Best Rooftop Cargo Box to Carry Your Luggage Conveniently

If you have been having a hard time carrying all your luggage in the car and feel like your boot is not enough, you need a solution. Of course, reducing your luggage isn't the solution, but what is? Think about adding a carrier to your car's rooftop. You can get the best rooftop cargo box for easier and safer transportation of whatever you may like to carry to any destination.

What is a Rooftop Cargo Box?

Installing a rooftop box on your car is like carrying a backpack for your extras when going on a trip. A rooftop carrier box is a storage box that you can install on the roof of your car to carry the extra luggage that may not find space in the boot. You can also refer to it as a cargo box or a roof box.

If you are an over-packer or your whole family is going camping, you most definitely need a roof box. A rooftop carrier is necessary as it helps you improve your organization, increases your car's carrying capacity, and adds comfort as you do not have to pile other luggage on the seats when the boot is full.

There are two main types of rooftop carriers, and they include:

a). Hard Cargo Boxes

Just from the name, I'm sure you can already tell how these cargo carriers are constructed. They are made with firm and sturdy materials. They are also compact and durable, and most importantly, weather-resistant

b). Soft Cargo Boxes

Soft cargo boxes look like huge bags with straps on; they are, in most cases, constructed with thin plastic-like vinyl or PVC. They can protect your luggage from rainwater. They are generally more affordable than hard cargo boxes, lightweight, and easier to install. Their lightweight makes them ideal for smaller cars. However, unlike the hard cargo boxes, they do not feature a very safe locking system.

Now that you know what a rooftop box is and the types available let's discuss the best five below.

1. Roofbag Rooftop Cargo Carrier

RoofBag Rooftop Cargo Carrier, Made in USA, 15 Cubic Feet. Waterproof Car Top Carrier for Cars with...
  • 15 cubic feet - Fits SUVs, vans and medium to large sedans -...
  • Your belongings are safe with the roof cargo carrier with the...
  • Your gear will stay as dry as in a rooftop cargo box: 100%...
  • Save fuel, protect your roof, travel quietly: Cargo bag with...
  • Built to last: Heavy-duty fabric, no harmful chemicals,...

If you are looking for the best rooftop cargo box that you can use with or without roof racks, I bet Roofbag designed this rooftop box with you in mind. This box is 15 cu ft and holds the equivalent of four medium-size suitcases. It fits SUVs, vans, and sedans.

This roof cargo carrier has strong straps designed like seat belts to keep your luggage secure. These straps help keep your stuff intact even when you are driving at highway speed. It also protects your luggage from getting wet if it rains, as it is made with a non-stitched waterproof material, while the zipper and straps are waterproof coated.

With the aerodynamic design, this cargo carrier will help save your fuel, make your travel quietly, and protect your roof with the help of the mat that comes with the package. The mat also prevents the shifting of the car roof bag. In addition, the heavy-duty fabric used to construct this cargo carrier is tear and peel-resistant for durability. Another thing that comes with this package is the storage bag.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty material makes it durable
  • It is waterproof to keep your items safe from water
  • You can install it on a vehicle with or without racks
  • Aerodynamic design helps you use less fuel

Cons

  • Not suitable if you intend to load and offload

2. Thule Force XT Rooftop Carrier Box, X-Large

Thule Force XT Rooftop Cargo Box, X-Large, Black
  • 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...
  • Quick-mount system "clicks" when roof box is secure and properly...
  • Dual-side opening for easy access to all areas of the box, from...

This extra-large rooftop box provides 18 cubic feet of storage space for your items and s suitable for everyday use. It is big enough and designed to fit a variety of vehicles with maximum space efficiency. Mounting it on the rooftop is easy and quick, and it clicks for confirmation that it is properly and securely mounted.

You will not have trouble accessing your goods as this Thule cargo carrier has a dual-side opening on either side of the vehicle. This feature makes loading and offloading easy and quick. Although this cargo box is extra large, you will still manage to have full trunk access without risking contact with the box.

Opening and closing this carrier is easy and comfortable due to the lock-knob system that also helps to prevent the Thule comfort key from getting damaged.

Pros

  • Dual side opening makes accessing luggage easy
  • Full truck access without getting into contact with the cargo box
  • Power click indicates when it is properly mounted
  • Installation is easy

Cons

  • Not suitable for carrying other items like fold-down beds

3. Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier

Another rooftop carrier from Thule that you will not regret buying also has a dual side opening, which means you will have quick and easy access to your stuff. The outer handles and the supporting lid lifters are also grip-friendly, making the carrier even easier to open.

The forward position of the vehicle roof allows you to have full trunk access with minimal risk of contact with the cargo carrier. Thule Motion XT carrier features a quick-mount system that clicks when the roof box is securely mounted to keep you out of risk. In addition, the lid of this Motion XT carrier automatically locks in place and indicates when it is securely closed. With these features, you can always tell when it is locked safely.

This carrier will fit 5-7 pairs of skis, with its load capacity being 165 lbs, and its weight when empty is 42 lbs.

Pros

  • It is easy to install
  • It is quiet and does not make wind noise
  • Great quality and durable

Cons

  • Hinge failures

4. Yakima Skybox Aerodynamic Rooftop Cargo Box

YAKIMA - SkyBox Aerodynamic Rooftop Cargo Box for Cars, Wagons and SUVs
  • Sleek aerodynamic Carbonite textured lid; Designed with internal...
  • SuperLatch security ensures your lid is secure to its base, and...
  • No assembly required; Tool-free installation/removal from...

