Good outdoor shelving should be made of material that is resistant to rain and sun, adjustable to fit a variety of needs and strong enough to hold significant weight, allow sufficient air flow and blend into the shed or outdoor space. Outdoor shelving is typically exposed to elements such as rain and direct sunlight often, so using a material that resists fatigue or discoloration is important. Items stored outdoors also tend to be larger, requiring heavy-duty, adjustable shelves.
Outdoor shelves constructed of heavy-duty plastic, steel or heavy aluminum tend to hold up well to rain and sun without showing wear. Shelves of these materials are not prone to rot or animal damage, and they typically remain sturdy and stable for long periods without attention or upkeep. Metal or plastic shelves are available in designs that allow air to flow freely around each shelf, helping to prevent water damage to items stored on the shelves.
Adjustable heavy-duty plastic and metal shelving also allows for easier storage of large, bulky or heavy items, such as lawn equipment, bags of bird feed or grass seed, and large planters or bags of soil. Freestanding metal or plastic shelving units often have hooks or places on which to place hooks for additional tool storage.