Best Rooftop Cargo Carrier for Maximum Road Safety

If you need more space for cargo in your car, the most efficient option is to go for is a cargo carrier. Sometimes folding the rear seats is not an option when you have a full passenger capacity. The best rooftop cargo carrier will come in handy to safely hold the remainder of the cargo and keep the car's aesthetics while remaining efficient without sabotaging the car's aerodynamics.

What is a Rooftop Cargo Carrier?

A rooftop cargo carrier is a box that adds storage space to your car in case you have extra luggage to bring with you. The carrier box is attached to the car's roof rack for safety on the road at all times. The carrier box keeps all your luggage intact whether you are on the highway or off-road. The rooftop cargo box also protects the luggage from rain, sun, and dust that might contact the goods.

Not all cargo carriers are similar. However, they all serve the same purpose of providing additional space while keeping your luggage safe from the weather elements.

Now that you know what a rooftop cargo carrier is, here are our top 5 picks for the best cargo box to keep your luggage safe and sound when traveling.

1. Sportrack Vista XL Cargo Box

SportRack Vista XL Rear Opening Cargo Box (Black, 18 Cubic Feet)
  • Fits SportRack Roof Rack Systems, square, round and most factory...
  • Tool-free mounting hardware for easy installation and removal...
  • Rear opening for easy access away from traffic includes a key...
  • ABS construction that is durable and UV-resistant; Easy to clean...
  • Min-max crossbars spacing: 23 5/8" - 29 3/4"; Max weight...

Nothing is better than having extra passenger space in the car. Even when you are alone, extra space in the back gives you a clear rear view of the car and better judgment on the road. Sportrack Vista is the best roof box to bring with you if you have extra luggage.

The rooftop carrier can fit onto any roof rack regardless of the orientation or design. Whether the rack is square or round, the cargo box will fit most factory standard boxes in the market. The box comes with easy-to-use hardware to install and remove the carrier. You no longer have to spend a significant amount of time mounting the rack.

Safety first! Sportrack Vista xl has mastered the idea of safety by keenly designing the box to ensure safety on the road at all times. The box lid opens from the rear side to keep you from the road whenever you want access to your luggage. In addition, the box includes a lock to firmly secure items in the box.

The box has an aerodynamic design that offers close to no resistance to the wind when driving. As a result, the car will stay as stable as intended by the manufacturer. In addition, the box is durable, with a body made of ABS construction, offering resistance to rain and UltraViolet radiation.


  • Durable
  • Waterproof
  • Rear opening for safety
  • 18 cubic feet of space
  • Integrated lock
  • Quick-release mounting system
  • Universal fit


  • Does not fit Subaru Cross
  • Trek, according to a review

2. Yakima Skybox Rooftop Cargo Box

Yakima Skybox 12 Carbonite Cargo Box
  • Perfect for hauling gear for up to 3 campers; Great for...
  • SuperLatch security ensures lid is secure to its base; Fits...
  • 16 cubic feet; Also available in 12, 18, 21 and Lo sizes;...
  • No assembly required; Includes SKS Locks; Approved crossbar...
  • Fits Yakima round, square, factory, and aerodynamic bars

If you are traveling to a fun destination, Yakima is the cargo box for you. The cargo carrier can fit snowboards and skis measuring up to 2.15 meters long. You can add more luggage for fun activities to make this summer a worthwhile experience.

Safety is a key feature that Yakima Skybox has maximized. The cargo carriers attach to the roof rack firmly, keeping the box steady at any speed on the road. In addition, the Skybox SuperLatch feature keeps the lid firmly locked at all times to ensure the load arrives as intact as you had them at the start of the journey.

The Skybox fits the Yakima round, aerodynamic, factory, and square bars, which constitute most racks on many cars. The box is easy to install on the car, with no assembly required. The carrier comes in a 16 cubic feet capacity, giving smaller or larger capacity boxes options. You can find the 12, 18, 21, and Lo sizes depending on your needs. In addition, you can access your luggage from either side of the box, saving time and energy that you would use while going around the car over and over.


  • Dual access
  • Easy installation
  • Pocket-friendly price
  • Aerodynamic
  • No assembly required
  • Different sizes to choose from
  • SuperLatch for luggage safety
  • No vibration on the road
  • Waterproof


  • The box is suitable for flatter equipment.

3. Thule Sidekick Rooftop Cargo Box

Nothing is more annoying and worrying than a vibration of any part of the car when driving. Thule sidekick solves the problem by attaching firmly onto the rooftop and fitting like a glove. In addition, the cargo carrier has two locks to keep the luggage intact, further preventing vibration. The cargo carriers are the ultimate choice, fitting most factory standard racks on any car.

Thule cargo boxes are durable, serving you through the years and the seasons as they come. The boxes are easy to install, saving you the time that tends to be precious when traveling. In addition, Thule will keep the luggage protected from rain, sun, and dust at all times on the road.

Thule has sturdy U-bolts with reinforcement plates and adjustable brackets to ensure a perfect fit on the car. The cargo box opens on the passenger side, ensuring safety at all times on the road. In addition, you can use the carrier to ferry small luggage such as camping gear like sleeping bags and even golf clubs. The carrier is 54 by 25 by 15.5 inches and weighs only 3.7 pounds.


  • Easy installation
  • Strong and durable
  • Lightweight
  • Perfect fit
  • Double lock system
  • Compact design to leave room for other accessories


  • Fits only small items

4. RoofPax Car Roof Bag

RoofPax Car Roof Bag & Rooftop Cargo Carrier. 19 Cubic Feet. 100% Waterproof Excellent Military...
  • ✅ SAFETY COMES FIRST: RoofPax is the ONLY brand that produces...
  • ✅ MILITARY QUALITY WATERPROOF: This premium quality car top bag...
  • ✅ WORKS WITH or WITHOUT ROOF RACK: Use RoofPax car roof top...
  • ✅ X-LARGE SIZE: The dimensions of: L47.2" x W 35.4" x H 19.8"...
  • ✅ LIFETIME WARRANTY on Zippers and Buckles for breakage or...

