Best Rooftop Cargo Carriers

Best Rooftop Cargo Carriers

Best Rooftop Cargo Carrier in 2018

We’ve tested best-selling rooftop cargo carriers for its durability, wind noise and security and reviewed 9 best picks. Check out our list, pick yours & enjoy the extra space in your car.

Our list is made to include a variety of price ranges and carrier types (boxes, baskets & bags).

Isn’t it frustrating when your car gets uncomfortable due to excessive luggage you have to bring on your trip?

The most important thing to consider when buying a rooftop cargo carrier is its size and type. There are 3 types of carriers:

  • Cargo boxes (hard shell, more space, less wind noise, secure, more expensive)
  • Cargo bags (lightweight, budget friendly, less secure, more wind noise)
  • Cargo baskets (not so easy to install, you need to fix your luggage on top of it)

Choosing between these 3 types usually comes to space you need and your budget. Cargo boxes is the best overall option if budget isn’t your concern and they’re a must if you’re carrying big luggage like skiing equipment (see our recommended box).

If you’re on the budget and plan to pack camping stuff like tents, sleeping bags and backpacks, a cargo bag would be sufficient (see our recommended bag).

I wouldn’t recommend getting cargo baskets because they’re often insecure and not easy to set up but I’ve added those to the list too because some people with big luggage bags just prefer cargo baskets.

Check out our list and reviews now and pick your carrier of choice. Let us know if you have any questions or check our full cargo carriers buyer’s guide.

Last updated: 8/25/2018.

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Best Rooftop Cargo Carriers 2018

Model (link jumps to our review) Image Dimensions (inches) Type Rating Price* Order Online
1. Thule Force Cargo Box Thule 624 Force Cargo Box , Medium,Black,Medium (13 Cubic Feet) 67 x 17 x 37 Box
(459 Reviews reviews)
Price not available Buy on Amazon
2. RoofBag 100% Waterproof Carrier with Side Rails RoofBag Rooftop Cargo Carrier| 100% Waterproof-Premium Triple Seal for Maximum Protection| Made in USA|2 Yr Warranty | for Cars with Side Rails, Cross Bars or Basket| Includes Heavy Duty Straps 40 x 36.5 x 17 Bag
(1,018 Reviews reviews)
Price not available Buy on Amazon
3. Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier 90.25 x 37.5 x 13.25 Box
(314 Reviews reviews)
Price not available Buy on Amazon
4. SportRack Vista XL Rear Opening Cargo Box SportRack Vista XL Rear Opening Cargo Box (Black, 18 Cubic Feet) 63 x 38 x 19 Box
(537 Reviews reviews)
$349.37 Buy on Amazon
5. Mockins Waterproof Cargo Roof Bag Mockins Waterproof Cargo Roof Bag Set with A Protective Car Roof Mat and 2 Extra Ratchet Straps | The Car Top Carrier Bag is Made from Heavy Duty Abrasion Resistant Vinyl and has 15 Cubic ft of Space 15 x 11 x 6.3 Bag
(166 Reviews reviews)
$59.99 Buy on Amazon
6. Keeper 07203-1 Waterproof Roof Top Cargo Bag Keeper 07203-1 Waterproof Roof Top Cargo Bag (15 Cubic Feet) 44 x 34 x 17 Bag
(4,237 Reviews reviews)
$58.19 Buy on Amazon
7. Rightline Gear 100S10 Sport 1 Car Top Carrier Rightline Gear Sport 1 Car Top Carrier, 12 cu ft, 100% Waterproof, Attaches With or Without Roof Rack 14 x 12 x 6 Bag
(1,767 Reviews reviews)
Price not available Buy on Amazon
8. Yakima SkyBox Carbonite Cargo Box YAKIMA - SkyBox Aerodynamic Rooftop Cargo Box for Cars, Wagons and SUVs, 16 (adds 16 Cubic ft. of Storage), Carbonite 75 x 36 x 22 Box
(473 Reviews reviews)
Price not available Buy on Amazon
9. Curt 18115 Roof Rack Cargo Carrier CURT 18115 Universal 42 x 37-Inch Black Steel Roof Rack Rooftop Cargo Carrier 41.5 x 37 x 4 Basket
(1,208 Reviews reviews)
$127.89 Buy on Amazon

*Product prices were last updated on 2020-08-18 more info

How to Choose Right Cargo Carrier for You?

The most important thing when choosing a carrier is to pick between cargo box, cargo bag and cargo basket. Cargo boxes are generally the best choice because of wind noise, security, durability & space but they’re usually more expensive compared to cargo bags.

