Thule Sidekick ($380)

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

54 x 25 x 15.5 in.

8 cu. ft.

One side

N/A

Compact carrier for small cars.

Requires after-purchase assembly; very basic latch/lock mechanism.

Let’s get this one point out first The Sidekick isn’t even in the same league with the majority of cargo boxes in this area. While the Pulse is Thule’s standard model The Sidekick is straight from their basement sale which isn’t completely assembled prior to the shipment (you’ll need to put in the locks and weather stripping yourself). Once you’ve have it all put together the box is as basic as it gets with eight cubic feet of storage (at minimum 3 cubic. feet. smaller than other models) and a single-sided opening without a handle and a basic U-bolt mounting system with pre-drilled holes, fingers crossed that they will fit into your crossbar spread and need a variety of moving components (pro tip: make sure you don’t loose any of the components).

There are several other options at this price-point, such as the SportRack above and the Jegs below. But what makes the Sidekick is unique is its small size. There’s no better alternative for cars with small trunks and as with that RocketBox Pro 11 above, the Thule is also a good fit when you’re sharing your roof rack with surfboards, bikes kayaks, kayaks, or skis. With only 16 pounds, it’s not going to significantly impact your roof’s load capacity (although the box is likely to be the main factor to limit your load with a capacity of 75 pounds.). Beware of The latching mechanism on the side is fragile, and making matters more complicated you’ll need to remove two locks every time you close or open the box. However, there’s no doubt about the low price that is what makes Sidekick an appealing choice for trips on occasion as well as point-to-point excursions (the less you have to open your bag the more convenient).

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