sterilite storage bins 11

sterilite storage bins 11
impression sterilite storage bins 11
picture sterilite storage bins 11

Sterilite® Containers U.S. Plastic Corp.® carries a wide variety of Sterilite® storage containers for home storage and more. Our selection includes Sterilites®'s top storage products including clear storage boxes, food storage, latch boxes and more!

Despite their presence in nearly every American home, plastic storage bins get surprisingly little attention in terms of professional reviews. But our experts overwhelmingly steered us toward Sterilite, noting the brand’s easy availability and their affordable bulk prices, followed by Rubbermaid and The Container Store bins as other options. Additionally, we visited Home Depot, Lowe’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, The Container Store, Target, Walmart, and a local hardware store in person to inspect a selection of models firsthand to become acquainted with materials, ergonomics, and feature quality beyond online and interview recommendations. This research proved extremely important since some of features noted by organizers—sliding doors, flap door lids, drawers, and wheels—felt cheap and prone to breakage when inspected in person. We eliminated almost all models with any of these add-on features, believing the convenience did not make up for their potential to break easily. We also passed on models designed for food storage, and under-bed storage designs. The bins we chose to test are your basic two-piece combos: the tub, lid, latches, and not much else.

These bins give you exactly what you’d expect at this price, with no major disappointments: For a mere $6 per bin (a third the cost of our upgrade pick), you can buy these Sterilites and get a closet, kid’s room, garage, or home office packed, stacked, and organized in no time. These see-through bins held their own alongside the pricier products in our performance testing, surviving the drop test without cracking. They also passed leak-free in a water test we devised to re-create a flooded basement—standing in shorts and flip-flops in the backyard, holding a garden hose overhead, we sprayed the bins while each sat weighed down by bricks in a plastic kiddie pool. Despite some incredulous stares and curious inquiries from neighbors, the test successfully showed that the Sterilite’s walls and lid could keep water from getting inside.

U.S. Plastic Corp.® carries a wide variety of Sterilite® storage containers for home storage and more. Our selection includes Sterilites®'s top storage products including clear storage boxes, food storage, latch boxes and more!

The grips on the Sterilite Ultra Latching Box feel fine when the bin is empty, but once it’s loaded with heavier items and lifted, your fingers press in more deeply and suddenly meet a sharper edge. This may be a rough seam in the plastic. It’s a minor annoyance, but over the span of carrying dozens of storage bins from room to room, garage to moving van, or from the basement upstairs, it gets painful. You could wear gloves, but then your hands may be too bulky to fit in the grips.

You probably wouldn’t want to go much smaller than the 30-quart size, like our Sterilite pick. We edited out models below 27 quarts, because these smaller models tended to use thinner plastic, and they usually lacked locking latches, which we felt were essential to keeping contents secure (and, obviously, they can’t fit much). With its manageable dimensions of 18.13 by 11.5 by 12.25 inches, our 30-quart pick never felt challenging to hold, lift, or carry, even when filled to the max. And still, there was enough room inside to pack a pretty good bit away—14 large-size hardback books could easily fit inside. Plus, this size could easily fit stacked in most closets (even, possibly, on an overhead shelf), whereas the larger 74-quart bins would be better suited to storage in an open corner of a basement, garage, or attic. In the end, the most important thing is to consider your own strength, and what you intend to keep inside, when figuring out where your needs fall in this basic 30- to 74-quart range.

Compared with the tougher bins we tested, the Sterilite Ultra Latching Box has a slightly thinner polypropylene wall construction. It flexes visibly outward on the side (but holds) when overstuffed, as we did with a pair of pillows. This can be an issue when stacking multiple boxes, but then again, you’re getting a lot of them to work with, so you may be able to divide up the contents to avoid overstuffing a single bin.

Because of its giant size and significantly more robust construction, we initially planned to leave out the 140-quart Rubbermaid ActionPacker ($79). The rugged box is much heavier, wider, pricier, and just plain tougher than the other bins, and its solid sides don’t allow you to see the contents inside. Yet, there’s something about it—one friend, singling it out from among the towers of storage bins piled in our living room, called it “badass.” With a design that’s part cooler, part toolbox, the 34.5- by 16.4- by 18.5-inch plastic bin weighs 16.3 pounds (by our measurement) even when it’s empty. It’s expensive, but it’s covered by a one-year warranty, which was the only such protection we found among the bins we picked. This item deserves recognition, even if it’s different from every other model we reviewed and tested.

In an ideal world, plastic storage bins are packed and organized with the thoughtful planning and care of a Smithsonian archivist. The reality is plastic storage bins are usually stuffed haphazardly and to full capacity, often in a hurry, and used in situations ranging from office document storage, in children’s rooms for toys, for transporting stuff in a move, as seasonal closet annexes, or for hauling camping gear out of a garage. They’re the MacGyver of storage accessories, and they live rough lives.

April 8, 2015: After more than 40 hours of testing plastic storage containers by stuffing them, dropping them, soaking them, and hauling them around, we found the Sterilite 30 Quart Ultra Latching Storage Box has the best balance of durability, security, and affordability ($40 for a six-pack). It didn’t crack in our drop tests or leak in our water tests designed to recreate a flooded basement. And if you need a larger or super-rugged bin, we have picks for those, too. Collapse Most Recent Updates

Runner-up Sterilite 70-Qt. Ultra Latching Storage Box (4-pack) With the same latches, lid, and overall construction as our main pick, this bin is simply a bigger version—go for it if you can't find our main pick or simply need more storage space.

Storage bins often end up in semi-outdoor or uninsulated spaces, like garages, attics, and basements, where they’re subjected to less than ideal temperature, humidity, and air quality. They need to stay sealed shut, so we paid special attention to the fit and finish of their lid and latch locks. We looked for both tactile and auditory cues indicating a seal was properly made, along with extra foam or rubber gasket to help secure a seal. The best plastic storage bins, which are ready long-term storage and require infrequent access, usually have thicker polypropylene or polyethylene walls, with tub bottoms and lids designed to interlock for vertical stacking. We chose to test both clear and opaque models, because there are circumstances when content visibility would (and also would not) be desirable. Good products can have additional material added to stress points, like honeycomb or diamond patterns reinforcing the lid and bottom sides.

One last benefit is that this is probably one of the easiest models to find whether online or in store, as Sterilite is the biggest brand in the plastic storage container category. Reviews on Amazon are largely positive, with a 4.5-star average from more than 200 customers.  

Neither the Ziploc or Sterilite top picks have exhibited any structural issues; both have been stacked and thrown against the floor (accidentally) during that arduous move and only show the most modest of scratches expected. They’re now just in the garage or storage unit below our home (additionally like the Ziploc seal because it provides extra insurance from spiders, earwigs, and other bugs from making homes inside). I think the big test will be during the winter when humidity comes into play.

The biggest flaw emerged when testing the bin’s durability by dropping it over the side of an outdoor staircase onto hard concrete. While also being a fun exercise in Newton’s second law of motion, the drop test caused a small crack in the lid’s lip corner. The damage could be attributed to the product’s heavier weight (the Iris is 5.35 pounds empty and the Ziploc 4.9 pounds, compared with the 2.6 pounds of the smaller Sterilite). Beyond the heavier weight, the stiffer, reinforced plastic body and extra handles meant it wasn’t going to bounce like a bin made with softer and thinner plastic. Still, the bin held onto the lid even when the going got rough, showing how an extra set of two to four latches can be an insurance policy against contents spilling open if one falls from a stack, shelf, truck bed, or anywhere above ground level.

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