Yakima SkyBox 16 vs. Thule Motion XT – Which One is the Best Cargo Box?

The choice between the Yakima SkyBox 16 and the Thule Motion XT depends on your specific needs. The Yakima offers sleek design and ease of use, while the Thule provides superior durability and security. Consider your priorities to determine the best fit for your cargo transportation requirements.

Yakima and Thule – are the leading cargo box brands globally. These two brands can easily meet your expectations by hauling a decent amount of cargo. Yakima SkyBox 16 and Thule Motion XT – are two of the fantastic cargo box of them.

People often hesitate about which one to use to carry their cargo. If you’re one of them, I recommend you not to worry about this matter! In this article, I’ll discuss Yakima SkyBox 16 vs. Thule Motion XT– which one is the best cargo box?

Let’s roll out to know which one could be perfect for you –

Yakima Skybox 16 Roof Box

Yakima Skybox 16 Roof

The Yakima SkyBox series is known for its sleek and aerodynamic design, minimizing wind noise and drag during travel. It offers various size options, including the SkyBox 12, 16, 18, and 21, catering to different storage requirements.

I recently bought the Yakima SkyBox 16 Carbonite Cargo Roof Box. I also used it on a 2100-mile road trip. All I can say is that it is awe-inspiring and mind-blowing.

This model is 6 feet 9 inches long, 36 inches wide, 15 inches tall, and weighs 47 pounds. Now, I’ll tell you the features of the Yakima SkyBox –


Here are the main feature of this cargo box –

Easy Loading

One of the best features is the Skybox’s ability to open from both the left and right sides of the box. As a result, packing or unpacking from whatever side closest to you becomes so convenient.

Integrated Lock

The handle has an integrated lock. It keeps the key captured until the box is closed securely. For this reason, you can be confident that your box is fully closed before hitting the road.

Further, the rear end of the box is designed to give space for the rear hatches to open. It also won’t interfere with most antennas.

Aerodynamic Design

Check out the dimples in the lid. They’re similar to the dimples on a golf ball, where they increase aerodynamics and decrease road noise. I didn’t hear any whistles or wind noise during my long journey with my cousin. I almost visited a vast part of Arizona without any wind noise.

So I’d say this design feature is superb and highly effective.

Nice Design

The inside part of this box is fabulous and nicely designed. It is also very spacious.


These cargo boxes are constructed with high-quality materials like ABS plastic and a sturdy lid. Hence, it ensures the durability and safeguarding of the materials.

Massive Capacity

The SkyBox has a massive storage capacity. It can effortlessly fit various items, such as camping gear, skis, snowboards, or luggage. Additionally, interior features like integrated tie-down points and a net cargo help secure and systemize your belongings.

Easy Installation

Installation of the Yakima SkyBox is pretty convenient. All you need to do is put it on the roof rack with the clamps open and in front of the crossbars.

Removing this product from the vehicle is also straightforward. The procedure is just the opposite. Unclamp the quick-release clamps from both sides, close the box, and now you’re ready to go ahead and slide it off the vehicle.

Overall, if I say from my point of view, the Yakima SkyBox is such an astonishing purchase. It did a fascinating job keeping most of our luggage from cluttering our SUV during our road trip.

Apart from this, we experienced heavy rainfall during the Arizona journey and never got one drop of water inside the box! Furthermore, it looked fantastic on top of my Hyundai Santa Fe for its super sexy and sleek design along with the shiny black finish.

Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier

Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier for RAV4

The Thule Motion XT is a highly popular roof-mounted cargo box. This is one of the top-notch and premium box exists on the market. The looking, workability, and durability of this box are completely outstanding. Additionally, the whole box only consists of 46 pounds.

As a result, it is pretty much lightweight and convenient to carry. Let’s check out the best features of the Thule Motion XT Roof Box –


Notable features of the Thule Motion XT are –

Easy to Open

The opening system is straightforward. My friend got two keys with that gear. Just push the key onto the lock to unlock it. Then, it will be open. You need to gently squeeze the upper and lower sides together to open the box. You’ll see cardboard to make sure that it doesn’t cave in.

You can toss that easily.

Mounting Hardware

You’ll get a decent amount of mounting hardware into the box. And you can unpack this so you can get it all locked down. You’ll get four clamps and three straps for our cargo in that bag. Hence, you’ll find another strap over here for something else.

So what we’re going to do with these is as we tighten and loosen them, it goes out and then as we tighten it, it comes in.

Easy to Install

Thule Motion XT is straightforward to install onto the roof. My friend only needs around five minutes to do it. Get the box from the packet, attach the screws to the roof and adjust the box. It is entirely effortless.


Thule boxes are usually very spacious. The Motion XT is no different. It also contains a vast space inside of it. The overall length is gonna be about 79 inches. The entire interior width is gonna be 31 and a half inches. So, it’s easy to surmise that you can put a lot of gears into the box.

Enhanced Security

Thule’s PowerClick mounting system enables quick and secure installation. Contrariwise, the SlideLock system ensures the box is closed securely and properly. The boxes also come equipped with locks to safeguard your belongings.

Versatile Capacity

With varying sizes and shapes, the Motion XT provides options for different storage needs. The boxes offer ample space for skis, snowboards, camping gear, or luggage. The inclusion of internal straps and tie-down points facilitates secure packing and organization.


