One day your garage is the envy of everyone on your block and the next thing you know, you’ve got clutter everywhere. It doesn’t take long for the crap you accumulate to start taking over.
That’s what happened in my garage, so I started looking at some wall storage systems before things got really out of hand.
I picked up a 6-piece FastTrack rail tool hanging starter kit, which has two 32″ rail sections, installation hardware and four different types of hooks.
I wanted to see how Rubbermaid compared to everything else on the market and today I’m going to share my thoughts
The Design of the Rubbermaid FastTrack
Rubbermaid has been making storage products for years, but nearly a decade ago, they came out with the FastTrack wall storage system.
Here’s the trick: there are two FastTrack systems, FastTrack Garage and FastTrack Closet.
I totally understand trying to capitalize on name recognition. If something is doing well, you want to capitalize on it.
Where I think they dropped the ball is that the two systems aren’t compatible with each other. Both are good products in their own right, but it could get confusing to customers to have a FastTrack Closet accessory and it won’t work on your FastTrack Garage rail.
Thankfully they’re usually in two different sections of the store, so people aren’t likely to stumble on the wrong one by mistake.
So for this article, we’re obviously going to be talking about the FastTrack garage wall storage system.
Here’s a couple of design elements that jumped out at me:
The FastTrack Rail
Nearly every wall storage system uses heavy plastic to make their tracks.
Rubbermaid went in a different direction and opted for a full-on steel rail underneath. The only place you’ll find plastic is the cover on top.
That makes the Rubbermaid FastTrack a lot more durable than some of the other systems.
It also gives it a ridiculously high weight capacity, but we’ll get to that in the next section.
The rail is thinner and sleeker than anything else on the market, measuring only 2″ in total width. The plastic rail cover only adds an additional quarter of an inch overall, once it’s installed.
There’s two things that I don’t like about the plastic rail covers though.
First, the Rubbermaid logo is imprinted on every single rail. It’s not a sticker that can be peeled off, so unfortunately you’re stuck with it.
Second, the rail covers can’t be purchased separately. If one gets damaged, then you’ll either need to work around it or purchase a completely new rail. The hooks won’t attach correctly without the rail cover attached.
The FastTrack Hooks
The FastTrack hooks latch on to the rail and lock in place, which isn’t uncommon. Craftsman has something similar with their locking clamp.
I like the way Rubbermaid designed their hooks so you can still move the hooks from side-to-side even though they’re locked in place. But there’s no way you’re pulling them off the track.
To me that seems like the best of both worlds.
I also really liked the additional screw hole on the bottom of each of the heavier-duty hooks. It’ll give you the option to really lock them in place and make your setup more secure.
The down-side to that is that no other hook manufacturers will work with the FastTrack system.
The business end of the hooks are covered in a foamy-looking material that appears softer than it really is. They call it their “soft grip” handles but apparently we have different definitions of what “soft” really is.
In all honesty, it’s there to provide a little bit of traction when you hang stuff on it. It’ll also save any delicate surfaces from getting scratched up all the time.
The Question You All Want To Know…
I see one question pop up on forums and reviews any time the FastTrack system is mentioned:
So how much weight can it hold? The short answer is A LOT.
A 4′ Rubbermaid FastTrack rail has an insanely high weight capacity of up to 1,750 lbs per rail.
That’s over 400 lbs per foot!
Unboxing the Rubbermaid FastTrack Starter Kit
I don’t normally do those unboxing type of posts, but since this is a starter kit, I might as well.
As I mentioned earlier, you can buy the rails and hooks separately, or you can pick up one of Rubbermaid’s starter kits to make it easy to get started.
Here’s what you get:
- Two 32″ FastTrack rails
- Installation hardware
- One Multi-Purpose Hook
- One Power Tool Hook
- One Utility Hook
- One II-Handle Hook
Let’s take a look at the hooks in a little more detail since that’s ultimately what makes or breaks a wall storage system.
Power Tool Hook
The Power Tool Hook is easily my favorite of the four hooks. Personally, I have all of my drills either in a drawer or in a cabinet, but this would let me hang them up for quick access. I can see how it would save a lot of time for stuff I use on a daily basis.
The gap between the hook arms is a little wide for my light-duty stuff, but it should easily be able to accommodate heavy drills and battery packs.
Total weight capacity for this hook is 50 lbs.
I think everybody has something like the Multi-Purpose hook in their lineup. In my garage, I’ve got almost every tool I own hanging from hooks like these.
What I like about this hook is just how long it is. Remember that the FastTrack has an incredibly high weight limit, so you can pile 50 pounds on each multi-purpose hook.
