U-Pack vs. PODS Review 2021

We compared nearly 150 quotes and scoured PODS and U-Pack’s customer reviews. Our verdict? U-Pack comes out on top.
Our pick
$2610 avg. price
  • Icon Yes  Light
    Available in 50 states
  • Icon Yes  Light
    Instant online quotes
  • Icon Yes  Light
    Pay-for-what-you-use policy
Second place
pods
PODS
4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2
$3,160 avg. price
  • Icon Yes  Light
    Available in 45 states
  • Icon Yes  Light
    Online quotes for moves under 50 miles
Julia Campbell
Researcher & Writer
Read More
Published on July 31, 2021
6 min read

The bottom line

U-Pack ReloCube gets our vote for the best moving container company. It’s got low prices, nation-wide availability, and a pay-for-what-you-use policy. But since U-Pack only handles long-distance moves, call PODS if you’re planning a local move.


Pros and cons

U-Pack
Pro Bullet Pay-for-what-you-use policy
Pro Bullet No hidden fees
Pro Bullet Availability in 50 states
Con Bullet Local moves
PODS
Pro Bullet Pack-to-the-brim policy
Pro Bullet 30 days to load
Pro Bullet Three container sizes
Con Bullet Average pricing

Compare U-Pack and PODS top features

Avg. Cost
Number of container sizes
Included storage
U-Pack
$2610
1 size3 days
PODS
$3160
3 sizes30 days

Data as of 8/10/20. Offers and availability may vary and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing moving costs for four home sizes across six distances.

 


Best pricing: U-Pack

U-Pack is more affordable than PODS thanks to its pay-for-what you-use-policy and transparent prices. PODS isn’t unreasonably expensive though—its rates are only slightly above average compared to competitors.

PODS does bake 30 days of storage time into your rental price (U-Pack’s rates include just three days). With U-Pack, you don’t have to put down a deposit when you book a moving and storage container; you’re simply charged when the truck arrives to pick up your packed containers.

Compare U-Pack ReloCube and PODS pricing

U-Pack ReloCube
PODS

Move distance

2,072 mi.

2,072 mi.

Container size

6 ft. 3 in. x 7 ft. x ft. 4 in. (ReloCube)

7 ft. x 7 ft. x 8 ft.

Interior space (cu. ft.)

305

385

Weight limit (lbs.)

2,500

5,200

Capacity (rooms of furniture)

1 room

1 room

Total moving estimate

$2,398.00

$2,965.87

Data as of 9/18/19. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Money
Getting a quote

U-Pack makes it a cinch to get a quote. You enter your home size, arrival and destination zip codes, and move date, and its online quote generator gives you a price.

The chart above illustrates a 2,072-mile move from Salt Lake City, UT, to Washington, DC, using U-Pack’s ReloCube and PODS’s 7-foot container.

U-Pack’s quote was $567.87 cheaper than PODS’s estimate (including taxes and fees).

While the ReloCube and the 7-foot container have the same room capacity, the PODS container can handle more than double the weight of the ReloCube. For the average load of household goods, this may not matter all that much. But if you’re packing your motorcycle and woodworking equipment, you may get close to U-Pack’s 2,500-pound limit.

The PODS 7-foot container has a bit more interior space than the ReloCube, which is something to keep in mind if your container will be packed to the gills.

One thing that sets U-Pack apart when it comes to pricing is its pay-for-what-you-use policy. The policy allows you to reserve as much space as you think you’ll need—and you’ll never be charged for extra cubes or empty moving trailer space you don’t use.

If you order three ReloCubes but fill only two, you’ll pay for only two. If you use all three, you’ll pay for three. With PODS, you’ll pay for a full container—even if it’s half-empty. And since PODS’s containers are larger than U-Pack’s, it’s more difficult to mix and match them to fit your exact load size.

Although PODS’s 7-foot container has a higher weight limit and slightly more interior space, U-Pack is a better deal price-wise. We think U-Pack’s ReloCube makes the most sense for the average mover.

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Bullhorn
No free locks

Some moving and storage companies provide locks with your container (so you can keep your stuff in and thieves out). Sadly, neither U-Pack nor PODS include locks in your reservation—you’ll have to buy your own.


Best availability: U-Pack

Both U-Pack and PODS have nationwide service, but U-Pack covers all 50 states, while PODS falls short by a few. If you’re moving to or from Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming, or West Virginia, go with U-Pack.

Both moving companies also offer moving services outside the United States. U-Pack is available in Canada, and you can hire PODS in the UK, Canada, and Australia.


Best customer experience: U-Pack

U-Pack has a slight edge over PODS when it comes to customer experience. Both companies have websites that are easy to navigate. They also have the same impressive customer review score of 3.8 out of 5 stars (those are the highest scores of any moving company on our Best Moving Container Companies list).

U-Pack pulls out the win because it offers instant online quotes. PODS typically requires you to visit with a company rep (although it does provide online quotes if your move is less than 50 miles).

Megaphone
Did you know?

