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2004 Outback Wagon
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Discussion Starter #1
I was wonder what everyone thinks about cargo carriers for the top of the roof. I have an 04 OB wagon and was thinking of getting one. Any suggestions for brands???

Thanks, Ernie
 

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05 Outback XT Ltd.
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26 Posts
Yakima. no question

Won't live without one anymore--round bars give versatility, American made---great stuff---turns my cars into pickup trucks for lumber, drywall, etc. Not to mention bikes, snowboards, surfboards, cargo, etc.
 

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Tokyo's between my toes
2001 Wintergreen Outback 5MT
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When I was visiting Lithuania in August 2003 I noticed that many cars have serious roof racks, some like large baskets. They often use a small car to carry large loads. The other common thing was a trailer hitch, probably on 30% of the cars there. People hitch up a trailer to do the kind of utility hauling that Americans would use a pickup truck for. I saw very few pickups there, which surprised me as I thought that's a fairly basic vehicle concept.
 

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'04 OB Wagon
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Subaru sells a nice basket. I also agree that Yakima is a nice basket too. Also check out Thule.

If you really want to haul stuff around, get a trailer hitch as mentioned in one of the replies. You should be able to get a decent used trailer for about $300.

Kurt
 

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2013 XV Crosstrek
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665 Posts
When I saw the Tour de France last year, we saw lots of small hatchbacks with trailer hitches. Since July is a popular month for vacation in France, we saw a lot of these trailers going north and south on the pay roads. Probably because the rare trip where you need the space doesn't justify having to pay through the nose for a large van or SUV all the time cause petrol is expensive.

One thing that is nice with a basket, rather than a cargo box is if you're a paddler, you can throw anything wet up in the basket with a mesh net above it and it can get dry by the time you get home (assuming it's not raining!)

Jay
 

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'02 Outback Limited, '00 GT
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Cargo Carriers

I have been a devout Thule user for many years. I bought my first set up after seeing enough bent round-bar brands to convince me that the square cross bars of the Thule were stronger.
Anyway, these well-known brands (Thule, Yakima, etc) are good quality and have a slew of options and accessories. While as with most things, you are likely to find it cheaper on the web, I recommend finding a dealer where you can try the fit before you buy. Due to the curvature of the roof rack rails on the OB, a rack with round cross bars may fit your accessories a bit better than square cross bars.
With the arrival of kids I bought a Thule Mountaineer luggage box and it can hold a lot! With 58-inch cross bars I can fit the box and a large tandem kayak (in kayak saddles) on top.
I have tried to stay away from trailer hitches due to potential damage. I was rear-ended in a previous car and a minor fender bender (<10 mph) turned into serious frame damage because the hitch was hit. But, I may be due for a hitch on the Sub to haul log splitters, small boats, etc.
 

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Tokyo's between my toes
2001 Wintergreen Outback 5MT
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Re: Cargo Carriers

mcomwo said:
But, I may be due for a hitch on the Sub to haul log splitters, small boats, etc.
Log splitter, eh? You know, they make trailer-based BBQ pits, too....
 

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thule for me

i've thoroughly checked out both yakima and thule. from what i've seen, thule seems to be slightly better crafted. they both have pretty similar racks and accesories, but thule also adds a little more style (if that's your thing).

the other thing that was pointed out to me was that even though yakima claims to be an American brand, over 90% of their parts are made in mexico. Funny, because Thule doesn't claim to be an american brand, but most of their parts are made in america.

The fit guides on both sites are pretty accurate in my experience.

Once you know what you're gonna get, though, www.autoracksdirect.com seems to have the lowest prices I can find anywhere.
 

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Thule is Swedish, I believe. I just got some Crossroads 450 and I noticed it said Made in Poland.

Jay
 

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they are swedish. a friend at REI was explaining how they're assembled over there, but the great majority of their parts are fabricated in the united states.

you can't really go wrong with either brand... just have to develop your own preferance. mine is thule, if for no other reason than the fact that their racks are shinier
 

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2006 H6 3.0R LL Bean wagon and 2000 H4 OBW
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Revived an old one I guess. I have always had Thule. I had them on my Jeep ZJ and renovated our house with it. Hauled lumber, drywall...whatever was needed. I sold the Jeep. I got different Thule feet and put the bars on my 1986 Subaru GL wagon. 58" bars, haul kayaks, bikes and home renovation supplies. I have a Thule rack on my 98 VW TDI too. Only negatives really are wind noise and aerodynamics. Lot of howling at highway speed unless you get a fairing, they help a lot. Looking to get some 450 feet for our 2000 Outback, already have the bars. Craigslist is where I get all my Thule racks and parts. Going to get a Thule Mountaineer cargo box tomorrow evening, Craigslist find. I have put lots of weight on these bars and the Thule bars really hold up well. Fit is always great and these things are stout mounted properly. Both companies, Yakima and Thule have rock solid reputations. I have Yakima Hullraiser kayak saddles and Thule kayak stackers on different vehicles.

