The Ultimate Guide of Cargo Box for SUV (2021)

When you are packing for a long trip or just a trip to the airport, or you are willing to take your car over the country with you, at first, you will want to make sure that you have everything you need for a delightful trip.

But, sometimes you may face some problems, including a shortage of storage space in your car. For example, you might not have enough space in your SUV for all the luggage you want to take with you.

You can most probably face this problem when you are going on a trip with the members of your family or friends. Moreover, you will not be able to put the luggage in the backseat because there are people in it. Besides, most SUVs do not have enough space to accommodate some extra suitcases and travel bags.

Sometimes, you might need to carry some luggage that is an unfamiliar size, such as a pair of skis or snowboards. No matter what you are trying to take with you, and no matter where you are trying to go, not having enough space to keep all your items is the worst problem you will ever face.

After facing this kind of problem, you might start to think about increasing the amount of storage space in your car because, after all, you cannot physically increase the amount of storage space in your trunk. You will be very happy to know that there is a system that you can increase the amount of storage space of your SUV. For instance, you can look for SUV roof cargo boxes and find out which one suits your needs best.

Installing a roof cargo box on top of your SUV can easily increase the volume of storage space that you might need to use, including keeping rigidly shaped objects, such as skis and snowboards. So by installing a roof cargo box on your SUV, no matter where you are planning to go, you will surely have enough storage space in your SUV for everyone to carry the luggage they need.

What Types of Roof Boxes Are There?

While you are looking for SUV roof cargo boxes, you should get to know about the different types of roof cargo boxes first. There are mainly two types of roof boxes available on the market that you will need to keep in mind.

One type of roof cargo box comes with a hard outer shell, and it can be referred to as a hard roof box. The other type of roof cargo box is usually made out of a flexible material, and that type of roof cargo carrier can be referred to as a soft roof box. Both of these roof boxes come with their own pros and cons over each other. So you might need to do thorough research to determine which one is the best in satisfying your needs.

With that being said, there is no definite answer of whether a soft roof box is going to be more dependable than a hard one, as it depends fully on your position and what your needs are.

What Are Hard Roof Boxes?

When you are looking for SUV roof cargo boxes, you will surely see many hard roof boxes available for SUVs. Hard roof boxes are actually characterized by their hard outer shell, which almost always provides you with external durability and security.

Hard roof boxes can be the perfect choice for you if you are looking for something to ensure basic safety and security over price. With a hard roof box installed on top of your SUV, you can drive without worrying about your belongings being damaged by the storm of rocks, pebbles, and branches that can be kicked up by passing cars. All your items will remain fully safe inside the box.

The worst thing that could happen is that your roof box might get some slight scratch, and unfortunately, nobody likes a scratched appearance. It just works to confirm how durable hard roof boxes are.

You will be able to fit cargo boxes that come with between 16 and 18 cubic feet of storage space on an SUV. But it actually depends on the amount of space the roof of your SUV has.

Cargo Boxes for SUV

Where Do Hard Roof Boxes Fall Short?

Unfortunately, there are some shortcomings of these roof cargo boxes. Firstly, they are significantly more costly than their soft shell equivalents. This is, of course, to be assumed, including the level of safety that is provided by that hard shelter, though.

Usually, a good-quality solid roof box will cost you around mid-hundreds and even in the low-thousands range of pricing, but it actually depends on the size of the roof box, and the price also varies from brand to brand.

This indicates that buying a hard roof box will be a great investment, and you should really consider it if you think that you will get your money’s value out of it. In accession to the introductory price, most maximum hard roof boxes require a roof rack to get installed on top of your SUV.

While many SUVs already come with factory roof racks, many do not. So if your SUV doesn’t have any roof racks, you will need to combine this into the expense of the roof box itself.

Furthermore, you will also need to estimate the weight of the roof box. Most hard roof boxes are moderately overweight. They usually weigh from 30 to 60 lbs. You will need to combine this to the maximum weight capacity (usually nearby 100 lbs or just a little more). Moreover, you will also have to make sure whether or not your SUV can handle that weight.

Thule Force XT Rooftop Cargo Box, XX-Large
1,157 Reviews
Thule Force XT Rooftop Cargo Box, XX-Large
  • An oversized, versatile roof-mounted cargo box for everyday use
  • Provides 22 cubic feet of additional packing space
  • Designed to fit a wide range a vehciles with maximum space efficiency
  • Quick-mount system "clicks" when roof box is secure and properly mounted
  • Dual-side opening for easy access to all areas of the box, from either side of the vehicle

Hardshell roof cargo boxes are magnificent and can hold your belongings more protected than ever before, but the cost is something that cannot be ignored.

