If you are looking for the best cargo box for the roof of your vehicle but have questions like:

“Which cargo box fits my car?”

“What size cargo box do I need?”

“Who makes the best cargo box?”

“Where to store a roof top cargo box?”

In the next few minutes you will have the answers to your questions and some suggestions that will help in your decision.

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Here’s what you will learn about roof cargo boxes for your vehicle:

  • Roof Racks and Crossbars – what is required to mount a cargo box to the roof so it and your contents arrive with you safely at your destination.
  • Size –  choosing the right size cargo box for your gear and your car.
  • Features – is what the manufacturer offering beneficial or gimmicky
  • Cons –  a look at some of the negatives as relayed by real owners

6 Hard Shell Cargo Boxes to Consider in 2017

Click on Blue heading of each to read more

MAKE & MODELYAKIMA SHOWCASE ROOFTOP 20THULE 626FORCE 13SportRack SR7018 VISTA XLYAKIMA SKYBOX 21CARBONITETHULE HYPER XLRHINO-RACK MASTER FIT 440
SIZE (in)91 x 37 x 1765 x 34.5 x 1663 x 38 x 1992 x 36 x 1890 x 35 x 1676 x 32 x 17
CAPACITY (cu/ft)201318211716
WEIGHT (lbs)603538625739
OPENSDual SideDual SideRearDual SideDual SideDual Side
SHIPPINGFREEFREE$12.99FREEFREEFREE
BEST FITSUV, WagonCUV, Wagon, HatchCUV, WagonSUV, WagonSUV, WagonCUV, Wagon, Hatch
OTHER SIZES (cu/ft)15Alpine (12), 16, 17, 21-Lo (15), 12, 16, 18-19.5
Yakima best cargo box

Yakima Showcase 20 Cargo Box

  • 20 cubic foot capacity
  • Will hold all the families ski gear
  • Dual sided opening for quick & safe access
  • Tapered tail design for tailgate clearance
  • Fits aerodynamic, factory, round & square crossbars
MODELCAPACITYDIMENSIONSWEIGHTWEIGHT CAP.MAX. LENGTH SKI
SHOWCASE 151580 x 36 x 14.5 in46lb100lb*190cm
SHOWCASE 202091 x 37 x 17 in60lb100lb*220cm

* Rated at average vehicle roof rack max. weight limit

best cargo box yakima showcase

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Whether it’s with the family or you and a few friends going skiing or taking a few days camping the Yakima Showcase 20 will give you all the extra luggage room needed.

CAPACITY

At 20 cu/ft that is almost as much space as many mid-size wagons have behind the rear seat.

With dimensions of 91″ long x 37″ wide x 17″ tall it will accommodate a variety of winter sports gear including skis up to 220cm long. And if camping is more your thing then tents, sleeping bags folding chairs and gear for up to four people will fit.

The Yakima Showcase series, – there is two sizes (15 & 20) and 2 colors (Anthracite & Quicksilver) – is the newest in the line-up from Yakima.

FEATURES

While aerodynamic styling reduces drag and wind noise, the ABS construction provides durability, impact and UV resistance.

STIFFER LID

One of the biggest improvements over previous models has been the addition of internal lid stiffeners, which aid in opening and closing of the lid. Which is great because we often need to open the lids on our cargo boxes with one hand while the other is holding gear.

GEAR ANCHORS

To secure your gear inside the cargo box, there is 4 anchor points that you can use with load straps or a stretch net. (Both sold separately).

DUAL-SIDE ACCESS

You gain easy access from both sides, this is also a good safety feature keeping you away from any moving traffic should you be on the shoulder of the road. It is also allows you to mount the cargo box to either the left or right side of the rack and still gain easy access.

TOOL-LESS FITTING

Fitting the Showcase Cargo Box is a tool-less affair. You will probably have it lifted into place and secured in under 3 minutes. (First time fitment will take a little longer as you will need to set the crossbars and position the cargo box)

HATCH CLEARANCE

When designing the Showcase series the team at Yakima gave it a lot of thought and tapered the tail giving the rear hatch the clearance it needs to lift.

SECURITY

Security comes from SKS (Same Key System) which will not allow the keys to be removed until the lid is closed and locked. No driving away with an unlocked cargo lid.

