Who makes the best rocket box.

  • Thule

    Votes: 7 43.8%
  • Yakima

    Votes: 2 12.5%
  • Other

    Votes: 7 43.8%

  • Total voters
    16

Blue Streak

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I finally broke down and traded in the Silverado for an Outback, so I am in the market for a rocket box.
Is there really any difference in quality between the Thule and Yakima boxes?
Reviews?
Experiences?
Random thoughts?
 

Philpug

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I have owned and used both brands and have been happy with both. It is a matter of finding a shape and model that suits your needs. Lo-pro, wide, tail, there are many options. Aslo, think of what else you might use it for, like fishing poles and/or other season's activites.
 

crgildart

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Look for front and back latches in addition to hinges and long side latches. Seen a couple folks along side the road at very windy pass where their box apparently blew open and the lid looked wrecked.
 

Wade

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I have an earlier model of this one (mine doesn't have the pointy nose, but otherwise looks identical)

https://www.thule.com/en-us/us/cargo-carrier/car-top-carrier/thule-hyper-xl-_-1680020

I've had it for maybe 8 years, and it's been awesome. Bombproof, reasonably light (I can put it onto the car by myself) and holds a ton of stuff. My family and I did a beach holiday this summer with 3 adults and 2 kids plus luggage for 2 weeks, We wouldn't have made it without the box which held 3 sets of golf clubs, a couple of bags, a kids bike, and assorted beach crap. I have no idea how many sets of skis it would hold, but I would guess 10+.
 

tch

What do I know; I'm just some guy on the internet.
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I just went through this recently. Looked at both Yakima and Thule for a ski box (long&skinny). I finally decided on price. It seems that Thule is slightly more expensive generally, but I didn't see any utilitarian difference. Got a 30% discount on Yakima at REI and went that way.
 

Muleski

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We've had both Yakima and Thule going back 35 years to the original Yakima "Rocket Box." They worked fine, and each generation seemed to be better built and designed. Generally speaking one model, and one brand would fit the vehicle better than another.

However, about 20 years ago I bought my first Packasport. That one's still in use. Other that the black gel coat fading a bit, it's perfect. We bought a second one about 10 years ago. Looks new.

I think it's just in another league as far as quality, durability, looks, maybe aerodynamics. Made of fiberglass, carpet lined. All good. I also think they appear to look harder to break into....for the non-pro thief.

The rear opening, front hinge design has worked well on some of our vehicles and not that well on others. That's been our only issue.

Not cheap. Bullet proof.

At least worth a look at their website.

www.packasport.com
 
Thread Starter
TS
Blue Streak

Blue Streak

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We've had both Yakima and Thule going back 35 years to the original Yakima "Rocket Box." They worked fine, and each generation seemed to be better built and designed. Generally speaking one model, and one brand would fit the vehicle better than another.

However, about 20 years ago I bought my first Packasport. That one's still in use. Other that the black gel coat fading a bit, it's perfect. We bought a second one about 10 years ago. Looks new.

I think it's just in another league as far as quality, durability, looks, maybe aerodynamics. Made of fiberglass, carpet lined. All good. I also think they appear to look harder to break into....for the non-pro thief.

The rear opening, front hinge design has worked well on some of our vehicles and not that well on others. That's been our only issue.

Not cheap. Bullet proof.

At least worth a look at their website.

www.packasport.com
Wow! Those look nice!
 

Muleski

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Wow! Those look nice!
They really are.

First one I saw was the monster size, on a full sized truck driven by a ski rep. It held a couple dozen pairs of skis.

We have had two of the 90 size. On a variety of SUV's and wagons. Bought them in black, removed the decals. Looks very clean.

They hold any sized ski, and plenty of them. I've used them to carry all sorts of gear in off seasons.

Big initial investment. Worth it, IME.
 

Lorenzzo

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However, about 20 years ago I bought my first Packasport. That one's still in use. Other that the black gel coat fading a bit, it's perfect. We bought a second one about 10 years ago. Looks new.
If you send them your VIN they can color match your car. So now I'm going to be looking for someone who color matched a prior car. If anyone sees that please post a photo.
 

