The 5 Best Cargo Carriers and Roof Boxes of 2021


Are you someone who camp out frequently with your family and friends on trips and vacations? Do you always run out of space in your car for the additional luggage and have to compromise on passenger space? Then you should invest in a roof mounting cargo box. It serves as an excellent solution to save space in the interiors of the car while carrying your luggage safely and securely, protecting it from elements.

There are a number of rooftop cargo carrier options, starting from boxes to bags and there are a number of brands to choose from as well. We help you choose the best cargo carrier with our product review and guide and hope to help you in your buying decision.


Best Cargo Carriers and Roof Boxes

Quick Answer: The 5 Best Cargo Carriers and Roof Boxes – [2021]

  1. Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier
  2. YAKIMA – SkyBox Aerodynamic Rooftop Cargo Box for Cars
  3. SportRack Vista XL Rear Opening Cargo Box
  4. RoofBag Rooftop Cargo Carrier Bag
  5. Native Gear Waterproof Roof Top Cargo Carrier Bag for Car

Best Cargo Carriers and Roof Boxes Reviews

#1. Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier



Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier At a Glance:
  • Extremely versatile roof-mounted cargo box
  • Stylish and spacious
  • Roof-mounted cargo box
  • Secure slide lock system
  • Access to rear of vehicle
  • Dual side opening
  • Power click quick-mount system
  • Three available sizes
The roof-mounted cargo boxes offer about 18 cubic feet of additional parking space. The cargo boxes are designed for optimal space efficiency, vehicular fit and aerodynamics. Its quick mount system clicks when the roof box is secure and mounts properly.

The features a dual side opening for quick access from all sides of the vehicle. It features an easy to open and close grip-friendly handles along with supporting lid-lifters. This roof box has complete trunk access with no roof box contact.

The rooftop lid automatically locks in place and it indicates a secure closure. Its slide-lock system with separate opening and closing functions helps in locking the lid automatically in place.

The boxes also offers full trunk access with minimal risk of contact with the cargo box. Its power click quick-mount system helps in extra wide installation. The box is available in glossy black and glossy titan colors in L, XL and XXL sizes to fit a range of vehicles.

#2. YAKIMA – SkyBox Aerodynamic Rooftop Cargo Box for Cars


YAKIMA - SkyBox Aerodynamic Rooftop Cargo Box At a Glance:
  • Dimensions: 82 x 35 x 17 inches
  • Weight: 64 pounds
  • Capable of stores gear for two campers
  • Super latch security lid
  • Fits round, factory and square bars
  • Available in three sizes
  • Dual-sides opening
  • Requires no assembly
  • Crossbar spread is between 24-36 inches
With the help of this exceptional rooftop cargo box, the entire road trip will seem as good as a first-class luxury cruise. The Yakima’s carbonite material of this rooftop box material consists of 80% recycled and extra lightweight material.

Thus, it is possible to carry gear without weighing the car down and it also features an internal lid stiffeners and an aerodynamic design for an exceptional design, increased efficiency and less noise.

The skybox rooftop carrier opens on both sides and closes tightly with the help of a super latch secure closure system. It also features an integrated SKS lock system to keep up to the gear of five people packed and safe.

It’s super latch security ensures that the lid of this box secures at its base and comprises of aerodynamic round, and square bars. The box does not require no assembly and comprises of SKS locks. It features an approved crossbar spread that lies between 24-36 inches.

#3. SportRack Vista XL Rear Opening Cargo Box


SportRack Vista XL Rear Opening Cargo Box At a Glance:
  • ABS construction that is UV resistant and durable
  • Rear lid opening for easy and safe access to the cargo
  • Quick-release hardware mounting system
  • Includes a lock in the box
  • Carrying capacity is 18 cubic feet
  • Installation and removal in minutes
The SportRack is a spacious and an aerodynamic rooftop cargo box that offers about 18 cubic feet of exceptional and waterproof storage space on top of any roof rack. It comprises of a compatible rack configuration which includes a sport rack roof rack system, and factory racks that mounts of both square and round rails.

The box comprises of angled contours that helps it to cut through the air quietly when the vehicle is in motion. It comprises of a durable ABS plastic construction that helps to keep the stowed gear dry and it also offers resistance to impact strikes and UV rays.

The storage box has been designed for a tool-free installation within minutes and this cargo box attaches easily on the crossbars with the help of simple U-bolts.

After positioning the box at the appropriate on top of the load bars, the U bolts gets inserted from below and around the bars into the interiors of the box. Its rear lid opening helps with safe and easy access to cargo, away from the usual traffic. It includes a lock to secure the contents in the box.

