We’re in the midst of a major home remodel to the extent that we have moved out and the vast majority of our possessions are in onsite storage containers. We have three PODs and a Pack Rat container. All are the 16’ models. How do they compare?
PODs has two styles of containers. The new style is a true shipping container designed just for that- to be loaded and stacked onto ships for international transport and has better seals (more on that later). The old style is lined with plywood and has wood supports versus the 100% metal structure of the new style. Seem simple enough: always request the new style. Not so fast. Also note that they will not promise either style.
Dimensions: The old style POD has a 77” high x 83” wide door opening and an interior height of 96’ except where the wood cross members support the roof which results in a loss of 6”. The new style POD has a 76” high x 80” wide door opening and 84” of ceiling height. The Pack Rat has a 76” high x 66” wide door opening and the shortest ceiling height of 84”. If height matters, the old style POD is your container. These are my quick measurements with a tape measure. If your sizing is that critical, confirm with your selected company.
Delivery: PODs are delivered with the famous PODzilla. The four wheeled machine allows them to place the POD accurately in tight spaces. Conversely, the Pack Rat is slid of the back of the truck and that’s it, much like how a dumpster is delivered. If it’s not exactly where you want it, the empty containers can usually be moved with a pry bar and some brawn (three or four people seems to work).
Doors: PODs have a roll-up door (left). The when up, the door takes up interior space (and stuff stacked close to it can get caught in it. The Pack Rat has French doors that open out (right). This could be a challenge on a street where there is traffic as they stick out an additional 22” when fully open.
Door seals: This is where the Pack Rat shines. There is a rubber gasket around the entire door(right). The seal on the new POD (left) is said to be better than the old style but I can confirm they are both completely porous to mice and we’ve definitely had moisture under the old style door in heavy rain as the plywood floor ends up wet. We now have traps in the corners by the doors that have frequent guests (gross). Admittedly, the Pack Rat is new to our property but so far the traps have been left alone.
Ordering and Cost: The only reason we have the Pack Rat is because PODs is currently sold out of 16’ containers in Portland. That speaks to the popularity of them. PODs online system works well up until there is any issue and then a phone call becomes necessary. The costs seem somewhat variable and specials come and go. I’d ordered a 12’ POD as there were no 16’s available and there was no available discount. Their online system couldn’t tell me that I could have a 12’ but not a 16’. The Pack Rat is costing me $10 per month more than the 16’ PODs and I ordered it by phone. Pack Rat asked for two weeks notice for pick up.
There’s no clear winner between the two. I feel the Pack Rat seal is better than the PODs but it’s smaller in every meaningful dimension and is harder to place exactly where you want it.