Muleski

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Yes, they'll color match and spray in any color. My brother has had them do it, and then he had it subsequently resprayed to match a new car. After that, he had it sprayed a graphite gray which he's had on at least two others.

They are high grade fiberglass. Not "plastic."
Think of having a boat hull painted.
 

Jilly

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@Muleski - how easy is it to use with a rear lifting door? If the box lifts at the rear and your back door goes up, is there enough room to get into the box? I could see a problem with my Equinox and getting into the box. Although I'm going to need a small step ladder for a side entry anyways too.
 

Muleski

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@Muleski - how easy is it to use with a rear lifting door? If the box lifts at the rear and your back door goes up, is there enough room to get into the box? I could see a problem with my Equinox and getting into the box. Although I'm going to need a small step ladder for a side entry anyways too.
All depends on the car/vehicle. If you want to have a rear hatch open, and the box open at the same time, then you obviously access the box from the side once you have opened it. Then drop the hatch while you close the box.

Having a hatch wide open, and accessing the box from the back does not happen.

I've had the Packasport on Audi, BMW, Volvo wagons, Toyota Land Cruisers, Tacomas {with a rear cap and racks}. All good. Best box by far on our LC's. Open the rear, drop the tailgate, leave the upper hatch down, stand on the tailgate. Easy.
 

DanoT

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Unless that have changed recently, Yakima uses round cross bars, Thule square bars. The round shape is stronger and allows changing the mounting angles of accessories especially on a sloped roof line.

I used to have a huge Yakima box that could hold a dozen pair of skis. I used to joke that it was big enough to camp in or get buried in and cheaper than a coffin.
 

BlueSquare

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We've had both Yakima and Thule going back 35 years to the original Yakima "Rocket Box." They worked fine, and each generation seemed to be better built and designed. Generally speaking one model, and one brand would fit the vehicle better than another.

However, about 20 years ago I bought my first Packasport. That one's still in use. Other that the black gel coat fading a bit, it's perfect. We bought a second one about 10 years ago. Looks new.

I think it's just in another league as far as quality, durability, looks, maybe aerodynamics. Made of fiberglass, carpet lined. All good. I also think they appear to look harder to break into....for the non-pro thief.

The rear opening, front hinge design has worked well on some of our vehicles and not that well on others. That's been our only issue.

Not cheap. Bullet proof.

At least worth a look at their website.

www.packasport.com
Thanks for mentioning this Muleski. Would've never known about them. Love the fact that they're made in the USA and seem really solid, like my favorite bike racks I bought this year (1UP).

So do they fit over any roof rack crossbars?
 

tch

What do I know; I'm just some guy on the internet.
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Whoa! I just looked at the price on the packasports! FWIW, I bought my (perfectly usable and efficient) Yakima Rocketbox for $275. I can ski a LOT of days on the difference b/w that and the Packasports.
 

Muleski

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I said they were expensive! Not cheap.
I've driven from Boston to Alyeska with 18 pairs of skis at 90mph, in an older one. They are not for everyone, at all.

Yes, you can use either a Thule or Yakima bar with them. Either works.
 

Dadskier

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I've got a Yakima box 1600 (I think). It's a little tight, but I can fit 188s in it. I've had it since 2005 or so and keep it outside. It's still in great shape. Hinges and locks need a little wd40 now and then, but that's it.
 

cantunamunch

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Unless that have changed recently, Yakima uses round cross bars, Thule square bars.
It has changed recently - both companies now offer aero cross-section bars that are the primary pairing with new vehicles, especially ones with factory rails. Using the old style bars from either company requires clamp adapters at extra cost.

The round shape is stronger
Except the round shape also allows condensation inside at the low point. Yes, I have had Yakima round bars rot from the inside. I had a thread on filling the interior with PU foam back on the old site.

It's possible my racks see more humidity or more sea salt than others on this forum but there it is.

and allows changing the mounting angles of accessories especially on a sloped roof line.
True but on short roofs old Thule has the advantage - old Yakima will require short roof kits with front/back supplemental bars where old Thule can get away with their square clamping.

I used to have a huge Yakima box that could hold a dozen pair of skis. I used to joke that it was big enough to camp in or get buried in and cheaper than a coffin.
This was actually used on TV - Firefly fans might remember :D
 
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