What Are Soft Roof Boxes?

Cargo Box for SUV

In contrast to the hard roof boxes, the soft SUV roof cargo boxes are appreciated for their comparatively flexible fabric body. These types of cargo boxes do not come with a hard, fixed shape as the other types do, though they are sometimes categorized as roof cargo carrier bags. 

There are numerous advantages of buying a soft roof cargo carrier over the hardshell roof boxes. For example, soft roof cargo boxes are usually available at a fraction of the price of the hardshell ones. You will be able to find one for the 50 to 60 dollar range, and very unusually, the prices cross the hundred dollar mark. 

Now some people might think that soft roof boxes do not provide enough space, but this is not really true in this case. in place of 16 to 18 cubic feet of cargo space, soft SUV roof cargo boxes will normally provide you with around 15 cubic feet of storage space, which is more than enough for many suitcases and carry-on bags.

Moreover, in terms of installing a soft roof cargo bag on top of your car will not require you to spend money on a roof rack because almost all soft roof boxes can be installed regardless of roof racks. Most soft roof boxes own methods to accommodate most SUV roofs. This means that you won’t have to spend any extra money to have the roof cargo box in place, except you desire to increase the carrier’s security. 

These soft roof boxes are all created to be water and weatherproof. So no matter what weather condition you are driving through, you will not have to worry about your stuff getting wet or damaged.

After all, soft roof cargo boxes are very lighter than their hardshell equivalents. Most of the softer ones will weigh in under ten lbs. They are usually more like six or seven lbs. but it actually depends on the size of the roof cargo box.

However, an excellent soft roof box to consider would be this Keeper model of roof bag.

Keeper 07203-1 Waterproof Roof Top Cargo Bag (15 Cubic Feet)
  • Waterproof Rooftop Cargo Bag with 15 cubic feet of space; fits all roof racks
  • Increase vehicle cargo space on standard vehicles and smaller SUVs; designed to fit all roof racks with attachment capabilities on all four sides
  • Waterproof design protects cargo against road grit, sun, wind and rain
  • Soft sides flex to fit odd-shaped loads, heavy duty construction
  • Folds compact for easy storage; overall size is 44” x 34” x 17''

Where Do Soft Roof Boxes Fall Short?

Unfortunately, almost all SUV roof cargo boxes do have some shortcomings, and the soft roof boxes also come with some disadvantages. First of all, soft roof boxes do not provide you with an equal amount of stability as the hard ones do.

For example, if you keep items in your soft roof box and it fills completely, and you cross below a low-hanging tree with sharp-edged branches stretching out, you might have the chance of having your roof box ripped open. No one wants this to occur, but this is one of the several risks that come with using a soft roof cargo box in place of a hardshell cargo box. You will have to remain careful about the stability of these roof boxes.

Moreover, these roof boxes are also known to be less aerodynamic, which is obviously going to affect fuel economy and gas in really long car journeys. These roof cargo carriers are perfectly fine if you have a quick ride to an airport, but you naturally do not want to have the back of your car loaded to the brim with luggage.

However, in the long trip, such as cross-country, this can firmly affect how much money you are paying on fuel; whatever there are some kinds of soft roof cargo boxes that challenge to be as aerodynamic as the durable, hard shell roof boxes.

At last, the ultimate point that you will want to be cautious of with soft roof boxes on an SUV is protection. These boxes can stand up to weather and rain like it is nothing; this is less the case with the zippers. Most soft roof boxes come with zipper closing, which can become a problem when driving in a sizeable SUV.

It is very easy for someone to unzip your soft roof carrier in the middle of the night, which means that you might have to empty the softbox and bring your stuff in the room with you when you stop for the night, which can become astonishingly embarrassing for a big SUV.

After all, soft roof boxes are great for the particular long journey, or if you want something to carry your items in during a drive to an airport, but hard roof cargo boxes are better suited to repeated trips over the country, wherever the purchase pays itself off in terms of security and durability.

-our editorial board has reviewed this article and has been approved for publication according to our editorial policy.

