Yakima Skybox Review

In our family, space is precious and gear is often overflowing what space we do have. Between the dog, two kids, and gear (camping, biking, swimming, hiking, etc.) we sometimes feel as though we could easily pull along an extra trailer. While a trailer or camper would be nice for some instances, the daily use and just a couple nights of camping could never warrant the extra expense.

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Instead, the Yakima SkyBox Pro 21 has become a rather permanent fixture on the top of our minivan.  While there are a few things we think could be improved, it has drastically helped us travel with more, be more organized (by limiting gear in the actual car), and cut down on the gas mileage of driving a bigger car (or truck).

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Pros

  • Opens from either side
  • Gear pad helps keep things from sliding around.
  • Included cargo net is great for a lot of soft gear that would slide around, but we have found that we don’t tend to use it.
  • Holds a ton of gear.  We are able to get our Chariot Cougar 2 stroller, 6+ duffel bags and a framed kid carrier in it without any issues.  Could easily accommodate enough space for “normal traveling” gear for a group of 6-8 people.
  • Little to no road noise in most conditions (see “con” also)
  • We haven’t noticed any rain making its way into the box, even after driving through some major rainstorms.  The seal works!
  • While bulky, it is not heavy and easy for two people to manage.
  • Stiff lid makes opening it easier
  • The integrated locks (which require the key to be in it for locking too) make it easier to not lose a key and assure safety.
  • While the box is wide (the widest Yakima makes), we were still able to squeeze in a bike on either side.

Cons

  • Opening isn’t very wide.  Once you get things in, there is definitely more space to stack it up (bags, etc.) but the opening is very limiting (see photo).
  • Big and definitely a two person job to safely load (though my husband can and does do it on his own.)
  • Makes any car taller (obviously) so our minivan will no longer fit into a standard garage.
  • We haven’t figured out how to totally eliminate wind noise from a cross wind on the freeway.  However, we’re confident that it is just going to take some more moving the box back and forth to find the “sweet spot” for our vehicle.  Additionally, we there are a lot of other factors besides just the box to consider including the bars themselves and the bike racks we use it with.

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Bottom Line

While the box certainly isn’t cheap, it is an investment in expanding the room in your car without having to upgrade to a larger vehicle.  It is well-made, withstands a great amount of abuse and protects gear from both the elements and thieves.  Best improvement we could see being made would be the ability to open it wider.

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Tech Specs

Manufacturer: Yakima

Date Available: Currently Available

Manufacturer’s Website: www.yakima.com

Weight: 62 lbs.

Dimensions: 92″x 36″x 18″

Capacity: 21 cu/feet

MSRP: $699

 

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About the author

I am a Mama dedicated to my husband and children and striving to live our life to the fullest. We love the outdoors, the mountains, God, and each other. We are a baby wearing, cloth diapering, healthy-eating, outdoorsy family that refuses to let our expanding numbers slow us down. You will often find us pulling our kids on our bikes and carrying them through the trails and up (and down) the mountains. You can also find me blogging over at www.talesofamountainmama.com

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