Should You Buy or Rent Rooftop Cargo Carrier? (2023)

The decision to buy or rent a rooftop cargo carrier depends on your frequency of use and storage capabilities. If you frequently travel and lack storage, buying could be cost-effective long-term; however, if occasional use and storage are concerns, renting might be more practical.

Should You Buy or Rent Rooftop Cargo Carrier?

If you are going somewhere with a lot of cargo, a rooftop cargo carrier can help you to store all the cargo with ease. Rooftop cargo carriers are also suitable for any kind of vacation trip; you can even go fishing and camping with these. They are not so expensive, too, according to the features they are providing.

Different kinds of rooftop cargo carriers are available out there, made out of different materials, and come in different sizes and designs. So you can easily find a good one whether you are looking for a rooftop carrier to carry from a few small suitcases to several snowboards or fishing rods.

If you are on a tight budget but you need a rooftop cargo carrier for your trip, then you might be thinking of renting a rooftop carrier instead of buying one. But the question is, “Is that really the most efficient thing to do?”

The answer to this question actually depends on several factors. So we recommend you to read this article fully, and we hope that it will help you make the decision.

How Many Trips Per Year Do You Take? Rooftop Cargo Carrier Rental

Best Roof Box 1

If you go on trips frequently, we recommend buying a rooftop carrier instead of renting one because it will be more cost-effective. Rooftop cargo carriers are available at a price range starting from around 50 dollars to several hundred dollars. But if you rent a rooftop carrier for three days, that will almost cost you the same, and at the end of the long run, buying a roof box will cost you less.

If you want to buy the perfect rooftop cargo carrier for you, you have to research what type of carrier will be best for you according to your budget. You should check the size capacity, the installation process, and the material used in making the carrier. If you go on a trip only once a year or less, then leasing a carrier will be best for you. Otherwise, it is better to buy a cargo carrier.

How Is the Carrier Attached to the Vehicle?

Amazon Basics Rooftop Cargo Bag

The process of attaching the carrier to your car is also an important thing to consider. Moreover, many rooftop carriers need a roof rack to be attached, and some can be attached with or without any roof rack. So of them, just use a rope or strap to tie the carrier to the top of your car.

If the cargo carrier you liked requires a permanent roof rack, but you do not want to add one on top of your car, then you should look for something else and find something that does not demand you to make any permanent change to your car.

If you previously have a roof rack installed on top of your car or are going to install one, you can either purchase or lease the carrier. You should also consider other factors before you make the final decision. But you should always remember to check the manual provided by the manufacturer to determine whether a roof rack is required or not. If you do that, you will not face any problem, and there won’t be anything surprising after you get the carrier itself in your possession.

If you are searching for something that does not require you to have a roof rack, there are still many options available to either buy or rent. The leasing companies have many kinds of products that do not require any roof rack so that you can easily choose to lease one for your roof rack-free car.

How Much Stuff Will You Be Bringing with You?

Thule Cargo Box 2

Another thing you should consider before you buy a rooftop cargo carrier is what you want to carry with that? Different types of carriers come in different sizes, which are measured by cubic feet. You can easily find carries available with ten to up to 30 or more cubic feet of storage capacity.

Large cargo carriers can be very expensive, but you can lease them at an affordable cost. The carriers with 20 to 30 cubic feet of storage capacity are generally soft roof bag types of carriers; besides, some hard shell roof cargo boxes also. You can carry a lot of items with these. If you need a big cargo carrier and need to use it even a few times a year, it will better for you to buy a rooftop cargo carrier instead of leasing one.

A good quality and large enough cargo carrier can be expensive, but you can buy it for around under 100 dollars. When renting a cargo carrier, you have to pay more for the bigger and most high-quality one. So you should buy your own cargo carrier as your need and test.

How Will You Store the Carrier When it Isn’t Being Used?

Fasty Box Lift Straps

When you plan to buy a rooftop carrier, you also have to think about what you will do with it when not in use? If you install a cargo carrier on top of your vehicle, it will affect your car’s gas mileage. You will have to pay more money to fill up your tank, so you should remove the carrier when not in use. But the question is what to do with the carrier after removing it from the roof of your car?

If you buy a soft cargo bag type of carrier made from polyester or some type of plastic, it will come with a storage bag to easily store it. But if you buy a hard shell cargo carrier, it can be a little hard for you to store it because you have to have a good place to hang it when not in use. You can install a rack on your garage or shed on the walls so that you can hang the carriers there.

If you want a soft type of cargo carrier, it won’t matter if you lease it or buy it. But if you choose a hard-shell rooftop carrier but do not want the hassles to find a place to store it, you should just go ahead and lease it instead.

