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Thule vs Yakima vs ?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

After doing some research we have decided to go w/ box vs rack on our car for various reasons, mainly care of skis and safety of not having potential sharp projectiles inside the car. Ski resorts are 45-60 min car rides in MN. We would be putting 2-4 adult ski's plus 2 set of kid ski's. We would also be taking it off in after the ski season.

 

So was wondering if people could chime in on their experiences of different brand of boxes, pros, cons, etc.

 

Thanks

post #2 of 19

You'll like the box.  It's great for a lot on non-skiing uses as well.  It's been a while since I've evaluated them but when I was buying one features and price were the most important factors.  Thule and Yakima seem to both turn out a quality product, so it's more about what you want it to do for you and if you can get a deal on one or the other.

 

One thing to consider is how the box will attach.  I've not had any problems getting my Thule box to fit onto various cross bars, but I don't know how they're made now, so check into it.

post #3 of 19

I've recently bought a thule sonic box, but haven't used yet. I bought on a 20% sale on REI, also thule was offering a $100 rebate at the time. I'd say they are pretty much good quality box, I'd buy the one you can find cheaper.

 

Yakima is on sale now at REI 20% if I'm not wrong... make sure the box fit your car without interfering with your trunk, yakima does't say that on their fit guide, they do offer some measurements from the back bar to the trunk in inches so you can check if the box will fit or not.

 

I think someone suggested some other high end brand of box that were very well build as far as I could tell from their website, but they were much more expensive than thule/yakima, can't remember the brand, something like $1000 a box, which is way too much money for me to pay on a box!

post #4 of 19

I  think someone from Packasport is a member here - they'd be my choice for lower vertical profile and appearance both.

post #5 of 19

Packasport's the high end brand.

http://www.packasport.com/

 

I have a Thule Evolution that's just ok.  I've had a little trouble with the hinges and think there's definitely room for improvement.

post #6 of 19

I bought a Thule Boxter a couple of years ago and have been really happy with it.  Quick and easy to get on and off (it seems huge, but can do it by myself if necessary), opens either side, and enough capacity for the amount of gear you're talking about plus some.  It's reasonably quiet, and leaving it on for extended periods I've noticed <0.5 mpg difference in fuel consumption.  With having 2 kids since I bought it, it has been an awesome purchase - we'd have had to get a new car to take a family vacation if it wasn't for all the stuff we can jam into the roof box.

post #7 of 19

I have had both and even mix and match boxes, crossbars, etc. Both brands are fairly equal quality. If you get a wide box be sure it opens from either side for easier access to your skis plus if one lock freezes hopefully the other side will still work. If you drive a crossover type vehicle the hatch will probably hit the box. Minivans or sedans with trunk lids are usually OK.. The simplest solution to the hatch hitting the box is to tie a non-stretch line between the hatch and an internal tie down point so the hatch doesn't go up so far. If you do that you might want to wear your helmet for a while as I usually bang my head on the hatch for the first couple weeks of ski season.

post #8 of 19

We have a Thule 3 pair rack and while I like it a lot I do wish we'd just bought a box.  I bought the rack I have onsale for $80 from Joe's though and the price was too good to pass up.

 

We still may buy a box and sell our racks eventually.  We'd like to get a box so we can use it for camping in the summer and potentially for hauling more stuff up to our parents houses around the holidays.

 

What type of ski retention system do the boxes have, and can they be removed to maximize the room inside?

post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
 

You'll like the box.  It's great for a lot on non-skiing uses as well. 

Ya, mine stores some fishing gear and a couple chairs in the off season. 

post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by focker View Post
 

What type of ski retention system do the boxes have, and can they be removed to maximize the room inside?

Our Thule Ascent 1600 has straps that go through brackets inside the box. The straps take no room and are easy to remove. Only thing is in the 15 years I've been using boxes I have never tied the skis down as the box is usually so stuffed with skis, poles, boards, clothes, etc. nothing can move far anyway. 

