Best Garage Slatwall Storage System

The best slatwall storage system

Best Garage Slatwall Storage SystemI spent hours and hours going over garage wall storage systems. I recorded pros and cons. I calculated upfront costs and lifetime costs. I read reviews. I called wall system manufacturers. This is what I found about Gladiator GarageWorks garage wall storage.

What is the best garage wall slatwall storage system? Gladiator GarageWorks is the best garage slatwall organization system. GarageWorks is a reasonably priced system that’s easy to install, has durable good looks, is strong, flexible and has a great reputation. 

Gladiator GearTrack and GearWall Review: Why I Think Gladiator the Best Garage Wall Storage System

 

A garage wall organization system should:

  • have a reasonable price
  • be reasonably easy to install
  • provide some high load capacities
  • look good
  • be durable
  • have flexibility in where you hang tools and gear
  • have a wide assortment of hooks
  • have large baskets
  • have professional cabinets
  • have sturdy shelves
  • have a good reputation
  • accommodate sporting goods, bikes, garden tools, hoses, cords, auto supplies, hand tools, power tools, and similar weights and shapes.
  1. Gladiator passes on all requirements except shelving. Gladiator does sell shelves, but not for their wall storage systems. Everything else is here.
  2. Gladiator is easy to install. It carries loads up to 75 lb. It looks good. It offers tons of hooks. You can easily move things around. Use baskets or bins.
  3. Gladiator offers first class cabinets. Gladiator has tons of good reviews online. You can use it to store sporting equipment, garden tools, hoses and tools.
  4. You can use GearWall panels where you want to cover a good part of the wall. Use GearTracks where you want to put up a foot or two of 4 ft. wide storage.
  5. The biggest complaint is shipping damage. I spoke to Gladiator for almost an hour. The support rep emphasized that Gladiator is happy to replace shipping damaged parts. But customers have to ask! These are long products with edges; they weren’t made for UPS trucks. Stuff happens, but Gladiator is anxious to make it right. They want customers to be happy. The other consistent complaint is about the Gladiator mounting hardware. People really prefer using deck screws instead, so I’ve listed the options below as well.

Gladiator Garage Wall System Reputation

The good: GearTrack and GearWall are sturdy, clean and easily cut to size.

The bad: The hardware and end caps do not come standard with the tracks and panels. The mounting hardware is not that well-liked; Shipping damage issues are common.

The surprise: I spoke to Gladiator support for almost an hour about how their system works. He asked me to let people know about their shipping damage policy. Gladiator will send out replacements for damaged items. But you need to ask! He said it’s frustrating to see bad reviews. Gladiator authorizes its support team to send out free replacements.

I recommend Gladiator for its quality, storage choices, and reputation.

Gladiator will send out replacements for damaged items. But you need to ask!

GearTrack or GearWall: What’s the Difference?

Decide up front if you want a contiguous wall of storage, independent channels called “tracks,” or both. GearWall is the wall of storage. GearTrack is the individual tracks. Gladiator baskets and hooks work with both the GearWall and the GearTrack. But the GearWall is a large wall that covers your existing garage wall. And the GearTrack is an independent channel of storage space.

The GearWall is a contiguous wall storage solution. There are no gaps between the sections. The panels cover the wall. GearWall panels come in 8 ft. and 4 ft. widths. The panels interlock together to create one contiguous wall of hanging channels. GearWall panels cover everything behind them, including outlets and electrical outlets. So your GearWall solution might include cutting the panels to expose these again.

Each GearTrack is independent of the other GearTracks. GearTracks come in 4 ft. widths. They create independent hanging channels. GearTracks don’t interlock with anything: not each other, and not with GearWall panels.  You can stack GearTracks, but they won’t interlock.

 

To help you understand the differences, let’s create 16 sf. of storage using each of the Gladiator panels and tracks.

A package of two 8 ft. x 1 ft. GearWall panels
A package of two 8 ft. x 1 ft. GearWall panels

How to Create 16 Square Feet of Wall Storage Using Gladiator 8 Ft. GearWall Panels

Each 8 ft. GearWall package contains a set of two 8 ft. GearWall panels. Get one package. You will receive two 8 ft. wide by 1 ft. high panels. Stack the two panels to create an 8 ft. wide by 2 ft. high contiguous wall offering 16 sf. of hanging space. Or place them side-by-side to create a 16 ft. wide by 1 ft. high storage wall.

