YakimaExo Review | Hitch-based cargo system is a game changer

Putting things on the roof of a car is not easy. SUVs make it even harder, and if you’re on the short side of the human spectrum, good luck, buddy.Using a roof carrier is the easiest way to increase the cargo capacity of your car, and I did it just in May Review of Yaki Grand Tour 18 On my ~ BMW X5.. It worked, but problems specific to roof-mounted carriers, boxes, and racks were apparent.

Join the Yakima Exo system, the company’s new customizable cargo solution based in Oregon, which connects to a standard 2-inch trailer hitch. It all starts with Exo Swing Base. It’s similar to a roof rack crossbar because everything else is needed for it to work. It connects to the hitch and plays three important roles. First, the two swingout arms allow you to attach a variety of Exo racks and boxes to them. Second, the Exo Top Shelf can be mounted, allowing for an innovative two-tier setup of the system. And thirdly, it allows you to shake everything installed out of the way so that you can still access the cargo area of ​​your car. In addition, removing the rack or carrier is completely out of the way. There is little reason to remove it other than the aesthetic and beep parking sensor.

This concept has several advantages. First, the hitch-mounted ones are actually much easier to access than the roof-mounted ones. Second, the hitch-based system can hold 300 pounds more than a roof-mounted rack and can be exchanged more easily between vehicles. If it has a 2-inch hitch, it works. Third and fourth are aerodynamic and wind noise issues. This is because moving the carrier and rack from the roof to the back of the car is beneficial to both.

BMW X5 only Yakima Exo Swingbase

I had the opportunity to test Exo. X5 Use as AutoblogOfficial outdoor adventure equipment guinea pig. While stopping by the Yakima headquarters, I had the opportunity to install all the Exo accessories available (more on that later), but the custom combination I’ve been using for two months is 10 cubic feet mounted on the Swingbase. Double Up2 bike rack mounted on the selected Top Shelf as well as the Gear Locker box.

Installing it requires more muscle than a roof rack. This is a heavy metal device, so be careful (listen to my shins and the small dents in the X5’s tailgate), but if you know what you’re doing, it’s much faster than a roof rack. Can be installed. You don’t have to make sure everything is symmetrical and well spaced. Also, instead of four rack towers, each with two screws, only one needs to be fully tightened (using a large old manly wrench). Plus, it’s an easier one-man job – fortunately you put on your own roof carrier.

When Swingbase is turned on, Exo is easier to use. Simply pop the pin and swing each arm out and it will automatically lock in place. Then slide the GearLocker into the arm, turn the knob to lock it in place, and lock it with the included key to work with all Exo pieces. This is the same process as placing the attachment on the Exo arm, including placing the DoubleUp bike rack on the Top Shelf.

Dolly Off-Road Yakima Exo Gear Locker

Another advantage of this system is that GearLocker can be loaded into the garage and placed in Swingbase when it is full. It doesn’t happen with a box mounted on the roof. At the time of unloading, I pulled the box from the garage to the trolley (upper left photo) and carried it to the driveway for later unpacking.

In addition, the Gear Warrior open box attachment can be fitted with four Warrior Wheels, reducing the need for a separate trolley (pictured top right). Yakima recommends removing them once with Exo, but once the box is installed, the wheels are free to float, making the process easy enough.

In terms of capacity, the following is what I was able to fit in a 10 cubic foot GearLocker. Lots of two duffel bags, a Guava portable crib, shoes, games, toys and other loose stuff.Unlike the wider ones, GearLocker did not allow the regular luggage test suitcase assignment to be sideways. Yakima CBX When Grand tour A previously tested cargo box. Some of those bags can still fit inside, and despite a cargo box with a capacity of 16 or 18 cubic feet, the actual capacity isn’t really that different-the box is more than an aerodynamic lozenge. It’s an efficient space.

Not only was it physically easy to put on and take off, but there was another important reason to choose the lightest bag and various loose items to pack. The Exo is rated at 300 pounds, but I had the heaviest item in the cargo area, on the X5 axle. Basically, it’s a matter of physics: the less weight you have hanging from the back of your car, the better.My decision is Launch of Hyundai Santa Cruz When vehicle development engineer Chahe Aperian saw the picture above and warned, “it will change the behavior of the car.” It’s basically the same reason that a rear-engined car with a heavy engine hanging across the rear axle can be tail-happy with a handful of driving.

