Looking for a roof box? Check Out Our Yakima SkyBox 16 Carbonite Review
Overview of Yakima SkyBox 16 Carbonite
Medium-sized Yakima SkyBox 16 Carbonite roof boxes accommodate most automobiles. Its 16-cubic-foot capacity is 90 inches long, 36 inches wide, and 15 inches tall. It’s constructed of carbonite, which resists weather and wear, and has a sleek black finish that looks excellent on any automobile.
The aerodynamic Yakima SkyBox 16 Carbonite reduces wind noise and drag while driving. Its dual-sided aperture makes loading and unloading easy. The Yakima SkyBox 16 Carbonite has a built-in lock to safeguard your stuff and a keyed alike system to use the same key for all your Yakima gear.
The Yakima SkyBox 16 Carbonite outperforms comparable roof boxes. Its aerodynamic shape reduces wind noise, and its size, capacity, and durability are ideal. Its dual-sided opening and built-in lock make it a simple and secure travel bag.
Gear Capacity and Interior Space
Box Dimensions and Weight
The SkyBox 16 is popular since it won’t block your vehicle’s back hatch. It’s long enough at 6 feet 9 inches to fit most skis and a lot of stuff, and the clamps can slide fore-and-aft to fit a variety of cars. To make sure it fits, measure from your front crossbar to the closest contact point of the open hatch.
My Volkswagen Alltrack fits fine (Yakima has a useful guide for nailing this down). As mentioned above, its 15-inch height (internal dimensions are about 1 inch less) limits what fits within. Finally, its 36-inch breadth fits my small Alltrack, and larger vehicles with broader crossbars can add accessories like a bike rack.
SkyBox 16 weighs 47 pounds. Due to its size, the box should be moved with a partner (see “Installation and Removal” below). Weight limits apply to both your rack system and vehicle. The SkyBox can carry rather heavy stuff at 47 pounds (my Thule rack can manage 165 pounds, and my vehicle’s roof is rated for the same).
Cargo Box Access and Security
Mid- or high-end boxes offer convenient interior access. The Yakima SkyBox 16 Carbonite can be opened from the driver or passenger side. Both have handles that match and locks that are built in. This makes it easy to put things in or take things out of the small spaces inside. The wide clamshell box can accommodate bulky products. If the opened box is too high to reach, each side includes a central string for closure.
The locks are firm and require a strong push to open. This is reassuring—the box is well manufactured, and the levers have held up well—but we’d rather it needed less effort. The SKS keys, needed to unlock the SkyBox, cannot be removed until it is closed and secured. This feature can be divisive—if you keep your keys on a wider ring, the complete set will be attached to the box and out in the open until you seal it—but it adds security and assures you’ve closed the box before leaving.
My Yakima SkyBox 16 Carbonite has been used for almost three years through 100+ degree heat, heavy rain, and snow, and it has never leaked or failed. Yakima says that the box is water-resistant, and I would say that it is quite water-resistant.
With the box’s lip hanging over the opening seam, any condensation will simply run off the top. As for the latch, it hasn’t been a weak point either. However, under direct sunlight, the interior can grow quite hot.
Because there are no vents or other openings to let air escape, and because the exterior is black, a lot of heated air escapes when the car is opened after being driven in the sun. Nonetheless, this is a small gripe, and I am satisfied with the coverage as a whole.
Road Noise and Aerodynamics
Build Quality and Durability
Installation and Removal
The Yakima SkyBox 16 Carbonite doesn’t need any extra equipment to get started, so it’s very easy to use. Within a few minutes of picking it up from an Amazon store, I had it unboxed and installed on my car. With the lid up and the four internal levers open, the clamps at the bottom will expand to fit over the cross bars. With a second person’s help, you may lift the box, walk around the front of the vehicle (the open clamps will make this orientation clear), and place the box directly in front of the bars.
The highly adjustable clamps are slipped over the bars, and the clamps are locked in place by turning all four over. Yakima and other online stores have made a number of high-quality videos for people who learn best by seeing things. Detaching it is just as easy as installing it; you just have to do the steps in the opposite order. However, you’ll still need a second person to help you take it off.
Cross Bar Compatibility
Modern roof boxes almost never have problems with cross bar compatibility. SkyBox owners can use their open clamps with any Yakima rack system (round or aerodynamic), as well as factory bars from the car’s maker and the square bars found in many cheap Thule racks.
Despite the fact that Yakima’s fit guide does not explicitly state that it will work with Thule’s AeroBlade system, the box fits perfectly in my car, which already had the Thule system installed.
It is best to use the fit guide before making a purchase, and if there is any possibility of hatch interference, it is recommended that you take the necessary measurements.
Other Things the Yakima SkyBox Can Do
The Yakima SkyBox Carbonite comes in a variety of sizes; we tried the 16-cubic-foot version, but it is also available in 12, 18, and 21 cubic feet. The 16 cubic feet was almost ideal for our gear, but the 15-inch peak height (about 14 inches inside) was a bit of a squeeze when it came to piling on extra-long or tall items.
We recommend the 18-inch peak height (16 in.) or 21-inch peak height (18 in.) model for individuals who are ready for a change. Last but not least, Yakima offers a Lo Carbonite version of the SkyBox that, for $649, is lower-profile and longer than the type we tested by an inch in height and an inch and a half in length, respectively (more on this below).
Advantages and Disadvantages of Yakima SkyBox 16 Carbonite
What we like
What we don't like
Yakima SkyBox 16 Carbonite Review - Final Thoughts