CROSSBAR SPREAD

Yakima Showcase 20 cargo box has a minimum crossbar spread of 24″ and a maximum of 40″ (measured center to center). Fits round, aerodynamic, factory and square crossbars.

It is light enough to lift onto my 2014 Subaru Outback by myself (awkwardly). It attached flawlessly and easily to the stock roof rack bars on the Subaru. I drove through some torrential rain on the highway, and it kept everything dry, even at highway speeds – Amazon Verified Purchaser

 

If 20 cu/ft is a bit to much for your needs, there is a 15 cu/ft version available.

Which cargo box fits my car?

It’s a great question and one that should be asked before buying a cargo box.

 

Cargo boxes, like cars come in different shapes and sizes.

 

What I discovered when I did all the research for a cargo box for my 2010 Landcruiser is that even though cargo box manufacturer sites have vehicle specific fitment guides for their rack systems, they don’t really inform you about the ideal cargo box for your vehicle.

 

There have been plenty of people who have bought cargo boxes only to find that they don’t fit their vehicle.

 

Two common problems:

Rear hatch clearance. Not able to open the hatch fully.
Crossbar spread (distance between the bars) does not align with cargo box mounts.

 

 

Insufficient Rear Hatch Clearance commonly occurs when fitting a cargo box that is to big for the vehicle.
The problem is the front crossbar can’t go forward far enough to allow room at the rear of the box for the hatch door to open fully.

 

To obtain Rear Hatch Clearance measurement (if not supplied by manufacturer), Measure from the center of the front crossbar to the gap in front of the hatch. If you have a spoiler or hatch visor this distance may have to be shorter. You can measure with the hatch door up.

 

Insufficient or to much Crossbar Spread is mostly associated with fixed (non adjustable) crossbars. These are normally found on factory fitted racks. You will have to measure the distance between them – center to center.

 

As guide you will be wanting a measurement between 24 – 40 inches.

 

You do not have to match your rack system to your preferred cargo box. Almost all cargo boxes mounting clamps are universal and will fit round bars, square bars, aero & elliptical bars.

 

Rhino-Rack and Yakima have the easiest to use sites for selecting crossbars and full rack systems to suit your vehicle.

 

In Summary

So, which cargo box fits my car?
One that securely attaches to both your crossbars and leaves clearance for the rear hatch door to open fully.

Cargo box for wagon

Thule Force 624 M Cargo Box

  • Range of Capacities 12, 13, 16, 17 & 21 cu/ft
  • Quick-Grip knob mounting hardware
  • Dual-side access
  • Built-in lifter elements hold lid open
  • Aerodynamic design
THULE FORCE SERIESFORCE XXLFORCE XLFORCE LFORCE MFORCE ALPINE
CAPACITY cu/ft2117161312
MAX. WEIGHT LIMIT lbs110110110110110
OUTER DIM. LxWxH in.92.5 x 36 x 1884 x 34.5 x 1774 x 36 x 16.565 x 34.5 x 1681.5 x 24.5 x 17
INNER DIM. LxWxH in.88.5 x 34 x 1680 x 32.5 x 1570 x 34 x 14.561 x 32.5 x 1477.5 x 22.5 x 15
BOX WEIGHT lbs5644393536
MAX. SKI LENGTH cm220198173150192
cargo box for suv thule force

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Thule (pronounced ‘toolee’ just for those, like me, that get it wrong. It’s Swedish)

Now we have the name pronunciation right lets look at the Thule Force M (624) cargo box.

Even though there five different size cargo boxes in Thule’s Force line-up (see the table to the left or above depending on your device) I chose the Medium because it’s most suited to smaller 4 door sedan and hatchback cars. Also these vehicles are often only occupied by one or two people.

CAPACITY

At 13 cubic feet storage capacity the Thule Force M is perfect for a couple of adventure seekers, a busy parent who needs extra space for kids gear or a single person who likes to pack all their own gear and meet up with friends later.

The dimensions of the Thule Force M make it great choice. At 65 inches long, 35 wide and 16 high, it sits perfectly on a smaller car roof with very little to no windscreen overhang. Don’t worry it will work perfectly on your SUV as well!

