Camping Products, Home Products, Product Reviews

Yakima SkyBox Carbonite Roof Box Review

We purchased a SUV to pull our travel trailer and like most sports utility vehicles there is very little cargo room, especially if the third row is occupied by my parents. When we come home from a camping trip, we like to drop off our travel trailer at the storage facility, then head home. So, we needed extra storage on our way home and for road trips in general. I did some research on roof mounted storage boxes and decided to purchase a Yakima roof box. Below is my real life Yakima SkyBox Carbonite Roof Box Review.

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Types of Roof Storage

Based on my research, there are three types of roof storage options for your automobile: bag, rack and box. The bags are typically made of a rain/UV resistant material and are the cheapest option ranging in price from $20-$75. Racks are like an open box and typically made of steel or some other type of metal. They range in price from $50-$200. The boxes are enclosed containers that are typically made from a composite material or ABS plastic. They range in price from $250-$1,500 or more. All three require your automobile to have a roof rack for mounting.

My Storage Needs

I was interested in a storage solution that was weather proof, keeps cargo confidential and keeps cargo secure (locks). So, for my needs the roof box was the only solution for me.

Roof boxes typically have a key lock and have roof rack clamps that are secured from inside the box, so it is relatively secure. Roof boxes are containers, so they typically advertise full protection from the elements. Although, some customer reviews I read state that the roof boxes leak inside when it’s raining outside. And, because roof boxes are solid opaque colors, the contents are kept confidential. I believe theft is a matter of opportunity, so if a thief can’t see whats on top of your car, it lowers chance that a thief will risk breaking into your roof box to steal unknown contents.


As I researched roof boxes, the most popular basic features were:

  • Dual-sided opening for easy access on either side of your vehicle
  • Easy mounting system
  • Full automobile trunk access design (so you can get into your trunk if you have a hatchback)

Some premium features of the more expensive roof boxes were:

  • Heavier wall construction
  • Integrated lighting
  • Felt-lined base for increased gear protection
  • Box cover for when you store the box

My Choice

After reading reviews and contemplating the price levels, I ended up going with a Yakima roof box, specifically the Yakima SkyBox 16 Carbonite. Below is the manufacturer’s description:

  • 16 cubit feet of space
  • Sleek, aerodynamic Carbonite textured lid
  • No assembly required
  • Tool-free installation/removal from vehicle
  • Fits Yakima round, square, factory, and aerodynamic bars
  • Designed with internal lid stiffeners for durability and easy open and close
  • SuperLatch™ security ensures your lid is secure to its base, and your gear is safe
  • Dual-sided opening for easy access on either side of your vehicle
  • Tapered design reduces hatch interference
  • Available in five sizes: Lo, 12, 16, 18, and 21 cubic feet
  • Hauls gear for up to 3 campers; fits snowboards and skis up to 185cm
  • Made in the USA with up to 80% recycled material
  • SKS Locks included
  • Minimum and maximum crossbar spreads: 24” – 36”

Manufacturer’s specifications:

  • Weight: 47.00 lbs
  • Dimensions: L 81.00in x W 36.00in x H 15.00in
  • Minimum Crossbar Spread: 24in
  • Maximum Crossbar Spread: 36in
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty

My Thoughts

We’ve had our Yakima SkyBox 16 Carbonite Roof Box for a year and love the additional storage it provides for trips. It stores a lot! Initially I was actually considering the smaller size boxes, but I ended up with the 16 cubic foot box and am so glad I purchased it!

FYI…I didn’t buy my trailer at Camping World, I got the free bag at an RV show.

I haven’t had any issues at all with my Yakima SkyBox 16 Carbonite. The lock mechanism works great. It hasn’t leaked on the inside. The dual access works great. It’s relatively light weight and easy to install on our roof rack cross bars, but I believe for most people it will require two people to place on top of your SUV or car because of box dimensions. Below is a link to purchase any size of the Skybox roof box.

1/5/2021 Update: I’ve been using the Yakima SkyBox for camping trips and for day trips, it’s been great and I haven’t had any issues.

Where to Buy

YAKIMA – SkyBox Aerodynamic Rooftop Cargo Box for Cars, Wagons and SUVs –

Door Step

I would highly recommend considering buying a hook door step. I purchased one and it has been so helpful. It hooks onto the loop in your door frame so you can step up to access the roof box instead of stepping on your car’s seats or doors. The step I purchased is not sold on Amazon anymore, but I found another one that is highly rated for you to consider, see link below.

Rightline Gear Moki Door Step –

Storage Ideas

We store our roof box in our third garage space on a 6 foot folding table. It fits perfectly. If you have tall ceilings and adequate space, you may want to consider one of the highly rated ceiling storage hoist options below:

StoreYourBoard –

HARKEN Cargo Box Garage Storage Ceiling Hoist –

I hope you found my insights and this real life Yakima SkyBox Carbonite Roof Box Review helpful! Happy camping!

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