The Milwaukee Packout Tool Box: The Pros, The Cons, and The Alternatives

The Milwaukee Packout Tool Box: The Pros, The Cons, and The Alternatives 

Is the Milwaukee Packout Tool Box, or more properly the Milwaukee Packout Storage System, right for you and your tools? It depends on the tools you have and how you use them.  test

A DECKED D-Rito Tool Roll with an array of small tools

The Milwaukee Packout Tool Box is essentially a “pit box.” A pit box is a large tool box or collection of smaller tool boxes that are designed to be wheeled around like luggage. Made famous by the pit crews of several racing circuits, pit boxes let you lug large, heavy tools straight to where they're needed, but can keep a large collection of smaller items organized. Pit crews need their equipment to be highly mobile and can’t afford to lose time fumbling around looking for the right socket extension. Pit boxes are smaller and more portable versions of a mechanic’s roller cabinets.

Are Pit Boxes Like The Milwaukee Packout Tool Box Only For Mechanics?

Absolutely not! Pit boxes are used by people all over the world for a wide variety of purposes. If you need to move a collection of tools, fishing tackle, manufacturing samples, or virtually anything else quickly while maintaining easy access, a pit box is an excellent choice.

Paramedic removing equipment from DECKED drawer system

Paramedics and EMS professionals rely on pit boxes to transport medical equipment into the field. Potentially life-saving equipment is mobile, organized and safe from environmental interference in a pit box. 


Should You Buy A Milwaukee Packout Tool Box?

We all need a sturdy, secure, and convenient way to protect and organize our expensive tools and equipment. Since a good tool box isn’t cheap, it needs to last against wear and tear. Before you decide whether the Packout tool box system is the right match for you, consider your options carefully.

Man accessing DECKED drawer system, filled with camping gear

Does it matter to you what your tool box is made of? Some people swear by aluminum. Others prefer the long-term durability of high-impact resin. Others are fine with clear plastic, which enables the user to see the contents from the outside and find what they need quickly. 

Man accessing a DECKED Drawer System tool storage drawer

Is a single pit box like the Milwaukee Packout system going to be large enough for your tools or equipment? If you have a lot of gear, you might be better off with something vehicle-mounted.

Do you need a storage solution designed specifically for the type of gear you use, or will something adaptable suit you better?

We'll compare the Milwaukee Packout Tool Box with DECKED's tool boxes and portable storage systems so you can decide what's right for you.


Why You Might Like The Milwaukee Packout Rolling Tool Box

Pit boxes have been around for decades, which enabled Milwaukee Tool to field a fully mature product on their first try. You don’t always have to be innovative if you can deliver a quality product with all the bugs worked out. 

Milwaukee Packout System, assembled

At the core of the Milwaukee Packout tool box system is a set of modular tool boxes. The largest is a 2-wheeled dolly that the rest attach to securely. The dolly accepts the hard modular tool boxes and a variety of bags and soft storage options. Each hard box attaches to the top of the box below it and locks securely into place.

Each individual box is relatively weathertight, and plastic-and-metal latches secure the lids tightly. Each large storage box also boasts an aluminum rail at each corner to ensure that the bottom boxes can support the weight of everything on top of them.

In terms of security, each box accepts a padlock on a plastic flange built into the lid.

The entire Milwaukee Packout tool storage system includes three tool storage boxes in different sizes. It also comes with 2 smaller, lighter boxes for keeping your hardware and miscellaneous bits organized. 

Milwaukee Packout System tote

The deluxe version of the system comes with three open-top, soft-body totes. These totes will latch onto the tops of the storage boxes.

Three red Milwaukee plastic tool storage boxes

Inside the larger tool storage boxes you’ll find small removable trays. These can be taken out when the lid is up and allow easy depth access. Because they sit flush with the lid when it is closed, items will not shift around within the box.

The bottom-most wheeled box and the medium-sized box above it can each handle up to 100 pounds of equipment. The smaller one on top can handle up to 75 pounds. 275 pounds is a lot to move. If you need to transport more, a vehicle-mounted storage system is a better solution.

In detail:

  • The build quality of all the boxes is very good.
  • The boxes connect to each other easily and securely.
  • Each case is reasonably waterproof.
  • The system is modular and can be easily reconfigured.

Why The Packout Rolling Tool Box Might Not Be For You

The big elephant in the room is the price. The Milwaukee Packout Tool Box system is expensive. You do get value for money, but this may be the most expensive pit box system available today.

