While you can build your own storage rack there are many reasons to instead search for one of the best overhead garage storage racks that are ready to hang.
Due to the risk of overloading a homemade shelf (do you know the load rating of what you build?) and honestly the cost comparison between a DIY solution it makes a lot of sense to buy vs. build. And, most of the best overhead garage storage systems are under $200 (and some under $100).
Key features of manufactured racks to look for:
- Adapts to your ceiling. Due to variations in garage rafters you want to look for a rack with a longer brace connected to the ceiling (not a vertical rod with a hole). The FlexiMounts* is rated high in part because of this.
- Mesh vs. no mesh based on your usage.
- Overall dimensions
- Weight capacity
- Crank-style that let’s you load and lift (avoiding the ladder)
- Wheelbarrow lifts
- Retractable designs for lighter items like snowboards
Best Overhead Garage Storage Racks
1. Fleximounts 4x8 Overhead Garage Storage Rack
Editor Choice and Top Reviews
If you’re going to take the time to add storage you might as well install a lot of it. And with this best overhead garage rack you’ll have:
- 32-square feet of storage
- Up to 40″ of vertical height
- 600-pounds of weight capacity
- Frame and wire shelving are welded together to prevent loads from shifting it
The only drawback? Make sure you’ll have enough clearance for yourself or a taller vehicle for shorter ceilings.
2. HyLoft Overhead Rack - 45"x45"
Best Small Overhead Rack
The economical HyLoft 45″x45″*” will fit in tight spots of your garage. And with a 17″-28″ height range and pivoting connectors will work on both flat and low slope ceilings.
For a smaller overhead area and shorter ceilings this rack will tuck into tight spots. And with a 17″ minimum height will allow walking clearance for all but the tallest of us (about 6’6″ for a standard 8′ ceiling).
The only pitfall of this rack? You may need to span joists with a 2×4″ as it doesn’t offer a long connection point with the ceiling.
3. Racor 48x48 Crank Operated Overhead Storage Rack
Most Innovative Overhead Lift
For easy access the Racor 48×48″ crank operated* ceiling storage lift will lower and raise loads with a hand crank or drill.
While most overhead solutions are static, this rack uses an ingenious crank to let you access the storage without risk of a ladder. And doesn’t require a heavy overhead lift for those with mobility challenges.
- 250 pound capacity
- 48″ x 48″
- Adapts to sloped ceilings with nylon rings
- 8-feet of vertical operation to work with taller and short ceilings
- Safety lock to prevent load from falling when not in use
4. MonsterRax 4x8-foot Ceiling Rack
Best Economical Rack
With all the features the MonsterRax 4×8* ceiling mounted storage rack features a ceiling hugging 12-21″ drop. All you supply is the decking (no wire included).
- Adjustable 12-21″ drop
- 600-pound total capacity
- Homeowner supplies plywood (no wire)
5. Fleximounts 4x6 Overhead Storage Unit
The Fleximounts 4×6* rack is an in-between size for spots where an 8′ rack won’t fit. And with it’s shorter design you’ll have a massive 550-pound load capacity.
- Adjustable 22-40″ drop
- 550-pound total capacity
- 14-guage steel construction
6. StoreYourBoard Wheelbarrow Overhead Storage Lift
With a StoreYourBoard wheelbarrow* lift you’ll be able to gain floor space and store a seldom-used but bulky tool.
- Two patented lifts to grab your wheelbarrow, kayak or ladders
- Easy lift mechanism
- 60-pound capacity
- Tie-down wall cleat
7. BluWorld Retract-a-Rack Retractable Overhead Garage Storage Rack
Using this BluWorld Retract-a-Rack* you’ll be able to lift fishing roads, skis, or other small items off the ground and have easy access.
- Holds up to 16 fishing rods
- Auto-retract pneumatic pistons
Buying Guide to Overhead Garage Storage Racks
Measure Twice and Order Once
Much like cutting wood once after measuring twice you really don’t want to get this step wrong.
Here’s a few tips for measuring:
- Remember your vehicle height – tall trucks can go over 6’6″ and a low hanging rack will hit.
- Units can be combined. If the one you want is too short or long look at combining 2-3 units instead.
- Make sure you’ll have overhead studs/rafters to connect too.
- Watch out for garage door rails and clearance needed.
- Make sure nobody will hit their head (a relative has theirs too low for me…)
Match Your Weight to the Racks Limits
While most racks are used for storage bins, if you have heavier plans make sure you are staying within the weight limits. Due to longer units of up to 8-feet it doesn’t take a whole lot to put 500+ pounds on the shelf. And an overhead shelf collapsing is more than inconvenient it’s potentially fatal.
Mesh Included vs. Bare Rack
The good news is not all overhead garage storage racks come with mesh. So if your requirement is bare or you want to use plywood you’ll be able to find a system with either.
But remember you might not be saving money as a typical sheet of plywood can run $30-50 depending on thickness.
And don’t forget the plywood counts to the overall weight limit of the rack.
Frequently Asked Questions for Overhead Garage Storage Racks
What tools do I need to install overhead garage racks
To install an overhead rack you’ll need a few basic tools, including:
The stud finder is vital to ensure you find the center of overhead studs. Due to the rack load capacity depending on a firm connection with the overhead stud, missing the stud can reduce the weight bearing capacity and possibly cause the shelf to fail.
And if you’re looking for great horizontal storage a lumber rack will use these same tools and store anything from 2×4’s to pipe off the ground as well.
How do I build overhead garage storage?
Unless your rafters are open and you can access the area above them I recommend looking up one of the best overhead garage storage racks. Due to the weight and nature of this system it might be safer to use a professionally built rack.
How do I organize my garage?
There are three ways to organize a garage that I recommend starting with. First, for small garages going vertical with an overhead storage rack (of course) is a great method. Second, for a woodworker or hobbyist a garage lumber rack will get your wood off the floor and organized on the wall. And last, a high quality pegboard organizer will give your immediate access to your tools.
Can I combine multiple overhead garage storage units?
Yes each overhead garage storage, following the manufacturer instructions, can be placed adjacent to each other to form a long run of storage.
The good news is there are a lot of overhead storage racks available for your garage. But, keep in mind you’ll want to measure carefully and plan to have some help for the installation.
And of course, have the right tools to make sure you firmly anchor the
Disclaimer: In no instance is this article providing advice on installation or any warrant or other recommendation on the product. Review the manufacturers instructions and hire help if uncertain about any step of the installation. Read our full disclaimers for more.