Milwaukee PACKOUT Storage System:
We love tools.
That probably won’t come as a surprise considering we’ve built an entire website around them.
We especially love power tools, and the more powerful, the better in our eyes.
There’s just one problem…the more powerful they are, the bigger, bulkier, and heavier these tools tend to be.
Throw in the fact that we usually need to rely on multiple types of power tool for whatever job we’re tackling, in addition to requiring things like spare batteries, endless accessories such as blades and drill bits, and a whole host of different fixings and fastenings, and what do you get?
A logistical nightmare, that’s what.
Sure, we could add an endless array of wheeled toolboxes to our collection, but let’s face it, we’ve only got two hands each, and who wants to go back and forth across multiple trips picking up each toolbox or accessory pack one or two at a time?
We certainly don’t (especially when there are stairs involved!).
Thankfully, there is a smarter option, and it comes in the form of Milwaukee’s highly-portable, modular (i.e., the various toolbox accessories connect together) and super-strong PACKOUT system featuring over fifteen different accessory types.
With a virtually unlimited number of kit configurations available, PACKOUT is designed to make transporting your entire tool collection, or even just certain parts of it, as quick and hassle-free as possible.
But how does it (pun fully intended) stack up? And more importantly, is it the right choice for you?
Let’s find out by looking at everything you need to know about the Milwaukee PACKOUT system…
The main benefit of Milwaukee’s PACKOUT system is that it provides a massive degree of customizability.
Because of this, it’s well-suited to DIYers, professionals, and anyone in between, thanks to the fact that it’s possible to build a kit that’s as big or as small as you need it to be.
It’s highly portable too, making it an ideal option for anyone who needs to transport their entire tool collection, or specific parts of it, regularly, all without the hassle of lugging around multiple separate toolboxes and organizers.
Here are just a few of the things that Milwaukee’s PACKOUT storage system can be used for:
- Storing tools and accessories such as chargers, batteries, drill bits, and hand tools etc.
- Organizing and storing fixings and fastenings such as nails, screws, and rawl plugs, etc.
- As a quick and easy way to transport your entire tool collection, or specific aspects of it, especially when using the Large Rolling Tool Box as the base of your Milwaukee PACKOUT system.
- Keeping tools safe and secure, particularly when using the PACKOUT Tool Case with Customizable Foam Insert configured to hold your most prized tools tightly.
- Keeping tools, accessories, fixings and whatever else you need to store protected from rain and other job site debris.
- Keeping expensive electronics such as tablets or laptops safe and secure, particularly when using the PACKOUT Backpack or Tech Bag.
- Keeping food and drink cold on the job site when using the PACKOUT Cooler.
As mentioned, one of the biggest benefits of Milwaukee’s PACKOUT system is the massive level of flexibility it offers – all thanks to the large selection of accessory options on offer.
The fact is, there are literally hundreds of different accessory configurations available, giving you the freedom to build a kit that’s tailor-made to you and your specific needs.
So, say you want a small kit that features just a couple of tool boxes, or you’d prefer a much larger kit that’s packed full of tool boxes, organizers, and totes to hold your entire tool collection, don’t worry, PACKOUT has you covered.
Another advantage? All of the accessories are modular, meaning that they’re designed to fit together securely, making them much easier to transport and store.
It’s important to point out that there are some minor limitations here, for example, you can’t plonk a toolbox on top of a tool bag (it would need to be the other way around), but, for the most part, you can pretty much do whatever you like in your quest to build your ideal tool storage system.
Here’s a brief overview of the accessories on offer:
We wouldn’t be surprised if toolboxes formed a key part of most PACKOUT configurations, simply because of how much stuff they’re able to hold/carry.
If there’s one standout accessory in this category, however, it would have to be the Rolling Tool Box in our opinion.
Not only does it feature a huge 250 lbs weight capacity to let you store more tools and accessories, but it also comes with 9″ wheels to help you lug its contents over even the toughest of terrain with ease.
Because of this, the Rolling Tool Box will probably form the base of most PACKOUT configurations (including the PACKOUT starter kit which we discuss here) to boost their portability.
Next up is the Large Tool Box which has been designed to be carried with ease thanks to its metal-reinforced carry handle. It also provides an impressive maximum carrying capacity of 100 lbs.
