45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2011
I just picked up my skybox 21 today and must say it looks very well built just like I read in all the reviews. I haven't mounted it yet, but one thing that bothers me a little is the degree of opening on the lid. I contemplated for a long time whether to get the skybox 18 or 21 (at a huge price difference in Canada) and decided on the 21 because of a couple reviews that said "get the biggest one your vehicle will fit and you'll never have buyer's remorse". My concern with the 21 is that the lid only opens about 13 inches, while the total interior height when closed is about 15-16 inches. The 18 has the same footprint as the 21, so I believe the only difference between the two is a deeper lid on the 21. I would bet they have the exact same bottom piece and opening hinges, which means the 18 probably opens 13 inches as well - and that may be wide enough to pack it full to the top - where as my 21 may be difficult to use the top 2 inches of the box. In short, because of a limiting opening on the 21, I think the 18 and 21 may have very similar USABLE space, despite the 21 having 3 more cubic feet on the stats sheet. This is only a guess however - take it with a grain of salt as I have not actually tried packing the box yet. If and when I do, I will try to update my review to give it more weight, or withdraw my complaint altogether.
June 2011 update... Complaint withdrawn! I just finished packing the box so full I had to squeeze the lid closed. Worth every penny! There is no problem at all using every cubic foot, contrary to what I said above. Getting the Skybox 18 would have been a mistake. Do what they say and get the biggest one your vehicle will fit. You will not regret it.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2010
First this thing is big, which is good. I looked at shorter cargo boxes but realized I would not be able to use them to transport my cross country ski's in (I'm a 6'1" and 230# and need long skis). However if you have a smaller SUV/hatchback it might get in the way of your rear door so be sure to measure. For the record I have an old 2000 passat wagon and it fits great (trunk opens fine and it doesn't stick out over the front of the roof at all), however again it might not be the best choice if you have a smallish CUV.
The two sided loading functionality it great. It can be slightly difficult to close the box, you have to kind of slam it a bit to make sure it latches. Other than that no complaints. It offers great cargo capacity. I have a newborn on the way and between the baby/car seat, the stroller, by dogs (in the hatchback area), luggage, portable crib, etc., there just wasn't going to be enough room in the car. Now a lot of that stuff can go up top, freeing up valuable car space.
One thing I would recommend getting is a lift for your garage to store the thing on as it is huge. Thule makes one Thule 571 Roof Mount Cargo Box Storage Lift. Another option is getting a Racor lift Racor PHL-1R Pro HeavyLift 4-by-4-Foot Cable-Lifted Storage Rack. I have both and they are excellent products (I use the Thule to store the cargo box and the Racor alternates between storing the lawnmower in winter and the snow-blower in summer). A word of warning with the lifts, you do need to find ceiling studs. If your garage ceiling studs are irregularly spaced, you will have to rig something out of additional boards/plywood to safely install it. Shouldn't be a problem on any recently built home, but might be if you have an older garage that was built a bit oddly.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2010
We researched cargo carriers online and one thing that worried us was being sure it would fit our minivan factory luggage racks. The Yakima site actually said that we would need to buy their racks (expensive!). But several other sites and reviewers said the Yakima 21 fit their minivan without a problem, so we ordered it anyway. It turned out to fit just fine, and my husband installed it alone in less than half an hour.
We used it for our camping trip and it held a lot of stuff. While there, we took it off the car and put it in a shady spot and used it to store boxes of food out of reach of pecking birds and hungry squirrels (probably not a good idea if there were bears around).
Definitely get the biggest one you can fit on your car, and afford. Amazon had the best price, and the free shipping only took about half the time they said it would.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2013
I bought this carrier for extra storage for our 2012 Honda Odyssey. Our first trip over Christmas tested the limits of this Skybox - 40-50 MPH winds, snow, and an ice storm during our drive from Texas to Illinois. With the exception of a little bit of snow blowing up and into the box during the worst part of the storm, the Skybox exceeded our expectations. On the 1000 mile drive, the Skybox didn't move an inch during the sustained high winds. It was simple to install on our factory crossbars, provided an incredible amount of storage space, and latched easily and tightly. I considered the the 18cu/ft Skybox but I was glad we had the extra space. I did a significant amount of research on the cargo boxes before I purchased this on Amazon and the Skybox 21 is the best!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2011
Purchased this for a 1500 mile family trip. One reason for the purchase was that we needed to take two strollers. The average stroller when folded is very oddly shapped and takes up a lot of room. We placed both strollers, a roll aboard, medium sized duffel, large makeup bag, small diaper bag, medium backpack,sleeping bag, and two garment bags layed out flat in the SkyBox. It goes on easily (we have an 08 Toyota Sequioa) and latches very securly to the factory rack. We didn't experience any noise or whistling at all. Everything inside remained dry even though we spent much of our two weeks in driving rain. We looked at the SkyBox 21 PRO but decided to go with the standard. We have a Thule hitch mounted box that has the high gloss finish. It is nice but is not as durable or scratch resistant as the regular finish. The cargo net may be a nice feature if you often use the box with little cargo, and I think the cargo mat would probably be lost after the first trip. We saved a bit over $100 and have, in my opinion, a better finish. I really like the latch in comparison to the Thule latch as well. I like having the handle to unlatch the top. On our Thule the key also unlatches it. If you have some pressure on the lid you can't get the key to turn. With the Yakima, you unlock then unlatch - well designed. My only suggestion would be to make the hinges longer so the lid opens more. We had to wrestle with some things to get them in.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2013
I have never written a review before. But, because I stressed about this product so much and whether I could install it, whether it would be safe and how confident I would be with it, I decided to write this to reassure others who are not handy or not good with car related accessories that I had a very good experience with this product. So far.
