Used this box on a trip to Utah in the summer. It helped enable us to use all of our seating for people instead of having to flip some of the seats down for cargo. It holds a lot of stuff. It's quite stable, but at speed can wave up and down slightly in the wind. Had to adjust the straightness after driving for several hours, as it repositioned itself a few inches to the side due to the wind. It's easy to get installed with two people so that you don't scratch any surfaces. It was slightly too long for my Toyota Highlander so it will touch the top of my tail lid when I open the back. We were just careful not to open or close it while the tail was up. I also kept the surface of the spoiler clean so that when it touched it would not scratch against anything. The box itself is bendable so it didn't harm the spoiler's paint at all. The box doesn't actually get all that hot even though the temperature was very high, about 106 air temp. Things will rattle inside so it may be a good idea to put down a blanket or something underneath, and then make sure to tie everything down with bungee cords. Things would sometimes make noise up top on bumpy roads and then stop making noise when we hit smooth road. Our mileage was between 1-3 mpg worse with the extra weight and air resistance, but catching a draft from other vehicles definitely helped to minimize the effect down to 1 or less mpg difference from normal driving. I felt secure with the good locks on this box that I could leave stuff up top, although I never put any sensitive things up there due to the vibration and heat that could occur. It rained during our trip and we had a lot of dust, a few bugs on top of the front of the lid, but everything inside stayed very well protected, clean, and dry. There was one time when we accidentally let both sides open, and the lid went a little crazy because of the way it suspends itself, but we were able to get it back down and secured with two people pulling it down on each side. This was just a great box and perfect for our trip. They were having a 100 dollar rebate when we bought it, too. The 10% back with membership was a factor in buying this item from REI, too. It was nice to just get it from the store, put it up in the parking lot, and drive home with it. Pretty easy.
Blows the competion away!!
Having 3 kids and an SUV makes it easy to haul everyone around & is seemingly the American dream. This summer for our family vacation we decided to take a 6 hour trek to OBX for a week long stay. With that many people, plus beach gear we would easily have had to take two vehicles. With the increased cost of fuel, it just didn't make good fiscal sense. So . . . I started looking into a roof box.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a researcher & most definitely not an impulse buyer. I looked at Thule and Yakima boxes alike. At this price point (~$500) there were a few options, although the Yakima 16s is definitely the best out of the bunch. Thule doesn't offer a box as long as the 16s at this price point, which is important to me as we are also winter adventurers. The fit & finish of the 16s is much like the competitors, however it has outside handles which are very sturdy & solid making it superior. The competitors only have a single key to open and close the box - no handle. Being a hands on guy, I personally have seen a lot of keys snap off inside of locks & it is a real PITA to repair. The quick mount system made it very easy to mount - it took all of three minutes to secure it to the top of our '07 CRV. Plus the fact that it is so easily adjustable means that it will fit our '01 XC70 too.
The thing that I like the best though is that this is a year round box. It will fit up to a 180cm ski, which means that with today's short/fat skis everyone's skis will fit. Being that there is so much room we can fit boots, poles, etc as well. It is also a great box for camping, we can now put all of our tents, sleeping bags, etc in the box and leave room in the back of the SUV for coolers, etc.
I should also point out that I looked at the 16sPro box, as well which is $100 more. The pro box is the same as the 16s, except it has a slick top lid, a cargo net & inside pad. To me, these few amenities weren't worth the extra cash.
All in all, I feel that it was money well spent and the Yakima 16s will, hopefully, continue to serve us for years to come.
The Best Value in Storage
This 16 c/f Yakima roof box was on my car within 30 minutes of buying it.
It was tight and right with the four clamps to the bars with a helping hand of a store employee.
It is an easy install, ask someone to assist the initial placement to the racks and the rest of the installation is a one-person task.
We comfortably fit four adults and one child in a Sequoia and drove. Big Sur, Sausalito, Yosemite, Mammoth and Mojave, all in 5 days and we had no reason to worry about the box at all, we just had a wonderful, worry-free California road-trip.
The Sequoia mileage was not adversely affected by the SkyBox, it registered equivalent to our normal milage. Yakima has a good aerodynamic design.
The SkyBox holds the bulky items up to 45 lbs, and for us that included a rice cooker, 3 sleeping bags, two tents, 2 single-burner stoves, cookware, one suitcase, clothing, various blankets, jackets, 4 trekking poles, etc. If we had hit the road with all the gear packed in the SUV it would not have been as fun or relaxing at all, especially with an active 7 year old in the vehicle.
