Earlier this summer, I found the dream apartment. Big windows, killer views, and easy access to some of Santa Fe’s best-known mountain bike trails.
The only problem: lack of storage space. With seven bikes and three pairs of skis, this meant the dream apartment was a no-go unless I built my own gear shed (not feasible, considering my lack of home-ec skills) or bought a DIY model from a place like Home Depot (expensive).
Then I stumbled on the YardStash, an outdoor storage unit guaranteed to keep your stuff dry and big enough to hold two bikes. And it only cost $130!? I’ll take two, said I.
YardStash (the company) sells one product currently: the YardStash III. It’s essentially a super burly tent with heavy-duty UV-protected polyester, an industrial-grade vinyl tarpaulin roof, a reinforced floor, sealed seams, and strong zippers.
If you’ve ever set up a camp tent, you’ll intuitively know how to set up the YardStash. Two of us pitched the unit in about 10 minutes by following the simple, included directions.
At 74 inches wide, 30 inches deep, and 65 inches tall, I found the YardStash easily accommodates two road bikes, plus two folded camp chairs, a tent in a stuff sack, a tarp and roof-rack bars. It takes a bit more finagling to fit two mountain bikes, but it’s easy enough once you get the right wheel alignment. I have a small and large Yeti SB95 in one YardStash, plus two backpacks and a tarp, with room to spare.
So far, the YardStash has lived up to its rain-proof promise: we’ve had a dozen heavy thunderstorms roll through Santa Fe since I set up the tent, which has kept the gear bone-dry. Other than some fading, it’s held up well during a month exposed to the hot, dry climate of New Mexico. And I've found that it keeps the bikes surprisingly cool even when sitting in direct sunlight.
Now, I haven’t tested the tent in the winter, but if you live in the snowy high country, I suspect this won’t be the best solution for you. (Having any tent sit in a few feet of snow for several months isn’t a recipe for success.) I would also advise those living in high crime areas to look for another option: the YardStash’s biggest downside is the lack of security. It's a tent, after all.
But if you live in a place with a relatively mild climate and little crime, I wholeheartedly recommend the YardStash. It costs about one-tenth of many Home Depot units, and is much lower-commitment than building your own shed.