How to Create 16 Square Feet of Wall Storage Using Gladiator 4 Ft. GearWall Panels

A package of two 4 ft. x 1 ft. GearWall panels.
A package of two 4 ft. x 1 ft. GearWall panels.

Each 4 ft. GearWall package contains a set of two 4 ft. GearWall panels. Get two packages. You will receive four 4 ft. wide by 1 ft. high panels. Stack the four panels to create a 4 ft. wide by 4 ft. high contiguous wall offering 16 sf. of hanging space. Or, stack two panels next to two more panels to create an 8 ft. wide by 2 ft. high wall. Or, place all panels horizontally to create a 16 ft. wide by 1 ft. high wall.

How to Create 16 Square Feet of Wall Storage Using Gladiator 4 Ft. GearTrack Channels

A package of two 4 ft. x 6 in. GearTrack channels
A package of two 4 ft. x 6 in. GearTrack channels

Each 4 ft. GearTrack package contains two 4 ft. wide by 6 in. high channel. The channels (tracks) do not lock together. You can stack them and place them next to each other, but they don’t interlock. This is especially useful if you don’t want to cut the wall panels to expose light switches and electrical outlets. Each package contains 8 ft. x 6 in. of track, or, alternatively, 4 ft. x 1 ft. of track. It just depends on how you view the two tracks.  Each 4 ft. x 6 in. of track is 2 sf. of storage. Each package is a set of two tracks equaling 4 sf. of storage. Buy four sets of GearTrack to create 16 sf. of GearTrack storage.

Eight 4 ft. x 6 in. GearTrack channels creates 16 sf. of storage.
Eight 4 ft. x 6 in. GearTrack channels creates 16 sf. of storage.

Cover Ends and Cuts

GearWall panels have a reputation for arriving having slightly different widths. You can cut the outliers down to size, but you’re still left with exposed edges. Also, you need to cut GearWall panels to expose the electrical outlets and switches underneath. You will want to cover the cut edges with trim. Similarly, the GearTrack ends come exposed, and you will want to cover these. Covering the ends and cuts allow you to create a professional installation. De-cluttering is about feeling better about your environment. Covering the edges is going to make the difference between a sloppy and a professional looking garage.

Cover GearWall panel ends and cuts with panel trimThe trim comes in packs of six 8-foot lengths. White matches the panels and gray complements them. Cut the trim to size and snap over the exposed edges.

Cover GearTrack ends with end caps. End caps snap over the GearTrack edges, giving the tracks a professional finish.

Warning: GearWall 8 ft. wide panels are difficult for just one person to install. Get 4 ft. panels or tracks if you think the 8 ft. panels might be to unwieldy to hold level while installing.

Warning: GearWall panels are designed to cover entire areas without gaps. You will need to cut the soft plastic and apply panel trim to the newly-exposed edges. Get the GearTracks instead of the GearWall panels if you’re not comfortable cutting the plastic and and trim.

How are GearWall and GearTrack Installed?

GearWall panels and GearTracks install horizontally on the garage wall. You must install the tracks into wall studs. Install through drywall and into the studs, or just directly into the studs. For masonry installations, attach furring strips to the masonry, and install the channels into the furring strips.

Before You Begin Installation

Gladiator GearWall
Gladiator GearWall

The weakest link in the Gladiator wall system chain is its hardware. You might want to swap out the screws. I go into great detail on this below.

You also need to decide if you’re getting GearWall panels or GearTracks. See GearWall or GearTrack: What’s the Difference, above.

Measure the installation area. You can cut the panels if you have to, but it’s better to size the solution to the wall.