I bought this carrier to transport golf clubs, camp chairs, and non perishable supplies for vacation trip in June. It was easy to place and secure on my SUV, and it was quiet. Never heard it even at 70+ mph Interstate speeds. – Amazon Verified Purchase

Small cars have plenty of benefits but large amounts of luggage space is not one of them. However, in many cases, fitting a 16 – 20 cubic foot box on your small car can upset the handling, especially at highway speeds. Not to mention that they look all out proportion, like there is great big obelisk strapped to the roof.

FEATURES

Force cargo boxes utilize AeroSkin Technology on the outer shell (that’s the diamond textured look) combining durability with toughness of the ABS plastic.

Aerodynamic shape reduces drag and noise,

NO TOOLS REQUIRED

Weighing in at a slender 36lb it really is a one person job to lift on and off the roof of your vehicle. Using Quick-Grip mounting clamps which only require sliding into position over the crossbars and then a couple of turns of the locking knobs and installation is complete in under 5 minutes.

DUAL-SIDE ACCESS

With dual side access there is no problem getting to any of your gear. The two built-in handles on either side make opening and closing the lid easy.

LID LIFTERS

Built-in lifter elements at the front and rear of the box hold the box lid open providing hands-free access to gear.

SECURITY

SecureLock system ensures that the lid is closed and locked before the key can be removed. Both locks take the same key.

CROSSBARS

Crossbar distance for the Force M is quite narrow and crossbar spread should be between 23-5/8″ – 33″ ) measured center to center)

All Force series boxes are compatible with Thule rack systems, round, square, aero, elliptical, and most factory crossbars. If your factory rack does not have crossbars, you will need to purchase a set.

If your thinking you may need a little extra space than what the Force M has then take a look at the Thule Force L with 16 cu/ft

Note: In the video they call the cargo box the Force Large, it is in fact the Medium with 13 cu/ft of space.

What Size Cargo Box Do I Need?

Know What You Intend to Carry

 

If you are a cross country skier you are most likely going to need a long cargo box, with capacity to carry 3 – 4 sets of skis and various other ski equipment. Yakima Skybox 21 Carbonite would be a good choice.

 

If you are more into camping and long road trips than skiing then the shorter Rhino-Rack Master Fit 440 could be more what you are looking for.

 

It stands to reason that the bigger the cargo box the more gear you can pack in to it. However, there is a caveat to this, and that is weight.

 

Most cargo boxes are rated to a max. weight capacity of 100 -110lb. (should I mention that also includes the weight of the box. More on this later.)

 

Your vehicle also plays a role in size selection. As noted in the section above What Cargo Box Fits My Car.

 

One more thing, if you intend to park your vehicle in the garage with the cargo box fitted, you will need to determine a maximum height. There are some low profile options available like the Skybox Lo from Yakima.

 

In Summary

I can’t tell you what size cargo box is best for you, that is a decision you have to make based on the things mentioned above and what you think is best.

 

But I can give you a good starting point by making a couple of suggestions:
16-18 cu/ft cargo boxes can handle the gear of 3 – 4 people.

12 – 15 cu/ft boxes will handle gear of 2 – 3 people.

Rear opening cargo box

SportRack SR7018 Vista XL

  • 18 cubic foot capacity
  • Tool-less hardware mounting system
  • Lock secures your gear in the box
  • Rear opening for easy one handed access
  • Durable, UV resistant, ABS construction
MODELCAPACITYDIMENSIONSWEIGHTWEIGHT CAP.MAX. LENGTH SKI
VISTA XL18 cu/ft63 x 38 x 19 in38lb100lb*160cm

* Rated at average vehicle roof rack max. weight limit

cheap cargo box sportrack vista

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I’m not going to beat around the bush. The SportRack SR7018 Vista XL is a very popular cargo box for one reason – PRICE!

Size and capacity both run a close second.

If large capacity and price are your top deciding factors, this cargo box is for you. (Unless you want to carry skiis, you will need a longer box)

Now I know you will be thinking “How cheap is this cargo box?”

Before I tell you the price (you can scroll down but that’s cheating) let’s look at what you get for the money.

Let’s pull some numbers from the comparison chart above.

CAPACITY

The capacity of the Vista XL is 18 cu/ft

Outer dimensions are: 63″ long x 38″ wide x 19″ high
Inner dimensions are of course a little smaller but not much.

