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Thule Vector Alpine Rooftop Cargo Box Review

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Review of the Thule Vector Alpine Rooftop Cargo Box

Adam: What's going on everybody Adam here with etrailer. Today, we're going to be taking a look a the Thule Vector Alpine Roof Top Cargo Box. If you guys are looking for one of the most premium cargo boxes I've ever messed with, look no further. This is it! It's absolutely massive. Absolutely gorgeous. It has all the features that I would want in a cargo box.

One, it locks. Two, it's a hard-shell case. Three, you can open up from this side or that side. Four, it's really, really easy to install. It's got great mounting hardware.

Doesn't take any time at all and five, you got LED's on the inside so when you guys are loading up at night, you guys can see.It's got a nice aerodynamic shape to it. As you guys can see, too, we have it on a BMW right now and it kind of curves with the roof of the car. It kind of looks pretty cool and this is just going to be really good for not affecting your fuel economy that much on those long trips. The hooks here, we do have a coating on them so they're not really going to scratch your guys' bars. If you guys like to take care of your bars and you don't want them to get scratched up, don't worry because these mounting hardware will not scratch it up.I really do like the way that the boxing mounts to the bars, but the bottom doesn't do it justice, so I'm going to take my key, we're going to it with the kit.

Both sides lock. Unlock it, open it up like that, done deal. I want to get up here real quick so you guys can take a look at the top end of these hooks. Really, really neat. Pretty easy to do.

You don't really need a tool or anything like that and the nice thing about it is, we are going to be able to slide these along so if you guys have existing bars already, go head and just kind of move these around. They should fit but check your instructions. There is a cross bar spread that we are trying to hit and between about 22 to about 37 inches is pretty much what we want. But, we didn't really have any issues fitting it up on this roof. We had the aero bars from Thule and they fit just fine.Before we start to load up, we have three can-buckle straps that come with it and the nice thing about this box is we have little tie-downs right here. So that's going to be super nice. What I'm going to do is just before we do anything, just kind of fish these through, get them to kind of sit on the bottom end and what we'll do once we start loading all of our stuff up, obviously, we'll start connecting those and tighten them down. But there's three of them which is nice so whatever you guys put in here, it's going to be nice and secured with the provided straps, which is something I like just because this isn't necessarily the most cost effective way to get your stuff to and from. But, luckily, it comes with lights and straps like these so they definitely went the extra mile, which I appreciate.So we'll get these on and once we do that, they're all the same. We'll go ahead and load up our gear.After we get everything strapped down, I mean, to be honest, this stuff's extremely solid. It's not going anywhere. I wouldn't really be too concerned with this stuff going anywhere, anyway. But, if you guys are concerned with it and you really just want to get your stuff nice and compact together and not move, this is definitely doing the trick.We have about two sets of skis and two boards. One doesn't have bindings on it but that doesn't necessarily matter. Sometimes I usually just swap my bindings from one board to the other. But, we have a lot more room that we really could fit in here. Could probably fit up to four, maybe even five, snowboards at a time. Maybe some bags or gear. But all in all, this is a lot of equipment and it fits just fine.One thing I really like about it is, if you guys take a look at the LED down there. When i wave my hand, it is motion sensing. All that stuff! So, basically, every single time we open it up, it's going to kind of detect that so we don't really have to worry about one, turning it on and off. If you guys forget to turn it off, if you guys ever had LED's in a cargo box, odds are the batteries are probably going to be dead. Luckily, we have three really good AAA batteries that come with it and they're going to shut off automatically. So after I shut this, after maybe a minute or so, it's going to shut off. So it's going to preserve those batteries so you guys don't have to go to the store and grab more.We have a nice, felt liner in here so it's going to protect your boards like the ones I have in here right now and also all those other delicate items you guys may be hauling in. The interior dimensions are going to be about 80 a half inches long. About 25 and an eighth inches wide and about 11 inches tall. So in regards to skis, we're probably going to be limited to 200 cm skis. So if you guys got those longer ones, I don't think they're going to be fitting in the inside of the box and that also goes for your boards.As far as the exterior dimensions, we're going to have about 91 inches from the very front all the way to the very back. We're going to have about 35 inches wide and is it going to sit up about 12 and a half inches tall. And it is going to add about 12 and a half inches to the height of your bars, so whatever you're bars at and whatever the box adds which is 12 and a half inches, that's what we're going to be adding. So for those low clearance situations, if you guys got a little bit bigger car than this BMW, maybe it's just a little bit higher and you guys are going into a parking garage, just be mindful of that.If you guys are like me, I forget stuff quite often and a lot of times I forget to lock my car. So with this, it's going to be a little bit easier so you don't really have to worry about forgetting because when it's unlocked, the keys in it. And you can't pull it out. Also, whenever you shut it, as you guys can see, that looks closed but it really isn't. If you see this red little indicator here, that's going to let you know that it is not closed or latched and all you've got to really do is go ahead and pull it down, all that's good, twist, pull the key, everything's locked and ready to go.If you guys are using the box for your skis, your snowboards, and some of your gear, all you got to really worry about is that we don't go over the 165 pound weight capacity of the box itself. One other thing that I really like about it is, if you guys are let's just say going down to Colorado. It's a couple hour drive and it's just snowing like crazy or hailing, something like that, we do have a really, really high quality construction. It's ABS plastic so it is going to resist against all of those UV rays, if you guys are on the coast, it's super hot and it's also going to, hopefully, not fade over time or crack or anything like that.So, all in all, I would definitely say that this is going to be able to pretty much take whatever nature throws at it and it's going to look just as good as it does now a couple years down the road.The box is extremely easy to install. Extremely straight-forward. Very easy. You guys can do it at home, no problem, probably in like five minutes. So if there is some crazy weather coming through, whether it's hail or whatever, or if you're just done using it, take it off. Takes like three, four, five minutes and then they actually have a cover so whenever you guys do store it, they took into consideration they want to protect your box, too, whenever it's not up on top of the roof. This pretty much just goes all the way around it whenever you guys are storing it and that's pretty nice. But, let's just go ahead and go show you guys how to install it.First things first, grab a key, unlock one side. Once you get that done, squeeze this little lever and open her up. Check it out. A lot of room. So, first thing we want to do is just, we're going to take these clamps and just twist them counter-clockwise. That's going to open up the bottom end. So then, when I go ahead and put it up on the roof, everything's going to be nice and open so I can just lay it right inline with my bars. It's just going to be a one more deal. Once we do that, highly suggest grabbing a friend because this thing is huge. It's not too heavy, just very, very bulky, so I asked my buddy AJ, he's going to help me out.Once those are loosened up, close it up. Grab a friend and then toss it up onto the roof. And it's okay if the hooks don't really line up right away. What we could do is kind of just slide them like this. We can do that from underneath which is really nice. One thing I noticed I really liked about this box is I got these . this side done, but the other side isn't necessarily done. But I have it opened on this side so the nice thing about this box, it makes taking it off and putting it back on really, really easy so I can actually go ahead and go over here, open it up from this side. Now I have way more access to this hook here because as you guys can see, I didn't have it spread out enough so it's very simple and easy fix now that I have it on this side. Loosen the little wheel. Now we can go ahead and get it nice and centered and tighten it down.If you guys are having issues with them fitting on your bars, what we need to make sure is the cross bar spread, we want to make sure they're going to be in between around 22 and 37 inches apart. So, whenever you guys are putting on your roof rack, take that into account. It's going to make the installation process a lot easier.Now that it's all up into place, make sure it's nice and centered so it looks good on your guys' car. But then all you need is your hand to tighten the rest down. So if you git shorter arms, it might be a little bit tougher to go to thee other side. I can manage, but now a whole lot. I am stepping on the back seat, so if you guys don't really want to do that, again, we can open it from that side and it's going to be just as easy as the close one on this side.As you guys can hear, you guys can't over tighten these, which is awesome. So you don't have to worry about breaking stuff. Just torque it down till you hear that click on all fours. The nice thing about this box is we don't really have to get our bar spread perfect because we do have a lot of play. This whole entire track right here, these whole entire clamps will be able to move from side to side which is nice. So it's going to be able to fit a wide array of your guys' roof racks, which is something I look for when I'm buying something.So, click, click, click. All right. Now, we're pretty much done. Make sure you give it a nice shake. Make sure everything's lining up right. One thing we want to check before we're completely done installing and we start loading stuff up, we want to see if this back hatch is going to hit it. It is not. Okay. So we are pretty good. We could get away with a little bit more back if we really wanted to, but honestly, it's nice and centered on this car and it doesn't make any contact with our back hatch which is definitely a plus. So definitely check that out. I highly recommend being able to lift your back gate and not hit the back of here. This way, we're not going to loose any functionality of your guys' cars.On both sides we're going to have a little cool little gadget that comes with it. It's a little light and it's battery powered. So what we got to do to activate these, this is obviously the button to turn it on and off, but we're going to have to go ahead and take this off, pull that little strip out and now we got ourselves a light!Well, everyone, that just about does it for the video. Hopefully you guys enjoyed it. Hopefully we give you guys plenty of information of what this box is really going to do for you, all the really nice features that you're going to get with a premium box like you see here and, of course, how much stuff we can fit in it. Again, this was the Thule Vector Alpine Roof Top Cargo Box and I'm Adam with etrailer. See you guys!.

