Best Rated rooftop cargo carriers are the best way to expand your car storage. This equipment becomes utmost necessary when you have a large family but a small car boot space! So, rather than leaving out on important gear and utilities, you can accommodate them all into your roof top carrier. Moreover, since all gears and clothing are at the top, it makes the car less cramped and more comfortable.
Hence, if you do hit the roads frequently, you should consider getting an auto rooftop cargo carrier for your vehicle. But, how to choose the correct one when there are so many variations on the market? Well, to be honest, choosing the one that suits your needs is a difficult task, especially when you must consider your family’s needs.
Since roof top carriers can be quite expensive, it would surely be a onetime investment that would serve you for years to come, but you must take the time to choose the one that fulfil your needs. However, to ease off that process, I have prepared a list of the 6 best car rooftop cargo carriers available on the market. Also, for your convenience, I have even included a buying guide in the end so that the selection process becomes easier!
My Suggested 6 Best Rated RoofTop Cargo Carriers:
1. Fivklemnz Car Roof Bag Cargo Carrier
If you are genuinely in need of a roof top carrier, then the Fivklemnz cargo carrier might be the best choice! With a waterproof storage space of 15 cubic feet, reinforced straps, an anti-slip mat and 4 convenient door hooks, this is one of the best cargo roof top carriers available out there.
The Fivklemnz cargo carrier is exquisitely designed to fit any car rooftop. Moreover, there’s an anti-slip mat in place that prevents the carrier from slipping off the car rooftop. Also, this mat acts as a cushion that absorbs shocks and noise while keeping your luggage intact! Furthermore, this mat even protects your car paint and prevents it from getting scratched.
As far as storage is concerned, the Fivklemnz cargo carrier boasts a 15 cubic feet storage that is both tear proof and waterproof. It keeps your luggage safe and dry during heavy rains!
- The carrier has 8 reinforced adjustable straps which keeps luggage intact even in the harshest conditions.
- You can store up to 6 suitcases in this roof top carrier
- Extremely easy to install and can be fitted on any vehicle with or without roof rails
- The material used is a 700D Oxford cloth that is extremely rugged. It can withstand extreme heat as well as rain conditions!
- There is a massive storage space that can accommodate 4-6 suitcases.
- The design is simple! Moreover, installation is easy as well.
- The seams are heat welded as well as stitched to ensure maximum protection of your luggage.
- Although the material is extremely rugged, the zippers may break easily.
2. RoofPax Car Roof Bag & Rooftop Cargo Carrier
The RoofPax car cargo carrier offers a storage space of around 19 cubic feet. When compared to its peers, it has some premium features which easily differentiates it from the rest. To begin, the entire carrier is made of military grade materials which makes it super sturdy, rugged and thick. To add to the ruggedness, this car roof bag has a water repellent tarpaulin coating that also protects your luggage from harmful UV rays!
Other features include a dual seam technology, rugged SBS zippers, 10 high quality rugged Velcro straps and a 7mm thick protective mat that comes with an anti-slip technology and helps protect your car paint from scratches.
As far as installation is considered, this roof top carrier can be installed on any car with or without a roof rack. Moreover, it uses door hooks for installation rather than straps which are inconvenient and difficult to install.
- The carrier uses 6 door hooks for installation rather that the inconvenient and unsafe straps!
- The material is made up of 1680-D PVC fabric that protects your cargo from all weather conditions. Moreover, it is military grade certified!
- With the massive 19 cubic feet storage, you can easily store up to 6 suitcases.
- There is a 7mm thick anti-slip mat which prevents scratches and chipping of your car paint.
- Simple design and quick installation with easy-to-use door hooks
- The door hooks allow you to conveniently strap down all types of cargo
- 7mm anti-slip mat that prevents noise and even protects your car paint from scratches
- Although the zippers are rugged, but like every other car roof carrier, they are prone to breakage!
3. SportRack Vista XL Rear Opening Cargo Box
The Sportrack Vista XL sets a high standard for other peer roof top cargo carriers. With a massive 18 cubic feet of storage, you have ample space to store up to 4-6 big suitcases. Also, since it’s a rear opening cargo box, maneuvering through your cargo won’t be an issue in tight parking spots. This rear opening of the lid helps even in aerodynamics and provides better safety while driving when compared to those side-opening ones that could fly open in the wind!
