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As cars become smaller and people are increasingly seeking out more practical and fuel-efficient options, rooftop carriers have become an almost essential piece of equipment for outdoor enthusiasts – especially those who happen to share their outdoor excursions with the family. The amount of gear required to get a family to the slopes, or the campsite, or the mountain biking trails can be staggering, and a rooftop carrier can make the prospect infinitely more manageable. If they aren’t thoughtfully designed, however, a rooftop carrier can actually add more hassle to an excursion than it eliminates. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of that kind of frustration, it might be time to take a serious look at Yakima’s new ShowCase.

The designers at Yakima seemed intent on addressing every complaint ever levied against rooftop carriers when they created the ShowCase. Better yet, they just might very well have succeeded. From instillation to application, this rooftop box appears to be almost completely stress-free.

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One of the biggest complaints of rooftop carriers has been the inability to completely open a car’s hatchback when the carrier is installed. Yakima solved this problem by incorporating sliding mounting brackets into the ShowCase so you can adjust the position of the carrier on your roof to allow plenty of clearance to lift the hatch completely. Although it might not work for every vehicle, we installed a ShowCase 15 on a Toyota Highlander and still had plenty of room to spare when the hatch was open. And seeing as how it’s not possible to completely raise the hatch on the Highlander when a pair of skis is strapped to the roof, the clearance provided by the ShowCase was especially impressive.

The mounting system on the ShowCase is intuitive and relatively simple to use. It’s designed to work equally well on round, aero, square, or factory cross bars and create a secure fit. By using the ShowCase with Yakima’s new CoreBar system, however, not only can you guarantee a snug fit, you can also greatly increase the versatility of your rooftop storage options.

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The CoreBar is the first steel aerodynamic crossbar on the market. With a teardrop shape that’s designed to minimize wind noise while driving, the CoreBar is rated to hold an impressive 220 pounds. Available in four sizes that range from 50”-80”, the CoreBar gives you the flexibility to use the ShowCase in conjunction with other carrier options – including ski and bike racks as well as kayak and SUP racks – so you never have to worry about limiting your activities because you don’t have enough space to haul all your gear.

To make it easier to incorporate the ShowCase with other racks in different configurations on your roof, the ShowCase also has the ability to open from either side. To ensure that the lid doesn’t fly open accidently or both sides aren’t inadvertently opened simultaneously, Yakima incorporated a fail-safe system in the opening mechanism that requires the latch to be locked before the key can be removed. Once unlocked, a simple push of the button pops the lid smoothly open thanks to internal lid stiffeners that also add to the structural strength of the carrier.

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To add a little icing on this already delicious cake, the ShowCase also looks pretty sexy. Sleek lines and a high gloss finish means that it will live up to its name and look good on everything from a beat up old Outback to a brand new Cayenne.

The ShowCase is available at yakima.com in either a 15 cubic foot version ($679) or a 20 cubic foot case ($779). Both versions are available in two color options – Anthracite black or QuickSilver. Regardless of which option you choose, the ShowCase and CoreBar system is a great way to help get frustration-free excursions off on the right foot.

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