Road trips are often visualized as a scope of getting relief from our daily busy life. They allow us to get away from our daily routine’s shackles and will enable us to enjoy the natural beauty and feel the adventure of open roads.
Whenever we plan for a trip, we think about exploring new places and regularly meeting new people and about the adventures waiting around every bend of the road. But the critical part of our planning that we don’t think about is the suitable place to keep camping equipment or personal supplies.
If you are in a hurry, then you can use the links below to buy the best roof cargo boxes for your car. You don’t need to worry about the quality of the products because we only recommend the best.
– Best Overall – Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier
– Best Wide Range Options – Yakima Skybox
– Best Aerodynamic Design – INNO Wedge Plus Cargo Box
If you are traveling with friends and your family members, you’ll hardly want to keep all the equipment on your car’s back and top. Even if you are traveling with only one person, you will not keep all of your stuff in your trunk. So you have to find a better way to keep all of your stuff legally. And thankfully, there is a solution, and that is roof boxes.
If you are going on a long trip for camping or a cross-country drive, a roof box is essential for you. They’re good-looking, smooth, durable, and spacious, and it can provide you with a simple and easy solution to your storage problem. A roof box is a simple but very useful solution for the storage problem during a road trip. A roof box is a significant investment.
Now there are different kinds of roof boxes in today’s market. You’ll want to be sure that you are getting one of the best models on the market, suitable for your specific storage needs. So, let’s see what you should keep in mind if you want to buy a perfect roof box for you and what kind of roof boxes are perfect for your next trip.
When you are going to buy a roof box for your specific needs, you should keep the following points in your mind so that you can choose a perfect roof box for yourself.
1. The price:
The first and very important point while buying a roof box is the price. As much as you need a quality roof box, but you don’t want to pay enough for it either; you also don’t want to go too expensive. After all, you’ll get what you are paying for.
The budget for an average but right roof box is around 300$. If you want more facilities, you have to pay a couple of hundred dollars more. The size of a roof box is also a matter. Naturally, you have to pay more for the larger units.
2. Box Security:
The second important matter that you should keep in mind before buying a roof box about its safety. No matter how much you are spending on a roof box. The box can easily be stolen from your car. So you have to find the roof boxes which is secured enough. And you should look for the boxes which can feature you with locks to keep your stuff safe.
That’s why you’ll want to pick a rigid roof box over a softer bag. The other options should be less expensive and can be used for shorter and less extensive road trips. But those are not as durable and don’t come with locks.
The roof box’s hard body can protect your stuff from any external damage and protect them from potential thieves knifing your bags and stealing its content.
3. How well they secure in place:
Now let’s see how well a roof box is safe when you are traveling with it. If you spend hundreds of dollars on a roof box, you’ll want to keep all of your stuff only in the box so that they could fly off the roof during the trip. When you choose a roof box, you have to pay attention to the roof box itself and how well the roof box suits into places.
Roof boxes can be secured in places in several ways. Among them, roof racks are the most common way to are ropes and ties.
How you will secure your roof box also depends on the size of your car’s roof. Most of the roof boxes are available as designed to match well with the roof of most cars. But it’s better to be sure that your car’s roof is suitable for the roof box you want.
If your car’s roof is small, you have to choose a small roof box to be secured properly. You have to avoid selecting those types of roof boxes which can expand over from the rear of your vehicle’s roof.
You should then think about how your roof box will prevent the weather’s torture in unfavorable conditions. You don’t want a strong flap of wind to blow the roof box from your vehicle’s roof, or to see heavy rain or snow cause it to come off from the top of your car, or anything else which have the same moisture can leak into your roof box and ruin your belongings.
That’s why top-ranking roof boxes feature bases that enhance the abrasion to keep the roof box perfectly in place. Moreover, if you plan for a drive in wet conditions, you’ll want to make sure to get a waterproof roof box.
4. Their Length and Width:
Then you have to think about the size of your roof box. You can measure this by its length and width. But always remember that you have to make sure that your roof box is not larger than your vehicle’s roof.
Besides, you also have to make sure that the roof box wide enough to accommodate whatever you wish to pack in it. So you have to think correctly about what type of things you want to keep in the roof box.
Suppose you want to use them to bear something long and thin like a fishing rod, hockey sticks, skis, etc. Then you have to be sure that you are buying a roof box that is sufficiently big to keep your goods safe and can prevent them from snatching.
You have to think about the width also. If you plan to keep bags or similar items in your roof box, you have to make sure that you have enough space to keep them without squeezing or crushing them.