Another great feature of this roof top cargo box is that it comes with a lock and key. So, your luggage would be safe from theft. Unlike its peers, this cargo box is made of premium ABS plastic. Well, this might act as a pro due to its ruggedness, however, whether it’s completely waterproof, is a thing to consider. But, whatsoever, it will save your luggage from mild to moderately heavy downpours and snow.
As far as installation is considered, the process is quite simple. Since, the carrier comes pre-fitted out of the box, you just need to set it on your roof racks (yes roof racks are a must for this product) which will hardly take 10 minutes!
- A massive 18 cubic feet of cargo space
- Rear lid opening, which helps maneuvering through cargo easy even in tight parking spots!
- Waterproof storage with an integrated lock mechanism
- Easy install and uninstall through release hardware mounting systems
- Fits universally on all roof rack types and all vehicle sizes
- Rear opening lid for easy accessibility of cargo even in tight parking spots
- There is a lock and key mechanism which keeps your cargo safe
- Easy tool-free installation as well as removal through the mounting hardware mechanism
- The material used is rugged ABS plastic which can protect your luggage from moderately harsh weather conditions and even UV rays
- Since the material used is ABS, there are slight chances of water seepage under extreme rainy conditions.
4. Thule Pulse Rooftop Cargo Box
When compared to the Thule Force XT, the Thule Pulse Rooftop Cargo Box is a lot cheaper. However, it’s not that value for money as the XT one is! The Pulse medium comes with 14 cubic feet of storage which is more than almost any other car trunk. As far as the quality is concerned, the Thule Pulse is made up of sturdy ABS plastic and by the built quality it feels like it’s built to last!
The most convenient feature of this cargo box is its easy installation. With easy grip mounting knobs, this roof top carrier can be installed and adjusted in basically a couple of minutes! Moreover, another interesting aspect about this carrier is that it opens from the passenger side and the hinges contain internal lid lifters. This makes loading and unloading cargo a lot easier as the lid stays in place once opened.
Other features include a lock and key mechanism which will assure your luggage safety at high speeds as well as from thefts. Moreover, the Pulse is pretty much weather and waterproof. However, in cases of extreme snow/rain, a tiny amount of water might seep through.
- There is almost up to 14 cubic feet of cargo space which can easily fit in 4 suitcases
- It has a passenger side lid opening which accounts for easier cargo loading-unloading
- The rugged ABS plastic is very sturdy and pretty much weather and waterproof
- The Fast-grip quick mount system helps in easy installation of the cargo carrier
- It also has a lock and key mechanism that keeps your cargo safe at high speeds
- The Thule Pulse has a creatively engineered central locking system that provides maximum security.
- Installation is a lot easier with Fast-grip quick mount systems.
- The lid opens on the passenger side which enables for an easy loading-unloading.
- The keys to the central locking system seem ordinary.
5. MeeFar Rooftop Cargo Carrier Car Roof Bag
The MeeFar rooftop cargo bag is weatherproof and waterproof due to its 800D PVC tarpaulin. This keeps your luggage completely dry even under extreme weather conditions. Moreover, this cargo carrier comes with door hooks rather than straps, which adds extra security to your luggage even at high speeds!
When it comes to cargo capacity, the MeeFar roof carrier moves miles ahead of its competition. With a mammoth 20 cubic feet of loading room, it can easily accommodate 8-10 suitcases, or even 4-6 suitcases with some sleeping bags and double tents! This makes it an immensely powerful utility while on long drives.
As far as installation is concerned, you can install this roof bag with or without roof racks. Moreover, there is a thick anti-slip mat which prevents slippage of cargo and even protects the car paint from scratches.
- The MeeFar Car Roof Bag boasts a mammoth 20 cubic feet of storage space which can fit almost any cargo that comes into mind!
- There are 6 door hooks (rather than straps) which add to the security of luggage and locks it tightly in place.
