Update Note: April 2015
We have contacted all of the companies and confirmed any changes, as noted in the reviews. A complete review was performed in November 2013.
Best Overall Cargo Box
Yakima Skybox Pro 16
Even Lady Gaga gives her seal of approval to the Editors' Choice winner, the Yakima Skybox Pro 16
, for ease of use as a coffin in her video for Bad Romance
. Beyond the style points of being in a Lady Gaga video, we think that the Skybox Pro rises above its competitors in all of the evaluation categories. We really like the way its Titanium finish looks on our tester's Toyota Matrix, and think it's just the right size to haul around all kinds of gear and equipment. We also love how easy it is to use; we could open and close it with one hand because if its stiff lid, the handy pull cord, and the latch handle that pops it open and makes it easy to see that it is closed. It is the heaviest box we tested, but does not make a lot of road noise until we get over 70 MPH. We also only notice a difference in handling when there are very high crosswinds on the highway, otherwise we forget it is there
Best Bang for the Buck
Thule Sonic Large
Thule is known for their high quality products, so we were pleasantly surprised when we saw that the price of the Thule Sonic Large was only $549.95
. The Sonic has really excellent construction quality with its stiff lid and smooth latching system. It was one of the easiest to mount on our roof racks, with its preassembled clamping attachment system. We also like the look of this sleek roof box, and noticed that it creates very little road noise at speeds below 70MPH. The size 'large' of the Sonic is great for general use like travel or camping, but it does not fit most adult size skis. We think this cargo box is a great pick at a great value — especially if you don't need to cart around skis. sometimes!
Top Pick for a Low Profile Box
Inno Racks Shadow 16
The Inno Racks Shadow 16 is a great pick for anyone who is looking for a lower profile cargo box
, especially if you tend to drive into low parking garages or have a tall vehicle like a truck or SUV. It has a very sleek, low profile design and we like the way it looks on our vehicles. Even with its lower design, you can still fit a lot of gear in it, including multiple pairs of skis. Our tester with a Subaru Forester thought it was particularly quiet on his car and didn't hear any whistling nor any more noticeable road noise than he would have without a box. We did notice that the lid is a little floppier than the Skybox or the Sonic, and think with all the flex in the lid and hardware, it takes some fiddling to get it closed. The Shadow 16 also takes a bit more assembly than the other boxes to mount onto roof racks, but its worth it if you are searching for a slim-fitting box.