U-Pack vs. PODS Review 2020

Bottom line: U-Pack is considerably more affordable than PODS, plus it has locations in all 50 states. PODS offers local moves, though, while U-Pack doesn’t—if you’re moving locally, PODS is still a top-tier company.

U-Pack PODS
Company logo
Pricing CheaperMore expensive
Availability 50 states45 states
Customer reviews Mostly positiveModerately positive
Our rating 4.14.0
Phone number 877-458-7274888-784-3811
Website Get a QuoteGet a Quote
Company logo
Pricing
Availability
Customer reviews
Our rating
Phone number
Website
U-Pack PODS
Cheaper More expensive
50 states 45 states
Mostly positive Moderately positive
4.1 4.0
877-458-7274 888-784-3811
Get a Quote Get a Quote

Both U-Pack and PODS are trusted moving container companies that are able to handle everything from your small studio apartment move to your all-hands-on-deck, five-bedroom home move.

But with locations in all 50 states; affordable, up-front rates; and a pay-for-what-you-use pricing policy, U-Pack is the clear winner.

The only thing holding U-Pack back is that it doesn’t service local moves. Instead, it’ll refer you to Budget Rental Truck. So if you’re set on a moving container over a moving truck or need a few weeks to pack a pod rather than hustling over a single weekend, PODS may be a better fit.

Read on to see how U-Pack and PODS stack up on everything from customer reviews and pricing to moving services and availability.

U-Pack

  • Pay-for-what-you-use policy
  • No hidden fees
  • Outsources local moves

PODS

  • Pack-to-the-brim policy
  • 30 days to load
  • Above-average pricing

Compare U-Pack and PODS to other companies on our Best Moving and Storage Container Companies list.

U-Pack vs. PODS pricing

In general, U-Pack is more affordable than PODS.

PODS isn’t unreasonably expensive—in fact, PODS’s rates are only slightly above average compared to competitors. U-Pack is just ultra-affordable, thanks in part to its pay-for-what-you-use policy. (More on that in a minute.)

U-Pack is also known for having transparent prices. There are no hidden taxes or after-the-fact fees. Unless you end up moving significantly more or less than what you estimated, your U-Pack bill will be the same as your original quote.

Another thing we’re raving about? U-Pack doesn’t require a deposit when you book. It simply charges you when the truck picks up your packed containers.

PODS does bake 30 days of loading time into your price (U-Pack gives you just three days), which could be one reason it’s more expensive. While this is a bonus perk if you need it, it’s a waste of money if you plan to move in one fell swoop.

Get money

GETTING A QUOTE

GETTING A QUOTE

U-Pack and PODS tie for having easy-to-use, instant online quote generators. Both require you to enter your email address, but neither require you to pick up the phone and call another human.

U-Pack vs. PODS price comparison

U-Pack 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.) 305385
Weight limit (lbs.) 2,5005,200
Capacity (rooms of furniture) 11
Total moving estimate $2,398.00$2965.87
Move distance
Container size
Interior space (cu. ft.)
Weight limit (lbs.)
Capacity (rooms of furniture)
Total moving estimate
U-Pack PODS
2,072 mi. 2,072 mi.
6 ft. 3 in. x 7 ft. x ft. 4 in. (ReloCube) 7 ft. x 7 ft. x 8 ft.
305 385
2,500 5,200
1 1
$2,398.00 $2965.87

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

We requested quotes for 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 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.

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

Winner: U-Pack

Bullhorn

NO FREE LOCKS

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.

U-Pack vs. PODS availability

Both U-Pack and PODS have nationwide service, but while U-Pack covers all 50 states, PODS falls short by a few. If you’re in Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming, or West Virginia, U-Pack may be your better bet.

Both companies also offer moving services outside the United States. So if you’re heading to Canada or Mexico, hit up U-Pack. If you’re going across the pond to the UK, up north to Canada, or down under to Australia, give PODS a call.

Winner: U-Pack

U-Pack vs. PODS customer experience

We gotta say, in general, U-Pack and PODS have comparable customer experiences.

