How to Choose Car Cargo Carriers?

Installing a roof cargo box on top of your car is a great way to increase the amount of storage space of your car. Having enough storage space for all of your items is very important when you are planning a trip.

If you do not have enough storage space for your belongings, you might end up leaving your important gear or clothing behind or making everyone in the car feel cramped or uncomfortable. So it would be best if you bought a roof cargo box, it will carry your items safely, and everyone will be able to sit with full comfort inside the car.

There are huge types of roof cargo boxes available on the market. So it might feel very hard to choose the right one for you and your family.

A good quality roof cargo box is not cheap. So you have to make your decision very carefully. So that you do not regret your purchasing, doing this will help you to enjoy a wonderful trip next time you are planning for one.

Buying a roof cargo box is a very good idea because you will be able to use them for several years. While choosing a roof cargo box, you will need to consider a few things.

If you consider all the points carefully, it will help you to choose the right cargo box for you, and it will also saving you time, money, and frustration in the future.

Budget

Before you start shopping for a roof cargo box, you have to consider your budget. A good quality roof box will cost you a good amount of money. Again some cargo boxes come with really expensive pricing, especially when they are featuring a lot of useful features.

You might not have a budget to buy these more expensive cargo boxes, but don’t worry, you can still find a lot of roof cargo boxes available in your budget. Though the expensive cargo boxes come with the really good build quality and provide safety to your valuable items inside the cargo box, you need not think that more affordable cargo boxes do not provide a good enough build quality. You just have to find a little more to get the right roof box for you. There are many affordable options available on the market that will be great for you.

Type of Cargo Carrier

Soft Car Top Carriers

There are actually two types of roof cargo boxes are available on the market. One of them is the hard shell roof box that comes with a durable and sturdy design, and they can provide great security to your items inside the cargo box. the other type is the soft type roof cargo bag. Though they are not as secure as hard roof boxes, they really come with the great build quality. And you can easily carry any large or unusual-shaped thing with soft cargo bags. Both these types of cargo carriers have their own pros and cons. So before making any purchase, you have to consider everything carefully.

Hard Roof Cargo Carriers

Hardshell roof cargo boxes are mostly famous because of their sturdy, durable build quality. Most roof boxes are 100% waterproof, and they also come with locking mechanisms. Roof boxes are designed to be more aerodynamic than roof cargo bags. So the design will not affect your fuel economy that much. 

You should also know that you might face problems in storing anything with a large or unusual shape because the sides, top, and bottom are all rigid. So if you want to carry anything like that, then you should buy a soft cargo bag.

Soft Roof Cargo Carriers

Soft bag carriers are a great alternative to a hard box. They often come with less expensive pricing than a hardshell cargo box. Roof bags are great for people who are looking for a flexible cargo carrier.

Soft cargo bags come with a very lightweight and extremely flexible design. So you will be able to carry anything with this type of cargo carrier.

Many soft-type roof bags do not require any roof rack to get installed. So you do not have to spend any money to buy a roof rack and install them on top of your car. You should know that not all roof bags are 100% waterproof. So you have to check the specification carefully if it is waterproof or not. Moreover, roof bags do not come with as many security features as roof cargo boxes.

Value for Money Roof Cargo Carriers:

Goplus Cargo Box, Waterproof Rooftop Cargo Carrier, Heavy Duty Roof Storage Box, 14 Cubic Feet...
389 Reviews
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 & 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.

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

SportRack Vista XL Rear Opening Cargo Box
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

Type of Vehicle

You also need to consider the type of your car; where you are going to install the cargo carrier is also important. Most cargo carriers sit on the roof of your car. So you have to consider many things, including how your vehicle opens and what is the weight carrying capacity of the roof of your car. 

It would be best if you bought smaller cargo boxes for a smaller car. If you do not do that, you will face many problems, like the cargo box will block the vision through the front windshield, and you might fall into an accident. 

Again if the cargo carrier is too much on the back, then you might not be able to open the trunk door of your car, especially if it is a hatchback.

So you have to choose the right roof cargo box for your vehicle carefully. 

You will be happy to know that manufacturers have taken notice of this problem and now offer online tools to help buyers find a carrier that will fit their vehicle. 

But whatever you should consider other factors on this list when shopping so that you can choose the right one for you more easily.

Type of Roof Rack

You have to choose a roof rack that is compatible with the roof cargo box that you are willing to buy. Some cars are not compatible with a roof rack, but you can find a roof cargo carrier that does not require any roof rack to get installed on top of your car. You will be able to find a great quality roof cargo box with this type of feature but finding one can be a little hard.

