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Thread: Bag it or box it.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    694

    Default Bag it or box it.

    Taking the family down to visit with my brother in Florida next month and I think we've gotten to the point where I need to add some additional exterior storage for the trip. I've already got a cargo hauler on the hitch. We put a large cooler and a tote with our sleeping bags on it. But still didn't have a lot of room for everything else and the 3 kids inside. I'm torn between buying a hard cargo box or a soft sided one for the roof rack. The soft sided ones I've looked at are around 13 cubic feet and cost $75 to $85 dollars. The hard one, a Sportrack made by Thule, is 18 cf and has a lock so I wouldn't have to pull it off when we stop for the night. It's $300 on amazon but I found it on Eastern Mountain Sports for $239 and free shipping. I've never used that site so with time running out I'm just adding to my anxiety. Anybody use either system or have suggestions besides pack lighterBag it or box it.
    thanks,
    jeff

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Bag it or box it.

    I have the Sportrack and am happy with it. Got it when we were moving across the country and took over a month to do it. Had everything my wife and I and our daughter (only one then) needed for that time PLUS my fly fishing stuff. Since then we have used it several times for various trips and it has hauled golf clubs and camping gear. It doesn't weigh much and I can get it on and off the car myself. It loads easily from the back (stand on the bumper) and I can access a lot of it from the sides as well. Overall good buy.
    - William

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Marina del Rey, Ca
    Posts
    621

    Default Re: Bag it or box it.

    Regarding taking in the soft bag, at night, you'll likely have light stuff stored on the roof. So it should be easy. And you could pack it with clothes they'll need the next morning, anyway.

    Do you have room to store the large one while not in use?

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  6. #4

    Default Re: Bag it or box it.

    Depends on how sketchy the areas you park at night are. If it says "Thule" on it, it makes it a huge target. Locks are wothless, you can cut the bars on the rack, or pop the rack off entirely, in under 30 seconds.
    Just something to keep in mind from an experienced ghetto dweller. They frequently will take just the racks here, let alone if anythings on it.

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  8. #5

    Default Re: Bag it or box it.

    Quote Originally Posted by nevadanstig View Post
    Depends on how sketchy the areas you park at night are. If it says "Thule" on it, it makes it a huge target. Locks are wothless, you can cut the bars on the rack, or pop the rack off entirely, in under 30 seconds.
    Just something to keep in mind from an experienced ghetto dweller. They frequently will take just the racks here, let alone if anythings on it.
    One more reason to hate Reno! The biggest little sh!thole in the world. The place where dreams go to die!
    "The single most essential piece of gear for any fishing trip is beer. The second is also beer." ~Hank Paterson

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  10. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone
    Posts
    10,677

    Default Re: Bag it or box it.

    Quote Originally Posted by angledangle View Post
    One more reason to hate Reno! The biggest little sh!thole in the world. The place where dreams go to die!
    Only there once; plane lay over. Played a slot machine; lost $20.00.
    When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost. - Billy Graham"

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  12. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Atlanta/West Yellowstone
    Posts
    267

    Default Re: Bag it or box it.

    I used a soft bag going to and from mountains with kids, but never liked it much. Never confident in how it attached, no overnight security, watertightness dependent upon too much attention to too many details. I recently bought a Thule Sonic M (for medium I think) and drove from Ga. to MT last weekend. It works simply and really perfectly. I stowed 5 big duffles and two full wader bags with some room to spare. I was nervous about the aerodynamics but that was not a problem -- with one modest exception. I encountered steady 30 mph winds in Nebraska for a couple hours, and I felt maybe the Thule added to the feel that the wind was pushing the vehicle (Acura MDX) around a bit. Retail is about 570; they are readily available at 20% off.

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  14. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    694

    Default Re: Bag it or box it.

    Just got back earlier in the week from the trip. I ended up buying the Keeper soft sided for $50. Took a short weekend trip with it where I only had to put it on and off twice. Just coming and going. It worked fine for that. Held a lot of stuff and left plenty of room in our Traverse. Our longer trip to visit my brother in Florida was a little different. It did perform as advertised. Kept everything dry in a couple of down pours while doing 75-80mph on the interstate. I did have to tighten the straps at gas stops a couple of times. My only real complaint is convenience. It was a 2 day trip down with a long stop in St. Augustine so I loaded the night before we left, took it off at the hotel stop, loaded it the next morning, took it off at St. Augustine for a 6 hr. stop, reloaded it and took it off when we arrived in Melbourne. Everytime I reloaded I had to readjust 8 straps on top of a very hot vehicle. It typically took me 20 to 30 minutes each time. I could never get it loaded exactly the same way. I'm going to keep it for day trips but I'm pretty sure we are going to buy the hard side one sometime before our next trip and see how it does.

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    Last edited by ejsell; 07-23-2016 at 06:19 PM.

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  16. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    quiet corner, ct
    Posts
    8,508

    Default Re: Bag it or box it.

    I've had a Sear's X-Cargo for years. They still make em, but there's plenty of used ones around.
    It's surprising how much stuff fits in there.
    ... really handy for transporting a couple of wet float tubes

    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements. --- Horace Kephart

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  18. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    SF Bay area California
    Posts
    917

    Default Re: Bag it or box it.

    I bought two soft top bags for scout trips and both ripped after a few trips, bought the hard case Thule and no issues after 3 years. So if it is a one or two time thing then the soft bag may be ok. If you want something that lasts get the hard case.

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