The Thule Tahoe 867 is a capacious roof bag, offering up to 17 cubic feet of valuable storage space. It conveniently stows away in its own storage bag when not in use.
The Tahoe cargo bag has been around since 2008 but it is compatible with roof racks of all kinds – whether they be the stock vehicle manufacturer racks, or after market ones. If you don’t have cross bars, it will work with side rails instead.
- Made from PVC coated nylon
- One color option only: black and gray
- Available in one size – expandable
- 15cu ft capacity – can expand to 17cu ft
- Can be attached to virtually any roof rack system – with or without crossbars
- Seams are taped, not stitched, to help keep out water
- Foam padding maintains shape and makes packing easier
- Easily accessible with three-sided opening
- Thule Limited Lifetime Warranty
Capacity: 15 cubic feet, expandable to 17 cubic feet
External dimensions: L 41in x W 34in x H 18in (height increases to 20in plus when the bag is expanded)
Weight of bag: 10lb (4.5kg)
Weight of contents: Up to 100lb (Before packing, check the weight capacity of your roof as stated by vehicle manufacturer.)
Construction & Design
The Tahoe roof bag is made from PVC coated nylon, for toughness and durability. The seams are taped and not stitched, to reduce the possibility of water penetration.
Note that Thule say this bag is “weather resistant”. They don’t use the term waterproof.
The zipper tabs are covered with Velcro, so they can be joined together to ensure the bag stays closed, and a weather flap secured with Velcro covers the zipper all round to keep out the elements.
Additionally, Thule has fitted the Tahoe 867 with internal foam padding. This stops the bag from losing its shape when empty, making packing and unpacking much easier. It also improves its appearance! The foam padding also provides some degree of protection for the contents once inside the bag.
The Tahoe also features interior side storage pockets. These can be useful for smaller items – keeps them contained and easily accessible, so you can retrieve them easily, even while the bag is on the roof.
The reversible extension zipper makes the Tahoe expandable to fit comfortably any cargo you wish to pack, while it also folds up conveniently for storing away in its own protective bag.
There are padded handles on the side straps, either side of the Tahoe, which makes accurate repositioning easy, if necessary, whether the bag is empty or full.
Bag Access & Security
The 867 Tahoe opens with a zipper on three sides, with the “hinge” positioned at the front of the vehicle. So rooftop access is easy, from both sides and from the back.
The bag isn’t lockable, but you can buy lockable straps or cables (see Accessories section, below) to prevent unauthorized easy removal of the bag (though remember it’s always possible to get into it with a sharp knife).
You do not need to have a Thule roof rack to make use of this bag – in fact it will attach to virtually any roof rack system.
The Tahoe sits in between the cross bars and is attached via four included straps.
If you don’t have cross bars, the Tahoe will attach to the side rails, so you don’t need to get a full rack system in order to make use of this cargo bag.
You can move the straps from the front and rear to the sides of the bag to secure it to the rails.
On the Road (and Off)
The main point of contention with the Thule Tahoe seems to be that it can let in water in bad weather.
Some users have no problem – they say they’ve driven through heavy rain and the Tahoe kept all contents bone dry. A sizeable minority of others have found their belongings arrived soaked.
I can’t explain how these experiences are so different. Whether it’s down to a lapse in quality control, who knows. But remember, Thule call this bag “weather resistant” not waterproof.
To compound this, a handful of reviews mention that the foam lining will soak up and hold any moisture that gets in.
So I would suggest, to be on the safe side, wrap everything in plastic bags before packing in the roof bag.
Some people have complained that the straps flap about on the road and make a noise. There’s a simple solution: just make sure there are no long ends left unsecured! Tuck them, tie them, pin them, tape them – there are various options.
One user suggests pinning the strap ends to the bag. If you do this, be careful not to create a route for water to get in. If I was using pins, I think I’d look at pinning the straps to themselves rather than meddle with the fabric of the bag.
Few people mention that they’ve noticed a reduction in mpg – one records a difference of 3or 4 mpg, others say it’s virtually negligible.
A couple of users say they were able to hear some noise emanating from the roof area when traveling with the bag. This is rather subjective however, and the fact that this is mentioned rarely indicates that wind noise is unlikely to be an issue for most people.
You may want to get additional tie-down straps to attach the bag extra firmly to the vehicle roof. Rather than relying on straps that merely attach to the sides of the bag, you could get longer ones (or bungee cords) and crisscross them over the top of the bag.
If your budget allows, lockable straps such as the ones above would prevent any opportunist thief from simply lifting the bag off your vehicle if you had to leave it unattended.
- Big – can accommodate a large volume of stuff
- Light in weight – easy for one person to maneuver
- Easy to install and remove
- Can be used on a vehicle without cross bars
- Folds up to a manageable size for storage
- Foam padding protects and gives shape
- No appreciable increase in fuel consumption
- Minimal wind noise/drag
- Not waterproof, only water resistant
- Can let in water in a downpour
- The foam padding holds water if it gets wet
Apart from those who have come a cropper in wet weather, users generally seem to be pleased with the quality and the extra storage space that this bag provides for family vacations, camping trips and any other outing where you simply need to carry items that won’t fit in your car.
Thule Tahoe 867 Price
At the time of writing, the best online price I’ve seen for the Thule Tahoe cargo bag is here.
This is a mammoth roof bag – and if you have a lot of stuff to transport and don’t want a hard shell carrier, this could work for you. Up to 17 cubic feet is a lot of extra space to have available for your essential (and even non-essential!) items when you are traveling by car.
Good in fine weather, probably not the best choice for relentless rain and snow – though there are satisfied users who have driven through rainstorms without a hitch.(For my own peace of mind, though, I’d always put things in plastic trash bags, just to be on the safe side.)
I think Thule are updating the Tahoe with a new model, the 869 Interstate. This bag isn’t yet widely available at the time of writing, but may be worth checking out.