Best Rooftop Cargo Carriers Reviews

Going on vacation is a wonderful way to escape your daily problems and get away from work a bit. Taking a trip often relieves stress, fatigue, and it helps you charge your batteries. Everyone needs such an occasion from time to time. However, going away also requires a lot of planning and attention to details. Where do you want to go? How are you going to get there? Is the entire family going? Things like these must be taken into consideration.

RoofBag Explorer Soft Car Top Carrier
Works on bare roof, cross bars, side rails, or baskets
Heavy-duty construction, made in USA
Size 11 fits any car, SUV or van
Thule 682 Sidekick Rooftop Cargo Box
8 cubic feet of storage
Side-opening design for easy loading and unloading
Mounts to most removable and factory roof racks
Keeper 07203-1Waterproof Rooftop Cargo Bag
Waterproof rooftop cargo bag with 15 cubic feet of space
Soft sides flex to fit odd-shaped loads
Folds compact for easy storage

One of the aspects that need careful consideration is the luggage. How are you going to carry it? Is there is enough room for it in the trunk? If your entire family is traveling with you, you are going to need a lot of space for it. That is why one of the best ideas to transport luggage is by placing it in a rooftop cargo carrier. They are spacious, they will not get in your way, and they are easy to carry around.

The benefits of a rooftop cargo carrier

I know that car trunks are very useful. After all, their primary purpose is to transport things, but sometimes they don’t provide enough room. Maybe the trunk is too small, or you have too much luggage to fit in it. That is why a rooftop cargo carrier is the best investment. Here are the advantages.

  • ü It will occupy space you don’t need. You are not using the rooftop of your car, are you? So why not make it useful? Placing a cargo carrier on it is an excellent way to take advantage of the space.
  • ü You will not have to cram the car’s trunk just to fit all the luggage you want to take with you. Not only that it’s uncomfortable when you need something out of it, but things inside your bags may suffer damage. Clothes are usually fine, but other items like electronic devices or other fragile items may break under pressure. A rooftop cargo carrier will provide the extra space you need.
  • ü If you have a big family, a cargo carrier will provide the extra space you need, so no one is limited to just a few items. You know how it is when you go on vacation. You pack a lot of stuff, even if you don’t use all of them. It’s better to have it with you and don’t need it than the other way around.
  • ü Not all cars have a built-in rack, but that is not an issue. Some rooftop cargo carriers don’t need a roof rack. There are models that can be mounted by simply using straps that go under and over the car’s roof.

What to look for in the best rooftop cargo carrier

Fortunately, there is no shortage of models. You have where to choose from. Cargo carriers come in different shapes, sizes, and textures. All you have to do is establish the criteria and determine what you need. Here are the features that should interest you most.

  • ü The size – depending on how much bags you pack or how big your family is. If there are many members of your family, then you have to go for the largest carrier you can find. Don’t worry, manufacturers don’t make products that are too big for your car, but they do provide a vast variety of sizes. Also, if the trunk of your vehicle is too small, there has to be a way to transport all that luggage. Also, think about what exactly are you going to put in the carrier. Not all of them are meant to support heavy weights.
  • ü The shape – if you are wondering what shape has to do with anything, then here is your answer. You like to save money on gas, right? Silly question, everyone likes to save money. Well, the shape of the cargo carrier will determine how much gas you will use on a particular trip. How? Simple, if the carrier is square, then the air current will hit the front side, which means that there is going to be some resistance. The car will try to compensate, and that means it will burn more gas. However, if the shape of the carrier is aerodynamic, the gas cost will lower. Makes sense, isn’t it? That is why some rooftop cargo carriers are in the shape of a teardrop. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in that shape, but at least the edges should be round, so the air would pass over the carrier with ease.
  • ü Roof racks – this is one of the first things you should look at. If your vehicle doesn’t have a rooftop rack, then it cannot accommodate any cargo carrier. You have to look for those which can be mounted without any pre-existent racks. You are not going to have a hard time doing it. Manufacturers are well aware of the situation, and they managed to satisfy both sides. The important thing is to find the best rooftop cargo carrier that fits your car.
  • ü Your car – not all cars can accommodate any carrier. Some are big, some are small, so make sure to take the required measurements before making a purchase. If the carrieris too big for your bug of a car, then you have no choice than to return the product. You don’t want your vacation ruined just because you did not measure the rooftop of your car, do you?
  • ü What is it made of – this is another aspect that you should really think about. Some people go for the polyurethane plastic, which is a nice choice. Carriers made of this rough plastic tend to last longer, but they are more expensive than the alternative. That is why some people go for the soft carriers. They are cheap and don’t make a real difference for your luggage. Just make sure that the soft carrier of your choice is waterproof. You don’t want to reach your destination with soaking wet clothes, do you?

