Published Jul. 29, 2021

By Jennifer James Davidson

Outdoor storage containers can be tremendously useful for a wide variety of purposes. It can be much more convenient to have a deck box within reach rather than lug outdoor items—think tablecloths, toys, sports equipment, small tools, outdoor extension cords, and pool products, to name a few—in and out of the house or shed each time you finish using them. In addition, a heavy-duty deck storage box can provide additional seating when you have guests in your backyard. The best outdoor storage box models are out there, but you need to know what to look for.

Another great benefit to picking the best outdoor storage box is that they can be used to store patio furniture cushions when not in use, preserving upholstery life spans potentially by years and keeping them clean and dry in between uses. After all, you don’t want your guests to sit on cushions that have been soiled by birds, rain, pollen, or other outdoor issues.

The best outdoor storage box for larger items

Outdoor storage bins are great not only for typical backyard items, but also for other items that you might store in the front or side of your house: trash bins, recycling bins, bicycles, a snowblower, large tools (such as shovels and rakes), holiday lawn decorations, scooters, and so on. 

Storing trash and recycling bins is a bonus in many ways: it keeps your front property neater and adds curb appeal; it protects your bins from weathering and becoming projectiles in a storm; and it enables you to put your garbage or recycling outside a bit early so it doesn’t stink up your house, without worrying about creatures getting into it and strewing it all over your lawn. 

There are specialized outdoor storage sheds sized just right for all kinds of purposes—ones that are wide and mid-height meant specifically as outdoor bike storage and others that are tall and narrow for full-size tools. You can often attach tall storage units to the outside walls of your house. While most well-made storage boxes like this aren’t inexpensive, they can make your life easier and protect your investments. Bike storage sheds and trash storage sheds are meant to be easy to wheel in and out of, so the front doors swing open rather than just the tops opening like deck storage boxes. You may also use a storage tent with vinyl sides rather than traditional plastic or wood outdoor storage container. There are also outdoor storage benches designed with seating in mind.

Related: Want to be the host with the most? Grab these patio furniture upgrades.

Things to consider with an outdoor storage bin

As great as an outdoor storage bin can be, it’s not always without problems. One common issue is in assembly: resin patio storage boxes often snap together in a certain way, and if you assemble the pieces incorrectly, it can be very difficult to separate them again without causing irreparable damage (this is also not generally covered under manufacturer warranties). If you have any doubts at all about any included assembly instructions, be sure you check the manufacturer’s website or YouTube for an instructional video or call the manufacturer for more specific advice. Trying to take apart pieces that have been snapped together can break connections or crack or weaken the plastic.

Another concern is wind: If you don’t use some kind of lock or carabiner to keep a patio storage box closed, a heavy wind can not only lift the top and expose the contents to the weather, but it may even rip the top off its hinges, which can also be an irreparable problem. Be sure to choose a storage box that you can close securely so it won’t fall apart in the first storm of the season. A lock is also a necessity if you’re storing any kind of valuable equipment, like bikes or snowblowers, or you may become an easy target for thieves in the area.

Some patio storage boxes and storage sheds have problems with roof warping. If a roof warps upwards at the ends, it can leave gaps that aren’t just unsightly, but also leave the items inside unprotected from moisture and bugs. Even without a warped roof, though, most outdoor storage bins are not entirely bugproof. Most are made to be waterproof or at least water-resistant, but any sort of ventilation or gap between the lid and bottom, or under or between the doors, could be enough for a variety of critters from carpenter ants to spiders. If this is an issue, you might want to use a deterrent, such as boric acid or diatomaceous earth sprinkled around the outdoor storage box, or move the box to a spot that’s away from foliage and less likely to attract bugs. With those considerations in mind, here are our selections for the best outdoor storage box for every situation.

Best deck storage box: Suncast Resin Wicker Patio Outdoor Storage Container

Suncast Resin Wicker Patio Outdoor Storage Container

This 99-gallon deck storage box handles the elements very well; its resin material is not prone to fading or cracking. Suncast

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This large deck storage box has a rounded top that’s less likely than others to warp in the heat (a common problem with outdoor storage boxes), so the cover stays put solidly and keeps contents dry. It has a hinged top and space for a lock (though the lock isn’t included) and measures 50 inches x 25.5 inches x 25.5 inches. The dark brown wicker design has many matching pieces, so you can also buy the brand’s outdoor garbage bin, dining chairs or benches, hose reel, or other variations of storage boxes if you want your decor to match.