Finding the best rooftop cargo box may not be easy, but you can never go wrong with Yakima Skybox. It is easy to install and uninstall from the car's roof, and no tools are needed for the job. In addition, it features a sleek aerodynamic carbonite textured lid with internal lid stiffeners for durability and makes it easy to open and close.

Yakima Skybox carrier features super latch security that ensures the lid is secured to the base and the gear is safe. It also opens on both sides of the vehicle to give you quick and easy access to your goods. This cargo carrier fits Yakima square, round, factory, and aerodynamic bars, and the minimum and maximum crossbar spread 24"- 42".

It can carry camping gear for up to five campers and fits snowboards and skis up to 215cm. The product weighs roughly 62 pounds.

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Dual opening for easy and quick access
  • Wind noise isn't noticeable

Cons

  • It is quite expensive
  • You cannot open both sides at once

5. JEGS Rooftop Cargo Carrier|Hard Car Top Luggage Box

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...
  • WATERPROOF STORAGE FOR YOUR LUGGAGE with a four corner locking...
  • EASY & CONVENIENT LOADING AND UNLOADING from either side of the...
  • NO TOOLS REQUIRED, EASY ASSEMBLY AND INSTALLATION. All mounting...
  • MADE IN USA, LIMITED LIFETIME GUARANTEE. The JEGS Rooftop Cargo...

JEGS rooftop carrier will give you the best experience to secure and protect your gear in it. It is 18 cubic feet and made of hard plastic for durability. In addition, its aerodynamic design ensures it does not consume your fuel excessively.

You can always be sure that your luggage is safe from damage when in the box due to its waterproofing features. It also ensures your luggage is securely locked with a four-corner locking system and the front latch. In addition, it opens from both sides of the vehicle so that you can store your items with ease.

Installing the JEGS rooftop carrier does not require any tools, and it is a hassle-free task that does not require a lot of your time. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty which gives you confidence as you use the product. Installation requires a roof rack.

Pros

  • Constructed with durable four-season HDPE plastic
  • Four corner locking system
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • The latches don't secure the top half at highway speeds
  • The top does not stay open without manual propping on both sides

Factors to Consider When Selecting the Best Rooftop Cargo Box

What should you consider before you buy the best rooftop cargo box? First, of course, if that question has popped into your mind if you consider buying this box. In that case, I would like to take you through some of the important features you need to keep in mind.

a). Vehicle Length and Hatch Clearance

Firstly, you will need to check the maximum length of the carrier your vehicle can accommodate. You don't want to buy a carrier that blocks your windshield, either front or rear, as this will negatively impact your aerodynamics. Also, it would help if you bought a carrier that will not block your vehicle's antennae or hatch opening.

The easiest way to know what size will feet your vehicle's roof is by measuring the distance between its roof rack and an open hatch and compare with the box's specs.

b). Storage Capacity of the Box

Before you buy the best rooftop cargo box, you need to consider the options available and see what you think will work best for you. For example, if you have a big family or think you will need to carry more loads, you may need a bigger carrier. For most users, 16-18 cubic feet of storage is enough to accommodate camping gear for three to four people. However, this will entirely depend on what you will be carrying.

c). Access

Different carrier boxes have different access methods, including one side, rear side, and dual access. The most user-friendly carriers have dual-sided access and lock on both sides so you can open the box from either side of the vehicle. One-sided and rear access is commonly used on budget designs. However, before going for the cheaper designs, remember that they are less convenient in reaching your gear.

d). Open/Close and Lock Mechanism

Some designs of the carrier boxes combine lock designs and open and closing mechanisms, and they work together to secure the lid to the base. This design is simple and may save money, but it is not very secure. More expensive boxes that open and closes their latch and a separate lock that secures the closed lid. They also indicate when the lid is locked, which assures you that your items are safe.

e). Wind Noise and Aerodynamics

Bulkier cargo carriers create more drag than smaller ones. More drag results in lower gas mileage and more wind noise. More streamlined cargo carriers often maximize aerodynamics than those that are box-like. Wind noise is not entirely a result of the bulkiness of the box. Much of the noise is generated when air moves between the vehicle's roof and the roof rack. When you use an empty box, the wind noise is likely to be more. Therefore, avoid traveling with an empty carrier if you are trying to lower the noise.

f). Materials and Durability

The materials used in making a rooftop box affect its durability. Most carriers are made with ABS plastic which can withstand frequent opening and closing. However, their quality depends on other factors like the mounting hardware, handles, hinges, and locks. You need to ensure that the cargo carrier you buy is firmly constructed to prevent the small parts from breaking easily.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Roof Cargo Carriers

1. Can I drive with an empty cargo box?

Driving with an empty box is not recommended as wind is likely to push it around and make even more noise which not be pleasant. Rooftop carriers are also known to affect gas mileage negatively. Therefore, it is better to leave your carrier at home if it is empty. In addition, sometimes the weather may be harsh, and exposing your box to such conditions when it is not in use will only lower its lifespan.

2. Where does a cargo box go in a car?

You can mount your cargo box to the trunk of a vehicle, fasten it to the truck's bed, hitch to the back or mount it on the rooftop of an automobile.