What are the best rooftop cargo carriers?

That question does not have a single answer. It depends on a lot of factors like the car’s size, the mounting options, and, of course, what is it that you prefer. Luckily there are enough options on the market for you to make a smart choice. Here are few.

RoofBag Explorer Soft Car Top Carrier

Click here to buy on Amazon

My first choice was based on the fact that this rooftop carrier works on any car you may have. It doesn’t matter that the roof of the vehicle is bare, it has crossbars, side rails or a basket. You can mount this carrier either way. It’s very easy to install. All you have to do is place the straps underneath the rooftop and close the doors. The straps are made of a sturdy material, so they are not going to suffer any damage if you set the carrier this way. When you don’t need it anymore, all you have to do is roll it and put it in your closet. It’s very easy to store because it gets really small.

The bag overall has a heavy-duty construction. The material is durable. It will not tear anytime soon. The straps can hold as much as 3000 lbs. They are made of the same material as seat belts. That means you can go as fast as you can on the highway. They will pull through. No worries there.

The bag comes in different sizes. Size 11 will fit virtually any car, but if you have an SUV, a van, or a full-size sedan, you can go for size 15. It provides a lot of space. You can even leave the trunk empty or fill it with essentials you may need on the road. It comes in handy if you are traveling with your kids, but with your dog as well. The dog can have its own space in the truck, while the luggage is safely strapped to the roof.

In the package, you will receive everything you need. You don’t have to purchase extra straps or mounting hardware. However, I do recommend that you buy a protective mat for the roof of your car. Not only that it will protect the roof from possible scratches, but will also keep the bag steadier than without the mat. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.

Thule 682 Sidekick Rooftop Cargo Box

Click here to buy on Amazon

The Thule cargo carrier provides 8 cubic feet of storage, or, in other words, it can fit up to 110 lbs. It has a compact design, but I believe that it is ideal for people who want to transport camping gear or golf equipment. It may be small, but it will surely save some space inside your car trunk.

The box is made of impact resistant ABS plastic and is made to withstand UV light. It will last a very long time. As far as mounting goes, the carrier is compatible with all Thule racks, but with almost all aftermarket and factory roof racks as well. The installation requires very littleeffort, and it can be done in a matter of minutes.  You don’t even need extra tools. The Thule U-bolt. Knob mounting system makes sure of that.

The Thule cargo carrier opens on a side, and it’s very easy to load and unload. You don’t even have to keep the box open because there is a system in place that will hold the lid up while you go about your business. The two locks will make sure that the lid doesn’t open, and they will protect the contents of the box.

The aerodynamic shape of the cargo carrier will save you gas money. The air will pass right over the box which means that it will not oppose any resistance whatsoever. Water will not enter in the box under any circumstances. Heavy rain should no worry you. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.

Keeper 07203-1Waterproof Rooftop Cargo Bag

Click here to buy on Amazon

This one is similar to the first product I mentioned, with the difference that the Keeper comes just in one size, the one that can provide 15 cubic feet of space. It’s more than enough anywhere you may want to go. You can store anything you want, from clothes or other personal items to sleeping bags and other camping gear.

The design is wellthought. The bag is made of sturdy rubber laminated nylon. The waterproof feature provides excellent protection from rain and road grit, but the bag is also made to withstand wind and powerful UV rays. The straps are made of durable material and can hold any cargo. If you don’t have a rack or rails, the straps can be inserted under the rooftop of the car without suffering damage. The soft sides are versatile, meaning that they can accommodate odd-shaped loads.

Compatibility is not an issue with the Keeper rooftop cargo carrier. It can fit any car, from small to large. Once you are done with the bag, you can just fold it and store it conveniently. It will not occupy a lot of space in your closet or storage area. Installing the bag requires just a couple of minutes. Getting it down is just as easy. Minimal effort is involved. A roof mat may come in handy to protect the rooftop of the vehicle and steady the bag, but you are going to purchase that separately. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.

My recommendation

I have to admit that I am not a fan of plastic rooftop cargo carriers. They are heavy, and the assembly is more complicated than with soft bags. That is why my choice is a soft carrier. Although, I must say that it is a tie between the RoofBag and the Keeper. They are both sturdy, made of resilient material, and they can fit a lot of stuff. They may not be as aerodynamic as the plastic carrier, but that doesn’t make a difference for me. From where I stand, they are the best rooftop cargo carriers on the market.


I don’t know about you, but every time I go on vacation, I tend to pack for a month, even if I am going away for just a week. I always wonder if I need that or this, which is why I pack a lot. Just to be on the safe side. If you are like me, then a rooftop cargo carrier is what you need. That is if you don’t want to cram your entire trunk. Click here to buy on Amazon

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