The Best Rooftop Cargo Carriers For Every Situation

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Do you need more space in your car. You can’t make your car bigger but you can create more storage space. 

Using a rooftop cargo carrier you can add additional space without buying a bigger car. 

Unfortunately, choosing the best rooftop carrier is not easy. There are countless options to choose from and many of them look the same. 

Don’t worry, In this post, I am going to review the best rooftop cargo carriers on the market today. 

This post will help you find exactly what you need without spending hours doing research. 

Let’s get started. 

1. YAKIMA SkyBox Aerodynamic Rooftop Cargo Box - Best Overall

Pros

✅Available in different sizes to fit all cars

✅Wide application and high performance

✅Metal clamp and maximum roof clearance

✅Versatile yet sleek

✅Can fit a large amount of gear

✅Designed to fit most rooftop rack system

✅Universal mounting hardware

Cons

🚫Keys aren’t the most durable.

🚫Very relatively expensive

🚫The cover needs extra effort to close properly.

🚫Could have a better mounting system

🚫The system for clamping on the crossbar is slightly complicated.

🚫May feel vibrations while traveling.

🚫Makes noise at high speed

Specs

  • Weight – 54 pounds
  • Dimensions – 94 x 29 x 18 inches
  • Warranty –  Lifetime warranty

Features

    • Sleek aerodynamic Carbonite textured lid
    • Designed with internal lid stiffeners 
    • SuperLatch security
    • Dual-sided opening
    • Tapered design
    • Comes with an included SKS lock
    • Made with mostly recycled materials
    • No assembly required
    • Loads gear for up to five campers; fits snowboards and skis up to 215cm

What I Like

Convenient design

You don’t need tools to mount it on your vehicle. Its quick-release latches can fit most crossbars. It will conveniently open and close with its dual-side opening for easy access when loading and unloading your stuff.   

 

Dependable security

You can get peace of mind everywhere you go knowing your things are safe and secure. Its lock system ensures your gears stay secure inside.

 

Spacious size

It’s truly versatile when it comes to size. You can choose from 12, 15, 16, 18, and 21 cubic feet. The longest length can fit your full-size snowboard, and it can fit gears for up to five campers.  

 

Strong and durable recycled materials

It comes in heavy-duty construction. It’s a combination of high-quality and recycled materials for lower environmental impact.

What I Dislike

A bit pricey

It can easily surprise you with its price when compared to other brands. It gets higher as the size gets longer.

 

Unremovable keys

Sometimes it’s inconvenient when you keep opening and closing it. You can’t remove the keys unless it remains closed. You have to leave your keys to keep it open.

 

Weight

Be sure you have a friend to lend a helping hand when you mount this colossal cargo carrier. It’s heavy.

  

Complicating crossbar latch

Another mounting inconvenience is its crossbar latch. You need to have a great deal of strength to clamp it on the crossbar securely.

 

Weak key material

Be careful when you twist the key. It’s quite fragile and can easily break off in the core when you release the lid.

 

May rattle and vibrate

It can make some noise while you’re driving, especially on rough roads. It’s wise to add paddings between the base of the cargo box and on the top of your vehicle.  

  

Absorbs heat

Make sure you don’t put things that will melt inside the box. It can get hot when exposed under the sun.

 

Stuck keys

You can indeed open and close this cargo box either on both sides. But be careful when you’re closing it because the locks will hold the keys inside until you fully close it. It tends to get stuck. When it does, you won’t be able to close it on one side fully.

Who Should Buy?

This cargo carrier is ideal for traveling. It can haul large amounts of cargo, gears, and equipment. You can use it while camping, on vacations, and in any other outdoor activities. It’s fit for a minimum of two campers.  

2. JEGS Rooftop Cargo Carrier - Runner Up

Pros

✅Cavernous

✅Good value

✅Has a compact design that’s easy to store

✅Assembly won’t take more than five minutes.

✅It comes with a lock and a self-standing lid.

