You have the holidays planned, and you are already packing up to travel for a few days as you enjoy the thrills of the road. You have everything with you – the tent, generator, boots and even a bicycle to get through the different terrains. The only issue you may face at this point would be the lack of space. You can consider travelling alone or perhaps leaving the kids behind – but what's the point anyways?
In fact, you are likely to have much more fun, and a safe experience when you travel in numbers. A good recommendation for you at this point would be to get one of the best rooftop cargo carriers. These are special carrier packs, which you can use to store most if not all your travel items - plus the squad!. But before buying, remember that making good decisions is vital to safeguard your investment.
Thus, this is why we have prepared a comprehensive guide to getting you started. Let us dive right into it.
Best Rooftop Cargo Carrier from A Glance
Best for Storage Capacity
Best for Roof Racks
Best for Ease of Use
How to Buy the Best Rooftop Cargo Carrier
Types of Rooftop Cargo Carriers
There are many types of rooftop carriers, but we have narrowed them down to the list below. They include the:
These types are available in several designs and finishes. Some types are even available with lockable mechanisms for added safety. The most notable aspect of these types is that they have robust designs that are easy to install on top of your car. Plus, they are also available in the hitch or roof mounted designs. You may have to set up a rack system to make things convenient. The roof-mounted types are ideal for improving the space available in your car.
A cargo basket is a mechanism which you can use to increase the space of your roof rack. It looks like a ridged and super-sized shopping basket, which you set up on top of your car. To install this unit, you have to get the correct rack system. The benefit of cargo baskets is that you can use them to set up cargo bags. The process requires the use of resources such as a cargo net and hooks. The types that come with a net provide improved flexibility in terms of the cargo you can carry around.
A rack system can be a useful accessory, especially if you have large hauls to carry around as you travel. Most brands make their racks to be stable, regardless of the terrain you have to move through when driving. You can use a rack system to carry various items, including skis, bikes, surfboards, kayaks and more. Furthermore, you can use it to mount conventional cargo carriers or baskets.
If you have to travel with the large items, then consider getting a heavy-duty rack. Plus, remember to get a rack system which is compatible with the structure of your car. If your vehicle has a conventional roof, you might have to get a footpack, crossbars, and fit kit for the installation process.
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Features to Consider When Buying a Cargo Carrier
When investing in a cargo carrier, you may have to take various factors into perspective. The standard features to consider include:
The size of your rooftop carrier is crucial because it determines the size of items you can carry on the top section of your car. Usually, an excellent rooftop provides between 10 to 20 cubic feet of space. The suitable cargo carrier size for your vehicle is directly dependent on the structure of your car. That said, also consider the items you have to move around, and ensure they are compatible.
The design of the carrier should go beyond the aesthetics factor. While aesthetics are important, you also want a structure which won't compromise the aerodynamics of the car. For instance, an overly square rooftop carrier will increase drag, which means you have to spend more on fuel. Also, the design can increase the noise produced as you move, due to drag issues. It would be good for you to go for a lower or flat rooftop carrier as it won't lead to drag complications.
A cargo carrier is a useful resource. Thus, you want one that will provide longevity. While value for money seems like a crucial factor, going for a cheap product is not always a good idea. You want a material that won't compromise the structure of the carrier, and one that is safe from harsh weather conditions.
You need to invest in a carrier that suits the fixtures that you already have installed to the car, and to the items you have to move around. Remember that the common ones include the square and round types, which are also exceptionally aerodynamic. More so, there are types that you can also integrate easily to the factory bars on your car. Therefore, you will benefit from researching before you invest in a cargo carrier.
While it's not a crucial feature, your travels are likely to become convenient when you have a carrier that is simple to set up. A complicated structure might be time-consuming and even compromise the flexibility of the carrier. Plus, it can be a challenge to take the roof on and off when you want to set up your cargo. Go for products that are user friendly and easy to assemble using DIY techniques.
Equally crucial would be the accessibility aspect, especially when you have to reach out for something important.
The best option for you would be to go for a cargo carrier that features a security look. You need the confidence and knowledge that your items are safe, even when you are not close to your car. Also, if owning a good lock can help keep your things secure, remember to get a carrier that is durable enough for the purpose.
Rightline Gear Sport 3 Car Top Carrier
Moving around with your items has never been this easy. The Rightline Gear Sport 3 Car Top Carrier makes up for the storage solution for your needs. Made using welded seams and a unique SZIP waterproof zipper, this unit ensures all your items are free from water. It's even easy to attach the straps of the carrier to the roof rack of your vehicle. Furthermore, the unique car clips let you attach the straps the door frame and weather molding – perfect for ease of use.
The heavy-duty construction of this unit means that you can use it for several years, without any compromise to its performance. It's also simple to set up, and compatible with most structures on small vehicles and even trucks.
