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Top 10 Best Rooftop Cargo Carriers This 2020

Best Rooftop Cargo Carriers

Planning on going on your next big adventure, but worrying about not having enough space to fit in all your friends, family, and cargo? Don’t you worry, I’ve got the perfect solution for you. It’s time to transform the roof of your car into a perfectly usable space with the use of a rooftop cargo carrier.

Check out this ultimate review and buying guide so you can find the best cargo carrier for you.

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Top 10 Best Rooftop Cargo Carrier

Take a look at these ten best rooftop cargo carriers that are guaranteed to give you all the space you need to haul up your belongings, whether it’s your luggage, gear, or sports equipment, so you can always be adventure and travel-ready anytime.

I’ve chosen the best options for portable fabric carrier bags, sturdy cargo boxes, and open frame cargo racks for you to choose from depending on your needs. I’ve also listed down all the best things about them, as well as stuff you should watch out for, all so you can make the best decision on which is the best rooftop cargo carrier for you.

1. RoofPax car roof bag & rooftop cargo carrier

RoofPax car roof bag & rooftop cargo carrier

My top pick is the RoofPax car roof bag and rooftop cargo carrier, an excellent military quality cargo carrier that offers maximum safety and security, and of course plenty of cargo space for you to store your belongings in as you travel to your next adventure.

It makes use of six door hooks to tie down the carrier to the doors of your car, so you don’t have to worry about figuring out how to secure the carrier inside your vehicle and risk blocking your airbags. Meanwhile, the car top bag itself is waterproof and built with dual seam technology.

Plus, it’s also double coated, has a protective mat, velcro strap restrainers, a heavy duty zipper, buckles, and strap covers. If you want a rooftop cargo carrier that can conveniently fit your entire family’s luggage, this is the best option for you.

Pros

  • Amazon’s Choice product
  • 19 cubic feet of storage
  • 4+2 door hooks and protective mat included
  • May be purchased with or without a rack
  • Lifetime warranty on zippers and buckles

Cons

  • Not suitable for rain or snow
  • Straps are not durable

2.  Tool Guards car top carrier roof bag + protective mat

Tool Guards car top carrier roof bag + protective mat

Your second best bet is the Tool Guards car top carrier roof bag + protective mat, which is a heavy duty rooftop cargo carrier that makes your journey as smooth and easy as possible with all its excellent features.

For one thing, this bag is made of 100% waterproof coated tarpaulin that can handle heavy duty usage. Its strong coated zippers are also fabric guarded to ensure waterproofing, so your belongings stay safe and protected at all times.

Moreover, it’s designed to be as aerodynamic as possible, so you don’t have to worry about drag even with the heaviest and bulkiest of cargo. And, it also comes with a protective mat to keep your car roof free from scratches and damage.

Pros

  • Amazon #1 bestseller
  • 15 cubic feet of storage
  • Protective mat included
  • May be purchased with or without a rack
  • 2 year money back guarantee

Cons

  • May not be suitable for some vehicles
  • Latching system is not durable

3.  Thule motion XT rooftop cargo carrier

Thule motion XT rooftop cargo carrier

Ranking third is the Thule motion XT rooftop cargo carrier, a sleek and solid rooftop storage container that’s made with high quality materials and can easily fit your luggage, camping gear, skis, and many more.

This cargo carrier is designed with aerodynamics and ease of use in mind, hence the pointed capsule appearance that offers easy and convenient dual side openings with supporting lid lifters and grip friendly handles while also giving you full trunk access at all times.

What’s more is that this top mounted storage capsule is meant to be mounted with a rack to ensure that it doesn’t come into contact with your roof, and features a quick mount system that clicks into place, as well as an automatic locking lid for secure closure.

Pros

  • Amazon’s Choice product
  • 16 to 22 cubic feet of storage
  • Available in black and titan
  • Locks and mount included
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Poor packaging makes the item prone to breakage
  • Unsatisfactory customer service

4.  SportRack horizon alpine cargo box

SportRack horizon alpine cargo box

In fourth place is the SportRack horizon alpine cargo box, another amazing solid capsule type rooftop storage carrier. It boasts of a rugged and durable construction especially since it’s made of a high quality impact resistant ABS material.

