4 Best Cargo Box For Subaru Outback Reviewed


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The Subaru Outback is known for its versatility and ruggedness. It’s also a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts who need to transport their gear on the weekends or travel across the country.

But are you constantly inconvenienced by the lack of cargo space in your Subaru Outback? 

Your car has plenty of space for storage, but when you bring along the family dog or any other large item like skis and snowboards, it seems that there isn’t enough room left over.

A perfect solution would be installing a cargo box on the rooftop to hold some of your stuff.

If you’re looking for one, I recommend the Thule Motion XT (XL) Rooftop Cargo Carrier as the best cargo box for Subaru Outback on the market.

This review will help you get started by looking at three of our favorite cargo box brands: Thule, Yakima, and Goplus. We’ll look at their pros and cons, as well as some helpful tips on how to find the best cargo box for your Subaru Outback.

Let’s get into it!

Our Top Picks Cargo Box For Subaru Outback

Preview
Best Overall
Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier, XL , Black
Most Aerodynamic
Thule Force XT Rooftop Cargo Box, Large
Best For Outdoor Trips
Goplus Cargo Box, Waterproof Rooftop Cargo Carrier, Heavy Duty Roof Storage Box, 14 Cubic Feet (Black)
Best For A Small Family
YAKIMA - RocketBox Pro Compact Rooftop Cargo Box for Smaller Cars, 12 (adds 12 cubic ft. of storage)
Cargo Box
Thule Motion XT (XL) Rooftop Cargo Carrier
Thule Force XT Rooftop Cargo Box, Large
Goplus Cargo Box
YAKIMA RocketBox Pro Compact Rooftop Cargo Box
Volume (cu ft)
18
16
16
12
Opening
Dual-sided
Dual-sided
Dual-sided
Dual-sided
Load Capacity (lbs)
165
165
165
Hauls gear for up to 2 campers
Dimension (Inches)
84.5 x 36 x 17
74.75 x 33 x 18
63 x 31 x 15
58 x 36 x 16
Best Overall
Preview
Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier, XL , Black
Cargo Box
Thule Motion XT (XL) Rooftop Cargo Carrier
Volume (cu ft)
18
Opening
Dual-sided
Load Capacity (lbs)
165
Dimension (Inches)
84.5 x 36 x 17
Most Aerodynamic
Preview
Thule Force XT Rooftop Cargo Box, Large
Cargo Box
Thule Force XT Rooftop Cargo Box, Large
Volume (cu ft)
16
Opening
Dual-sided
Load Capacity (lbs)
165
Dimension (Inches)
74.75 x 33 x 18
Best For Outdoor Trips
Preview
Goplus Cargo Box, Waterproof Rooftop Cargo Carrier, Heavy Duty Roof Storage Box, 14 Cubic Feet (Black)
Cargo Box
Goplus Cargo Box
Volume (cu ft)
16
Opening
Dual-sided
Load Capacity (lbs)
165
Dimension (Inches)
63 x 31 x 15
Best For A Small Family
Preview
YAKIMA - RocketBox Pro Compact Rooftop Cargo Box for Smaller Cars, 12 (adds 12 cubic ft. of storage)
Cargo Box
YAKIMA RocketBox Pro Compact Rooftop Cargo Box
Volume (cu ft)
12
Opening
Dual-sided
Load Capacity (lbs)
Hauls gear for up to 2 campers
Dimension (Inches)
58 x 36 x 16

Last update on 2022-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


4 Best Cargo Box For Subaru Outback Reviewed

Here is our list of which cargo boxes we think are the best for Subaru Outback.

Best Overall Cargo Box: Thule Motion XT (XL) Rooftop Cargo Carrier

Thule Motion XT (XL) Rooftop Cargo Carrier
  • Roof-mounted cargo box provides 18 cubic feet of additional packing space
  • Designed for optimal space efficiency, aerodynamics, and vehicle fit
  • Quick-mount system "clicks" when roof box is secure and properly mounted
  • Dual-side opening for quick access from either side of the car
  • Easy to open and close with grip-friendly handles and supporting lid-lifters

Last update on 2022-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Specifications:

  • Capacity: 18 cu ft
  • Opening: Dual-sided opening
  • Weight Limit: 165 lbs
  • Dimensions: 84.5 x 36 x 17 inches
  • Item Weight: 46 lbs

If you’re looking for a sleek design, spacious, easy to install, and durable cargo box, this Thule Motion XT cargo box by Thule is the best cargo box for Subaru Outback.

Regardless of which model and generation Subaru Outback you’re driving, this cargo box will blend in easily with your car.

It measures 84.5-inch long by 36 wide by 17 inches high. It’ll hold larger items like suitcases with ease and a couple of pairs of adult-size skis and snowboards. The maximum capacity of the cargo box is 165 lbs.