  • Each GearWall 8 ft. package contains two 8 ft. wide x 1 ft. high panels.
  • Each GearWall 4 ft. package contains two 4 ft. wide by 1 ft. high panels.
  • Each GearTrack 4 ft. package contains two 4 ft. wide by 6 in. high tracks.
GLADIATOR GEARWALL PANEL AND GEARTRACK CHANNEL SPECS
ITEM MODEL GUIDE WIDTH HEIGHT CAPACITY
GEARWALL PANEL (2) GAWP042PBY I 96″ (TWO 48″) 12″ (TWO 6″) 50 LB. SF
GEARWALL PANEL (2) GAWP082PBY I 192″ (TWO 96″) 24″ (TWO 12″) 50 LB. SF
GEARTRACK CHANNEL (2) GAWC042PZY I 96″ (TWO 48″) 12″ (TWO 6″) 75 LB. LF

Installing the Gladiator Garage Wall System

I’ve studied many slat wall instruction manuals. Gladiator GarageWorks installation is typical. You will need to find the studs. You will build from the bottom up. You will pre-drill holes. You will fasten middle studs first. You will fasten the outside studs last. Then you will add edge trim.

Gladiator Load Capacities

Each GearTrack can hold 75 lb. per linear foot (or 300 lb. per 4 linear ft.). GearWalls hold 50 lb. per sf. One 4 ft. x 1 ft. panel is 4 sf. which holds 200 lb. One 8 ft. x 1 ft. panel is 8 sf. which holds 400 lb. Hooks hold from 5 lb. to 50 lb. The Golf Caddy holds 75 LB. Doubling up hooks also doubles load capacity.

Using the gladiator as an attractive gym equipment storage solution
Using the gladiator as an attractive gym equipment storage solution

Gladiator Aesthetics

Gladiator garage wall tracks and panels are attractive. They give the wall a sharp, finished look. I’ve read tons of internet Gladiator reviews. Gladiator always gets good marks on looks.

Hanging Flexibility

Gladiator hooks and accessories lock onto the channels. You don’t need tools to move the accessories around. Just unlock, move the hook, and lock again. It’s kind of a brilliantly simple storage system. After installation, you can hang all manner of tools without pulling out your stud finder and drill.

Gladiator Hook Assortment

Holy cow, documenting the Gladiator hook inventory got pretty tedious after a while. They have 17 different hook designs, 2 baskets, and 3 caddies. View the many Gladiator hooks starting here in this article.

The Nylon Mesh Basket is 2 ft. wide.
The Nylon Mesh Basket is 2 ft. wide.
The Storage Bin Holder
The Storage Bin Holder

Holding Large Items

The Gladiator 24″ Wide Mesh Basket is perfect for storing stuff that doesn’t have a built-in hook. The basket is 2 ft. wide and over a foot deep. Use the basket to store beach toys, sporting balls, baseball mitts, tennis rackets, and sleeping bags.

The Storage Bin Holder is two rectangle arms that sit at a 45 degree angle. You can place an 18 gallon storage bin into the arms. Put the arms closer together for smaller bins. The Storage Bin Holder can carry up to 25 lbs.

The Gladiator wire basket on a GearTrack

I’m not a huge fan of wire baskets. Stuff can fall through wires. I prefer bins. But they’re OK for holding cleanings supplies and sports balls. The 18″ Wide Wire Basket is 11″ high and 13″ deep. I still like a wire basket more than an open-ended shelf, though. This basket is good for a couple of sports balls, a sleeping bag, and cleaning supplies.

Gladiator Garage Cabinets

Reviews of Gladiator garage cabinets are almost completely positive. Gladiator offers pre-assembled and assembly-required (Ready to Assemble) cabinets. I don’t want to spend my Saturday assembling cabinets. Pre-assembled cabinets cost more. They’re worth it, to me.

Gladiator offers three cabinets with the GearWall/GearTrack system. They’re called GearBox. They come in 24″, 28″ and 30″ widths. The 24″ and 30″ are Pre-Assembled cabinets. The 28″ cabinet is Ready to Assemble.

