IR - Yakima SkyBox 16 - John Waters
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.
Waiting on your edits.
YAKIMA SKYBOX 16
TEST SERIES BY JOHN R. WATERS
INITIAL REPORT - April 02, 2012
NAME: John R. Waters
LOCATION: Canon City, CO USA
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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