You’ve probably walked past the displays of Gladiator garage organization products at Lowe’s or Home Depot dozens of times by now, or seen them on Amazon.com.
You might be wondering how good they really are.
I bought my first sections of Gladiator GearTrack back in March of 2018. Once I finished drywalling my garage wall, I added a section of Gladiator GearWall for all of my lawn tools.
I’ve been living with the Gladiator wall system for a few years and I think it’s time for a full review.
Here’s how I’m going to lay out this article.
- The benefits of the Gladiator wall system
- GearTrack vs. GearWall: What’s the difference?
- Photos of my setup and the accessories I love
- Dimensions and weight limits for hooks and accessories
- The two accessories I would never buy
- Ease of installation
- Final thoughts
What Gladiator brings to the table (or wall)
As I mentioned, Gladiator makes one of the most popular garage storage systems in America today.
The best part of that is the sheer number of things that work with it.
In addition to the wall storage system Gladiator makes cabinets, workbenches, tool drawers and freestanding shelves. They even make a garage refrigerator in the same diamond-plate finish so it blends in with the rest of your garage.
In this article, we’re going to ignore all of the other parts of their lineup and just focus on the Gladiator wall system (GearTrack and GearWall).
Here are some of what I feel are Gladiator’s biggest selling points:
- Clean, simple design: Not a lot of logos to distract from the overall look.
- Easy installation: Gladiator wall systems mount to both concrete and drywall with simple screws.
- Low barrier to entry: You can start with as little as one GearTrack rail and then build as you need.
- You can find it anywhere: Gladiator is sold in most of the big box stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot, as well as online through Amazon and their manufacturer’s website.
- Tons of accessories: I’ll get into more detail below, but Gladiator has over two dozen different hooks, bins, baskets and storage accessories to help organize your garage.
Basically, Gladiator checked all the boxes I was looking for in a wall storage system.
For example, in my garage, I have one section of GearWall for my lawn tools right inside my garage door. I then have two sections of GearTrack.
One on the opposite wall above my large workbench. The other is on the back wall to help mount a small RTA cabinet and some baskets.
First, let’s talk about the differences between GearTrack vs. GearWall and why you’d use one over the other.
Gladiator GearTrack vs. GearWall
At first glance, the Gladiator GearTrack and GearWall look almost identical and I wouldn’t blame you for thinking they’re the same product.
There are subtle differences between the two.
For example, you can certainly use either in your garage and make it look great, but some applications will be better with GearTrack vs. GearWall and vice-versa.
Try to plan out your garage so you pick the right one for your application.
Any hooks, bins, baskets and accessories that Gladiator makes will work on both the GearWall and GearTrack channels.
GearTrack channels are 6″ high and 4′ in length. They’re not stackable or linkable in any way. Each GearTrack channel gives space for only one hook or accessory.
By contrast, GearWall panels are 12″ high and come in 4′ or 8′ lengths. They’re designed to be stackable with interlocking channels at the top and bottom.
Each GearWall panel allows for three hooks or accessories. When you stack two panels on top of each other, you get an extra row.
That gives you a total space for seven rows of hooks and accessories.
The weight limits change slightly between the two products as well. Each GearTrack rail can hold a maximum of 75 lbs. per linear foot, assuming it’s connected to three wall studs underneath.
Securing it to less than three studs will lower than weight limit.
The GearWall only holds a maximum of 50 lbs. per square foot. So you won’t be able to stack as much weight on the GearWall as you would on the GearTrack channel.
Finally, both come with a 10-year warranty from Gladiator.
When should you use GearWall?
In my garage, most of my tools are organized with Gladiator GearWall instead of GearTrack. I find it to be more versatile because you can stack the panels on top of each other and get more storage space.
Here’s a shot of my lawn & garden tools, neatly organized on two rows on 8’ GearWall panels.
I’m using a combination of L-Hooks, Twin Hooks and Scoop Hooks.
The L-Hooks hold my smaller hand tools. The Twin Hooks are used to mount my leaf blower and hedge trimmer. The Scoop Hooks are holding all of my shovels, rakes and other larger tools. Finally, there’s a single small bin on the end for extra wire for my trimmer.
When would you use GearTrack?
That’s not to say that I don’t use any Gladiator GearTrack in my garage. Far from it.
I use GearTrack in two specific ways. My first section of GearTrack is on the opposite wall above my long workbench.
Here’s where I store my ladder, step stool and extension cords. This was the first section of GearTrack I ever installed. It let me try out the Gladiator wall system for only a few bucks at Lowe’s and see if I liked it.
The second place I use GearTrack is to mount my Gladiator cabinets.
The reason why I like to use GearTrack to mount the cabinets is I ended up getting a much cleaner, more professional looking design.
I’ve got both Premier cabinets and RTA cabinets (more on the differences here). They all have brackets on the back that slide in to GearTrack or GearWall channels.