5. Roof Box Weight:
You have to think about the weight also. All the roof boxes are not the same. Different kinds of roof boxes can tolerate a specific amount of weight. Moreover, different types of vehicles can bear different amounts of weight on their roof. If you want to carry your item without distorting or breaking them, then you have to ensure that you are taking the perfect roof box for you that can handle and carry your stuff excellently. Moreover, you should make sure about the roof box’s weight isn’t too much for your vehicle.
6. How it impacts on your vehicle’s mileage:
The size and weight of your roof box can also impact your vehicle’s mileage. The last thing you want is to think that you have enough gas only to find out you’ve enumerated without the added weight and drag of your roof box.
Nowadays, there are different kinds of roof boxes in the market, and obviously, many factors may be responsible for those differences. Therefore you have to be sure about your choice and confirm if the roof box you are going to buy is a gas mileage liability.
7. How Aerodynamic Roof Boxes Are:
It is a matter that you should keep in thought because aerodynamic roof boxes can improve your gas mileage. If you want to increase your gas mileage a bit more, you have to choose a more aerodynamic roof box so that it can resist more air and help you get a little more gas mileage.
Thankfully, there is a wide variety of sleek roof boxes out there; they look so aesthetic. Besides, there is also a performance aspect to this.
You have to think about the performance and how costly they are. As a general rule, if the roof box is more aerodynamic, it would cost more because an aerodynamic roof box can help you cut down the gas mileage. If you are going on trips regularly, then buying an expensive roof box can worth it.
On the contrary, bigger and heavier roof boxes may cost less. On the contrary, bigger and heavier roof boxes may cost less. But they are less aerodynamic and also responsible for more drag and strong gas mileage issues.
8. The Aesthetics:
Let’s pause a moment for thinking about the shape of a roof box. If your roof box looks like a bulky and oversized freaky item, it can make your vehicle look ridiculous.
While we talked about aerodynamics above, we discussed how your roof box setup could significantly impact how well your vehicle can drive, including the roof box. A smoother build with a superb eye-catchy finish can make your car look much better when going on an open road.
The matter about your car’s look with a roof is entirely based on your emotion, but you have to think that are not you going on a trip to explore and feel the adventure of every bend? If a roof box can increase that feeling with its fascinating look, then isn’t that great?
So you’ll want to think about how your roof box looks on the roof of your vehicle.
Roof boxes that are long but smooth are currently high in demand. These types of roof boxes are often round-shaped at the front and back. These types of roof boxes can resist more air. So they are famous because they are more aerodynamic. Again, roofs of clamshells can be opened upwards, which means that they can provide you with more space on the topside and these roof boxes are bigger than those longer and sleeker roof boxes.
Then you can also think about the color of your roof box. Indeed, this is an important matter. You can get currently famous roof box variants in different colors quickly. Besides, you can get them in glossy or matte finishes or whatever you want it to be.
9. Its Volume:
You should think about the volume of a roof box also. It is a very important matter that you should keep in mind when you buy a roof box. You should search for a roof box with more volume and storage capacities than other roof boxes. You have to think about the size, weight, and aerodynamic-ness of your roof box also. But that is another matter. Still, the roof box that offers more space is almost always right.
How these roof boxes get the ability of more volume is another matter. Long slender boxes of similar sizes can offer you almost the same work and storage capabilities. The main thing is the size. Roof boxes of different sizes will always offer you different specifications and various volumes and some modifications.
You have to think correctly about which size of the roof box is right for you, including its volume.
10. Overall Compatibility:
As we discussed before that, consistency is a must for the equation of a roof box. You have to be sure that your roof box is perfect for your vehicle’s roof. We also discussed how you are going to secure your roof box, but there’s something more than just being sure that it isn’t slipping down from the roof of your car.
Specific roof boxes are designed to fit well with specific vehicles. So you have to see carefully which classes of vehicles are suitable for the roof boxes we are going to mention here.
If your vehicle has previously installed racks on your car’s roof, you have to think about which type of roof boxes can cope with the roof rack. Various roof boxes are available for several types of roof racks. So you have to check that if the roof box you are going to buy can be installed with the existing roof rack. If that isn’t possible, you have to install the roof rack provided by the roof box.
If you do all the measurements correctly, you will perfectly attach the roof racks and the roof box that you will buy for your vehicle’s roof. If you want to install a high-quality roof box without any roof racks, that won’t be impossible for you, with ropes’ help, but that will be difficult, and it will look awkward and funny.
If you want to set your roof box without a roof rack, you must think carefully about the roof box’s configuration. Without any roof rack, you will find a few things to set your roof box on your vehicle’s roof correctly and prevent it from slipping down from your roof.
If your vehicle can cope with the roof rack provided by the roof box or with your existing one, then it will be better for you to use them for setting your roof box.
11. The way it opens:
You can think that the way a roof box opens is a simple matter and not so important. But how a roof box opens and from which side you can open them is a very important matter.
