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"I want a rooftop cargo box that fits a Lexus RX400h"

Must be able to open rear hatch when cargo carrier is mounted. Should hold 2 pair adult and 2 pair kids skis/poles plus duffel bags, boots & helmets.

wanted by: timfou (22) in Boston, MA 02111 +
updated on: May 30, 2012, 11:59 a.m. (7 years, 10 months ago)
posted on: Nov. 4, 2010, 11:58 p.m. (9 years, 5 months ago)
tags: auto car cargo ski travel
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6 User Replies

The Thule Atlantis 1600 (686BXT) is the roof cargo box you should buy for a Lexus RX

Thule Atlantis 1600 (686BXT) on a Lexus RX400hLexus RX400h hatch fully open with Thule Atlantis 1600 (686BXT) mounted on top, 1/2" to spare!
I made the mistake of picking up the Thule Ascent 1100 Roof Box at REI before a ski trip last February. The mistake wasn't in getting this Thule, it's a great box, but in not researching which cargo carrier would best fit on top of my car.

When I mounted the Thule Ascent on top of my 2008 Lexus RX400h, I couldn't open the rear hatch more than a foot or so, which is as annoying and inconvenient as you would imagine.

I did quite a bit of online research and found a Lexus forum member who recommended the highly rated Thule Atlantis 1600 (686BXT) Roof Box. He claimed, that when mounted as far forward as possible on the Lexus RX SUV, the rear hatch would open fully.

I order the Thule Atlantis 1600 (686BXT) online (using Amazon Prime, so free 2-day shipping!) and installed it as far forward as I could. Woohoo! The rear hatch opens fully! There is literally less than an inch to spare (see photos above and below).

Thule Atlantis 1600 with the Lexus RX400h hatch fully openedThule Atlantis 1600 with my Lexus RX400h hatch fully opened
Thule Atlantis 1600 mounted on a Lexus RX400hThule Atlantis 1600 mounted on my Lexus RX400h

I love the features of the box:
  • holds a ton of cargo (16 cubic feet)

  • opens from both sides

  • light enough for me to mount and unmount myself (just barely)

  • super simple connection to the roof rack

  • aerodynamic enough that there isn't a ton of air noise

  • carries up to four snowboards

  • measures 16.3 x 36 x 74 inches (H x W x L)
comment I just got my Thule Atlantis shipped from Amazon. Installed it today and it does allow the hitch to open when it is mounted. Thanks Mitch! - timfou 9 years, 4 months ago
comment TIP: To maximize how far forward your box sits, try removing the rubber filler pieces that block the forward crossbar from moving forward. Removing them allows the crossbars to separate up to 26" versus the standard 24" max. - mitch 9 years, 3 months ago
comment TIP 2: Don't mount the rooftop cargo box when your car is in your garage until you are certain your car can fit through the garage door with it on! Yeah, experience... - bigben 9 years, 2 months ago
comment There is a rubber spacer on the front of each side-rail. When we removed them from my stock 2007 RX 350 rails we had about 4 or more inches of clearance with the cargo door opened. The rubber spacers are easy to remove or to reinsert. Makes me wonder why Lexus even had them put in the rails. - Pizzaoilo 8 years, 7 months ago
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Thule Sidekick Cargo Box

If you want a smaller and less expensive alternative you could get the Thule Sidekick Cargo Box. It is also highly rated and will save you a couple hundred dollars versus the larger Thule Atlantis 1600 68BXT. Since it is 20 inches shorter than the Atlantis, I'd imagine that it would still allow your back hatch to open.

Product Features
* Dimensions: 15.5 x 25 x 54 inches (H x W x L)
* Smallest cargo box that Thule makes
* Leaves room for other items on your roof rack
* Lockable
comment Yeah, I was just looking at the same box here: - I am a bit late with this comment, but I am pretty sure the Sidekick will not suit our asker, it's Thule's smallest box, I am pretty sure it won't take skis, for example. It's not really intended for that, it's more like for flinging a few bags into for a weekend trip. The one I have been drooling over is the Thule Dynamic ( but it doesn't seem to be available in the US yet for some reason, even though it was announced months ago... - markowe 9 years, 2 months ago
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Thule 667ES Excursion ES Rooftop Cargo Box

Here's another cargo box that might work, the Thule 667ES Excursion ES Rooftop Cargo Box (Price: $333)

It's also shorter than the Thule Atlantis, so should allow your back hitch to open even when it is mounted on the top of your Lexus. It's also very highly rated at Amazon (4.5 out of 5 stars from 21 customer reviews).