Best outdoor storage bench: Keter Eden Storage Bench Deck Box

Keter Eden Storage Bench Deck Box

If you’re going to have a bench outside your home, why not make it extra practical with some internal storage space? Keter

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This outdoor storage bench is no slouch: It holds 70 gallons, which can translate to barbeque tools, gardening hand tools, cushions, sports equipment, or many other items. It’s made of resin with a wood-grain appearance and comes in three color combinations. You can add a cushion to the outdoor storage bench seat to make it more comfortable, and there’s a place for a lock.

Best outdoor storage shed: Rubbermaid Storage Shed

Rubbermaid Storage Shed

This is the best outdoor storage shed if you’re looking to store full-sized tools.

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Snow shovels, garden shovels, rakes, hoes, weed trimmers, and similar tools are generally too big to fit into deck boxes—not to mention that they don’t store well piled up horizontally. At 5 feet by two feet, this type of outdoor storage shed is tall enough to hang them on hooks underneath the sandalwood/onyx roof so they don’t get damaged or rusty and are always easy to reach. You can also add shelving.

Best bike storage: The YardStash IV Outdoor Storage Shed Tent

The YardStash IV Outdoor Storage Shed Tent

This is a simple storage solution for bikes, scooters, and similar-sized objects.

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If you’re looking for outdoor bike storage you can set up, take down and move around easily, this heavy-duty vinyl tent may be your thing: it’s ready without tools in 10 minutes, and is made to hold two adult bikes with some room leftover. It’s meant to be fully waterproof and pest-proof, and you can use this outdoor bike storage all four seasons (the roof is made to deflect snow and rain).

Best storage box on a budget: Keter Marvel Plus Resin Outdoor Storage Box

Keter Marvel Plus Resin Outdoor Storage Box

Easy to maneuver on its built-in wheels, this is our best pick under $100. Keter

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When you’re looking for a budget outdoor storage box, you’re not going to get some of the durability or special features of the higher-end ones: this one has no hydraulics or strap to help open and close the lid, and some reviewers describe it as more flimsy. But overall, it’s still a bargain for a large (71-gallon capacity) storage box that’s simple to assemble. Dark brown and plastic, it matches many other brands’ outdoor products and also provides limited seating.


Q: What’s the best way to store outdoor cushions?

Before storing your outdoor cushions for the winter, or between uses, make sure they’re clean and entirely dry. Depending on the material, you may need to simply wipe the cushions down with a rag and some dish soap, or you may be able to spray with vinegar and water or bleach solution to remove any mildew or stains. Never put cushions away while they’re damp or they will develop mold and mildew. Once they’re dry, you can put them in a waterproof deck storage box or outdoor storage shed. You may want to include mothballs, or other pest repellents, to prevent bugs from nesting inside the safe haven of your outdoor storage container and ruining your cushions. Moths, ants, stink bugs, and many other types of nuisance bugs love hiding out in cushions—and some can eat right through just about any kind of material.

Q: What is the largest deck box?

Keter’s XXL deck storage container is the largest deck box we’ve found: It holds up to 230 gallons, with dimensions of 32.7 inches x 33.8 inches x 57.8 inches. It has a lockable top and piston opening mechanism.

Q: Are Keter storage boxes waterproof?

Keter calls their outdoor storage boxes “water-resistant,” but users rarely report any problem with water coming through. You can also buy a cover for your outdoor storage box if you have any concerns about water.

Related: Entertain guests in the open air with the best outdoor TVs.

The final word on the best outdoor storage box

You’ll have to assess your storage needs to figure out the best outdoor storage box (or boxes) for your yard: measure any cushions to make sure you’re getting a big enough outdoor storage bin, and put together anything else you’re looking to store so you can get a better idea of the dimensions you’ll need. From there, it’s a matter of deciding what kind of look you like, how handy you are in putting things together, and what kind of budget you have. The best outdoor storage box should last you many years.