For many, the benefits of a cohesive storage solution greatly outweigh the small sacrifices necessary to add one to your arsenal.  

You’ll actually enjoy packing for the trip.

Just as putting the box wrench back in your well-organized tool chest gives you a sense of pride, loading your new drawer system in an organized and convenient manner, where everything has a place, just got a whole lot better.  And those items that you’d like to stay in the vehicle day to day, but take out for fear of a break-in, can be stored safely and securely out of sight, thus reducing the work of packing the vehicle. 

Counting cubic inches.

It’s true.  Adding a drawer system technically takes up space in your cargo area.  But just as a well thought out closet organizer actually increases your ability to store clothing, a drawer system effectively increases your cargo capacity by allowing an organized and layered approach to packing your rig.

What???  I can’t go to IKEA and carry that giant box home?

Just as there are sacrifices with any accessory or modification to your vehicle, adding a drawer system will reduce the overall open area in the back. But there are other options.  Most drawer systems don’t actually take that long to install or remove (especially with the help of a friend).  And let’s be frank- your SUV is not really designed to haul plywood from the lumber yard or that sofa you bought on Craigslist.  That’s what pickups are for.

A blank slate.

Pretty much any car you buy nowadays is chock-full of the latest features.  Even the base models will have USB ports, Bluetooth, a myriad of windshield wiper settings, cupholders, power locks and windows, etc.  Car makers have gone to great lengths to pack the cabin full of conveniences.  But when you open the rear hatch or the trunk, what do you get?  Nothing.  They expect you to just throw your stuff in there and sort it out later.  How well would that approach work for your tool chest or silverware drawer?  Your vehicle shouldn’t be any different.  You transport items in your vehicle every day.  Some are transient and some you’d like to be permanent, but in all cases a little order would go a long way.  Plus it looks cool. 

Being an expedition leader is cool.

But, you don’t have to be one to realize the benefits of a well thought out approach to organization in your vehicle.  No only do cargo systems make long trips and expeditions much more efficient and enjoyable, but they have the same effect on day to day life.  You no longer have to pile your groceries on top of your jumper cables and windshield washer fluid.  As a photographer, you can safely lock away your precious equipment and keep it out of sight.  As an outdoorsman, you can keep your important gear stowed safely and securely, away from prying eyes and ready for the next adventure.  As a parent, you can carry all of the necessities, organized and easy to get to- even with your 2 year old hanging off your side. 

Nothing like a suitcase to the back of the head.

We don’t like to talk about it, but crashes are a reality.  Most injuries occur during a secondary impact.  That is, when an object inside the vehicle or the inside of the vehicle itself collides with it’s occupants.  A recent study showed that ordinary loose objects inside a car are responsible for 13,000 injuries and deaths each year.  Having your belongings safely secured in a drawer system and behind a cargo barrier not only allows you to pack to the roof, but keeps those items where they belong.  

Nobody likes a thief.

A thief doesn’t deserve your camera, purse, or pistol.  It’s yours.  And it’s yours to protect.  Each year there are about 1.85 million thefts from vehicles, worth about $1.25 billion.  Don’t be a victim.  A robust drawer system allows you to lock your valuables out of sight for that quick jaunt into the drug store or a day at the lake.  Most auto burglars are only equipped to make entry into a car.  They have specialized tools and they’re incredibly good at it.  However, they must work quickly.  When they do get inside (and they will), being confronted with a locked drawer system will throw a wrench in their plans.  Sure, they could get in with enough time and more tools, but time is not on their side.  They will most likely not have the proper tools with them for this new obstacle.  Adding that extra layer of protection can make the difference between keeping your belongings or letting them walk away.

The decision is yours.

That’s the beauty of aftermarket accessories.  They allow you to customize your vehicle to suit your individual needs and tastes, and modify them as those needs change.  There are a multitude storage options available on the market, as well as many ideas online from talented do-it-yourselfers.  Whether you buy or build, a comprehensive storage solution may be an excellent addition to your tool kit.