Both have tricked-out websites (well, relative to other moving companies) that feature instant quotes and online chat capabilities so you don’t have to pick up the phone to speak to a representative.

With both companies, we saw our rates instantly. They didn’t send us a gimmicky “call us if you want a quote” email, which we appreciated. We did have to enter an email address, but we haven’t noticed too much spam in our inboxes, so we don’t think it’s a dealbreaker.

Plus, being able to receive instant answers to questions from a real-life person (without having to call in and wait on hold) speeds up the shopping process.

As for customer reviews, U-Pack’s seem to be mostly positive. Happy customers speak to U-Pack’s timeliness and professionalism. Plus, U-Pack’s as affordable as it claims it is.

PODS has similar feedback from its customers. PODS has a bit more negative reviews than U-Pack, but its positive reviews speak to the same punctuality and flexibility U-Pack’s does.

Winner: Tie

Megaphone

DID YOU KNOW?

DID YOU KNOW?

Only U-Pack allows you to reserve online. So while you can get an instant quote with PODS, if you want to reserve a container, you’ll need to have a convo with a PODS rep over the phone.

U-Pack vs. PODS services

U-Pack offers more services than PODS, but PODS outshines U-Pack on local moves.

In addition to that, PODS has more container sizes than U-Pack: a 12-foot container 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 trailer holds four times the amount its ReloCube’s 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.

Compare moving services: U-Pack vs. PODS

U-Pack PODS
Local moves No✔ Yes
Long-distance moves ✔ Yes✔ Yes
Pay-for-what-you-use policy /strong> ✔ YesNo
Trailers ✔ YesNo
Barn-style doors ✔ YesNo
Hydraulic no-tilt loading system No✔ Yes
Weatherproof containers ✔ Yes✔ Yes
Short-term storage ✔ Yes✔ Yes
Website Find a ContainerFind a Container
Local moves
Long-distance moves
Pay-for-what-you-use policy /strong>
Trailers
Barn-style doors
Hydraulic no-tilt loading system
Weatherproof containers
Short-term storage
Website
U-Pack PODS
No ✔ Yes
✔ Yes ✔ Yes
✔ Yes No
✔ Yes No
✔ Yes No
No ✔ Yes
✔ Yes ✔ Yes
✔ Yes ✔ Yes
Find a Container Find a Container

Data as of 9/17/19. 

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.

Winner: PODS

Info box icon

HEADS UP

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.)

U-Pack vs. PODS coverage options

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
Coverage plan cost
Amount covered per pound per item
Maximum coverage (ReloCube)
Maximum coverage (trailer)
$75 $125 $175
$1.00 $2.00 $3.00
$2,500 $5,000 $7,500
$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 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.

Winner: U-Pack

Our pick: U-Pack

Although PODS offers three container sizes, our recommendation boils down to price. With U-Pack, you get more bang for your buck.

U-Pack is significantly cheaper than PODS, 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. Plus, with more locations than PODS, U-Pack can cover your move from just about anywhere.

Ready to get a quote?

Could you benefit from U-Pack’s pay-for-what-you-use policy? Check out its prices to see if you could swing a move with U-Pack.
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Other moving container company picks

Don’t think U-Pack or PODS is the right fit for your move? Don’t fret: you have options! Here are some other top moving and storage companies worth looking into.

1-800-PACK-RAT: 1-800-PACK-RAT includes 30 days of storage in every move. If you know you’re going to need temporary housing for your belongings (or if you want the option to move into your new house slowly), give 1-800-PACK-RAT a go.

Read Our Review | Get a Quote

SMARTBOX: SMARTBOX has a price-matching guarantee, so you know you’re getting the best deal when you move with the company. SMARTBOX doesn’t have as many locations as other moving and storage container companies, though, so check its availability first if you live in a rural area.

Read Our Review | Get a Quote

U-Haul’s U-Box: Like, U-Pack, U-Haul is available in all 50 states, so whether you’re in North Dakota or North Carolina, there’s likely a U-Haul location that’s able to service your next move.

Read Our Review | Get a Quote

Have you moved with U-Pack or PODS? Drop us a line in the comments section below! We want to hear your thoughts.

About Julia Campbell

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).