Different Roof boxes can be opened from one or both sides. But with the roof box that can be opened from both sides, you can load and unload things faster from it by doing the loading or unloading from both sides together.
Moreover, if you have to park beside a wall then, you don’t have to be worried about how you are going to load or unload your stuff from your roof box because you will be able to open your roof box from both sides.
So you have to think about the opening direction of a roof box. Because roof boxes of clamshell can be opened upward, on the other hand, other roof boxes can be opened from the left side or right side or both sides.
12. Frequency of Use:
Finally, you have to remember how much you will use the roof box you will buy. The amount of use can have a great impact on the rest factors of the list. If you want to go on trips frequently, you should want to take a more costly roof box that offers you more facilities.
Again, if you go on trips infrequently, then a smaller and less costly roof box will be okay for you.
6 Best Roof Cargo Boxes:
Now that we know what we should keep in mind while buying a roof box, so let’s have some practice and see how we can find those factors with six top-rated roof boxes on the market.
1. Thule Motion XT XL Cargo Box:
This roof box is a perfect example of a sleek, aerodynamic, modern roof box. According to its size and storage capacity, it is perfect. For this fantastic combination, the Thule Motion XT XL is one of today’s best roof boxes.
You can get this roof box unit in both 16-foot and 22-foot. And its interior dimensions are 79 x 31.5 x 15.
The 22-foot long variant is the longer variant for roof boxes; it will be easy to fit safely on large vehicle’s roofs.
As we mentioned before, this box can give you access to both sides. So it will be easy to load or unload anything in it without any trouble. Also, you can use it in unfavorable weather conditions easily. It can easily stay in place when the weather is wet or snowy because it has a superior grip system.
The Thule Motion XT XL can bear 165 lbs. without any problem. In terms of safety, It is compatible with the One Key System, making it much easier to lock your roof box and keep your stuff safe.
Some of the other attractive advantages featured by Thule Motion XT are:
- A glossy white and black finish
- A lightweight fiberglass body
- Strong construction that helps to keep your stuff safe.
- Enough storage space for an average of five to seven skis or three to five snowboards
The Thule Motion XT XL will cost you nearly $800. Remember one thing; you will get what you are paying for, one of the best quality roof boxes. Moreover, you will carry skis or anything this kind of long stuff with this roof box.
- Roof-mounted cargo box provides 18 cubic feet of additional packing space
- Designed for optimal space efficiency, aerodynamics, and vehicle fit
- Quick-mount system "clicks" when roof box is secure and properly mounted
- Dual-side opening for quick access from either side of the car
- Easy to open and close with grip-friendly handles and supporting lid-lifters
- Full trunk access and no roof box contact
- Lid automatically locks in place and indicates a secure closure (One Key System compatible)
- Fits 5-7 pairs of skis / 3-5 snowboards
- External dimensions: 84.5 x 36 x 17 inches; Internal dimensions: 79 x 31.5 x 15 inches
- Load capacity: 165 lbs; Product Weight: 46 lbs
2. Thule Force XT Cargo Box:
This roof box is also from Thule. The Thule Force XT Cargo Box is available with a great amount of internal storage space. It is of 21 cubic feet, so it is excellent for those who will buy a roof box for going on longer trips. You will be able to carry skis or anything this kind of long stuff.
If you want to buy a giant roof box, then you have to accept more weight. This roof box also weighs 165 lbs.
The Thule Force Cargo Box has a torque indicator connected with the Power Click system; that’s why the roof box’s installation process is straightforward. All you have to do is just gradually press it into place, that’s it. Like the Thule Motion XL, it can give you access from each side also.
You’ll want to have a crossbar height of around 15.6 inches to mount your roof box. But this crossbar can make the installation process difficult for the Thule Force cargo box. Because we already mentioned that the size and aerodynamic-ness of this roof-box are perfect for those people who are looking for enough space to keep lots of materials in it without shifting to bigger and heavier clamshell boxes.
This Thule Force cargo box is more affordable than the Thule Motion XL. You can get it at around $600. If you want a high-quality roof box within a reasonable price, then the Thule Force XT rooftop cargo box is perfect for you.
3. Yakima Skybox Cargo Box:
You can get this Yakima Skybox in different sizes, the starting size is 12 feet, and you can get it till 21 feet long. So you can pick the perfect size for you.
The SuperLatch security system is used to secure this roof box. Also, it is available with the Power Click system. You have to press the lid down, and it clicks into place. Moreover, the box model is available with SKS locks and gives you more security.
It also allows you to get access from both sides.
The design of the Yakima Skybox is wind resistant. You will get crossbars included with this roof box. You will be able to extend those crossbars at least 24 feet and a maximum of 42 feet.
