Yakima Skybox Carbonite Cargo Box Review [12, 15, 16, 18, 21 cu. ft.]


If someone who knows a thing or two about car cargo boxes finds out you are looking for one chances are he will either suggest Thule or Yakima. We have reviewed Thule cargo boxes in the past but no Yakima ones it the best. Well that changes today as it’s time to find out how Yakima Skybox, the most popular model from the manufacturer compares to competition.

Yakima Skybox Carbonite is available in 5 sizes: 12, 15, 16, 18 and 21 cubic feet. All of them are technically pretty much identical to each other but dimensions and shapes slightly differ a bit (except 15 cubic feet model which is a lot flatter compared to others making it look like a completely different model). In this review we will focus on the 21 cubic feet model but most things will apply to other sizes as well.


Storage

How much is 21 cubic feet? Quite a lot. You average sedan has around 15 cubic feet of trunk space and the largest version of Yakima Skybox offers 40% more storage capacity. In fact for most consumers cargo box with storage capacity of 15 cubic feet is sufficient so consider how much of it you actually need so you don’t waste money buying bigger box than you actually need.

Yakima Skybox Carbonite opens from both sides however the opening is a bit small. Larger things like suitcases will fit through it but getting them in is a bit more difficult than it would be if opening was wider. It’s a really minor nitpick as everything you want to load will probably fit through but it makes loading process slightly more complicated.

Another drawback, and this is a big one, is load capacity. Yakima Skybox 21 has maximum load capacity of just 62 pounds (28 kg) which is considerably less than Thule Forxe XT’s 160 pounds. Smaller models have even less maximum load capacity (more details at the bottom of this article)


Quality

For the price it could feel sturdier but it’s plenty sturdy for its purposes. It has cool Carbonite texture and features internal lid stiffeners. Yakima Skybox Carbonite is made in USA with up to 80% recycled materials.


Lock

Yakima Skybox Carbonite has SKS lock and comes with 2 keys.


Waterproofness

Yakima Skybox is very water and moisture resistant but it’s not completely waterproof. Although in most cases inside stays completely dry sometimes small amounts of water can get inside (usually during very heavy rain).


Installation

Installation is doesn’t require any assembly and is pretty simple. It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to complete:

  1. Open the levels inside the box all the way up (to lower clamps)
  2. Loosen track thumb wheel 1/2 turn (but do not remove thumb wheels as otherwise you will dissemble lever/clamp mechanism).
  3. Place box on the rooftop of your car with clamps in front of crossbars.
  4. Slide clamps along tracks (inside box) to engage crossbars.
  5. Align/adjust box position
  6. Close levers to engage clamps.
  7. Tighten all thumb wheels.

Note: minimum required crossbar spread is 24 inches whereas maximum – 42.


Noise

It does cause a little bit of noise – how much it’s noticeable depends a lot on your cars insulation (sound proofing). If you turn radio on you probably won’t be able to hear it.


Dimensions and weight

Yakima Skybox 21 Carbonite weighs 62 pounds and measures 92 inches long, 36 inches wide and 18 inches high. Specifications for other sizes are stated at the end of this article.


Conclusions

Overall Yakima Skybox is a good cargo box but due to previously mentioned minor flaws it’s not as good as Thule Force XT.





Yakima Skybox Carbonite Cargo Box Specs/Details:

  • Yakima Skybox 12 Carbonite
    • Storage capacity: 12 cu. ft.
    • Max. Load capacity: 41 lbs (19 kg)
    • Minimum crossbar spread: 24 inches
    • Maximum crossbar spread: 42 inches
    • Dimensions: 92″ x 24″ x 16″ (L x W x H)
    • Weight: 41 lbs
  • Yakima Skybox Lo Carbonite (Low Profile)
    • Storage capacity: 15 cu. ft.
    • Max. Load capacity: 52 lbs (24 kg)
    • Minimum crossbar spread: 24 inches
    • Maximum crossbar spread: 42 inches
    • Dimensions: 92″ x 36″ x 11.5″ (L x W x H)
    • Weight: 52 lbs
  • Yakima Skybox 16 Carbonite
    • Storage capacity: 16 cu. ft.
    • Max. Load capacity: 47 lbs (21 kg)
    • Minimum crossbar spread: 24 inches
    • Maximum crossbar spread: 36 inches
    • Dimensions: 81″ x 36″ x 15″ (L x W x H)
    • Weight: 47 lbs
  • Yakima Skybox 18 Carbonite
    • Storage capacity: 18 cu. ft.
    • Max. Load capacity: 52 lbs (24 kg)
    • Minimum crossbar spread: 24 inches
    • Maximum crossbar spread: 42 inches
    • Dimensions: 92″ x 36″ x 16″ (L x W x H)
    • Weight: 52 lbs
  • Yakima Skybox 21 Carbonite
    • Storage capacity: 21 cu. ft.
    • Max. Load capacity: 62 lbs (28 kg)
    • Minimum crossbar spread: 24 inches
    • Maximum crossbar spread: 42 inches
    • Dimensions: 92″ x 36″ x 18″ (L x W x H)
    • Weight: 62 lbs

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