Questions and Comments about this Video

Steve M.

The Thule Alpine DOES NOT FIT a 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The rear hatch can open only 3/4 of the way before it hits the rear of the roof top cargo box even with the box in the full forward position on the cross bars. I will need to physically stop the hydraulic hatch lift to keep the hatch from impacting the roof top box. The Jeep Grand Cherokee cross bars are fixed and are not able to be moved forward. In order to exchange you have to have the box repackaged and pay for return shipping so be careful to check you measurements and do not rely on the etrailer web site to provide fit recommendations. Both the Thule Aero Bars and the Alpine Box are super high quality products (should be for $XXXX) but just don't fit a 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit.


Can a 6 foot 4 inch surfboard fit inside?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Potentially. The interior dimensions are 80-1/2" long x 25-1/8" wide x 11" tall which you will want to compare to the exact dimensions of your surf board to make sure it will fit. If this is slightly too small then you might be interested in the Thule Motion XT # TH629806 which measures 84-1/2" long x 36" wide x 17" tall on the inside.


would love to see this packed with bags/carryons. hard to gauge the dimensions with the internal channels and the fastener knobs. i really liked the review, and I'm torn btw this box and the motion XT Alpine. I like the bigger space in the motion, but cannot take my eyes off the shiny new toy that is the vector w all its premium features. appreciate the help!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

The Vector measures 80-1/2" long x 25-1/8" wide x 11" tall internally while the Motion XT measures 84-1/2" long x 33" wide x 11-1/4" tall internally. So you lose a little bit of internal real estate for the fancier look and the internal light setup. This honestly boils down to a you decision since the main difference is the looks and the price-point. If you're willing to pay extra for the looks then go for it - in all honesty I think you'll be happy with either box as they are both top-notch cargo boxes.

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