One reviewer put his 160 cm snowboard inside, not straight but on an angle.

160 cm is just under 63 inches.

On most dual side opening cargo boxes you lose about 2 – 4 in. because of the hinges at each end.

FEATURES
REAR LOADING

The SportRack Vista is a rear loading cargo box. Only one hinge at the front.
This design lets you access your gear from the back of your vehicle.

It can also be considered a safety feature, keeping you away from traffic.

There is one caveat to this design if you constantly get in and out of your cargo box for work or kids supplies then you may still want to consider a side-loader.

DURABLE

It’s made from the same product as the flashier boxes are, ABS plastic, making it durable and UV resistant. However there is a big difference in overall finish.

After reading reviews about it leaking had some trepidation about ordering but was lured by price and size. Happy to report it worked perfectly even in a tropical storm and stayed totally dry. No road noise at 70 mph on interstate Great Product – Amazon Verified Purchase
NO TOOL HARDWARE

Mounting hardware for this box is simple and no tools required. Though nowhere as techy as the Thule or Yakima mounts. (Watch the video to the left)

Unlike the other cargo boxes featured here, the mounting hardware is not slide adjustable.

CROSSBAR SPREAD

The SPortRack Vista XL will mount to most crossbars – round, square, factory, aero & elliptical.

Not having slide adjustable mounts you will have to pre-set your crossbars. Recommended crossbar distances are – 25-7/8″, 27-7/8″, and 29-7/8″

So if you want a hard shell cargo box with generous capacity (18 cu/ft) you would be hard pressed to find better value than the SportRack SR7018 Vista XL for under $340.00 (plus FREE Shipping)

Who Makes The Best Cargo Box?

That’s a little bit like asking who makes the best car.

 

It is probably best to look at the features of the boxes in the size that you want. There is also the aesthetic appeal of the box to you.

 

Features (Do they benefit you?)

Luckily for us end users most of the features advertised by the cargo box manufacturers are beneficial.

 

Some of these are:
Dual-side Access: how easy it is to pack and get to your gear when there is access to it from both sides.

 

Easy to Open Lids: Boxes with reinforced lids make it easy to open with one hand. What a blessing that is when you have an arm load of gear.

 

Spring/Lifter Hinges: Double bonus when the lid you have just opened with one hand stays open allowing you to pack your gear without the lid resting on your head.

 

Quick-Secure-Clamps (5 min. Installs): Different manufacturers call them different names, but they all do the same job. Simply locate these clamps over the rack crossbars, turn the handles/knobs a few times until tight and that’s it. Box fitted and tightened down.

 

Key Holding Locking Systems: meaning the key can not be removed until the lid is secured and locked.

 

There is one feature that gets advertised that if looked at closely is very thin.
Aerodynamic.

 

Then There Are The Cons.

What are the downsides to the boxes. Some things to look at are:
Weight
Noise
Storage
Price
Fuel Economy
Warranty

 

Weight – Remember above I mentioned weight capacity of the cargo boxes?
It’s not really the cargo box that sets the weight limit. Although I’m sure that while the cargo box only sit on two crossbars it will be very close.

Vehicle makers have a specified weight rating their vehicle roofs can take. Taking an average of these specifications and it comes out to about 110lb (50kg). SUVs like my Landcruiser have 220lb (100kg) rating.

Meaning the box weight is included in the total weight.

 

Noise – There is no getting around it, you put something on the roof of your vehicle it is going to upset air flow and noise will be created. Crossbar design has a lot to do with noise as well. If you have square crossbars you have a higher chance of noise being emitted.

 

Quick Attach Mounting Clamps are quite large inside the cargo boxes making it difficult to pack non flexible items like boxes, tool cases and hardcase luggage.

 

Storage – when not on your vehicle you need to find storage for your cargo box.

 

Price – Purchasing a cargo box is often not the end of the expense. Rack systems or crossbars are required. You will also need luggage tie-down straps or net.

 

Fuel Economy will go down on average 3 – 5 mpg.

 

Warranty – Most of them only cover manufacturing defects.

 

In Summary

All six boxes featured here are made in the USA. The retailers (online and offline) that sell them seem to offer good customer support for pre-purchase questions and after purchase problems should there be any.