If you’re in a hurry and looking for sure win, pick Thule Force Cargo Box.

If not see the presentation below to help you make the right choice and read our reviews afterwards.

Here’s Our List of 9 Best Rooftop Cargo Carriers:

We’ve tested 9 best rooftop cargo carriers for wind Noise, Security, Space & Durability. We’ve included a mix of cargo boxes, bags & baskets. Read Our Reviews & Pick Yours Now! 

1. Thule Force Cargo Box – Best Hard Shell Cargo Box

1. Thule Force Cargo Box

Ranked #1 by the editor
Amazon rating:
(based on 459 Reviews reviews)


  • Aerodynamic shape (low wind noise)

  • Different cargo sizes

  • Dual- side opening

  • Quick-grip mounting system (simple setup)

  • Thule Force Cargo Box has lifetime warranty


  • Pricier compared to cargo bags but still a great deal considering you’ll hear less wind noise, have more space & be secure.

Editor’s Review: 

Thule Force Cargo Box The first thing that you will notice with this model is its aerodynamic shape & it’s great looking hard shell. When having a big cargo box on the top of your car, the main problem is the drag and the noise that it’s making. But with Thule Force Cargo Box noise and drag won’t pose a problem due to such an easy and smooth shell made of durable five layer ABS plastic. This diamond-textured AeroSkin Shell will hold up even in the toughest weather conditions. ABS has a strong resistance to corrosive chemicals and/or physical impacts (more info on ABS plastic).

Thule Force Cargo box is available in five different sizes – M, L, XL, XXL, and Alpine. Depending on the size, Thule Force Cargo Box’s volume can vary from 12 cu ft. to 21 cu ft. and it can weigh between 35 and 56 lbs. Due to its low weight, it can be installed by one person, using no tools because of the Quick-grip mounting system.

Thule Force Cargo Box has a dual-side opening which makes it more accessible, meaning that you don’t have to walk around your car in order to open the cargo box. Secure Lock is over-sized for easy opening, even with winter gloves on you’re going to be able to easily open, close, and lock the box.

This cargo box fits on most of Thule rack systems, round bars and it fits on most pre installed factory racks. Thanks to its big volume, Thule Force Cargo Box also allows you to fit skis and boards that are up to 86 inches long.

If anything on this cargo box gets broken you don’t have to worry because you are covered with a lifetime warranty on any part of the product.

As for the downsides, the biggest one is that this cargo box is not weather proof. Also, the use of plastic material makes it lightweight, but because of that Thule Force Cargo Box happens to seem unsafe and low quality. In some cases because of the plastic parts locks would get stuck, or even broken. See Thule official website for more info on the company.

2. RoofBag 100% Waterproof Carrier with Side Rails

2. RoofBag 100% Waterproof Carrier with Side Rails

Ranked #2 by the editor
Amazon rating:
(based on 1,018 Reviews reviews)


  • Good, quality bag

  • Offers a lot of space

  • Easy installation

  • Comes with side rails

  • Two year warranty


  • Some parts are low quality

  • Needs extra straps

Editor’s Review: 

Roof Bag is considered to be the best car top carrier without roof rack. Roof Bag is made in the USA witch only means one thing – good quality for a fair price.

This roof bag comes in two sizes, 11 cubic feet which fits almost all types of cars, with or without a roof rack. And there is an option for a bit bigger sized bag with 15 cubic feet, which is made for bigger vehicles such as SUVs, vans, and full-size sedans.

Roof bag is available in two colors – black and gray. Although, black looks sharp and classy, gray is better for the summer trips. It stays cooler in the sun, so your stuff won’t be heated when you take it out.

Its front side is a little lower than the rear of the bag. It gives the bag aerodynamic shape, which lessens the wind drag and the noise. However, the noise is still louder compared to Thule cargo box. The only catch is that your bag has to be fully loaded, at least in the front. Because of the wind at high speeds, the bag could flap around and make a terrible noise. So be sure to put all the big and bulky stuff in the front, and you will not hear a thing.

Installation of the bag on the roof can be a bit tricky because it has to be loaded on the ground and just then put on the roof. If you have a big car, you are going to need some help with installing it, and you’ll probably going to be using a stool. The RoofBag can be used without a roof rack, but you should at least have a rubber roof mat, to prevent it from moving due to vibration during your trip. Also, a roof mat prevents your car top from getting scratched.

This bag is attached to the roof racks, or roof itself with straps. Our recommendation is to buy two extra straps, due to the low quality of the given ones. The plastic parts of the straps are really weak and will break over the time, especially when tightened a lot and often.

