For better or worse, the Honda Ridgeline has a shallow pickup truck box. On the “better” side, the floor is just 35 inches off the ground, and adults of average size can probably reach over the pickup box sides to retrieve items; on the “worse” side, to carry bulky items taller than about 16 inches may require opening or removing a tonneau cover. But might the Honda Ridgeline in-bed trunk offer sufficient weatherproof storage to negate the need for a tonneau cover in most day-to-day usage? This is just one of the things—such as the dual-action tailgate—we’ve been evaluating during our Honda Ridgeline RTL-E’s extended six-month stay in our Detroit fleet.
Our first adventure in the Ridgeline was a drive from Detroit to Tennessee and South Carolina for a multiple-family visit with three adults and a dog onboard. Fearing that we’d run out of space in the cab and in-bed trunk, we tried hard to get a tonneau cover installed prior to the trip that would secure and weatherproof the 33.9 cubic feet of storage afforded by the 64.0-inch long, 50.0-to-60.0-inch wide, 17.0-inch deep bed.
Alas, the planets didn’t align in time for the trip. But we were pleasantly surprised to see how much stuff we were able to fit in the Honda Ridgeline’s in-bed trunk (head here to see us test exact items). Its official-rated SAE capacity is 7.3 cubic feet, but it sure seems like more than that fits when stuffing in small flexible items. The in-bed trunk’s floor surface measures 43.0 by 15.5 inches wide at the bottom, but at about 13 inches up, it widens to 50.5 inches.
This trunk area also features a drain plug—perfect for when you use the trunk as a cooler, while tailgating and enjoying the Truck Bed Audio system (which employs actuators that excite the composite bed to turn it into a giant speaker). The Honda Ridgeline in-bed trunk also features three bag hooks along the upper rear edge of the opening, plus the four supports that hold the spare-tire tray when pulled out can also serve as shallower bag hooks for plastic grocery bags. There are slots for three accessory cargo dividers, which sell for $40-$60 online, but handy folks could make them from plywood for dirt cheap.
There is more dry luggage space for smaller items available under the rear bench seat. Honda leaves this space, which measures 55 inches across by 12 inches long and about 9 inches tall, completely open, but the aftermarket offers stowage bins, gun racks, and more, all custom fit to this area.
Between the in-bed trunk and the roughly 3 cubic feet of under-seat room, we managed to get everything secured out of the weather on the outbound trip, save for a small table we were delivering. We picked up some exercise equipment and other stuff along the way that forced us to break out the tarps and ratchet straps for the trip home. As always, this necessitated stops to re-secure loose tarp corners, tighten ratchet straps, and strengthen our resolve to obtain a tonneau—under which everything on this trip would have fit.
We’re still happy to have the bed covered for future vacation adventures.
Looks good! More details?