New side by sides come with very little to zero storage space for your gear. And when you’re out on the trail, you’re going to have a fair amount of gear, food and whatever else you may need. Sure you can get some bungee straps and hold a few things down, but nothing will keep your gear out of the elements like a bag or box designed to do so. These days we all have smart phones and/or cameras that need protected while we ride. Luckily, UTV storage boxes come in many shapes and sizes, designed to fit nicely into almost every part of your machine. So Let’s break down what options are out there!
Rear Storage Boxes
Rear storage can be found in a wide variety of styles. There are materials from fabric to plastic to aluminum along with options that allow for locking or pockets that are insulated. The great thing about most boxes or bags is that they’re designed to mount directly to existing hardware because they’re made specific for each vehicle. All are great options, it just depends on your preference and the amount of protection you want for your gear.
Fabric or soft bags are made with a durable, UV resistant material. This material is water resistant but not completely waterproof, so in heavy rains it may not keep things completely dry. This style of bag is the most likely to be a universal fit across most UTVs. Soft bags are easily lifted in and out of the UTV for loading and unloading. Many of these bags have built in bungees to strap more gear on top if you run out of space inside. There are also some models with insulated compartments that act as a cooler as well!
A little more solid option is the injection molded plastic style. These boxes are much more rigid and have options to lock or use a padlock. They are generally machine specific and fit quite snug with the provided mounting hardware. The hard sides better protect contents from getting smashed than the soft side option. The only time I’ve had an issue with at soft bag is when my sandwich or loaf of bread was smash from someone sitting on it!
A few manufacturers offer an aluminum option for ultimate protection. Most of these boxes have a key locking system making them very secure for any valuables you may need to protect. Aluminum boxes, like the molded plastic, are primarily machine specific and will include mounting hardware that attaches right to the existing mounts and attachment points on your UTV. Some of these boxes even come with a rail along the top edge of the lid to aid in hauling additional cargo. Aluminum boxes are usually the best sealed box making them the best protection for the elements as well.
Interior Storage – Keep your goods in arms reach
The cab of these UTVs keeps getting fancier and fancier. Although it seems that there’s not a lot of space on the interior of most side by sides, the storage manufacturers have been very creative with making use of the space that is available. They’ve made use of the spaces between seats, inside of the doors and even in the roof. Although the RZR tends to have the most options available here, the other rigs are starting to gain enough popularity to earn some cool interior storage pieces too.
Doors bags are nice because your stuff is stored right next to you for easy access. Another thing I like is that they act as a pad for your knees. I have long legs and have definitely smacked my knees on the door a few times (especially riding as a passenger). Doors bags fit right along the inner profile of the door for a sleek, clean look. There is also an option to add a bag to aftermarket lower door pieces that are available for the RZR.
The space between the seats (or between the back seats on a 4-seater) has become a popular place to put a small storage bag too. This location is nice because it is out of the way of any riders and is convenient to access. These bags, along with most bags, have a little padding which is great for phones, glasses or other delicate items.
Overhead storage is another great, out-of-the-way storage area. There are a few bags available that strap right to the roll cage keeping you gear, again, in arms length. These bags are usually a little larger that the door and seat storage bags which allows for slightly larger items to be stored inside the cab. The overhead area is also a popular spot to mount speaker systems and other accessories.
Miscellaneous Knick Knacks
Quad Boss makes some really cool drink holders that mount right to the roll cage. There’s a single drink holder that could be mounted by the driver or passenger for quick drink access. They also have a long, insulated tube version that will hold several cans that can be mounted to any open section of your cage.
Do you have a nice Yeti cooler or something similar that you want to take on your ride? There are special mounting kits for these as well! These kits will make securing your cooler to your machine much easier than a ratchet strap or bungee and allows access to the cool without having to remove straps. Additionally, these kits allows you to still access the cooler even it you have a spare tire rack.
Another creative way the roll cage is being used is for specific accessories that are a little harder to store in a box. There are mounts for fire extinguishers so they can quickly be used if necessary. You can also get a kit for a scissor jack to keep it from banging up all you other gear in a box.
I’m sure we’ll continue to see new and creative storage products as UTVs proceed to grow in popularity.
It’s All Good, Get What Fits Your Needs
Storage is one area that I do not think you can go wrong. The most important thing when you hit the trail is that you have a safe place to store your gear. Good UTV storage boxes will make sure that gear gets where you’re going safe and sound. You will be surprised how fast you can fill a storage box or bag. That’s why I say you can never have too much storage space. What’s your favorite style of storage box? Let us know in the comments!