That’s about the weight of nine shovels, by the way.
The Utility Hook is a deeply scooped version of the Multi-Purpose Hook. It’s the perfect depth for hoses and extension cords so you can hang them up without needing another gadget to keep them from getting tangled.
At first, I thought this was another niche product. It’s very similar to the Hose Hook (which has less of a scoop), so I’m not sure why they have to have both designs.
Personally, I’d use this instead of the Hose Hook for both my hoses and extension cords. But that’s about the only place I could see using this hook. For most other stuff, I’d use the Compact Hook instead (not part of this starter kit).
Total weight capacity for this hook is 50 lbs.
The II-Handle Hook is my least favorite design of them all. I don’t think that the friction is enough between the grippy part of the hook and the handle of the broom or whatever I’m trying to hang up.
I like that you can hang two tools up on one hook, but I just hate the way it looks overall.
Total weight capacity for this hook is 50 lbs.
Rubbermaid FastTrack Installation
The Rubbermaid FastTrack rails are easy to install, but there’s a little more to it than you might think.
You see, in order to get that incredibly high weight capacity, they have to be secured better than you would with some of the other systems.
Like other systems, it installation starts by lining up the FastTrack rail with the center of your wall studs. Assuming your studs are 16″ on center, you should be able to secure each 32″ to three studs and each 48″ rail to four studs.
In between each rail, the installation kit includes drywall anchors for added support.
In the image above, you can see the five points to secure this 32″ rail. Points marked with an ‘A’ are where you’ll attach the rail with screws into the wall studs. Points marked as ‘B’ will need the drywall anchors.
If you’re installing the FastTrack rail into a concrete block, just use five Tapcon concrete anchors.
I had a little trouble getting the plastic cover to snap on to the steel rail. That’s actually one of the more frequent comments I’ve read in reviews.
The trick is that you need to fully snap the top in before working on the bottom. Once you figure that out, it goes a lot quicker, but I can see how that might be a challenge in tight spaces.
The installation was a breeze overall. However, I wish that Rubbermaid included some sort of endcap option to give it a cleaner look.
Can FastTrack rails be cut? Yes. Rubbermaid recommends , although it’s not recommended cutting them smaller than 32″. That will still let them attach to three wall studs. Anything smaller than that and the overall weight capacity goes down substantially.
Will the FastTrack rails attach to Rubbermaid’s Roughneck shed? No. Rubbermaid definitely does not recommend this. The Roughneck shed’s walls can’t support the weight.
Is the installation hardware included? Yes, i you buy one of the FastTrack kits. If you buy the rails on their own, then you’ll need to buy that separately as well.
The after pics?
I installed the Rubbermaid FastTrack rail in a small section of my garage wall next to the door to my kitchen. This section of wall is my test-bed for new products that I’m not sure will make the final cut in my garage.
In my garage, this would be a nice area to put some of the stuff that I would grab on my way to the car, like keys, a hat or an extra pair of sunglasses. Personally, it doesn’t really work to hang tools there, but its fine for demonstration purposes.
Update: Where I’m Using Rubbermaid FastTrack
One of the things I really liked about the FastTrack wall storage system is that it looks a bit more upscale and refined than the Gladiator or Craftsman systems.
For my house, it’s not what I was looking for in my garage, but it’s great for more visible area in my house.
Like my laundry room.
The hooks that the Rubbermaid starter kit are a great option for hanging mops, dusters and even a step ladder.
Overall, I really like the Rubbermaid FastTrack system, even though it isn’t what I went with in my garage.
The rails are incredibly strong and have the best weight capacity of any track storage system, by far. The design is sleek and clean, for the most part and it leaves a lot of white space on the wall.
But there were a couple of things that I wasn’t crazy about that ultimately made me go in a different direction.
The steel rails aren’t as easy to cut to odd lengths as other manufacturers. I’m very comfortable using a table saw to cut wood or plastic, but cutting metal just seems different somehow.
There also isn’t the wide variety of accessories that you’ll find in other manufacturers either. Don’t get me wrong, the hooks that the FastTrack has are top notch and I love the design. I just wish there were more of them.
That said, if those minor flaws aren’t a big deal to you, I definitely recommend checking out one of the Rubbermaid FastTrack Starter Kits. They come in a variety of different rail lengths and hook selections.
For more on the wall storage system I use in my garage, check out my review of Gladiator’s GearTrack and GearWall systems. I’ve been using the system for the past two years so there’s a lot of detailed user experiences in there that you won’t find anyplace else.