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

Best Seller List of Roof Cargo Boxes:

Bestseller No. 1
Auto Dynasty 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, and it is very easy to install without any tool required to assembly.
  • ▶️ Overall Dimensions: 53" L x 34" W x 15" H | Capacity: 11 Cubic Feet and up to 110 LBS
Bestseller No. 2
SportRack Vista XL Rear Opening Cargo Box,Black
  • 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
  • Fits SportRack Rack Systems, square bars, round bars and most factory racks (check fit guide)
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 63 x 38 x 19 in / 160 x 96.5 x 48 cm
  • Min-Max Crossbars Spacing: 23 5/8 - 29 3/4 in (60 - 75.5 cm)
  • Max Weight Capacity: 100 pounds (45 kg)
Bestseller No. 3
6 Reviews
DuraLiner Rooftop Cargo Carrier for Cars - Waterproof Hard Shell Roof Top Mount Car Storage - Easy...
  • LARGE STORAGE CAPACITY: The Car Rooftop Cargo box offers more than 10 cubic feet of storage capacity, making it a perfect choice for carrying bulky items like luggage, camping gear, & sports equipment. Car topper luggage carrier helps to free up valuable space inside your vehicle for passengers & other essentials. Whether you're going on a leisure trip or a work-related one, DuraLiner rooftop cargo box has enough room to hold all your necessary items.
  • ROBUST & COMPACT DESIGN: The Cargo rooftop box is crafted to fit most roof racks with ease and is simple to install and remove. The hardshell rooftop cargo carrier is made from durable materials, enabling it to withstand harsh weather conditions & rugged terrains. Duraliner roof carrier is watertight & lockable, ensuring your belongings stay protected from water damage.
  • STURDY MATERIAL: Heavy-duty plastic resists UV damage and maintains a rich finish to protect your belongings from weather. The Cargo Box has a sturdy and long-lasting construction made possible by High-density polyethylene (HDPE), which can withstand harsh environmental conditions.
  • EASY INSTALLATION: DuraLiner Cargo Boxes are simple and easy to install. The tool-free assembly and U-bolt securing feature make it a quick process, allowing you to hit the road in minutes. These cargo boxes can be mounted with ease onto most vehicles with Roof rack cargo boxes. Vehicle Cargo Carriers design features a sealed lip, rear entry, and a four-corner latching system to ensure the safety and dryness of your belongings. It is durable & recyclable.
  • COMPATIBLE WITH MOST VEHICLES: Car roof cargo carrier is compatible with numerous car makes and models, including Chevrolet, Ford, Isuzu, Jeep, Mazda, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Sprinter, Toyota, and more. Its universal mounting system is adaptable to various roof rack systems, making it a convenient option for customers with different car brands. The Rooftop cargo is specifically designed to fit and function with the roof racks or crossbars of these particular car models.
Bestseller No. 4
261 Reviews
TACTIK Rooftop Cargo Carrier Hard Shell, X-Large, Dark Slate - Rooftop Cargo Carrier for Top of...
  • UNLOAD FROM BOTH SIDES - the patent-pending dual side-opening design allows you conveniently load and unload your travel luggage and gear from both sides of the rooftop cargo carrier so you're out of the way of traffic while you unload
  • FUEL EFFICIENT DESIGN - the aerodynamic design of the roof rack cargo carrier reduces drag and wind resistance to minimize fuel economy disruption. The 18 cu ft carrier measures 57" x 38.5" x 17.75" and the 10 cu ft carrier is 46.5" x 30.5" x 17.75"
  • SECURE LOCKING SYSTEM - this car top carrier secures your luggage with a four-corner cam locking system to ensure that the lid won't blow open while you're on the road with a keyed theft-resistant lock for peace of mind at stops. Includes 2 keys
  • WATERPROOF & UV RESISTANT - proudly made in the USA, this waterproof rooftop cargo box is manufactured from durable, all weather high-density polyethylene material that includes a built-in UV stabilizer that resists cracking and fading
  • MOUNTS TO CROSS BARS - the car rooftop cargo carrier is a quick and easy no-tool installation and allows you to mount to your vehicle's cross-bars (not included). Pre-drilled mounting holes for cross-bar attachment are drilled 24" on center
Bestseller No. 5
Cargo Box Waterproof Rooftop Cargo Carrier with Car Trunk Organizer Heavy Duty Roof Storage Box 14...
  • 🚙The roof box is manufactured from sturdy ABS and PMMA material for long-lasting use, able to protect your valuables from exposure to the elements and can load 130 lbs capacity, suitable for round, square and most aerodynamic bars.
  • 🚙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.
  • 🚙Key can only be removed when all locking points are securely closed . Opens on the passenger side to 14 inches wide to store bulky items from the side and stays open till you close it, and it is very easy to install without any tool required to assembly.
  • 🚙Double side opening for easy loading and unloading. Overall Dimensions: 62.2" L x 31.1" W x 15" H | Capacity: 14 Cubic Feet and Up to 130 LBS | ABS Plastic Mounting Brackets
  • 🚙Perfect for Road Trip--Take the cargo box to the park, the beach, the sports field, or any place you need to store. Sleek aerodynamic design to reduce drag and has less noise.