✅High-density material offers better stability

✅Weather-resistant

✅Offers decent capacity

Cons

🚫Roof rack hole might not align

🚫It’s not that attractive

🚫Doesn’t fit all vehicle roof racks

🚫Construction quality a little flimsy

🚫Too big for some cars

🚫Less sturdy

Specs

  • Weight  – 35 pounds
  • Dimensions  – 57.5 x 13.75 x 38.5 inches
  • Warranty – Limited Lifetime Guarantee

Features

    • Integrated hinges for dual side opening
    • Four corner locking system
    • Front latch for ultimate security
    • Manufactured with durable, four-season HDPE black plastic
    • Fits round, square, and aero bar designs up to 4in. wide
    • Pre-drilled cross-rail mounting holes 
    • Dual-side opening
    • No tool assembly and installation
    • Includes mounting hardware and two keys

What I Like

Compact yet spacious 

You can fit several pieces of luggage and bags in it. As long as you load them evenly and they’re well-distributed, it will keep the weight level. It can carry a cargo weight of up to 110 pounds.

 

Highly durable

Its high-density material and construction can protect your cargo no matter how rough the road is and in any kind of weather. Its UV inhibitor protects it from fading and cracking, making it last for a long time.

 

Easy installation

You don’t need any tools. It comes complete with mounting hardware and a comprehensible instruction guide for easy assembly and mounting. 

 

Weatherproof

Its aerodynamic shape can break the wind when you drive at high speeds. Its high-quality sealed bale latches make it weather-tight. And its keyway locks are covered, providing extra protection.

 

Safe and secured cargo

It has a self-standing top lid and a built-in lock and keys, making sure that your things are completely safe during your travels.

What I Dislike

Locks are too tight

It can be of good quality, but it’s not perfect. You can encounter problems in its lock because it’s a little bit tight, especially the brand new ones. You should add extra locks to make sure.

 

Unfavorable design

If you’re critical about styling, you might be least impressed with its bulky design.  It can be a little outdated and less aerodynamic. And might generate vibrations and noise.

 

Doesn’t fit roof racks

If your vehicle has roof racks that aren’t adjustable, this cargo box will disappoint you. You will need modifications and additional hardware to mount it.

Who Should Buy?

It’s ideal for those who are looking for a rooftop cargo box that can accommodate loads and cargoes for the family. This can be a perfect choice. It’s compatible with cross rail systems with 150-pound ratings. It can fit on aerodynamic round and square bars.

3. Thule 682 Sidekick Rooftop Cargo Box

Pros

✅Ease of use

✅Secure

✅Durable

✅Perfect fit

✅Waterproof

✅Portable

✅Self-standing top design

✅Lightweight design

✅It attaches to most rooftop racks.

Cons

🚫No central locking

🚫It only has one side of the opening.

🚫Not a one-key system

🚫Small for sporting equipment

🚫Minimal storage space

🚫The price is comparably high.

🚫The side supports are wobbly

🚫The clamps for the roof racks may not be large or long enough.

Specs

  • Weight – 3.7 pounds
  • Dimensions – 54 x 25 x1 5.5 inches
  • Part Warranty – Limited Lifetime Warranty

Features

    • Compact roof box
    • Sturdy U-bolts with reinforcement plates and adjustable brackets
    • Passenger-side cargo opening
    • Heavy-duty design
    • Includes two locks to secure box contents and lock the box to the carrier
    • Fits Thule rack systems, round bars, and most factory racks
    • Space-saving design
    • Comes in one size and only in one color, gray
    • Constructed UV and impact-resistant ABS plastic
    • Innovative box with a threaded knob

What I Like

Compact

It’s ideal for small loads. It will give more room for other roof-mounted accessories, and it’s small enough that you can keep two bike racks permanently. 

 

Passenger’s side opening

Loading and unloading are more comfortable and convenient. It’s easy, one-handed access can let you load and unload from the passenger side.

 

Provides safety and security

You will feel at ease knowing your things are secured and safe. It has a dual side locking system allowing you dependable security. 