The rest cars either come with a set of side rails or a full roof rack. Roof cargo boxes are easy to fit on those cars because the side rails and roof racks are specially designed to accommodate a cargo carrier. But whatever, you should always check if the cargo carrier is compatible with the roof rack you have. Otherwise, you might face problems while installing the cargo carrier on top of your car.

Type of Storage

How to Pack Roof Box

This is one of the most important things you have to consider while shopping for a roof cargo carrier. You have to buy a cargo carrier according to the cargo you need to carry. This is very important because if you want to carry skis, snowboards, or fishing rods, you will need to buy a long cargo box. so that you can carry your gear without damaging them. However, longer roof boxes are able to accommodate fishing rods without bending them. 

Again if you and your family only need a little bit of extra storage space, then you can consider buying a short roof cargo box because these roof boxes are very easy to install and remove. Again a short roof box will cost you less than a bigger one.

So always consider carefully before taking any decision.

Size

Roof cargo boxes are available in different sizes. The smallest cargo carrier comes with around ten cubic feet of storage space, and the bigger cargo boxes are available with more than 20 cubic feet of storage space. If you have a smaller vehicle or a small family, then you should buy a small cargo box. But if you have a big family, you will need a big roof cargo box to carry all the items safely so that everyone can sit comfortably inside the car. 

Frequency of Use

It would be best if you also considered how often you are going to use the cargo carrier because it can affect your driving.

You have to consider whether you are going to leave your cargo carrier on your car for several years or you are planning to remove it after every single trip.

If you want to leave the carrier on top of your car, then you will not need to care whether the installation process is easy or a little hard. But if you want to remove the cargo carrier from the roof of your car, then you should find a cargo carrier that is easy to install and remove. 

Opening and Accessibility

It would be best if you considered how you would like to have access to the cargo box. There are many roof cargo boxes available on the market that can give you access to your belongings from both sides of the car. These are the most versatile cargo box. The rest can give you access from only one side. 

So it would be best if you considered what side of the road you will be on when you are opening your carrier before you make any purchase.

Some cargo boxes are very easy to open than others so that the users can easily access their items inside the cargo box.

Security

You also need to consider the security of your items inside the cargo carrier. If you just leave your valuable stuff inside the cargo carrier without ensuring enough security, it might get damaged or get snatched from your roof box by the time you reach your destination.

So you should always find a roof cargo box that comes with an advanced locking system so that you can ensure the security of your items and drive peacefully. 

Weight Limit

Different roof cargo box comes with different weight carrying capacity. So you have to consider the amount of weight you want to carry with the cargo box. If you have a large family or you want to take a lot of heavy gear on your trip, then you should look for a cargo box with that much weight carrying capacity so that your cargo carrier does not get damaged.

If you keep a lot of items on the roof without ensuring proper safety, then they can be damaged, and those items may not be secure or safe. 

Aerodynamics

aerodynamic roof

If you install a roof cargo box on top of your car, it will affect the fuel economy of your car. So it would be best if you always chose an aerodynamic roof box because the design of these cargo boxes is able to lessen the drag so that these cargo boxes will affect your fuel economy less badly than a non-aerodynamic one. 

If you choose a cargo box that comes with a bulky shape, then it might provide you with a lot of storage space, but it will increase the drag, and you will need more fuel to reach your destination.

Conclusion

Choosing the right roof cargo box for you can be a little hard, but it is not impossible. Our choosing Car Cargo Carrier guide will help you to find the best option for you easily. While shopping you have to consider many things. If you do not do that, then you might regret it after buying. 

So always carefully consider whether the cargo box you want to buy can satisfy your needs or not so that you can enjoy a great trip without facing any problem.

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

Best Seller List of Rooftop Cargo Boxes:

Bestseller No. 1
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. 2
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
Bestseller No. 3
SportRack Vista XL Rear Opening Cargo Box
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
SaleBestseller No. 4
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. 5
Thule Force XT Rooftop Cargo Box, X-Large
  • A versatile roof-mounted cargo box for everyday use
  • Provides 18 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
Bestseller No. 6
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. 7
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. 8
SportRack SR7017 Horizon Cargo Box, 17-Cubic Feet, Black
  • Rugged construction made from impact resistant ABS material
  • Quick release attachment kit included for easy installation and removal
  • Passenger side opening for access away from traffic
  • Fits SportRack Roof Rack Systems, square, round and most factory racks (Check Fit Guide)
  • Holds 4-6 pairs of skis (up to 216 cm) or 3-4 snowboards
Bestseller No. 9
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. 10
Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier, XXL , Black
854 Reviews
Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier, XXL , Black
  • Oversized roof-mounted cargo box provides 22 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

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Last Update : 2021-11-30

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