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Differences Between the Thule Force XXL and Thule Motion XT XXL Rooftop Boxes for a Ford Flex

Question:

What is the $130 difference between Thule Force XXL cargo box, and thule motion XT XXL? Besides the better lock, what am I paying for?

Expert Reply:

The Thule Force XXL, part # TH626 and the Thule Motion XT XXL, part # TH6299T are extremely identical boxes, but you do have a few features present in each that makes them different.

First off, Thule's boxes come in four groups that relate to their standard features, the Pulse, Force, Motion and Hyper groups. All of Thule's boxes except the Pulse series have dual side access.

Force boxes have Quick Grip mounting, and above average rigidity when opened.

Motion boxes have the upgraded Power Click mounting, a unique lid design that creates a less "wobble" when opening, and the slide lock.

Between these two boxes, the primary differences are the number of load straps, ski capacity and hatch clearance.

The Force, part # TH626, has only 2 load straps that are linked to the mounting hardware, and that's it. Its capable of carrying more skis than the Motion, with a maximum of 10-12 pairs of Skis or 6-8 snowboards depending on width and bindings, and a maximum length of a little over 86 inches (220 centimeters). The Force is a strictly better choice when primarily carrying skis and snowboards. It also requires more forward clearance, requiring 58-1/8 inches from the center of your front crossbar to the rear of your roof where the hatch's hinge is.

The Motion, part # TH6299T has more load straps, with 3 included, and 6 anchor points. One set is located in the middle mounted to the box, while the others are linked to the Power-Click system. The Power Click system is also another advantage that the Motion has over the Force, as this system helps prevent damaging the clamps due to overtightening. When you're mounting the box, the clamps will audibly click when they are the correct tightness onto your bars. The Motion is also a higher capacity box (Offering 22 cubic feet to the Force's 21 cubic feet) that requires less clearance, only 55 inches, to fit your vehicle.

The Motion's ski capacity isn't as good as the Force, being limited to 5-7 pairs of skis or 3-5 snowboards and limited to 85 inch (215 centimeter) skis. That being said, if you're looking for pure cargo capacity and stability of that cargo, the Motion is well worth the extra money for its additional moutning points and ease of installation.

Between the two, I prefer the premium features of the Motion based on my uses for camping and hiking. I've made use of extra anchor points before to carry odd shaped gear and there's definitely an advatage to having those. In addition to that, I think you'll enjoy the look of the Motion on top of the already striking Ford Flex as an additional point of accentuation, especially if you have a dual tone version of the vehicle. The box is also available in black as part # TH6299B if you'd like to match or contrast your vehicle.

I've included video reviews of both boxes so you can see a few features that are hard to convey in text, such as how the box's rigidity when opening compares, as well as the physical handling of the box.

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