 

Small but durable

Its heavy-duty design will protect your gears and cargo from road elements. It has a tough, rugged shell constructed UV and impact-resistant plastic promises durability that will last long. What’s more, it has a lifetime limited warranty.    

What I Dislike

Small but hard to install

Don’t get deceived by its looks. It may be small, but it’s heavy, so you need help when mounting this cargo box onto your vehicle. It may also eat up time during installation. 

 

Height problems

It will add another 16 inches to the height of your vehicle. So if you own an SUV or a truck, consider the headroom of enclosed parking lots and other low-ceilinged establishments, or even your garage.

Who Should Buy?

This compact cargo box is perfect for small loads for day-long adventures. So if you’re golfing or swimming, this is going to be useful. It’s also ideal for smaller vehicles that carry small cargoes. Great for starters too.

4. ARKSEN 250LB Universal 43" Roof Rack Cargo - Best Cargo Rack

Pros

✅Made with a compact design

✅Good aerodynamic performance

✅Affordable

✅Many points to tie down the cargo

✅The design and look is ideal

✅Easy to mount and dismantle

Cons

🚫Cargo nets and straps sold separately

🚫Doesn’t fit convertibles

🚫Not ideal for all weather conditions

🚫Relatively expensive

Specs

  • Weight  – 16.78 Kilograms
  • Dimensions – 109.22×99.06×15.24 cm
  • Part Warranty – N/A

Features

    • Heavy-duty sturdy steel construction
    • Black powder-coated finish
    • Steel wind fairing 
    • Heavy-duty bottom metal bars and side rails 
    • Mounts to vehicle’s cross bars w/ four U-bolts

What I Like

Simple design

It has a universal metal construction basket design. It’s an easy solution for your cargo rooftop hauling.

 

Strong, stable, and durable 

It has a heavy-duty steel body and metal bottom bars that can accommodate heavy loads—accompanied by thick U-bolts that secures your vehicle’s crossbars.

 

Fits any car rooftop

Since it has a universal fit, it can easily install on most of your vehicles. It can also easily be unmounted when you don’t need it.

 

Aerodynamic design

It can resist wind impact, so it’s safe when you’re driving at high speeds. Hence, it won’t create any noise even on rough roads. 

What I Dislike

Prone to rust

What’s disappointing about this roof cargo basket is it’s not weatherproof. Its powder-coating paint isn’t rust-resistant. Leaving it too long under sun and rain may cause it to rot with rust. Better take the basket off your roof when not in use. Or apply rust-proof lubes before heading out.   

 

It can dent or bend

If you’re carrying heavy cargoes, it’s advisable to lay it out evenly because the grills can dent down, especially in the middle.

 

Additional straps and nets needed

This roof cargo carrier is basket type. Meaning, your load is exposed, and it needs straps and nettings to secure it. 

Who Should Buy?

This roof cargo carrier is ideal for most vehicles. It’s spacious enough to haul cargo bags, camping equipment, luggage, gears, and other stuff. It’s a perfect cargo roof basket for hauling cargoes of a large group of people.

5. Goplus Cargo Box - Best For Slim Design

Pros

✅Weatherproof

✅Stable and safe

✅Fashion streamlined

✅Lightweight

✅It has versatility as it opens from either side.

✅Easy to install

✅It comes with minimum wind noise.

Cons

🚫Reports of rattling

🚫Expensive

🚫The top seems thin

🚫Will not work on a car without a roof-rack.

Specs

  • Weight – 25 pounds
  • Dimensions – 63 x 31 x 15 inches
  • Part Warranty – N/A

Features

    • Robust and security design
    • High-quality material
    • Equipped with four quick connect anchors
    • Super latch security
    • Dual-sided opening
    • Double secure lock
    • Aerodynamic design
    • Built with PC and ABS material
    • Has bottom stiffeners
    • Metal lid stiffeners
    • Three different colors available

What I Like

Surprisingly spacious

It can securely carry up to 14 cubic feet of cargo. It will increase your space allowing your vehicle to breathe and your passengers ride in comfort.

