To me top boxes are unwieldy and cumbersome, but for the following uses/considerations on a long trip crossing borders with fragile gear, the sum of their merits overtake their drawbacks; Place to store SLR camera protected by foam cut-outs or optional dividers Place to store folders with immunization records, passports, etc Safe from left or right low-side get offs Easier to padlock and secure Lid organizers to minimize the need to empty a duffel looking for that tiny widget Can double as a cutting board Properly outfitted it can serve as a duffel/gear rack. Shown here is a Pelican 1500 Series EMT case. Hated it until its virtues began to emerge. Still hate the way it looks, but LOVE how useful it is. The dividers have very versatile padded dividers for nearly infinite configuration.