Are you planning a long trip? Worried about how to carry the luggage of the entire family? Not to worry, we got you covered.

Traveling with all your essential accessories can be tricky. More importantly, it poses a challenge in front of outdoor lovers. 

When you love to explore the outside world and are constantly on the go, traveling and exploring nature, opting for camping expeditions, the luggage can be a whole lot to carry. 

There aren’t many solutions that cater to carrying your camping equipment along with your luggage. That is why cargo boxes manufacturing companies have mastered their job and have come up with excellent solutions.

Rooftop cargo boxes enable you to inconspicuously store the essential items that you need during your outdoor explorations. Thule and Yakima are two major big companies that manufacture rooftop cargo boxes with the best features possible.

Both have their differences and high points. If Thule has more options to choose from, Yakima may offer more features. So, between Thule vs. Yakima Cargo Box, which one is better? Let’s find out.

Thule Vs. Yakima Cargo Box: Key Points of Difference

Several points differ Thule Cargo Box from the Yakima Cargo Box. Here are the key differences between Thule and Yakima Cargo Boxes.

  • Yakima Cargo box has an easy-to-install lock system, whereas Thule’s lock system is secure and tight.
  • While Yakima Cargo Box is poorly water-resistant, Thule is highly resistant to all kinds of weather.
  • Yakima Cargo Box uses an exclusive carbon fiber-like material, whereas Thule has a resilient weight capacity.
  • While Yakima uses steel reinforcement, Thule follows a mode of operation.

With limited options of cargo boxes in the market, it can be challenging to get all the required features in your choice of cargo boxes. These features would cover their construction and build quality, their compatibility, fit, and their operation.

Before concluding between Thule Vs. Yakima Cargo Box, it is important to know the considerations to make. 

Thule and Yakima, both major manufacturing companies, have established their reputation in the cargo boxes market. Both have prospered well in creating a wide variety of options for different types and models of vehicles. 

While these two share the common ground of manufacturing cargo boxes in the market, both dominating companies differ in their services, features, and needs.

Further in this blog, you will come across everything you need to know about the various features of Yakima and Thule. You will also learn the major differences between the two in detail. That will help you to make a better choice in purchasing the ideal cargo box.

Thule Vs. Yakima Box: A Detailed Comparison

You may often find yourself in the dilemma of choosing between a Thule Cargo Box or a Yakima Cargo Box. That is because apart from the commonality between the two- both are carbo box manufacturing brands -there differ in several ways. Here’s how.

Cargo Box Material

Thule and Yakima both use 80% recycled materials for their cargo boxes. You can, therefore, rest assured when you’re buying any of their cargo box option for their environmental friendliness.

They are made of thermoformed ABS plastic and are hence, highly durable and lightweight. Plus, these cargo boxes are resistant to water and other impacts. But they may differ in their shape and variants.

Thule cargo boxes are built with heavy-duty steel reinforcements. They are resistant to any wear and tear or stress in the box’s base area.

On the contrary, Yakima boxes have a more flimsy feel to them than that of Thule.

Additionally, the ABS plastic material is extremely lightweight. It is easier to lift them during installation. You need not use too much strength while maneuvering it onto your car.

Mounting System

Today’s cargo boxes are simply easy to install without even the need for a tool. All you need to do is find yourself the right rooftop cargo box.

It is important to remember that the type of cargo box you purchase influences the roof rack you’ll need to buy. Before you move on to buy your cargo box, it is vital to check the compatibility of the box with your vehicle and hence, the roof rack.

The rule of thumb you should follow is buying all your car accessories from the same manufacturer. This way, you can stay assured of their compatibility.

Yakima rooftop cargo boxes are relatively easy to install. They come along with a pre-assembled box, and all you need to do is release the mounting levers. Then, undoing the thumbwheels, open the attaching clamps.

The next step is to fit the box onto your rack while the clamps are engaged to the bars. And then, tighten the thumbwheels to close the levers. And you’ll be done!

On the contrary, Thule boxes are a little complex to install. But not all of them. One of the plus points of the Thule mounting system is that it makes a clicking sound when the installation is complete. This way, you have nothing to be confused about.

Thule’s distinct ratchet click sound is called the Thule PowerClick system and has proven to be a useful feature to many.


When it’s about cargo boxes, aerodynamics is an essential factor to consider. The more the air resistance, the higher will be the fuel consumption. That leads to irritating vibrations and increased cabin noise.

The shape and the design of the cargo boxes are important factors that influence the overall performance and stability of the vehicle. More so in windy conditions and at high speeds.

Thule and Yakima, both manufacturers, implement the feature and make their rooftop boxes aerodynamic to the highest possibilities. It’s evident from the front of these cargo boxes. They have a cut in the front for air resistance features.