  

Robust and secures cargo

It can hold out against heavy use and in all weather conditions. It has metal lid stiffeners at the bottom, making the box stabler and safer. It also secures a double-lock system to protect your valuables.

 

Made of durable materials

It’s a sturdy ABS and PC material that can carry up to 165 pounds of cargo. It can resist all weather conditions protecting your loads from harsh elements. It can latch to the square, round, factory, and most aerodynamic crossbars.

 

Easy installation

This roof box can latch easily to your crossbars. Its four quick-connect anchors ensure its lid is well-secured to the base. 

 

Additional convenience

It has an efficient dual-sided opening. It gives you the convenience to access loads on either side of your vehicle.

What I Dislike

Slim top lid

It’s flimsy, but the top lid feels thin, giving you the impression of providing you with no solid feel.

Who Should Buy?

This cargo box is ideal for road trips, picnics, camping, and other outdoor adventures. It’s big enough to fit a lot of stuff. It can work on vehicles with racks and can fit most cars, SUVs, trucks, and more.  

6. Leader Accessories Rooftop Cargo Bag - Best Budget Option

Pros

✅Easy installation

✅Made with weather protection

✅It folds flat

✅The horizontal zipper makes it easy to use

✅Can support heavy loads

✅Very sturdy

✅Spacious

Cons

🚫Not the most aerodynamic design

🚫A little pricey

Specs

  • Weight – 9.08 pounds
  • Dimensions – 18 x 14 x 8.3 inches
  • Part Warranty – One year

Features

    • Waterproof
    • Big capacity
    • Includes anti-slip mat
    • Includes extended straps
    • Heavy-duty construction
    • Hook and loop tapes included
    • Extra elastic and soft PVC particles

What I Like

Simple installation

You can easily secure this cargo bag by just strapping them on your crossbar. The straps can easily be adjusted tightly to hold on. It has an efficient design giving you the simplest cargo solution.

 

Waterproof

You don’t have to panic about your cargo getting wet. Its water-resistant design can protect the cargo bag from road grit, sun, and rain.

 

Convenient to use

Just fill it with your stuff inside when you’re ready to use, or you can simply fold it flat when you need to store it. It’s the practical alternative to hardtop carriers.

 

Smart design

Its design prevents the cargo bag from slipping and can buffer the heavy cargo’s stress or driving at high speed. It has a webbing design that can grip on your roof. It also has extra elastic and soft PVC particles preventing your car paint from scratching. 

 

Flexible

No matter what shape your loads are, it can fit inside the cargo bag. Its softshell material can flex, stretch, and easily adapts to even the most awkwardly shaped items.

What I Dislike

Doubtful straps

This cargo bag can be durable and a good alternative to cargo boxes. But what will make you hesitant about it is the straps. It looks weak and unstable to hold on the crossbar.  

Who Should Buy?

This cargo bag is ideal for those who are looking for an alternative to cargo boxes. It’s big enough to fill loads and cargoes for the whole family. It can fit just about anything–from suitcases, camping tents, sleeping bags, camping chairs, hammock to folding tables and chairs. It’s great for camping and other outdoor adventures.  

7. Thule Force XT Rooftop Cargo Box

Pros

✅Dual-side opening

✅LockKnob system

✅UV-resistant

✅Textured black arrow skin

✅Suitable for a wide range of vehicles

✅Load and unload with ease

✅Comes with three load straps connected to anchor points

✅Versatile

✅Frees up space in your vehicle

✅User-friendly

✅Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

🚫The key latch is not of great quality

🚫Not waterproof

🚫May produce noise

🚫Pricey

Specs

  • Weight: 41 lb.
  • Dimension: 74.75 x 33 x 18 in
  • Part Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty

Features

  • Maximum space efficiency
  • Easy mounting
  • LockKnob system
  • DualSide opening
  • Forward position

What I Like

DualSide opening

This provides you with easy access to all areas of the cargo box on either side of your vehicle. It will make loading and unloading easier.

