Indoor vs. Outdoor Storage Units: Which Option Is Right for You?

If you’re interested in renting a storage unit, you have plenty of options. From indoor storage units with climate control, to outdoor storage units with drive-up access, there are many options to choose from. When it comes to indoor vs outdoor storage units, doing your research ahead of time will be beneficial in maximizing the space you need and the cost to rent. But it also depends on your storage needs. To help you make the best decision, we’ve created this guide comparing indoor and outdoor storage based on available features and benefits so that you can choose the right storage solution to fit your needs.

What Is Indoor Storage?

Indoor storage units are located inside a single or multi-story building. These buildings provide two layers of protection for customers. One against the weather and humidity and the other against unwanted visitors and guests entering the building. Storage units are individually alarmed and require a unique access code to enter the building.

Indoor storage facilities have covered load/unload areas with room to park U-Haul trucks or your personal vehicle. Some locations even have drive-in load/unload areas! Inside these indoor facilities, you’ll also find large elevators for convenient access to each floor. As an additional benefit, loading and mattress carts are available for customers to share to ease their moving in and out of the facility.

Choose an indoor storage unit for your most sensitive belongings so that they can remain dry, safe, and secure.

Benefits of Indoor Storage

Weather Protection

Indoor storage offers the best protection from weather and humidity. Since your belongings are stored inside a unit within a storage building, you don’t have to worry about rain, snow, wind, or other adverse weather conditions infiltrating your storage unit and damaging your belongings.


Indoor storage units offer additional layers of security. In addition to individual access codes and gate access (available at most U-Haul storage facilities), indoor storage units are closed-off from the outside entirely, making indoor rooms that much more secure and private.

Climate Controlled Storage

Indoor units inside a climate-controlled area will be maintained at a comfortable 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, just like your home. Climate controlled storage protects your belongings from humidity and high temperatures. For regions with harsh winters, heated storage is also available.

Convenient Features:

  • Well-lit hallways providing a safe environment
  • Elevator access to your floor for easy access to your storage unit
  • Mattress and loading carts to ease moving in
  • Variety of unit sizes to choose from (5' x 5' up to 10' x 30')
  • Covered load/unload area
  • Drive-In load/unload areas

Recommended Items To Store in Indoor Storage:

  • Furniture (Couches, dining room sets, etc.)
  • Electronics and appliances
  • Books, paintings, photos, etc.
  • Documents

Pro-Tip: If you aren’t comfortable storing it in your garage or shed at home, you should store it in an inside storage unit. With an added layer of security, your valuables are more secure and protected.

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What Is Outdoor Storage?

Outdoor storage, or drive-up storage units, are essentially extra garage space. These units are located outdoors in a gated area at ground level for easy drive-up access. Each outdoor unit is locked and secured but is otherwise exposed to the elements. Outdoor units rarely have climate control, which means they are more affected by weather than indoor.

However, these storage units are the most convenient for customers that need to access their storage frequently. At ground level, customers can quickly pull up their vehicles, load/unload, and drive off. Available in all sizes, but most frequently drive up units will start at 10' x 10' and go up to 10' x 30', offering customers a much larger space to store their belongings in.

Benefits of Outdoor Storage

Drive-Up Access

Outdoor storage offers the most in terms of convenience and accessibility for frequent visitors. When you reserve an outdoor storage unit, you have the benefit of drive-up access, meaning loading and unloading items into your storage unit is that much easier.

More Affordable

With no climate control and fewer amenities than an indoor storage facility, outdoor units are generally the more affordable self-storage option.

Larger Unit Sizes

With outdoor storage, there are less limitations on storage unit sizes and what items you can store inside them. This is because outdoor storage units are often larger than indoor, which can be a benefit for visitors that are looking for larger storage capacity and capability.

Vehicle Storage Options

If you need to store a vehicle away from your property, outdoor storage is the right choice. Outdoor storage offers more storage options for cars, motorcycles, and smaller recreational vehicles.

Recommended Items To Store in Outdoor Storage:

  • Tools
  • Outdoor/Seasonal Furniture
  • Sporting Equipment
  • Recreational Vehicles

Find Indoor and Outdoor Storage Units Today

No matter which type of storage you’re looking for, U-Haul has a storage solution. With a large number of indoor and outdoor storage facilities across the U.S. and Canada, there is likely a storage location near you that is ready to meet your needs. Find a storage location near you today!

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