(Updated on March 11, 2022)
If you have limited storage in your vehicle, then a cargo box on the roof can be a lifesaver on road trips. Most models will affix to rails that exist on the roof of your SUV already, although some can install directly if needed. If your vehicle currently doesn’t have roof rails, they can easily be added no matter what type of vehicle you have.
Hard and soft cargo box models are available to meet your specific needs. Here are nine of our favorite rooftop cargo carriers.
Best Rooftop Cargo Carriers
1) Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier
- Roof-mounted cargo box provides 18 cubic feet of additional packing space
- Designed for optimal space efficiency, aerodynamics, and vehicle fit
- Quick-mount system "clicks" when roof box is secure and properly mounted
- Dual-side opening for quick access from either side of the car
While spendier than other brands, Thule makes arguably the best cargo boxes on the market and they’re one of the few that’s made in the USA. This roof-mounted cargo box comes in 4 variations and offers up to 22(!) cubic feet of extra packing space and has much better aerodynamics compared to some other systems.
The design features a dual-side opening for better user convenience, while the handles offer a nice grip for lifting support. It is easy to open and close the unit, with the lid automatically locking in place to provide a secure closure. You’ll know that this carrier is correctly installed because it offers a solid click when you have the mounting finished. Available in black or titan gray.
2) Yakima SkyBox Cargo Box
- Perfect for hauling gear for up to 3 campers; Great for snowboards and skis up to 185 cm
- SuperLatch security ensures lid is secure to its base; Fits Yakima round, factory, aerodynamic and...
- 16 cubic feet; Also available in 12, 18, 21 and Lo sizes; Dual-sided opening for easy access
- No assembly required; Includes SKS Locks; Approved crossbar spread: 24-36 inches
The design of this high quality 16 cubic foot cargo box (also available in 12, 15, 18, and 21 cubic foot variations) pays special attention to the amount of drag you experience while driving. It creates a minimal change to your profile, which means your vehicle will respond like normal and use only slightly more fuel when you’re on the road.
This model features a quick-dial mounting hardware system that fits most factor bars, providing enough space to store gear for up to three campers. There is a dual-sided opening and push-button security to simplify the user experience. It also features one of the best warranties that is available in the industry today.
3) SportRack Vista XL
- 18 cubic foot (510 L) internal cargo capacity
- Made from durable UV-resistant ABS material
- Rear opening for easy access away from traffic
- Tool-free mounting hardware for easy installation and removal
This popular cargo box is one of the better values around with a full 18 cubic feet of space and 100 pound capacity. The SportRack Vista XL is a rear-opening rooftop cargo box that features ABS construction that is UV-resistant and much more durable than lesser brands. It includes a lock to secure your belongings.
You’ll want to make sure to check the manufacturer’s guide to ensure it will work with your make and model before purchase. While the holding capacity is its biggest selling point, be aware that the box opens from the rear so you may need a step stool to access it in taller vehicles.
4) RoofPax Rooftop Cargo Carrier
- ✅ SAFETY COMES FIRST: RoofPax is the ONLY brand that produces its Car Roof Carriers for maximum...
- ✅ DOUBLE ZIPPERS FOR EXTRA WEATHERPROOFING: This premium quality car top bag is made of military...
- ✅ WORKS WITH or WITHOUT a ROOF RACK: Use the RoofPax spacious 19 cubic feet car roof top luggage...
- ✅ EVERYTHING YOU NEED IS INCLUDED: Our set includes the 19 cft. rooftop cargo carrier, 6 patented...
This cargo carrier comes with additional door hooks in the box to help you receive a genuinely secure experience. That means you don’t need to worry about straps that go through the inside of the vehicle that could interfere with your airbag safety system.
It might be a soft-sided carrier, but it offers military-grade waterproofing through dual-seam construction to ensure your stored items without damage. You can use this product with or without a roof rack because of the versatility of its design, with 15 cubic feet in total storage.