Only U-Pack allows you to reserve online. With PODS, you’ll need to have a convo with a PODS rep if you plan to move more than 50 miles.


Best range of services: PODS

U-Pack offers more services than PODS, but PODS outshines U-Pack when it comes to container sizes, no-tilt loading, and local moves.

Compare moving services: U-Pack ReloCube vs. PODS

Company
Local moves
Long-distance moves
Pay-for-what-you-use policy
Trailers
Barn-style doors
Hydraulic no-tilt loading system
Weatherproof containers
Short-term storage
Website
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes

Data as of 9/17/19.

PODS has more moving and storage container sizes than U-Pack: a 12-foot moving POD for local moves as well as 7-foot and 16-foot containers for both local and long-distance moves. This is especially handy for larger moves when you prefer to pack everything in one container rather than sorting and splitting your stuff across two or three cubes.

U-Pack does have moving trailers (basically, moving trucks), which are useful for large household moves.

U-Pack’s moving trailer holds four times the amount its ReloCubes hold.

So if you’re moving a family of five, U-Pack’s trailers can easily make your move happen. And if you want a smaller container or multiple containers, ReloCube offers a happy medium.

Another perk of PODS is its hydraulic no-tilt system for loading and unloading containers from its trucks. This keeps your boxes of Christmas lights, antique dressers, and anything else you packed from shifting in transport.

One more spot where U-Pack falls short: it doesn’t service local moves. While we’ve been able to get quotes for trips within a single state, U-Pack won’t move you across town. If you need a moving and storage container for a local move, PODS has you covered.

Info Box
Heads up

Depending on where you live, you may need a temporary street parking permit for your PODS container. U-Pack’s ReloCubes fit in a standard parking spot, so it shouldn’t be a problem finding space unless you’re ordering a whole bunch.

(If you’re reserving a trailer from U-Pack, you’ll need more space. Plan accordingly.)


Best coverage: U-Pack

In the same way you need auto insurance before you hit the road, you’ll want insurance on your moving containers and household belongings before you send them on their way.

Between U-Pack and PODS, U-Pack offers more comprehensive coverage plans. Plus, U-Pack includes two protection plans in the cost of every move. PODS includes $10,000 worth of content protection in every long-distance move, but its coverage prices aren’t as spelled out as U-Pack’s. PODS’s deductibles sit somewhere in the ballpark of $100, but it’ll depend on the specifics of your move.

Let’s break down both.

U-Pack’s coverage plans

Catastrophic Liability: This plan covers the value of everything from your futon to your flip flops while your container is en route. If there’s a fire, theft, or accident, U-Pack will reimburse you $3.00 per pound per item. For ReloCubes, you’re covered up to $7,500 total. For moving trailers, the policy pays out up to $60,000.

Carrier Negligence: If your items are damaged as the result of a U-Pack screwup after you’ve packed and loaded your container, U-Pack will reimburse you for each item at $0.10 per pound.

U-Pack also offers supplemental coverage plans at an additional charge:

U-Pack supplemental coverage plan

Coverage plan cost
$75
$125
$175

Amount covered per pound per item

$1.00

$2.00

$3.00

Maximum coverage (ReloCube)

$2,500

$5,000

$7,500

Maximum coverage (trailer)

$20,000

$40,000

$60,000

Data as of 9/18/19. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

PODS’s coverage plans

Container Only Insurance: This covers the moving and storage container itself while it sits on your driveway or street. Thunderstorm? Don’t worry about hail denting your container. Fire? Don’t worry about that either. PODS won’t make you pay for dents, dings, or other damage.

Content Protection Insurance: This policy covers damage to the container and your stuff inside. The only catch is that it doesn’t cover flooding or water damage. Obviously, we prefer insurance policies that cover everything, but we say this is still better than container-only insurance or nothing at all.


Our pick: U-Pack ReloCube

Although PODS offers three container sizes, our recommendation boils down to price. U-Pack’s Relocube is significantly cheaper than a PODS moving container, and you won’t have to sacrifice high-quality equipment, good customer service, or wide availability for affordable rates.

What really puts U-Pack ahead is its pay-for-what-you-use policy, which helps you save money by not paying for empty space in your moving and storage container. Plus, with more locations than PODS, U-Pack can cover your move from just about anywhere.

Like U-Pack’s pay-for-what-you use policy?


Methodology

To compare U-Pack and PODS, we gathered over a hundred quotes, analyzed customer reviews, and posed as customers to investigate each company’s customer service. We also compared company features like portable moving container sizes, coverage options, and service locations.

Other moving container company picks

Don’t think U-Pack or PODS is the right fit for your move? Here are some other top portable moving container companies that are worth looking into:

Recommended resources

If you’ve got more questions about moving and storage containers, dive into these additional articles for answers.

Julia Campbell
Written by
Julia Campbell
Julia Campbell is a full-time writer who knows the tricks of the trade when it comes to planning a hassle-free move. Having moved seven times in the past five years, she draws from her own experience and industry expertise to help you avoid her biggest mistakes (like that time she thought she could get away with packing her dishes without wrapping them first).