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What Are the Different Types of ATV Luggage?

By Andy Hill
Updated May 17, 2024
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All-terrain vehicle (ATV) luggage types can consist of vehicle-mounted racks with associated strapping arrangements, fuel tank boxes, and front- or rear-mounted luggage boxes. Luggage and rack installations on an ATV can increase the carrying capacity and usefulness of the vehicle greatly. Different types of ATV luggage include drop or rear flat racks, luggage boxes, nylon front and rear bags, and fuel tank boxes.

Although not strictly a form of luggage, rear flat racks are sturdy, load-carrying systems that can be used to transport items as effectively as hard- or soft-body cases. As a means of load carrying, rear flat racks are more adaptable than standard luggage boxes as size restrictions are less of an issue. They do, however, have the downside of any item being carried also being exposed to the elements. Rear racks are also available with a raised perimeter to prevent unfixed items falling from the rack.

Fuel tank boxes are a useful type of ATV luggage, particularly for smaller items, perishable products — such as food items — or tool kits. Some users are adverse to the installation of fuel tank boxes due to their proximity to the rider. The location of the box can be off-putting to the operator of the vehicle.

Luggage boxes are a larger type of hard-shell ATV luggage than fuel tank boxes. A luggage box has the capacity to be fixed directly to the vehicle, although it can also be easily removed if transport of the box by hand is required. This type of ATV luggage has the added benefit of protecting the contents of the boxes from inclement weather and from dirt and mud that can be flicked up from the vehicle tires.

Drop racks are similar to rear racks with a raised perimeter but feature a deeper storage area and a rear tailgate that can be lowered independently. This feature can be useful when loading heavy items into the rack. By providing this rear tailgate function, a drop rack can also be utilized to carry items that would not normally fit within the perimeter of the rack itself.

Finally, a range of nylon rear and front bags are available that are designed to be used with installed rack systems. This type of ATV luggage is less cumbersome than hard-shell luggage boxes but still provides a good level of protection to the contents. Matching sets of soft nylon bags are available in a range of designs with various pockets and finishes, including camouflage effects.

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Discussion Comments
By Izzy78 — On Nov 21, 2011

My friend has a four wheeler that we ride around on in the woods a lot. He has one of the fuel tank boxes that holds a first aid kit. Fortunately, we have never needed to use it.

When I was reading this, I started thinking about snowmobiles. I know I have seen different types of cargo boxes and things for them. Are the storeage boxes for four wheelers interchangeable with the ones used on snowmobiles? It seems like that might be an important thing to take into consideration if you lived in a place where you owned both types of ATV. Along those same lines, are there any special attachments for a snowmobiles that a normal ATV wouldn't have a use for?

By matthewc23 — On Nov 20, 2011

@JimmyT - Where I live, a lot of people hunt deer. Once you get a kill and track the deer, you have to get it out of the woods somehow, and you can't just carry it out by hand. Most people will take a four wheeler out to their deer stand and use that to get the deer out of the woods. They actually make a special ATV rack that is meant to carry deer or other animals.

Most people who hunt also have special ATV bags that carry their gun and ammo as well as backup clothing and some of the other accessories you need for a successful hunt.

Thinking about the ATVs you were talking about with the flat bed on it, I know at the National Forest near where I live, they use those to patrol the trails and help out anyone who gets hurt or can't make it back to the road somehow.

By TreeMan — On Nov 20, 2011

@JimmyT - It really all just depends on what type of job you are doing. There are a lot of fields that require you to ride around on a four wheeler, since you might be working in rough terrain that is too far to walk on foot.

I am a forester and worked as an intern one summer doing forest inventory work. We had 300,000 acres to cover, but road access was very limited so we had to use ATVs to get to where we were going.

As far as ATV gear and luggage goes, I guess we would have had two of the things listed. We had a drop rack where we put some of our equipment that could get wet and wouldn't break by rattling around. We also had a hard-shell luggage box where we kept all of the more expensive equipment as well as our food, extra water, and a first aid kit.

By JimmyT — On Nov 19, 2011

I don't really know anything about ATVs, so I am just curious what some of these different types of luggage would be used for? I didn't know that people really carried anything on ATVs. Anyone I know that has one just uses it for recreation.

Along the same lines, I have seen a couple of the ATVs that have sort of a flat bed on the back of them. Are there special ATV accessories for those types of vehicles?

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