Product Features
* dimensions: 18.2 x 35.2 x 55.5 inches (H x W x L)
* volume: 13 cubic feet
* opening: Rear
* weight: 38 pounds
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Try the SportRack A90275 Aero XL Roof Box

The Thule Sidekick cargo box and Thule 667ES Excursion ES will probably both be too short to hold the adult skis. My buddy has this hard-shell cargo carrier for his van (not a Lexus RX but has same problem with rear hatch clearance): SportRack A90275 Aero XL Roof Box

It's longer than those two Thule cargo boxes, but shorter than the Thule that Mitch said fits on his Lexus RX, so I'd think it should both allow your rear hatch to open and fit your adult skis. Oh, and it's about half the price too, so that's good.

Some key stats for this cargo box:
  • Dimensions: 63" L x 38" W x 19" H

  • 18 cubic feet (509 liter) capacity

  • Weight: 38 lbs (17 kg), Maximum load: 110 lbs (50 kg)

  • Mounts directly to most OEM and aftermarket crossbars

  • Rear-opening design includes a lock for easy and secure access
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An Exceptional Cargo Box, Fits My 2007 Lexus RX 350 Perfectly, Lifetime Warranty!

Thanks to Mitch, I'm now the proud owner of the Thule Atlantis 1600 for my 2007 Lexus RX 350. I went to the Cary, NC REI store and the associate, Keith, brought a boxed unit to the front door, unpacked it, helped me carry it to my RX 350 and installed it (adjusting my factory luggage rack's cross bars) for me to make sure my cargo door would open unimpeded. I'm very impressed with this cargo box. It's a Swedish company, and they manufacture them here in the U.S.A., in New England! Contrary to some negatives I read elsewhere about needing to place all the pressure on the key when opening it, this year's model has a medal ring with a lever surrounding the key-lock which is used to open it, thereby not placing any strain on the key whatsoever. Also, the clamps that affix to your cross-bars are metal with a rubber coating so they won't scratch your rooftop. Included with this box are some nylon lashes to hold down your cargo if needed.

He removed the rubber spacers in the factory rails and we slid the cross bar all the way forward. Doing this there's a few inches (I guess about 4 or so) of clearance for the cargo door. Once he knew it fit, he asked the cashier to ring me up with the 20% discount that is only available tomorrow (8/26/2011) because I'm an REI purchasing club member (membership costs $20). So in addition to receiving such exceptional service, I saved $177 discount and ended up with taxes, costing only $504. And this cargo box carries a LIFETIME WARRANTY--if any problems, any nationwide REI will replace for free!

PS-as an added bonus for us, my RX 350 clears our 8' garage door with the Atlantis 1600 installed, with ease--several inches to spare (I have the standard 18" tires)!
comment My Thule when mounted on my Lexus RX 400h gets in my garage by a few inches as well. It was a harrowing first entry though! - mitch 8 years, 7 months ago
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Other wants like "I want a rooftop cargo box that fits a Lexus RX400h"

(from The Wantbox Matchbot 7 years, 10 months ago)
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Best Lexus RX Rooftop Cargo Roof Carriers

Thule Atlantis 1600 (686BXT) Cargo Box
Thule Atlantis 1600 (686BXT) Cargo Box
Price: $560-$720
SportRack A90275 Aero XL Roof Box
SportRack A90275 Aero XL Roof Box
Price: $310-$395
Thule 667ES Excursion ES
Thule 667ES Excursion ES
Price: $350-$425
See more popular Cargo Roof Carriers

How Much does a Cargo Carrier Cost?

Central air cost estimate information

Expect to pay between $350 and $650 for a well built rooftop cargo carrier, with the greatest price factor being the storage capacity of the rooftop carrier.

Popular and well established online retailers like Amazon allow you to easily compare prices and read cargo carrier reviews which can be a great asset in helping you make an informed purchasing decision.

What to Look for in a Rooftop Cargo Carrier

Thule cargo carrier, dual access feature

A good rooftop cargo carrier will be lightweight, sturdy and perfectly fit your car. A rooftop cargo box will allow you to greatly expand your storage on those long family vacation trips.

When shopping for a cargo carrier, look for features like entry access from both sides, a secure locking mechanism, good interior tie-downs, an aerodynamic shape, and an easy mounting system.

The most popular rooftop cargo carriers are made by Thule, Yakima, SportRack and Inno

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