Opening and Closing

While the old-style cargo boxes were difficult to open or close, so much that you prefer getting rid of the lid completely, the modern styles have been ever considerate.

Now, loading and unloading cargo boxes are pretty easy. All the credit goes to the advanced hinges and opening mechanisms.

Thule and Yakima cargo boxes are easy to operate, open, or close, but they have a narrower angle until you can open them. The hinges control the opening and closing of the lid and can let it open only up to an angle. 

It may pose a challenge for storing bulkier objects. However, this leaves no difference between the lid angles of being fully open or up to the specific angle.

Thule and Yakima cargo boxes are equipped with dual side opening facilities that enable you to open the box from either side. That means you can open the box both from the driver’s and the passenger’s side of the car.

Additionally, some models of Yakima and Thule come with push buttons, while others come with conventional handles. Push buttons are relatively simpler and easier to operate. They allow you to open the cargo box using only one hand.

Having a strap on the inside of the lid helps you reach the lid if you are shorter and you have a taller vehicle. You would not need a ladder or do acrobatics to reach the lid on that stature.

The good news is that all Thule cargo boxes come with pull chords. However, Yakima boxes do not have this feature. Ensure to check if your model has one or not.


As much as the looks of your car matter to you, you are conscious about adding an extra addition to your car. Therefore, you should consider the looks of the cargo box that you purchase.

There are options like matte, glossy, or even carbon fiber finishes available among the Thule and Yakima cargo boxes.

Interestingly, the looks of these cargo boxes are pure reflections of the core values of both companies. While Yakima manufactures rugged and functional, interesting-looking cargo boxes, Thule cargo boxes have more urban and sleek looks.

Yakima boxes are meant for outdoorsy and sporty adventures, while Thule boxes mainly suit the urban and natural environments.

While Yakima’s look, feel, and appearance displays a hint of lightweight and high performance, Thule cargo boxes are bold, sleek, and futuristic in their design. Nevertheless, both add to the upgrade of your vehicle.

Moreover, you should also ensure the impact reactions of the cargo boxes. For instance, how the boxes react to or resist dirt, scuffs, and damage. 

Even though a high-glossy finish adds to the vehicles’ looks, it may not be ideal for resistance from dirt and grime than a less flashy cargo box.


Size is a crucial part of the cargo box features. The size of your vehicle and the amount of the stuff you’ll carry determines the size of the cargo box ideal for your needs.

Generally, car boxes are available in four sizes. They are medium, large, extra-large, and XX-Large that can hold stuff with their capacity of about 13, 16, 17, and 21 cubic feet, respectively.

Thule and Yakima each have a plethora of different shapes and sizes for the differing needs of their customers. They also have ski and snowboard carrying versions available.

Security and Other Features

All cargo boxes come with lock systems. Security purposes are incredibly important for cargo boxes as you store important luggage in those boxes. Yakima boxes come with the Same Key System, which can be super useful if you use other Yakima accessories as well for compatibility features.

Thule also has a one-key system that allows you to remove the key once you store the stuff. This way, there are very few to no chances of losing your keys. Once the lid shuts, the Thule Secure Lock System automatically locks the box.

However, it is important to remember that regardless of how strong the security system of your boxes can be, somebody can break them if they intend to. Therefore, the best security is to keep an eye on your car and keep your expensive gear along with you if you leave the vehicle unattended.

You’d find an additional feature in Thule cargo boxes is their inbuilt LED light that turns on when you open the box. That is a useful feature for nights and dark places whose reasons need no further explanation.


Durability is one of the factors that Yakima and Thule Cargo boxes share in common. Both major companies use materials that are almost similar such as the opening hinge hardware and other features.

The cargo boxes can endure or resist the impacts of windy and rainy weather conditions. With the materials used to construct the boxes, the stuff you store inside is safe, and the gear is kept dry.

All the cargo boxes are resilient enough to resist any wear and tear. Even so, it would require careful mounting and removing to minimize potential scratches or dents.

However, Yakima boxes tend to be more wobbly, which is not a major minus point of their cargo boxes. You can notice it only when the lid is open. It does not harm the overall performance.

Thule Vs. Yakima Cargo Box: Core Specifications

Both Thule and Yakima manufacture high-quality cargo boxes. You can trust them to store all and any stuff with maximum security possible. However, both have different materials and manufacturing techniques you should be familiar with before making a purchase.

To help you make the best choice, here is a detailed description of the core specification of Thule and Yakima Cargo Boxes.

Thule Cargo Boxes Specs

Thule cargo boxes are made of 80% recycled materials and are light in weight delivering a lasting performance. All the cargo boxes are incredibly functional. 

Additionally, you can opt for particular niche dedicated cargo boxes such as storing ski equipment or more with your specific needs. Accordingly, the materials used to produce these niche-specific cargo boxes would differ.

