Thule Pulse XL Cargo Box Review

Thule Pulse XL Cargo Box Review

Thule pulse XL pinterestThule is the outright market leader in designing and manufacturing innovative cargo transport solutions and outdoor equipment. Founded in 1942, it has produced the strongest and most durable carriers over the years, and the Thule Pulse XL Cargo Box is one of its finest products to date.

The Thule Pulse XL is the largest cargo box in the Pulse Series. It has a 16 cubic feet cargo capacity capable of fitting 6-8 pairs of skis, 4-6 snowboards, 2-3 baby carriers, or camping gear for up to 4 passengers.

Thule Pulse XL Cargo Box
  • Functional rooftop cargo box provides 16 cubic feet of additional packing space
  • Rugged and durable design keep contents protected
  • FastGrip quick-mount system assembles in minutes
  • Passenger-side opening for easy loading and unloading
  • Central Locking system provides maximum safety

Last update on 2024-04-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • Passenger-side opening – Convenient access to gear
  • Easy Grip™ Mounting System – Quick installation
  • Low-profile and symmetrical design – reduce wind resistance
  • SecureLock™ – easy grasp and secure locking system
  • Full trunk access – forward positioning on the vehicle roof
What we like What we don’t like
Rugged and durable ABS construction Lid lifters are made of thin plastic
Tool-free mounting
Compatible with most factory racks
Fairly priced

The Review


The body of the Pulse XL is constructed using heavy-duty rugged ABS plastic. It is impact resistant and keeps your gear free of dust and moisture thanks to its IP-X2 test-certified weather resistance feature. The matte black finish adds a touch of style and modernity to the 76 x 33 x 16.5-inch cargo carrier.

The top lid is not as dense as the bottom, with the plastic material being fairly light and flexible. This ingenious construction is meant to reduce the total weight and make the Pulse XL cargo box compatible with vehicles with a roof with a lower load rating.


The Pulse XL box is compatible with Thule Rack Systems, round, aero, elliptical, and most factory bar systems. Mounting the box properly requires the minimum bar spread to be 23⅝ inches while the maximum 34⅜ inches. Equally important, each crossbar should not exceed 3⁵⁄₁₆ and 1⅟₂ inches in width and height, respectively.

For hatchback owners, rear hatch clearance is important before selecting an ideal roof carrier. Measure the distance from the center of the front crossbar to the seam of the hatch. If the length is at least 46⅜inches, the box will fit without impeding with the opening of your rear hatch.


Thule furnishes you with everything required to install your Pulse XL Cargo box in under 10 minutes, including a detailed pictorial instruction guide. As much as the installation is easy, we recommend having another person help you place the 36-pound cargo box onto the roof rack.

Adjust the carrier’s position until the rubber-lined mounting points lie over the crossbars. The box should be positioned 16 inches off the crossbar towards the vehicle’s rear. This will minimize wind resistance while eliminating interference by the rear hatch or the antenna.

The Easy-Grip™ mounting hardware usually comes inside the box. Open the box, remove it and turn the knobs counter-clockwise until they open completely. Insert Easy-Grips™ into the mounting slots at the bottom of the box and center it over the car’s crossbars. Make sure all the four mounts are correctly positioned and tighten them firmly by turning the knob clockwise.


The streamlined shape has been optimized to exceptionally cut through the air, reducing the impact on your fuel economy. Furthermore, it provides for a quieter ride while harmonizing with the contemporary design of your vehicle.

Despite the smooth aerodynamics of the Pulse, crosswinds above 20mph will have a significant impact on the gas mileage and car handling. Rather than accelerating, keeping your speed below 65mph will reduce the drag.

Ease of Use

Loading/unloading the Pulse XL box has been made easier and safer from oncoming traffic with the lid opening from the passenger side. Once you are all loaded up, Thule has thrown in 2 straps to tie down your gear, preventing them from sliding around during transit.

The One-Key lock cylinder locks the lid and also locks the box to the carrier. To unlock the box, insert the Thule Comfort key and turn it clockwise, whereas turning it clockwise will lock it.

The SecureLock features an oversize designed lock whose key can only be removed from the lock cylinder when the lid is closed and locked. This eliminates the likelihood of setting off for a cruise with the box open.


  • Cleaning the roof box regularly after use with water and a mild detergent. Avoid detergents that contain additives such as alcohol, chlorine, or ammonia, as these could corrode the box’s surface.
  • Lubricate the locks using graphite or similar dry lubricant. Do not use oil or grease.
  • Inspect the box and its accessories periodically for defects and weathering.
  • Store the box away from exposure to elements such as direct sunlight. Do not place it on the concrete floor for extended periods, especially in winter.
  • Evenly distribute the loads inside the Pulse XL cargo box and do not exceed the maximum permitted load of 110 lbs.


  • 4 Easy-Grip™ Mounting hardware
  • A lock cylinder
  • 8 Easy-Grip™ Sealing strips
  • 2 Tie-down straps
  • 2 Keys
  • Installation Guide

After Sales Services

Thule cargo carriers, racks, and accessories have a limited lifetime warranty that strictly applies to the original purchaser. It warrants the Pulse XL against manufacturer’s defects in materials or workmanship. Any defects from normal wear and tear, modifications, or deviation from Thule’s instructions or guidelines void the warranty agreement.

Thule products for the North American market are made in Franklin Park, Illinois, USA. This facility provides replacement and repair services while also housing a proficient professional team that responds quickly to customer queries. Shipment of the Thule Pulse is done for free and sticks to the stated time frame.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Thule Pulse XL Cargo box waterproof?

No, the box is not categorized as waterproof carrier. Very small amounts of water seep through the mounting openings on the box’s floor when driving through a heavy downpour. The amount is relatively small and only affects some items on the box floor.

Will the cargo box work with factory-installed bars?

You will need to install crossbars before you can mount the roof box. Thule crossbars have a universal compatibility and would work on most factory installed bars. To be absolute certain, we recommend that you check with the Thule Online Fit Guide to determine what crossbars work best for your vehicle.

What is the longest pair of skis the box will fit?

The interior length of the Pulse XL roof box is 72 inches or 182 cm. Consequently, the box can carry 6-8 skis of up to 181cm in length.

How do I load my box?

Pack the heavy items at the center of the box and tie them using the straps or pad them to absorb the kinetic energy in case you brake heavily or driving through rough terrain. Other gear can now be evenly distributed around the roof box and similarly strapped to prevent them from moving around and making noise.

Final Words

The Pulse XL cargo box is more sturdy and durable than it looks. It may not have eye-catching high gloss finishes, but it has all the key features of premium models, although at a lower price tag. We were particularly impressed by how the matte black finish conceals scrapes and scratches after driving through low-lying branches trying to access a camp down a trodden path.

As much as the Thule Pulse XL Cargo box is meant to decongest your car’s interior, always start by packing the heaviest luggage inside the car’s boot. The bootload limit is usually twice the permissible roof load of your vehicle.

Additionally, it’s safer there in case of an emergency where you have to swerve or brake immediately. In the boot, the intensity will be limited as opposed to in the roof box, where it can also damage your roof box and rack.

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