Car accessories companies go to great lengths to ensure safety on the road. A product is designed around the safety of the driver and passengers while staying functional and achieving the full purpose it is created for. Roofpax is the only roof bag that ensures that the strap does not go inside the car but stays outside. This feature ensures the car airbags are not sabotaged and the bag stays within the laws of every state.

The cargo bag is made of military-grade material that is waterproof and keeps the luggage dry under any weather condition. The bag has an in-built protective mat to keep the goods secure at all times. The bag is strapped using 10 Velcro restrainers to prevent strap flapping while on the road. The straps have NIFCO buckles for a firmer fit on the car, and each strap has double covers with 8 Velcro stripes.

The condition for most cargo carriers is that there must be a roof rack first. RoofPax takes the pressure away by strapping onto the car without needing a rack to attach to. However, racks can be costly to mount and time-consuming. You can mount the bag on any sized car or SUV.

The bag has extra-large space, enough to hold up to six suitcases. You can confidently bring along any luggage without the fear of lack of space. The bag will serve you for a long with a lifetime warranty for the buckles and zippers.


  • Mounted with or without the roof-rack
  • 19 cubic feet
  • Holds up to 4 or 6 suitcases
  • Wide
  • Affordable
  • Waterproof
  • The strap does not go through the car
  • Easy to mount
  • Military-grade material


  • The shape is not very aerodynamic.

5. Thule Pulse Rooftop Cargo Box

Thule Pulse Rooftop Cargo Box, Medium, Black
  • Durable and rugged textured ABS material is long-lasting and...
  • Fast and secure fitting using only one hand due to fast grip...
  • Passenger-side opening for easier loading and unloading. Max...
  • Central Locking system provides maximum safety. The grip-friendly...
  • External dimensions 67 x 35 x 16 inch

Thule have come into the game with everything they have got. The company is well-reviewed for the sleekest and aesthetically pleasing boxes that you can find. The boxes look good on your car and function efficiently at all times on the road. In addition, Thule Pulse is a durable and rugged textured rooftop carrier that will keep your items safe and secure through transit.

When purchasing a box, the plan is not to buy a replacement anytime soon. Thule is made of ABS material that is long-lasting and able to withstand any weather throughout the year. The box is easy to secure and fit using only one hand, proving that the best technology is the simplest. In addition, the box has a fast grip quick-mount system that makes the process faster and more efficient compared to other carriers.

Thule rooftop carrier has a central locking system that provides maximum safety to the luggage and oncoming drivers on the road. In addition, the box opens from the passenger's side of the car to ensure more safety, keeping you away from the road when loading and unloading.


  • You can load up to 5 snowboards
  • 155-centimeter ski size
  • Easy to mount
  • Fast grip quick-mount system
  • Central locking system for maximum safety
  • Aerodynamic
  • The box opens from the passenger's side
  • Durable material
  • Waterproof


  • Skis longer than 155 cm might not fit comfortably.

Frequently Asked Questions About Rooftop Cargo Boxes

a) Should I Buy a Roof Bag or a Roof Box?

Roof boxes are more durable than roof bags because of the material used to make the boxes. A roof box is made of ABS plastic that can withstand more strain and exposure to weather than a bag can. A roof box is easier to load as you do not have to round a zipper once done. Roof boxes are more aerodynamic compared to bags that have a more boxed shape.

Bags are more advantageous when you are working with a budget because they are cheaper than the boxes. The bags do not need a rack for installation, unlike a roof box. A roof bag can carry more luggage compared to a box. You can either buy the box or the bag depending on your budget, amount of luggage, and type of car.

b) Are Roof Bags Waterproof?

Yes. Roof bags are made using military-grade material that has layers of material that keep the components dry at all times. In addition, the roof bags are tried and tested thoroughly to ensure nothing in the bag gets damaged when it rains.

c) Are Roof Boxes Noisy?

Roof boxes are not meant to be noisy at all costs. However, if there is noise, it could be due to three reasons. One, either the components inside the box are not well fitted or are loose and are bouncing around as you drive or make bends.

Two, maybe the roof box is not firmly secured onto the car. A loose box will vibrate as a result of the loose connection on the rack. The third reason could be the aerodynamics of the carrier. If the carrier has a more boxed shape, the wind resistance might cause some noise that is audible to the car's occupants.

d) Do Cargo Boxes Interfere With the Gas Mileage?

Depending on the features of the carrier, the car can encounter significant drag or none at all. A less aerodynamic carrier will cause drag to the car, leading to more fuel consumption than normal. The vehicle will use more energy to power through the wind when carrying a box-shaped carrier. When you hear wind noise from the carrier, know that the car could be using more energy to power through the wind.

Final Take

Rooftop carriers are very convenient when traveling. While there are options to choose from when looking for the best overall carrier in the market, safety begins with you. First, ensure you load the appropriate weight on the carrier. More weight on the car's roof makes the vehicle unstable because of the raised center of gravity.

Most carriers will maximize their selling point on ease of mounting, capacity, weight, length, and aerodynamics. However, do not take chances by believing anything you hear. Instead, try the carrier out and ensure it has a warranty and a good return policy.

Travelling can sometimes come with a lot of pressure because of time and traffic to beat. But, please do not forget to lock the carrier. Do not ask someone else if it is locked, and check it yourself. You want to keep your goods, yourself, and other road users safe on the road at all times.