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Review: Thule Ocean roof box

Published 31 August 2016
  
  

What is it?

The Ocean 200 Roof Box is designed to provide additional storage so it's ideal if you have a hatchback but need more storage carry bulky items, like suitcases. The Ocean 200 starts from £250 and fits to the roof bars of your car. It can carry 50kg of luggage and provides a whopping 450 litres of additional luggage space. 

If that sounds like too much then you can opt for smaller load carriers. The Thule Ocean range starts with the Ocean 80 - with 320 litres of luggage space - and moves up to the Ocean 100 with 360 litres of space. There’s also the Ocean 600 which surprisingly has less space than the Ocean 100 at 330 litres, but is a narrower, half width roof box.

The Ocean 200 is the largest in the range and, finished in in gloss black, looks very premium in shape and style. It opens from the passenger's side of the car and comes with 480mm wide roof bar brackets and luggage straps. You attach the box to the roof via wingbars and a fitting kit, which cost extra. 

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 The Ocean 200 will carry 50kg of luggage and fit three suitcases

What's it like? 

The Ocean 200 is large. Huge in fact. However, despite its gargantuan size, the box is surprisingly lightweight. In fact it is only 14kg and its external size is 175 x 82 x 45 cm. Lifting it onto the roof bars can be easily done by one person, although the box can be easily scratched so we'd recommend using two people. 

In order to get to the fixing points, you need to either stand on a set of small steps or - in our case - stand on the car seat, although this won't be possible for three-door vehicles. Another slight annoyance is that the box only opens one way, so you really have to stretch to the driver’s side to fix the bolts. 

Once fitted, the Ocean 200 is easy to use and impressive. We fitted it to a Nissan Pulsar - and found the box to be great for family holidays. It will easily take a set of three suitcases, which cuts down on the clutter inside and frees up valuable interior space. 

The box opens on just one side - which means you have be careful where you park to access the box - but the locking system is simple and only locks once everything has been packed away flat. This prevents misloading and provides peace of mind that the box won't spring open mid-way down the road.  

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 The locking system is simple to use and also prevents misloading

Should I buy one?

The Ocean 200 tested here costs £250, which means it isn’t the cheapest roof box on the market. That said, it is clear to see where the extra money has gone. The box feels high quality and you get a lot of space for your money. In fact, compared to buying a larger car, it could be argued as a no brainer.

There are alternatives out there and you do have to take into account that £250 isn't the whole story, as you need the roof bars to fix it to the car. In our case we attached the box to our car with the Thule 669 wing bar and rapid system fixing kit which together cost a further £165. This takes the whole system and box to £415, although cheaper non-Thule bars and compatible fitting kits are available.

That said, the Ocean 200 is a very good roof box. Its aerodynamic shape produces very little wind noise at motorway speeds and it is easy to fit and use, thanks to its sturdy but light construction. Obviously, due to its size, finding somewhere to store it when you're not using the box can be tricky, but this aside the Ocean 200 would suit any car driver who finds that they are regularly short of boot space. 

Details

Thule Ocean 200 Roof box

Price £249.95

Capacity 450 litres

Max load  50Kg

Dimensions  175 x 82 x 45cm

Alternatives

Kamei Husky XXL           £274.95

Yakima Skybox pro 16    £424.95

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 Despite its size, the Ocean is lightweight and easy to use

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