The cargo box is made from durable, impact-resistant ABS plastic material that will serve you last longer. The innovative quick-mount system allows you to secure the cargo box into place without using any tool. 

This dual side opening makes it easy to load and unload, but the cover flexes a bit. It can be difficult to get open when you close the lid. Just make sure all latches are engaged, and you’ll be fine.

The Thule Motion XT cargo box comes with a lifetime warranty to give you complete peace of mind.


Most Aerodynamic: Thule Force XT Rooftop Cargo Box, Large

Thule Force XT Rooftop Cargo Box, Large
  • A versatile roof-mounted cargo box for everyday use
  • Provides 16 cubic feet of additional packing space
  • Designed to fit a wide range a vehciles with maximum space efficiency
  • Quick-mount system "clicks" when roof box is secure and properly mounted
  • Dual-side opening for easy access to all areas of the box, from either side of the vehicle

Last update on 2022-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Specifications:

  • Capacity: 16 cu ft
  • Opening: Dual-sided opening
  • Weight Limit: 165 lbs
  • Dimensions: 74.75 x 33 x 18 inches
  • Item Weight: 41.23 lbs

At first glance, the Thule Force XT Rooftop Cargo Box looks identical to Thule Motion XT. The notable difference is the AeroSkin finish of the Force XT and the gloss finish of the Motion XT.

Another feature of the Thule Force XT is it has a lock knob system that engages the linkage.

This 16 cu ft cargo box is a little bulkier at the back to accommodate taller gears towards the back of the box. It doesn’t interfere with the rear antenna when the rear hatch is fully open. The front aerodynamic design will reduce the wind resistance and improve the gas mileage.

The Thule Force XT is an excellent option for all your storage needs. It can store up to seven pairs of skis or snowboards, and its dual-sided lockable compartment ensures safety and security.

Thule Force XT will allow you to open from both sides. It’s so easy to access; however, some owners complain that it’s not easy to close. To make it work, you must put it all together and close it properly.

The Thule Force XT is a great alternative to the Motion XT if you’re looking for something cheaper and can still hold up a lot of travel gears.


Best Cargo Box For Outdoor Trips: Goplus Cargo Box

Goplus Cargo Box
  • Perfect for Road Trip---Take the cargo box to the park, the beach, the sports field, or any place you need to store. Works on all vehicles with rack, suitable for cars, vans, SUVs, etc. Sleek aerodynamic design to reduce drag and has less noise.
  • 14 Cubic Feet of Cargo Space---With the large capacity, the roof cargo box can help you securely carry 14 cubic feet worth of essentials, can increase vehicle cargo space without impeding on passenger comfort, more capacity, more pleasure!
  • Robust and Security Design---The roof cargo box is designed to withstand heavy use in different types of weather conditions. The metal lid stiffeners at the bottom makes the roof box more stable and safer. With the double-lock design for protecting your valuables. 【Note】This product is suitable for vehicles with rack (the width of the luggage rack is adjusted to between 16.1 inches and 24.8 inches, and the width of the roof crossbar is less than 3.1 inches).

Last update on 2022-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Specifications:

  • Capacity: 14 cu ft
  • Opening: Dual-sided opening
  • Weight Limit: 165 lbs
  • Dimensions: 63 x 31 x 15 inches
  • Item Weight: 25 lbs

If you don’t ski and looking for some extra room for your suitcases, small bags, or camping gear, the 14 cu ft Cargo Box by Goplus is a perfect choice.

It weighs about 25 pounds, lightweight, dual-sided opening, and is easy to handle by one person, even seniors.

The cargo box measures 63-inch long by 31 wide by 15 inches high. It’s a low-profile box, and going in and out of your garage shouldn’t be a problem. In addition, the box is equipped with four quick connect anchors for easy installation.

The carrier is made of durable ABS material that protects your items from all elements. The robust cargo box design allows you to pack all your stuff up to a maximum capacity of 165 pounds

To improve its security feature, the Goplus Cargo Box has a double-lock mechanism that allows your key to be removed after the cover is fully closed and locked.

The Goplus Cargo Box comes with three different color options. If your Subaru Outback is Crystal White Pearl, then the white cargo box could be a perfect match.

However, one owner reported that it changed to yellowish because of sunlight exposure over time.


