Rooftop Cargo Box Recommendation for a 2013 Subaru Crosstrek

Question:

I am looking for the best cargo carrier for my 2013 Subaru Crosstrek. I will be driving cross country so I need it to be as aerodymanic as possible. I also want it to be as quiet as possible. Finally, I would like it to be easy enough to install. Given all of my requirements, I also would like it to be as roomy as possible. At what point does it start to be a noticible problem for driving and gas mileage - 14, 16, 18 or 20 Cubic ft. Thanks,

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Expert Reply:

For your cross country trip a roof mounted cargo carrier will be your best option, it is more secure, and provides additional weather protection.

If your 2013 Subaru Crosstrek is not already equipped with a roof rack you will need to install one. Depending on the configuration of your roof, there are several options, and I have provided links for your reference. If you have existing raised rails on your Crosstrek, then I recommend the Thule 53 inch WingBar roof rack composed of parts: # TH711400 for silver bars or # TH711420 for black bars and # TH710401. If you do not have existing rails then you will want the roof rack with 47 inch bars composed of parts: # TH711200 for silver or # TH711220 for black, # TH460R, and # THKIT3068. The Thule WingBars are designed to be quieter and more aerodynamic.

You will notice a decrease in gas mileage when using any carrier, since it is changing the aerodynamics of the entire car. You will not see a significant decrease in gas mileage from one size to the next, so in your case you might as well get a large cargo box to hold all your gear.

For your travels a cargo box that will work with the Thule Aeroblade bars, that is easy to install, and offers the most cargo room I recommend the Thule Motion XT # TH6299B. It is also available in Titan Glossy as part # TH6299T. This cargo box offers up to 22 cubic feet of cargo storage. It is easy to install using the AccuTight mounting clamps. It also offers an easy locking system so that your cargo will be secure, and this will not allow you to lock the keys in the cargo box. It also allows for access from the passenger or drivers side.

This cargo box an hold up to 165 pounds of cargo, and weighs in at 55 pounds. Please check your owner's manual and check the roof carrying capacity of your Crosstrek and make sure that you are not exceeding the weight limits of your roof. You will need to consider the weight including the weight of the crossbar system, cargo box when empty, and when full.

You may also be interested in The Thule Wheel Step # TH232 for loading and unloading your cargo box.

I have include links to the products referenced above, a few videos and a helpful article about rooftop cargo carriers for your reference.

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Rachael H

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