Issues such as a high-velocity won't be a problem when you have the Rightline Gear Sport 2 Car Top Carrier. For regular users, you will be pleased that all the Rightline Top Carriers are available with a handy stuff sack such that you find it easy to carry around. It's also easy to stow away when you are not travelling.
AmazonBasics Rooftop Cargo Carrier Bag, Black, 15 Cubic Feet
Travelling long distances? No problem. This should not be a problem when you have the AmazonBasics Rooftop Cargo Carrier Bag. This unit will provide an exceptional 15 cubic foot storage capacity to make it ideal for various types of travel. Furthermore, the inclusion of 8-inch straps with buckles means that this unit is easy to connect to the roof rack of your car.
Made using waterproof material that has an ultra-strong seam, you have a durable storage mechanism for various applications. The durable material will keep your items safe from rain, sleet, snow, dirt and more. Plus, the cargo bag has a solid black exterior, which is also durable and can resist common issues such as fading.
For convenient closing and opening, the makers of this unit have done well to make this unit easy to set up on all four sides. They have achieved this goal by including eight cinch craps, which you will use to set up the cargo carrier on the rooftop. The straps are also easy to tighten as required to provide a secure fit over the rooftop structure of your car.
Car Top Carrier Roof Bag | 15 or 20 Cubic ft + Protective Mat
Equip yourself with the Car Top Carrier Roof Bag, which boast of all the unique features you need in a travel storage mechanism. For instance, the CarTop carrier is made using heavy-duty tarpaulin and fabric guarded material for the best travel experience. Plus, the zippers are also coated to ensure 100% waterproof protection when travelling.
The luggage carrier is made using durable material that can withstand almost anything you throw at it! Did you know that cargo barrier bags that have loose straps and broken zippers can compromise your trip? Well, this is why every aspect of the roof carrier bag demonstrates unique attention to detail. As such, you can be sure of a rooftop carrier bag that works without any complications.
The additional protection mat ensures that the mat won't compromise the paint job on your car. Even more, the rooftop carrier is also angled, to provide high levels of wind resistance when in use. Thus, you will ride safely without issues such as damage due to high-velocity wind.
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Waterproof Car Roof Top Cargo Carrier Bag
You will now travel with peace of mind when you have the Waterproof Car Carrier Bag. While most rooftop bags might seep in water through the zipper, this unit features a triple layer waterproof tarpaulin. Yes, that's right! It's a material that is resistant to issues such as grit, heat, rain and more. Plus, the cargo carrier also features a zipper flap, which ensures all your items remain completely dry when travelling.
Thanks to the highly convenient and easy to use design of this rooftop carrier, you will be hitting the road in no time. Yes, that's right! The entire carrier bag is available with eight reinforced straps and heavy-duty buckles. These buckles are easy to set up and install to your car, plus they are also exceptionally waterproof. Regardless of your car brand, this best carrier bag will fit as long as you have adequate space for a carrier.
Are you going camping or on a road trip? Well, you will be pleased with the dimensions of this unit, whereby it can provide as much as 420 litres of space. Unlike the conventional and hardtop carriers that won't carry odd-shaped items, these types have soft sections that can flex. It even provides an exceptional weight capacity level to make it convenient for rooftop applications.
The makers of this unit have also done well to include a benevolent design. As such, no more hassling with bulky roof rack bags when travelling. This unit folds down into a compact unit, which is easy to store in the trunk. Maintenance is also easy because all this unit needs is an occasional swipe to be clean.
Scombi Military-Grade Waterproof Rooftop Cargo Carrier
Are you going camping or on a road trip? Well, the Scombi Military Waterproof Carrier is also worth the investment. It's a massive 19 cubic ft cargo bag, which ensures all your travel items are safe and secure. Are you worried about bad weather? No worries! The Scombi Military Carrier bag is completely waterproof. As such, you can be sure your items are safe from issues such as snow, sun, sleet and more.
With this unit, you will enjoy the benefit of a roof bag which demonstrates safety and convenience at all fronts. Plus, the rooftop carrier comes with four hooks, which penetrate through the car and compromise the airbags. The material is also coated with waterproof and water repellent TPU, for ease pulling and grasping.
You will also be pleased with the POM thermoplastic, that can withstand a diverse range of temperatures between -5° and 180° F. The Scombi bag is also coated using water-repellent and waterproof material, for ease of use. Also, the POM thermoplastic can withstand even the broadest temperature ranges of between -5° and 180° F. Even without an interior frame, this unit can fold into a compact unit, and it won't compromise the space in your car.
Yes, that's right! It's a robust bag that will sit out the water, and still be ready to take on your next outdoor adventure.