 

LockKnob system

This helps prevent damage to the Thule Comfort Key and makes it easier to open and close on your part.

 

PowerClick quick-mount

This allows you to attach the cargo box with ease. With its torque indicator, you’ll be able to know if it’s mounted in the right way. This ensures a more secure fitting to your roof rack.

 

Forward position

This allows you to have full trunk access with only a small risk of coming into contact with the cargo box.

 

Load straps

This prevents your cargo from shifting while you’re on the road.

What I Dislike

Wind noise

It may tend to create wind noise, especially when you drive at high speed. This is because the cargo box will go against the airflow.

Who Should Buy?

This product is suitable for those who love going on trips. It provides enough room for your belongings.

This would be perfect for beginners as well since it has a dual-side access system. You won’t have a hard time opening and closing it.

8. SportRack Vista XL Rear Opening Cargo Box

Pros

✅Keeps your load intact

✅Creates more space for your vehicle

✅Lightweight

✅Easy installation

✅Integrated locking system

✅Waterproof

✅UV-resistant

✅Easy access

✅Comes with a U-Bolt mounting kit

✅Made of ABS plastic

✅Has a black coating

✅Reduces wind noise on your roof

✅Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

🚫Lid’s not great

🚫You may have a hard time reaching things on the inside

🚫Locks may look cheap

🚫Produces a slight whistling sound at high speeds

🚫Not suitable for longer items such as snowboards

🚫Pricey

Specs

  • Weight: 28 pounds
  • Dimension: 63 x 38 x 19 inches
  • Part Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty

Features

  • 18cu.ft. cargo capacity
  • Durable
  • UV-resistant ABS material
  • Rear opening
  • Comes with a key lock
  • Fits SportRack Roof Rack Systems, square, round, and most factory racks

What I Like

Rear access

The cargo box opening allows you to access it from the perfect side that is away from traffic. You can open it even when you are on the side of the road without worrying about your safety.

 

Aerodynamic design

With its shape, it lessens the possibility of the cargo box creating wind noise on the roof of your vehicle.

 

Great construction

This product consists of ABS plastic and has a black coating. This makes the cargo box UV- and fade-resistant, increasing its longevity.

 

Easy mounting

The mounting hardware provided makes the installation process easier. The hand knobs and U-Bolts are sure to hold and secure the cargo box to the crossbars.

What I Dislike

Lid’s not great

The lid of the box tends to twist, which makes it hard to open and close. Forcing it open won’t be an option since this would only break it.

Who Should Buy?

This product is suitable for those who always travel. It provides enough room for your belongings so that it won’t take up much space inside your vehicle.

With its quick mounting feature, it makes the installation process more manageable. This would be perfect for beginners.

9. Keeper 07203-1 Waterproof Roof Top Cargo Bag

Pros

✅Easy to use and install

✅Weatherproof

✅Provides a larger cargo space

✅Easy storage

✅Soft-sided design

✅Heavy-duty and durable

✅Worth its price

✅Rubber laminated nylon

✅Comes with eight straps for great security

✅Suitable for all roof racks with four-side attachment capabilities

✅One-year warranty

Cons

🚫May not hold its shape well

🚫Doesn’t come with a roof mat, cargo bag, and extra compression strap

🚫May not be suitable for heavy rain

Specs

  • Weight: 5.25 pounds
  • Dimension: 44 x 34 x 17 inches 
  • Part Warranty: 1 Year Warranty

Features

  • Increases vehicle cargo
  • Soft sides flex
  • Easy storage
  • Durable

What I Like

Heavy-duty

With its soft-sided design, this consists of rubber laminated nylon that is sure to hold all the cargo you place inside. 

 

Easy storage

You can fold this cargo bag when not in use. This makes it very easy to store since it won’t take up much space.

What I Dislike

Does not hold its shape well

A downside to its soft-sided design is that the cargo may move around while you’re on the road. You should make sure that the things you place inside are not fragile and are spill-proof.