Best Seller List of Cargo Boxes for SUV:

Bestseller No. 1
SportRack Vista XL Rear Opening Cargo Box
1,459 Reviews
SportRack Vista XL Rear Opening Cargo Box
  • 18 cubic foot (510 L) internal cargo capacity
  • Made from durable UV-resistant ABS material
  • Rear opening for easy access away from traffic
  • Tool-free mounting hardware for easy installation and removal
  • Includes key and lock to secure contents in the box, and the box to your rack
Bestseller No. 2
JEGS Rooftop Cargo Carrier | Hard Car Top Large Luggage Box | Waterproof Storage | Heavy Duty Solid...
  • SECURE & PROTECT YOUR GEAR in this 18 cubic ft. HDPE plastic hard shell car top cargo carrier; high-capacity interior dimensions 57 L x 38 1/2 W x 17 3/4 H inches; aerodynamic design for fuel efficiency
  • WATERPROOF STORAGE FOR YOUR LUGGAGE with a four corner locking system, front latch, and weather-tight seal for ultimate car rooftop protection and security
  • EASY & CONVENIENT LOADING AND UNLOADING from either side of the car make for smooth travel and hassle-free storage
  • NO TOOLS REQUIRED, EASY ASSEMBLY AND INSTALLATION. All mounting hardware and simple instructions are included to get you safely on the road quickly
  • MADE IN USA, LIMITED LIFETIME GUARANTEE. The JEGS Rooftop Cargo Carrier’s high-quality construction and performance give you peace of mind
Bestseller No. 3
Thule Pulse Rooftop Cargo Box, Medium
853 Reviews
Thule Pulse Rooftop Cargo Box, Medium
  • Functional rooftop cargo box provides 14 cubic feet of additional packing space
  • Rugged and durable design keep contents protected
  • FastGrip quick-mount system assembles in minutes
  • Passenger-side opening for easy loading and unloading
  • Central Locking system provides maximum safety
Bestseller No. 4
Waterproof Heavy Duty Hard Shell Roof Top Mount Car Storage Travel Luggage Box Cargo Carrier with...
  • ▶️ This roof top storage box is universal fit for mounting to max 13 inches wide cross bar. Please check the dimension before purchase.
  • ▶️ The package comes with [1] 53 inches length storage box, [2] security lock key, and [4] heavy duty tool free installation mounting brackets.
  • ▶️ It is constructed of rugged, impact-resistant ABS material to ensure a long lasting life in outdoor conditions. More, it can open from the side and stay open till you close it with the strong support arm.
  • ▶️ Opens on the passenger side to 14 inches wide to store bulky items from the side and stays open till you close it. Easy to install, no tool need to assembly and installation.
  • ▶️ Overall Dimensions: 53" L x 34" W x 15" H | Capacity: 11 cu. ft. and up to 110 lbs
Bestseller No. 5
Goplus Cargo Box, Waterproof Rooftop Cargo Carrier, Heavy Duty Roof Storage Box, 14 Cubic Feet...
  • Perfect for Road Trip---Take the cargo box to the park, the beach, the sports field, or any place you need to store. Works on all vehicles with rack, suitable for cars, vans, SUVs, etc. Sleek aerodynamic design to reduce drag and has less noise.
  • 14 Cubic Feet of Cargo Space---With the large capacity, the roof cargo box can help you securely carry 14 cubic feet worth of essentials, can increase vehicle cargo space without impeding on passenger comfort, more capacity, more pleasure!
  • Robust and Security Design---The roof cargo box is designed to withstand heavy use in different types of weather conditions. The metal lid stiffeners at the bottom makes the roof box more stable and safer. With the double-lock design for protecting your valuables. 【Note】This product is suitable for vehicles with rack (the width of the luggage rack is adjusted to between 16.1 inches and 24.8 inches, and the width of the roof crossbar is less than 3.1 inches).
  • High Quality Material---The roof box is manufactured from sturdy ABS and PC material for long-lasting use, able to protect your valuables from exposure to the elements and can load 165 lbs capacity, suitable for round, square, factory and most aerodynamic bars.
  • Easy to Install---The Goplus roof box equipped with 4 quick connect anchors for easy install and super latch security ensures your lid secure to its base, and your gear is safe. Dual-sided opening for easy access on either side of your vehicle to increased efficiency and convenience.【Note: please do not open the openings on both sides at the same time. The key can only be removed after the cover is closed and locked.】