SANHIMA Roof Cargo Carrier Bag - (15 Cubic Feet) Heavy Duty Roof Bag
You will be pleased with the exceptional performance of the SANHIMA Roof Cargo Carrier bag, that can serve various applications. Made using heavy-duty material construction, this unit can withstand even the highest of temperatures. To be specific, this cargo bag is well over 2-3 times more durable than conventional types.
Thanks to the high-frequency seaming technique and attention to detail, you will be pleased with the storage functionality this unit can provide. Also, it comes with connecting pads on the rooftop for ease of installation. Capable of offering well over 15 cubic feet of space, this unit is perfect for storing various types of gear.
It's a cargo carrier that provides optimal resistance against multiple issues. These include problems such as harsh weather, water, U.V., scraps, and corrosion. As one of the best rooftop carriers on the market, this unit comes with detachable straps and three convenient installation designs.
The rooftop cargo carrier is easy to mount and collapsible, to make it everything you would require to travel outdoors. Constructed using heavy-duty PVC coated mesh, this unit is three times more durable than the conventional cargo carrier. More so, you will find it easy to collapse and store in the bag when it's not in use. No trip is complete without the SANHIMA cargo carrier. It's a heavy-duty unit, which offers optimal resistance against various issues. These include problems such as corrosion, moisture, harsh weather and more.
P.I. AUTO STORE ROOFMASTER Rooftop Cargo Carrier
No trip without the P.I AUTO STORE Roofmaster Cargo Carrier is complete. Why? Let us look at some of the few reasons.
The P.I AUTO STORE Roofmaster will increase your trunk space and is the ideal solution for long travels. You will be pleased to know that this unit is easy to fit to all vehicles, regardless of whether they have roof racks or not. Thanks to the inclusion of extra-wide straps and Duraflex buckles, you have an entirely secure car.
Made using a heavy softshell material, you are sure of a rooftop carrier that offers longevity. It's even made using military-grade Nylon Cordura fabric, that also makes up for an appealing finish. The material on this unit provides 5 times the strength and wear resistance you would expect from the conventional PVC material. On top of that, the waterproof design means that your items stay dry regardless of the weather outdoors.
Design to be easy to use, this unit is simple to place on top of the vehicle roof and to zip up for storage. The ROOFMASTER is also stitched using a durable Kevlar thread and seams, that heat welded for optimal waterproofing.
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KINGBIRD 100% Waterproof Roof Bag
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The KINGBIRD 100% Waterproof Roof Bag is also an excellent recommendation for your needs. The roof bag comes with six quality door hooks and ten noiseless straps, that make it easy to set up this unit to your vehicle. More so, the KINGBIRD cargo carrier bag comes with high-quality non-slip pads, which you can place at the base of the bag for stability.
You will be pleased with the built-in protective mat that is available with this unit. Why? The protective mat ensures the paint won't compromise the car paint from the carrier bag. It even features a sewed thick layer of pearl cotton on the bottom, to ensure luggage won't scrap your costly paint.
The fabric on this unit is double-coated using waterproof material, to ensure it won't leak on the surface, especially when travelling at high velocity. The 3" wide zipper cover + 5" long Velcro makes this unit easy to set up. Best of all, the roof bag makes up for an excellent addition to your regimen with its heavily protected design to prevent water penetration complications.
Hitch Rack Cargo Carrier Bag, Expandable Trailer Hitch Bag
Expandable, weatherproof and easy to install. These are just some of the few benefits to expect when you have the Hitch Rack Cargo Carrier bag. This unit is expandable, to provide optimal space for hauling large items with ease.
Plus, the material construction of this unit is also exceptional. Why? Well, made using 600D PVC fabric that has strong seams, you have an outstanding durable hitch bag. The material can repel various issues, including water, snow, and it also protects users from problems such as debris. Also, the tight seal zippers and leak-proof seams provided add safety when using the hitch bag.
Thanks to the heavy-duty cargo bag construction, you have a unit that can provide several years of reliable functionality. The cargo bag offers a maximum of 15 cu ft, perfect for various applications. These include camping, family road trips, weekend adventure, sports equipment and more.
The hitch cargo bag is 100% waterproof to ensure your items stay dry regardless of the driving experience. It even comes with six ladder lock buckle straps, that you can use to bundle your items for a secure ride. The bag is enclosed with a sturdy zipper, which is also covered by a convenient 2-inch protective flap.
Best Rooftop Cargo Carrier: Final Thoughts
There is no doubt that travelling can be one of the best ways for you to spend your leisure time. However, there is also nothing better than driving around with a fully functional car, that has the right accessories. Thus, this guide has been all about identifying the best rooftop cargo carrier brands that you should consider. When you have one of the units on this list, you will find it easy to haul large items, and still maintain the comfort space in your car.