The bag is said to be 100% waterproof. Zippers are protected with flaps, and the rain shouldn’t be able to come inside of the bag. However, during our testing, we’ve found out that zipper pulls are not strong enough, and in some cases, they broke after few pulls. So bring something with you that can be used as a replacement pull, just in case.

The manufacturer offers two year warranty, but only for the parts. Which is not so bad, because the bag is really good and strong, except for the parts (zippers, plastic parts on the straps).

Considering the quality and price this is a great deal, if you don’t have a space or money for hard shell cargo.

3. Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier

3. Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier

Ranked #3 by the editor
Amazon rating:
(based on 314 Reviews reviews)


  • Beautiful and functional design

  • Easily installed

  • SlideLock locking system

  • Durable and lightweight


  • Plastic access buttons

  • High price tag

Editor’s Review:

If you’re looking for something sleek and beautiful with a capability to truly carry all of your gear and luggage, Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier is what you need.

This rooftop cargo carrier completely stands out from other products on our list. It features an aerodynamic design in bright white limited edition color way. This is a great pick for someone who’s not only looking for extra storage space but also something that will complement the overall look of their car.

The first thing we have to mention is the ease of installation. Thule Motion XT can be mounted onto your car’s roof rack in less than 10 minutes, and without any tools involved in the installation process. Thule utilizes PowerClick Quick-Mount System, which is essentially a system of four clamps that grip your roof rack. All you have to do is place the cargo box onto your roof bars, adjust it so that you can easily open your trunk, and then rotate the clamps until you hear a loud click. This sound is an indicator that your new cargo box is secured to your roof rack.

The design of this cargo box is not only easy on the eyes, but also very functional. Motion XT features dual-side opening, which comes in handy when you’re fully packed, and you need something that’s hard to reach from, let’s say driver’s side of the car. The lid can be easily opened and closed by one hand, making packing a breeze. Another great thing about the design of this cargo box is its forward position that allows full trunk access.

When you’re transporting your expensive gear and equipment with a cargo box, the first thing that comes to mind is security. With Thule Motion XT, your equipment will be completely safe, both from harsh weather conditions and theft. The hard plastic lid is durable, lightweight, and waterproof. The sturdy construction of this cargo box can endure high-speed winds and heavy rain without any disruption.

In addition to sturdy construction, Motion XT features a triple SlideLock locking system with separate opening and locking functions. This locking system is incredibly safe because it won’t allow you to remove the key from the lock unless all three latches are completely closed. When the lid is properly latched, you’ll hear a loud click and won’t have to guess whether it’s locked or not. Another handy thing is a red strip on the handle, which serves as an indicator that the lid is not latched.

If you’re wondering how much extra space you’re getting, the model we chose is Alpine sized. It has a volume of 16 cubic feet and load capacity of 165 pounds. To put it into perspective, Thule Motion XT can easily carry 5 to 7 pairs of skis, or up to five snowboards. So, if you’re planning a family ski trip, you’ll have plenty of space to pack up all you need. But, if you need even more space, this model also comes in three more sizes – L, XL, and XXL (in addition to Alpine size).

Overall, Thule Motion XT is an amazing cargo box with great features and beautiful design. The only not so great thing about this box is its price, which is at around $800. Not everyone is ready to pay that much for a cargo carrier, but if you do, you’ll get a lifetime warranty on this product.

4. SportRack Vista XL Rear Opening Cargo Box

4. SportRack Vista XL Rear Opening Cargo Box

Ranked #4 by the editor
Amazon rating:
(based on 537 Reviews reviews)


  • Great value for the price

  • Durable

  • Spacious

  • Easy install

  • Secure


  • Short

  • The lid is a bit flimsy

  • Rear lid opening

Editor’s Review:

Those that seek functionality and safety on a budget should seriously consider SportRack Vista XL as their rooftop cargo carrier.

The installation process is simple, but it takes a bit longer compared to Thule Motion XT cargo carrier. After you mount the Vista XL cargo box onto your roof rack, you have to insert U-bolts from below and around the bars into the interior of the box itself, which are then secured with a quick release hardware that attaches to the U-bolts. If this sounds a bit complicated, don’t worry, everything is explained and easily understood in manufacturer’s installation manual.

SportRack Vista XL has a bit different design because it features a rear facing lid opening. While this provides a safe approach to your cargo (away from ongoing traffic), rear lid opening is not really that good. Don’t get us wrong, the lid works fine, but the problem occurs when you try to reach the back corner. You’re going to have a hard time reaching a back corner unless you drive an SUV or similarly big vehicle where you can use a rear bumper as a stepping stool.

