If you’re looking for a car roof cargo box, then your choices will more than likely come down to two brands: Thule vs Yakima. These two brands dominate the market and are so popular in many parts of the world. Each of these is excellent, but it’s difficult to determine the best.
To help with this, you’ll want to familiarise yourself with the Yakima vs. Thule guide below.
Both Yakima and Thule have extraordinary cargo boxes. The price, build quality, and product range is remarkably similar. You’re guaranteed a high-quality cargo box when purchasing from either of these brands. Therefore, we recommend both options to all adventurers, from beginners to experts.
As you can see, both options are excellent, and it depends on which you feel more comfortable when making the initial purchase.
If you want a much broader comparison of each of these cargo box solutions, we recommend reading the Yakima or Thule face-off below:
Yakima or Thule Cargo Boxes? The Face-off
After becoming knowledgeable about the above, you should have a brief understanding of why some people might or might not purchase either box. The tricky thing about these brands is that they’re very alike. Each shares a similar price range, quality, and more. However, there are still some differences to help you decide. Here’s what you need to know:
As mentioned, Yakima and Thule are remarkably similar. In addition, they hold the number one and two spots for being the most major players in the car rack market. Because of this, it’s a strong indication that both brands provide extraordinary services and products.
Thule has been around for over 75 years and has maintained popularity because of its pure, rich company culture. Throughout their establishment, they’ve kept streamlined with the same goals: to develop eco-friendly, high-quality, safe, accessible, and smart products that people love.
Yakima also has a long heritage, dating back to 1979. Undoubtedly, keeping a business alive for this prolonged time is extraordinary, which is the primary reason for many purchasing from Yakima. Unlike Thule, though, Yakima bases itself around adventure and having a “wild soul”. Therefore, their goods are more tailored towards people of that criteria.
The company overview for each of these brands is remarkably similar, as they both share long establishment and overwhelming success. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean they offer the same products.
Thule has more available cargo boxes than Yakima because they have various ranges with multiple products. That’s unlike Yakima, as they have many ranges but not many products. To gain better visualization of what each of these brands offers, see the below:
Product Range Name
Loading Capacity (Litres)
360L – 430 L
Thule Motion XT
300L – 610 L
Thule Force XT
300L - 500L
260L – 280L
As mentioned, each of these product ranges has multiple items. Although this depends on which one, sometimes it could be two or even five other options. Those looking for a cargo carrier can truly find what they want by offering such a broad amount. Like Thule, Yakima also has a decent amount of ranges. Additionally, some product ranges have multiple options.
Product Range Name
Loading Capacity (Litres)
450L – 500L
425L – 510L
340L – 595L
Yakima RocketBox Pro
310L – 395L
Although there are substantial options with both, when comparing Yakima vs. Thule regarding products, Thule is a clear winner. The number of products they stock is astronomical, allowing them to cater to more customers.
It isn’t easy to tare this apart when it comes to quality. Both Thule and Yakima are in the same price range for premium boxes. It doesn’t matter which brand you purchase from; you’re guaranteed to receive something with high-end features and materials.
In both product catalogs, there is minimal difference in sizes and capacity. However, one that makes Yakima stand out from Thule is its CBX Solar cargo box. Undoubtedly, it’s a rare style of cargo carrier that isn’t seen with all brands. The box is manufactured with a built-in solar panel to allow users to gain power when traveling off the grid.
For Yakima, the solar option they provide customers is excellent. But, apart from that, each of these brands is incredibly similar when it comes to quality.
Another comparison we must make in this comparison between Yakima vs. Thule is availability. These major players are globalized brands, but which is easier to obtain? To understand the possible ways of purchasing these, see the below:
Purchasing Options for Thule
Purchasing Options for Yakima
Many third-party retail sellers online/offline (Global)
Many third-party retail sellers online/offline (Global)
Online marketplaces (Amazon)
Online Marketplaces (Amazon)
Pros and Cons of Yakima and Thule
To conclude this comparison between Yakima and Thule, we thought showcasing a pros and cons list would be the best. By establishing both business advantages and disadvantages, we’re hoping you gain a clearer vision of which you’d like to purchase.
Yakima cargo boxes
Includes a solar power option, which many cargo box suppliers don’t offer
It doesn’t have an extensive catalog of cargo boxes compared to others
The whole Yakima brand is focused on adventure, travel, and cargo solutions
Highly available in the USA, but there are limited choices in the EU
On the Yakima website, you can visually see 3D images of the cargo boxes
Thule cargo boxes
Largest roof rack brand in the world
Are considered an expensive option for cargo carrier
It comes with various options ranging from 260L to 610L
Can be purchased from practically anywhere worldwide from themselves or a third-party seller
To compare even more the two brands, I have picked a couple of the best roof boxes from each manufacturer and looked at them in a variety of categories.