The GearTrack channels are easy to hide behind the cabinets so it appears like they’re mounted directly to the wall. Because the channels are secured to three wall studs, it makes it more secure and increases your maximum storage weight.
Once I cut away the excess pieces, it gave it a floating look that I love.
On my back wall next to the door to my kitchen, I’ve got a single RTA cabinet. It’s the ¾ door model so we can leave our keys here when we get home and not throw them on the kitchen table.
I will say that this particular section isn’t permanent.
I use that section of wall to mount any other garage storage options I’m testing out. You’ll notice it in my upcoming review of the Rubbermaid FastTrack system.
Gladiator GearTrack Accessories
Now for the fun part.
Gladiator makes around two dozen different hooks, bins, shelves and baskets that work with both the GearTrack and GearWall. It’s natural to find one or two that you like and they’ll usually end up forming the bulk of your garage organization plan.
I’ll give you a couple of ideas how I use some of them and then go into all of their important details like weight limit and dimensions for each in the next section.
Almost all of my bigger tools hang vertically using Gladiator’s Scoop Hook. It’s got a weight limit of 25 lbs., so it’s able to hold most things lighter than a sledgehammer.
My flat-head shovel is a little bigger, so I opted to use a Utility Hook. The Utility Hook is almost identical to the Scoop Hook, except that it’s slightly deeper and has a higher weight limit of 50 lbs..
These two have to be my favorite hooks because they’re just so versatile.
I’m not a fan of the S-Hook however. I wanted to try it out so I hung my hard-bristle broom on it as a test.
The way it’s supposed to work is the padded part of the hook holds the broom’s handle in place with friction. In theory, there will be space between the broom’s head and the hook itself.
In my experience, there wasn’t enough friction to hold the broom in place and it just slid down until the head rested on the hook. This might be because the broom had a plastic handle, but I feel that’s a design flaw in the hook. If it’s supposed to work with friction, then it should work with any handle you hang on it.
I use the L-Hooks for smaller tools. These come in a combo pack with J-Hooks, but I really wish they’d come separately.
The J-hooks are far too small and I still haven’t found a use for them. The pack is cheap enough, but I feel like I’m wasting half of it.
The L-hooks are passable, but they feel really cheap. I wish that they had a version that felt more solidly built and maybe included a padded hook.
Another really great hook is the Twin Hook.
In contrast to the ‘U’ shape of the Scoop Hook, the Twin Hook sticks out a full 6.5” from the wall so you can hold bulkier items. It’s still only got a weight limit of 25 lbs. however. You’ll need to be careful not to put too much weight on it.
I use two Twin Hooks to store my 6’ step ladder and another to hold a coiled extension cord. I’m really happy with the way it supports the ladder, but I feel there could be a better option for the extension cord.
Finally, I’ve got a small step-stool hung on a Tool Hook. It’s normally used for holding two tools on the same hook. For example, two rakes or shovels.
Originally, I stored my stepladder vertically on this hook, as well as the step-stool on the inside hook. It looked like I was overloading the weight limit of the hook so I split them apart.
In the bin category, I absolutely love the small item bins that come in a three-pack. They’re great to mount on your Gladiator GearTrack channel or even leave them freestanding on your workbench. I do both.
They’re sometimes hard to find, but I promise, once you have a set, you’ll find a bunch of uses for them throughout your garage.
Weight Limits (for track, wall and hooks)
Because there are so many different accessories, hooks, bins and baskets that Gladiator makes, I took the time to try to organize them here for you.
The chart below will show some basic dimensions of whatever accessory you’re looking at, including how much weight it can hold.
Important Note: Remember to consider the maximum weight of the GearTrack or GearWall panel as well.
Each GearWall panel can hold a maximum of 50lbs. per square foot and a GearTrack section can hold a maximum of 75 lbs. per linear foot.
This assumes they’re screwed in to three studs (or three screws into concrete).
