Yakima launched a solar-panel-clad version of their top-of-the-line CBX rooftop box a couple of years ago, to a fair amount of acclaim. The design is rather impressive it’s Yakima’s luxurious cargo box for adventure (the CBX) with a 36-watt (5V) solar panel that’s mounted on the top. It has a seamless and wireless connectivity and two USB ports are situated on the roof of the box for charging devices in motion or in camping. It’s an appealing and user-friendly choice for adventurers who would like the ease of a roof box equipped with charging capabilities that can provide power to phones, lanterns camera batteries, headlamps and other electronic devices on the go.
Before getting overly excited regarding CBX Solar 16, before you get too excited about CBX Solar 16, it’s crucial to look at the math. At $1,499you’re paying an additional $520 to get the charging capabilities , compared to regular CBX 16 ($979). To give you an idea, you can buy an 100-watt Renogy solar panel that’s 12-volts (popular for van dwellers as well as overlanders) at a price of $170 with a higher power output at a fraction of the price. If you choose to purchase one you can also add on a portable battery such as that of the EcoFlow River ($349) to keep power in reserve and charge your devices as the sun sets or on days with cloudy skies. However, for many, the most appealing feature is the convenience and convenience. The CBX eliminates the work of making it yourself, conceals the wires neatly and is sufficient to keep your phone charged when you go on remote trips. While it’s not the most powerful however, it’s an attractively designed unit and, hopefully, a hint of the direction that the market for rooftop cargo boxes is going.