5) Thule Sidekick Cargo Box
- Compact roofbox, ideal for small loads such as camping gear or golf clubs
- Sturdy U-bolts with reinforcement plates and adjustable brackets provide a assured fit to rack
- Compact design leaves room for other roof mounted accessories
- Passenger side opening for easier loading and unloading
The space-saving design of the Thule Sidekick allows you to carry a more significant load while still having extra room in your vehicle. It features passenger-side loading, sturdy U-bolts with reinforcement plants, and a total load capacity of 75 pounds for your convenience.
The Sidekick does require significant assembly upon purchase, so you will need to set aside a couple of hours to make sure everything gets put together according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It fits most factory racks, but you can also guarantee this solution with a brand-specific rack system. Two locks come with the design to secure your box contents.
6) JEGSport Rooftop Cargo Carrier
- Secure & protect your gear in this 18 cubic ft. HDPE plastic hard shell vehicle cargo carrier;...
- Waterproof storage for your luggage with a four corner locking system, front latch, and...
- Easy & convenient loading and unloading from either side of the car make for smooth travel and...
- No tools required, easy assembly and installation. All mounting hardware and simple instructions are...
Made in the USA, this JEGS cargo carrier is easy to install without worrying about assembly or complicated instructions. It also provides up to 18 cubic feet of storage space, with a 110-pound maximum once correctly mounted.
It is designed to fit only on cross-rail systems which have a 150-pound rating, so you’ll want to check the specs on your car before purchase. Then take advantage of the limited lifetime guarantee while taking only a minimal hit on your fuel efficiency even when fully loaded.
7) GoPlus Cargo Box
- Perfect for Road Trip---Take the cargo box to the park, the beach, the sports field, or any place...
- 14 Cubic Feet of Cargo Space---With the large capacity, the roof cargo box can help you securely...
- Robust & Security Design---The roof cargo box is designed to withstand heavy use in different types...
- High Quality Material---The roof box is manufactured from sturdy ABS and PC material for...
This waterproof rooftop cargo box provides you with a heavy-duty experience that offers 14 cubic feet of storage. It’s the perfect size for families taking a road trip, going camping, or managing a weekend getaway.
The metal lid stiffeners at the bottom of this box give it a superior level of stability that contribute to a hefty 165 pound capacity. Four quick-connect anchors make the installation process a comfortable experience, while the dual-sided opening makes it easier for everyone to access what they need.
8) Keeper Waterproof Roof Cargo Bag
- Protect Your Cargo: Keeper Roof Top Cargo Bag features 15 cubic ft to protect and secure cargo loads...
- Measurements: This cargo bag measures approximately 44 in x 34 in x 17 in with rubber-laminated...
- Features: Soft sides flex to fit odd-shaped loads and folds into a compact size for easy storage
- Ideal Use: Fits most roof racks on standard vehicles and smaller SUVs with attachment capabilities...
If you’re on a budget and don’t need a hard shell box, then consider this 15 cubic foot option from Keeper. It fits all roof racks, increasing the amount of storage you have when there are attachment capabilities on all four sides.
The waterproof design features rubber-laminated nylon so that it will protect your items against precipitation, sun, wind, and grit from the road. Because it offers soft sides, you’ll receive some flexibility for transporting odd-shaped items without ruining the integrity of the product. When not in use, it fold quickly for secure storage.
9) Amazon Basics Rooftop Cargo Carrier Bag
- Rooftop cargo carrier bag with 15-cubic-foot storage capacity
- 8 cinch straps with buckles for easy connection to a vehicle’s roof rack
- Waterproof and fade-resistant for protection against dust, sun, wind, and rain
- Oversized zipper closure with stay-dry flaps; strong seams; folds for compact storage; storage...
Another cargo carrier that’s budget friendly, you may want to give the Amazon Basics house brand cargo bag a look. It features eight cinch straps which allow you to quickly install this product on the roof of almost any vehicle.
There is an oversized zipper that is simple to manage thanks to the existence of flaps that stay dry in most weather conditions. Robust seams provide an extra level of support will keeping it malleable at the same time.