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LTR - Yakima Skybox Pro 16 - Gail

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  • woodswoman
    Michael, Here is my LTR for the Yakima Skybox Pro 16. It has been a fun series! Please edit and I will upload the final product promptly. Thanks for your time
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 2, 2008
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      Michael,
      Here is my LTR for the Yakima Skybox Pro 16. It has
      been a fun series! Please edit and I will upload the
      final product promptly. Thanks for your time in
      monitoring this series. Gail

      HTML:

      http://tinyurl.com/2fm49j


      Text for LTR:

      Long Term Report:
      Yakima Skybox Pro 16
      March 2, 2008

      Locations and Conditions

      During the long term period, the Skybox Pro 16 has
      continued to carry gear on top of my car for
      approximately an additional 1500 mi (2415 km). All
      travel has taken place in the Upper Peninsula of
      Michigan. I made several road trips of which four were
      each more than 200 mi (322 km) round trips and another
      was approximately a 120 mi (193 km) round trip. All
      travel was on two-lane paved highways or dirt roads
      (no expressways). Various road conditions were
      encountered including wet payment to completely
      snow-covered roads. Speeds for the road trips were up
      to 60 mph (97 km/h) but they were often much less due
      to stormy conditions. Travel on dirt roads was often
      at 20 mph (32 km/h) to 30 mph (48 km/h).

      Travel locations ranged from and included roads
      through conifer and deciduous forest communities with
      many rock outcroppings to roads along open lakeshore.
      Elevation ranged from 600 ft (183 m) to approximately
      1200 ft (366 m).Temperatures have ranged from -20
      F(-29 C) to 38 F (3 C) during this period. Weather
      conditions experienced were mostly cloudy days filled
      with rain, sleet, or snow (130 in/3.3 m this winter so
      far) and moderate-to-high winds (up to 55 mph/89
      km/h).


      Performance in the Field


      Gas Mileage

      During the long term period, I've made a concentrated
      effort to record gas mileage continuously. At every
      fuel fill up, I recorded the necessary information so
      that an estimate could be established. I was glad to
      see that the overall gas mileage for this period was
      16.9 mi (27.2 km) per gallon (3.79 liters). While this
      may seem rather low, it's not unusual for my 4 WDR, 6
      cylinder vehicle to use a similar amount of gas
      without the Skybox attached (difference is barely
      negligible - less than 1.0 mi/1.61 km per gallon (3.79
      liters).

      Since almost the entirety of my travel is done at
      relatively slow speeds and the terrain lies at low
      elevation with little change, it may have a
      considerable influence on why the box hasn't
      significantly affected my overall gas mileage. Much of
      my mileage is attained on short jaunts to my favorite
      xc ski areas (5 to 6 times a week when I'm not
      traveling elsewhere). Most of them involve
      approximately a 10 mi to 15 mi (16 km to 24 km)
      roundtrip drive on a combination of paved and rough
      dirt roads. Speed is rarely over 25 mph (40 km/h) for
      the latter and rarely over 50 mph (81 km/h) on the
      paved roads. My vehicle is rated at 16 mpg (25.8 km/h)
      for city driving and 20 mpg (32.2 km/h) for road
      trips. However, it never has seen the upper limit in
      my experience.


      Gear Storage and Accessibility

      Throughout the long term period, I have continued to
      use the Skybox Pro 16 for miscellaneous winter
      equipment. Much of this equipment is used on almost a
      daily basis (5 to 6 times a week). On these routine
      ski or snowshoe outings, I often have one or two extra
      passengers. Although we stow the xc skis inside the
      vehicle, the box has been handy for all the other
      equipment. It has kept the car clutter to a minimum
      and the gear has been easily accessed from the
      driver's side of the vehicle (box is positioned closer
      to this side).

      My longer road trips included multi-day out-of-area
      ski outings/visit family trips and another
      rustic-cabin multi-day outing. My most notable trip
      for gear storage during this period was a recent
      excursion that had my vehicle holding three cargo
      sleds and equipment for a walk-in rustic cabin trip.
      The sleds were stored in the back of my vehicle but
      the other equipment needed was stored in the Skybox
      Pro. That included cooking and food supplies, sleeping
      bags, snowshoes and poles, and a host of other smaller
      items.

