This article will save you time shopping for hanging storage shelves with this pros and cons of various brands. Personally the organization department of a hardware store always gets a look. I get pumped up about shelving… peculiar, I know. I delight in investing time studying the materials, examining the anchors and brackets, and appreciating the innovative models. Your passion may lay somewhere else, so allow me to expedite your researching efforts by summarizing my discoveries for you.
I have aimed to mention something good and something bad about each brand. However, I am disclosing at this point that I sell the Topp Rax brand through my site, therefore the opinions expressed here are inevitably partial plus I have the most experience with this manufacturer. I would be glad to offer any of these brands on my site if I could. It’s preferable to supply many options to my customers, so they can buy the rack which has the features which are most important for them. Disclaimer aside, let us evaluate a few of the major manufacturers.
Saferacks provides many impressive pictures on their site plus they have accessories for their racks. Overall, this is a good buy and it’s easy to obtain one at a great price because they can be bought at CostCo. Saferacks are also sold with the MonsterRAX brand name. The company carries a good assortment of sizes between 4/6/8 feet wide and 2/3/4 feet deep. Such choices are great because not everyone wants a 4×8 rack. I applaud their use of C-channel framing and cross tie supports. My only concern is that some of the cross ties are lighter because they are designed to hold up only the decking. Which means it has a weak spot along the outside frame. Additionally, I find it humorous that the site has pictures of families hanging on the shelf to signify how safe their product is while the directions very clearly point out “Do not climb on or hang from the storage rack.”
Hyloft uses a minimal structure which makes the rack less expensive. The downside is it isn’t as sturdy as other manufacturers. The cross tie supports and vertical brackets are minimal. I’d find it difficult trusting this design not to collapse once I load it with my belongings. However, if I were storing only light items, this would be sufficient. Be aware that the absence of ceiling brackets that cover more than one ceiling beam may restrict your choices for orientation and location. I admire how affordable the 4×4 rack is and might consider that for small storage needs that aren’t above a regularly trafficked area.
Strong Racks is constructed with the reverse approach. This rack is almost overbuilt. The Strong Racks site features a wonderful ‘Checklist Challenge’ video that covers the details. For example, the mounting tracks are 11 gauge steel while 14 gauge is common in other brands. The verticals are square tube steel instead of the regular angled steel. Their product uses more nuts and bolts as compared to every other shelf. Expect to devote a lot of your time tightening these nuts and bolts. I like the lip around the side of their framing. It prevents you from accidentally sliding stuff off the back of the shelf. This also comforts me about my stuff sliding over the side.
Topp Rax displays their sturdy design with a ‘Compare Racks’ video which includes a stomp test on various brands. You can see how rigid this rack is when the guy in the video shakes each of the brand. I enjoy watching the competitor’s frames bend as he walks and jumps on the outside frames. But the Topp Rax framing holds up due to the extra cross ties that reinforce the frame. The decking is properly supported on all edges with the framing, too. The problem with Topp Rax is that it is not a low-cost rack. If you live near a major hardware store, you’ll find acceptably sturdy shelves at a lower price. One more downside is that online it is only available in 4×8 dimensions.