I’ve always seen people with big trucks with camper shells on them, and then a cargo box on top of that, and wondered to myself… “What in the world do they need a cargo box for? They’ve got an entire back of a truck for storage? What are they keeping back there? Small children? 400 pairs of skis? Enough backpacking gear for a small city? ” Then, I attempted to move all of my belongings out of a 1978 Toyota RV, into a 1996 Toyota Tacoma, live out of the Tacoma for a while, and then move everything to Alaska. Now, I understand.
As it became apparent that I had more stuff than was going to fit inside one vehicle, or even two, I began to look into both cargo storage solutions, and uhaul trailers. However, I’ll spare you the UHaul saga, since that wasn’t any fun, and didn’t include any cool gear with great technology, just 5×8 trailer with one broken tail light. For a cargo box, I began delineating what exactly I wanted- something narrow, so that I could still store surfboards or bikes on the roof rack. Something long enough to fit skis in. And not just any skis, the 2 pairs of BD Megawatts (length= 188cm), 1 pair of BD Verdicts, 1 pair of BD Havocs and 1 pair of Karhu Berthas, or any combination of those that may need transport to the newest ski destination in AK. Something that locked, and that I could access from either side of the car. Something tall enough where I could stack several pairs of skis and poles, or several backpacks, or several of anything, really. Something compatible with the width of the bars on the truck.
As my list of requirements became longer and longer, the list of feasible solutions for a cargo storage box became shorter and shorter, and in the end, the Yakima SkyBox 12 was the one to fit the bill! Just the right width, storage access from both sides, a heavy duty lid, and long enough to accommodate the cargo I needed to carry, I was confident that the SkyBox would take care of my storage needs.
Yakima SkyBox 12 Cargo Box Features
- 12 cubic feet of storage
- 92” long x 24” wide x 15” tall. What does this mean for those of us who can’t convert numbers like that to what it means in real life? Its about as long as the top of a regular cab Tacoma, from the back of the shell to where the windshield starts. It’s about half as wide as the usable space on a set of 58” Yakima bars. And it’s tall enough to fit 2 sleeping bags and 1 sleeping pad stacked on top of each other.
- Weight = 41lbs
- SKS locks included
- Lid opens from both sides of cargo box
Yakima SkyBox 12 Review
After getting my SkyBox, I immediately wanted to toss it up on the roof of the truck. However, no one else was around to help me get it up to the roof and properly adjusted. In my excitement, I decided to give it a try on my own, and was very pleasantly surprised. Despite only being 5’2”, I was able to pick up the box, lift it onto the crossbars, set it down, and get it completely adjusted in under 10 minutes. I’ve never had a cargo box before, and have zero experience with Yakima’s box adjustment systems. This really speaks to the ease of installation of the SkyBox. Under 10 minutes, and with no assistance- big bonus points for Yakima.
Next, I began emptying the back of my truck and putting items up in the roof. Despite being the smallest of Yakima’s SkyBox line, the SkyBox 12 still has tons of storage space available, and is perfect for 2 people with lots of gear. Sets of sleeping bags, sleeping pads, kitchen gear, camping chairs and stoves all went up on the roof with no problem. Next, I strapped my 2 surfboards back on the crossbars, and still had enough space to open the box without crushing my boards as the lid opened. More bonus points for Yakima- lots of storage space without sacrificing all of my crossbars. I could easily still use my 2 bike trays, and fit both bikes up on the roof, or a kayak, or my surfboards. Awesome. Also, a big selling feature of the 12 (versus say, the 16), is the length. Though the SkyBox 16 has 4 more cubic feet of space, it only accommodates skis with lengths up to 180cm, since it’s shorter and wider. The SkyBox 12 is 11 inches longer, which means you can fit your pow skis in there, no problem. Fits bigger skis AND takes up less of my total crossbar space? I’m sold.
I’ve had the box for a few months now, and am very impressed with the durability. The SkyBox series boasts a heavier duty plastic on the lid, which makes for easy up-and-down in wind, and added overall stability. The locking handles are metal, not plastic, so there’s added durability there, as well. I was in and out of the box several times a day for about 2 months, and the hinge is still in great shape and operates smoothly.
Though the smallest of the Yakima SkyBox Series, the SkyBox 12 is arguably the most versatile if you’re wanting something that can fit a myriad of gear!