GearWall and GearTrack Cabinets
PREMIER PRE-ASSEMBLED GEARBOX WALL CABINET 30″X30″X12″ GAWG302DDR RED

30 inch GearBox Pre-Assembled Wall Cabinet
30 inch GearBox Pre-Assembled Wall Cabinet
GAWG302DRG SILVER
GAWG302DZW WHITE
PREMIER PRE-ASSEMBLED GEARBOX WALL CABINET 24″X24″X12″ GAWG241DRG SILVER

Open 24 inch GearBox Wall Cabinet
Open 24 inch GearBox Wall Cabinet
GAWG241DDR RED
READY-TO-ASSEMBLE GEARBOX WALL CABINET 28″X28″X12″ GAWG28FDYG SILVER
GAWG28FVEW WHITE

Gladiator Gearbox 28 inch Ready to Assemble Wall Cabinet
Gladiator Gearbox 28 inch Ready to Assemble Wall Cabinet
GAWG28FDESG HAMMERED GRANITE

Gladiator Garage Shelves

Gladiator doesn’t sell GearWall/GearTrack shelves. They do offer shelves, just not for the GearTrack/GearWall system. They look sturdy and easy to put together.

Gladiator Mounting Hardware

Many Amazon reviewers complained about the Gladiator mounting screws. To get a feel for how important the hardware is, note that an 8’x8′ GearWall panel takes 224 screws. Owners who mounted the Gladiator system suggested using these screws instead:

  • black self-drilling screws from Ace Hardware
  • gold screws from Home Depot
  • self-tapping stainless steel screws
  • ITW Brands 23410 Backer-On Cement Board screws
  • 2″ #8 deck screws
  • Headcote 2.5″ #8 trim head white #39 deck pack screws

Here are some mounting screw options for all three installation types:

MASONRY BARE WOOD STUDS DRYWALL OVER STUDS
GEARTRACK

(2) GEARTRACKS = 4’X1′ =

32 SCREWS

3/16″ x 1-3/4″ Tapcon concrete screws #8 1-1/4″ or

#8 2″

self-tapping stainless steel screws

or

Gladiator #8 2″ screws

2″ self-tapping stainless steel screws
GEARWALL

(2) GEARWALLS = 8’X2′ =

64 SCREWS

#8 1-1/4″

self-tapping stainless steel screws

#8 1-1/4″

or

#8 2″

self-tapping stainless steel screws

2″ self-tapping stainless steel screws

Screw Sizes

Use #8 1-1/4″ and 2″ self-tapping stainless steel screws to install GearTrack or GearWall on bare wood studs. Use 3/16″ x 1-3/4″ Tapcon concrete screws to install GearTrack or Gear Wall on masonry.

GLADIATOR GEARTRACK CHANNEL SPECS
ITEM MODEL GUIDE WIDTH HEIGHT CAPACITY
GEARTRACK CHANNEL (2) GAWC042PZY I 48″ 12″ (TWO 6″) 100 LB. LF.

Hanging Bicycles

Horizontal Bike HookUse the Advanced Bike Storage v3.0 hook to vertically hang bicycles. They hold up to 50 lb.

Use the Horizontal Bike Hook to store a bike horizontally. They come in pairs. The pair of Horizontal Bike Hooks combined  50 lb.

Hanging Heavier Items Like Wheelbarrows and Ladders

The Dual Hook, Big Hook and Utility Hook each carry 50 LB. All three offer two hooks. Use these hooks for heavier garden tools, ladders, and sports equipment such as:

Use the Dual Hook, Big Hook and Utility Hook for:
  • beach chairs
  • brooms
  • coats
  • cultivating forks
  • cultivators
  • hoes
  • ladders
  • lawn chairs
  • lawn edgers
  • leaf blowers
  • rakes
  • rotary cultivator
  • shovels
  • sledge hammers
  • soil probes
  • sod pluggers
  • tillers
  • tricycles
  • tractor aerators
  • turf edgers
  • weed trimmers
  • wheelbarrows
  • wheels
  • yard waste bags
GAWUXXUHRH Utility Hook
Utility Hook
Gladiator Dual Hook
Dual Hook

Gladiator Big Hook
Big Hook

 

Dual Hook, Big Hook and Utility Hook Specifications
HOOK MODEL W D H LOAD
DUAL HOOK GAWUXXWHRH 10.75″ 5.75″ 2.75″ 50 LB.

