Last weekend, my wife and I took our daughters (almost two and almost four) camping. It was the first camping trip for all four of us, and we needed to fit four people, a dog, and all our gear into our little Jetta Wagon. The morning we planned to leave, we finally realized we were never going to fit everything inside the car.
I have wanted a great big Yakima roof box for years, but I have had trouble selling Jess on a $500+ box that will take up the entire roof of her car. So we started looking at roof bags. In the short time available to us, we decided to get the Sherpak Go 15 based on the reviews. Then we drove about two hours through a torrential downpour to our campsite, just to make sure we gave our new roof bag a good workout.
First, don’t worry, it’s not going to be a black vinyl brick on your roof, even though that’s what the product page makes it look like. The bag is cut with square corners, but unless you are packing boxes, the Sherpak Go 15 will not look like a brick. In fact, it looked pretty much like you would expect a bag packed with sleeping bags and tents, sitting on the roof of your car, to look.
What it looks like — and is — is huge. We fit a seven-person cabin tent (with screened-in porch!), another two-person backpacking tent, 4 sleeping bags and pads, clothing bags, an umbrella, a bug-catching net and bug-catching supplies, fuel bottles, and lots more into the Sherpak Go 15, and there was room to spare. It held at least as much as the trunk of our Jetta Wagon does when it is not full of dog. (I honestly have no idea how we thought we were going to take this trip without a roof bag or something.)
It is also very flexible on mounting options. Our Jetta Wagon has side rails, which worked fine. You can also attach it to a regular roof rack, or to a car with no roof rack at all. However, the mounting system does give rise to my only real gripe. All the straps and plastic buckles dangle over the side of the car while you are loading, which means that if you close a car door without being very careful, you risk smashing a vital component. Since I needed to stand in the car to get at the whole bag, that’s exactly what happened as I was loading the bag to come home. One of the compression-strap buckles shattered when I failed to keep it clear of the door I was closing. It was not a big deal, but I am sure Sherpak could think of somewhere to stow the straps during loading and unloading
The Sherpak Go 15 is waterproof, but not 100% waterproof. We really did drive through a major thunderstorm, so we got a pretty good idea of what it can handle. When we got to our campsite and unloaded, we found a slight trickle of water in the bottom of the bag. Just enough to prove that it is not 100% waterproof, but not enough to get me worried. This bag still gets high marks from me for weatherproof-ness. Nothing but a sealed plastic bag could have kept that storm out.
Construction seems to be solid, although since we’ve only had the Sherpak Go 15 on the roof of our car for about five hours, we can’t really say how it will hold up in the long run. Ask us in another year; we’ve got several more trips planned.
And the price is hard to beat. The Sherpak Go 15 is under $90 on Amazon, which is over $20 less than we paid at REI (we did not have the luxury of waiting two days for it to arrive). That’s a small fraction of the price of a roof box (not even counting the roof rack to support your roof box, if you don’t already have one). If you need a lot of extra storage space for your car, and you don’t want to spend a ton of money on it, get this. We are thrilled with it.
The Sherpak Go 15 is a lot of extra storage for your car for not a lot of money. We are thrilled with it.
Overall score: 4.5 (out of 5)
Sherpak Go 15, reviewed by Sam Glover on .