How To Choose the Best Roof Basket or Cargo Carrier For Your Car?

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Are you looking for the best roof basket or rooftop cargo carrier for your car before leaving for a splendid adventure?

This guide is especially for you. Rooftop car carriers offer the perfect solution to elevate your travel experience by providing ample space to carry all your essentials and gear. That way, your car interior won’t be overcrowded, either.

Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or embarking on a thrilling outdoor adventure, roof baskets and car top cargo carriers are a must-have accessory for any road trip enthusiast.

Read more below to delve into your options for the best roof basket and top-rated car rooftop carriers. They promise to enhance your travels and maximize your car’s storage space.

hardside cargo carrier | Enjoy Travel Life
The best rooftop carriers offer storage space for your bulky items.

CONTENTS — In this article, you will learn about choosing the best roof basket or cargo carrier for your vehicle, including:

Best Roof Basket or Cargo Box: A Buyer’s Guide to Finding the Perfect Fit

Planning a road trip adventure with friends or family? If you’re tired of stuffing your car’s trunk and back seats with belongings and prefer a more comfortable ride, then consider adding rooftop storage.

The best roof basket or car rooftop carrier can solve all your packing problems.

In this simple buyer’s guide, you will learn how to find the best roof basket or rooftop carrier for your car.

Let’s begin with the basics.

Rooftop Carriers for Your Vehicle Provide Extra Storage

rooftop carriers
Select your car rooftop carrier very carefully to get the maximum out of it.

Car rooftop carriers are containers that attach to the roof of a vehicle. They offer extra storage space for your luggage and bulky items.

This allows you to easily pack everything you need for your trip without sacrificing your car’s interior comfort – or risking improperly secured items on your rooftop.

Finding the right rooftop luggage carrier can be challenging, though. You’ll find various types, sizes, and shapes available in the market.

So, which car rooftop carrier is best?

The answer is… it depends.

But don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.

Types of Car Rooftop Carriers

best rooftop basket
Know your options for carrying luggage on your vehicles rooftop.

When it comes to carrying cargo on your automobile’s roof, it helps to understand your options. Here are the most common types of rooftop carriers you should consider.

  • Soft-Sided Carriers: Made from high-quality materials like vinyl or polyester, soft-sided carriers come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. They utilize compression straps to secure your luggage. Soft-sided carriers are ideal for smaller loads, since they can be folded and stored easily after use.
  • Hard-Sided Carriers: Hard-sided carriers are constructed from sturdy plastic materials. This means they can withstand harsh weather conditions such as rainstorms or snowfall. Hard-sided carriers come in various capacities, depending on their size and shape.
  • Roof Baskets: Roof baskets are open-air cargo carriers that are commonly used to securely transport irregularly shaped items. That way, you can store things like bicycles or kayaks on top of your vehicle. You can also store your luggage in roof baskets – just make sure it’s all tied down securely.

Now that you understand the types of carriers you can put on your roof, let’s delve a bit deeper into the decision factors that will help you narrow down your perfect choice.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Rooftop Cargo Carrier

Beyond the type of rooftop carrier, you’ll want to take in account other important factors. Doing so will help you choose the best roof basket or cargo carrier.

How to Choose the Right Cargo Carrier for Your Car

  • Purpose: Consider whether you need to transport lightweight luggage or specialized equipment like canoes. That will make a difference in choosing the type of cargo carrier that best suits your needs. It will also result in a more hassle-free experience throughout your trip.
  • Size Matters: Select a roof cargo carrier that’s compatible with your car’s roof rack system and will fit. You also want to make sure it’s large enough to carry your cargo, but not too heavy to lift it onto your car’s roof. Finally, make sure it adheres to local municipality laws regarding height requirements.
  • Weight Capacity: The best roof basket or cargo carrier has a maximum weight rating higher than you plan to carry. This helps ensure safe and comfortable travel along America’s winding roads. It’s important that you always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for weight-bearing when using rooftop cargo boxes or baskets.
  • Ease of Use and Security: Choose a carrier that is easy to install and remove, preferably with a quick-fit design. Additionally, opt for a lockable carrier to enhance the security of your cargo.
rooftop storage for car | Enjoy Travel Life
Consider several features when you’re choosing a the right rooftop carrier for your needs.

Our Picks: Best Roof Basket and Rooftop Cargo Carriers

If you’re looking for the top-rated car rooftop carrier or baskets, here are our top 3 picks:

  • Best Roof Basket: The Rhino-Rack XTray Pro Roof Basket is renowned for its weight capacity and durability, making it one of the best roof baskets available. It provides additional space for road trip adventures without needing a fully enclosed container system like plastic rooftop boxes.
  • Best Hard-side Cargo Carrier: The Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier is widely regarded as one of the top hard-sided roof boxes available. It boasts an aerodynamic design that reduces wind resistance, enhancing fuel efficiency while keeping luggage safe and dry in all weather conditions. The dual-side opening mechanism allows for easy access from either side of the vehicle.
  • Best Soft-Sided Cargo Carrier: The Yakima Skybox Carbonite Cargo Box stands out among soft-sided carriers due to its unique features. It offers an aerodynamic design comparable to hard-sided carriers and is available in sizes ranging from medium-sized 12 cubic ft up to an enormous 21 square feet.

While you’ll want to do thorough research on the best rooftop cargo options for your travels, we recommend your first look is at these 3 tried-and-true products.

Final Thoughts on Best Roof Basket and Carriers for Your Car

Selecting the right car rooftop carrier requires thorough research.

You’ll want to consider the purpose, size, weight capacity, ease of use, security, and trusted brands when you choose the best roof basket or cargo box for your car. Choosing the best roof basket or cargo carrier will depend on your individual storage needs, budget, and preferences.

But once you make your choice, you can expect an optimal luggage experience during long driving trips and adventures across America’s diverse landscapes and national landmarks.

Happy travels!


Jackie Gately at the beach


About Jackie Gately, editor-IN-CHIEF

I'm Jackie Gately, your travel confidante and the creative force behind Enjoy Travel Life, awarded the "Best Casual-Luxury Lifestyle Blog (USA)" in Travel and Tourism by LUXlife Magazine for four consecutive years.

With 25 years of published expertise, I'm a seasoned writer, editor, and photographer curating inspiring travel guides and lifestyle tips for empty nesters. I hope to kindle your spirit of exploration, encouraging you to overcome obstacles and turn your dreams into reality.

Learn to minimize your pre-travel angst and maximize the joy of exploration with insights from my experiences. Let's make every adventure a celebration of this exciting phase of life! 

Follow my social channels for more inspiration.


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