The Packout Rolling Tool Box can lack convenience. If you have the space to fully disassemble the Packout Tool Box, great. But when the boxes are stacked, you can only open the top box. This can prove to be a major drawback in tight workplaces. Buying drawer units that fit into the basic Packout system solves this problem, but you may find that they are too small – for example, they can't hold a circular saw.

Different Versions and Products in the Packout Rolling Tool Box Line


Milwaukee Packout 3 piece kit

Milwaukee Packout 3pc tool box kit

This ‘starter kit’ for the Packout modular tool box system comes with the large wheeled box and two smaller tool storage boxes that mount on top of it. Totes and organizers are not included in this set.



Milwaukee Packout tool box 48-22-8426


Milwaukee Packout tool box 48-22-8426

The 48-22 is the 22-inch rolling tool box that forms the base of the Milwaukee 22 inch Packout modular tool box storage system. It accepts an interior organizer tray, but does not come with one. 

Milwaukee Packout small tool box

Milwaukee Packout small tool box

This is the shortest tool box that you can buy to be a part of the modular Milwaukee Packout tool box system. It can be placed in any position in a stack, but can only be opened when no other tool box is on top of it.


Milwaukee Packout XL tool box

Milwaukee Packout xl tool box

This is the largest tool box available in Milwaukee Packout tool box system. It can hold up to 100 pounds of equipment and measures 16.25 x 22 x 17 inches.


Milwaukee Packout 2 drawer tool box

Milwaukee Packout 2-drawer tool box

This is a 2-drawer tool box that fits into the modular Milwaukee Packout tool box system. Both drawers are secured by a single latch and can be opened while this tool box stacked.


Milwaukee Packout 3 drawer tool box

Milwaukee Packout 3 drawer tool box

This is a 3-drawer tool box that fits into the modular Milwaukee Packout tool box system. All three drawers are secured by a single latch and can be opened while this is stacked. 

Milwaukee Packout compact tool box

Milwaukee Packout compact tool box

Also called the Packout 10 inch compact tool box, this is a tall, thin tool storage box designed to be a part of the Milwaukee Packout modular tool box system. It can be mounted side-by side on top of a standard Packout box and hold up to 75 pounds of tools or gear. 

DECKED drawer system, displaying 2 drawers full of gear

The DECKED Drawer System – A Vehicle-Mounted Packout Tool Box Alternative

If you need to move more tools than the Milwaukee Packout tool box system while maintaining easy access and organization, then  the DECKED Drawer System is the best option.

The system is mounted on the bed of your truck and made of steel reinforced high-density resin. This high-impact top is more resilient than a truck’s actual bed and boasts a 2,000 lbs payload capacity.

Set of accessories for DECKED drawer system: Drawerganizer, D-Box, Set of Drawer Dividers, and Crossbox 

Perhaps the most impressive feature of the DECKED Drawer System is the drawers themselves. Each of these high-capacity drawers can be pulled out independently and store up to 200 pounds of tools, equipment or other cargo safely and securely. They are easily customized with accessories available directly from DECKED, and the DECKED D-Box and DECKED Crossbox come with the system from the factory. This makes the DECKED Drawer System a tool box transportation and organization system that is superior to the Milwaukee Packout tool box system in terms of modularity and customization.

The system is weatherproof, lightweight, durable, and secure. It keeps your equipment where it belongs and out of the elements.

A DECKED Tool Box, closed


The DECKED Tool Box – An In-Bed Packout Tool Box Alternative

DECKED Tool Boxes are designed to be mounted behind the cab in the bed of a pick-up truck. The DECKED Tool Box is made of high-impact resin and reinforced with aluminum steel. It's an impressively strong and waterproof tool chest with an incredibly secure armored locking mechanism. Even on a trusted job site, you need to protect your tools.

How is the DECKED Tool Box competitive with the Milwaukee Packout tool box? We’re glad you asked. Ours features a watertight gasket seal, a spring-loaded top door, and a full 73.4-gallons of internal space. It functions as a tool box organization system and was designed to fit our smaller storage tool boxes inside. The DECKED Tool Box even ships with DECKED D-Box and a DECKED Snack Tray inside. Optional additions include additional tool boxes, space dividers and a ladder for easy access on tall truck beds.  

DECKED Tool Box, open

You should have a better idea whether the Milwaukee Packout Tool Box does everything you need it to. If it falls short in security, capacity, and mobility, DECKED may best meet your needs in those key areas.