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rooftop cargo box recommendation

Original Post
Miron · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 10


Not directly a climbing gear questions...

I am looking for narrow, low profile cargo box to carry extra climbing/camping gear AND be able to fit bikes/canoe on the side.
I have Subaru Legacy wagon.

I saw this old school (ski?) box somewhere and thought it would work.
Any recommendations would be great.


roof top box
George Wu · · Newport Beach, CA · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 76

I occasionally mount an old Yakima Spacebooster box on my 2014 Outback. Plenty of room for one bike; haven't tried mounting another.

The Spacebooster was meant to take up less room, presumably so I could carry those bikes or a canoe or whatever...

John The Wolf · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 50

I tried putting the same roofbox as pictured on top of my 2006 Legacy and it was hitting the rear spoiler enough to stop the hatch from opening more than halfway.

My roof rails were mounted as forward as possible and I couldn't mount the box in a more forward position because of the bump between the bars on the lower part.

YMMV if you have different roof rails (higher) or if you are willing to prop the box hilariously higher with spacers.

Linnaeus · · NZ · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 0

A lot of the newer boxes are tapered up on the bottom at the back, which allows for more clearance for a tailgate, etc.

I've got Thule Mountaineer which I think is 16 cubic feet, and also used to have a Yakima Skybox 21. The only reason to use the smaller box is if you think it gives better gas mileage, although I suspect it would be hard to show a difference between the boxes, and even if it exists, I would guess only 1mpg or less difference. I can still fit 1 or 2 bikes next to the 16 cubic foot box, more if I had wider bars for SUV sized vehicles.

Mark Berenblum · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 105

Do you know what width your crossbars are? I have a Thule Force XL on 50" Yakima bars and could still fit a bike or a kayak in a J cradle on the bars. That said, the j cradle has to ride outside of the podiums (the feet holding the cross bars). This seems a little sketchy, but I've been doing it for years and have only lost my kayak once (maybe that's not so encouraging... just remember to put the kayak straps through the base rack so the j cradle can't slide off the end). The Force is tall, but the height makes for plenty of storage (17 or 18 cubic feet I think). I can fit a small crashpad and gear for a weekend of trad for four people without issue.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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