Please find my initial report for the Yakima Skybox. Thanks in advance for the edits. The url is:http://tinyurl.com/7hbx5gz
Yakima SkyBox 16s
Name: Dawn Larsen
Height: 5' 4" (163 cm)
Weight: 155 lb (70 kg)
Email address: vicioushillbilly AT gmail DOT com
Florence, South Carolina USA
I used to backpack in college a zillion years ago and just in the last few years have backpacked some private trails in Tennessee, Missouri and most recently South Carolina. I have been an avid car-camper for eleven years and I have kayak/canoe camped for four years, both in South Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri and Arkansas. I use a lot of the same equipment for both. I hike hilly/rocky trails especially in Missouri (my home state) and Arkansas. I live in South Carolina and am busy checking out the terrain here with my eighteen year-old son.
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Manufacturer's Website: www.yakima.com
MSRP: $469.99 US
Advertised Weight: 47 lbs (21.32 kg)
Measured Weight: 47 lbs 2 oz (21.38 kg)
Advertised Dimensions: 81 x 36 x 15 in (206 x 91 x 38 cm)
Measured Dimensions: 81 x 36 x 15 in (206 x 91 x 38 cm)
Advertised crossbar spread: 24 - 42 in. (61 - 107 cm)
Advertised Capacity: 16 cu. feet. (453 L)
Constructed from ABS plastic
courtesy of website
31 March 2012
OK, well, I'm not complaining because this is a VERY cool thing, but...We were originally supposed to test the RocketBox. My main test question concerned whether I could, as a single women, by myself, handle the gear. At 47 lbs., I cannot. I had to have my son help me put it on the car. I was hoping the RocketBox would be a little lighter.
packaging out of box
Having said the above, the SkyBox 16s came in a huge cardboard crate freighted via tractor-trailer. The guy couldn't get down my street so he had to hand cart it to my door. Somehow, I got it out of the box by myself. It was wrapped in plastic and the instructions were on the inside of the locked SkyBox. The key was hanging out of the locked box on a cord. Really, a sticker with "instructions within" or something would have been helpful. There is a sticker on the side that advertised the features and the dimensions, but no instructions.
according to the Yakima website:
The new lid is 50% stiffer than our other boxes, so it vibrates less and is easier to open and shut one-handed
New lid shape is easy to grab onto, even if you have particularly clumsy meathooks
Super Latch Security ensures your lid is secure to its base, and your stuff is safer than Fort Knox
Quick-installation mounting hardware fits car rack systems with round, square and most factory crossbars.
New aerodynamic shape reduces wind drag
Fits crossbar spreads as short as 24"
Integrated track system for accessories like a cargo net or base pad
SKS locks included standard
Matte, stealth anti-scratch finish
According to the instructions, though there is dual side access with locking mechanisms on both sides, I can only open one side of the box at a time. As well, I can change the core of the lock if I ever needed to.
I read the instructions then had my son help me set it on top of the car. After that, I could attach it by myself.
courtesy of Yakima
Attaching the SkyBox 16S
So the process of attaching it to my 2007 Honda CRV with factory roof rack is this (refer to above images): First, I opened the SkyBox with the key by rotating the key like it said on the picture on the lock. I opened the clamp locks by raising the levers to open the four clamps. I closed the lid of the SkyBox. Then my son and I set the closed SkyBox on the roof rack placing the opened clamps behind the crossbars (see illustration above). I unlocked the lock, pulled up on the latch and opened the driver's side of the SkyBox. I had to use a stepladder to access the inside of the SkyBox. I loosened the track thumb wheel, which allows the clamps to slide back and forth to adjust for my roof rack's crossbars. I lifted up on the front left side of the box to allow me to slide the clamps on the roof rack and slid them to go around the crossbars. I locked the clamp in place by pressing down on the lever and then tightened the track thumb wheel. I did this for each of the clamps and that's all there is to it.
I noticed in the instructions that the Pro series comes with a pad for the inside of the box to cushion and keep the contents from sliding around. I took an old yoga mat and attempted to approximate it. I think it will work.
We got in the car and drove about 15 miles to test it out...and to get pizza, but that's beside the point. Driving with the SkyBox on the car feels a lot like driving with a kayak on my car. There is some resistance to wind. Also the placement of the box bends my antenna, which is made of rubber so it should not break, but I wish the SkyBox was a little shorter. It doesn't affect me opening the hatch of my car any more than my kayak does. The SkyBox seems very sturdy and weather resistant.
The SkyBox also does not allow me to also put my kayak on top of my car. I will probably only use this if I am camping at a place that doesn't allow kayaking.
on car front view
The SkyBox seems very easy to install once I get help getting it on the car. It also seems very sturdy and weather-resistant. I was hoping that this would be the answer to my 2 long 1000 mile treks per year to my home state. I think it will come in handy for the winter break, but not for the summer break when my kayak is an absolute necessity.
What I like
Attaching it to the car is easy.
It seems very sturdy and weather-resistant.
What I don't like
It is too heavy for me to handle by myself.
It is too wide to allow me to carry my kayak on the car too.
This concludes my initial report. Check back in a couple of months for my field report. Many thanks to Yakima and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test the Yakima SkyBox 16S.