You know the feeling – you get some gear here, some gear there, some more gear, some gear that was on sale, some gear that you got from your buddy who switched to telemarking – and suddenly the gear situation is at critical mass. You want to go on an adventure but your car won’t carry all the gear for all the adventures you want to have. There is just not enough room. The doors won’t shut and there is no room for actual people in the car anyway. What is a Geargal to do?
And that is where the SkyBox comes in. If you are lucky enough to live in an outdoorsy type of town, you have probably seen eight million of these things, on all types of cars, from Subarus to Expeditions (seriously. If you own an Expedition and still need a cargo box, you have a problem). And for good reason – the SkyBox is seriously handy for hauling skis, shovels, snow saws, luggage, backpacks, tools – anything you might need for a trip or two or five. I love the SkyBox because I can throw all the sharp, dirty, poky things in it instead of having to stuff them into my nice new car. And my dog loves it too, because he gets to ride in comfort in the car while the gear is safely ensconced in the SkyBox. It really is much safer to have the gear in the box instead of in the car – high speed impacts (and even low speed impacts) can toss stuff around if it’s loose in the car. Better to have it safely stowed.
I admit that I enlisted the help of an experienced Yakima rack system putter-onner when installing the rack system and the SkyBox on my car. It was really pretty simple to install, but having another person was really helpful and eliminated about seven thousand trips to the other side of my car to make sure everything was even. And it really was quite nice to have him just show me how to install things like lock cores instead of having to read the directions, which my readers know I hate to do. So we got the base rack system and the SkyBox installed in about forty minutes, which is really pretty good for two people who are uptight enough to try to get everything exactly perfectly even down to the millimeter. The SkyBox itself just basically slides onto the crossbars and snaps tight, and when you lock the box, it keeps anyone from being able to just walk up and steal your precious gear hauler (assuming you’ve also put locks on your crossbars to keep someone from stealing THEM).
The Skybox is cool because it can open from either side, so you can put it on either side of your car (or in the middle, and access it from either side) and has a stiff lid for easy open and close. To open, twist the handle and pull up, and to close, just push down until the latch catches. Then lock and go. Simple. You can go with the low-pro look of the black matte SkyBox, or the bling of the SkyBox Pro – they are the same thing, only the Pro has a silver top. I went with the regular black, because I’m stealth like that. I also appreciate that the silver “SkyBox” sticker can be easily removed for ninjas like me.
Best of all, the SkyBox holds a really incredible amount of stuff. I tested the SkyBox 12 and and let me tell you, this thing can fit a lot of gear. It is enormous. I haven’t even really maxed it out yet; it is cavernous. I almost went with the SkyBox 16, which is even bigger, but I’m happy with the 12 since I like to have extra room on my crossbars. If all you need is a ski carry, the SkyBox 12 might prove a little big for your needs, but if you’re ever going to be carrying packs or luggage, you will love the extra room. People like me, who like a clean car, will go nuts over the SkyBox. Finally I have a means by which to keep people from throwing their crap all over my car – the rule in the Head Geargal’s car is if it doesn’t belong to me, it goes “In The Box”. Don’t even try to put your snowy boots on my back seat. That leather ain’t cheap and I don’t want to ride home in a stuffy car with your smelly boots. In the box!
I wasn’t able to use the spoiler with the SkyBox – it just wouldn’t fit on there all together and the spoiler was too close to the sunroof on my car. I was worried about wind noise without the spoiler, but either my car is super airtight or the wind noise isn’t that bad, because I’m not bothered. It’s noiser than it is without the box on there, but not disturbingly so. And finally I can carry my grain scoop shovel wherever I go! What – you think I’m kidding?