The Vista XL’s ABS construction is UV resistant and durable. However, the lid feels a bit flimsy because sometimes it happens to open fully on one side, and only halfway on the other side. This isn’t something you should worry about, as it doesn’t have any effect on whether the lid latches correctly. Unlike Thule’s Motion XT, SportRack Vista XL doesn’t have a big handle, but its lid overlaps the bottom well enough to form a perfect grip and create a waterproof seal. Even though it’s waterproof, we wouldn’t recommend you to keep electronic devices in this cargo box.

SportRack Vista XL features a pretty simple locking mechanism, but nonetheless effective. Despite the fact that Vista XL features much smaller lock than Motion XT, thieves won’t be able to get to your equipment no matter how skilled they are.

SportRack Vista XL is a spacious cargo box with carrying capacity of 18 cubic feet and a weight capacity of 100 pounds. You can pack a lot in this cargo box, but you have to know that it’s significantly shorter than other cargo boxes on our list. If you’re on a search for a cargo carrier that can transport your skis, you should take a look at other boxes from our list; Vista XL is not capable of carrying skis unless they’re for your kids, but you can easily store snowboard in it. SportRack Vista XL will be great for regular campers, golfers, anyone that need some extra space in their car for a reasonable price. 

If you need to carry skiing equipment, check out our Thule Cargo Box review instead.

This cargo carrier is the best bang for your buck when it comes to cargo boxes. Yes, it doesn’t have the same quality and features as our more expensive models from Thule and Yakima, but for around $300, Vista XL is amazing! It offers a lot of extra storage space and a safe way to transport your gear. As for the downsides, it may be a bit hard to load up and take out your gear due to a rear lid opening, and transporting skis is not an option.

The last thing we need to mention is that SportRack Vista XL is covered by a limited lifetime warranty.

5. Mockins Waterproof Cargo Roof Bag

5. Mockins Waterproof Cargo Roof Bag

Ranked #4 by the editor
Amazon rating:
(based on 166 Reviews reviews)


  • Completely weatherproof

  • 15 cubic feet capacity

  • Two extra ratchet straps

  • Anti-skid roof mat


  • No assembly instructions

  • Not great if you don’t have a roof rack

Editor’s Review:

Next up on our list is another soft top cargo carrier, perfect for families that often go on road trips.

This roof bag is made to last and to endure all kinds of harsh weather. It’s made out of 100% waterproof heavy-duty abrasion resistant vinyl which provides full protection for your luggage. During your drive, you can have a piece of mind that your stuff will stay nice and dry, come snow or storm.

Mockins Roof Bag features oversized zippers for easy opening and closing. If you’re worrying about the rain getting in the bag through the zippers, forget about that because they’re fully protected with a two-inch zipper flap and eight pairs of Velcro.

To keep it in place the bag in place, you are provided with four straps that will secure the bag to the roof of your vehicle. For even more security against heavy winds, Mockins included two extra ratchet straps to fasten the bag to the roof of your car so it won’t move an inch.

You can mount this bag directly onto the roof of your car because this bundle includes a protective mat that can prevent any scratches and damages (caused by sliding) to your vehicle’s roof. However, even though it’s ok to mount the bag directly on the roof, it is best to use it on a car that has a roof rack, or at least sidebars.

The capacity of this roof bag is 15 cubic feet, which is plenty enough to store everything you need for a trip. The one downside to all soft top cargo carriers is the fact that you have to load them up while they’re on the ground, and then haul them to your roof and secure them tightly.

Mockins Roof Bag provides you with a safe way to transport your stuff from point A to point B without sacrificing the space in your car. With their customers’ satisfaction in mind, Mockins offers a limited lifetime warranty for this roof bag.

6. Keeper 07203-1 Waterproof Roof Top Cargo Bag

4. Keeper 07203-1 Waterproof Roof Top Cargo Bag

Ranked #6 by the editor
Amazon rating:
(based on 4,237 Reviews reviews)


  • Great price

  • Solid quality

  • Offers a lot of space

  • Waterproof


  • Needs to be fully loaded

  • May tear if you load some sharp materials

Editor’s Review:

If you are on a budget but still need more space in your car, Keeper Cargo Bag is the right choice for you.

Having 15 cu ft. of space inside of it, it is a perfect cargo bar for long trips or shorter trips but with more people. It weighs only 5.2 pounds, and it is very easy to set up on your car.

For the best install, you are going to need roof racks with attachment capabilities on all four sides. But if you don’t have all four, it could be done with less but with some slight changes, just to secure the bag. Also, it is important to point out that you are going to need to load the bag before you put it up on the roof. Otherwise, you won’t be able to attach the straps as the instruction recommend.