This rack can comfortably fit all your luggage, or skis and snowboards for the whole family, so you’re always adventure ready. And, it features a passenger side opening to make things safe and convenient, as you don’t have to stand in the way of traffic while you load or unload.

Furthermore, the rack system is designed to fit most vehicles, and the box itself is durable, reliable, and secure with its many features such as a centralized locking mechanism. It’s also easy to install with a quick release attachment kit that comes with the cargo box.

Pros

  • Amazon’s Choice product
  • 11 to 17 cubic feet of storage
  • Waterproof and noiseless
  • Compatible with most racks and bars
  • Easy to install and unmount

Cons

  • Cranky locking mechanism
  • Poorly designed mounting system

5.  Maxx Haul steel roof rack

Maxx Haul steel roof rack

Next up is the Maxx Haul steel roof rack, a no frills heavy duty open type rooftop rack for your cargo. It’s a steel roof rack that’s engineered with cross bars in mind for an easy assembly and installation, and even comes with U-bolts and mounting hardware.

The cargo rack itself is made of rust and corrosion resistant materials, so you don’t have to worry about exposing it constantly to adverse weather conditions, such as heavy rain and snow. It also comes with rubber caps to cover the bolts and keep your cargo protected from damage.

Now, it doesn’t readily come with a cargo bag, so you’ll have to purchase that separately, but even without one, you can conveniently use this roof rack to store your belongings that will do fine even if they get wet, such as your skis, snowboards, and waterproof luggage.

Pros

  • Amazon’s Choice product
  • 150 pound maximum load capacity
  • May be purchased with cross bars and rack pads
  • Assembly and mounting hardware included
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Welds are not sealed and prone to rust
  • Poor packaging makes the item prone to dents

 

6.  LEDKINGDOMUS waterproof rooftop cargo bag

LEDKINGDOMUS waterproof rooftop cargo bag

Going back to foldable and portable fabric cargo bags, another excellent option is the LEDKINGDOMUS waterproof rooftop cargo bag, a dual purpose roof cargo carrier that you can mount on your car’s roof or on your pickup truck bed.

In fact, it can be installed three different ways, depending on the type of your vehicle, whatever hardware you have installed, as well as how and where you want to install this cargo bag, such as on your roof, either on a rack or through the doors, or on your truck bed.

You will get everything you need to assemble and install it with ease, including holding straps, door hooks, and bungee hooks. And as for the bag itself, it’s waterproof, tearproof, and provides for an ultra wide and large cargo capacity for you to enjoy.

Pros

  • 19 cubic feet of storage
  • Holding straps, door hooks, and bungee hooks included
  • 600D oxford fabric
  • Weather and temperature resistant
  • Comes with protective mat and bonus lock

Cons

  • Material construction is prone to leakage
  • May be difficult to secure in place

7.  Yakima skybox aerodynamic rooftop cargo box

Yakima skybox aerodynamic rooftop cargo box

If you want more suitable alternatives to the first couple of sturdy cargo boxes that I’ve reviewed so far, you might want to consider the Yakima skybox aerodynamic rooftop cargo box. It’s a sport, adventure, and travel-ready roof cargo carrier that does an excellent job.

You can easily fit your gear and luggage in this box, including your campers, snowboards, skis, and more. And, it also opens on both sides so you don’t have to worry about any difficulty and inconvenience when it comes to loading and unloading.

Moreover, it also comes with SKS locks to keep your valuables safe and secured at all times. Plus, this cargo box is also easy to install and is designed to be compatible with most standard bars, including round, factory, square, and aerodynamic bars.

Pros

  • 15 to 21 cubic feet of storage
  • Available in carbonite or lo carbonite
  • Lightweight and noiseless
  • Made from recycled materials
  • Compatible with most hardware

Cons

  • Cheap quality latches and support arms
  • Poor packaging makes the item prone to damage

8.  Smashier car rooftop cargo carrier bag

Smashier car rooftop cargo carrier bag

Another great alternative if you want a portable and foldable cargo carrier is the Smashier car rooftop cargo carrier bag, which is a military grade carrier bag that’s designed to withstand the harsh effects of the sun, rain, wind, and dust.