If you drive with your family, or a crew, and you need to clear the gear to go on top, the Yakima SkyBox is for you.
I will be mounting the SkyBox on my Prius for the work tools, parts and gear that are crowding my hatchback area.
The Yakima SkyBox is a versatile storage unit that mounts on just about anything.
For value buy the SkyBox unit only, the cargo net and the glossy paint on the more expensive model is unnecessary.
Be sure to keep the spare SkyBox key in the glove box, and never attempt to open the unit on both sides at the same time, one side only at a time.
We needed a cargo box that would fit the 2013 Infiniti JX35. We found this box at REI and had help placing it on the car by one of the store staff. We were so impressed with the quality of the product and the features it offered. This box fits perfect on the Infiniti's factory cross bars. It clamps down very easy and is secure. It took less than 15 minutes to install it. The box doesn't hang over the front window and it clears the rear antenna. What was a nice touch, is that the rear of the box's profile matches the "D" post, which looks pretty nice. We selected the black textured box which looks sharp. I'll be putting Griot's bug guard on the nose so that it will be easier to clean.
We drove home with the box on the car, traveling at highway speeds and we could barely hear any wind noise. Since the JX is an incredibly quiet car, we were pleased with the performance. Now we can travel with 4 small dogs in their crates, and carry my golf clubs in the Yakima, plus put all the extra luggage and all of Fido's goods in the box and still have plenty of room in the car for other items. I wish we had this box last year when we took a 2,000 mile road trip with friends. The car was packed so tight that we didn't have any extra room. This box would have made the trip more comfortable for our back seat passengers, and...the carved redwood bear that my wife purchased on the California coast. It sat on my wife's lap instead of a cargo box.
REI staff and their website had better information about this box than the Yakima website. Also, the reviews on this product from REI member's made a difference. Their comments were helpful.
Lots of Storage!
This year will be the third season I've taken the wife and two kids out west for a cross-country vacation. We typically drive 3,500-4,000 miles per trip. This year will be two trips like this.
As the kids get older their luggage grows as well. I drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee which works great, but leaves us short room for all of our stuff.
To help things out this year I picked up this box, which will let me get a few of the suitcases, pillows, and blankets out of the cabin. This will ensure I can see out the back window.
I looked at the Yakima guide online to see what vehicles the box would fit and found that the Grand Cherokee was NOT on the list. This didn't make sense to me, since I've got the factory roof rack with cross bars. I bought the box anyway and found it fit great on the factory rack.
After driving it on a day with a LOT of wind I found out why Yakima doesn't recommend using the factory rack. The Jeep factory cross bars are just too flexible, bouncy, and generally not very strong or secure. Trucks passing by would really shake the box, making me incredibly nervous about it coming loose.
No damage to the box or rack, but the factory rack just wouldn't work, so I had to shell out big bucks for the Yakima rack. So far so good, and it seems much more stable than the factory rack.
It mounts easily and seems very stable once attached. The key cylinders were easily changed to match the locks on my towers.
Overall, the only complaint I have about any Yakima products is the price. Yeah, it's good stuff, but holy cow! You'd think their products were gold plated!
A bit long but a good cargo box
I got this box as a substitute for a Thule Ascent 1600 (sold out at the time). This is a well made box that is easy to open. It is very stable at freeway speeds. I had it up to about 80mph with no concerns. There was hardly any noise coming off of it at that speed and it was empty, I only heard it because I was specifically listening for it, otherwise you shouldn't even notice it (depending on how you mounted it and your vehicle). As far as vehicle performance or drag from the box goes, I didn't notice it at all, other than the wind will move your vehicle around a bit more. Attachment to the rack is very easy, quick and secure. Now for the cons: It weighs roughly 10 pounds more than the Thule Acent 1600, so thats 10 pounds less gear you can hold depending on your rack limits. It is also longer than the Ascent 1600 so if you have a smaller SUV you may have a problem. I put it on an '09 Kia Sportage mounted as far forward as possible and my back window hit the bottom of the box before the hatch could fully open, which was no good. The only other thing I didn't like was it's made in mexico... No disrespect I just prefer to spend my money where I make it... Thule's are made in USA... long story short I returned the sky box for a Thule Ascent 1600 and it fits the Sportage great, no issues...