- The cargo bag is made of 800D PVC tarpaulin which is 100% waterproof and supremely rugged.
- The cargo bag fits almost any sized car, and you can use it with or even without roof racks.
- The zipper too is waterproof and has a flap which further ensures cargo safety from extreme weather conditions.
- A massive 20 cubic feet of storage space
- Made of extremely durable and rugged 800D PVC tarpaulin what is 100% waterproof
- Fits almost any sized car with or without roof racks
- There are door hooks rather than straps, which adds up to the cargo safety
- Although the zipper seems durable, it is very much prone to breakage just like some other cargo carriers in this list.
6. Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier
Well, well, well! So, we have eventually moved on to the last product on our list, but hey, don’t worry! We have saved the best for the last. The Thule Motion XT is the priciest as well as the most premium looking roof-top carrier on the market. With 16/18/22 cubic feet loading room options, it sets a new record in the roof top cargo carrier space!
A slight advantage which this carrier has over others is that due to its aerodynamic shape, it can fit in extremely long items such as skis or snowboards that wouldn’t otherwise fit in the trunk. Also, to take convenience to the next level, the Thule Motion XT opens from both sides which makes the loading-unloading task even easier.
The roof top is extremely sturdy and rugged with an A-Grade water and weatherproof certification. Moreover, due to its sleek shape, it saves on a lot of fuel because of aerodynamics. Other brilliant features include a built-in central locking system for added security as well as easy installation with clamp-on systems!
- The XXL model has a massive 22 cubic feet of storage space. Also, all the models have a sleek design due to which you can accommodate even long items.
- The Thule Motion XT has a central locking system for added cargo safety.
- The sleek design adds up for an aerodynamic aspect which really improves fuel efficiency and handling.
- The Thule Motion XT is built from rugged ABS plastic that carries a A-Grade water and weatherproof certification.
- Extremely sleek and modern looking
- Can carry a lot of cargo (especially the XXL model which has a storage space of 22 cubic feet)
- There is a central locking system for added safety
- Helps in handling and fuel efficiency
- 100% water and weatherproof due to the rugged ABS plastic.
- The fuel efficiency aspect is real, but its not that great of a deal (I mean you shouldn’t just buy this product due to this aspect alone!).
1. Types of roof top carriers
The type of roof top carriers is one of the first criteria to consider. Indeed, you have the choice between flexible models and rigid models. This categorization is made according to the coating of the trunk.
a.) The soft roof top carriers: This type of box has a coating of generally waterproof synthetic fabrics. It has the advantage of being easy to transport and can be attached by one person due to its low weight. In addition, the flexibility of this type of coating makes it easy to store after use.
Indeed, you can fold this type of roof top carriers for better use of the storage space. However, it is quite easy to steal a soft roof top carriers since you just must cut the fixing straps. You must therefore take care of the security of your luggage.
b.) Hardtop roof top carriers: This type of box has a plastic coating. However, it is not uncommon to find that some models are an alloy of different materials. All in all, the rigid model has the advantage of being stronger and more protective of your property than its flexible counterpart.
In addition, due to its design in solid materials, rigid roof top carriers are designed with a well-defined shape. This detail also allows it to have an advantage over the soft ones. Indeed, the manufacturers do not hesitate to give it an aerodynamic shape to improve its breakthrough in the air.
This makes it possible to consume less fuel than if it were a soft carrier. However, unlike the soft model, it is not as easy to store the hardtop box, because you cannot fold it. To this end, you must consider your storage space before choosing this type.
2. The dimensions
The dimensions of a roof top carrier vary depending on the model you choose. Therefore, you must take this into account when making your choice so that the carrier can meet your needs. Depending on the model, you have a length between 1 and more than 2 meters. In terms of height, it can reach 40 centimeters or a little more.
As for the width, it can vary between 80 centimeters and nearly 1.5 meters. In addition, the size of some of your personal belongings can help you choose the most suitable dimensions. Indeed, for security measures, you must at all costs prevent luggage from overflowing from your trunk because it is too big.
