- 5,831 Posts. Joined 3/2006
- Location: Strong Island, NY
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Looks like we'll be taking some road trips this winter, and in the future, so I'm doing research on Roof Boxes.
I'm quite impressed with the quality of the Thule Atlantis 1800, which was plenty big enough to meet our needs for the size/length or our skis. The only thing I see as an advantage on the Yakima is that it has a latch that works without the key in it.
Has anyone used a Thule and a Yakima, with a preference in quality and function?
It boils down to personal preference, but I'd rather not have the skis inside the car.
They can be wet and snow covered on the way home. There are safety issues with them just stuck in between the seats, etc. Sometimes the space inside is needed for passengers.
In my case I leave my box on pretty much all winter and it accumulates extra stuff. An extra set of poles if somebody forgets theirs, or loses one. Rugs to stand on while getting dressed and undressed.
Plus I have room to take extra skis if I want to try something different or change for changing conditions.
looks like i've perhaps the most universal & cheapest solution.....as i put my westfalia camper away for the winter i have bought a $400, 81 chevy truck....heck.....cant buy a rack & box for that......then again when gardening season rolls around .... how much supplies & ferilizer can ya carry on yer rack & box (heh heh)
this isn't even touching on the added security of this hideous ol' beater of a thing....no one even wantsa park near this thing @ the hill .... letalone look n' see whats in back (heh heh)
near ottawa canada
I actually do put my skis INSIDE the car at the moment, but we prefer to pare down our "interior" cargo when we take a road trip.
Yak rack all the way and the new SkyBox LowPro Titanium is phenomenal for skis.
When on our most recent road trip, we had the good fortune of using the Thule Atlantis 1800.
The only way I can see the Yakima being an improvement over the Thule is the type of latches. It appears that the Yak has latch that can be unlocked but still latch. With the Thule it seems that the key won't come out of the lock/latch unless you have it locked.
I own both Thule and Yakima products (bike racks, kayak racks, yakima rack on my Toyota SUV, Thule rack on my wifes accord). They are both top notch quality products. I would say it comes down to personal preference on the features and the look.
My box is a Thule Mountaineer purchased new in the fall of 2001 for my Volvo wagon. The Volvo was sold in 2005 and the box moved to a Honda Odyssey. The Odyssey was sold last June and the same box is now on my Sequoia. The box still works and looks great. I don't baby it either. Abuse is all it gets. It speaks to the quality of the product.
The only thing it does not do is open from both sides, which would be helpful to me on the rare occassion (once a year) when I carry two boxes on my SUV transporting young racers.
Box is clearly preferable. That said, my big Thule, which is great for family trips, won't fit into where we garage our car, so I have to take it on/off outside each trip. Not fun. If you get a box, get one that'll clear the average commercial/home garage, including places you might take the car like airports.
Because in an accident, you'd be surprised where stuff you think is secure can end up. Skis become lethal objects. A coffee mug or book flying around can give you a nice heavy slap upside the head; a ski can remodel or remove said head.
I have the Thule Evolution, I think 1800. The thing is huge & could hold any length ski. I've had it for quite a few years & never needed to strap anything down. I've had 3 sets of skis, boots & poles along with 3 6 ft. hero's in it with room to spare. Another time my friends car was totaled & along with 3 sets of skis, boots & poles we emptied all the contents of his car into it, there was quite a bit of stuff. He wasn't hurt thankfully. Only disadvantage I can see to having a box is the reduced gas mileage you'll get, maybe 2-4mpg. Don't use it much anymore since my family stopped skiing, I fly solo most of the time now & just put the skis in the car. It's in my attic collecting dust but it's nice to know I have it if the need arises.
Ski Racks are better than boxes is you have an SUV. I ran two pairs of the Thule 4 pair ski rack. Why? So I could park my truck in the garage with the rack on. The J hook for the garage would go in between the pair of ski racks. But I ran larger tires and a lift so I had clearance issues. But, in most cases an suv with a box equipped will not fit in a standard height garage door.
I now put the skis in the back of my truck which has a roll back cover.
However I do encourage people to NOT put skis inside their vehicles. Winter is slippery and accidents are much more common if you were to come to a sudden stop......skis turn into 10-15 lb. spears. For me ski racks were a safety feature. Ski boxes for me also scream old man. But, your skis are nicely protected in a ski box.
A family friend of a friend had an old battery in the back of his work van. He hit a gaurdrail head on and that battery went through his passenger headrest and windshield and luckily he had no passenger.
Particularly given that a used ski bag can be picked up for next to nothing on craigslist or eBay I think your suggestion is a great one - for transporting skis.
However for a cross country trip where some extra cubic feet and the ability to leave it all secured on top of the car a box makes sense. And with some searching they too can be found for a good price.
Definitely measure. I have less than a 1/4" between the top of my box and the bottom of my garage.
So you can be the guy who has all his ski gear splattered all over the road way? I have seen it happen before with that method. Nothing like watching other people run over your skis....that is a point and laugh moment for me.