yakima skybox reviews

Yakima SkyBox Aerodynamic Cargo Box

You have heard about the Yakima Skybox series for a while, and you know it works well. However, you still want to know more about SkyBox cargo boxes to decide if it fits your family and your car.

In this article, you will find all the necessary info to help you to decide if the Yakima Skybox series works for your demands or not.

If you are new to cargo boxes, you can use our site to build knowledge about cargo boxes from different perspectives.

There are five options in the Yakima SkyBox series, so you have to know the differences between them. 

We will build a list of cargo boxes’ basic features to simplify your final judgment process in choosing one.

  1. Dimensions: Cargo boxes have length, width, and height, so you have to use the numbers to check if your chosen roof box fits the size of your car roof or not. The dimensions also help you to estimate if you can put your gears or items into the cargo box or not. 
  2. Aerodynamic Design: Most of the cargo boxes on the market are aerodynamic, and the design helps you minimize the negative effect on gas mileage when your car is in motion. The aesthetical aerodynamic design of cargo boxes is cool and attractive on the streets.
  3. Opening: Opening from both sides, one side, or the rear are three options for modern cargo boxes. We recommend you choose the dual-opening roof box for convenience.
  4. Compatibility With Rack Bars: Most of the cargo boxes are fit to factory design rack systems. However, some of them are working with specific crossbars: round, square, and aerodynamic.
  5. Materials: ABS plastic uses for building most high-quality cargo boxes, and ABS materials have durable, waterproof, and sturdy characteristics. We recommend you choose a cargo box that builds up with ABS materials.
  6. Lock System: Do not choose a cargo box that has a cheap-quality lock system. However, if you have already chosen one, you can replace the cheap one with another high-quality lock. 
  7. Loading Capacity: The Capacity number of cargo boxes indicates how large interior space they do have.

After you acquired foundational tips for choosing a cargo box, we will introduce you to the Yakima SkyBox series.

Basic Info of Yakima SkyBox Series

yakima skybox series dimensions

The Yakima company is marketing its products globally with a variety of categories from roof racks to cargo boxes&bags, according to its official site. Outdoor enthusiasts love the Yakima merchandise so much, according to their countless positive feedback on Amazon or the Yakima official site. Therefore, we highly recommend you put the Yakima cargo boxes into your consideration as a priority.

The Yakima SkyBox series have five options for customers to choose from for their different needs.

We distinguish the five options by using their capacity numbers:

  • Yakima SkyBox 12 – 12 CUBIC FT
  • Yakima SkyBox 16 – 16 CUBIC FT
  • Yakima SkyBox 18 – 18 CUBIC FT
  • Yakima SkyBox 21 – 21 CUBIC FT
  • Yakima SkyBox 15 – 15 CUBIC FT

Then we start to introduce them one by one.

Related Topics: Thule VS Yakima, what are the differences between these two options?

Do you need a roof rack?

If you don’t have a pair of crossbars, you need to buy one for SkyBox cargo boxes. We highly recommend the Yakima aerodynamic roof rack to you as the top consideration for your roof box. If your car roof doesn’t have roof rails, you can consider using these roof racks on bare car roofs.

Yakima Jet Stream Bar Aerodynamic
photo from Yakima

Yakima SkyBox 12

SkyBox 12 is the smallest one in the SkyBox series, and it is perfect for smaller size vehicles. When you first look at the Skybox 12, you are attracted by looking at its sleek, aerodynamic carbonite textured lid. It is easy to install on a pair of the Yakima roof bars, and the acceptable minimum and maximum crossbar spreads are from 24 inches to 42 inches. You have to make sure that your crossbars have the required distance between them. While you install the SkyBox 12 on roof racks, you probably spend no more than 5 minutes to securely and accurately mount it on the roof of your car. Although the assembly process is simple, it is much safer for two people to lift the cargo box because it is large.

dual-opening feature allows you to open the SkyBox 12 from both sides, and it is convenient for loading and unloading items. Do you know how to pack a cargo box? We have an article that will show you the best way to organize items in your roof box for convenience and safety.

The integrated SKS lock system ensures that your belongings are secure when you are away from your car. The high-quality material of the lock system offers added security to your content and added convenience to your operation.

The materials for making a SkyBox 12 cargo box are recyclable, so when you don’t need it anymore, you can contact Yakima’s customer service for more info about how to recycle your old one.

Yakima SkyBox 12 cargo box is not only aerodynamic but also taper in its shape. Therefore, its smart design can reduce both effects on gas mileage and hatch interference.

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Yakima SkyBox 16

It is the shortest one in the SkyBox family, and it only weighs 47 lbs. It is suitable for carrying belongings for three people.