Who Should Buy?

With its size, this product is suitable for those who always go on long trips with many people. This would help prevent the passengers from getting cramped up inside the vehicle.

It is also perfect if you are looking for something more affordable yet durable.

10. Car Top Carrier Roof Bag - Best Roof
bag

Pros

✅Strong buckles and long straps

✅Made of heavy-duty coated tarpaulin

✅Zippers are waterproof

✅Easy to install

✅Aerodynamic design

✅Provides extra space for your cargo

✅Has an extra bag for storage

✅Comes with a protection mat

✅Has door hooks

✅Budget-friendly

✅Suitable for most cars

✅Two-year warranty with a money-back guarantee

Cons

🚫May tend to make noise when strong wind is present

🚫Heavier than other cargo carriers

🚫Zippers may be difficult to use at times

🚫Protective mat may slip

🚫Latching system is not that great

Specs

  • Weight: 9.28 pounds
  • Dimension: 16.38 x 13.43 x 5.91 inches
  • Part Warranty: 2 Year Warranty

Features

  • 15cu.ft. cargo capacity
  • Waterproof zipper with an extra flap
  • Works with or without a roof rack
  • Comes with a protective mat
  • Heavy-duty coated tarpaulin and fabric built
  • Dust-proof

What I Like

Great quality

This product consists of heavy-duty tarpaulin and is 100% waterproof. This ensures the safety and security of your cargo, even when in motion.

 

Protective mat

This keeps your vehicle free from scratches and other damage.

What I Dislike

Straps

The stitching isn’t great, so it has a chance of breaking and falling off your roof. This may be because the straps are directly attached to the bag, unlike others.

Who Should Buy?

This product is suitable for those who always travel with a lot of people. This would help provide enough space for the passengers.

It is also perfect if you are looking for something that combines affordability with quality.

11. RoofPax Car Roof Bag & Rooftop Cargo Carrier - Best Dual Use Bag and Cargo Carrier

Pros

✅Provides a large cargo storage

✅Light-reflecting logo for extra security at night

✅19cu.ft. of storage

✅Suitable for almost all vehicles

✅Won’t affect door and window seals

✅Made from military-grade heavy-duty material

✅Comes with door hooks

✅Suitable to use with or without a roof rack

✅UV-resistant

✅Built-in 7mm protection mat

✅Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

🚫May not be suitable to use during heavy rain or snow

🚫Pricey

🚫Wind noise

🚫May compromise gas mileage

🚫May tend to leak at times

🚫Straps are not of great quality

🚫May be a little thinner compared to others

Specs

  • Weight: 11.5 pounds
  • Dimension: 47.2 x 35.4 x 19.8 inches
  • Part Warranty:  lifetime warranty

Features

  • Has four safety door hooks
  • Waterproof
  • Large size
  • Comes with a protective mat
  • Comes with a TSA Complying Combination Lock
  • Light-reflecting logo at night

What I Like

Anti-theft protection

Unlike other cargo bags, this has a lock that would protect your things.

 

Top-quality material

This product consists of a durable, double-coated PVC material. It prevents moisture or any kind of liquid from entering the bag.

What I Dislike

Straps and protective flap

The straps of this bag aren’t as durable compared to others. They may break and fall off from your vehicle while you’re on the road.

Who Should Buy?

This product is suitable for those people who need a large cargo space for their belongings. 

This is also perfect for beginners since it is very easy to install, and it comes with instructions.

Conclusion

Rooftop cargo carriers are really useful, especially for outdoorsy vehicle owners. Before you get one, there are some things you need to consider, such as its capacity.  

It’s important to estimate how much you commonly pack in your adventures.

Once you calculate your usual load, then you can decide on the size you will need. Will it be wider or longer?  Taller or shorter?

Design and durability. It will depend on the way you want your carrier to be: shockproof, waterproof, heat resistance, flexible , and all the works.

Once you evaluated all these considerations, the next step is finding the right one for you.

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