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Discussion Starter #1
Need some additional storage for the Forester and wanted to gut check what works best.

Using Yakima as an example (since I have the Yakima Railbars installed), there are the following options:

Yakima Cargo Pack - 16L Rooftop Bag (link)
  • (+) Folds down when not in use
  • (+) Price
  • (-) Rests directly on roof
    • Risk overlapping with sunroof? / scratching roof?*
  • (-) Not waterproof
  • (-) not very secure
Yakima Skybox 16 (link)
  • (+) More Waterproof than the bag
  • (+) More secure
  • (-) difficult to store
  • (-) price
My gut instinct is that the bag may be a good purchase if I plan to only use it a few times, like I have in mind, but the box is better long-term?

*Can someone measure the space behind the sunroof and let me know the dimensions?
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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If you're using the Yakima roof bars, aren't they pretty much adjustable along the stock roof rails? So you could put them wherever... right? I'm guessing the bag would sit between the rails and the bars, flat on the roof panel? the bottom of the bag should have a soft-touch material that will not scratch the paint. But ... Some possible down sides?
  • debris COULD get between the fabric base and the roof pain, leading to scratches.
  • bag sits on the roof panel and not on the rack rails/bars so there is a weight limit/issue so that you don't bend the roof panel.
You should be able to measure your roof...?

The box is more secure (as you've pointed out) and weather proof... but yes, then you either have to deal with the MPG hit if you leave it on OR deal with the hassle of installing/removing when using AND then storing when not in use.

Box is also more aerodynamic when in use, as it keeps the shape. The soft-sided bag will "form" to whatever you're carrying so it could be lumpy and bumpy causing more disruptive airflow.

I use a roof-top basket on top of the cross bars and then I can add my "other brand" zip bag up there if needed, secured by a net or by ratchet straps/bungee cords.. It's weather resistant (coated nylon/polyester) so things stay fairly dry/clean when I've used it. Then when not in use, it's folded up and stored.

... another thing to consider... While both show having the same capacity (16 L), the shape is vastly different... The bag is more of a square base - nearly as wide as long. The box? It's much narrower so you're limited in the size of what you can carry up there...

And yikes! Have those things gone up in price since I bought my cargo bag... it was only about 40 bucks when I bought mine many years ago ...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies

The more I have been thinking about it the more I think the bag may be best - I wont use it often and since I live in a city I dont have much storage for it when not in use, so I would basically need to always have it on.
 

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'17 2.5 Touring
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In the past when I've used a roof top carrier, I just had something like this on the roof and pushed the bars so they were under the bag ('01 Forester). I also added some ratchet straps to really lock it down.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Update:

I ended up grabbing the Yakima OffGrid Medium Cargo Basket. Since I live in a city, and do not have a garage or anywhere to store a cargo box, this works best for me. I can also throw on a cargo bag without worrying about damaging the roof.

Yakima also sells a +18" extension incase I want the basket to be longer. Its currently up this car forward so that I can still put bikes on the baskets cross-bars if I want to, and not interfere with the hatch.

 
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