Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Box Review

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Review of the Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Box


Colin: Hey everyone, it's Colin here at etrailer. And today, we're going to take a look at Thule's line of their Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Boxes. Now these are available in three different sizes. You got 16 cubic feet, 18 cubic feet and 22 cubic feet. And I'm just going to give you guys some information on all the sizes to you, that'll help determine which one is going to best suit your needs. You can see I've got some extra cargo right here.

Obviously these boxes are for getting all that stored in an enclosed area without taking up all your elbow and leg room inside your vehicle. So let's go ahead and get this stuff loaded up. (silence)And these are really nice high quality boxes that Thule's designed. Like I said, you can get all that excess cargo loaded up so you're not taking away all that elbow and leg room that your passengers would really like to have for a longer road trip. With our SUV right here, all of our big luggage is currently stowed in the cargo area.

So having this box available to get all our stuff loaded, is definitely a really nice thing to have on our roof rack. This also eliminates the need to have a hitch on our vehicle and have to get a hitch mounted cargo carrier, because this is also going to protect all of our gear from the elements like the rain and the sun.I've got all my cargo loaded up. It's all spaced out a little bit, so we could actually get some more cargo up here if we needed to. When we're all done, you can just use that pole strap to close it up, and we're ready to hit the road. Now you can see all the small luggage that I was able to throw up here between duffle bags, backpacks, some lawn chairs...

That should give you a good idea of which size is going to be is going to best work for you. This is the 18 cubic foot size box, so if you've got more luggage, you probably want to go with 22 cubic feet. If you don't quite have as much as this and you'd be good with the 16 cubic feet. Now, one of my favorite things about Thule is that they make all their products look very good on your vehicle.So not only are you going to get that very durable box that's going to be very helpful, it's going to.. You're going to look good while you're doing it.