Thule vs Yakima Roof Boxes Comparison Table
Thule Rooftop Cargo Boxes
Thule cargo boxes are built in Sweden and very popular in many parts of the world. Their cargo boxes have a sleek and elegant design. They are also well-engineered. Some models of this brand seem more like car upgrades and accessories. All this comes at a price; their products tend to be more expensive compared to the other brand.
We shall review some of the best Thule cargo boxes for a better understanding of the brand.
Thule Force XT Cargo Box
The Thule Force XT roof box provides a lot of space for your belongings with 165-pound weight carriage capacity. It has long length making it easy to accommodate your skis and snowboards. It also has safety features to ensure your roof box is well secured while on the road. This box is very easy to mount as it makes use of the Thule Quick Mount System, a system that allows you to attach or detach the box with absolutely no tools required.
It has supporting lid lifters that prevent the lid from bending when you are trying to access items from the box which can be quite frustrating as well as dangerous. This roof cargo box offers full trunk access and sits in a forward position to ensure that you can easily get into the trunk. It is designed in a manner that ensures it doesn’t hang down in front of the car whenever you’re on the move.
The exterior of the box is waterproof and has a reflective surface that ensures the items in the trunk don’t heat up in hot conditions and that your items remain dry whenever it rains. The roof top box has a dual side opening functionality which allows access from either side of your Subaru enabling you to easily load and offload your items. see full review
Thule Force XT Cargo Box Comparison Table
Thule Pulse Roof Box
The box is made of durable and rugged ABS thermoplastic material that is long-lasting and helps protect your cargo from rain or too much heat when in transit. The box also has an aerodynamic shape which reduces drag and wind noise whenever you’re on the move.
The roof top box attaches easily to roof racks. It requires no tools when mounting because of its Easy-Grip hardware. The length of the box’s floor grooves make the installation process very easy, no struggling at all. It offers a single-side opening, allowing access to your items from the passenger side. It also has lid lifters from the interior which hold the lid open giving you hands-free access.
The built-in Thule Secure Lock technology ensures all edges are closed before the key can be removed. The roof box is compatible with Thule rack systems, round bars and most factory racks giving you extreme rack compatibility. see full review
Thule Pulse Cargo Box Comparison Table
Yakima Roof Boxes
Produced in Washington, the Yakima roof boxes are generally more focused on rugged functionality than aesthetics and advanced features. They’re a bit lacking on a sleek finish design compared to the other brand. However, they’re more affordable compared to Thule products and way easier to install.
Here is a review of a couple of the best roof boxes from Yakima to give you a better understanding of the brand.
Yakima RocketBox Pro 11 Roof Box
The Yakima Rocketbox has an aerodynamic design to reduce drag and wind noise when in transit. It has quick-release mounting hardware that is compatible with Yakima round, square, factory and aerodynamic crossbars.
The RocketBox includes Same Key System (SKS) Locks and integrated push-button security to ensure the lid is secure to its base and your gear is safe. It is designed with front-mounted hardware for better hatchback clearance. The cargo box is ideal for smaller cars, wagons and SUVs. It has dual side opening making access to your gear very easy and even easier with a push button to open the box.
It has a carrying capacity of 11 cubic feet so it can easily carry all your gear for a camping trip, skis and snowboards with ease. No tools are required to assemble making it very easy to assemble. The RocketBox Pro 11 is reinforced with bracings in the nose of the lid and along the bottom of the box which adds strength to the box.
Yakima Rocketbox Pro 11 Cargo Box Comparison Table
Yakima Skybox Rooftop Cargo Box
The Yakima SkyBox is made of ABS plastic material which makes it durable, stable and easy to handle. It is designed with internal lid stiffeners that make it rigid and keep the lid open when accessing your gear in the box.
This roof box has a SuperLatch security system that ensures your lid is secure to the base and your items are secure in the box. It has a dual side opening functionality to allow you to easily access your items from either side of your vehicle. This roof box has a Carbonite dimpled texture surface that slices through the air and gives it a great look.
It has a sleek aerodynamic design to reduce drag when you’re on the move. It makes use of quick-release mounting hardware that fits round, square, factory and aerodynamic crossbars. The Skybox has a carrying capacity of 12 cubic feet and is also available in 16, 18, 21 and Lo sizes. It also has SKS lock cores included. This box requires no assembly.
Yakima SkyBox Cargo Box Comparison Table
After reading the above, you should have a broader, more in-depth understanding of the differences between Yakima and Thule’s cargo boxes. Both brands are remarkably similar, from their success stories to the products. However, there are slight differences, such as Thule’s more extensive product range or Yakima’s solar cargo box.
Both manufacturers make high-quality roof cargo boxes. They are both easy to install and have pretty much same safety features.
Yakima cargo boxes are cheaper but lack the sophisticated look of Thule boxes. But ultimately, it comes down to personal preference.
To conclude this, I’d recommend both as the build quality is the same. When purchasing any of these options, you’re guaranteed quality.
Last update on 2022-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API