10 Best Rooftop Cargo Carriers

About the Author:


John Harding has been involved in home improvements and services, specially roofing and its related sub niches for more than 15 years. He has reviewed numerous products first hand and had provided useful insights into the pros and cons of each product. Many customers have found his findings extremely helpful when making a buying decision. Hope you will find John's and his teams work helpful as well.

John Harding

When you travel, you may not consider that the roof of your vehicle has some pretty valuable storage area. Adding a roof rack to your vehicle can add a huge amount of capacity that will help to carry your sporting equipment and other important belongings. Here are a few tips and reviews to help you find the best rooftop carrier for your next adventure.


There are two Main Types of Roof Carriers:


Roof Top Cargo Bags

This soft top carrier is often called a rooftop bag. More like a mounted bag on your roof, this type of carrier doesn’t usually need crossbars. Typically, they are waterproofed and simple to zip close. A cargo bag is usually cheaper than other options and easy to fold up when you aren’t using it.

While they are great for occasional use, you don’t want to use them in really harsh weather. They are also not as durable in comparison to the hardtop carrier and won’t give you as much security.

Roof Top Cargo Boxes 

The hard-top carrier is usually what pops into mind when one thinks about a rooftop carrier. Usually made of hard plastic, this type of carrier gives you good weather protection, particularly in really harsh weather. With a predefined shape, this carrier will remain the same shape no matter what your cargo is and also help to increase your vehicle’s aerodynamics.

While this type of rooftop carrier is more expensive, they are very durable and can be locked onto the car while also providing a lot of security for your belongings. The hardtop carrier will also need to be mounted onto crossbars, and it will take a while longer to install.

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In a Hurry? Here are our top editorial Picks

Shield Jacket Travel Bag

​A great option for drivers, the Shield Jacket Travel Bag has a textile design that is soft, so you can store oddly shaped objects that won’t fit in a hard-top carrier. With a 425-liter capacity, the carrier is one of the larger options on the market.

Why We recommend 

  • It has a waterproof design, which makes it perfect for use on a roof
  • It has a large capacity and can be mounted on any type of roof rack
  • The bag comes with eight straps, so you can keep it secure on your roof
Roof Top Carrier Reviews
99%
Editorial Score

Best Roof Top Carrier Reviews

1. Shield Jacket Travel Bag

A great option for drivers, the Shield Jacket Travel Bag has a textile design that is soft, so you can store oddly shaped objects that won’t fit in a hard-top carrier. With a 425-liter capacity, the carrier is one of the larger options on the market. There is a large benefit of using a roof bag instead of a hard-top carrier since you can fold it flat and it doesn’t take up as much storage space in your garage.

This waterproof travel bag is made with vinyl materials, which is great if you live or travel in areas that see a lot of rainy or wintery weather. The Shield Jacket Travel Bag also includes eight straps that you can adjust making it easy to keep in place. The 15-cubic feet capacity makes it a great choice for road trippers, campers, and families that want to increase their transportation capacity.

Pros

  • It has a waterproof design, which makes it perfect for use on a roof
  • It has a large capacity and can be mounted on any type of roof rack
  • The bag comes with eight straps, so you can keep it secure on your roof

Cons

  • It isn’t a great choice or delicate or sharp objects
Roof Top Carrier Reviews
92%
Editorial Score

2. Yakima Skybox Carbonite Cargo Box

​Yakima Skybox Carbonite Cargo Box

An incredibly versatile solution, the Yakima Skybox Carbonite Cargo Box comes in 21, 18, 16, 15, and 12 cubic feet sizes. It has a practical design that lets you open it on each side. You also won’t need tools to install it.

The Yakima comes with a Superlatch system and gives you great protection from theft with a top that locks. With the longest length carry, you get the most versatility making it a great choice for both wintertime and summertime use. Made with mostly recycled materials, this carrier features a low impact on the environment.

Pros

  • You get a lot of size choices to fit any type of car
  • It opens on each side and has a top that locks
  • It is made with mostly recycled materials

Cons

  • The keys aren’t very durable
Roof top
72%
Editorial Score

3. Thule Sidekick Cargo Box

Compact and practical, the Thule Sidekick is perfect for those that want a large design that is also functional. With an eight-cubic foot capacity, it is 48-inches long, but will not cover the whole roof of a mid-sized car preventing it from creating a lot of wind resistance.