Keeper 07203-1 Cargo Bag is waterproof, and as the customer reviews show,there shouldn’t be any trouble with it as long as you follow the official instruction manual. It could leak on the zipper area, but if you protect it with the covering flap, your stuff should stay dry no matter the weather conditions.

Because it has soft sides, Keeper 07203-1 can change shape a little bit, depending on what you put in the bag. It is recommended to load it fully, so that it won’t clap on the wind during your trip. This is recommended so because clapping may cause tearing, which if not noticed on time may cause spilling of your stuff on the road. Also, it is not recommended to put sharp objects inside of it without some protection over the object, as that can tear up the bag.

If you are wearing some things that are plastic, or have some parts that may cause damage on the top of your car, you should buy a roof cargo carrier mat. It comes in one size, but you can cut it, or just fold it to fit the size of your cargo carrier.

Since Keeper 7203-1 Cargo Bag is not made of plastic hard shell, there are no locks to secure your luggage. When you zip it with two small zipper pulls, you get a small lock that you pull through the pulls. But, since it is not high quality lock, it can be broken easily. We recommend unloading your luggage if you are staying somewhere over the night.

For such a low price, Keeper 07203-1 Cargo Bag is a perfect solution for people who often travel with family or friends. The bag is made of quality materials that will keep your luggage safe and dry, whatever the weather conditions. Keeper 07203-1 Waterproof Roof Top Cargo Bag has almost 3000 reviews on Amazon, which only tells you about the quality and the customers’ satisfaction with the product.

7. Rightline Gear 100S10 Sport 1 Car Top Carrier

7. Rightline Gear 100S10 Sport 1 Car Top Carrier

Ranked #7 by the editor
Amazon rating:
(based on 1,767 Reviews reviews)


  • High quality bag

  • Waterproof

  • Worth the price


  • Straps look unsafe

  • A lot of wind noise if it is not fully loaded

Editor’s Review:

Rightline is relatively cheap and economic top carrier. It is a soft shell carrier which can hold up to 12 cu ft. of luggage.

The Rightline Gear Sport 1 Car Top Carrier can be set on the bare roof. If you don’t want to damage your car roof, it is recommended to buy a roof pad or a mat for a soft shell carrier, as it will protect your car from being scratched or damaged by your stuff in the bag.

The Rightline Gear bag is made of polyester that’s strengthened with PVC inner layer and nylon grid. This combination is made in order to keep the bag dry and clean, but it also protects it from fading that can be caused by UV radiation (98% UV protection).

The zippers are made of a corrosion-resistant material for durability, and they are hidden under a flap to protect them from getting wet, and from leakage. Slots on the zipper pulls are designed so that you can lock up the bags. You can also secure it to your roof, and lock it. This way you have double protection for your luggage.

Like the other car top bags, you’ll have to load Rightline Gear bag while it’s on the ground, and then install it on the top of your car. The bag can be attached to cargo basket, roof-rack side rails or crossbars. If you don’t have any of these, the Rightline bag can be installed on the bare roof, but you will need to pull straps through your car interior and then out and around the bag. In this case, you will need car clips that will prevent the water (if it rains) to get inside of the car.

Customers often complained about the low quality of the straps, but it’s mostly because they generally look unsafe. You can always buy new straps, apart from custom made straps you get with the bag.

Fully loading your bag will reduce wind drag and noise. That way, it will be easier to mount it and tighten the straps around the Rightline Gear Car Top Carrier.

The overall impression is that Rightline Car Top Carrier is the right choice for everyone who is looking for high quality soft shell carrier, and everyone whois ready to pay a slightly higher price for a rooftop bag. We consider it is worth the price, since you have a 1-year warranty on all the parts except the bag itself. See Rightline official website for more info.

8. Yakima SkyBox Carbonite Cargo Box

8. Yakima SkyBox Carbonite Cargo Box – Our Top Pick

Ranked #8 by the editor
Amazon rating:
(based on 473 Reviews reviews)


  • Different sizes

  • Aerodynamic shape

  • Carbonite top


  • Low quality locks

  • Makes noise at high speed

Editor’s Review:

Having kids and going on a trip always requires extra space in your car. Even when you drive SUV, if you are going away for a few days you will need a rooftop cargo carrier for all that extra luggage.

The most important feature of this product are the different sizes that it offers. It comes in five sizes, depending on its volume. It could have 12, 16, 18, 21 cubic ft, and it comes in Lo size that offers 15 cubic ft and which is a little longer (it can hold longer skis and boards, up to 215 cm). Yakima SkyBox weighs 55 pounds, meaning that you are going to need the second pair of hands to help you with the installation process.

