Ski racks are great for toting skis to and from the slopes, but those in the know prefer a cargo box. Why? Well, when you’re done skiing or snowboarding, nothing is better than tossing everything into the box (skis, poles, boots, wet jackets, etc.) so it doesn’t clutter your ride and so you’ve got enough room for all your buddies. But, not only is it great for post-skiing storage, many folks (ahem, yours truly) use it as mobile gear storage as well so they are ready to hit the slopes once the Ski Utah Monster Dump alert hits their cell phone.

When I first saw the all-new Yakima SkyBox LoPro Titanium cargo box at Outdoor Retailer in 2008, I was impressed. Having used several cargo boxes from both Yakima and Thule over the years, this one stood out very quickly. For starters, it looked so sleek and streamlined with a dark metallic finish, but then digging into the details of the box, the fit-and-finish and little details that went into this box continued to impress.

SkyBox LoPro Titanium Features:

  • Titanium pro series finish
  • Integrated solar powered lighting system
  • New lid (50% stiffer)
  • Super Latch Security system
  • Quick-installation mounting hardware fits round, square and most factory crossbars
  • New aerodynamic shape reduces wind drag
  • Fits crossbar spreads as short as 24”
  • Integrated track system for easy attachment of included cargo net and pad
  • SKS locks included
  • Opens on either side
  • Made with up to 50% recycled content
  • 15 cubic feet (92” x 36” x 11.5”)
  • MSRP: $699.95

The SkyBox LoPro is perfect for hauling a full quiver of skis.

Low-profile gear hauler

I’ve been able to use the LoPro on two vehicles this Winter–a 2005 Honda Odyssey using factory crossbars and a 2001 Subaru Outback utilizing Thule crossbars. Both vehicles have been well-suited for the LoPro. Lets walk through the installation process on both vehicles, starting with the Odyssey.

Installation on 2005 Honda Odyssey (factory roof rack/crossbars)

The Odyssey was a little more difficult to install correctly, but most of that wasn’t really the box’s fault. I’ve got factory crossbars and adjusting their location requires a hex wrench and a bit of elbow grease. As I planned the location out, it was apparent that the rear hatch would be ever-so-close to hitting the rear of the box, so I opted to slide the attachment claws as far forward on the box as possible. Doing so, put the box about a half-inch in front of the rear spoiler when the hatch was raised — PERFECT! Total install time was about 45 minutes.

Installation on 2001 Subaru Outback w/Thule Rack System

Now for the same process on the Outback… This was a little easier since the Thule Crossroad towers are simple-as-pie to move. I loosened the front crossbar, set the LoPro on top, then adjusted as needed to provide a secure rooftop location. As it turned out, the aftermarket crossbars definitely provide more compatibility than factory designs. Because of the extra height provided by the Thule crossbars and their easy adjustments, the LoPro looked and functioned right at home atop the Subie. The rear hatch cleared with plenty of space and the box looks handsome atop my black Outback. Total install time was about 15 minutes.

When closed, the LoPro is low-profile indeed.

Compared to the typical attachments from competitors, I absolutely love the claw-like clamps used to secure this box in place. Yakima definitely takes the cake when it comes to secure and easy box attachment. To slide the box in place, all you do is reach inside and lift up the latches, reach underneath and open the rearward-facing claws, then slide the box backwards until the claws are centered on the crossbars. Once it’s centered and set in place, all it takes is a quick reach inside the box where the 4 latches can be closed and the box secured.

Placing items inside the box has now also been improved with an easy-to-use lever and three latches. When opening the lid on the SkyBox LoPro, you’ll instantly notice the ultra-stiff lid. No more flexible lid warbling around upon open, this thing moves as a single piece and securely engages all three latches in one motion (as opposed to walking up and down the side to latch completely).

The new latch and locking lever combo is built to prevent you from leaving the lid unlocked because the keys won’t pull out until you lock it. This is a great feature to prevent freeway yard sales, indeed, but it does hinder your ability to load the box on-the-fly since you’ve always got to track down the key first.

Easy latch and the key doesn’t release until it’s fully-locked.

With its wide profile, this box can easily carry 6 or more pairs of skis with ease. And, with its long 92″ length, even the longest of skis will fit inside. I’ve appreciated being able to toss several pairs of fat skis, poles and ski boots up top for secure transport. And, the solar-powered LED interior light ensures nothing is left behind.

On the road, the box is definitely the quietest box I’ve used with no real wind noise to speak of. My 2001 Outback has the dual moonroof feature, so any added wind noise is immediately noticed, but I didn’t notice much if any extra noise. MPG’s were pretty much the same as without the rack, so not too much to worry about there.

UPDATE 12/8/2015: Without question, this has been the most durable and functional roof box I’ve owned. It remains atop the family vehicle year-round and comes in handy for ski trips and summer vacations — all without dogging our MPGs. 

The Good

  • Sleek, low-profile design
  • Wide enough to carry skis for everyone in the vehicle
  • Locking feature prevents freeway yard sales
  • LED light seemed gimmicky, but came in handy on dawn patrols
  • Stiff lid moves as one piece for easier opening/closing
  • Latching the lid is stupid easy
  • No noticeable change in MPG

The Bad 

  • Key requirement puts a damper on loading on-the-fly
  • Long length may hit some rear hatches (barely clears the 2005 Honda Odyssey)
  • Not very tall, so big items like large backpacks and luggage may not fit

Bottom Line: Yakima SkyBox LoPro

If you don’t need to haul large items and you primarily use the box for winter gear transportation, the SkyBox LoPro is a killer choice with improved lid stiffness, quiet performance and ease-of-use.

Buy Now: Find Yakima Cargo Boxes at

The Verdict

9.2 Best Low Profile Box

If you are inclined to go with a sleek, low-profile cargo box, the Yakima SkyBox LoPro remains the best on the market. After over five years of use, this one remains our go-to carrier.

  • Durability 10
  • Usability 8
  • Mounting 10
  • Security 9
  • Wind Noise 9

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.


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  2. Seeing as how you recently updated your article I am hopefull that you might be able to measurement of the INTERIOR height. To be specific, the area where the bindings would be if stored vertically. My race bindings are slightly over 10″ tall in that orientation. I ask because we may need to store 6 pairs of skis within the box on Race Days and each pair is approximately 4″ wide so side-by-side-by side is 24″ so 6 pairs “should” fit if… the bindings will also fit. Thanks in advance.

    • The full interior height is tough to measure when closed. Measuring the exterior, it’s just over 10″, so it might barely fit or it might barely not fit. We easily put 6 pairs of skis in there for our family, but that’s only two sets of adult skis at this point.

      Yakima may have the interior height listed somewhere or available from their Customer Support team (which is awesome, btw). Good luck and thanks for the comment!

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