great buy for a lot of use
I ordered both the Skybox 12 and 16 for my 05 Outback because I didn't know which would fit better without hitting the back hatch. Before ordering I called Yakima to ask which would fit and they said only the 16 will fit both the older Outbacks and the new Outbacks without hitting the back hatch. They were absolutely right. The 12 hits the back hatch no matter how you try to move crossbars or the clamps. It doesn't fit an Outback without hitting the back, regardless of what anyone will tell you. I did not want to bother with worrying about the hatch getting scratched or even broken every time the box on top. I was first worried about the 16 not being long enough to hold bigger skis, like 185s but the bulk of the time this will see use is on family trips and the occasional camping trip. I don't have skis that big right now and I doubt I'll ever own boards that big. Let's be honest here, this box is holding the pack and play, the stroller, the swing, etc. The nice thing is, unlike the 12, the 16 is big enough to hold all of that plus skis, boots, helmets, packs, etc too. I went with practical and for the most use I'll get out of it. Get this box if you own an Outback or other wagon that you need hatch clearance on. It has plenty of room for anything you'll ever need to carry.
I purchased the Skybox 16s based on the good reviews here on REI and they are all true re: ease of use and stability. I've had this product one day and here's why I'm impressed.
I thought I'd be able to fit in in the back of my Explorer when I purchased it, but ended up having to install it in the parking lot in the 95 degree heat and full sun. But it took me only about 5 minutes. I lifted it on top of the Explorer myself and installation was very simple and intuitive, no tools and on the ride home I kept forgetting it was on - zero noise or impact on my driving.
Why I'm really impressed is because like a total moron I drove into my garage with this on the top - I immediately heard a horrible grinding noise as I realized I forgot and was crushing my beautiful new and expensive cargo box. I reversed and grinded back out cursing myself intensely!
But low and behold, besides some new white paint stripes from my garage trim, the Skybox was totally unharmed. By the paint marks, I grinded half of the skybox under the garage opening and it simply must have collapsed or compressed - but upon full inspection, literally zero damage or dysfunction.
I chose Yakima over Thule because in my opinion the quality is better (ie my hitch bike rack) and I'm glad I did!
I have put about 1,000 miles on this product and could not be happier. It holds a lot of gear and is stable and quiet even at 80 mph. It is also a perfect fit for my 2010 4Runner. The trunk does not touch the box.
I was undecided about the Whispbars or the standard round bars. In the end I went with the Whispbars because although the Skybox will not always be on my SUV, I have no intention of removing the bars. They are quiet and look like they came from the factory. Installation of the Whispbars was difficult due to the worst installation instructions I have ever seen, but the box itself could not be any easier to install on the bars. The entire set up is very nice.
The box seems to be fairly well constructed considering it does not weigh much (I can load and unload it myself). The locking mechanism doesn't seem particularly sturdy and it would not surprise me if it gives out at some point if considerable pressure is put on it trying to force an overstuffed box closed. Loaded or unloaded the box is sturdy at high speeds and I do not notice any noise whatsoever when the sun roof is closed.
I am pleased with this purchase and recommend this product to others. It is so nice to be able to free up some room inside the 4Runner.
Good additional storage
Bought this box to free up space in the back of our 2009 3-series wagon for our dog on longer trips. Due to some mis-measurement, had to mount the Yakima Railgrabbers and box in the REI parking lot, and was able to secure everything in about 20 minutes.
The Skybox is very easy to mount, especially with two people. I've mounted it alone multiple times, and the only downside is the large size that gets a little unwieldy.
The mounts are easy to adjust with one large thumbscrew that releases a fore/aft motion, and an additional thumbscrew that loosens/tightens a cam-lock mechanism. On a recent trip I had to adjust these mid-drive at a rest stop and was able to do so with gear in the box.
Saw a 3-4mpg reduction in overall fuel consumption over ~700 miles compared to the exact same drive without the box mounted (at roughly 75mph). Some wind noise; mostly just whistling when there were strong cross winds. Stable at speed.
Overall a great box. Holds 2 full size suitcases and the equivalent of 3-4 "school size" backpacks. Gave only 4 stars because of a rivet that broke off. Have not yet attempted a return to REI, and there has been no perceptible change to the usefulness as a result. Very happy with this purchase and would recommend it.
Also, the dog approves and appreciates his space in the "way back".