Thule Force XT L ($700)

From budget carriers to sleek and high-end designs, below are the season's top roof boxes

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74.8 x 33 x 18 in.

11 (Sport), 16, 18, 22 cu. ft.

Dual side

5-7 pairs up to 175cm

Durable and functional for significantly less than the Motion XT.

Cheaper look and the LockKnob latch system isn’t our favorite.

Just beneath it is the Motion XT in Thule’s lineup and the Force is a high-quality all-purposer with a swivel design that is ideal for carrying skis and camping gear, luggage and many other things. With a price that is less than the Motion above and below, the Force has a number of high-end features, like the easy-to-install PowerClick mounts and a dual-sided opening. It also has six tie-down points, as well as included stiffeners to aid in load-bearing (up to 165 pounds.). However, it falls just short of the small details The design of the Force isn’t as appealing as the Motion’s shiny finish The LockKnob device isn’t quite as sturdy and user-friendly as the premium SlideLock as well, and you don’t have a good grip handle to aid with shutting and opening. It’s also difficult to top the motion’s design for the nose that is specifically designed to prevent gapping during strong winds.

If you’re not immediately captivated by the top-of-the-line Motion it’s possible that you’ll have to choose in between Force XT and the Yakima SkyBox above. Both models are the ideal middle ground for the majority of customers however we prefer the Yakima an edge due to several small advantages. For starters, we like its latching mechanism that has a huge handle that can be opened and closed the box completely separate from its locking mechanism. However the Force’s set-up creates more strain on the lock. It should come not as a surprise there’s been issues throughout the years of broken keys. Furthermore SkyBox is available in five sizes instead of four. SkyBox is available in five sizes, not four. Its 16-cubic-foot model is around 20 dollars less than the larger Force here. However, it’s difficult to match Thule’s effortless tool-free installation and dependable build quality in addition, the Force XT is undeniably a quality box.