Yakima Skybox Pro 16s

By Justin Walker 30 April 2014
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Offering a simple mount and loads of space, the Skybox is a tempting addition to any camp-ready vehicle.

Having been a serious vehicle camper for years, when offered the chance to test a piece of equipment that gives me even more load space, it wasn’t hard to say “yes!”

Yakima is a US-based company that has been making carrying equipment for vehicles – roof racks, bike racks/carriers, watercraft carrying stems, luggage boxes, etc. – for 40 years, garnering multiple awards for its product since starting.

The Skybox Pro 16S (“S” denoting the silver colour; it is also available in titanium and onyx black) has a load capacity of 450 litres (or 16 cubic feet, hence the “16” moniker) and is designed for vehicles with shorter roofs – it is a great match for our Subaru Forester XT – and is compatible with most popular roof bar shapes (square, round, etc.). The dimensions are 205cm long, by 91cm wide and 38cm tall. So, plenty of space!

 The mounting process of Skybox to roof bars is very simple. The internal “Quick Fit Mounting Clamps” are integrated into the Skybox and area easily adjusted (they slide) to ensure they fit over the distance between your two roof bars.

A lever-operated cam tightens the fit to the bar and there is a knob inside the box to ensure it is adjusted firmly. (Having the box-attachment parts inside the box also ups the security level – there’s no way of accessing the attachment points of the box from outside, especially once you lock it. The lock/latch system (the box is dual-sided, i.e., it has latches on both the driver and passenger side) is simple to operate and so far has shown no signs of failing.

We’ve used the Skybox mainly for longer trips; having to fit hiking/MTB/paddle gear in the vehicle – plus all the paraphernalia associated with a two-year-old – has meant the Skybox is our first go-to item pre-trip.

Inside the box is a cargo pad and net to make sure your gear doesn’t bang around loose inside, which is something we’ve really appreciated as we rarely use the entire 450 litres of space. The main reason for this is simple: putting too much weight up on top of the vehicle compromises its handling; it becomes top-heavy.

However, if you’re sensible and only load light but bulky items, such as sleeping bags, prams (although sometimes they seem to weigh a ton!), skis/snowboards, etc., the Skybox Pro does make it a lot less of a chore (and less chance of arguments) to get you, your family and all your outdoor gear into the car for that next outdoor road trip.

RRP $899 www.yakima.com.au