The aerodynamics are simple and not overly dramatic. to exclusive products, events and offers. I just want to see if anyone attempted to go with the larger carrier. They did come in a surprising amount of finishes, though, and we had clear preferences. Following this pair of top performers, the Yakima SkyBox, the Goplus Rooftop Cargo Carrier, and the Thule Force XT XL are next regarding ease of use. I already have a skybox 16 for ski trips, this 21 was mainly for beach trips. At 21 cu. This budget box looks alright and feels very sturdy and durable. We like that the lid is secure and easy to open and close. Thanks! Because all of these products are made from similar materials, we looked at the details for clues about their longevity. The Yakima SkyBox 21 Rooftop Cargo Box came shipped in a very large box. Yakima’s SkyBox 16 offers an impressive balance of capacity, ease of installation, and on-road performance. In addition to performing comprehensive real-world testing, David and Steven both contribute their backgrounds in mechanical engineering when ranking and scoring each model's aerodynamics and structural design. Yakima Skybox 16 = 453 liters Urban Loader = 300-500 Liters CURRENT: 1987 ... That Showcase does look good on there. Yakima seemed a better choice/value for the price. The lid opens from either side and isn't very floppy at all. The remainder of the boxes are all average in terms of security. Price is like $50 difference, not sure size/mpg/weight. Does adding a heavy box to your vehicle affect its power, handling, and fuel efficiency? Although we tend to prioritize function over form for most categories, we do recognize that cargo boxes can be an eyesore and are something that you'll have to see every day while on your vehicle. 11/29/7 UPDATE: I noticed that one of the upper rear corners was starting to crack. You may be wondering if it is even worth getting a cargo box in the first place due to their impact on vehicle handling and mileage. The Alpine is a decently sturdy box that holds up to highway speeds without issue. For this metric, we looked at the assembly process, which included mounting and opening and closing the box. However, though it lacks the bells and whistles of the premium contenders, it's more than adequate to haul your gear around. Ideal for hauling gear for 4 campers, the Yakima SkyBox 18 Carbonite Cargo roof box features a dimple-textured lid that reduces drag, resulting in less noise and more stability for a smoother ride. Sure. . Get the best deals for yakima skybox 21 at eBay.com. Material on GearLab is copyrighted. No, not really. Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We awarded the most points to carriers that have a simple and easy to operate security systems that seemed durable enough to resist break-ins and solid enough that we would entrust it with our beloved gear. Check your inbox for more perks. Yakima RocketBox Pro 12 Cargo Box. These are the only products in our review that come in more than one color, and their appearance scores received a boost for versatility. Thule Sidekick Cargo Box. While the Horizon Alpine will get your stuff from Point A to Point B, there are plenty of concessions to keep the price down. Earning one of the highest scores overall, the Motion XT XL is our favorite model to perch atop our vehicles. Our primary test for the durability of materials was in the highly-quantitative lid floppiness. Schedule a free 1-on-1 virtual appointment with one of our experts. We developed a comprehensive testing plan, evaluating and judging the performance of each product on everything from its ease of installation to how well its finish hides scrapes and scratches. The PowerClick mounting system on the Force is one of the easiest to use that we have seen to date. There were no shocking designs in this review; all the products we tested generally look like what we'd expect from cargo boxes these days. Internal lid stiffeners add rigidity while the SuperLatch™ ensures security. the world's most carefully tested and objective gear reviews, Easiest to install, ergonomic handle, sleek design, Great handle, cool appearance, less expensive, Simple installation, sleek matte finish, great shape for skis, Relatively inexpensive, easy to attach, convenient to use, Won’t fit longer skis, longer crossbar spans can be problematic for install, Expensive, frustrating installation, hard to open and close, This box is a stand-out product that scored high marks in every category, With an excellent user-friendliness score, the SkyBox is a great value for a mid-ranged cargo box, With plenty of space and a user-friendly design, the Force XT XL is a great cargo box for a variety of users, If you are trying to maximize bang for the buck and aren’t typically transporting longer skis and gear, we highly recommend this rooftop cargo carrier, This box's sleek look is outweighed by its high price tag and frustrating mounting and opening systems. The low weight (25 lbs) helps make installing it atop a vehicle easier, too. A: The only