I am a total spaz when it comes to handy work and car related things. But, we have a family of six and a dog, so space is at a premium. We ski in the winter, travel in the summer, and we needed something like this. But, I went kicking and screaming into it because I thought it would be a pain in the neck and I didn't trust myself to be able to install this.
I found that this was as easy to install as advertised. The whole process from unpacking the box to walking away was about 30 minutes. And now that the clamps are positioned where they need to be, I don't see how taking it off or putting it back on my vehicle (2012 Volkswagen Routan) could possibly take more than 5 or 10 minutes. I STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you review the installation instructions and watch the video at the Yakima website before trying to install it. It will make everything go faster.
The key is a little fussy at first. But, all you have to do is turn the key and pull the handle down firmly to open it. To close it, make sure the lid is snugly clicked in at both ends and the middle, then push the handle up and turn the key to lock it. As everyone else said, don't open both sides at once. Not sure why anyone would want to and I thought it was fairly obvious not to. But, don't.
The box is so very securely attached to my factory cross bars. It is definitely not going anywhere. The whole vehicle rocks back and forth if you shake the box. I am confident it will work fine on long trips. I have found no discernible difference in driving with the box installed. I will supplement this review after our upcoming road trip to add how it handled on the highway.
Update: we traveled 800 miles on interstates and through hilly back roads. Went as fast as about 75 or so in spots. Also drove through heavy rain in one spot. We didn't even know the box was there. Everything was dry inside, and the box remains tightly secure to the cross bars. Very happy with this product.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2011
I bought this two years ago, and I have been using it for a big trip. I have used it in camping trips and Big Bear Mountain (It worked well in the cold.). I'm not really good with cars and tools. When I first try to mount it on my mini van (Toyota Sienna), it required sometime to figure out. However, once the latches were adjusted to fit on the van, it would take less than 10 minutes to mount it or unmount it.
Overall, I like it since it creates much needed space.
Update: I've had it for more than 4 years, and it still works great. As many people already pointed out, the mpg doesn't get affected much, and it really free up lots of space.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2010
excellent product, took all the luggage space and moved it outside. But beware, very largest box might be too long to allow your hatchback to open without scratching. my 2010 odyssey just barely fit by pushing and setting at the most forward position, but I still applied some rubber padding to the edge as it still just barely touches the tailgate when fully open. In other words, try it on before you buy, otherwise, you will damage your tailgate or just not be able to fully open the gate conveniently while trying to avoid scratches.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2013
Have taken over 8000 miles of trips, 3 cross country, all kinds of weather, no leaks and love the extra space we have left in the van. No noise, no impact on mileage (actually look like we got an extra 1 mpg), cannot tell it is up there
fits perfectly, I also have a sun roof, no problem
I bought the Honda OEM rails and crossbars and had them put on at dealer
tip. I really forgot it was up there and had not considered the height when I drove into downtown Manhattan, lot of big city garages and hotel garages might not accommodate the height. I luckily found appropriate garages in NYC, DC and Philly
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2013
It is big enough to hold all our luggage, the lock is rather easy to operate if you read through the instructions.
I have two complains that's why I only rated this product with two stars:
1. The back hinge that supports the lid came off after a single trip. Upon close inspection I found that the hinge is really not secured to the box, it will come off easily in hot weather when the hinge (which is made of plastic) becomes really soft, and it is impossible to put it back. I pulled out the nails that supposed to secure the hinge to the lid with bare hands, and replaced it with screws that firmly attach the hinge to the box. I hate it when I need to fix a product I just bought by myself.
2. The box can be opened from both sides, that's good, but there is no where in the manual that says please don't open both sides at the same time. I happened to open both sides when I was putting my luggage in, and suddenly found I can't put it back into the right position to close it, after struggled for 20 minutes I had to ask for help from a neighbor. That really frustrated me, and I had to constantly remind myself that lock one side before open the other side.