Dual hook holding a wheelbarrow
Dual hook holding a wheelbarrow
BIG HOOK GAWEXXBHSH 4″ 7.5″ 7″ 50 LB.

Weed trimmer hanging on a Big Hook
Weed trimmer hanging on a Big Hook
UTILITY HOOK GAWEXXUHSH 3.75″ 5.75″ 4.5″ 50 LB.

Hang a duffel bag on the Utility Hook
Hang a duffel bag on the Utility Hook

Hanging Medium Weight Tools and Sports Gear

The Wide Hook carries 30 lb. The Twin Hook, Tool Hook, Scoop Hook each carries 25 lb. (The S Hook also carries 25 lb. but is not recommended has it has a design flaw.)

The Wide Hook, Twin Hook and Scoop Hook are uniformly shaped double-hooks. The Tool Hook has two small hooks at the bottom and two larger ones at the top. The S Hook is a single bent hook.

Use the Wide Hook to hang:
  • automotive tools
  • axes
  • garden tools
  • rakes
  • tennis rackets
  • wide items

 

Gladiator Wide Hook
Gladiator Wide Hook
Tennis Rackets on the Wide Hook

Rakes on the Wide Hook
Rakes on the Wide Hook
use the Twin Hook, Tool Hook,  Scoop Hook for:
  • axes
  • bicycle pumps
  • brooms
  • fishing poles
  • kayak paddles

 

  • lawn chairs
  • rakes
  • shovels
  • skateboards
  • sledge hammers
Gladiator Wide Hook
Gladiator Wide Hook
Gladiator Scoop Hook
Gladiator Scoop Hook
Gladiator Tool Hook
Gladiator Tool Hook

Gladiator Twin Hook
Gladiator Twin Hook

 

ITEM MODEL W H D CAP HOOKS
WIDE HOOK GAWUXXWDRH 2.75″ 4″ 5.5″ 30 LB. TWO EQUAL HOOKS

Rakes on the Gladiator Wide Hook
Rakes on the Gladiator Wide Hook
TWIN HOOK GAWEXXTWSH 2.75″ 4.25″ 6.5″ 25 LB. TWO EQUAL HOOKS  

Gladiator Twin Hook
Gladiator Twin Hook
SCOOP HOOK GAWEXXSCSH 2.75″ 4.25″ 4.25″ 25 LB. TWO EQUAL HOOKS

Gladiator Scoop Hook
Gladiator Scoop Hook
TOOL HOOK GAWEXXTHSH 3.25″ 4.5″ 10.5″ 25 LB. ONE SMALL AND ONE LARGER SET OF HOOKS

Gladiator Tool Hook
Gladiator Tool Hook
S HOOK GAWEXXSHSH 2.75″ 5″ 1″ 25 LB. SINGLE CURVED HOOK

Gladiator S Hook
Gladiator S Hook

Hanging Electrical Cords and Hoses

The Cradle Hook holds 25 lb. so be sure to measure your hose weights before using it.

ITEM MODEL W H D CAP
CRADLE HOOK GAWEXXCLSH 4.5″ 7.5″ 6.5″ 25 LB.

The Cradle Hook holds up to 25 lb. of cord or hose.
The Cradle Hook holds up to 25 lb. of cord or hose.

Hanging Lightweight Tools and Sports Gear

The J&L Hook is actually two different hooks. One is a “J” and one is an “L.” The J&L Hooks and the Loop Hook each holds 5 lb.

Use the J&L Hooks and the Loop Hooks for hanging:
  • coats
  • electrical tape
  • keys
  • nut drivers
  • scissors
  • screwdrivers
  • tools (hand)
  • wrenches
ITEM MODEL W H D CAP
J&L HOOK (8) GAWAJL8PPH 1″ 4″ 5 LB.

Gladiator J & L Hooks
Gladiator J & L Hooks
LOOP HOOK GAWALP8PPH 1″ 4″ 2″ 5 LB.

Gladiator Loop Hook
Gladiator Loop Hook

Hanging Storage Bins and Coolers

The Storage Bin Hooks hold up to 50 lb. in a bin you supply. Coolers hang well from these holders as well.