It’s made of nylon Cordura fabric that is waterproof and features flap covered zippers, as well as secure connection pads that don’t tear or leak, wide removable straps that make use of heavy duty buckles, and extra velcro strap restrainers to keep your stuff as secure as possible.

It even comes with night reflective strips to give you that much needed road visibility in the dark, and comes with a protective anti-slip rubber mat that not only keeps your cargo bag in place, but also protects your car roof from any scratch or damage.

Pros

  • 16 cubic feet of storage
  • Straps, restrainers, and buckles included
  • Comes with night reflective strips and a protective mat
  • 3 side opening for convenience
  • Folds into a carrying bag (comes with purchase)

Cons

  • Snug straps tend to come undone if not secured
  • Requires a roof rack for installation

9.  FIVKLEMNZ car roof bag cargo carrier

FIVKLEMNZ car roof bag cargo carrier

You might also want to try out the FIVKLEMNZ car roof bag cargo carrier, a relatively affordable but good quality rooftop cargo bag that is made of waterproof PVC tarpaulin cloth and also features a double flap protected waterproof zipper.

This bag gives you virtually unlimited storage space where you can conveniently carry all your luggage, tents, gear, and whatnot. And, it comes with reinforced adjustable straps to keep your belongings securely in place throughout your drive.

Moreover, this cargo carrier comes with an anti-slip rubber mat to keep the bag in place and protect your vehicle, and it’s easy to install on your car roof whether or not you have a roof rack installed, and finally, it easily folds up into a tiny package that fits into a carrying bag.

Pros

  • 15 cubic feet of storage
  • Reinforced straps and door hooks included
  • Comes with anti-slip mat and carrying bag
  • 30 days money-back guarantee
  • 12 months limited warranty

Cons

  • Material construction is prone to leakage
  • Not the most durable cargo carrier

10. Copsrew 20 cubic ft car roof bag top carrier

Copsrew 20 cubic ft car roof bag top carrier

Finally, I’ve got here perhaps one of the roomiest rooftop cargo bags that you’re sure to appreciate, especially if you’re traveling with the entire family or a large group of friends and don’t want to feel cramped with all your luggage inside the car.

The Copsrew 20 cubic ft roof bag top carrier is a large capacity cargo carrier that fits all your belongings and more, and easily folds up into a portable item when not in use. It’s also compatible with most vehicles and installation systems.

What’s noteworthy about this is that the material itself is not only waterproof, but tear-resistant and durable as well. It even makes use of a custom PVC inner lining for added protection, and the zippers themselves are water-resistant and covered with a flap.

Pros

  • 20 cubic feet of storage
  • Tough and wide straps and hooks included
  • Easy to install and intuitive
  • Compatible with all types of racks

Cons

  • Material construction is prone to leakage
  • Requires a non-slip mat to keep the bag in place

Rooftop Cargo Carrier Buyer’s Guide


These days, no matter how big and spacious your car is, it’s always wise to invest in a bit of extra storage space so that when it comes to road trips and adventures, you can just fit in as many people inside the car without having to worry about luggage space.

Having said that, however, there are lots of different types of cargo carriers out there, and it can be quite difficult to know which one is the best for your intended use, or even one that will work for your car in the first place.

So, to help you out, here are the most important things that you need to consider, so you can buy the best rooftop cargo carrier that will give you the best value for your money.

Types of rooftop cargo carriers

Rooftop Cargo Carrier Buyer’s Guide

Perhaps the first thing you might want to think about when buying a rooftop cargo carrier is what type exactly is most suitable for you, which highly depends on the sort of cargo you’re most likely to haul on your car- is it luggage, camping gear, sporting equipment?

These things will affect the type, size, and shape of the cargo carrier.

Fabric cargo bag

Luggage and irregularly shaped objects will work best with a fabric cargo bag that you can fit and stretch to cover the cargo and secure them in place. These things may come as a zippered bag with a roomy square-ish storage for you to fit in as many items as possible.

These are also waterproof, and with the straps and hooks included, you can conveniently “shape” the bag to the size of your cargo so it’s as secure as possible as you drive. However, even though they are relatively affordable, these bags are also not as durable as other options.