difference between the Skyboxes is the look of the lid and the price. Drag is hugely dependent on speed as well. Scratches and scuffs are more subtle on the matte finishes, a problem that glossy models struggled with after many miles. $679.00 . Lifetime membership is just $20. None of these boxes showed any significant signs of damage through normal wear and tear, though most showed a handful of scrapes and scuffs from repeatedly installing and uninstalling each one. Yakima have named their cargo carrier ‘SkyBox’ which sounds pretty badass and they also look hella sweet, sleek and aerodynamic too we reckon. It seems like everything was designed by a clever end user. They had factory installed locks but lacked any extra indicators or ergonomic handles. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. Yakima have named their cargo carrier ‘SkyBox’ which sounds pretty badass and they also look hella sweet, sleek and aerodynamic too we reckon. However, the Horizon Alpine can only open towards the passenger side and doesn't have a light or strap system inside. For those on a budget, the Yakima SkyBox, the Goplus Rooftop Cargo Carrier, and the SportRack Horizon XL are our favorite inexpensive cargo boxes. I was able to source the Yakima Skybox 21 Carbonite and some Subaru Aero bars for the month long vacation starting yesterday. If the price tag of the Yakima SkyBox is still outside your budget, then the SportRack Horizon Alpine is the cargo carrier for you. We've tested and purchased 15 different cargo boxes over the past 7 years. Looking for the best sunglasses? Quick-release mounting hardware fits most crossbars. 5 5 out of 5 stars from 5 reviews 5 5. The SkyBox Carbonite does a great job of keeping our gear safe, secure, and easily accessible, all at a price that leaves some money left over to buy gear to fill it. This box is incredibly convenient and easy to use with one of the best, most intuitive mounting systems that we have seen to date, usually allowing you to install it in about five minutes. The Yakima ShowCase 15, SportRack Horizon Alpine, and SportRack Vista XL are fairly uninspiring when it comes to convenience and ease of use, earning them a mediocre score in this metric. It looks fine and seems comparably durable and secure to us. Testing was fairly subjective and based upon a group consensus. For our 2021 edition, we looked at the best 8 models available and tested them head-to-head to find out which rooftop cargo carrying solution came out on top. The handle design on the Vista XL is fine, but the rear opening makes it much harder to get to your stuff — rendering it almost impossible if the box is on a larger car. In all these models, it is not possible to remove the key without the box being properly latched and secured, which we consider to be a crucial component. This box is durable and secure, with a locking mechanism that prevents you from accidentally leaving the box unlocked. SportRack SR7018 Vista XL Rear Opening Cargo Box, 18-Cubic Feet This also means some cars will have too wide of a crossbar span to attach this carrier if they aren't adjustable. We evaluated how user-friendly each one was for day to day use and noted any significant changes in vehicle handling and fuel economy. Drag is hugely dependent on speed as well, so you can probably negate any loss in fuel economy by driving just a bit slower—and you don't really want to be speeding all that much anyways with a fully loaded cargo box on top of your car. The Thule Motion XT and Thule Force XT XL stood up tall and proud with very little flop. Having too much gear is a common problem for most adventure lovers. They are all easy to latch and unlatch and won't permit the key to be removed while the box is unlocked, preventing you from forgetting to latch it or locking your keys in the box. In general, we found the vast majority of these products offer adequate protection for your gear. Question is, can it hold 3-4 medium sized back packs of clothes for hotel traveling? Steven spends much time traveling with gear for skiing and climbing and is consistently impressed with how much more stylish his Honda Element looks with a cargo box on top of it. The Alpine also can carry skis, unlike many other low-cost cargo carriers. This can be a bit of a pain to do solo if you have shorter arms or racks that aren't particularly high from the roof of the car, but we usually could get it on or off most vehicles in 15 minutes or so once we got the hang of it. The Competition. The shorter length does mean that it is easier for one person to install on a car, but crossbars with larger spans may not be compatible. The other products in our test seemed relatively equal, though, and we were never worried about security. Assessing these models meant lots of measurements and road trips. 