Rubbermaid FastTrack Rails are Awesome…But Not For Me


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 Rubbermaid FastTrack Garage System

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

One of the things I really like about the Rubbermaid FastTrack system is the black plastic cover that slides over the metal rail.

While everyone else uses heavy plastic on their track storage system, Rubbermaid went in a different direction.

The only plastic you’ll find is the cover on top.

The rail itself is a heavy steel molded into a ‘W’ shape. The two channels have screw holes every inch apart all the way down the rail.

Because it’s made of steel, the rail is thinner and sleeker than anything else on the market. It also gives it a super high weight capacity, but we’ll get to that in the next section.

Total width is only 2″, with an additional quarter of an inch once you add the plastic cover.

Bare steel doesn’t look that good, so Rubbermaid added a molded plastic sleeve that goes over the rail.

Rubbermaid FastTrack rail

I really like the idea of the black plastic sleeve, but I wish that it didn’t include the Rubbermaid logo.

On a simple 4′ or 8′ track, it’s not bad. Imagine a wall full of FastTrack rails and you could easily see that logo dozens of times. It’s not a sticker, so unfortunately you can’t peel it off.

Additionally, you can’t buy the rail covers separately. If you damage one, then you’ll need purchase a completely new rail. The hooks won’t attach correctly without the rail cover attached.

The FastTrack Hooks

The FastTrack hooks have a C-shape that’s common to most other garage storage systems. The larger hooks also have a locking latch that clamps down on the rail to secure them in place.

The smaller hooks, like this Cooler Hook, don’t have a locking clamp, so they’re held in place by the two notches on the bottom of the hook.

The good (and bad thing) about this design is that this hook isn’t going to move once it’s locked into place.

If you want to re-position a Rubbermaid hook, you’ll need to lift the hook off the rail and re-attach it in the new location.

It makes minor adjustments a little harder, but I really like knowing that the stuff I hang on my garage wall isn’t going to move once I put it there.

The heavy-duty hooks also included an additional screw hole on the bottom for additional support. It’ll give you the option to really lock them in place and make your setup more secure.

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.

How Much Weight Can Rubbermaid FastTrack Hold?

I see one question pop up on forums and reviews any time the FastTrack system is mentioned:

Rubbermaid FastTrack rails can hold a lot of weight. A 4′ Rubbermaid FastTrack rail has a 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.

Rubbermaid FastTrack Garage Storage System Tool Hanging Kit

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.

Rubbermaid FastTrack Power Tool Hook

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.

Multi-Purpose Hook

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.

Rubbermaid FastTrack Multi-Purpose Hook

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.

Utility Hook

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.

Rubbermaid FastTrack Utility Hook

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.

II-Handle Hook

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.

Rubbermaid FastTrack II-Handle hook

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.

What Accessories Work With Rubbermaid FastTrack?

I wanted to know which accessories would work with FastTrack rails, so I devised a simple little test.

  1. I bought a hook and track piece from Rubbermaid FastTrack, Gladiator GearTrack, Craftsman VersaTrack and the Kobalt storage rail system found at Lowe’s.
  2. I mounted each on my wall and tested each brand’s hook to see if it fit and if it could actually hang anything reliably.

I hate when I go shopping and I’m never really sure if what I was looking at would work the way I wanted it to when I got home. This experiment cost me about $100 in total, but it really helped me decide what the best track storage system was for my garage.

I hope you like what I discovered.

Does Rubbermaid work with Gladiator GearTrack?

Is Gladiator compatible with Rubbermaid FastTrack

Gladiator hooks secure to a GearTrack or GearWall system in two ways. First there’s the typical C-channel on the back of the hook to slide over the track itself.

The second way is the locking tab at the top of the hook, as you see in these pictures.

Obviously those hooks have nothing to hook into on the Rubbermaid system. From an aesthetic perspective, it’s small, so you won’t really notice it unless you’re looking for it.

Without that hook locking it in place, the Gladiator hook slides freely along the FastTrack channel. It also wobbles from side to side and doesn’t feel very secure.

It’s secure enough to hang items from, but you want to be very careful when taking anything off the hook. It’s very easy to pull the entire hook off the track while you grab whatever was on it.

Compatible with Rubbermaid FastTrack? Yes, but not secure

Does Rubbermaid Work With Craftsman VersaTrack?