Thule uses thermoformed ABS plastic material for constructing and building cargo boxes. It is highly durable and lightweight. This material offers a solid yet lightweight composite material as well.

These cargo boxes are impact and water-resistant, protecting your loaded stuff in every weather condition or environment you travel through. 

The design and the appearance finish of the Thule cargo boxes differ among themselves. They include the aerodynamic and portability features of the cargo boxes.

Thule cargo boxes are a maximum weight capacity that allows them to hold all types of accessories. You need not worry about the performance being impacted by the weight anymore.

Yakima Cargo Boxes Specs

Yakima is known to produce impact-resistant and weatherproof cargo boxes. These are easy and simple to install as compared to other cargo boxes.

The cargo boxes are made of a special carbon fiber-like material that speaks for its overall durable performance.

Yakima cargo boxes are also made of 80% recycled materials, which is a great bonus for reducing the impact on the environment. 

Additionally, the company focuses on the rugged and practical functionality of the cargo boxes. It ensures that you can test their cargo boxes for any impact on their way. Yakima ensures the maximum durability and rugged performance of their cargo boxes for all your intended purposes.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I mount my cargo box? 

The process to follow for mounting your cargo box on your vehicle’s rooftop depends on its configuration and model. Every brand or model comes with a different set of mounting instructions and approaches to go about it.

Before you choose to mount your cargo box yourself, consider reading through all the mounting instructions so that you do not make any mistakes.

  1. Are Thule boxes waterproof?

Thule cargo boxes are poorly resistant to water. However, it is still a valuable purchase for other benefits of the cargo boxes.

Made of plastic with a glossy design, the cargo boxes can keep away much of the water from destroying your luggage. 

However, to keep you on the safe side, if your traveling involves thunderstorms or flash floods, it would be best to store valuables like your laptop and digital camera in a dry bag.

  1. What can I store inside of my rooftop carrier? 

You can store anything and everything inside the rooftop cargo boxes as far as it fits into the cargo box. There is no specific list of items meant for storing in cargo boxes. It all depends upon your own discretion and needs.

  1. How much weight can a Thule rack hold?

Several Thule cargo boxes such as Thule Motion XT, Thule Force, and so on are great products with a weight capacity of over 100 lbs. Such weight capacity is impressive given the sleek design and the small profile of the cargo boxes. 

Also, the size of the rack you purchase also influences its weight capacity. And the size of your vehicle’s rooftop influences the size of the rack you’ll purchase. The weight capacity would differ accordingly.

  1. Can I secure my cargo box with my own mechanism? 

Not all of the cargo boxes come with the option of securing them with your own lock system. That is primarily because they have an inbuilt lock system of their own. 

Therefore, before you go ahead to put up your own lock on your cargo boxes, ensure to read all the instructions of the selected model. It would save you from making the mistake of poor security due to lock incompatibility with your cargo boxes.

  1. Are Yakima cargo boxes weatherproof?

Yakima boxes are weatherproof cargo boxes. However, they are not waterproof. They also have lid stiffeners that secure the lid to the base of the cargo box. This way, your luggage won’t be harmed by any leakages.

However, it would be best to store your valuables such as electronic devices like laptops or digital cameras in a dry bag or your car.

  1. Which brand is more reputable in the market?

Both Yakima and Thule have established good reputations in the market and are globally popular for delivering premium-quality products. Regardless of the similarities and the difference between their products, their cargo boxes are highly durable.

However, Yakima cargo boxes are much cheaper than those of Thule. It is preferable for customers who have a tight budget. Nevertheless, there are even more budget-friendly options available in the market.

Final Verdict

In comparing Thule vs. Yakima Cargo Box, there is no doubt that both Thule and Yakima deliver high-quality, premium cargo boxes. These cargo boxes deliver your luggage safely and securely to your destination.

As for installation and ease of use, both companies are pretty similar, along with their maximum possible safety features.

Yakima’s cargo boxes are not as sophisticated in looks as the Thule cargo boxes. Their cargo boxes do not have as many crucial features. However, they are a budget-friendly option.

If you have a tight budget and are looking for essential features without any additions or stylish looks, you can go for Yakima cargo boxes. Yakima cargo boxes can prove to be the bang for your buck.

However, if you are looking for high-quality features and money is not a problem, you can go for Thule cargo boxes. Not only do they appear stylish in looks, but they are also practically reasonable and potentially functional.

Thule comes with a lifetime warranty alongside its high value on style. With its high quality, premium build, it works for your varied niche-specific needs as well.

Ultimately, your personal preference influences your decision. Moreover, the compatibility of the cargo box with your vehicle also matters to a great extent. If looks are essential for you, Thule is your ideal product. And if not, Yakima is always an option.

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