Finally, there’s the Tool Box and Tool Case, both of which feature 75 lbs carrying capacity.
The standout difference between the two is that the Tool Case comes with a customizable foam insert to let you cut around your most prized tools to keep them padded and secure.
Want to carry loads of different fixings, fastenings, and accessories, without needing to lug them around in separate boxes?
Want to say goodbye to the days of hunting endlessly through different toolboxes for fixings, only to find that whatever box or bag they came in has split leaving them strewn throughout your toolboxes’ contents?
The PACKOUT system’s collection of organizers has you covered.
With PACKOUT, you can choose from full-width, half-width, regular height, and low-profile organizers as shown above for maximum flexibility.
Each one comes with a clear lid to show you exactly what it holds, and they even come with removable organizer bins and bin seals to prevent accessories from getting mixed together during transport. Awesome!
Totes & Backpack:
Not content with only providing hard-storage options, Milwaukee has also integrated a range of soft-storage items into their PACKOUT lineup, the first of which we’ve shown above.
The three different sized totes come with many benefits, including better organization, easier access, and improved visibility versus other storage options such as toolboxes, all thanks to their integrated tool pockets.
The 10″ tote features 28 pockets, while the 15″ and 20″ models come with 31 and 32 pockets respectively (each of these quantities includes two zippered pockets on each tote regardless of size).
Looking at the PACKOUT Backpack for a second, this comes loaded with 48 pockets to help you carry everything you need to tackle smaller jobs with ease. It even comes with a hardshell pocket designed to carry sensitive equipment, for example, an iPad, safely and securely.
Thanks to the carry handles or straps featured on each of the accessories in this category, they’re ideal for the smaller tasks that you don’t want to lug your entire PACKOUT kit to.
Just disconnect the accessory that includes the specific tools you’ll need, and carry it to wherever the work is.
Tool Bags, Tech Bag & Cooler:
You can think of the 15″ and 20″ PACKOUT Tool Bag models as softer, more portable versions of the toolbox options we showed above.
Each comes with a large open storage area and two external pockets, while the 20″ model also benefits from having six interior pockets to help you keep things better organized.
When it comes to carrying the two different sized bags, you’re free to choose between the integrated shoulder strap, top handles, or side handles.
Next on the list is the Tech Bag, and this is perfect for carrying both tools and expensive electronics.
You see, the Tech Bag not only features 58 regular storage pockets, but it also has a hardshell pocket designed for sensitive equipment and a protected laptop sleeve for dual functionality.
Finally, the obvious choice for working in those hot summer months has to be the PACKOUT Cooler.
The Cooler boasts five storage compartments, a food grade leak-proof liner, a built-in bottle opener, and dual-layer insulation that is capable of holding ice for up to 24 hours to help you tackle summer working more comfortably.
If something is described as modular, it simply means that it’s built up from standardized units or sections which allow for easier construction and a more flexible arrangement.
In the case of PACKOUT, these ‘standardized units’ are the various accessory types that we’ve just discussed.
When it comes to the requirement for ‘easier construction,’ Milwaukee’s kit features a brilliant yet straightforward mechanism to make it as easy as possible to assemble or disassemble.
You see, as shown in the first image below, each accessory (other than the Rolling Tool Box) includes a spring-loaded lug in its base, the purpose of which is to connect to the indents featured on the top of each of the hard-storage items.
(See the circled image below for an example).
Even better? It couldn’t be less fiddly.
All you need to do is set another PACKOUT accessory on top of your current one, and the spring-loaded lugs automatically lock into place.
When it comes to removing an accessory, it’s as easy as pulling up on the removal catch (see image above), and pulling the toolbox, tote, or whatever else you want to remove off.
OK, you get it – Milwaukee’s PACKOUT system represents one of the most customizable modular toolbox kits on the market.
As great as this is though, in truth, it’s just one aspect of what makes this entire range of toolboxes and accessories so useful and usable.
Just as important (in case you didn’t pick up on it earlier when we discussed the weight capacities of the toolboxes, for example), is how well built each component is.
Here are just a few of the features that Milwaukee has added to make the PACKOUT system as tough and durable as possible:
- Each hard-storage option (for example, the tool boxes, the tool case, and organizers) is made from impact-resistant polymers.