Is Craftsman compatible with Rubbermaid FastTrack

I’m beginning to think that Craftsman’s biggest strength is its versatility. Once again, the Craftsman hooks worked much better on a different manufacturer’s track system than I expected it would.

The C-channel on the Craftsman hook fits neatly over the FastTrack channel. The only challenge is the locking hook on the bottom.

On the Craftsman hook, there’s a small grey knob on the front that you turn to lock the hook in place. With the hook set to the ‘unlocked’ position. the Rubbermaid FastTrack channel just barely fits underneath.

It’s a snug fit, but not quite locked in place.

What I suggest is to take a small file or heavy-grit sandpaper and sand down the inside of the hook about a millimeter. Then the lock can engage and secure the hook.

Not to say it’s perfect, but I think it’s an honestly workable solution.

Compatible with Rubbermaid FastTrack? Yes! (with slight modification)

Will Kobalt Garage Hooks Work With Rubbermaid FastTrack?

Is Kobalt compatible with Rubbermaid FastTrack

I’m beginning to think that the only thing the Kobalt hooks are going to work with is their own track system.

The Kobalt track is made of a rubberized plastic, so the hooks stay in place largely due to the friction of the track on the hook. All of the other manufacturers rely on the friction of the hook, or some other locking mechanism, on the track.

The hooks, on the other hand, have a slight bend to the top part of their C-channel and a flat portion on the bottom.

When you try to put a smooth hook on a smooth track, you can imagine what happens.

It falls to the floor.

Compatible with Rubbermaid FastTrack? Definitely not!

How to Install Rubbermaid FastTrack Rails

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.

Installation FAQ’s

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.

Rubbermaid FastTrack in my Garage

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: I Moved My Rubbermaid FastTrack to My Laundry Room

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. For more information on the Rubbermaid FastTrack Ladder Hook, check out my article on how to store a ladder in your garage the right way.

Rubbermaid FastTrack Starter Kits

Rubbermaid has four starter kits that you can find anywhere, but you’ll see other versions pop up at specific stores or around the holidays. The kits range from a 5-piece kit all the way to a 15-piece kit.

If you need a shorter length of rail, then one of the Rubbermaid FastTrack starter kits might be just what you’re looking for. While you can cut one of the steel rails, a few of the starter kits come with shorter rails by default.

5-Piece FastTrack Starter Kit

The 5-piece and 6-piece starter kits are almost identical except for a slight change in which hooks are included.

The 5-piece kit includes the Multi-Purpose hook which is great for holding stepladders or multiple shovels or rakes on the same hook.

Rubbermaid FastTrack 5-Piece Starter Kit
$32.49
  • 1 32" FastTrack rail
  • Installation Hardware
  • 1 Multi-Purpose Hook
  • 1 One-Handle Hook
  • 2 Scoop Hooks
Buy on Amazon
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09/27/2021 06:06 pm GMT

6-Piece FastTrack Starter Kit

By contrast, the 6-piece starter kit swaps out the Multi-Purpose hook and includes the Utility Hook and an additional One Handle Hook. The Utility Hook is great for holding larger tools like lawn edgers or hedge trimmers.

Rubbermaid FastTrack 6-Piece Starter Kit
$40.40
Buy on Amazon
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09/27/2021 04:36 pm GMT

15-Piece FastTrack Starter Kit

The 15-Piece Starter Kit is special because it has three four foot FastTrack rails instead of the shorter rails you’ll see in other starter kits.

If you’ve already got a FastTrack setup in your home, this is probably a great fit for you. It comes with three types of hooks: the Multi-Purpose, Utility and Cooler Hooks.

FastTrack Garage Multi-Purpose Starter Kit 15-Piece
  • 3 Four foot FastTrack rails
  • Installation Hardware
  • 4 Multi-Purpose Hooks
  • 2 Cooler Hooks
  • 3 Utility Hooks
Buy on Home Depot
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Tool Hanging Kit

I wish I’d seen the Tool Hanging Kit before I bought my FastTrack starter kit. It’s my favorite because it has four of the hooks that I’d use most in my garage. It’s the only one to come with a Power Tool Hook and also includes two 32″ rails.

Rubbermaid FastTrack Tool Hanging Kit
$54.98
  • 2 32" FastTrack rails
  • Installation Hardware
  • 1 Power Tool Holder
  • 1 Utility Hook
  • 1 Multi-Purpose Hook
  • 1 Two-Handle Hook
Buy on Amazon
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
09/27/2021 05:17 pm GMT

Conclusion

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.

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