The Best Cargo Box for Your Car Is the One You Can Sleep In
Overland adventurers recognize the rooftop of a vehicle as an opportunity: with the right rack, it becomes an optimal place for gear storage. The best way to take advantage of the space is with a cargo box that can act as a catch-all for everything from skis to climbing gear to duffels filled with clothing. For those who like to be prepared for any activity, hitching one of these boxes up top, and leaving it there for year-round use, is a no-brainer. The evolution of rooftop tents has complicated the matter though.
Rooftop tents — tents that are housed in durable, weatherized, low-profile containers on the road but pop up and into full-featured shelters at base camp — force car campers into a choice: cargo box or tent? A vehicle’s roof only has space for one, and swapping between the two for each trip can be a pain. Since 2012 Tepui has put all of its efforts into making the best tents possible but now it’s making versatility a bigger priority and the just-released Hybox, a two-in-one tent and storage container, is proof.
The Hybox uses Tepui’s patented Zipper Gimp System to take advantage of the space its shell takes up on top of a vehicle by allowing users to remove the fabric walls and mattress, leaving behind a 23-cubic-foot storage container. That volume is on par with the larger roof boxes from brands like Yakima and Thule. Like those products, the Hybox is made with ABS, but it also uses reinforced quilted insulation for sound damping and heat retention as well as a welded aluminum substructure and reinforcing polypropylene panels. All this is to say that when your gear is inside it, it’s protected.
As a rooftop tent, the Hybox is best-in-class too. It sleeps two on a three-inch foam mattress with a removable cotton cover, and its walls are a waterproof blend of cotton and polyester that’s trimmed with insect-blocking mesh. It also includes a deployable awning and ladder.
The Hybox is currently available for the pre-sale price of $2,395 and is expected to ship in time for this year’s holiday season. After the pre-sale, Hybox will retail for $2,895.