Yakima hard shell carrier

Yakima Skybox 21 Carbonite

  • 21 cubic foot capacity. Also available in 12, 16, 18 and Lo sizes
  • Room for all the family’s gear
  • Ideal for skis up to 215cm
  • Designed with internal lid stiffeners for easy open and close
  • Dual-side access
SKYBOX CARBONITE SERIESSKYBOX 21SKYBOX 18SKYBOX 16SKYBOX 12SKYBOX LO (15)
CAPACITY cu/ft2118161215
MAX. WEIGHT LIMIT lbs100*100*100*100*100*
OUTER DIM. LxWxH in.92 x 36 x 1892 x 36 x 1681 x 36 x 1592 x 24 x 1692 x 36 x 11.5
INNER DIM. LxWxH in.Not GivenNot GivenNot GivenNot GivenNot Given
BOX WEIGHT lbs6252474152
MAX. SKI LENGTH cm215215185215215

* Rated at average vehicle roof rack max. weight limit

cargo box for skis yakima skybox carbonite

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Yakima Skybox 21 Carbonite is the updated version of the original Skybox 21

The sleek looking aerodynamic textured Carbonite lid sets it apart from it’s predecessor.

CAPACITY

At one of the largest capacity’s on the market today, 21 cubic feet, it is sure to get everyone’s gear in and some.

And with a length of 92 inches ensuring even the longest skis go in the box.

How much gear will fit in the Yakima Skybox 21 Carbonite?

Speaking in general terms – luggage and sports equipment for 4 – 5 people.

As quoted by a Verified Purchaser on Amazon…..

This box is huge! I put the tent, canopy, chairs and sleeping bags up there with room to spare. I think the limiting factor is the weight limit on the bars.
FEATURES
GREEN AND DURABLE

What’s more is that the Skybox Carbonite cargo boxes are made with up to 80% recycled material.
It is still durable, lightweight ABS plastic (just more Earth friendly) enhanced to provide a scratch-resistant finish.

HATCH CLEARANCE

The dimpled texture aids in reducing wind drag while the undercut tail provides clearance for the hatch.

TOOL FREE INSTALLATION

Installation and removal of the Yakima Skybox 21 or any of the Skybox models, is a completely tool free job.

Though lifting the Skybox 21 on to the roof of your vehicle by yourself would not be recommended.

The locking clamps are adjustable. Once you have positioned the cargo box in place, the clamps can slide to locate with your crossbars, then a quick tighten of the slide thumb knobs and and flick the cam-action levers over to secure your cargo box in place.

Installation is less than a 5 minute process. A little longer the first time.
Removal is quicker. Just release the cam-action levers and remove the box for storage.

CARGO ANCHORS

Inside, running parallel with the sliding clamp tracks is 8 tie-down points (4 on each side) for securing your gear. You can use tie down straps or a stretch net, both can be purchased separately. Of course bungy cords are also a good alternative.

PATENTED LID STIFFENERS

On the under-side of the lid you will notice three quite large ribs. These are the patented EndoSkel stiffeners that give rigidity to the lid. Add to this the spring loaded hinges and an easy-to-grab lid edge and you have a lid that easily opens with one hand.

SLS SECURITY

Yakima have what they call a SuperLatch System.

SuperLatch is designed so that the keys can not be removed unless all three internal latches of the lid are secured to the base. No driving away with an unlocked cargo box.
It also prevents dirt, dust and moisture from entering.

A word of caution. It has been suggested NOT to open both sides at the same time. You may encounter problems closing the lid.

DUAL-SIDE ACCESS

Yakima Skybox 21 Carbonite has dual-side access, as do all the models in the Skybox series.
Mounting it closer to the drivers side or the passenger side of your vehicle makes no difference, you will always have easy access to your gear.

CROSSBAR SPREAD

As with all Yakima Skybox models, they mount to most rack crossbars – round, square, factory, or aerodynamic bars.
There is a minimum crossbar spread of 24″ and a maximum of 42″. Measured from the center of each bar.

 

Storing and Cleaning a Cargo Box

Storing a Roof Top Cargo Box

 

OK, so your cargo box has been great but now you don’t need it for awhile and you’re thinking….

“Where to store this cargo box”?