Bestseller No. 6
Thule Sidekick Rooftop Cargo Box Grey, One Size
689 Reviews
Thule Sidekick Rooftop Cargo Box Grey, One Size
  • Compact roofbox, ideal for small loads such as camping gear or golf clubs
  • Sturdy U-bolts with reinforcement plates and adjustable brackets provide a secure fit to rack
  • Compact design leaves room for other roof mounted accessories
  • Passenger side opening for easier loading and unloading
  • External Dimensions: 54 x 25 x 15.5 in
SaleBestseller No. 7
DNA MOTORING PT-ZTL-8166-BK Car Roof Top Mount Travel Storage Box Luggage Carrier w/Lock with Cross...
30 Reviews
DNA MOTORING PT-ZTL-8166-BK Car Roof Top Mount Travel Storage Box Luggage Carrier w/Lock with Cross...
  • CONSTRUCTION: Constructed of Rugged, Impact-Resistant ABS Material with Black Texture Finish for Durability
  • OVERALL DIMENSION: 53" L x 34" W x 15" H; Opens to 14" Wide to Store Bulky Items
  • CAPACITY: 10 cu. ft.
  • STRENGTH: With Strong Support Arm, Opens from the Side and Stays Open Til you Close It
  • NOTE: Attaches to Vehicles with Cross Bars Only
Bestseller No. 8
21 Cubic Ft Rooftop Cargo Carrier For Top Of Vehicle, 100% Waterproof Soft Roof Top Luggage Cargo...
  • 21 CF ULTRA-LARGE STORAGE CAPACITY: To expand the limited spaces inside vehicle, the rooftop cargo bag provides 21 cubic feet oversized car roof storage space, roof cargo bag dimensions: 52’’L x 39’’D x 18’’-20’’H (expandable on the top), the roof rack cargo carrier can be easy to hold luggage for your family of 6-8 persons, 4-6 suitcases, travel luggage, tents, sleeping bags and more .
  • 100% WATERPROOF PROTECTION: Made of premium quality 840D tarpaulin material, with water proof PVC coating inner and outside layers, INNOVATIVE DESIGN - seamless whole piece fabric on the bottom to avoid wet and keep cargo dry and clean, leading heat welded technology, water-proof zipper with widened flap, ensures the roof cargo carrier durable to withstand rain, grit, snow, wind weathers .
  • MOST SECURITY STRUCTURE: Equipped with 10 strong wide straps + 2 cross long straps, a free anti-slip mat , all-rounded to fix the car roof bag in place, no slip and no scratch to your car top, maximum secure your luggage at any highway speed trip, the BONUS combination TSA lock, added better protection to your luggage when take a break on the road .
  • FIT FOR CARS WITHOUT/WITH RACK : The vehicle cargo carriers well works for all hardtop cars with roof rack or without roof rack , comes with 6 security hooks, even if there is no roof side rails or roof rack on your top of car, you can buckle it into the car door frame easily, this car roof cargo carrier fits any sized cars, SUV, vans and medium to large sedans, etc .
  • EASY TO INSTALL AND STORAGE : The car top carrier roof bag has been in solid construction already , you can easy install in minutes and start your journey , Alternative to the hard shell roof cargo carrier made of soft shell material, which can be folded into the storage bag in small size to save space, simple cleaning with a couple of wipes, and ready for next time journey !
Bestseller No. 9
StoreYourBoard Cargo Box Ceiling Storage Hoist, Rooftop Carriers, Hi Lift Pro Garage Organizer...
  • HEAVY DUTY STORAGE SYSTEM: store your cargo boxes with ease and with a feeling of security
  • FITS ANY CARGO BOX: adjustable straps fit all widths and lengths of boxes up to 60 lbs
  • UTILIZE YOUR SPACE: Get organized by hanging and storing your cargo in your overhead space
  • HI-LIFT PRO SYSTEM: hold straps and cargo boxes tightly in place, using a center connecting strap to keep your gear in place. The PRO version includes upgraded, higher-strength loading straps.
  • QUICK & EASY INSTALL: with included instructions and mounting hardware, great for home and garage storage
Bestseller No. 10
Amazon Basics Rooftop Cargo Carrier Bag, Black, 15 Cubic Feet
  • Rooftop cargo carrier bag with 15-cubic-foot storage capacity
  • 8 cinch straps with buckles for easy connection to a vehicle’s roof rack
  • Waterproof and fade-resistant for protection against dust, sun, wind, and rain
  • Oversized zipper closure with stay-dry flaps; strong seams; folds for compact storage; storage bag/carrying case included
  • Backed by an Amazon Basics one-year limited warranty

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Last Update : 2021-11-30

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