- The hard-storage items also feature IP65-rated weather seals to protect their contents from rain and other job site debris.
- The soft-storage accessories (for example, the totes, Backpack, and Tech Bag, etc.) are made from tear-resistant 1680D ballistic nylon, and they feature heavy-duty bases constructed from impact-resistant polymers and with all-metal hardware.
- Owing to their higher weight capacities, both the Rolling Tool Box and Large Tool Box feature an industrial grade extension handle, metal reinforced corners, a metal reinforced locking point, and heavy-duty latches.
- Need even more proof that PACKOUT is built tough? Every accessory is covered by a Limited Lifetime Warranty.
So, regardless if you need to pull your PACKOUT system up and down stairs, or across the roughest and wettest of job sites, Milwaukee has engineered it to be able to withstand the bulk of whatever you can throw at it.
There are countless things that we love about the Milwaukee PACKOUT system, from the huge range of accessories available to the smart design that makes attaching and removing these accessories a breeze.
That said, we feel like we need to address the rather expensive elephant in the room…
The Milwaukee PACKOUT system isn’t cheap.
Far from it.
So, the question is, with cheaper alternatives available from the likes of DEWALT and Ridgid that offer similar modular storage capabilities across a range of different accessory types, is Milwaukee’s option worth the extra money?
In our opinion, yes.
It comes down to ultimately getting what you pay for.
You get a much higher weight capacity with the PACKOUT system for starters, and countless Milwaukee PACKOUT review articles have favored its superior build quality versus the competition.
Throw in features like the hard storage accessories’ impact-resistant material and IP65-rated weather seals, and the soft storage options’ tear-resistant ballistic materials, and you can be confident that you’ll be storing and transporting your tools and accessories with PACKOUT for years to come.
Is it perfect? No.
As of the time of writing, Milwaukee’s PACKOUT system lacks a few of the accessories that we’d really like to see, for example, workshop racking and van racking (we’ve been told that these will be released shortly, however).
Having said that, it still offers considerable value for money for the reasons we’ve listed above, and the fact that Milwaukee is continuing to put their weight behind PACKOUT by developing new and innovative accessories is just another reason why we can confidently recommend it.
So what are you waiting for?
Still not convinced? We’ve included a summary of the various advantages and disadvantages of choosing a Milwaukee PACKOUT kit below to help you make up your mind.
Milwaukee PACKOUT Storage System
- There’s a pre-made starter kit available with some of the most popular accessories to give you an easy way to get started with PACKOUT.
- There are hundreds of different accessory configurations available.
- You can add or remove each PACKOUT item quickly and easily thanks to the secure yet straightforward locking cleats and quick-release latches.
- Each accessory can either be used separately or as part of a larger PACKOUT configuration.
- The Rolling Tool Box features 9″ rubber wheels to help you navigate even the toughest of terrain with ease.
- Each PACKOUT accessory combines sturdy materials and smart design features to make them as tough and durable as possible, for example, using impact resistant polymers and/or tear-resistant 1680D ballistic materials.
- The Tool Boxes, Tool Case, and each of the Organizers features IP65 rated weather seals to protect your tools and accessories from rain and other job site debris.
- The Organizer accessories feature removable storage bins for added convenience.
- The PACKOUT system’s Cooler accessory will help keep food and drink cold on the job site.
- The Tech Bag accessory’s sturdy design will help keep expensive electronics, for example, laptops or iPads, safe and secure.
- Each of the hard storage items is lockable using a padlock for added security.
- Each PACKOUT component is covered by a Limited Lifetime Warranty.
- It’s expensive.
- None of the accessories feature drawers, meaning that on the various toolbox options, for example, you’ll need to remove any of the accessories sitting on top of them to be able to access whatever is inside.
Milwaukee PACKOUT vs DEWALT ToughSystem
Usually when we do a head-to-head comparison with a couple of different tools or accessories, we compare them based on their high-level stats alone.
When it comes to comparing the Milwaukee PACKOUT vs DEWALT ToughSystem, however, this isn’t possible.
