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Inno Racks Shadow 16 Review

Inno Racks Shadow 16
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Price:  $620 List
Pros:  Sleek low profile design, looks good, quiet
Cons:  “Artsy craftsy” installation, floppy lid
Manufacturer:   Inno Racks
By Jessica Haist ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 28, 2015
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69
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease of Use - 35% 6
  • aerodynamics- - 25% 8
  • Construction - 15% 7
  • Security - 15% 6
  • Style - 10% 8

The Skinny

We drove the Inno Racks Shadow 16 all over the Eastern Sierra at top speeds, up and down huge mountain grades, and through stormy weather — and we liked how it performed. This cargo box is stylish and is lower profile than the rest of the models we tested — but still has 16 cubic feet of storage space. This roof box is a good choice for someone who wants to haul around several sets of skis or lots of luggage and gear, but has a taller vehicle like an SUV or a Honda Element that are already high profile. The Shadow was one of the quieter boxes we tested. Our tester with a Subaru Forester said he found it particularly quiet, hearing neither whistling nor any more noticeable road noise than he would without a box on his roof. The Inno Racks Shadow 16 had the most assembly required to mount it on the roof, and we aren't as fond of the hooks it uses to attach to the crossbars as the other mounting systems we tested, like the incredibly easy Thule Sonic Large. The Shadow wins our Top Pick award because it is much more low profile than any of the other boxes in this review, looks good, and performs well.


Our Analysis and Test Results

The low profile and sleek look of the Inno Racks Shadow 16, along with its 16 cubic feet of carrying capacity, make it stand out from the rest of the boxes in this review.

Performance Comparison


We think the Inno Racks Shadow 16 works particularly well with taller vehicles like SUVs  and it seemed to have very little road noise on this Subaru Forester.
We think the Inno Racks Shadow 16 works particularly well with taller vehicles like SUVs, and it seemed to have very little road noise on this Subaru Forester.

Construction Quality


Inno Racks pride themselves on providing a luxury product for luxury automobiles. We think the product performs relatively well, and is constructed from relatively quality materials. We did not have any problems with this product's manufacturing, and everything seems to work as it should. We think that the Shadow's lid is floppier than we would like, requiring two hands to push the lid open and pull it closed. Both the Thule Sonic and the Editor's choice winning Yakima Skybox Pro 16 have much stiffer, reinforced lids. When packing in wind, the lid gets tossed around and could become damaged. This can be mitigated by simply opening the box from the down wind side. The metal hooks that attach to the crossbars look a bit flimsy, and we prefer the simple, preassembled clamps of the Rhino Rack Master Fit 550.

Appearance


We like the look of this sleek, low profile cargo box. The Shadow's matte black finish looks elegant. We like how it looks on all vehicles, but think that it suited our tester's Subaru Forester quite well. It would also look good and fit well on any other tall vehicles, like SUV's.

We like the look of this sleek  low profile roof box and think the Inno Racks Shadow 16's matte black finish looks elegant.
We like the look of this sleek, low profile roof box and think the Inno Racks Shadow 16's matte black finish looks elegant.

Ease of Use


The Inno Racks Shadow 16 has the most assembly required for its mounting system. Although it did not take us that long to assemble each mounting hook, it took much longer than the pre assembled systems like the Yakima Rocketbox Pro 14 and the Master Fit 550. You have to cut bits of weather stripping to fill in the Shadow's slots once you have installed the hooks, and then if you change it to a different car, you no longer have the right length of strips to fill in the holes, if the other car has different crossbar spacing. Once you have the Shadow 16 mounted on your vehicle, it is decidedly easy to use. It opens on both sides and has a lock and button system that allows you to open the box with relative ease. The Inno Racks Shadow 16 roof box requires two hands to open and close because the lid is a bit floppy.

The Inno Racks Shadow has the most assembly required for mounting. Once you have mounted it on your racks  you have to cut weather stripping to fill in the hook's slots. If you change it to a different car  you might not have the right length stripping.
The Inno Racks Shadow has the most assembly required for mounting. Once you have mounted it on your racks, you have to cut weather stripping to fill in the hook's slots. If you change it to a different car, you might not have the right length stripping.

Aerodynamics


Potentially because of its sleek shape, the Shadow performed well in this category. We barely notice it most of the time when we are driving around with it on our roofs. We noticed some road noise over 70 MPH, and it was buffeted around by high crosswinds, but that is the case for all of the boxes we tested. Our tester with a Subaru Forester noticed no difference in road noise at all with the Shadow on his roof vs not having a box on the roof.

The Shadow 16 was one of the quietest boxes we tested  which could be due to the thin  low profile shape. L to R: Rhino Racks Masterfit 550  Yakima Skybox Pro 16  Inno Racks Shadow 16  Yakima Rocketbox Pro 14 and the Thule Sonic Large.
The Shadow 16 was one of the quietest boxes we tested, which could be due to the thin, low profile shape. L to R: Rhino Racks Masterfit 550, Yakima Skybox Pro 16, Inno Racks Shadow 16, Yakima Rocketbox Pro 14 and the Thule Sonic Large.

Security


Because of its floppy lid and flimsy looking mounting hardware, we feel that the Shadow could be slightly less secure. We do like the three latching points, and that the key stays in the lock until the box is securely closed — not allowing you to drive off with it open.

The Shadow 16 lock and button system allows you to pop open the box with relative ease.
The Shadow 16 lock and button system allows you to pop open the box with relative ease.

Best Application


Use the Shadow on your high profile vehicle like an SUV. You can fit a lot of gear such as skis and luggage in the Shadow, but it is still much thinner in height than the rest of the boxes we tested, like the Yakima Skybox, that has the same volume.

Value


At $599 the Shadow 16 is decent value. We think some of the elements of its construction quality, like its flimsy lid and hooks, could be improved, but overall seems like relatively good quality. We think that this roof box could be a good choice for certain vehicles and looks at home on most cars.

Conclusion


If you have a high profile vehicle but need more cargo space, go for this low profile box. We think the Inno Racks Shadow 16 looks great on all vehicles with its sleek design and classy matte black finish. It is also one of the quieter boxes we have tested. Although we thought the roof was a little flimsy and the hardware could be improved, we think the Shadow is overall a quality model and takes our Top Pick Award for a low profile cargo box.

Other Versions


The Shadow also comes in 14, 15, and 18 cubic feet sizes. The Shadow 15 is an even more low profile design. You can choose from black and silver colors in all models.

18 Ft Shadow Cargo Box
Inno Racks Shadow 18cft Cargo Box
  • 18 cubic foot version
  • Same design as the Shadow 16
  • Weight - 42 lbs
  • $700


Jessica Haist