Thule Pulse M ($550)

From budget carriers to sleek and high-end designs, below are the season's top roof boxes
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67 x 35 x 16 in.

11 (Alpine), 14, 16 cu. ft.

One side

3-5 up to 155cm

Thule’s most affordable full-sized cargo box.

Only opens on one side and does not contour around an antenna.

If you’re looking for design over function but would like to keep the Thule brand the Pulse is an excellent starting point. It doesn’t have any frills included in this base model, however there’s still plenty of advantages to staying with an established manufacturer, like excellent customer support and the ability to integrate with different Thule products. Regarding the design of the Pulse Thule kept things simple , with only one opening (on the side of the driver) and a lock/latch combination however, you’ll still enjoy the convenience of installation without tools by using FastGrip Quick Mounts. In addition to the Medium the Pulse is offered in a larger version (16 cu. feet.) as well as a longer and slim Alpine model Both of them are excellent haulers for skiers with a budget.

In general, we’ve become accustomed to Thule’s products to be a bit better than Yakima’s. However, the Pulse is clearly a different case. In comparison with it to RocketBox Pro 14 (Yakima’s budget design) The Pulse falls short in a couple of key aspects. It’s the first thing you’ll notice. You only have a an opening that’s one-sided (the RocketBox opens from both sides) Additionally, the Thule’s base doesn’t have a contour towards the rear, which means it’s not designed to hold modern, fin-like antennas. The Pulse’s basic lock/latch mechanism is mediocre at the very least and (similar similar to similar to Force previously mentioned) it is prone to place excessive strain on the key. If you don’t require the extra length to fit snowboards, it’s possible that the SportRack Vista XL might be an option that is $150 less.

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