Well, each system offers a whole host of different accessory types, each of which has its own specific stats and attributes. Because of this, we’d need to compare each accessory on a like-for-like basis, and this would result in a table that would likely be hundreds of rows long.
No one has time to read that.
So, instead, we’ve taken a bit of a subjective approach and decided to compare each system as a whole on a variety of different criteria to see which is ultimately better.
Here are the results…
(Don’t forget to check out our entire write-up on the DEWALT ToughSystem, too!)
(Scroll table if needed)
The PACKOUT system features a wide range of both hard and soft storage accessories, including tool boxes, a tool case, organizers, totes, tool bags, a backpack, a tech bag, and a cooler.
The ToughSystem features a range of hard storage options only, including tool boxes, tool cases, organizers, drawered storage, totes, a cooler, and also a radio accessory.
Milwaukee offers a PACKOUT starter kit to help you get started.
It is somewhat limited though in that it only contains tool boxes (a rolling tool box, large tool box, and a regular-sized tool box to be precise).
Click here to check it out on Amazon.
DEWALT does offer a ToughSystem starter kit.
As with Milwaukee’s offering, it’s slightly limited in that it only contains toolboxes, including a 22″, 17-gallon mobile toolbox (DS450), a tote toolbox (DS280) and a regular toolbox (DS130).
You can check it out on Amazon here.
The PACKOUT’s hard storage options are constructed from impact-resistant polymers.
The soft items are made from tear-resistant 1680D ballistic material, and they all feature impact-resistant polymer bases and all-metal hardware.
The bulk of the ToughSystem’s hard storage items are made from thick structural foam to provide good impact-resistance, and they nearly all feature metal latches for better durability.
The Organizer accessory also comes with a clear polycarbonate lid for both strength and visibility.
The PACKOUT system features a weight capacity that is likely to be more than adequate for most users.
For example, here are the weight limits for a few of the most popular accessories:
Despite having a good overall capacity, the ToughSystem can’t quite match up to the PACKOUT’s high weight limits.
Here are a few comparable items to allow a like-for-like comparison:
As mentioned, all PACKOUT hard storage options are made from impact-resistant polymers, while the soft items feature tear-resistant 1680D ballistic material along with impact-resistant polymer bases.
The hard storage items also come with IP65-rated weather seals to keep your tools and accessories protected from rain and other job site debris. They aren’t fully waterproof, however.
As discussed above, the bulk of the ToughSystem’s hard storage items are made from thick structural foam to provide good impact-resistance.
Like Milwaukee’s storage options, they also come with IP65-rated weather seals to protect your tools and accessories from rain and damp job site conditions. Again, they aren’t fully waterproof.
You can choose from pretty much hundreds of different kit configurations thanks to how many PACKOUT accessories are available.
There is little difference between the Milwaukee PACKOUT vs DEWALT ToughSystem in this regard, because the latter also features hundreds of potential kit configurations.
The PACKOUT system offers a good level of portability, especially when using the Rolling Tool Box as the base of your kit given its 9-inch rubber wheels.
Accessories such as the Large Tool Box and Totes also feature sturdy handles, while others such as the Tool Bags, Tech Bag, and Cooler come with handy shoulder straps to make them easier to carry.
One area where PACKOUT falls down in terms of portability is that it doesn’t offer the van racking solutions that are available for the DEWALT ToughSystem (these are planned, however).
The ToughSystem has clearly been built with portability in mind.
For example, it offers two wheeled-base options including the ToughSystem DS450 Mobile Storage, and the DS Carrier (DWST08210).
You can also add a racking system to hold your ToughSystem in place in either high-sided vans (DWST08241) or low-sided vans (DWST08240) for even better portability.
There’s no getting away from the fact that the Milwaukee PACKOUT system is considerably more expensive than the DEWALT ToughSystem.
Is the price justified? In our opinion yes, especially when you consider the higher weight capacity of the PACKOUT system, and the arguably better construction and higher quality of materials that make it more durable and likely to last longer.
The DEWALT ToughSystem is quite a bit cheaper than Milwaukee’s offering.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise though, as the weight capacity is quite a bit lower in general, and the build quality is arguably not quite as good as that with the PACKOUT system.
We still think that the ToughSystem provides excellent value for money though, thanks to its lower price and the high number of attractive features on offer.
