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2013 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5i All-Weather+Moonroof Venetian Red Pearl W/ Ivory Coth
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571 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
While visiting my local REI store and looking at cargo boxes I came accross the new Thule Force XL Roof Box #625. This is the newest model in the Thule line and has a different surface to help with aerodynamics. I liken it to a golf ball but the dimples are out instead of in. It has one more CUFT (17 CUFT) than the Yakima Skybox 16. My question is does anyone know if it will fit on a 2013 Outback and still allow for the rear hatch to go up.(The Thule Fit Guide on their website is worthless!) As I understand the Yakima Skybox 18 will not fit and still let the hatch go up, so I was cooncerned about a 17 cuft box. I also am not completely sold on the Thule brand. The Yakima Skyboxes seem to be less flimsy, but once mounted that may not matter? I was set on the Yakima Skybox but I like the pebble finish of the new Thule and wonder how much drag advantage it would equate to over the Yakima Skybox? Anyone have any comments about the new Thule?
 

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'13 Outback Limited 2.5i CVT
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36 Posts
I'm also looking at the new Thule boxes. I can confirm that both the Skybox 16 and 18 will fit on the 2013 outback with out rubbing the rear gate. I actually think the new Thule boxes are a bit more rigid. Supposedly the big advantage of the new design is reduced noise.

For me I'm interested in the Sonic series as my snow skis fit in those better than in the Skybox16.
 

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2013 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5i All-Weather+Moonroof Venetian Red Pearl W/ Ivory Coth
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571 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The Yakima is more rigid, but more than likley they are rated for similar weight. I think REI will fit the display models to my car so I can check them out, but I haven't got that far yet. The Skybox 18 is massive and would probably turn my Outbcak into a flying brick or Dr. Seuss' Thingamajigger
 

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'13 Outback Limited 2.5i CVT
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That's what I did - went to REI and took turns placing each box on top of my Outback. The skybox 18 sticks out a good bit over the windshield, and the Skybox 16 seems to fit better on a roof this size. But my skis just barely fit inside the 16. The Skybox is also a good bit cheaper if you don't get the Pro models. Still, for the amount I'm looking to invest, I don't mind a bit more if the Thule is quieter. Waiting now for that REI dividend and 20% off coupon to arrive in March...
 

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2013 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5i All-Weather+Moonroof Venetian Red Pearl W/ Ivory Coth
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571 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
REI 20% coupon? What is required to get the coupon? i was aware of the 10% rebate, but not coupons. REI is quite a bit higher than etrailer and other sites, but I like the ability to go and look at them in the store and fitting to the car
 

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The Thule should fit. I have Thule Boxster, 18 ft.³ box, it fits just fine on a 2012 limited.

REI is a co-op. Co-op members often get coupons. It's a $20 fee to become a member for your entire lifetime. There's a sale event in mid March. The sale usually has a 20% off coupon, and sometimes it has Yakima/Thule on sale as well.

PM me for more details if you'd like...
 

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'13 Outback Limited 2.5i CVT
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Went back to REI today. I agree now that the Yakima lid is stiffer, and the hinge design on it allows for easier opening and closing as compared to the Thule. I don't remember this from earlier, but I noticed that the Sonic XL did NOT have the dimples on the front, but the Sonic Alpine did. Just reading the Thule literature, it's this dimpling that is supposed to make for a more aerodynamic and quieter ride. Anyone else know which models have the dimples on the front side. Folks at my REI were unsure.
 

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I was considering getting one for my 08 and wondering about the effect on gas mileage? Anyone have any numbers so I can decide but looking at the newest one also that is more aerodynamic.
 

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2013 Outback 2.5Ltd w/EyeSight
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Bumping an old thread but I just compared these today.

I went in Thule biased, I walked out liking the Yakima a lot more. The Latch and lock mechanism as well as the added supports inside the lid made it a clear winner for me.

The Thule flexed & twisted all over making it difficult to open.
 

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2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited CVT
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Both the Yakima Skybox Pro 16 and 18 are almost at their lowest ever prices on Amazon right now. Has anyone spent more time with the Skybox Pro 18 and their 4th Gen Outback? I'm thinking of doing the 16 to play it safe, but if the 18 is fitting perfectly fine without modifications, I'd like the extra storage.

Also, I've got the graphite '13 Outback (picture not mine). I'm thinking a black/onyx Skybox will look best, but I'm tempted to get the titanium Skybox. Either will create a two-tone impression, similar but kind of opposite of this guy. I don't have anywhere locally I can check out the two colors. Any thoughts/advice/preference?
 

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2014 2.5 limited
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Just purcahsed after a bit of apprehension, but I can confrim that force xl will fit with minor contact between taillight and cargo box.
 

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'14 Outback 2.5i Premium 6MT
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I was set on the Yakima Skybox but I like the pebble finish of the new Thule and wonder how much drag advantage it would equate to over the Yakima Skybox? Anyone have any comments about the new Thule?
Yakima is releasing updated versions of their skybox line this Spring that will incorporate a "golf-ball like, pebbled texture". Check in with your local REI staff or give Yakima a direct call and they can fill you in. I was told that they should be released sometime in April.

Waiting a few months may just get you the best of both worlds.
 

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2012 2.5i Premium CVT
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Just purcahsed after a bit of apprehension, but I can confrim that force xl will fit with minor contact between taillight and cargo box.
Can you please elaborate on the minor contact? Does it barely touch or does the hatch really push on the box? Is there any way that you could move the box a bit more forward to avoid contact? I've been borrowing a skybox 16 and I like it, but I think I might like the Force XL a bit better. Thanks.
 

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Shopped at Costco yesterday and noticed a bunch of Yakima boxes for sale..$367 or so. In case anyone is interested.
 
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