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If you’ve been looking for a good cargo box, you’ve most likely heard of the Yakima SkyBox Pro 18. This is one of the most popular options out there, and it’s successful for a reason.
In this guide, you will find everything you need to know about the Yakima SkyBox Pro 18 including why we like it, how much stuff you can get in it and what makes it a great investment for your car.
Table of Contents
Yakima SkyBox Pro 18 Overview
Before we touch on the meat and potatoes of the Yakima SkyBox Pro 18, now let’s have a look at the overview of this roof box:
Features at a glance
Yakima SkyBox Roof Box Video
What makes the Yakima Skybox Pro 18 so special?
The Yakima Skybox Pro 18 is a fantastic cargo box and ski box in one. it allows you to transport your skis without getting the inside of your vehicle full of ice or snow, or soaking wet.
It also means that your skis won’t get covered in road muck like they do when using traditional ski racks.
The Skybox Pro 18 expands the carrying capacity of your vehicle by over 500 liters or 18 cubic feet. Using this cargo box, you can now easily transport 4 snowboards or even up to 8 pairs of skis on your next trip.
Off-season, you can use it for family road trips, storing all your camping gear on the roof perhaps, and leaving the inside of your vehicle uncluttered. When it’s not in use, it’s easy to remove in minutes and can double up as a storage solution for your garage.
Ski boxes used to be very small, hard to mount on your roof rack, unsecured, noisy and more or less like installing a giant sail to your car. Nowadays the cargo box market is very different, and that is proven more so with the arrival of the new Yakima Skybox Pro 18.
It is big, easy to secure to a car, a lot quieter when you are driving and aerodynamically designed to reduce drag, as well as being less intense on your gas consumption.
One reason why the Skybox is so quiet is due to its sturdiness, brought about by the “Endo-Skel lid technology“ from Yakima.
Effectively, these are reinforcement braces that prevent it from flexing. In turn, this makes it easier to open/close the box and also makes it three times stiffer than previous Yakima models.
The three feet width of the Yakima Skybox spans the roof of most cars, so the dual-sided opening ability becomes another plus point. Yakima achieve this by using double wishbone hinges at both ends of the cargo box.
Their wishbone hinges are spring-loaded, which makes gripping in wet and cold conditions easier, especially along the beefy overlapping edge of the box, and even more notably, when you are wearing gloves.
Until recently installing a ski box was backbreaking work, taking hours and hours. With the more modern boxes, this is now a 5-minute process.
This has become so due to the tool-free quick-install mounting hardware design of the Skybox. The process is as follows:
- Carefully place your Skybox on your roof rack (requires 2 people)
- Adjust the mounting hardware on the box, so that the spacing fits your roof rack
- Release the box’s mounting hardware clamps
- Make minor adjustments to the pressure to optimize contact between your box and the roof rack
- Pull down the levers
Installation took us nearly three minutes, and we did not use any other tools. However, we did need two pairs of hands to mount it on to the car (at step 1), as the Skybox weights 52 pounds.
The Skybox fits various factory crossbar car racks, including square or round ones. It can accommodate a crossbar spread from 24 inches up to 42 inches. Additionally, once you adjust your system to meet your roof rack, the fittings stay in place, so that the second time you install it, it takes even less time.
The undercut design on the back of the Yakima Skybox Pro is deliberately engineered to allow you to fully open your hatchback without worrying about damaging the box, or the door being stopped part of the way by the box and banging you on the head.
As a side, the Onyx version of the Yakima Skybox Pro 18, has UV and scuff resistant finish so that the shiny black exterior won’t dull.
While Yakima are effectively mass-producing a petroleum-based product, they are also thinking about their carbon offset and recycling efforts, which can be substantiated by their “Planet Payback” program.
Further, the boxes are made from recycled ABS plastic (recycled up to 80%). They also use ABS rather than fiberglass as it is cheaper and lighter. ABS is also very strong.
The weight of the box is significant to the user because a lighter box will mean you can put more in it when considering the cars’ roof weight capacity.
The box locks, which is always important when you are storing your valuables in there. There is no chance that you will lock the key inside.
Once you close the box correctly, all three latches need to engage. When they do, the handle will flip to the closed position and only then will you be able to remove the key.
This product comes with a lifetime warranty. There is also base padding to protect your box and your equipment. The cargo net should be used to secure any non-ski items that may be susceptible to sliding around when you are driving.
The Yakima Skybox Pro is available in 12, 16, 18 and 21 cubic feet sizes. In addition, is it available in four different styles: matte black, polished titanium, shiny silver, and onyx.
This Yakima Skybox is a sleek cargo box, boasting an aerodynamic design and a beautifully textured carbonite lid. The SkyBox is so big that you might be tempted to pack stuff you don’t even need, just because you can.
In the past, Yakima cargo boxes have had a couple of reports of the key breaking off in the lock. We did not see how this was feasible without being excessively heavy-handed with the product.
We found that this box was great for hurling in some soft luggage, sports gear, tents, and sleeping bags. Overall, the Yakima SkyBox is a great cargo box, and we would recommend it for moving everything you need on your next adventure.