You will do cool things in your Bronco more often if you have a good system for storing, organizing, and packing your gear. That is why having good storage cases for your equipment is important. On the Bronco Nation team, we’re big fans of Bronco YETI gear, and today we’re going to take a closer look at the YETI LoadOut GoBox, YETI’s current offering in a crowded segment of outdoor adventure products.
What Makes a Gear Case Good?
There are a lot of choices for gear cases out there. From old favorites like ZARGES and Pelican to newer entrants like ROAM Adventure Co., there are plenty to compare. Personal preference matters a great deal when it comes to gear cases. What you’re carrying, what you’re loading the case into, and how you like to organize your stuff all affect whether one of these will be right for you.
Generally, you want a case that is:
- strong so that it can last awhile and protect your gear;
- as modular as possible so that you have more choices for how to store your stuff;
- and is easily securable so that your equipment isn’t stolen.
Size, both external and internal dimensions, matter, but not just in the way most people figure. The point of a case isn’t to necessarily store as much as possible but to store things well, in a way that makes them easy to get to and find. If you’re driving a 2-door Bronco, want a case to hold your tools, and want to store that case in the Bronco’s cargo area, you probably don’t want a footlocker-style behemoth. You probably want a smaller case that will fit in that area while leaving as much room as possible for all your other gear. The YETI GoBox is great for that.
Pros of the YETI GoBox
Full disclaimer, if we didn’t think that the YETI GoBox was a good product, then we wouldn’t have it in the Bronco Nation Gear Store. Here’s why we like it. The GoBox is a good size for organizing activity-specific gear. Instead of having fewer larger cases that have mixed activity gear you have to rifle through to get to what you want, the GoBox is a good size for picking and choosing your loadout based on what you’re doing.
The trend in this space is build-out rigs that can go and camp for days at a moment’s notice. In reality, very few people do that. Most people go camping a couple times a year, but they engage in their hobbies considerably more often. If your gear for fishing, climbing, kayaking, or content production is mixed in with your camping gear, then you must extract it from that stuff before you head out to enjoy your hobby. A better way is to segregate those interests into their own cases and grab what you need when you need it.
The YETI GoBox is great for this, especially for activities that require a lot of smaller items. Fishing needs tackle. Climbing needs carabiners, cams, and whatever else is in that section of the outdoor outfitter that I call my “Wall of Inadequacy” with a tinge of personal regret.
Zip pockets in the lid, a divided tray, and an interior divider give you options for organizing things that need to be separate.
I fit my entire camp kitchen setup –– admittedly a modest one –– in a GoBox without any issue, with room to spare. The internal storage options allow me to pack and unpack the whole kit faster as well.
I have a GSI Destination Kitchen Set that comes in its own case, which is quite nice, but the GoBox allows me store the pieces of the kit that I use less often out of the way. This means I can grab the stuff I do use without taking out the whole kit every time I use something. That saves time, and I love saving time.
Strength and durability are vital for anything that’s heading out into the great outdoors. Now I’m not saying that I’ve drop tested the GoBox in a rigorous, scientific way … but due to reasons, it has fallen out of the back of my car a couple times straight onto concrete. This little gear box laughed at my abuse. Sure, there are some scares, but the lid alignment hasn’t been affected; the latches still close; and the general integrity of the box has been on point.
Nice extras for this box: The divider that can act as a cutting board, and there are sturdy padlock holes on the front corners and grippy foot pads that do a great job of keeping the GoBox planted. It’s also fully waterproof if you need to keep your gear dry, and stackable if you have more than one in your kit.
Cons of the YETI GoBox
My complaints regarding the GoBox are minor and a bit complicated. It’s a few small things and a couple larger complaints.
Little things that I don’t prefer about the GoBox: I don’t like the amount of force it takes to close the latches, and it feels a bit too heavy when empty. You’re already over 10 pounds just in the case, plus what you put into it. For closing the latches, you actually have to punch them pretty hard for them to close. I kid you not, there’s a sticker on the case telling you to hit the latches hard to close them. That’s kind of annoying. YETI would probably say that these are both durability tradeoffs, but that doesn’t make it any less tiresome.
My first larger complaint is that the box is a YETI product, and my second is that it’s not a great fit for long-range adventure travelers, aka “overlanders.”
First, it’s a YETI product, so it has to fit a visual aesthetic that makes it immediately recognizable as one. I get it; I’m sure that YETI probably has reasons for making their gear case look like a cooler, so much so that the website has to explicitly state that it isn’t one. But I feel like there’s some form being put before function here. The tapered interior decreases internal volume as do all the rounded-off corners. To get the YETI look, there were compromises to function, but not large ones.
Second, this case isn’t an “overlanding” gear box. It has the tie-down points for it; ones that can remain secure while still allowing you to open the lid. It has the durability and dust protection for to be an overlanding box. However, it’s probably too small and isn’t efficient enough with packing space to fit the bill.
The YETI GoBox trades extreme durability for packing space. Around the top and lid of the box is beefy reinforcement. That beefiness means that there’s about an inch of dead space all the way around the box. The difference between the real-life packing volume of the case and the amount of gear that you can fit in it is going to be more than some cases on the market. A similarly sized ZARGES case has more internal volume while being $50 more expensive and not coming with any internal organization.
The YETI GoBox is my favorite case of its type, even if it isn’t a perfect fit for long-range adventure travelers. I have great admiration for those who do live that life to the fullest, but at the end of the day, they aren’t representative of the needs of most people. The GoBox is a great case for most Bronco people. It’s very well made, well thought out, and will last. It will protect your gear while giving you several ways to better organize it.