TESTED // YAKIMA CARGO PACK
YOU DON’T NEED a huge four-wheel drive wagon or ute to go on ‘the big trip’. Sure, if you’re on the road for more than a week you’ll need to carry a fair bit of gear, but even smaller vehicles can handle everything you’ll need for bush camping when equipped with Yakima’s new Cargo Pack. This Yakima system is a great solution for hatchback and compact SUV drivers when it comes to solving gear stowage problems, offering an additional 450 litres of storage space.
One of the unique features of the Cargo Pack is that it does not need transverse roof racks to fit to your vehicle; it uses the vehicle’s longitudinal roof rails (where fitted) as anchor points. It’s a brilliant set-up that saves you having to fork out for roof racks, and it is also dead easy to fit.
The Cargo Pack is made from weather-resistant nylon and features sealed seams to block water/dust ingress. The bag weighs a paltry 3.8kg and measures 1117mm long, 914mm wide and will sit 430mm tall when packed full. Yakima touts set-up time as a five-minute process, and that proved true in testing.
To fit the Cargo Pack you simply place the heavy-duty ballistic nylon base on the roof of your vehicle, then unravel one of the hook straps and feed it through/over your roof rail. The next step is to feed the hook (soft plastic to avoid scratching duco) through, then feed the strap through the hook loop and tighten down to suit. Then you just repeat for the other three hooks/tie-downs.
The zips on the bag are watertight jobbies, and they are protected by over-flaps and a locking buckle. They can also be locked with a small padlock. I had the whole thing packed (including clothes/sleeping gear) in about 30 minutes and to date the Cargo Pack has performed flawlessly. The only caveat is I have not yet tested it in bucketing rain, but considering the quality materials and top-notch seam sealing, I’m confident it will keep its contents dry.
For those who haven’t got a roof-rack system, the Cargo Pack is a brilliant option. It is very quick and easy to set up on top of your vehicle and, when you’ve returned from your trip, it also packs up compact for easy storage – always a bonus in that gear-crowded garage!
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