      In general, I have placed the heavier items on the
      bottom of the cargo box and topped it with the lighter
      and softer items such as sleeping bags. Gear has
      stayed in place quite nicely (I've been using a cargo
      net that is available separately) and I haven't
      noticed any shifting of items upon arrival. I
      generally stand on my vehicle's door step in order to
      place and remove items due to the height of the
      vehicle.

      Since initial placement on my vehicle, I haven't
      altered the fore and aft position of the Skybox. Since
      my vehicle's tailgate lifts upward, I didn't want the
      Skybox to interfere with its operation. The Skybox
      does partially cover the area of my vehicle's skylight
      but there's still enough clearance over it to operate
      if I desire. During these winter months, it has been a
      non-issue.


      Continuous Exposure to Weather

      My vehicle with the attached Skybox, has been subject
      to a very cold and winterly environment during the
      entire testing season. The Skybox Pro has been outside
      all winter rather than in a garage. Almost daily it
      has been subject to snow accumulation, ice and sleet.
      It appears to have suffered little as it's remained
      quite shiny and unmarred in its appearance.

      The locks have remained in good working condition
      other than a few times when water penetrated the
      locks, froze and made them a bit harder to open.
      Admittedly, I haven't hand washed the vehicle and
      Skybox as often as they deserve due to the inclement
      weather during the entire season.


      Summary

      Overall, the addition of the Skybox Pro 16 has been a
      great addition to my vehicle. In the future, I don't
      plan to keep it on my vehicle all the time as I have
      throughout the testing period during the winter season
      (total of 3300 mi/5315 km). It will be hung on the
      accessory hanger (available separately) in my garage.
      During the spring and summer months, it will only be
      added to my vehicle when I have a lot of cargo to haul
      for long distance travel.

      Although the length of this particular model hasn't
      suited all of my storage needs, it has adapted well
      for miscellaneous equipment as noted in both my field
      report and this report. Being an avid skier, I would
      recommend that skiers carefully check the "usable
      length" of many of the models before they make their
      purchase. Even though the actual length of this model
      of Skybox would appear to qualify to hold my cross
      country skis, the usable length is much less due to
      the undercut lid of the box. Many of Yakima's models
      are longer in length and would fit those needs very
      precisely.

      On another note, I must say that I've been really
      impressed with the improvements over the years to
      cargo boxes in general. As a previous owner of a
      couple of types of cargo boxes, it is remarkable how
      much they have improved. The rigidity, quietness, easy
      placement and removal, better locks for security,
      available accessories and streamlined aerodynamics are
      some of the perks that come to mind. Many current
      vehicles such as mine also have factory racks that are
      already suitable for the placement of the Skybox Pro
      making the whole process a lot easier than in the
      past. I'm really impressed with this Yakima product
      for the aforementioned reasons.


      Pros

      Aerodynamic
      Secure locks
      Fits on many types of factory racks
      Optional accessories available separately
      Easy to place and remove on vehicle
      Quiet with little-to-no vibration
      Gas mileage has been altered very little by the
      addition of the box


      Cons

      Length was too short to carry my skis (however, it is
      available in longer sizes)
      Usually need both hands to lift lid
      Didn't have enough clearance to drive my vehicle with
      attached Skybox into my garage
      Can't use an automatic car wash with the Skybox
      attached

      Tester Remarks

      Thanks to Yakima and BackpackGearTest for making
      possible the great opportunity to test the Skybox Pro
      16. This report concludes the test series.

      Top of Page







      ***Gail***

      **There is a pleasure in the pathless woods** - Lord Byron


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    • Andrew Priest
      G day Gail Another excellent report. Well done. Regards Andrew === Andrew Priest Senior Edit Moderator - BackpackGearTest.org ... From:
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 10, 2008
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        G'day Gail

        Another excellent report. Well done.

        Regards
        Andrew

        ===
        Andrew Priest
        Senior Edit Moderator - BackpackGearTest.org


        -----Original Message-----
        From: backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com
        [mailto:backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of woodswoman
        Sent: Monday, March 03, 2008 12:33 AM
        To: backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com
        Cc: jmwlaw@...
        Subject: [backpackgeartesters] LTR - Yakima Skybox Pro 16 - Gail


        Michael,
        Here is my LTR for the Yakima Skybox Pro 16. It has been a fun series!
        Please edit and I will upload the final product promptly. Thanks for your
        time in monitoring this series. Gail

        HTML:

        http://tinyurl.com/2fm49j




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