Australian Geographic Outdoor - - Gear Reviews - RRP $349.00 www.yakima.com.au TESTED BY JUSTIN WALKER

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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