Best Cargo Box For A Small Family: YAKIMA RocketBox Pro Compact Rooftop Cargo Box

YAKIMA RocketBox Pro Compact Rooftop Cargo Box
  • Aerodynamic design to reduce drag with forward mounting hardware for improved hatch clearance making it great for small vehicles
  • Perfect for smaller cars, hatchbacks and SUVs; Hauls gear for up to 2 campers
  • Quick-dial mounting hardware fits Yakima round, square, factory and most aerodynamic bars
  • Love it 'Till You Leave It Limited Lifetime Warranty

Last update on 2022-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Specifications:

  • Capacity: 12 cu ft
  • Opening: Dual-sided opening
  • Weight Limit: Hauls gear for up to 2 campers
  • Dimensions: ‎58 x 36 x 16 inches
  • Item Weight: 30 lbs

The Yakima RocketBox Pro is a rooftop cargo box that makes it easy to transport your gear in an organized manner.

It’s compact, wide, and with a capacity of only 12 cu ft; there’s almost no chance for you to pack too much stuff. Thus, less weighed down and improved the overall gas mileage.

It measures 58-inch long by 36 wide by 16 inches high. This is a perfect size if you don’t want to get your moon roof covered.

As it’s small in size, the installation of your car is a breeze. Just slide in the universal mounting clamps to the crossbars and tighten all the locks from inside.

The RocketBox includes SKS Locks and integrated push-button security to ensure your gear is safe when it comes to security features. Material-wise, it is made from durable material with a Matte-black textured finish

It’s not waterproof. Some owners reported that it didn’t get any water leaks when driving up to 80 mph through torrential downpours.

The YAKIMA RocketBox Pro Compact Rooftop Cargo Box comes with a lifetime warranty. It’s probably too small for a large family, but it’s perfectly suitable for a traveling couple.


How To Choose The Best Cargo Box For Your Subaru Outback

There are several reasons to consider buying a cargo box for your Subaru Outback. Many consider purchasing one for the extra space they provide. Here are four factors you need to consider before buying one.

Cargo Box Capacity

Cargo boxes come in various sizes, and most sizes available in the market are 8, 12, 16, 18, and 22 cubic feet. If you have a growing family with 2-3 kids, getting the very large one like the 18 cu ft makes sense, and the 22 cu ft is probably not fit with the Subaru Outback.

I would opt for an 18 cu ft capacity because these boxes can hold suitcases or duffels without difficulty, as well as camping gears, fishing gears, skis, or snowboards that you might bring along. However, the 16 cu ft cargo is perfectly fine for most people.

If you’re going on ski trips, measure the length and width of your skis to get an idea of what cargo box dimensions will work best.

Large boxes can have big negatives as well. One of the issues with a large car box is that it can be challenging to store. Another point is, of course, the pricing is a tad expensive.

The Ability To Open The Rear Hatch

One of the factors you must consider when choosing the cargo box for Subaru Outback is to make sure the cargo box size allows the hatch to open fully. If the cargo box is too long, it can impact the ability to open the rear hatch.

The Thule Motion XT and Thule Force XT are 18 cu ft cargo boxes and well-sized for the Subaru Outback. Even though the rear hatch is fully open, there’s still a couple of inches of clearance for the hatch and shark fin antenna.  

Choose A Low Profile Cargo Carrier

The height of your garage clearance should be an important factor in choosing the correct cargo box size for you. Make sure you get one that has low-profile dimensions, so it will fit under a garage without scraping against its top. 

In addition, the low-profile cargo box will improve the aerodynamics of your car, and less drag while still giving you enough space for carrying all your gear.

How Does It Impact Your Gas Mileage?

The weight and drag of your cargo box can significantly impact the gas mileage you get. If you’re driving around with a cargo box, you might get around a 2mpg loss. So, expect to get a little less gas mileage than usual.

The aerodynamic design of the cargo box can help to reduce wind resistance and improve gas mileage. 

See also Best Kayak Rack For Subaru Outback

FAQ

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about cargo boxes for Subaru Outback.

What size cargo box for a growing family?

The Thule Motion XT (XL) is a popular choice for families with four adults, as it allows full tailgate opening and can hold reasonable amounts of luggage.

Do I need to buy extra locks to avoid theft?

All the cargo boxes we recommended in our post come with locks. You won’t have to buy extra ones.

What size of cargo box can fit my 180 cm skis?

The Thule Motion XT (XL) cargo box is the right size for your skis or similar-sized snowboards. Please check out the 22 cu ft version here if you have something larger than this.

What is the best crossbar for Subaru Outback Cargo Box?

Here, we have covered more details about the best roof rack for Subaru Outback. But if you want a quick answer, we recommend Thule Wingbar Evo Crossbars as the best one.

Our Verdict

If you’ve ever felt like your Subaru Outback has insufficient storage space, it might be time to give in and purchase a cargo box. The Motion XT (XL) is our favorite because it can easily hold large items like suitcases and a couple of pairs of adult-size skis and snowboards.

If an 18 cu ft cargo box is too big for your needs, I recommend looking into Thule Force XT or Yakima Rocketbox. 

I hope that this article will help you find the perfect cargo box for your Subaru Outback.