It's got a very glossy. nice glossy black finish, as you can see. But, these boxes are also available in a Titan Glossy finish, which is basically just silver. So all those sizes are going to have both color options. You're going to be able to choose the one that best fits your needs and looks the best on your vehicle. A lot of times with boxes, you have to sacrifice some aerodynamics to help cut down on wind noise and drag, for more space in the box. Thule just decided to go with both. You got the nice aerodynamic shaped box, so it helps cut down that wind noise and drag, which helps out. Especially if you're taking a long road trip. And you still have a ton of space on the inside to get all your cargo stored.One of my favorite features about these boxes, is that we do have the dual sided opening lid, meaning we can access the box from either the passenger side or the driver's side like you see right here. So in cases where maybe you're parked against a wall or in your garage and you can't get inside your box from the passenger side, just open it up from over here. Nice and simple. We can access our cargo without any issues. And then where. Times where maybe you're parked on the side of the road, where you had to stop on the highway, just to grab something real quick. You don't want to be on the side with oncoming traffic. So to stay safe, we'll just come over to the other side and we can access the box from here as well.It operates the same on both sides and it definitely is not sacrificing any of that durability or that ease of use. Now, as you've seen me use it a couple of times, you are going to get two keys included with this box, which is also a great feature because you're going to be able to lock all your items up top so that no one can access it. Now, how it operates. You saw me using it. I'll just walk you through it right now. Insert your key, turn it to the unlocked position. You got the markings right there, telling you was unlocked and what's locked. So then we just pull that handle right there, and we can open up our box.Now when you're ready to close it, if I'm just from the ground. I'm about 5'9", and I can still reach this pole strap right here. So you don't have to step up on the side of the vehicle like I was doing. That was just for video purposes. So I can just pull it down, tuck it back in. I am on my toes a little bit. And then we can pull it down. Now, a great safety feature about this is that we cannot lock it and remove the key until it's properly closed. We have three different latches on each side, so there's going to be a little red indicator on the inside right here that doesn't go away until it's closed properly.And then from there, we can lock it up and remove our key. Now, these cargo boxes aren't just for getting your luggage up there. If you want to be able to haul your skis and snowboards in an enclosed area without all that road salt or anything like that, getting on your skis. Maybe just a longer road trip and you don't want to have these exposed to the elements, you can get these loaded up as well. For all the boxes, you're going to be able to get about five to seven sets of skis.or three to five snowboards loaded up. Now, in this case, you can see we only have three sets of skis, so our box is not even close to full. But, we don't want our skis shifting around and damaging each other so they included three of these straps so that we can secure them and they avoid shifting. We have six different tie-down points we can use. We'll start at the back. Just use one strap per two tie-down points. Run it through there. Come back through the other tie-down point. And then we can get it secured. And just like that, all of our skis are secure. And actually the nice part about this is that if you had some lighter cargo. Just some duffle bags of clothes or something like that, you could set them on top of your skis if you're comfortable with that to get even more stuff in here.Now, obviously with our current load, we're not even close to its capacity, but you do want to keep in mind that this box does have a weight capacity of 165 pounds. But be sure to double check with your roof racks owner's manual and your vehicles owner's manual and make sure you don't exceed any of those weights. Just pick the lowest one and abide by that. And also keep in mind that you want to include the weight of the box when determining how much you can put on your roof.There are 18 cubic feet and 16 cubic feet boxes. They're going to weigh about 40 to 45 pounds, while our biggest one at 22 cubic feet, it's going to weigh about 55 pounds. Now with it empty, we can get a good look at the inside. See, it's very spacious. Even this not being the biggest box. You can get a lot of cargo and or skis loaded in here. Now how it attaches to our roof rack is that we have four of those quick-release clamps. You can see them right now. I'll go ahead and talk about this one, right up front. To show you how it works, I'll loosen it up for you guys. You can pull it out of its clamps. And actually what I'm going to do is come to the outside of our roof box to our crossbar. Whenever I set it down, just like that, and I just start turning the knob, you can see the little claws right there begin to come in towards the crossbar.These are the Thule WingBars. So they're an arrow shaped bar, but these clamps are going to work for really any bar you might have, whether it's an arrow bar, elliptical bar, square or round bar, and most factory roof racks as well. And basically how it works is it uses a clicking system, where once it's torqued properly, as tight as you should get it, it'll give you some audible clicks, just like that, letting you know to stop tightening it down. Let's just go ahead and get it off here and get it back into our cargo box. What we do is just drop it through this track right here. And this can actually adjust back and forth, so it's going to accommodate a wide variety of crossbar spreads. For our current vehicle we have a fixed crossbar spread, so we can't adjust it like you'd be able to on a raised side rail roof. So, that works out very well. We can just drop it through, push it into its slots and then tighten down like you saw me do a minute ago.And with all those clamps installed, it's really got a good hold of the roof rack. It's not going to go anywhere. And whenever you have a large rooftop accessory, like a cargo box on top of your roof, you always want to keep in mind that some vehicles. You may lose rear hatch access. What's nice about what Thule did with the Motion XT, is that with those tracks that talked about where the clamps go through, you can actually adjust it more towards the front of your vehicle to be able to gain access to your hatch. On top of that, we have this tapered off backing of our box. So you can see how it angles out like that. That's to accommodate for vehicles that might have some bigger spoilers. Right here with our Audi Q7, we have no issues whatsoever. You can see there's plenty of space between our box and our spoiler.We can even screw this box up if we needed to, but because we can gain access to the trunk, we can just leave it as it is. Now, the. One of the most important things you do want to remember. Even if you don't go with one of these Motion XT Boxes. With every box you put up there, don't forget you have it on your roof. We've gotten a ton of photos from customers who have tried to pull in their garage, and then you can guess what happens when it makes contact with that garage door. It's not a pretty sight. So definitely don't forget that it's up there. Well, thank you all for watching and I hope this information helped you out. But, that's going to do it for our look at Thule's design of their Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Boxes.


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Info for these parts were:

Employee Andrew K
Video by:
Andrew K
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Colin H
Installed by:
Colin H

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