If you’ve always wished you could have just a little extra storage space in your car, rooftop cargo boxes make it possible. You’ve probably seen a four-wheel-drive car with a rooftop cargo box zip by you on a weekend visit to a national park or a drive through a mountain road. They’re frequently used by campers and outdoorsy types because they can be used to store campground essentials like sleeping bags and tools. If you’re going on a camping trip, getting a rooftop cargo box can be very helpful, but these boxes have applications in other places. They can be used if you’re just taking a long road trip, and you’ll quickly find that any friends who are moving will be asking for favors.
The best thing about cargo boxes is that you can have the extra space only when you need it, and take the box off when you don’t. In short — you don’t need to buy a giant truck just to get some extra space. Cargo boxes are fairly expensive, but alternatives like cargo bags are worth considering. They’re not as durable or weather-resistant, but they’re still a good and relatively affordable way to haul extra stuff. One thing worth noting is that most cargo boxes will require that you have a roof rack installed on your car. With that in mind, these are some of the best rooftop storage options.
1. RoofBag Roof Bag
This roof bag is made by the fittingly named RoofBag brand. It’s made in the US of a coated, waterproof material. It can fit any kind of roof rack, but it’s also able to be used in cars without roof racks. The straps can be passed through the interior cabin and held in place by the closed car doors.
Pros: Made in the US, good option for cars without roof racks.
Cons: Not totally waterproof.
2. Thule Force Cargo Box
Thule is the top name in rooftop cargo boxes, and that entails a considerable price tag. However, if you’re looking for something durable and long-lasting, it’s hard to beat the Thule Force cargo box. It’s available in sizes ranging from 13 to 21 cubic feet of space. A dual-side opening means you can access your gear from either side of the vehicle, and a key lock ensures that the box stays closed.
Pros: Tool-free mounting for quick attachment, lightweight and aerodynamic, dual side opening.
Cons: Expensive. Keys can potentially break in the lock.
3. Keeper Waterproof Roof Top Cargo Bag
This cargo bag is available in either 11 or 15 cubic feet. It’s designed to be compatible with any kind of rooftop rack, and it’s made from a coated nylon, making it water-resistant. One benefit of going with this cargo bag over a box is that it can be folded and put away when not in use — in fact, you could keep it in your trunk.
Pros: Compact but spacious, made from water-resistant nylon.
Cons: Not very aerodynamic, isn’t 100% waterproof.