ITEM MODEL W H D CAP
STORAGE BIN HOLDER GAWUXXBMTH 24″ 24″ 12″ 50 LB.

The Storage Bin Holder
Get the Storage Bin Holder to mount storage bins on the wall. Holds up to 50 lb. The Storage Bin Holder is two rectangle arms that sit at a 45 degree angle. You can place an 18 gallon storage bin into the arms. Put the arms closer together for smaller bins.

Hanging Sports Equipment up to 35 LB.

The Mesh Basket and the Ball Caddy are each 2 ft. wide, which I think is a really generous size for a wall hanging system. The Mesh Basket and Wire Basket hold up to 35 lb. The Ball Caddy holds up to 25 lb. The Ball Caddy is really good for sports balls, but can be used for other equipment as well.

ITEM MODEL W H D CAPACITY
24″ MESH BASKET GAWU24MBBH 24″ 14.5″ 12.5″ 35 LB.

Store toys in the 24 inch Mesh Basket
Store toys in the 24 inch Mesh Basket
18″ WIRE BASKET GAWA18BKRH 18″ 11″ 13″ 35 LB.

The 18 in. wire basket
The 18 in. wire basket
BALL CADDY GAWUXXBLTH 24″ 24″ 12″ 25 LB.

Get the Gladiator 24 in Ball Basket. It holds 10 large balls and is accessible from the side as well as the top.
Get the Gladiator 24 in Ball Basket. It holds 10 large balls and is accessible from the side as well as the top.

 

Use the Mesh Basket for hanging
  • baseball gloves
  • baseballs
  • basketballs
  • beach toys
  • footballs
  • Frisbees
  • soccer balls
  • gloves
  • hats
  • helmets
  • kickballs
  • scarves
  • sleeping bags
  • softballs
  • tennis balls
  • tennis racquets
  • winter gloves

 

Use the Wire Basket for hanging
  • auto supplies
  • cleaning supplies
  • garbage bags
  • gardening supplies
  • household chemicals
  • motor oil
  • rags
  • spray bottles
  • vacuum accessories
  • window cleaner

 

Use the Ball Caddy for storing
  • 9 basketballs (capacity)
  • baseballs
  • basketballs
  • footballs
  • gym equipment
  • hand balls
  • kickballs
  • paddle balls
  • pool toys
  • soccer balls
  • softballs
  • stability balls
  • tennis balls
  • volley balls

Hanging Small Items Such as Nuts and Bolts

The Small Item Bins comes 3 to pack. Each bin is 4.5″ wide and 7″ deep. My nuts and bolts would have to be pretty dense to overload their 10 lb. capacity.

ITEM MODEL W H D CAPACITY
SMALL ITEM BIN (3) GAWESB3PGC 4.5″ 4″ 7″ 10 LB.

Gladiator Small Bins
Gladiator Small Bins

 

Good Uses for the Small Item Bins
  • nuts
  • bolts
  • nails
  • screws
  • hooks
  • hand tools

 

Hanging a Paper Towel Dispenser

Gladiator Cleanup Caddy
Gladiator Cleanup Caddy

The Cleanup Caddy holds a hefty 25 lb. and a roll of paper towels hangs underneath.

The Cleanup Caddy is good for holding
  • paper towels
  • cleaning supplies
  • sprays
  • wipes

People Also Ask

What do people think of the Proslat garage wall storage system? Gladiator’s best competitor is probably the Proslat garage wall storage system. Learn more about Proslat here.

Can I store bicycles on slatwall? Yes, all major slatwall vendors sell bike hooks. Gladiator offers the Advanced Storage Bike Hook which locks onto the wall and grabs onto the bike tire; and the Horizontal Bike Hook for hanging the bike profile against the wall. Proslat offers the Super Duty Bike Hooks (2 per pack), also for hanging the bike flat against the wall.

Can I use Proslat gear on Gladiator? In general, one vendor’s hooks won’t fit on another vendor’s wall system. Sometimes you will get a fit, but it’s best to stick the hanging tools made by the brand who made your slat wall or slat track.