#4. RoofBag Rooftop Cargo Carrier Bag


RoofBag Rooftop Cargo Carrier Bag At a Glance:
  • Abrasion-resistant fabric construction
  • Resistant to rips and peels
  • Aerodynamic shape for fuel-efficient trips
  • Special fabric that can withstand sun exposure
  • Comes with two heavy-duty straps
  • Comes with storage bag to store cargo bag and accessories
  • Large enough to hold 5 medium-sized suitcases
This roofbag is about 15 cubic feet large and mounts on top of the vehicle easily. it fits cars that have a roof of about 58” or longer. This heavy-duty cargo box has 100% waterproofing and it is easy to install on any vehicle with or without a rack.

The roofbag is also large enough to hold the contents of up to 5 medium-sized suitcases and the product comes with a two-year warranty as well. It has extra strong straps that will ensure that the basket will never fly out of the car.

This rooftop box is made up of heavy-duty and abrasion-resistant fabric. It is also rip and peel resistant. Its aerodynamic shape helps in fuel-efficient and quiet trips.

It’s specially formulated fabric can withstand extreme temperatures, snow, dust and wind at about 90 miles/hour. The bag is also UV protected when it is exposed to sun constantly. The product comes with a storage bag, non-slip roof mat, and heavy-duty straps.

#5. Native Gear Waterproof Roof Top Cargo Carrier Bag for Car


Native Gear Waterproof Roof Top Cargo Carrier At a Glance:
  • It increases space inside the vehicle
  • Completely weatherproof
  • Easy to attach and is secure to the core
  • Folds for a versatile storage
  • Constructed from double-wall vinyl fabric
  • Safely packs soft goods and light-duty cargo.
This is a spacious roof bag that is perfect for cross country trips and for a little off-roading. It is great for cars, vans, SUVS etc. and is always ready for an adventure. It offers about 15 cubic feet of secure and convenient storage.

The cargo box is completely weatherproof and is always ready to brave eh elements. It comprises welded seams to seal out any water and is also weatherproof to protect the gear against grit, rain, wind, snow, and sun. This cargo carrier is ideal for family trips and helps to increase the space within the vehicle.

The cargo carrier is very easy to use as it comprises of 8 built-in tie straps. It attaches in just minutes and can also hold odd-sized objects comfortable. You can fold back and store it anywhere when it is not in use. Its double-wall vinyl construction ensures that this car carrier is strong, durable, and is designed to last.

Buying Guide For Best Cargo Carriers and Roof Boxes

Best Cargo Carriers and Roof Boxes

Cargo Carriers – Their Types and Advantages:

Cargo carriers are an efficient and practical method of transporting luggage for your entire family in the car when you venture out for a camping or vacation trip. These cargo carriers are generally placed on the rooftop of the vehicle and are available in a number of sizes and shapes.

Apart from expanding the load capacity of the car, they also help in freeing up a lot of vehicular space and aid in hassle-free transportation. The different types of cargo carriers are as follows,

  • Roof boxes – offers excellent carrying capacity of different objects and sports equipment
  • Rooftop bags – ideal for carrying large and lightweight items such as sleeping bags
  • Rooftop baskets – These are great to carry large equipment secured with bungee cords
  • Hitch mounted carriers – These are best if your vehicle does not have a roof rack installed.
Generally, there are two major types of rooftop cargo boxes, namely hard and softbox. The most common type of rooftop cargo boxes is the hard cargo boxes. These storage units are made up of robust materials such as ABS plastic.

Thus they are resistant to pressure from the items that are stored within it. These boxes are considered bulky by some of the users as they feature a rigid and tough design.

The soft cargo boxes on the other hand are made up of lighter materials and they are also sturdy and robust. But they lack the rigidity that is found in the hard boxes. They are less expensive and are excellent for temporary use. They are not as durable as the hard roof boxes.


Safety Protocols To Consider While Traveling with Cargo Carriers:

The quantum of load that the vehicle carries can affect the driving speed and quality. It also can interfere with the maneuverability of the vehicle. Thus it is important to drive safe with the cargo carriers and you can take a hint from the following points to do so.

  • Calculate the weight ratio
  • Equal weight distribution
  • Secure the load with ropes and hooks
  • Height of the load
  • Make use of additional straps

Calculate The Weight Ratio:

Calculate the load before you start off with the trip. Remember that if you overload the cargo carrier, you will face problems while taking certain sharp turns en route. It is important to manage the weight of the cargo carrier for two main reasons.

Fist to enhance maneuverability and second to be within the weight limit that the roof of the car can handle. While taking sharp turns, the roof of the vehicle, if too heavy can result in accidents.