 

Regarding maximizing room, the main complaint I have about the box is the twist knob clamping gizmos for quick attach/detach from the crossbars. While they look like a good idea and therefore probably sell a lot of boxes they take up a lot of room inside the box and my box still shifts around on the crossbars because you can't get the gizmos tight enough. Last season I removed the gizmos and went old school by replacing them with stainless steel bolts and brackets made for 1/2" nylon.

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Castle Dave View Post
 

Our Thule Ascent 1600 has straps that go through brackets inside the box. The straps take no room and are easy to remove. Only thing is in the 15 years I've been using boxes I have never tied the skis down as the box is usually so stuffed with skis, poles, boards, clothes, etc. nothing can move far anyway. 

 

Regarding maximizing room, the main complaint I have about the box is the twist knob clamping gizmos for quick attach/detach from the crossbars. While they look like a good idea and therefore probably sell a lot of boxes they take up a lot of room inside the box and my box still shifts around on the crossbars because you can't get the gizmos tight enough. Last season I removed the gizmos and went old school by replacing them with stainless steel bolts and brackets made for 1/2" nylon.

I have the Ascent 1100, and while I have never had trouble with clamps I have noticed that the internal knobs take up a lot of space.  I have 3 skies and 1 board and the box is filled even after arranging it just so.  This year I have to fit 2 boards and 2 skies, and that has me concerned.  Like everything else you by, go at least one size larger than you think you need.  Last year was my first year with it and I loved it, I loaded everything in and sometimes had it in there for weeks if we were out several days each week.    

post #12 of 19

I have a Yakima Skybox.  Yes, the clamps take up a lot of space inside.  Since I have Yakima cross bars, I prefer a single key.

post #13 of 19
We have a Yakima Skybox 16 and it has a lot of room. Used to throw 4 pairs of skis/poles, a pack n play, and some sleeping bags in there. Now, it's just the multiple pairs of skis and a plastic sled.

Also, the rear of the box is slanted, which provides more room for a hatch (box has been on Subaru Legacy wagon and BMW X3 with no issues re the lift gate)
post #14 of 19

Got a Yakima Skybox LoPro this summer and love it.  It's the only box short enough our SUV still fits in the garage with the box on top.  REI has 20% off Yakima right now, and they have free shipping to a store near you.

post #15 of 19

I purchased a Skybox for my daughter's Volvo this spring after looking at both Yakima and Thule.  She needed something that was narrow enough to put two bike racks and the box on top of her V70 with the Volvo rack.  The Skybox 16 fits perfectly, has plenty of room for skis and camping equipment, is a snap to install and remove and can be opened on either side.  I highly recommend this box.

post #16 of 19

I don't know if clearance is an issue, but I was looking for a low profile box that I could keep on my SUV when pulling into my garage.  I ended up getting an INNO Shadow 15.  Very low profile with a good amount of storage .  INNO makes a very nice ski box.

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post
 

Got a Yakima Skybox LoPro this summer and love it.  It's the only box short enough our SUV still fits in the garage with the box on top.  REI has 20% off Yakima right now, and they have free shipping to a store near you.

YEAH! Not sure why, but I hate those 7' garage doors! :-) Why don't make it 9' standard???

post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfa81 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post
 

Got a Yakima Skybox LoPro this summer and love it.  It's the only box short enough our SUV still fits in the garage with the box on top.  REI has 20% off Yakima right now, and they have free shipping to a store near you.

YEAH! Not sure why, but I hate those 7' garage doors! :-) Why don't make it 9' standard???

better than the 6.5' dyi job previous owners built at our house which is one of the obstacles, other being convincing DW to put one on one of the cars.

post #19 of 19

Heh.     Home garages are cake compared to the maze of heating, fiber optic, and gas delivery pipes I have to navigate at the work garage.   Most of them retrofits at the bottom of a 9% no-transition downramp, ugh.

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