When we decided to evacuate for Hurricane Isabel, we decided that we were going to take our Honda Civic (see my husband's review see my husband's review
). While we also have a '97 Kia Sportage, we were rather hoping that Isabel would take it for a spin. Our major problem was that we didn't have a lot of room. With the stereo system that my husband has in his car, we only had about half of the trunk and what was left of the backseat after we put in out son's carseat. We made a fast run to Wal-Mart.
My mother had mentioned getting a roof top cargo carrier like she has for her SUV. You know, the hard, plastic boxes that ride around on the tops of cars. We called Sears and were told that none that they offered would fit our little car. I suggested the soft cargo carriers, so we went to Wal-Mart to see if they had any left. After hanging around the auto section, we finally found them.
They had several of the Axius 15CF Roof Top Cargo Carriers
stacked next to a pile of Rain-X carriers that were $30 more. Upon closer inspection, we found that Rain-X is a part of Axius
, so we went with the less expensive of the two, since they were basically the same.
Our Axius 15CF Roof Top Cargo Carrier
is light gray in color with black straps. I was a little surprised to find that the straps weren't sewn on. There were four black straps and they were in a baggy at the bottom of the box. The bag itself is 36"x36"x18", which sound good size, but when we unrolled it, it wasn't quite as big as it looked in the picture on top of a SUV. When we put it on top of our 2-door Civic, it just covered the sunroof. I was afraid it would hang over, but it didn't.
One thing that is important to know, that we didn't read BEFORE we bought it is that the Axius 15CF Roof Top Cargo Carrier
"only works on vehicles with 4-way roof racks". Well, there are no roof racks on the Civic, so we improvised. We purchased a set of roof cargo bars. They strapped to the roof and we set the empty Axius 15CF Roof Top Cargo Carrier
My husband climbed on the roof, placed the Axius 15CF Roof Top Cargo Carrier
on top with the zipper facing the rear, as per directions, and I handed up the bags that we had packed to go up there. We decided to go with clothes. If it rained on the way, and the weather RESISTANT bag leaked, the clothes could easily be washed. We wanted pictures and such in the trunk to protect them from the weather.
How did we make the bag work with only two bars? We strapped the bag down on the sides as per the directions. The straps that should have fastened to the front and back bars we brought around and also fastened to the sides and hooked around the ends of the bars. This worked quite well. The straps came down tight on the bag, so it didn't slide or move at all.
We were on the road and our usually peppy car seemed to really be dragging ... butt. It is a 5 speed, so if we needed power, a quick downshift would more than take care of the problem. She just didn't have her usual OOMPH. We also noticed that our gas mileage wasn't that great. We lost 5-6 MPG. On an 780 mile trip, that adds up.
When we left to come back to Virginia Beach, we did the same thing again. Clothes on top, important items in the trunk and back seat. About halfway back my husband was miffed by the car's lack of power. He stopped at a gas station and proceeded to unload the roof. With much cramming and cussing he got everything in the car, so he took the canvas bag and crammed it in the trunk, as well. After about 45 minutes we were back on the road.
We noticed that without the bag on top, despite all of the weight, the power our car had was back. Also, without the drag from the extra height of the bag, our gas mileage came back. On an SUV that already has height, as well as a larger motor, the drag and dropped power and gas mileage might not be an issue, but on smaller cars, and maybe even SUVs with smaller engines, they may have these issues.
Did the bag do what we wanted it to? Yeah, for the most part. In the end we managed to get all of the stuff in the car, anyway, without the bag, so it wasn't something we needed. If we had an SUV with a V-8, then it might come in handy. With just the Civic and the Kia, that even Isabel wouldn't take, we just don't have the power to overcome the drag and loss of power.
While the Axius 15CF Roof Top Cargo Carrier
states that it has a "5 year Limited Warranty", I couldn't find exact info on this warranty. There is a long list of warnings, such as the bag is not machine washable, it may fade in sunlight, and not to exceed the speed limit when it is in use, but I saw nothing about the warranty and what it did or did not cover.
Amount Paid (US$):