For those that have the mountaineer cargo carrier. It is very long at 91" and I am wondering if it can be mounted far enough forward to fully open the rear hatch.
 

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kybishop - Did the Mountaineer fit your Sub OB? It seems to me that it would be too long for the hatch. I see you had this concern, but no post after you went and got it. How did it work out?
 

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2006 H6 3.0R LL Bean wagon and 2000 H4 OBW
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I ended up getting a Yakima Spacebooster which I believe is 11 cubic feet. It is narrow and fairly long. Not sure if they make it any more but I like it real well. The yakima attachments are easy to work with and latch on securely. Easy to adjust.

I like the narrow box, allows me to put a boat up beside it on the rack. I have the rear spoiler on the 2000 OBW and it does hit this box so I can not open the lift gate all the way. I can get in and out but a bit of a drawback. Not a big enough worry to get a more expensive box. They make some that angle up and back just for missing the rear lift gates.

My Yakima saddles I mentioned in the above thread failed on me through the mountains of North Carolina. Hit some strong cross winds and they just gave way. The kayak came down to the side of the car. Luckily I had the bow tied off to the front of the car, kept anything from getting damaged.

It may be worth getting a cargo box that has the angled back to allow for opening the hatch. I just have to bend over and pull things out and down if traveling with the Spacebooster up there. I usually take it off once I get to our destination for unloading.

I would recommend the Yakima boxes but not the kayak saddles. Good luck.
 

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Whoa, kybishop, I am impressed. You responded to a 3-1/2 year old post in less than an hour.:29::29:
 

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2005 3.0 R n totaled
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Thule is Swedish, I believe. I just got some Crossroads 450 and I noticed it said Made in Poland.

Jay
Yeah ... global sourcing at it's best! Another example: More than half of the stuff that IKEA carries (furniture) comes from Poland. Former East Block countries are successfully competing with Chinese manufacturers but with much higher quality due to the very skilled work force in fomer East Eurupean conutries.....

I bought and use ROLA roof top basket; basically same as Yakima or Thule but at a fraction of the cost; manufactured by Cequent, same company that makes aftermarket hitches...good quality at a decent price!
 

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they are swedish. a friend at REI was explaining how they're assembled over there, but the great majority of their parts are fabricated in the united states.

you can't really go wrong with either brand... just have to develop your own preferance. mine is thule, if for no other reason than the fact that their racks are shinier
Not only "assembled" here but also manufactured here by the U.S. company called Cequent. Even Subaru roof top box is made by Thule but manufactured (fabricated) by Cequent Group....
 

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2006 H6 3.0R LL Bean wagon and 2000 H4 OBW
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Revival.

Whoa, kybishop, I am impressed. You responded to a 3-1/2 year old post in less than an hour.:29::29:
I had forgotten about looking at that cargo box. I saw the notice pop up in my email and came in and responded.

Looks like one of those threads that will keep popping up. Started in 2004, I revived it in 2009 and then it got pulled up again 2013.
 

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Yeah...sorry to bring this one back up, but I hate having to go through a hundred different threads for the same topic. I figure best to keep it in one consolidated area. I am surprised I couldn't find more posts about cargo carriers on here. Anyway...I am stuck on what to do...I have an 01 Outback wagon, and I want a cargo box that can carry long skis (including my XC skis of size 211). It seems like all the long ones will hit the hatch as it opens. Does anyone have a specific model that seems to work for this set up? I have factor bars, so I don't really care if it is Yakima or Thule, though I do have an old Thule ski rack that would be nice to add on the same racks if I needed to get Thule racks.
 

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2006 H6 3.0R LL Bean wagon and 2000 H4 OBW
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No worries.

Yeah...sorry to bring this one back up, but I hate having to go through a hundred different threads for the same topic. I figure best to keep it in one consolidated area. I am surprised I couldn't find more posts about cargo carriers on here. Anyway...I am stuck on what to do...I have an 01 Outback wagon, and I want a cargo box that can carry long skis (including my XC skis of size 211). It seems like all the long ones will hit the hatch as it opens. Does anyone have a specific model that seems to work for this set up? I have factor bars, so I don't really care if it is Yakima or Thule, though I do have an old Thule ski rack that would be nice to add on the same racks if I needed to get Thule racks.
No worries at all. That was probably why I brought it back as well, like you, I didn't find many threads on it.

I did find this one Yakima SkyBox 16 Cargo Boxes on the Yakima website and the first review is for a 2000 Outback. They said it fits like it was custom made for it. It is about 8" shorter than the one I have but 14" wider. The Spacebooster I have is 89x22x14, I needed a narrow one. It has been replaced by the Rocketbox 11 http://www.rackattack.com/product-pages/yakima-rocketbox-pro-11.asp

I have Thule load bars and they work just fine together.
 
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