Skip to main content

Yakima’s CBX Solar Rooftop Cargo Box Features Integrated Solar Charging

Rooftop cargo boxes have changed little in decades. The basic, clamshell designs serve as functional adult-sized toy boxes for skis, hiking gear, groceries, or just about anything else that won’t fit inside a car. This year, however, Yakima is upping the ante with the all-new CBX Solar, an off-grid-friendly cargo box with the ability to power a small campsite almost indefinitely.

Yakima CBX Solar

From ground-level, the CBX Solar is clearly different from most other automotive cargo boxes. The 16-cubic-foot storage capacity is ample enough for almost any sort of gear-hauling. The 83-inch by 38-inch by 15-inch form factor will accommodate skis up to 185 centimeters. Visually, the updated design changes are immediately apparent with a silhouette that’s more angular and aerodynamic than traditional cargo boxes. New chrome badging and a premium microtexture elevate the overall look of the box. Also new for 2020, Yakima added removable torque knob installation hardware making it more secure and easier to install. The aluminum access handles are even more intuitive to use and to lock gear inside safely.

Related Videos

As the name implies, however, what sets the CBX Solar roof box aside is the addition of integrated solar charging. With the help of Sunflare, Yakima incorporated a thin, flexible CIGS (copper indium gallium selenide) top-mounted panel that’s 75% lighter and 95% thinner than typical C-SI solar panels. The ultra-durable design is also impervious to high impact, wind, cold, heat, and is guaranteed never to crack. The 36-watt panel outputs five volts (with a three-amp max) through two USB ports. That’s enough juice to charge most portable batteries or even run a small campsite without draining a car battery.

While rooftop solar panels aren’t a new concept, the idea of integrating one into an existing cargo box is. This first-of-its-kind design helps streamline the limited rooftop space that’s especially valuable to car campers, overlanders, and anyone looking to get far, far off-grid. The CBX Solar won Product of the Year at last month’s Outdoor Retailer. The box debuted alongside the non-solar CBX 16 and CBX 18 cargo boxes, with 16- and 18-cubic-foot capacities, respectively. Yakima claims that all were inspired by recent automotive trends with sleeker, more future-forward aesthetics.

The flagship CBX Solar rooftop cargo box drops in stores this August with a retail price of $1,299.

Editors' Recommendations

The Must-Have Gear, Gadgets, and Tools for Your Next Road Trip

Since traditional travel has been a no-go for most Americans since the spring, 2020 has been a year of road-tripping and RV’ing unlike any other. You might be the kind of traveler who can hop in the car with zero planning and go where the wind takes you. But, if you’re not -- or even if you are -- a little pre-trip preparation goes a long way. Let’s round up our favorite must-have gadgets and tools for traveling comfortably and safely on your next winter road trip.
Sierra Designs Borrego Hybrid Jacket

Staying warm is important when road-tripping in winter. Having a cold-weather kit in your car -- with essentials like a first aid kit, extra food and water, and a camp quilt -- all the time is smart. We love the idea of keeping an extra layer in the back too. The new Borrego Hybrid Jacket from Sierra Designs is a perfect solution. The Primaloft Eco Silver insulated core is guaranteed to keep you warm, while four-way stretch panels allow you to move freely during the most active pursuits. Plus, it packs down extremely small and weighs just eight ounces, so you can tuck it in your car and practically forget it’s there until you need it.

Read more
Journey Farther with the Mobi X Compact, Off-Road-Ready Teardrop Trailer
mobi x off road teardrop travel trailer 1

Social distancing might be the “new normal,” but for some, the standard guidelines for keeping a safe distance from their fellow humans just aren’t enough. More and more Americans are looking to escape far from civilization in the form of overlanding (or extreme road-tripping). Getting off-grid requires a properly equipped vehicle or a rugged, off-road-ready travel trailer -- a travel trailer like the new Mobi X.

The Mobi X is the latest from Mobi Nomad -- a company that proudly boasts extreme travel trailers that are “born in Africa, bred for Australian conditions.” Despite its ultra-compact footprint, it expands to serve as a full-featured basecamp for six. Inside is a cozy bedroom for two with plenty of pockets, lights, and electrical sockets to feel almost like home. Exterior panels at the side and rear reveal a well-equipped camp kitchen with a fridge, sink, and two-burner cooktop, plus all necessary dishes, utensils, and cookware. The optional rooftop tent is roomy enough to sleep four campers, while the standard bathroom tent adds shower and toilet facilities into the mix. Fully loaded, the Mobi X carries nearly 40 gallons of water served up with 2.7 bars of pressure -- plenty for a proper shower or to hose off your outdoor gear. The 15-amp electrical system is more than enough for all but the most demanding campers.

Read more
VW’s Caddy Mini-Camper Is a Pint-Sized Home Away from Home
Volkswagen Mini Caddy

The modern vanlife movement has taken on a life of its own. Perusing #vanlife on Instagram reveals an endless gallery of hyper-stylized conversion vans whose designs rival most upscale studio apartments. But, many feel more like statement pieces than practical, mobile living solutions. Now, Volkswagen wants to get back to basics with an affordable, pint-sized campervan that promises everything road-trippers need and nothing they don’t.

According to concept sketches, the new VW Caddy Mini-Camper is designed as a basecamp for couples and small families. The “compact mobile home” steals a few RV-style innovations from VW’s larger California and Grand California van models. Those include compact, lightweight camping chairs and a matching table, plus hanging storage bags that double as roll-down privacy screens for the rear windows. A six-foot-long bed with plush disc-spring elements also makes for comfortable overnighting in the front country. However, the Mini-Camper’s pièce de résistance is a massive, 15-square-foot glass roof that’s purpose-built for stargazing. For extra privacy, passengers can darken all of the windows, including that roof, at the push of a button. The concept drawings also hint at an optional rear hatch tent that would more than double the Mini-Camper’s available living space.

Read more