Complexity vs. Keep it Simple Please
Review by Curtis Posted on December 27, 2018Sometimes making devices more flexible in their use to broaden appeal only adds to their complexity and reduces the original intent; I'm afraid the RocketBox Pro 11 now fits into this category. My family has used Yakima products since the 1980's. I'm looking out my window at two older Rocket boxes o...read moren cars we own, and they've been going strong for dozens of years. I appreciate the concept of being able to open the box from either side, and the three latches to secure the lid (each side).
This convenience and security all in one package comes at a cost. The hinges, designed to open in either direction, end up bulky, somewhat flimsy (although they haven't broken) and seemingly get in the way of what used to be very usable space. I struggle to get a couple of ski bags inside (~190-205cm skis) with some ski boots/clothing. The single key mechanism to lock/unlock three latches at a time problematic. I have now bent two keys attempting to get skis out of the box. The mechanism on both sides feel like they're filled with cold molasses even on warm days. When one side totally failed to open on our last day ski tour, we struggled over the roof from the other side of the 4Runner to get the remaining side to work. We extricated the ski gear but this was a silly, time consuming situation.
It is true, there are support articles on how to remedy the locking mechanism problems by opening up the mechanism with a torx wrench, etc. etc., but for the price of this box (albeit reasonable in this market) I don't think the end user should have to deal with modifications or problems like this.
I will work with Yakima to make this box function because I like Yakima and their support and products have been great in the past. However, I will take a very serious look before assuming the functional Yakima engineering of yesterday continues tomorrow.
Great box, unless you live in Wyoming
Review by Elizabeth Posted on April 7, 2018This box went without flaw for the past two years. Perfect for throwing lots of gear into.
However, Wyoming winds win this one. Roofbox slammed sideways (so that it was diagonal across my roof) while driving on the highway. Everything was tightened the way it should have been and the...read morere was no evidence of something breaking or something not being installed properly to cause this. Couldn't drive until I found a ratchet strap at a gas station to crank it into place. Sure, the winds were high, but a roofbox should not move and at the price I shouldn't have to buy additional items to keep it on. Still works okay and on my car today but I still strap it down if its too windy and definitely don't trust it.
Also a side note, on my 1990s Subaru Outback the roofbox hits the trunk door, even though I have it fairly far forward on the bars.
Great entry level roofbox
Review by Rosco Posted on January 8, 2018I've owned the Rocketbox pro 11 since fall of 2016, and it's served me well, doing exactly what I was looking for it to - get skis and boards out of my car (subaru impreza) in the winter while still being protected, and extra storage for road trips in the summer. It's not a super sturdy construction...read more, and has its flaws with the lock-unlock button being difficult to push in sometimes, as well as the clamping mechanism at each end seems a bit flimsy. That being said, I'm careful to open it with both hands, not throw boards/skis in aggressively, and it can open from either side so if one side was giving me trouble, I try the other.
I've had sets of boards and skis and poles for 4 people fit fine, and it can be installed and removed pretty easily. It also adjusts without any tools so swapping to another car's roof rack was easy too. Overall, I'd recommend buying one if you're looking for an entry level box and don't want to break the bank. You get what you pay for, take good care of it and it should last a while.
Long time User
Review by SteveL Posted on July 26, 2017We've owned a rocketbox 11 for about 15 years - first mounted on a 1999 Honda Odyssey with Yakima crossbars. Worked great when we need extra capacity when all seats were utilized. We now have a 2017 RAV4 with factory crossbars. We are a little worried about the 100 lb. weight limit of the Toyota ...read morecrossbars - not remembering what the limit of the Honda Odyssey rails were (the Yakima crossbars are STURDY!)
The rocketbox itself is a good product - not without it's problems, as the latch & hinges can get 'cranky' - but overall, if a product can last 15 years as a storage on and off the car, then it should be considered a success. (When the rocketbox is not in use on the vehicle, we store our sleeping bags in it - that way, the garage space is put to use!
xc skiing and RB 11
Review by Dennis Posted on January 22, 2017This is a wonderful carrier for ski enthusiasts (for example). I had a first generation rocket box which lasted almost 20 years. It would have probably lasted much longer had I not left it on top of my car through several hot summers. Improvements over the first gen are numerous: 1) quick instal...read morelation and de-install from your horizontal bars, 2) easy adjustment for distance between your two horizontal bars, 3) because of #'s 1 & 2, much improved and quick movement and adjustment of the cargo box between multiple vehicles. Also easy locking and access from either side (mounting either on driver's or passenger's side of vehicle.
One problem I have run into in packing the carrier for a routine xc ski trip in CO, is that the longest pair of skis I have (my classic fischer skis) need a length of min of 81 inches. Although the box length is more than adequate (exterior dimensions) the interior available length is very close and it is very tough to pack these long skis into the box, along with the several other pairs we usually have for a trip.
Great! More rear clearance (for hatches)
Review by Peter Posted on May 18, 2015I wanted a small box to supplement carrying capacity on a subaru outback (2006), and it had to be long to fit my 190cm skis in the winter. I originally bought the thule model as it's a not as tall and looks a bit slimmer, but the rear hatch wouldn't clear/fully open even with my cross bars (yakima) ...read moremoved all the way forward. Then I went and looked at the Yakima rocketbox 11 which had the exact same problem. Frustrated, I considered drilling further holes/modifying the box to move it the extra 3-4" I needed.
Then (thanks to this website) I realized there is a new model - the Pro 11 - and one of the other local REIs had it in stock (although it wasn't assembled). Skeptical, I went to check it out - and indeed, it turned out this model has significantly increased the rear clearance to accommodate cars like the outback - awesome!! Now I'm a very happy owner of a Rocketbox Pro 11.
If you're also looking to mount a rocketbox on a car with rear hatch and are concerned about clearance, check this one out. As a bonus, the button dual side opening is great!
Review by Dan Posted on May 18, 2015The product has worked well, but I had difficulty getting it assembled. Be sure to look ahead at instructions so you know where all the parts go.
Very Small Interior!
Review by Jay Posted on May 18, 2015Don't be fooled by the listed (exterior) measurements. The dual-opening scissor lifts on the inside ends, the inside side-bars that operate the three-latches from the central lock, and the overall shape of the box all make usable interior space very, very limited for a box this "size."
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I am returning it.
Does NOT fit all factory bars
Review by Aaron Posted on May 18, 2015Not particularly pleased with this product. Does not fit standard VW crossbars, as it claims to; did not unlock without applying an unreasonable amount of force; bottom molded features of box damaged in handling.
BUT it does look sexy, albeit not on my ca...read morer.
17 ft sea kayak and a box too--yes!!
Review by Jenny Posted on May 18, 2015It was easy to to set up and install. The sliders were very stiff but I assume that was to keep water out. On one side, the lid has to be held down before the box can be locked or before the button can be pushed in to lock the box. I will use it this summer for camping and next winter for skiing--sh...read moreould keep skis clean on long trips.