Yakima SkyBox’s aerodynamic shape is supposed to make less noise and less vibrancy, but it is reported that it actually makes a lot of noise because of the big empty space between the top of the car and bottom side of the cargo. To resolve this problem, you can put something like Styrofoam between the top and the bottom, making your driving experience smooth and quiet no matter the speed you’re going at.

Yakima SkyBox’s top is carbonite and has a fine texture, which gives it a beautiful and sharp look. Sometimes it happens on hot days thatthe SkyBox gets really heated. Because of that, we don’t recommend putting something that can melt into this cargo carrier.

Like the Thule Force cargo carrier, Yakima SkyBox too has a dual side opening, which is great if you want to pull out something from one of the sides. The locks on this particular cargo carrier are made to hold the key inside until you fully close it. But the problem with that is that they are made from a low quality material, and they often get stuck, which results in not fully closing the carrier on one side. So, be careful when you’re closing the Yakima SkyBox, and always double-check it.

9. Curt 18115 Roof Rack Cargo Carrier

9. Curt 18115 Roof Rack Cargo Carrier

Ranked #9 by the editor
Amazon rating:
(based on 1,208 Reviews reviews)


  • Offers flexibility

  • Strong yet lightweight

  • Great price


  • Tricky assembly

Editor’s Review:

The next product on our list is something completely different than cargo carriers we previously mentioned, and that is a cargo basket.

Curt Roof Rack is a great way to free up some space inside your vehicle. This cargo basket offers a lot of flexibility when it comes to packing up for a trip. Some luggage simply cannot fit into a cargo bag, especially when you need to pack up more than two bulky items like a cooler, suitcase, and maybe a toolbox. But with Curt 18115 everything you need can be strapped down to it.

Curt 18115 has a strong steel construction that can withstand even the toughest of elements. The steel is E-coated, and it features a carbide powder coat finish that’s very durable.

Apart from high quality materials, this cargo basket features a wind shield in the front, which protects the cargo from high speed winds and keeps the car more aerodynamic. The walls surrounding the Curt 18115 are four inches high, and with sides this tall, you don’t have to worry about your cargo not being secured and protected.

The installation process is simple because Curt 18115 features universal mounting brackets. These brackets will mount easily to most roof rack bars in a matter of minutes. Also, the basket itself doesn’t require too much assembly because it comes in two pieces that connect to one another.

When it comes to capacity, Curt 18115 offers an additional 11 square feet of storage space. You can rest assured that everything you need for a trip will fit on this basket, whether that’d be a cargo bag, cooler, toolbox, or even a spare tire. However, if you think that 11 sq. ft. is not enough for your personal need, you can get an extension piece and end up with an impressive 16 square feet of additional storage space for your car.

As for the downsides, some users had problems with assembling the basket due to the lack of a comprehensive instruction manual. The other problem mentioned quite a few times was rust. However, it wasn’t the basket itself that was getting rusty, the bolts and nuts were.

The downsides are insignificant when you look at the advantages Curt 18115 has to offer. With almost thousand user reviews on, Curt 18115 managed to get a 3.9-star rating, which is pretty impressive and it tells you a lot about the product.

How to Choose the Best Rooftop Cargo Carrier – Buyer’s Guide

When you’re buying a cargo carrier, there are a lot of points you need to cover before you decide on one.

This is the first question you should ask yourself, and the answer to this question will tell you what type of cargo carrier you are going to need. If you love camping trips and you only require more space for your tents, sleeping bags, and usual luggage, you will be completely satisfied with a cargo bag. But on the other hand, if you’re planning a trip to the mountains for some winter fun, a cargo box is the right solution for transporting all your equipment.

If you don’t need a lot of space, but you still need a bit more space than your car can hold, a good cargo bag is a right choice for you. When you’re choosing the right cargo bag, there are a few thing you should check first. The most important feature of a cargo bag is the material it’s made of. Always look for a cargo bag that’s waterproof. Weather conditions are never certain, one minute it’s sunny and clear, and in the next one, there’s a downpour of rain. Waterproof cargo bag will keep your luggage dry and safe. The next things you should check are the zippers because flimsy zippers can cost you losing your stuff along the way. So, look for a cargo bag that features urethane coated zippers and a strong, waterproof material. With these features, a cargo bag will help you safely transport your luggage wherever you may go.