The last thing is Thule Motion XT is beautiful and eye-popping. It’s not that long or too wide. It is just perfect. My friend purchased the black color. However, you’ll also find silver color on the market. But the black one is something else! It is super sexy and glamorous.

Yakima SkyBox 16 vs Thule Motion XT – In-Detail Comparison

If you’re in a dilemma between Yakima SkyBox 16 and Thule Motion XT and want to know which one can provide the best service – you should check the in-detail comparison between them –

ComparisonYakima SkyBox 16Thule Motion XT
ConstructionVery lightweight constructionIt is made from nearly 80% recycled materials
DesignThe SkyBox 16 has a more robust design with a matte black finish. Thus, it gives a distinct and durable look.The Motion XT features a sleeker and more aerodynamic design. Due to the glossy finish, it looks modern and attractive.
Size and CapacityThe SkyBox 16 has a capacity of 16 cubic feet. It can contain equipment for a number of peopleThe Motion XT has a capacity of 22 cubic feet. Therefore, it has a massive storage capacity.
Dual-Side OpeningThe SkyBox 16 features a single-side opening. It can be accessed from the vehicle’s one side.The Motion XT features a dual-side opening. You can access it from vehicle’s both sides.
Mounting SystemThe SkyBox 16 utilizes the “Quick-Release Mounting System” for easy installation and removal.The Motion XT employs the “PowerClick Mounting System” for a secure installation.
Aerodynamic ShapeThe aerodynamic shape is perfect for reducing wind resistance and noiseThule’s aerodynamic shape is excellent for decreasing wind resistance. It can also protect the gear from UV rays
PriceSince it is made of high-quality materials, it is highly expensive.Thule Motion XT is more costly since it is a premium product with superior materials.

Choosing the Right Cargo Box for Your Needs

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You need to consider some key elements when deciding between the Yakima SkyBox 16 and Thule Motion XT. If you’re sincerely interested in these two roof boxes, let’s check some facts to make things easier –


The design of the choice-able rooftop cargo box profoundly impacts how conveniently you can store and access all of your valuable items and accessories. Additionally, you should check some critical designs, such as the locking mechanism, opening mechanism, etc.

These functions are available on Yakima SkyBox and Thule Motion XT.


You just can’t ignore the size of a roof box. It’s crucial, especially when compared with the car’s dimensions. For instance, if you buy a much larger roof box than the car’s top, things will go wrong. You’ll have to purchase another box.

However, what should you do? To avoid such a situation, you must take the exact dimension measurement of the car before making the final move. Both Yakima and Thule offer a range of sizes to fit in with different loads.

Mounting and Security

Evaluate each brand’s ease of installation, removal, and security features. Look for systems that provide reliable and user-friendly mounting and integrated locks for peace of mind.


It’s no wonder that you’ll have to travel to various places. Thus, the roof box must be highly durable to accommodate different climatic situations. Therefore, the box must be made of high-quality materials. So, you should be aware of it.

Look and Aerodynamics

Consider the aesthetic appeal and aerodynamic design of the cargo box. The product must be good-looking since you’re spending a lot of money. On the other hand, the aerodynamic design can impact fuel efficiency and reduce wind noise during travel.

Price and Warranty: Compare the pricing of the Yakima SkyBox and Thule Motion XT series based on your budget. You should check the warranty period too.

Which One is the Best Between Yakima SkyBox vs. Thule Motion XT? My Analysis

Best Roof Box for Subaru Outback

There’s no confusion that both Yakima SkyBox and Thule Motion XT are superb and high-quality roof boxes. They’re capable of providing excellent service for the long term. Nevertheless, if you ask me which one I should pick, I think Thule Motion XT has a slight advantage over its counterpart.

Yes, I’m a Yakima SkyBox user and delighted with it. But I must admit that Thule Motion XT is a bit ahead in terms of ease to use, durability, aerodynamic design, looks, etc.

Thule always spends a considerable amount of time to ready its cargo boxes. All the products of Thule always gone several tests to get the pass. Yakima also does deep research and testing, and Thule’s procedure is a bit modern.

However, if you have a money shortage, you can go for Yakima too. There’s no problem with it. I want to say that Thule Motion XT is a bit upgraded. Yakima SkyBox is also a beast.

FAQs on Yakima SkyBox vs. Thule Motion XT


Are Yakima SkyBox and Thule Motion XT compatible with all vehicles?

Both Yakima SkyBox and Thule Motion XT are designed to fit a wide range of vehicles. However, you must check the compatibility of the cargo box with your specific vehicle’s roof rack system before buying. The manufacturers provide fit guides and compatibility information on their websites or user manual.

Which cargo box offers more storage capacity?

It is undoubtedly the Thule Motion XT. Yakima’s SkyBox is available on 16 cubic feet. On the other hand, Thule Motion XT is available at 22 cubic feet. If you have to store more equipment, you can go to Thule.

Final Speech on Yakima SkyBox vs. Thule Motion XT

We’re at the endpoint of our lengthy discussion. I’ve tried to provide the best information regarding the Yakima SkyBox vs. Thule Motion XT. It’s up to you which one you should choose. Both are high-quality and fantastic products. It’s up to you which one you should select.

You must pick the perfect one by reading the article and doing the math carefully. I hope my writing will help find out the best one for you.

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Automotive products are like an addiction to me. Years ago, I started my job at a Roof Box installation co. Then I realized that I have a passion for cars. It is a perfect scope to share my different experiences about automotive products.