Well, the effect will definitely vary based on the vehicle in question. NS 2013 BMW X5 It’s so heavy and resolutely planted (which I barely noticed when the Grand Tour was on the roof) that it’s less likely to be affected. Differences in car balance on winding highways could still be subtly detected, but lighter ones such as compact SUVs require more attention on such roads. When faced with rain or ice conditions, it doubles.

And in addition to the whistling from my oversized lorry bike mounted on the Double Up, Exo was basically undetectable from the inside. You can’t hear the wind noise of the boom like a roof carrier. It also does not emphasize crosswinds.You should also be much better Fuel economy It’s installed behind the car, not above it.

We took an X5 equipped with Exo over a long weekend Road trip From Portland, Oregon to Bend, and when I got there, I left Swingbase and offloaded TopShelf and GearLocker. With the dedicated tools that came with it, it only took a few minutes to do this, and it’s never been easier. Later I dropped Double Up on the Swingbase for a morning ride near the Newbury National Volcano Monument. This setting is shown below. Again, this was installed much faster than other bike transport solutions such as roof mount racks, non-swing hitch mount racks, etc. Yakima full back of hatch mount that I own If you have Exo, you will never use it again.

Swingbase's Yakima Exo Double UpDetails of Yakima Exo Snowbank and Gear Locker

Now, for other custom combinations …

In addition to GearLocker and DoubleUp, one of the most likely attachments is the Snowbank mount, which can hold 5 sets of skis or 4 snowboards (upper left photo). Of course, you can also attach a second Snowbank pair to the Top Shelf to double the number of skis / snowboards. This is what Yakima equipment technician Taylor Thompson says is welcomed by ski companies that use a variety of vans instead of loading skis / snowboards on the roof.

He also states that a popular combination for skiers and snowboarders is the reverse of the setup installed on my bike. They put the snowbank down and then the gear locker up. This is because the Gear Locker attached to the bottom cannot be opened when the Top Shelf is in place. My combination is the only way I can attach the entire bike to an object, and after popping the pins and removing the knobs, I first need to swing the Swingbase and rotate the TopShelf bracket 180 degrees. You also need to do this if you want to mount two GearLockers on Exo.

Other options include the Gear Warrior open box (pictured in the upper right). It’s clear that it’s less susceptible to the opening issues mentioned above than GearLocker.

Yakima Exo Back DeckFor Yakima ExoBack Deck

There’s also the Back Deck, a bamboo table that snaps onto the Top Shelf to create workstations, campsite kitchens, and more. The 180 degree rotation of the Top Shelf is the key to this. Comes with a storage bag to prevent scratches and fits in the Gear Locker.

We also took a peek at two future works that will appear on the Exo line in the future. A mount for Yakima’s existing RoadShower 4-gallon or 7-gallon mobile water tank, and a mobile camp kitchen that looks huge when closed. cooler. It’s a bit far from completion, but Yakima’s ability to place Exo cleats on a variety of new items shows that this innovative system has even more potential.

In terms of cost, Exo is certainly more expensive than various rack and carrier combos. Swingbase costs $ 499 and TopShelf adds $ 379. GearLocker costs $ 399, much cheaper than a roof carrier. In fact, you can buy two at the price of Yakima’s CBX. The DoubleUp bike rack costs $ 479 and is more expensive than other hitch mount racks. Snowbanks cost just $ 30 more than virtually the same unit mounted on the roof. Another possible addition is the LitKit, which adds an auxiliary light and license plate holder for $ 149.

Summing it all up, my particular combo was $ 1,756. In contrast, with the addition of Yakima’s Timberline Towers and JetStream crossbar ($ 464 total), the Grand Tour 18 roof carrier used in May ($ 749), and the hatchback-mounted FullBack 2 bike rack ($ 259), It costs $ 1,472. Choosing a smaller or cheaper roof carrier can reduce its cost so that you can have a factory-equipped crossbar. Hitch-based bike racks, on the other hand, can be twice as large as those mounted on the hatch.

In other words, the price may not change much, and the profit is well worth the premium. Of course, you need a 2-inch hitch for it to work. If so, that’s definitely the way to go.

YakimaExo Review | Hitch-based cargo system is a game changer

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