If cargo bag is too small for you, and you need a lot more space for transporting equipment like skis and snowboards, buying a cargo box will surely solve all your car space problems. Choosing a cargo box is more complicated than choosing a cargo bag. There are some factors you should consider before you start making a decision on a cargo box, and we’ll cover those factors below.

Cargo boxes come in four main sizes – Alpine, L, XL, and XXL. An alpine sized box is great for transporting skis and snowboards because of their long and lean construction. The L sized cargo box can store duffel bags, carry on suitcase, and everyday items that are taking up a bit more space. The XL and XXL sized cargo boxes are a great choice if you and your family often go on road trips with a lot of luggage that needs to be packed. These boxes can store oversize luggage, baby gear, kids’ toys, and a lot more depending on what you’re bringing with you. In addition to the size of the box, always check its load capacity. And another thing, if you’re choosing a larger cargo box, you are going to need some help with installation process as these boxes are pretty heavy.

Design of the cargo box is something that should complement the overall look of your car. It should look sleek and beautiful on all sides. Luckily, today’s cargo boxes are designed to keep your luggage safe, while complementing the look of your vehicle. So when you’re choosing a cargo box, look for the newer models, as they are both better and they look good.

Aerodynamics design is extremely important when you’re choosing a cargo box. Aerodynamic design means that there will be less wind noise because they feature a sleek design that cuts right through the wind. The aerodynamic design of the cargo box will also help you travel smoothly, and it will save you some money on fuel.

How often do you plan on using the cargo box? This is an important question because cargo boxes are not meant to be driven around empty, and that is especially true when you’re traveling at high speed. If you plan on using the cargo box from time to time, you are going to need to take it off your car in between use. In this case, you should find a cargo box that is easily installed, or otherwise, you’re going to have a problem each time you want to install it or take it off. On the other hand, if you want a cargo box to be a long-term storage, the ease of installation process won’t be a factor for your decision making.

Ease of use when we’re talking about cargo boxes, comes down to the locking system, and to the opening system. When you’re choosing a cargo box, look for one that offers dual side opening. Trust me, this will save you a lot of time and hassle because it is much easier and faster to load and unload the box from both sides of the car. And when it comes to locks, you should find the box that has big locks that are easily manipulated, you don’t want flimsy, little locks that are hard to control.

Lastly, maybe the most important factor you have to consider when you’re buying a cargo box is your vehicle. You have to find a cargo box that will be compatible with you vehicle. Have in mind that smaller cargo boxes on top of a big vehicle like SUV, are very hard to access, and bigger cargo boxes on top of a smaller car may extrude to the windshield which is very dangerous. So, look for a cargo box that will suit your car.

With these factors in mind, you are well equipped to make the best choice for your rooftop cargo carrier.

Different Types of Rooftop Cargo Carriers

There are a few types of rooftop cargo carriers, and we’ll cover them below, but before we do that, we need to talk about roof racks.

Without roof racks, you won’t be able to carry your rooftop cargo carrier. The roof rack is a platform consisting of a set of bars that are secured to the roof of your car, and on which you can mount your cargo carrier or any type of luggage.

Some vehicles come pre-installed with a factory roof luggage rack, but with some vehicles, you are going to have to install complete rack system or only base rack system and crossbars.

Complete rack systems and base rack system are totally customizable for the exact model of your vehicle, and you don’t have to worry about that.

Rack systems, whether you installed them, or they came pre-installed, can be accessorized with different add-ons. Here are some add-on racks you can install on your vehicle:

For winter sports enthusiasts there’s nothing like going up to the mountains to get your adrenaline fix. And everyone who loves skiing knows that it’s not easy transferring your skis and snowboard with your car. Because of this, manufacturers developed special racks that can hold up to four snowboards and up to six pairs of skis.

If you thought that transferring skis and snowboard was hard and complicated, what do you think about transferring kayak or canoe? If you don’t have the proper racks, you won’t be able to transport your canoe or kayak yourself. Specialized kayak racks adjust to the curve of your boat which keeps it safely mounted on the roof of your car. Canoes are bigger, and you might think that because of their size they might pose a problem when transferring. But there is no need for that type of thinking because canoe carriers are available in various sizes, and transferring canoe with the right racks on top of your car won’t be a problem.

If you’re more interested in surfing on some big waves, but you’re not exactly close to the seaside, you don’t have to worry about transporting your surfboard. There are also specialized surfboard carriers that can transport a variety of surfboards on top of your car. They are usually easily installed and very reliable when it comes to safety.

