As I drive around town, I can’t help but gasp when I see the current gas prices. It’s $3.44 at my local Chevron and there’s no sign that it’s going to stop anytime soon. With gas at all-time highs, it’s no wonder why small cars like the Honda Civic or hybrids like the Toyota Prius are in such high demand. But, how do outdoorsy people with lots of gear and some of us with 3+ kids haul all the bikes, backpacks, coolers, skis, food and clothes in small, gas-friendly vehicles?

One option is to add extra on-demand storage with a rooftop cargo box. Yakima has many great solutions that will work on just about every vehicle. Not only can you carry just as much gear in a smaller vehicle, you can pop them on or off in a matter of minutes (if you have factory crossbars, or if you keep your roof rack installed). I’ve got a Yakima Platinum Pro 16s that’s served me well now for several years. It does a great job of carrying skis in the winter and camping gear in the summer.

Yakima SkyBox Cargo Boxes - Carry More

Yakima’s full lineup of cargo boxes will fit just about any vehicle on the market today. Options vary in size from 12 cu. ft. all the way up to 21 cu. ft.

In a recent release from Yakima:

With a weak dollar overseas and higher gas prices, many Americans will look at options that involve shorter trips closer to home in a CUV (small SUV on a car platform). In fact, CUV sales are up 16% since 2007. Yakima, manufacturer of vehicle racks, has heard the rallying cry and is offering an eco-friendly solution with its line of 80% recycled cargo boxes. With Yakima’s SkyBox Pro Series, consumers can pack gear on top of the car, to put more bodies inside the car, reducing this summer’s road trip carbon footprint.

Yakima’s SkyBox Pro Series also boast a 50% stiffer lid than previous models, offer Super Latch Security for enhanced protection, and a new aerodynamic shape reducing drag and wind noise. In addition, all boxes have universal attachments that can automatically be loaded onto factory, round or square crossbars.

If you’re in the market for a larger car, or simply need to carry more gear, think twice about upsizing your vehicle and look at these great cargo box options from Yakima. With stiffer lids for easier closing (these are a HUGE improvement over the previous models) and 80% recycled plastic materials, you’ll save money at the pump and feel better about doing it. All Yakima SkyBox cargo boxes open on both sides, include SKS locks, offer improved aerodynamics and mount in minutes on any rack: square, round or factory.

Here’s an overview of the smallest and largest box in the 2008 Yakima SkyBox Pro lineup.

Yakima SkyBox Pro 12

The narrowest box in the line is skinny on width but not on features or versatility. This box is ideal for someone who needs to carry skis (it’s 92-inches long, so even your nordic jumping skis will fit) in the winter, while still keeping a couple of bike racks on the crossbars too. MSRP is $459.

Yakima SkyBox Pro 12 Cargo Box

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Yakima SkyBox Pro 21

This is the big daddy of cargo boxes with a mammoth 21 cu. ft. of storage capacity. You could fit enough gear in this box to last an entire summer. It’s wide, so you may not be able to carry anything else on top, but it will swallow all your gear in style. It is 92 x 36 x 18 inches, so be sure to use the compatibility tool on, but if you’re looking to haul everything, this is THE box to own. MSRP is $639.

Yakima SkyBox Pro 21 Cargo Box

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About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.


  1. Good question… in the past, this was the case, but now, it’s really negligible. I drive around with my Yakima Platinum Pro all winter and only notice about 1/2 MPG less. They are pretty aerodynamic these days and the SkyBox Pro is even more aerodynamic.

    Now, if you’re thinking about those old Sears Cargo boxes or tying a mattress to your roof, that will definitely reduce your MPG. But, the SkyBox design is very aerodynamic… you won’t notice much difference.

  2. The cargo box on the roof increased fuel consumption by about 5% compared to the baseline but I agree, they are pretty aerodynamic these days.

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