Equal Weight Distribution:

Distribute the load on the rooftop equally rather than at one single corner of the rack. Such a practice will have a minimal impact on the maneuverability of the vehicle and will leave it much more balanced and safe.

Secure The Load With Ropes and Hooks:

Always remember to secure the load with the cargo carrier, despite the design you hold. There are different types of straps that are available to keep the load in its place. Avoid situations when the load moves to corners and prevent falls and accidents. It is always a safe practice to buy a cargo net, to keep the cargo items inside it very secure.

Height of The Load:

The height is generally quite difficult to ride around with a rooftop cargo. The driver should be vigilant and anticipate a number of hazards that might come in their way.

Height should be monitored while entering the garage, a tunnel or under the bridge with a limited height measurement. Entering the parking of different buildings can also be trouble. Thus have a minimum height clearance when you consider using rooftop cargo carriers and roof boxes.

Make use of Additional Straps:

Purchase more straps, apart from those that come with the cargo carrier to ensure that the cargo doesn’t move and be a threat to the maneuverability of the vehicle even at sharp turns.


What To Consider Before Buying a Rooftop Cargo Carrier?

Best Cargo Carriers and Roof Boxes

Buyers have to consider a number of features before thinking of purchasing a cargo box which includes its weight, material quality, aerodynamics, etc. let us discuss those factors in detail here so that you end up buying the best cargo carrier.

  • Size of the roof box
  • Length of the box
  • Width of the box
  • Aerodynamics
  • Security features

Size of The Roof Box:

The capacity of the vehicle will depend on the weight and the size of the cargo box that you wish to purchase. Read through the car manual thoroughly to know the quantum of load that your vehicle can accommodate.

The rooftop carrier boxes are available in different weights and sizes and it is up to you to choose the carriers depending on what load you want to carry and the load capacity of your vehicle.

Length of The Roof Box:

Choose the length of the roof box on par with the dimensions of your vehicle. Only then will the vehicle will be able to carry the box that is attuned within the limits of its frame. This also prevents the cargo box from sticking out of the car creating an unsightly view and disturbance for fellow passengers.

Width of The Roof Box:

Choose a box with an adequate width to store as many items as possible for your travel. Also ensure that you choose the width appropriately that the cargo box gets mounted at ease. Never choose a cargo box without taking note of its dimensions to prevent the occurrence of inadequate storage spaces or hanging boxes at the roof of the car.


While selecting a cargo box, one much ensure that its style and design complement the vehicle by intriguing a number of elements such as curves, colors, and matching bars. The aerodynamics of the cargo boxes is a modern feature.

Traditionally cargo boxes were bulky and boxy with no design. The sense of aerodynamics adds a touch of aesthetics and they are also extremely functional to enhance wind resistance and reduce wind noise. Such a design will ultimately decrease fuel consumption and save up on fuel.

Security Features:

You should take all steps to keep the load secure at the rooftop cargo box. Safety is a paramount feature for potential buyers, during the selection process. Some of the cargo carriers feature additional straps to helps with additional support and security for the items stored inside it.

Some of the models comprise of a security net, which is mandatory for open cargo baskets. Some manufacturers render out of the box straps to help secure the items that lie inside the rooftop box.


FAQ’s For The Best Cargo Carriers and Roof Boxes.

Do we need tools to install the box carriers?

There is absolutely no need for any excess tools to fix the rooftop box on the carriers. At present all of the rooftop boxes come with clips and straps that demand to tighten by hand.

Does the carrier has a waterproof feature?

Yes, all of the rooftop carriers that are available these days have waterproofing and they satisfy the needs and requirements of the customer and consumer appropriately.

How quiet will my carrier be?

The only sound that the rooftop carriers make is the straps hitting the top of the vehicle’s roof. If this is a problem, then tie them to each other or twist them around the other straps to hold them in one place.

How to know if the carrier fits a vehicle?

Read the car’s manual to learn the maximum dimension of the cargo box that it can handle. Measure the rooftop carrier that you are wishing to buy with the help of inch tape. Rooftop carriers are generally very costly and some of the sellers do not accept returns as well. Therefore, it is mandatory to take the buying decision appropriately.


Final Words:

The cargo carriers and the roof boxes are the most important supporting accessory for your vehicle and have evolved in terms of shape, form, and size. A regular cargo box comprises a square frame to hold all the belongings and with the advent of new technologies, new models are being introduced with aerodynamic styles that are both functional and stylish. We hope our review and guide helps you to choose the best and the most ideal cargo box for your vehicle.


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