1 color available. ft. the Yakima SkyBox 21 is huge. The Goplus Cargo Carrier is a great budget option if you want to save some cash and don't need to carry extra long items. Hi all, I'm looking for more cargo space and am thus thinking of installing the Honda roof rails and getting third party crossbars along with a cargo box. The Horizon Alpine also lacks an ergonomic handle but has an easier to use mounting system than the Vista XL. We divided our testing process into four weighted rating metrics—Ease of Use, Durability, Security, and Appearance. Yakima Skybox 21 Labeling. All three of these cargo carriers mount to roof racks with a set of U-bolts and come with a series of pre-drilled holes to accommodate different crossbar spacing. We love matte black! It looks like most have the Yakima 16s and Yakima's website says the 18 and 21 would fit too. That being said, some of the boxes we tested did have great, useful indicators to let you know if the box was latched properly or not before trying to remove the key, like the newly designed red indicator of the Thule Motion XT and the big handle of the Yakima Skybox. It captures a bolt between two mounting plates, so you can attach the majority of the hardware on the ground and only have to install four bolts and nuts once you lift it onto your racks. Ask the Experts about this Yakima Roof Box. It also hides dead bugs well—a problem we hadn't initially thought of. Can I paint my Yakima cargo box? All trademarks property of their respective owners The GoPlus Rooftop Cargo Carrier also features quick clamps and opens on both sides. This means that there are multiple holes on the bottom of these boxes, consequently leaving multiple points for water to get in. The quick clamps don't permanently mount into the box, but they are very user-friendly, making the installation process very quick and easy. Wouldn't mind a lower profile box vs the Skybox 16. - Yakima Skybox 21 Carbonite Cargo Box features 21 cu.ft. This was a surprisingly easy category to measure since the floppiness was so apparent during regular use. Dividend for your 2020 purchases will be issued in March 2021. Bigger Box If you plan to move it on and off your car every weekend, then it might be worth checking out the Yakima SkyBox. © 2021 Recreational Equipment, Inc. All rights reserved. It is possible on this product to turn and remove the key without the latch being lined up properly, leaving you with an unintentionally unlocked box and no way to tell other than lifting the lid and testing it. From left to right: Yakima SkyBox, Yakima ShowCase, Thule Motion XT, Thule Force, SportRack Vista, Thule Sidekick. Follow. I'm currently doing some homework for out trip in March. This provides a better seal in our minds than the vinyl stickers but not as good as the top-tier models with quick-clamps that have a sliding seal. It is really about preference. The Alpine relies on a hybrid system between the unibody clamps of the SkyBox and the U-bolts of the Vista XL. However, this can be totally worth it if you plan on taking your cargo box on and off your car frequently. This helped us come up with a picture of how much or little effort was required when it came to using these boxes on a daily basis. Our testers were more than happy to load them up with gear and hit the road. Searching for a great rooftop box that won't blow your entire gear budget? We've been sharing our passion for the outdoors since 1938.Read our story, Join the REI Co-op community to get an annual dividend, access exclusives and give back. Yakima Skybox 16 Carbonite Cargo Box #4. It's the same length as the Skybox 18 and only a little longer than the Skybox 16. GearLab is reader-supported. I have a Skybox 21 Pro on my Excursion but is way too large for the Subaru so I need a new box. David lives in Tahoe and spends a significant amount of time transporting skis, snowboards, and camping equipment throughout the year. This box comes essentially assembled and ready to go right out of the box—only requiring you to thread the interior tie-down straps through their brackets. Thule’s Force XT L is the SkyBox’s closest competitor: it matches it in carrying capacity at 16 cubic feet, sports key features including dual access and an aerodynamic shape, and is quick and easy to install and remove. Yakima GrandTour 16 Cargo Box. This rock-solid box is another one of our absolute favorites, and we would highly recommend it. The quick clamps also don't have an indicator to let you know that they are sufficiently tight—other models have an audible click that lets you know that they are clamped securely. Running into your garage will, unfortunately, void the box's warranty. To remedy this, these products include some vinyl stickers to cover the unused holes. To top it off, the box only opens on one side, making it one of the least convenient boxes that we've ever tested. The flexibility of the old shorter but higher cargo boxes isn’t there with the current boxes that are all more aerodynamic, but the 21 cu ft of the Skybox 21 does the job. REI and the REI Co-op logo are trademarks of Recreational Equipment, Inc. Stay updated on the latest news, deals & more. We felt the textured finish on the Thule Sidekick and the SportRack Vista seemed a little cheap