  • aerodynamic design
  • tool-free installation
  • fits Yakima roof racks
  • dual-opening feature
  • recyclable materials
  • SKS lock system integrated
  • internal lid stiffeners
  • L 81.00 in x W 36.00 in x H 15.00 in
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Yakima SkyBox 18

It is for a large family with more than four people. It has the same length as SkyBox 12 and 21, so the differences between SkyBox 12, 18, and 21 are in height and width.

  • L 92.00 in x W 36.00 in x H 16.00 in
yakima skybox 18 cubic feet

Yakima SkyBox 21

It is the largest one in the SkyBox family. It is suitable for transporting items for five people, so it is perfect for a large family. The dimension of it is L 92.00 in x W 36.00 in x H 18.00 in, so you can use the numbers to estimate if your car can work with it or not.

yakima skybox 21 cubic feet

Yakima SkyBox Lo

It is for skis or snowboards, and it is flat and long. You can also check a list of low-profile cargo boxes to find one that fits your outdoor life.

  • L 92.00 in x W 36.00 in x H 11.50 in
yakima skybox 002 2024

Yakima SkyBox NX 16

Yakima SkyBox NX 16

It is time to pack your luggage and go! You can invite more friends after mounting a Yakima SkyBox NX 16 to your vehicle because you can have extra luggage space on the car roof, and the additional luggage room frees up the cabin room for more passengers.

Most roof cargo boxes offer tool-free installation, so you don’t require a tool when installing a roof cargo box.

The SkyBox NX 16 provides 16 cubic feet of interior space for storing your belongings, and the SKS locking system protects your luggage when you are away from your car. You can follow an article to find some strategies and prevent theft for a rooftop cargo carrier, not only for rooftop cargo boxes.

The Yakima SkyBox NX has a metal opening handle, which is a unique design compared with other cargo boxes. You can push down the metal handle to open the lid, so you won’t leave the box unlocked because there is a locking indicator underneath the opening handle, which shows red when the cargo box is open or unlocked.

When installing a Yakima SkyBox NX 16 cargo box, you can use four torques to lock the SkyBox NX to most roof racks: factory, round, square, and aerodynamic crossbars. If you still have concerns about the compatibility between roof-mounted cargo carriers, including crossbars, roof rails, and rooftop cargo carriers; thus, you can refer to another article to better understand the relationship between these parts before building a rooftop cargo management system for your vehicle.

Yakima Official Video about the Yakima SkyBox NX 16 or 18

You can open the SkyBox NX 16 on two sides and conveniently pack things into the box. You can load up to 165 pounds of belongings in the SkyBox NX 16, and you cannot exceed your vehicle’s roof loading limit when using rooftop cargo carriers: roof cargo bags, boxes, baskets, and more. If you don’t know how much your car’s roof loading limit is, you can follow this guide to learn how much weight you can load on top of your vehicle.

What else to know before getting a Yakima SkyBox NX 16? 

If your car has existing crossbars or roof rails, you should know that the Yakima SkyBox NX 16 requires the distance between the front and back roof bars to be 60cm to 91.4cm. You can adjust the position of a roof box after lifting it onto the crossbars, but where is the best location for a cargo box on the car roof? We have an article that may give you some tips. You should offer enough space at the back of a cargo box to clear the interference with the opening hatchback.

The Yakima SkyBox NX 16 makes the mounting hardware flat, and you can have more space inside the box for luggage; otherwise, you can use several straps to tighten things down to the bottom for security. When locking the mounting hardware, you can use a torque wrench and twist the clamps to finish the installation; moreover, the torque wrench tells you when the clamps lock on roof racks.

Find the Yakima SkyBox NX 18 on Amazon or on Yakima Official Site

What Do People Say About It?

review scores of Yakima SkyBox series
You can click the photo to check product feedback from 286 global users on Amazon. 2021/01/19 results (it changes as time goes)

A large family uses it for vacations

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I have been using SkyBox 21 for around eight months until I purchased it on July 14th of 2017. I have a large family, so I chose the amplest option in the SkyBox series. I assembled it on the roof of my 2016 Toyota Sequoia, and it was moisture-resistant. While I was driving on highways, there was minor wind noise that was hard to notice without attention. It is a large container, for I had put a tandem stroller, two-child suitcases, boxes of diapers, office roller bags, and medium-sized adult suitcases without a problem. After using it each time, I put it in my garage against the wall. I used hooks to hold the cargo box in position facing the wall. I spent a total of $12 on buying those hooks.
Jason Lee

Great Cargo Box For Family Trip

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I bought SkyBox 18 for my Highlander Hybrid to enjoy weekend vacations with my family or friends. I successfully stowed items for four adults and two kids in the cargo box without a struggle. I love the dual-opening feature, and it allows me to reach what I want to use at any place during my trips. I installed it on my vehicle with a family member and a 4ft stepladder because the cargo box was large and my SUV was high.
Tony Fox

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