the breather holes, but I preferred not to worry about condensation or high humidity causing contents to mold.
The Front Runner Wolf Pack Storage Bin Ecosystem
Front Runner didn’t stop with the Wolf Pack; the brand devised a system around it to accommodate overlanding storage needs.
- Flat Pack – a zippered, vinyl-lined canvas box that fits the exact internal space of the Wolf Pack that also can be used alone. Protects camera gear, pots, and pans, etc.
- Wolf Pack Hi-Lid – locking, channeled lids that add an extra 2.25 to 2.5 inches to the Wolf Pack height that maintains stacking stability.
- Drawer Systems – Front Runner, has vehicle-specific drawer systems designed around the dimensions of the Wolf Pack.
- Wolf Pack Rack Bracket – A quick release bracket system to secure a Wolf Pack to a Front Runner rack.
Some may scoff at an overlanding-specific plastic storage bin that retails for $40; I was initially one of those people. But all others I’ve tried, and I’ve tried every commonly available bin, either broke or had a sizeable shortcoming. Lack of rigidity of the box or lid, cracking after cold or elongated UV exposure, and other shortfalls and damage have caused repeated purchases. So, in the long run, the $40 price evens out or comes out ahead in the wash, and I have a better functioning storage solution to boot. And I’ll repeat it. The Wolf Pack is the last storage bin I’ll ever need.
Check here for a list of other car camping essentials.