to us, to the point where we felt it might detract from the appearance of nicer cars. I personally like the look of the Motion XT more than the SkyBox. Let us know! We love its sleek, easy-to-use handle; matte black finish; and sturdy construction. The cam locking systems that attach it to the rack are genius. Offered 4 different sizes, the model we’ve been using is a SkyBox 16 which has a capacity of 453 litres. We drove each box around for weeks without any signs of wear and tear, so this category is primarily concerned with structural integrity and weather resistance. I confirmed this with both manufacturers. Also would it make much difference on the skybox 16 vs 18? The Horizon Alpine is more bare-bones than the SkyBox but costs significantly less and is our top recommendation for anyone looking to spend the bare minimum. Got feedback? Products in this gear category are expensive. The Skybox Carbonite by Yakima is a fantastic value. However, the clips were relatively affordable to replace, and the box itself showed no sign of damage—only a minor scuff. Whether you plan to use your cargo box occasionally or throw it on your roof and leave it there for months, there are a few ways in which some products are considerably easier to use than others. It can fit multiple pairs of skis, is easy to install, and is durably built. The freight company called to schedule the drop off and also to make sure they could drive their truck to the delivery location (this might be something to think about). Unless you know that you will never need additional cargo space, you might as well go for the big one. The Force features the same PowerClick mounting system as the more expensive Thule models but lacks the more convenient locking systems featured on those models. At REI, we believe that a life outdoors is a life well lived. Yakima GrandTour 16 Cargo Box. The Sidekick's lid was floppy but functional. However, the initial installation is quite a pain. On top of that, the matte black finish hides scuffs and scrapes much better than the glossy sheen of some of the more sleek and stylish models we have tested. Most of the boxes in our lineup. Looking for your next piece of carry-on luggage? Press enter for more information. To ensure objectivity, we purchase all of the products that we test and never accept any free products or incentives from manufacturers. We've awarded the Yakima SkyBox Carbonite our Best Buy Award because we felt that it holds its own with the top models, all while costing quite a bit less. Proline Racks: Yakima SkyBox 16,18 and 21 Roof Boxes We've been testing and reviewing cargo boxes for over three years and constantly seek new and notable models to add to our review. The handle of the SkyBox aligned properly, indicating secure latching. Yakima Skybox 21 Labeling. You can get instructions for current cargo boxes by clicking here and selecting the box you have. Privacy | Cookies | Terms, The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of gear. It is really about preference. It has many of the top-tier models' convenience features, making it very easy to use and install, all while costing considerably less. Be sure to measure the total height of the vehicle with the Yakima SkyBox 18 Carbonite Cargo Box installed, and keep that information handy (on the inside of your sun visor is a great place). We liked that the gray Motion XT model blends in a little more on the tester's white van. If the price isn't right for you, consider saving some money and getting a less-expensive product that is a bit more difficult to install but leaves more room in your budget for what goes inside the box. Yakima RocketBox Pro 12 Cargo Box. The newletter sign-up system is currently down for maintenance. The security of each cargo box is our next concern. How can we improve GearLab? The Skybox Carbonite has a black dimpled surface resembling a golf ball. By signing into your account, you agree to REI's, to open cart summary dialog, press down arrow, Cold Weather Hiking Gear, Clothing & Boots, Kids' Fleece Jackets, Pants & Accessories. In fact, we spent more time trying to locate where the manufacturer had taped the key than actually mounting it the first time. If you're considering buying a Yakima box, I would go with the Skybox 21. #3. The Skybox PRO has two glossy color options: Onyx (black) and Titanium (dark gray). This can easily be added after-market for a low price, though. The aerodynamics are simple and not overly dramatic. The Goplus Cargo Carrier has clamps that are in the middle when it comes to water-resistance in our minds. You can unsubscribe from REI Co-op emails at any time. Yakima skybox 16 fit & finish I used a lot of the information I found here to make my decision on what roof cargo box would fit on my 2011 4 runner. For those on a budget, the Yakima SkyBox, the Goplus Rooftop Cargo Carrier, and the SportRack Horizon XL are our favorite inexpensive cargo boxes. The underside of the SportRack's U-bolt mounting system. It took us over an hour to assemble this model, and