The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Yakima Rocketbox Pro 14 Review

Yakima Rocketbox Pro 14
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $439 List | $351.19 at REI
Pros:  Easy to install, inexpensive
Cons:  Low quality
Manufacturer:   Yakima
By Jessica Haist ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 26, 2013
  • Share this article:
62
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease of Use - 35% 7
  • aerodynamics- - 25% 6
  • Construction - 15% 4
  • Security - 15% 6
  • Style - 10% 7

The Skinny

With the Rocketbox Pro 14, you get what you pay for. It's about $100 cheaper than any other box in this review, and is a decent budget buy for extra cargo space. The best thing about the Rocketbox is its easy installation. Other than that, we were disappointed with how it performed compared to the other boxes we tested. One of its arms fell out of its slot the first time we used it, and we found the lid floppy and more difficult to open and close than its big sister, the Best Buy-winning Yakima Skybox 16 Carbonite.


Our Analysis and Test Results

The Yakima Rocketbox Pro 14 is incredibly easy to install. Otherwise, its lower quality construction left us wanting.

Performance Comparison


This is the first time we used the Rocketbox Pro 14  and we may have overfilled it in our zeal for testing. You can see where the right side is drooping because the arm has already fallen out of its slot in the lid. Beware of overstuffing!
This is the first time we used the Rocketbox Pro 14, and we may have overfilled it in our zeal for testing. You can see where the right side is drooping because the arm has already fallen out of its slot in the lid. Beware of overstuffing!

Construction Quality


Unfortunately, an arm in the Rocketbox Pro 14 detached from the lid the first time we used it. We may have overfilled the box, thus pushing the arm out of its slot, but this should not have happened the first day of use. We asked the Yakima team about this problem, and they said that we should be able to just slide the arm back into its fitting on the lid side. We tried this, but it would not snap back into place. The lid of the Rocketbox Pro 14 is quite floppy, especially considering that it is relatively small. We like the stiff lids of the Yakima Skybox and the Thule Sonic Large, which make them easier to open and close.

Unfortunately  an arm in the Rocketbox detached from the lid first time we used it. We may have overfilled the box  thus pushing the arm out of its slot  but this should not have happened the very first day. It would not slot back in place.
Unfortunately, an arm in the Rocketbox detached from the lid first time we used it. We may have overfilled the box, thus pushing the arm out of its slot, but this should not have happened the very first day. It would not slot back in place.

Appearance


We think the Rocketbox looks are pretty average. It has a bit of a bulbous shape that does not look particularly streamlined, and we prefer the sleek, shiny finish of the Thule Sonic to the Rocketbox's matte textured look.

We think the Rocketbox's looks are pretty average. It has a bit of a bulbous shape that does not look particularly streamlined  and we prefer the sleek shiny finish of the Thule Sonic to the Rocketbox.
We think the Rocketbox's looks are pretty average. It has a bit of a bulbous shape that does not look particularly streamlined, and we prefer the sleek shiny finish of the Thule Sonic to the Rocketbox.

Ease of Use


Yakima's Rocketbox Pro 14 is one of the easier boxes to install, but not as easy as the Rhino Rack Master Fit 550. Its large hooks slide under your crossbars, and you simply tighten big red knobs until they are snug. It also has a button to push to open the latches after you have turned the key. We prefer the Skybox's handle to open the box to this button.

The Yakima Rocketbox Pro 14 uses a button to open the latches after you have turned the key. We prefer the Skybox Pro 16's handle to open the box.
The Yakima Rocketbox Pro 14 uses a button to open the latches after you have turned the key. We prefer the Skybox Pro 16's handle to open the box.

Aerodynamics


The Rocketbox Pro 14 is the lightest box in this review at 38 pounds, which may help with gas mileage. We noticed some road noise when on the highway, and were disappointed to hear the floppy lid rattling when driving on bumpy roads.

Security


The Rocketbox seems relatively secure with its 3 latch system. Our only concern is that the floppiness of the lid would make it easier to break into.

Best Application


The Rocketbox Pro 14 can carry skis or snowboards up to 180cm's in length, so tall people may be out of luck. We think this box is best suited for general camping and cargo hauling use.

Value


This box retails at $439, around $100 less than any other box in this review. We think you get what you pay for, which is lower construction quality. If the arm separating from the lid was a fluke, it may be worth it the low price for the extra cargo carrying capacity.

Conclusion


We were disappointed with the construction quality of this box — the arm should not have broken the first time we used it. If this was a fluke, this box may be a good deal. We like how easy it is to install and think the rest of its features are just ok.


Jessica Haist