 

Here are four solutions that will help:

1 – Store it on the floor of the garage or shed
2 – Hang it from the ceiling in the garage or shed
3 – Hang it on the wall
4 – Store it outside

 

Storing on the floor is OK, but more than likely will get in the way and increases the chances of damaging the box.

 

Hang it from the ceiling is a popular way if you have the height. Thule make the Multilift. You can use a kayak hoist or make your own pulley system.

 

Hang it on the wall is also popular if you have the room. Rhino-Rack make a wall hanger or you can make your own like in this video.

 

Store it outside would only be done if I had no other option. Even then it would be propped off the ground using wood or crates and covered with a tarp. The boxes are weather proof, covering it is just my preference.

 

Cleaning A Cargo Box

DO NOT TAKE IT THROUGH AN AUTOMATED CAR WASH.

 

I must have read that advice on half a dozen different car forums.

Wash it at a manual car wash or at home using car wash liquid or light detergent.

Just like your car, don’t get to close with the pressure washer.

Sporting gear cargo carrier

Thule Hyper XL Cargo Box

  • Reduced drag and noise due to the Patented AeroNose Design
  • Lid and Base are reinforced for durability
  • AcuTight Mounting system – under 5 min. installs
  • Integrated internal LED light
  • Sport two-tone silver and black gloss finish
MODELCAPACITYDIMENSIONSWEIGHTWEIGHT CAP.MAX. LENGTH SKI
HYPER XL 61217 cu/ft90 x 34.5 x 16 in57lb110lb201cm
best cargo box made in usa

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Thule Hyper XL cargo box is possibly the Rolls Royce of cargo boxes.

Before you even lay a finger on it the smooth polished two tone surface of the Hyper XL tells you that this box is a step above the others.

I know, I know, looks are only surface deep.

So whats under the black and silver gloss finish?

FEATURES

Let’s start with some technical features that you can run your eye over and then move on to the less obvious but important ones that aren’t so visible.

PATENTED AERONOSE DESIGN

Looking at the front of the Thule Hyper XL that stream lined speed-boat hull shape is the Patented AeroNose Design, which reduces drag and noise.
Less drag better fuel economy. Saving money already!

REAR-ANGLED BASE

Moving to the rear of the Hyper XL you will notice the rear-angled base, that’s designed to help prevent interference with the hatch door of your vehicle.

INTERNAL LIGHT

Open up the lid and an integrated LED light comes on.

Gimmicky?

No!

Most users have found the light very helpful and surprised by it effectiveness.

DUAL-SIDE ACCESS

The lid is also dual-side opening and has built in handles to make opening and closing a breeze.

Now the not so obvious.

RESISTS TWISTING

Not only does it have good looks but it is also built tough.
The lid and base are reinforced Ultra-Thick ABS plastic built for durability. The lid is also designed to resist torsional twisting.

5 MINUTE INSTALLATION

AcuTight mounting clamps are adjustable. With the cargo box in place simply turn the handles until they click. Box is secured to the vehicle.
After the initial set-up of your crossbars, installation time is under 5 minutes.

If you are in decent shape it can be installed by one person. Installation was a snap. I drove it on the interstate at highway speed in steady rain for 20 minutes. I could not tell it was up there, as it was nearly silent. The box is rigid. Then i stopped to get gas and checked the inside…..No water! I love the look of the box as it is stylish yet functional at the same time. – Amazon Verified Purchase
ANCHOR POINTS

There is tie-down points on the AcuTight hardware allowing you to secure your gear with load straps.

SECURITY

Thule’s Oversize SecureLocks ensure the box is closed and locked before you drive off.
You can only remove the keys when the box is properly closed and locked.

CAPACITY

While not the largest capacity, 17 cubic feet is still a lot of room and is ideally suited to the needs of an active family. The box’s other physical dimensions of 90 x 34.5 x 16 inches and a weight of 57 lbs make it a two person job to lift on to the roof of your vehicle, unless you have hoist.

CROSSBARS

AcuTight clamps mount to Thule Aero Blade, Aero Blade Edge, Thule Square Bars, round bars and most factory racks.

If your vehicle has fixed position crossbars the minimum distance between them (measured center to center) is 23 5/8″ and maximum spacing is 35 1/2″

So with it’s sexy gloss finish, Patented AeroNose Design and a large silver X  on top, there’s no missing the stand-out-from-the-crowd Thule Hyper XL cargo box.