With so many different accessory options available, you could be forgiven if you were feeling a bit confused about where to start with the PACKOUT system.
Thankfully, Milwaukee has made this decision as quick, easy, and painless as possible by offering a starter kit of sorts featuring a trio of their most popular accessories.
So, regardless if you’re a DIYer looking for as much storage as you’ll probably ever need to keep your tool collection together and accounted for, or you’re a professional looking for a modular storage system that you can continue to grow over time, the following kit is a great choice:
- Is it possible to buy a pre-assembled PACKOUT system?
- 1x Rolling Tool Box (48-22-4826)
- 1x Large Tool Box (48-22-4825)
- 1x Tool Box (48-22-8424)
We’ve discussed this kit in detail above, but you can also click here to check it out on Amazon.
- What accessories are available for the Milwaukee PACKOUT system?
Here’s what’s available:
- Tool Boxes – including a rolling tool box (to form the base of your PACKOUT kit), a large tool box with a carry handle, and a smaller tool box designed to connect on top of either of these.
- Tool Case – similar to the smaller tool box, this features a customizable foam insert to keep your most prized tools safe and secure.
- Organizers – to store and keep organized items such as fixings and fastenings, these are available in either full-width or half-width sizes, and they also come in both regular and low-profile heights.
- Totes – available in 10″, 15″ and 20″ sizes, these feature handles for easier carrying and are made from a ballistic material for improved durability.
- Totes – available in 10″, 15″ and 20″ sizes, these feature handles for easier carrying and are made from a ballistic material for improved durability.
- Tool Bags – available in both 15″ and 20″ sizes, they come with multiple tool pockets, along with carry handles and a shoulder strap for convenience.
- Soft Storage Options – including a Tech Bag to keep expensive tech (e.g., laptops and iPads) safe and secure, a handy Backpack, and a Cooler to keep food and drink cold on the job site.
- What’s the weight limit of the PACKOUT system?
- Rolling Tool Box (48-22-4826) – 250 lbs weight limit
- Large Tool Box (48-22-4825) – 100 lbs carrying capacity
- Tool Box (48-22-8424) – 75 lbs carrying capacity
- Tool Case (48-22-8450) – 75 lbs carrying capacity
- Do you need to use the Large Rolling Tool Box as the base of the PACKOUT system?
While there’s no denying that the Rolling Tool Box will make your PACKOUT system more portable, there isn’t any obligation to use it.
That’s the awesome thing about PACKOUT – you’re free to build whatever setup best suits your needs, all with very few limitations.
So, for example, you could stack a couple of the Large Tool Box units together and carry these using the built-in handle. Alternatively, you could add a 20″ Tool Bag on top of a Tool Case, using the bag’s handy shoulder strap to carry both at the same time.
- How many different configurations are available?
- Can the various accessories and components be used separately?
- How do the various accessories lock into place?
You can attach new accessories in seconds by sliding and locking them into place. Removing them is just as simple too, all thanks to the quick-release latch system featured on each PACKOUT item.
- Do the organizer accessories include removable storage bins?
The storage bins also feature mounting points to allow you to hang them in place once removed.
- What are the various components constructed from and are they durable?
- Rolling Tool Box & Large Tool Box – made from impact resistant polymers, and each one features an industrial grade extension handle, metal reinforced corners, a metal reinforced locking point, and heavy-duty latches.
- Tool Box – made from impact resistant polymers, and it comes with metal reinforced corners, a metal reinforced locking point, and heavy-duty latches.
- Tool Case – constructed from impact resistant polymers, and it features a reinforced locking point.
- Organizers – constructed from impact resistant polymers.
- Totes, Tool Bags, Backpack, Tech Bag, & Cooler – all of the soft-storage options are made from tear-resistant 1680D ballistic material, and each one features an impact resistant polymer base and all-metal hardware.
- Is it lockable?
- Is it waterproof?
Having said that, they aren’t fully waterproof, so Milwaukee doesn’t recommend leaving the PACKOUT system for long periods time in the rain or wet conditions.
- How long is the warranty period?
Milwaukee PACKOUT Storage System
- Our other tool storage articles
- Our guide to the DEWALT ToughSystem tool storage system