Different Types of Rooftop Cargo Carriers

After you install the roof bars, you can then look for some type of cargo carrier to mount it on top of your car. There are various shapes and sizes of cargo carriers, but they come in three different types. Here are the three types of cargo carriers:

Cargo bags are the cheapest way for you to gain extra space for your car. They are extremely easy to install. Cargo bags can be mounted on the bare roof of your car, meaning that you don’t need any type of roof racks. However, mounting a cargo bag on the bare roof will probably scratch the roof of your car. If you feel that roof racks are too much for you, but you still wish to protect your roof from scratches, you can purchase a roof mat. With roof mat, your cargo bag won’t inflict any damage to your car, but it will stay secured in place. There are various cargo bags you can choose from, and if you want a quality bag, you should consider the material the bag is made of. Nylon is not really a good choice, as it will break down under the sun. You could go with a bag made of a polyester material which is UV resistant, but the best choice would be a bag with dual-layered material that offers vinyl backing which makes is water-resistant. I think everyone can agree that water-resistance is a must when you’re buying a cargo bag. Also, a good quality cargo bag should have urethane coated zippers that will keep your stuff secured in the cargo bag. The most important thing you have to know about cargo bags is that they need to be fully loaded. If they’re not fully loaded, the material will flap around in the wind, and eventually tear up. Also, with cargo bags, you don’t have a lot of security. There are some bags that come with locks that can lock the zippers together, but that would be it. So if you go with cargo bag, you should always unload it from your car if you’re staying the night at the motel for example.

Cargo boxes are the most secure way for you to transport your luggage and equipment. The cargo box is like an additional trunk for your car. They are usually weather proof, hard, durable boxes that are mounted on the roof racks on your car. Unlike cargo bags, cargo boxes don’t have to be fully loaded in order to keep the box in one piece. However, if it is not fully loaded be sure wrap your stuff with a net or with extra straps because if you don’t do so, your luggage will bounce around the box. These boxes are easily installed, but because of their weight, you might need some help with the installation. Cargo boxes come with their key, meaning that your equipment and luggage are completely safe from theft. Cargo boxes are the most expensive cargo carriers on the market, because they are easy to mount and easy to load up, and they are safe. When you’re picking a cargo box, be careful not to choose the one that extends over the windshield.

Cargo baskets are made out of metal, and they clamp onto your roof rack bars. They are usually used for luggage that won’t fit in cargo bags or cargo boxes. They offer a lot of flexibility when it comes to loading your luggage because everything can be easily strapped down to these baskets. Also, they are not only meant to go on your roof. You can also get a cargo basket that goes on the rear of your vehicle.

Customer’s Opinions – See What Other Users Say:

Camping is my favorite thing to do, and I try do go camping as much as possible. I assume that everyone who at least once went camping, knows how much stuff you actually need on this kind of trip. Another thing about camping – it costs a lot if you’re traveling far as I do. So to save up some money, and gain some much needed space in my car, I decided to buy Keeper Cargo Bag. This bag is waterproff and spacios enough to pack up all the things I need on my trip. It’s been about 7 or 8 months since I got this bag, and I’ve travelled more times than I could count, and Keeper cargo bag hasn’t tore up. It holds its shape well, even after thousands of miles travelled. If you’re on a budget but in great need for space in your car, go with this bag and you won’t regret it!
Using the Keeper 07203-1

Yakima SkyBox is amazing! It was very easy for me to install it, because it features adjustable sliders that were easy to mount on my car’s cross bars. The dual side opening is also a great feature to have. I know that opening is not something people are overly concerned about, but for me that is a big plus. I got this carrier last year, my friends and I planned a big ski trip to the mountains and we needed space to store all of our equipment. We managed to store two snowboards, two pairs of skiis with four helmets and all additional equipment and luggage. If that is not a lot of space I don’t know what is… There were some noise, I must admit that, but it wasn’t too much. Overall, I am extremely satisfied with Yakima SkyBox, and I would recommend it to everyone!
Using the Yakima SkyBox


There are many options for transporting your gear and luggage. But each person has its preferences and needs. Choosing between racks, baskets, boxes, and bags comes down to your traveling habits and to the volume of luggage and equipment you’re taking with you on a trip.

Someone who travels to the mountains with a couple of friends, for some skiing fun, is not going to transport the same equipment that would transport a family that’s traveling to the seaside.

Wherever you go, transporting your luggage and equipment, however big or small, won’t pose a problem if you’re equipped with the right gear.

I hope our article helped you make the best choice. Happy traveling!

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Katarina Bukvic

Katarina Bukvic

I am an author at Best Products Pro with a big passion for traveling, photography and everything Game of Thrones related. I enjoy writing about tech and home improvement products. When I’m not writing, I’m reading or spending time with my friends.

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