For this purpose, we advise you to choose a model large enough to hold your longest luggage without it preventing the roof top carriers from closing. In addition, in terms of dimensions, you must also consider the requirements of the highway code relating to the loading of luggage on the roof of a car. Besides that, you should also make sure that your roof top carrier is not too big to the point of protruding forwards or backwards.
This not only decreases your visibility, but also your vehicle’s ability to move forward more easily, which will affect your fuel consumption.
3. Capacity and Weight
A roof top carriers can have a capacity as large as the trunk of your car to allow you to really have more freedom when storing your equipment such as tents, sleeping bags, folding chairs or anything else that you need to transport. Indeed, the capacity can vary between 220 and 350 litres for cargo carriers intended for small cars, 350 to 500 litres for a larger car and 500 to 650 litres for 4×4 vehicles and other vehicles of the genre.
However, a larger capacity also means more weight. And in terms of weight, the roof top carriers can weigh almost 90 kilograms with your luggage (empty weight of the box + load capacity). That said, it is important to consider the strength of your vehicle’s roof. In addition, a heavy carrier will require your vehicle to provide more effort which will lead to greater fuel consumption.
4. The opening system
You will need to close and open your roof top carriers to access or secure its contents. For soft roof top carriers, the closing and opening system is quite simple and can be done with a zipper or with Velcro. The rigid roof top carriers have different opening and closing systems which vary from one model to another. Those are:
a.) A unilateral opening: The opening is done on one side only.
b.) A bilateral opening: The opening is done on the two lateral faces. Then you don’t need to stand particularly on one side.
c.) A rear opening: This is a form of unilateral opening because the opening is done only by pushing the lid of the trunk backwards.
In addition, you can have an assisted opening. Thanks to this type of opening, you can fill or empty your suitcase without holding the lid since the latter is held by an articulated arm or a jack. In addition, the closure of your roof top carriers can be reinforced to prevent the theft of your personal belongings. You can then opt for a padlock, a key lock, or a point lock.
5. Fixing system and accessories
Proper attachment of the roof top carriers to your car is essential before setting off, as this is a matter of road safety. In fact, a poorly fixed trunk can come off and cause serious damage to road users. To avoid any accident, you must first ensure that the roof bars are solid. After this step, you need to think about securing the trunk, taking the bars into account. The best-known mounting system is the U-shaped bracket. However, it requires the presence of two people and quite a long assembly and disassembly time for proper attachment.
However, there are other fixing systems that are easier to use than are found on roof top carriers. These include the U blocker, the L rod and its lever, the master-fit and power-click systems. In addition, it is also possible to fix certain roof top carriers with straps. If you opt for this fixing system, we strongly recommend that you consider placing an anti-slip mat under the boot for more stability.
Moreover, you will never be too careful if during your stops, you check the solidity of your fixing system at each stop. A screw or strap may have loosened or loosened slightly, making the attachment less secure. Apart from the anti-slip mat, you can opt for a luggage net which, like the mat, guarantees better fixation of your roof top carriers throughout the journey. Also consider a cover to protect your trunk against dust.
In short, roof top carriers are a real plus when preparing for a trip. It allows you to carry more personal belongings for a certain ease even far from home. However, for your expectations to be met, you must consider the following criteria:
- The type of roof top carriers: Flexible or rigid depending on the advantages you prioritize.
- The dimensions to be sure that even your largest accessory can easily stay in the trunk without overflowing.
- Capacity and weight: To carry everything you need without overloading your vehicle.
- The opening system for easy access to your personal belongings, but also for their security.
- The fastening system for a solid fixation of your roof top carriers and the accessories for additional advantages.
Traveling enthusiasts know the value of a high-quality roof top carrier! However, since now you have 6 of these at hand, you might even purchase any one of these. All of them are built from high quality and durable materials, are waterproof and have large storage capacities (at least bigger than your car trunk)!
Now it entirely depends on you whether you want a soft top one or a hard top one. Well, I leave that choice to you since whichever product you choose (from the list), I believe that it would assuredly suit your needs. Thanks for reading… If you think I forgot something or if you simply want to share a story or some advice, feel free to leave a comment below, Be Safe and Happy Adventure.!
Be Safe and Happy Camping.!