we found it to be tedious to install. Our belongings were usually dry even after driving through heavy rainstorms or getting sprayed with a garden hose on full strength for 20 minutes when the weather wasn't behaving for testing purposes. It is still totally doable, but if you are planning on leaving the box off of your car most of the time, then throwing it on for a weekend getaway, you will probably be better served by a product that is a bit easier and more convenient when it comes to installation. Our gear junkies have driven thousands of miles with these boxes on different vehicles, filled to the brim with all manner of camping, climbing, ski, snowboard, and other gear, passing through deserts, mountains, and many landscapes in between. There was no pesky aligning with plates or fumbling with special tools. Style: The black matte finish with red Yakima badging looks clean. The Yakima SkyBox 21 is big and comes fully assembled in a box that is approximately 8’x 3′ x 2′ and weighs maybe 65 pounds. If you are shopping for a rooftop cargo carrier on a tight budget and aren't routinely moving long items like skis around, we think the Goplus Waterproof Rooftop Cargo Carrier is a great option. These stickers performed fine in our test, but we could see their effectiveness at keeping water out degrading over time. Lauren, our head tester, has lived out of her van for several years and taken these boxes all over the country, filling them with gear for many types of trips. Proline Racks offers the Yakima Skybox Black Car top Cargo Carriers and Yakima Sky box 8007178, 8007181 and 8007184 roof top cargo boxes in stock and at low prices. Left: Yakima SkyBox, right: Thule Force. We know you want to invest in a long-lasting roof box that you can count on for countless future adventures, so 25% percent of the overall score of each product was allotted to durability. The SportRack Vista XL's U-Bolt mounting system makes it much slower to install than any of the more expensive models, but this isn't much of a problem if you plan to leave it on your car for a while. Each also has dual-side openings, but the handles are less user-friendly. We found that this was our least favorite opening direction, as it is so much harder to get your stuff than the side-opening carriers. Yakima SkyBox or Thule Motion XT for 2019 Acura MDX; Yes, both the Yakima SkyBox 16 # Y07335 and the Thule Motion XT 16 # TH629706 will fit your 2019 Acura MDX. There was only one box that gave us serious pause here, the Thule Sidekick. Additionally, it also relies on a U-bolt mounting system — similar to the Vista XL — that is equally hard to use. Versatile, yet sleek and aerodynamically designed to reduce drag and wind noise. Thule Force Cargo Box #5. Additionally, we appreciate that the Thule Motion XT and Yakima ShowCase are available in both gray and black, letting you pick the best match for your car. Nice man, is there any reason to go for the rocketbox vs skybox? The Yakima SkyBox and the Horizon Alpine are both quite sturdy, with solid hinges and only minimal amounts of lid flop. The SkyBox offers great performance without a shocking price tag. As for compromises, this cargo carrier is on the shorter side compared to many of the other options. Check out the full review to see which cargo box can carry the most gear, which is the most secure, and the best if you are shopping on a budget. The boxes were loaded with a wide variety of equipment, from sleeping bags to climbing ropes to skis. The quick clamps are a separate part of this cargo box -- a somewhat unique feature. If you plan on leaving the cargo box installed on a semi-permanent to permanent basis, the more laborious installation procedure shouldn't be a deterrent at all, and you should stick with the SkyBox and spend a little less. Wondering what your experience has been. Regardless, they could be a good option if you don't care much about the appearance of your cargo box or if you like how the textured surface matches your vehicle and are trying to save some money. Saw a lot of guys have the Skybox 16 and it looks just about "right" on the Forrester. Mind you I won't need it too long since my biggest ski is 153cm, even friends they have is 170cm max. We weren't enamored with the handle-less design on the ShowCase, but it isn't too difficult to install on a car or access your gear with its dual-opening and quick install mounts — similar to the Yakima SkyBox — but is more work than the top Thule models. It has a dual-opening lid so your gear can be accessed from both sides of the car, and the quick clamps make installation or removal a breeze. Throughout testing, we kept track of any visible wear and tried to find flaws in durability. While we originally had an entire metric devoted to this, we found after testing each of these boxes that there wasn't significant impact on how a variety of different test cars handled, regardless if we were traveling on the freeway at high speeds, over windy mountain passes, or over potholes and bumps on rough roads.