Bestseller No. 6
Large Hard Shell Carriers Rooftop Cargo Box with Key Lock 62 (L) x 31 (W) x 15(H) 15 Cubic Feet,...
  • ▶️The roof box is manufactured from sturdy ABS and PMMA material for long-lasting use, able to protect your valuables from exposure to the elements and can load 130 lbs capacity, suitable for round, square and most aerodynamic bars.
  • ▶️ 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, and it is very easy to install without any tool required to assembly.
  • ▶️ Overall Dimensions: 62.2" L x 31.1" W x 15" H | Capacity: 15 Cubic Feet and Up to 130 LBS | ABS Plastic Mounting Brackets
  • ▶️ Excellent Customer Service - We have been committed to providing best customer service to our customer and we usually make a respond in 3 hours. Just feel free to come to us when you have any doubts or inquires about our product or service.
Bestseller No. 7
Goplus Cargo Box, Waterproof Rooftop Cargo Carrier, Heavy Duty Roof Storage Box, 14 Cubic Feet, for...
  • 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 Cargo Box with Car Trunk Organizer---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! Included trunk organizer comes with 3 different size compartments, 12 side bags which will help you organize sundries with ease.
  • 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 (Compatible with 17” to 22.8” wide rack, the width of the crossbar should be less than 3.1 inches and the thickness should be less than 1.0 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.】
SaleBestseller No. 8
Adakiit Car Rooftop Cargo Carrier Roof Bag, 20 Cubic Feet Waterproof Roof Top Cargo Carrier for...
  • LARGE CARRYING CAPACITY: A massive 20 cubic feet (L52" x W40" x H17.5") of space can easily hold all the luggage of a family of 5-6. Made of soft shell material, it can be folded into a storage bag to save space when not in use!
  • MORE SAFETY: Besides load capacity, stability is arguably the most essential factor in a vehicle's top carrier. Our car roof cargo carriers are designed with 6 built-in reinforced straps, extra 6 door hooks, and 2 long luggage straps. For safety reasons, the more straps and clips for securing the bag to the roof, the better!
  • EASY TO INSTALL: Our rooftop cargo carrier fits most cars, trucks, or SUVs; fits most roofs with crossbars/side rails/baskets or bare roofs without racks; If there are no roof side rails on your car, it can be quickly and easily installed to the roof rack in minutes with 8 Reinforced Straps and hooks.
  • TEAR-RESISTANT & WATERPROOF: Features triple-layer high-density 1000D PVC fabric which is 2 times stronger than 500D PVC fabric. The doubled-up seams and widened waterproof zipper flaps can effectively protect your luggage against rain, grit, snow, wind, and sun on the road.
  • WHAT YOU GET: 1 rooftop carrier bag, 6 safety hooks, 2 reinforced straps, 1 storage bag, 1 user manual. The cargo carrier is water and fade-resistant, dust, sun, wind, and rain-resistant. You don't have to spend as much as you would for a roof box, but you have a bag that has all the features of a car roof box!
  • NOTE: All seams are heat welded and stitched to ensure they are watertight. that your luggage will stay safe and protected in all weather conditions during your travels. But please note that it's not 100% waterproof under rainstorm weather.
  • If you have any problems with receiving or using our car top carrier, please feel free to contact us and we will do our best to make you happy!
Bestseller No. 9
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
  • Full trunk access with no roof box contact
  • Fits 5-7 pairs of skis / 3-5 snowboards (up to 195 cm)
  • External dimensions: 82.75 x 33.75 x 17.25 inches
  • Internal Dimensions: 77.5 x 29.5 x 15.25 inches
  • Load capacity: 165 lbs; Product Weight: 47 lbs
Bestseller No. 10
Perflex Bosphorus Rooftop Cargo Box Carrier Large 17 Cubic Feet Car Top Mount Travel Luggage...
  • SPACIOUS, STYLISH, AND AERODYNAMIC: Textured/Glossy finish with glossy side linings blends in seamlessly with your vehicle. 17 Cu Ft (480 L) of cargo capacity provides ideal storage for skis, snowboards, boots, helmets, duffel bags, and still leaves room for your other gear. Supports up to 130 lbs (60 kg) weight capacity.
  • SECURE AND WATER-RESISTANT: Central locking system ensures that the key cannot be removed until the box is locked. Weather-resistant & water-resistant. Comes with 4 (four) keys and 2 straps.
  • TOOL-FREE INSTALLATION AND UNIVERSAL FITMENT: Comes fully assembled and ready to mount on your vehicle. Tool-free mounting hardware for easy installation and removal. Fits vehicles with roof racks/crossbars (Roof racks are not included).
  • DUAL-SIDE OPENING AND CLOSING: Convenient loading and unloading of your gear from both sides of the cargo box. Dual side opening also helps with easy mounting and de-mounting the carrier from your vehicle.
  • HIGH-QUALITY CONSTRUCTION: Made from heavy-duty, UV-resistant, and impact-resistant ABS material. Lightweight, sturdy and durable. Made in Turkey, Assembled in the U.S.A.
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Last Update : 2023-11-30

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.

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