Specifications: Gladiator Hooks
|Name||Model Number||Width||Depth||Weight Limit|
|Dual Hook||GAWUXXWHRH||10.75 “||2.75 “||50 lbs|
|Tool Hook||GAWUXXTHRH||3.25″||10.5″||25 lbs|
|Wide Hook||GAWUXXWDRH||2.75″||5.5″||30 lbs|
|Big Hook||GAWUXXBHRH||4″||7″||50 lbs|
|Twin Hook||GAWUXXTWRH||2.75″||6.5″||25 lbs|
|Scoop Hook||GAWUXXSCRH||2.75″||4.25″||25 lbs|
|Utility Hook||GAWUXXUHRH||3.75″||4.5″||50 lbs|
|Cradle Hook||GAWUXXCLRH||4.5″||6.5″||25 lbs|
|Deep Hook||GAWUXXDHRH||7.5″||11″||30 lbs|
|Loop Hooks||GAWALP8PPH||1″||2″||5 lbs|
Specifications: Bins & Sporting Good Storage
|Name||Model Number||Width||Depth||Weight Limit|
|Fishing Rod Hook||GAWVXXFHTH||2.75″||5″||10 lbs|
|Vertical Bike Hook||GAWUXXVBRH||2.75″||5.5″||30 lbs|
|Horizonal Bike Rack (2 pack)||GAWUXXHBTG||2.75″||20.5″||50 lbs (pair)|
|Advanced Bike Storage||GAWUXXCPVK||6″||8″||50 lbs|
|Storage Bin Holder||GAWUXXBMTH||4″||12″||25 lbs|
|Small Item Bins (3 pack)||GAWESB3PGC||4.5″||7″||10 lbs|
|Wire Basket||GAWU18BKBH||18″||13″||35 lbs|
|Mesh Basket||GAWU24MBBH||24″||12.5″||35 lbs|
|Ball Caddy||GAWUXXBLTH||24″||12″||25 lbs|
GearLoft Shelf and Bin Hooks
This could just be me, but I don’t really see a point to the GearLoft shelf or the Storage Bin Hooks.
They’re designed to get some of the bulkier items off the garage floor and up on to the wall.
Great! I’m all for it. I just don’t think these are good ways to do it.
Most overhead storage solutions will run you about $200 for a 4’ x 8’ mesh shelf that you attach to your ceiling. It holds at least 500 pounds. Many hold much more than that
By contrast, a GearLoft shelf will set you back about $100. It’s got less square feet of space (45” x 20”), and a lower weight limit in general (100 lbs).
Plus you’ve got to factor in the cost of the GearWall panel that you’re mounting it on. Then you have the space that the shelf it taking up that you can no longer store anything on.
The same goes for the Bin Hooks. The idea here is that hooks cradle a single plastic storage bin on your GearWall panel. Talk about a waste of space.
Unless you’re finishing your garage walls entirely in GearWall panels, skip these two accessories and go with different storage solutions instead.
Gladiator Starter Kits
The best way to get into the Gladiator wall system (either GearWall or GearTrack) is to grab one of their starter kits.
You won’t usually find a starter kit that has everything you’re looking for, but you might just find a kit that has something that you can’t get anywhere else.
For example, I picked up a starter kit that had pre-cut 3’ GearTrack shelves. It’s not a big deal to cut a regular GearTrack shelf if you have a table saw, but it’s a huge time-saver if you don’t.
They have specific starter kits for gardening, sports, biking, golf and several muti-purpose versions.
I’ve written a much more detailed article about how to install Gladiator GearTrack into both drywall and concrete, so I’ll be brief in this section.
Both the GearTrack and GearWall panels install into your walls with simple screws.
Gladiator sells a matching white Phillips-head screw, but I wouldn’t recommend using them.
Like many of the other reviews you’ll find, I wasn’t impressed with the quality. Several screws stripped before I could get them into the wall.
Thankfully, I was able to get them all out, but it caused a lot of wasted screws in the pack. Opt for a higher quality screw instead.
You can cut both GearTrack and GearWall panels to size easily using a table saw, or even a hand saw. I don’t recommend a hand saw, however. A table saw makes quick work of it and guarantees a straight cut every time.
The GearTrack rails have grey plastic endcaps to finish off the look. Although you won’t be able to use the endcaps if you’re mounting a cabinet on the track and pushing it right up to the edge of the track.
All of my exposed GearTrack edges have the endcaps and I really like them.
The GearWall panels have white edging trim to help give it a cleaner look. It’s really nothing more than cheap, plastic trim, but it does the job and doesn’t look out of place.
I opted not to use them on my garage, but you may like the look.
Conclusion: Likes & Dislikes
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, this won’t come as much of a shock. I put a lot of thought and research into choosing a garage organization system. I’m really happy with the Gladiator wall system so far.
What’s even better is the more that I look and test other products for reviews on this site, the more I think I made the right choice!
I really like the clean design of the Gladiator – both GearTrack and GearWall. They have different looks, definitely.
Overall, they’re both a clean simple design that wouldn’t look out of place in really high-end garages.
They’re functional and really durable which I love. My garage is a working garage, not a showpiece. I need a wall storage system that can take a beating and still keep looking great.
The accessories, for the most part, are top notch.
With only a couple of exceptions, they feel sturdy and lock in place really well. I mentioned a couple of sore spots earlier that I thought weren’t up to standards, but they’re the exception rather than the rule.
My only gripe is that I wish Gladiator had more options for sports storage. They have some fishing pole hooks and ball bins, but that’s it. I feel that’s a bit of a missed opportunity that I hope they correct.
In conclusion, I highly recommend Gladiator GearTrack and GearWall. They’ve held up incredibly well since I installed them and I have no reason to think I won’t be using them for years to come.
Check out the entire Gladiator lineup at your local big-box hardware store or on Amazon.com.