The Sidekick has a top lid that us self-standing allowing you to easily load it. Plus, it has a lock that will keep your stuff safe. This durable cargo box is perfect for use in a season, and it only weighs 18 pounds, so you can easily install it by yourself.

Pros

  • It has a very compact design
  • The box has eight cubic feet of capacity
  • It is pretty lightweight and easy to maneuver

Cons

  • It is too small for sporting equipment
Roof top
73%
Editorial Score

4. RoofBag Car Top Carrier


With an effective but simple design, the RoofBag Car Top Carrier is a waterproof solution that has a coating on each side. Available in different sizes depending on your needs, this is a versatile carrier that can fit several different types of vehicles including both 11 and 15-cubic feet designs.

It includes heavy-duty straps that have a wind force resistant of up to 3000 pounds. You can easily secure the RoofBag Car Top Carrier with these two straps that are easy to adjust.

Pros

  • This is a softcover carrier that is waterproofed
  • It is really easy to install it on your roof rack
  • It comes in two sizes and has really strong straps

Cons

  • It isn’t very aerodynamic
Roof box
73%
Editorial Score

5. Arksen 250LB Luggage Carrier

Featuring metal construction, the Arksen Luggage Carrier comes with a universal design that is simple to use and durable. It has a little bit of a retro look using a metal frame that is 39-inches wide and 43-inches long.

This is an easy to store carrier thanks to its compact size. The Arksen Luggage Carrier is a good option if you need to carry cargo, but it does need more cargo nets and straps to help make sure your stuff is secure. This is a great choice for any driver that does not have a lot of experience with snow or rain.

Pros

  • It has a really compact design and is easy to use
  • It features a great aerodynamic performance
  • The carrier has full-metal construction that makes it super durable

Cons

  • You have to buy the straps and cargo nets separately
73%
Editorial Score

6. Thule Force Cargo Box

With an incredibly versatile design, the Thule Force Cargo Box is available in either a 13 or 21-cubic foot option. The premium Alpine version is great for winter sports and is easy to use thanks to the Quick-Grip mounting hardware. The design allows you to open it up on each side making it easy for an active person to get access to sporting or camping gear.

The Thule Force can be used with any type of roof rack and is super easy to install and maintain. It also comes with a built-in lock that provides protection for your stuff against theft.

Pros

  • A modern design gives it great aerodynamics
  • It comes with different sizes and has an easy to use mounting system
  • The anti-theft protection system is a great added benefit

Cons

  • It can impact your car’s mpg performance
Roof top
73%
Editorial Score

7. JEGS Performance Products Rooftop Carrier

Easy to mount and compact, the JEGS Performance Products Cargo Carrier has great durability and can hold up to 110 pounds of weight. This compact cargo box will not take up all of your roof’s surface, and it is easy to mount by yourself.

The JEGS Rooftop Carrier only weighs 28 pounds and is 39-inches long making it easy to mount and unmount. Plus, it doesn’t take up a lot of storage space in your garage. It also comes with a built-in lock and has a top lid that is self-standing.
Pros:
It has a compact design that is easy to store
The carrier can hold up to 110 pounds but doesn’t take up all the space on top of your car
It comes with a lock and self-standing lid
Cons:
It is not that attractive

Pros

  • It has a compact design that is easy to store
  • The carrier can hold up to 110 pounds but doesn’t take up all the space on top of your car
  • It comes with a lock and self-standing lid

Cons

  • It is not that attractive
Roof top
73%
Editorial Score

7. Ego Bike Roof Rack 

With an extended design, the Ego Bike Roof Rack is perfect for those that like roof basket. It has an easy mounting system that uses just four bolts, and this durable rack features metal construction. You can easily use it to haul lots of different cargo, but you will need to buy straps and a cargo net to help secure the cargo.

The Ego Bike Roof Rack doesn’t include moving parts, so it is more durable in comparison to other roof cargo carriers. It only stands 6 1/2-inches high, and it can be rigged to hold bikes, skiing equipment or luggage.

Pros

  • It has a durable construction design that included extra carrying capacity
  • With just four bolts, it is easy to install
  • It has great aerodynamics

Cons

  • You have to buy a cargo net for it to work well
roof top
73%
Editorial Score

8. Thule Pulse Cargo Box

With a tall profile, the Thule Pulse Cargo Box is a great solution when you need more carrying space. You can choose from 15, 14, and 11 cubic foot options that handle weights of up to 110 pounds in each version. Depending on which size you choose, you can fit either four or eight pairs of skins in the cargo box.

