Roof Basket vs. Cargo Box – Which One is the Best?

The choice between a roof basket and a cargo box depends on your specific needs. A roof basket offers versatility for odd-shaped items and is cost-effective, while a cargo box provides better protection for your belongings from the elements and theft but comes at a higher cost. Consider your cargo type and budget when deciding which one is best for you.

Roof Basket vs. Cargo Box: Top Picks

If you’re a travel freak, you are accustomed to a roof basket or cargo box. Both products are needed to carry household equipment when you’re traveling somewhere. But, which one is the best roof basket vs. cargo box? Well, there’s no clear-cut answer to this question since many considerations are attached to it.

To be honest, both options are plentiful. However, roof baskets and cargo box have their own benefits and drawbacks. Therefore, you need to know about them thoroughly. Understanding their characteristics can only help you figure out which is best for you. Let’s go –

Roof Basket vs. Cargo Box – Choose the Right One

Before discussing the best roof basket vs. cargo box, we should know about the roof basket and cargo box.

What is a Roof Basket?

What is a Roof Basket

Cargo basket is a practical gear that can provide extra storage to a vehicle. It is usually made of metal that sits on the vehicle’s top. Further, it can effortlessly convey various household equipment, such as luggage, camping gear, tent, etc.

If you want to spend some fresh time away from a crowded civilization, a roof basket can be helpful to you. Some cargo baskets are fastened to the roof, while others are attached to the hitch.  

Cargo baskets mounted on the vehicle top need a custom roof rack system.

You can carry a maximum load without worrying about their falling outIt can’t use safely without a roof rack
Perfect for drivers who need added storageAdding a roof basket increases the overall height of the vehicle. It can raise a problem while driving in low-clearance areas.
Much cheaper optionItems on the roof are more exposed to theft.
The installation process is convenient. 

What is a Cargo Box?

Toyota Rav4 Cargo

Cargo boxes are known as roof boxes or rooftop cargo carriers. It is available in different sizes and made of sturdy plastic material. So you can fit it on top of your vehicle for added storage. You can lock the cargo box. For this reason, it’s too hard for any intruders to break a cargo box and steal anything.

Mounting a cargo box is expensive on a car’s roof and requires a roof rack. The reason is simple. You also need to spend a lot of money on a roof rack. Another thing is you need to ensure that the cargo box is compatible with the roof rack.

Otherwise, you can’t attach the box to the vehicle’s top. So, you need to be careful about it.

You can securely take your items anywhere due to its lockable featureNeed roof rack for installation
Due to the weather-resistant capability, you can keep your items safeBit expensive
Most boxes have a sleek and aerodynamic designRequire regular maintenance
Usable for a long period 

Roof Basket Vs. Cargo Box – Best Picks

Since there are so many roof baskets and cargo boxes on the market, people might think which are the best among them. Well, I’ll give you some best options. Let’s take a look –

Top 3 Picks of Roof Basket

  1. YAKIMA, OffGrid Roof Cargo Basket
  2. Thule 859XT Canyon XT Basket
  3. Rhino Rack Roof Mount Cargo Basket

Top 3 Picks of Cargo Box

  1. Yakima SkyBox Pro 18 Rooftop Cargo Box
  2. Thule Force Rooftop Cargo Box
  3. Thule Vector

Roof Basket vs. Cargo Box – Which One You Should Pick?

Well, before deciding which one to choose, we should look at roof baskets and cargo box features. Let’s go –

Roof Basket

Here are the features of the roof basket –

  • Good Interior Space

Using a roof basket, you can make a good amount of interior space.

  • Versatility

One of the top-notch features of a roof basket is its tremendous versatility. Since its design is pretty much open, it can convey cargo of different sizes and shapes. Hence, you can conveniently store products that mightn’t fit in a closed cargo box.

  • Easy Access

Loading and unloading items in the roof basket are just easy as pie. We know that it’s open from each side. Therefore, you can find and reach your gear from any angle without a hassle. Moreover, it’s also perfect for the last-minute addition of a particular item.

  • Aerodynamics

Roof baskets often have a lower profile compared to cargo boxes. It can provide magnificent aerodynamics and fuel efficiency.

  • Cost

Roof boxes are budget-friendly. If you don’t have a lot of money, you can go for a roof basket.

Notwithstanding, there are some considerations regarding it. Since they don’t possess superior safeguards, your items could be exposed to unwanted elements. Further, you must be careful while tying down your items to ensure they are securely fastened during travel.

Cargo Box

Here are the features of the cargo box –

  • Capacity

If you’re looking forward to storing a large amount of gear, then a cargo box is the perfect answer. Since it offers massive storage capacity, you can travel with family members without a problem.

  • Security

Due to the locked and robust structure, a cargo box adds a security layer. Thus, the protection gets drastically enhanced.

  • Weather Resistance

Cargo boxes ensure enclosed space. Therefore, your items will be safe from rain and snow.

  • Rust Resistance

Most cargo boxes are made of metal. It means rusting can take place. However, there’s no chance that corrosion will get into it. A suitable rooftop cargo carrier must have excellent rust resistance to give you an age-long lifespan.

Which One You Should Pick for Your Adventure?

Selecting between a roof basket and a cargo box depends only on you. It is primarily attached to the matter of your exact requirements and preferences. A roof basket may be the better option if you value versatility, ease of access, and affordability.

Elsewhere, if your priority is weather protection, security, and large capacity, you can go for a cargo box without a doubt. But one thing I must tell you. Before choosing the right one, thoroughly consider the type of equipment you convey, the amount of traveling, your financial capability, etc.

Consequently, consider your vehicle’s roof load capacity to ensure you stay within the safe limits for your chosen storage solution.

Roof Basket Vs. Cargo Box – Final Words

I’ve already outlined the factors that will help you to choose the best one between the roof basket the cargo box. The proper choice mainly depends on three factors –

  • Vehicle compatibility
  • Safety
  • Price

Try to choose a product that will give you the ultimate service according to your needs. You’ve got enough knowledge, so I hope you won’t make a mistake while purchasing a roof basket or cargo box. You can ask me in the box below if you still want to know more

Automotive products are like an addiction to me. Years ago, I started my job at a Roof Box installation co. Then I realized that I have a passion for cars. It is a perfect scope to share my different experiences about automotive products.