October 15, 2006 in Outdoors

Thule’s containers are perfect products for those on the go

Stephen Regenold Special to Outdoors
Photo Courtesy of Thule Inc. photo

The Thule Load and Go Bin is a pocketed, 2,100-cubic-inch carry-all that costs $50.
(Full-size photo)

Thule Inc., maker of automobile racks and exterior cargo boxes, has a new line of products to aid with gear management inside your vehicle. The company’s ( www.thuleracks.com) Load & Go products include specialized boxes, bags and containers to keep your gear — and your groceries — organized and easily accessible.

Load & Go products range in price from $15 to $100 and break down into three categories. The Go Packs, which are the Load & Go items made for hardshell rooftop cargo carriers, are essentially large nylon duffle bags. They are boxy and big — with 3,800 cubic inches of capacity — but shaped to fit the curves inside cargo carriers from Thule (though they work in similar boxes from Yakima and other companies as well).

The $30 Go Pack Cube comes in four colors and has a shoulder strap and a luggage tag to denote the cube’s contents. (“Ski Boots,” for example.) Go Pack Nose, also $30, is the same product, just with a slopped side to accommodate the nose end of a cargo carrier box. And the Go Pack Mesh, which has mesh sidewalls and a $40 price tag, is made to stow wetsuits, beach toys, kayak skirts, towels and other moistened goods.

All Go Pack products have zipper pockets and waterproof fabric on the base in case you set your luggage in a puddle.

Category No. 2 in the Load & Go series is all about trunk management. The $75 Go Box, made for “gear, groceries, and odds and ends,” as the Thule promotional material puts it, is a rigid open-top bin. It has multiple pockets and slots and a healthy 4,000 cubic inches capacity. Its cousin, the $60 Medium Go Box, has 3,000 cubic inches of capacity; the Go Bin, a pocketed 2,100-cubic-inch version, is $50.

The top-of-the-trunk-line Go Box Express has wheels, padded handles and a zip-top closure. It costs $100 and will tote 4,500 cubic inches of gear. All Go Box products have anti-skid pads on the bottom to keep them in place during transit.

While the Go Boxes are nice for managing trunk flotsam, they are pricey for what you get: Essentially a giant Trapper Keeper folder for your gear.

Last in the Thule Load & Go line are three esoteric “cabin management” products, including the Litter Bin, a $20 trash container that attaches to a seatback headrest. The Console Caddy, which fits between the front two passenger seats in the middle console area, has pockets and dividers. It costs $15. Thule suggests storing cell phones, MP3 players, and other small accoutrements.

Finally, the Side Seat Organizer is just what it seems: an organizer unit that attaches to the side of a seat (with webbing buckle straps). It has three pockets, one with a mesh top, one with a zipper and the third with a rigid plastic sheath for, I assume, sunglasses, garage door openers and other automobile miscellany.

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