Featuring a lid design that is self-standing, the Thule Pulse Caro Box is a practical choice for an adventurous driver. It also comes with an included lid design and an integrated anti-theft locking that keeps your equipment safe. Constructed of ABS plastic, this a durable choice if you plan to drive harsh weather.

Pros

  • Perfect for use with snowboards or skis
  • There are several sizes to choose from that all can hold the same weight
  • It is durable and comes with a locking system

Cons

  • The lock doesn’t work as well as one would like
roof top
73%
Editorial Score

9. Leader Accessories Rooftop Cargo Bag

This soft top cargo bag is a practical solution and easy to use. The Leader Accessories Rooftop Cargo Bag is simple to secure to your car’s roof using two straps that you can adjust. This cargo bag has an efficient design that is also a simple carrying solution.

With a waterproof design, you don’t have to worry about your belongings getting soaked with the Leader Accessories Rooftop Cargo Bag. Simply put your stuff inside it when you are ready to use it or just fold it totally flat when you need to store it. This is a great alternative to the hardtop carriers that tend to be more permanent.

Pros

  • It is weatherproof keeping your stuff dry
  • It folds flat, so it is easy to store
  • The horizontal zipper makes it easy to use

Cons

  • It does not have the best aerodynamic design
roof top
73%
Editorial Score

Factors to consider when choosing a snow removal rake

1. Length

When choosing the right rake, it is vital to consider the height of your roof in relation to the length of its handle. Snow removal rakes are extendable, so you should look at the maximum extension length of the handle.

However, most rakes are not very useful when extended to their full length; hence you should choose one that you don't have to stretch to its full extent to reach your roof.

2. Design

​The design of the rake significantly affects its comfort ability and effectiveness. It is better to choose a rake with a design that offers a good grip and doesn't get stuck on your roof edge. Also, rakes can cause damage to your roof shingles; hence you should choose one that won't damage your roof.

Curve-bladed and wheeled rakes are the best at protecting your roof.

3. Weight

​The weight of the rake has great significance on the level of comfort it provides and proper handling. Heavy rakes are very uncomfortable to use and also make you fatigued. You should go for a lightweight rake, but be sure to check the materials it is made of as a material like wood breaks when subjected to a lot of weight.

4. Durability

​Nobody wants to see their money go down the drain; hence you should consider buying a rake that doesn't break or rust. Rakes with aluminum handles and polyethylene are the most durable as they are not susceptible to rust and breakage.

Considerations When Choosing the Best Roof Top Carrier


When choosing a rooftop carrier, always think about your size needs and how many people you will have in your vehicle. Remember that the more people you have, the larger a carrier you will need.

Aerodynamics are also important to think about since it can affect how many miles to the gallon your vehicle will get. Typically, rooftop bags aren’t very aerodynamic thanks to their ability to mold themselves into a range of shapes. To make a carrier more aerodynamic, it is helpful to connect them at the front of the vehicle to help streamline the vehicle and create less noise as you drive.

How durable the material your carrier is constructed of is also pretty important. You not only need a durable material, but also something that is waterproof. Both of these features will help the carrier last longer. Carrier boxes that are made of recycled material are great for those that are concerned about their impact on the environment.

If your carrier is easy to get into, it can make traveling a lot easier. For safety reasons, some boxes open in the rear, which makes it easy to get into if you are standing on your bumper to get into it. However, this option isn’t always feasible if your spoiler is in the way or your bumper isn’t that strong that you can stand on it. Boxes that are sideloading are typically easy to get into since you can stand on the sill of your car. However, this will require having the door open which can affect how well the bag is secured to your car’s roof.

Sometimes, a cargo box is left on the roof a vehicle all the time, so you don’t have to worry about frequent installation and uninstallation. However, if you do only want it on your car for specific reasons, look for a carrier that is easy to fit onto your vehicle and to remove. You also want to look for a carrier that is easy to store when you aren’t using it and that comes with a lock to keep your things safe and secure.

Using a car-top carrier will give a lot of added space, which is great when you travel or go on outdoor adventures. Make sure you consider how much space you need, durability, and ease of use before you buy a rooftop carrier. These considerations can make a big difference in whether your rooftop carrier is helpful or just another bump in the road on your trip.

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