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IR - Yakima SkyBox 16 - John Waters

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  • exec@bysky.com
    Richard, Getting this in quickly just in time. To nice this weekend to be indoors writing. 30 degree drop in daytime high today though. Anyway, text is
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 2, 2012
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      Richard,

      Getting this in quickly just in time. To nice this weekend to be indoors
      writing. 30 degree drop in daytime high today though. Anyway, text is
      below, HTML in test folder.

      http://tinyurl.com/74864tg

      Waiting on your edits.

      John
      _________________________________

      YAKIMA SKYBOX 16
      TEST SERIES BY JOHN R. WATERS
      INITIAL REPORT

      INITIAL REPORT - April 02, 2012

      TESTER INFORMATION

      NAME: John R. Waters
      EMAIL: jrw@...
      AGE: 62
      LOCATION: Canon City, CO USA
      GENDER: M
      HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
      WEIGHT: 170 lb (77.10 kg)

      My backpacking began in 1999. I have hiked rainforests in Hawaii, Costa
      Rica, and Puerto Rico, glaciers in New Zealand and Iceland, 14ers in
      Colorado and Death Valley's deserts. I hike or snowshoe 6-8 miles (10 km-13
      km) 2-3 times weekly in the Cooper Mountain range, with other day-long hikes
      on various other southwest and central Colorado trails. I frequently hike
      the mountains and deserts of Utah and Arizona as well. My daypack is 18 lb
      (8 kg); overnights' weigh over 25 lb (11 kg). I'm aiming to reduce my weight
      load by 40% or more.


      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      INITIAL REPORT


      PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS


      Manufacturer: Yakima Products, Inc.
      Year of Manufacture: 2012
      Manufacturer's Website: http://www.yakima.com
      MSRP: US$ 469.00
      Listed Weight: 47 lb (21.3 g)
      Measured Weight: N/A - I can't think of any way to weigh this.

      Other details: (from the manufacturer)

      Capacity: 16 cu feet. Varies by application. Fits crossbar spreads of 24"
      thru 36". (61 x 91 cm)
      Picture Courtesy of Yakima



      INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

      The Yakima SkyBox 16 arrived by truck carrier in a HUGE heavy duty cardboard
      box. This is not UPS or FedEx, but a commercial truck carrier. The box is
      huge.

      We use a commercial drop off for our business, so the carrier dropped the
      shipment off there. This is a commercial location. I had the presence of
      mind to remove the SkyBox from the shipping box to transport it back to my
      ranch. I was assisted by the owner at our mail drop in unpacking and lifting
      the unpacked SkyBox to my Subaru.

      The mail drop owner appreciated getting the shipping box to use for covering
      shipments such as paintings and mirrors. I appreciated the help lifting the
      thing up on the roof my Subaru.

      Previously, I had added a set of rooftop carrier accessories to my factory
      installed crossbars for hauling ladders, so SkyBox needed to be lifted up
      and set on top of these accessories. Then I had to strap the unit down with
      a set of carrier straps I keep in the car. This held the unit in place until
      I could get it home.

      The box this thing ships in is large enough for to sleep in. If not used for
      material as our mail drop owner is doing, this would make a great for fort
      for the kids or a shelter if times get tough.

      The SkyBox is made of a thin fiberglass material that flexes quite easily.
      It appears flimsy when opened, but very solid when closed because it forms a
      pretty solidly designed box.

      It will be interesting to see how it performs here in Colorado at over 5,000
      ft (1500 m) high. Everything I own that is plastic turns to dust in a year
      due to the UV rays. Seriously. Things fall apart in a pile of dust if
      touched. Weird.

      The SkyBox crossbar hooks (4 of them) are quite well designed and work well.

      I think the dual sided hinges are really slick. I can unlock and unlatch
      either side and the opposite side hinges to open and close. Nice design. I
      am disappointed that only one key is provided though because I am really
      good at losing keys. However, Yakima will let me order additional keys on
      their website which I will do immediately.



      Locking Mechanism

      Crossbar Hook



      READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

      The instructions are good. However, I would suggest that a removable label
      be stuck on the outside of the unit that says "Instructions Inside" because
      I was dumb enough not to figure there would be and ended up going to the Web
      site first and printing them all out. Once I had the instructions in hand,
      they got me through the whole installation process easily.

      TRYING IT OUT


      The thing is huge. It's not really heavy, roughly 47 lb (21.3 kg); just
      really too big for one person to handle alone.

      Since I had the unit resting on top of the accessories I already had in
      place on my crossbars, what I did when I got home was remove each of the 4
      currently installed accessory stand-offs on the crossbars, one by one. I was
      doing this on one of the windiest days we've had in months. It was so windy
      that the dust clouds blocked my vision of the closest mountains. All I could
      see was a fog of dust from the wind gusts blowing over 60 mph (97 kph) and a
      constant wind of 40 mph (64 kph).

      In all of this, I was able to remove the 4 stand-offs from the current
      accessory on the crossbars and drop the SkyBox down to the crossbars. Even
      with the wind blowing at these speeds, I was able to control the SkyBox as I
      lowered it onto the crossbars.


      Once I had the SkyBox sitting on the crossbars, and figured out the way the
      4 grab hooks worked, the rest was pretty easy. I loosened up the grab hooks
      from the inside of the box. It was just a matter of turning the two grab
      hook control knobs inside the box to loosen the hooks. One knob releases the
      hook so it can drop down to grab the crossbar and the other knob loosens the
      hook so it can slide forward
      and backward on its track to position it over the crossbar. They were very
      easy to adjust and tighten up. I made sure to tighten them very well.

      Once in position, the SkyBox does not move at all forward or backward or
      side to side even with me pushing as hard as possible.

      Taking the SkyBox out on the road for a weekend trip of 90 miles (145 km), I
      expected more road noise. I'm not getting that at all. So that was a big
      plus.

      SUMMARY

      I was very excited to be selected to test the Yakima SkyBox 16 and anxiously
      awaited its arrival. Now that it's here, I'm even more excited. A cinch to
      install, I was able to wrestle it on top of my vehicle roof in strong winds
      though I needed some help. It's big and it's beautiful to see perched on top
      of my Subaru Forester. Gonna pack it up and get out there on the road this
      coming weekend and find me a mountain to explore.

      Thank you to Yakima Products and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to
      test the SkyBox 16 out. Please bookmark this page and return in early June
      to see how the SkyBox 16 has worked for me.

      John R. Waters
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