Question is “Are you ready to get noticed?”

Good Reasons to Use a Roof Top Cargo Box

Roof top cargo boxes are one of a number of solutions to carrying extra gear.

 

Benefits of having a cargo box on the roof of your vehicle are very compelling when compared to some of the other solutions.

 

Benefits like:

  • Out of the way
  • Reasonably compact
  • 200 cm + ski carrying capacity
  • Lockable
  • Weatherproof
  • Stylish

 

Some Other Solutions To Consider:

Roof top cargo bag

Hitch cargo carrier

Roof tray

Trailer

Larger vehicle

Take less gear

rhino-rack master fit cargo box

Rhino Rack Master Fit 440

  • Rhino Master Fit clamping technology allows a quicker and easier instalation
  • 2x metal reinforcement profiles under the bottom of the box
  • Dual-side opening
  • Includes 2 load securing straps
  • Weight capacity: 165 lbs
MODELCAPACITYDIMENSIONSWEIGHTWEIGHT CAP.MAX. LENGTH SKI
MASTER FIT 44016 cu/ft (440lt)76 x 32 x 17 in38.58lb165lb183cm
MASTER FIT 55019.5 cu/ft (550lt)85 x 36 x 17 in45lb165lb210cm
tough cargo box rhino rack

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Rhino Rack Master Fit 440 (16 cu/ft) cargo box was a late addition to this round up of hard shell cargo boxes.

In the end it was the length that prompted me to include it.

CAPACITY

Rhino Rack Master Fit 440 box jumps right into that middle length position between the mid 60 inches and the long 90+ inches of the boxes mentioned above.

With outer dimensions of 75.5 x 32.3 x 16.5 inches

Making it just about a perfect all-rounder for any vehicle – from a small 4 door hatch to a full size SUV.

It can hold up to 6 pairs of skis – max. length 183cm or 4 snowboards.

Of course it also perfect for tents and camping gear and if you just need the extra space for running around town it can handle the stroller, golf clubs and those extra groceries.

This thing is rugged and arrived very well packed and delivered by freight company. Has nice straps inside to make sure your belongings don’t shift around. Attached very easy and looks like if it was taken care of, I could probably pass it down to my son some day. – Amazon Verified Purchase
FEATURES
DUAL-SIDE ACCESS

This cargo box is also dual-side opening and for security the lock keys can’t be removed unless the lid is closed and secured properly.

MASTER FIT CLAMPS

Fitting the Master Fit 440 to your racks is a no-fuss affair using the Master Fit clamps. These are possibly the easiest clamps of all the boxes to use (and you thought the Thule ones where easy)

The Master Fit clamps are not permanently fixed to the box. When not securing the box to the racks the clamps can be removed. This makes putting the cargo box on the roof of your vehicle a super simple job, no clamp locks protruding through the bottom of the box to hinder placement.

Once you have the box in place simply slide each clamp through the provided slots, over your crossbars. Tighten the easy to turn knob down and push the red button to lock.

The video shows you how easy this actually is.
You will notice that the clamps have a low profile.

EXTRA LOAD CARRYING

While aerodynamic is mentioned compared to the Thule Hyper XL it is a bit of a loose fit. The box is constructed from the same materials as the above models – ABS, though it does have a bigger weight carrying capacity.

55lbs more to be precise. Giving the Rhino Rack Master Fit 440 a total of 165lbs weight capacity (though this will also be dependent on the carrying capacity of the crossbars and your vehicles roof)

The extra load carrying can be attributed to the base that includes two metal rails that reinforce both the internal anchor points and the mounting clamp tracks.

CROSSBARS

The Master Fit clamps will attach to round, square, aero, elliptical, and most factory crossbars. If you intend to attach to Rhino Heavy Duty crossbars you will require an adapter kit (RUBK-MF; sold separately)

If you are installing on a smaller vehicle ensure your vehicles crossbars have a minimum spread of 24.25″ (62cm).
Max. spread is 36.5″ (93cm).

If the SportRack Vista XL was close to what you want, but you are looking for something a little more sleek and similarly priced, the Rhino-Rack Master Fit 440 fits the bill.

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