- Fit more friends: Add more cargo space so you can bring more friends; SkyBox 21 fits gear for up to 5 people and is roomy enough for skis and snowboards up to 215 cm.
- Less noise, more room: The tapered, aerodynamic design with textured lid (made from up to 80% recycled material!) reduces drag, wind noise and hatch interference.
- Accessible & easy: Internal lid stiffeners add durability and make it easy to open and close; Dual-sided opening allows you to access your gear from either side of your vehicle.
- Keeps gear safe: Our SuperLatch secures the lid to the base, keeping your gear safe and sound; Includes SKS (Same Key System) Locks for extra peace of mind.
- Works with most racks: Fits YAKIMA round, square, factory and aerodynamic bars; Requires a crossbar spread between 24 in and 42 in; Tool-free installation with no assembly required.
4. Yakima RocketBox Pro Cargo Box:
This roof box is designed for smaller vehicles. But if you want, then you will be able to use it for larger vehicles also. You will be able to use Yakima RocketBox Pro with or without any roof racks.
The Yakima RocketBox Pro is available with its mounting kit. So, if you want, you will install it with the crossbar and mounting equipment provided by the box, or you can use your roof rack. Moreover, you don’t have to use any tool to fit this box on your vehicle’s roof. So, installing and removing processes are so easy for it.
The Yakima RocketBox Pro is available with dual-side access and opens with two sets of keys. Also, It’s available with SKS locks and a push-button lock system to secure this roof box. If you want to open it, you have to push the button, and if you’re going to shut it, you have to press the roof of the roof box.
It’s available with a matte black finish. It can resist air, so this will help you to get less drag and more gas mileage. You can buy this roof box at around $350. This roof box is excellent for those people who are looking for a perfect and specious roof box at a reasonable price. This rooftop cargo box can carry anything as long as seven feet.
- Aerodynamic design to reduce drag with forward mounting hardware for improved hatch clearance making it great for small vehicles
- Perfect for smaller cars, hatchbacks and SUVs; Hauls gear for up to 2 campers
- Quick-dial mounting hardware fits Yakima round, square, factory and most aerodynamic bars
- Love it 'Till You Leave It Limited Lifetime Warranty
5. INNO Wedge Plus Cargo Box:
This roof box is also a smaller roof box than Thule. The box comes from INNO, can offer you just eight cubic feet worth of storage space. This high-quality roof box isn’t so costly. You can get this roof at around $490.
Made with a compact design, the size of this roof box is 80 x 33 x 13.75 on the outside and 72 x 25.6 x 11 from the inside, with a low hatch clearance of 12″. Besides, the INNO’s Wedge Plus Cargo Box weighs only 44 lbs. So you can carry it box easily. If you are looking for a much light roof box, then this roof box can be a good option for you.
INNO wedge plus cargo box can fit with most of the available roof racks. So you can install this roof box with any roof rack.
The INNO Wedge Plus Cargo Box is available in red and white colors & also available with black matte finishes. It is also available with a diffuser and 3D interior mat. That mat is specially designed to decrease the disturbing noise of items rolling around. So it’s best for quiet drives.
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5. Malone Profile 18S Cargo Box:
The Malone Profile 18S is made in Italy. The weight of this roof box is 165 lbs also. The size is 78.75 x 32.3 x 15.75. It is available with 18 cubic feet of storage space.
The top side of this roof box is glossy, and the bottom comes with a matte finish. Also, it can give you access to both sides. And secured with a centralized locking system.
The Malone Profile 18S is UV protected and is also abrasion-resistant. So you can say that this roof box is more durable. You can buy this roof box for just over $460. So this roof box is perfect for those people looking for a small and sturdy roof box.
- Dual side opening lid for installing to either side of the vehicle
- 18 cubic foot volume fits most requirements for 3-4 skiers
- Gas piston assist hinges provide smooth opening/closing
- Quick attach mounting brackets for simple installation
- Low Profile delivers perfect aerodynamic shape
When you go to buy a roof box, you will see thousands of options. But you have to choose a roof box that is perfect for you. Whenever you go on any trip, you want to enjoy freedom. And you may know that space is all about choice, so you have to make a perfect decision about buying your roof box. And after choosing an ideal roof box, you will be able to enjoy your trip perfectly.
Every roof box listed here is unique with its unique features. Every roof box is perfect for a particular type of use.
You have to make your decision carefully. Remember, why are you buying this roof box and which peculiarities are essential for you? See which roof boxes can fulfill your importance and then buy the best roof box for your next big adventurous trip.
-our editorial board has reviewed this article and has been approved for publication according to our editorial policy.
Last Update : 2024-02-25