Sturdy cargo box

If you want something that will hold up better under the elements and over time, a cargo box made of plastic, fiber, or other materials may be a more suitable option. They are also more aerodynamic, so you can just drive smoothly without worrying about drag.

However, these things are considerably more expensive. They are also more problematic in terms of installation, since most require a rack or bars for mounting. And, a cargo box is much more suited for elongated objects such as skis, rather than bulky suitcases.

Open rack

Perhaps you just want something basic yet sturdy and versatile that you can always upgrade anytime. If that’s the case, you can opt to go with an open metal or plastic rack that you can install on the roof of your car.

These will give you virtually unlimited storage area on top of your car, but you will need to be extra careful when it comes to securing the cargo so that they don’t slide, slip, or topple over and fall on the side of the road. And, you’ll also need some form of waterproofing.

Load capacity

Rooftop cargo capacity

It’s also important to ask yourself how much you want to take with you. When it comes to load capacity, this isn’t strictly about the maximum weight you can carry, since that depends on your vehicle’s recommended maximum load, and the strength of your car’s roof.

What I’m talking about here is more on how much the cargo carrier can fit, which is usually specified in cubic feet, although sometimes it might be in pounds or equivalent measurements. Generally, if you have a bigger car, you can opt for a larger carrier.

Installation

It’s a must to check whether the carrier is easy to install and mount, as well as the requirements for installation. This will determine if the cargo carrier is suitable for your car roof, how you’re supposed to install it and what hardware you’ll need, and how much time it takes to set up.

For example, some rooftop cargo carriers can be installed on flat roofs, as well as on convertible and sunroofs. Some carriers will do well with racks, while some can be used even without one. And there are some that can even be placed on your car bed.

You also don’t want to have to spend too much time assembling the carrier, and even more time mounting it on your vehicle. As such, the product should feature easy installation and come with all the mounting and security hardware that you’ll need, whether it’s bolts, hooks, or straps.

Removal

Along with the easy installation should come an easy and convenient removal, especially if what you’re purchasing is a fabric cargo bag that is designed to be folded or rolled up and be stored in a small carrying bag.

Other features to consider

Roofcargo carrier features

Apart from the major factors I’ve already discussed, there are plenty of other features that you also need to watch out for so that you can make sure you will end up with the best rooftop cargo carrier for you.

Opening system

How is the cargo carrier designed to be opened? If it’s a fabric bag, does it make use of zippers and are these zippers durable? If it’s a cargo box, can it open on both sides or just one? And, will it block access to your compartment and so on?

How easy it is to access your cargo will determine how convenient of a time you’ll have when loading and unloading your stuff, especially if the items are large or if you’re in a space restricted area, such as a tiny garage or a cramped parking lot.

Security

How many security measures are in place to keep your belongings from falling off of the roof of your car, as well as from getting stolen? Does the product come with enough straps and hooks? Does it make use of locking mechanisms?

These things are not only to ensure that your cargo stays with you and you alone at all times, but also to make sure that other drivers on the road are safe from falling objects that may easily cause accidents.

Waterproofing

Is the cargo bag or box waterproof- not just the material itself, but also the welds, sides, openings, and movable parts? Is there any part of the carrier that might be prone to leaks? Moreover, is it resistant to other issues such as dust, tearing, and harsh sunlight?

There are lots of cargo carriers that advertise their products as completely waterproof, but in reality, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, the material may be water repellent, sure, but the way the carrier is constructed makes it prone to water and other elements getting inside.

Overview


The perfect road trip, summer adventure, or even a cross country move almost always requires plenty of cargo space to store your belongings in, and more often than not, your car compartment is just not enough.

The good thing is, there are plenty of excellent solutions in the form of a rooftop cargo carrier, and as long as you know what to look out for, you are sure to find the best rooftop cargo carrier for your needs and demands.

Personally, I highly recommend the RoofPax car roof bag & rooftop cargo carrier. It’s perfectly roomy, it’s easy to install and unmount on your car roof, it comes with all the hardware you’ll need, and is guaranteed to keep your stuff safe and secure throughout your drive.

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