The Best Rooftop Cargo Carriers

Rooftop Cargo Carriers Review

Now of days rooftop cargo carriers come in sleek/slimmer profile to help with overall appearances and increasing fuel economy. Any good roof rack will work with cargo carriers.

What to consider before purchasing

You will need to have roof racks either factory-installed or aftermarket racks. There are many great roof rack options out there. Make sure you check your vehicle's owner's manual for the weight limit of your vehicle's roof.

Top 10 Rooftop Cargo Carriers


Product Name 



Thule Motion XT XL

Yakima SkyBox 16 Carbonite Cargo Roof Box

Yakima RocketBox Pro 12 Cargo Box

Thule Sidekick Cargo Box

Yakima SkyBox Lo Carbonite Cargo Box

roofnest sparrow

Thule Pulse Cargo Box


Yakima DryTop


INNO Wedge 624


  • Volume: 18 cu ft.
  • Weight: 46 lb.
  • Dimensions: 85.5″ x 49″ x 11.4

This cargo carrier is highly recommended due to its easy to install, plenty of room for your gear, and it is aesthetically appealing. It opens from both sides and is very easy to open with support lifters. Its functional design comes in very well priced.


  • Quality Material
  • Opens from both sides


  • Gloss finish can scratch


  • Volume: 16 cu ft.
  • Weight: 75 lb.
  • Dimensions: 90 x 36 x 20 in.

This Yakima Skybox cargo carriers streamline design allows ample room and storage for your gear. It isn’t the cheapest product on our list but that is in part to its quality of built and size of this hardshell cargo carrier.

The lid has built-in stiffeners to minimize road noise on the highway. It is also green-friendly being built of over 80% of recycled material.


  • Quality built
  • Low road noise


  • Higher price tag


  • Volume: 12 cu ft.
  • Dimensions: 58 x 36 x 16 in

Ideal for both short-roofed sedans or wagons as well as larger SUVs in need of added storage, the RocketBox features quick-installation hardware that works with a variety of roof-rack bars for extra room on the go. Its compatibility complies with round bars, square bars, most factory bars.

This carrier features dual-side opening and push-button operation makes accessing your gear a breeze.


  • Very well priced 
  • Easy opening and access
  • Easy setup/install


  • Smaller storage at 12 cu ft.


  • Claimed Weight: 16 lb.
  • Size Closed: 54 x 25 x 15.5 in
  • Locks are included

The Thule Side Kick is the smallest rooftop cargo carrier that Thule makes. This clamshell-style box's shape and size make it perfect for carrying golf clubs and camping gear without taking all of your roof space. 

The SideKick is made of impact-resistant polyurethane and keeps your gear safe and secure with the included locks. The SideKick will mount to almost any rack system, be it Thule, Yakima, or factory.


  • Fits almost all rack systems
  • Locks included 
  • Fairly priced


  • Not the best looking design


  • Volume: 15 cu ft.
  • Weight: 46 lb.
  • Dimensions: 7 ft 8 inch x 36 x 36 in

A good match for gear for 3 campers, the slim profile Yakima SkyBox Lo Carbonite Cargo Roof Box reduces air drag and increasing fuel efficiency. Features built-in lid stiffeners as well dual side opening.


  • Slim good looking profile 
  • Lots of room for gear


  • Higher Price Point


  • Volume: 16 cu ft
  • Dimensions (Large): 76 x 33 x 16.5 in
  • Locks included

This design by Thule designed the Pulse Cargo Box for the budget-minded driver with a  serious outdoor addiction. Available in three sizes, the durable Pulse Cargo Box adds much-needed space to your car and separates your wet, muddy toys from your car's clean interior on the ride home.


  • Easy-Grip mounting attaches in minutes
  • SecureLock ensures the box is closed tight before you drive off


  • Only opens on the passenger side of the vehicle


  • Volume: 16 cu ft.
  • Capability No roof rack needed

The Yakima Dry Top provides an easy-to-use, instantly deployable storage solution for vehicles with and without roof racks. Its 16-cubic feet of storage makes it great for weekend excursions.

This is a great lower-cost option and even more cost-effective if you do not currently have a roof rack due to the design of the adjustable straps attach directly to the roof of your vehicle.


  • Compatible with and without roof rack
  • No roof rack needed
  • Lower cost option


  • Not fully waterproof but water-resistant


  • Volume: 360 Liters
  • Weight: 41 lb.
  • Dimensions: 6ft .8in x 33in x 13.5i n

This sleek aerodynamic rooftop cargo carrier will get the job done and is a great design for shorter vehicles like sedans, wagons.

The mounting hardware features a quick 1-time setup and easy reinstall. The solid polymer membrane injection technology makes for a consistent thickness that is up to 50% stronger than standard carriers.

This carrier is built to stand up to all types of weather and makes it a great choice. Whether for your trip across snow-covered passes or just your next family trip this carrier is a worthy choice.


  • Solid chrome handle
  • Dual side opening
  • durable ABS plastic lid stands up to weather


  • Glossy black finish scratches


Do I need a roof rack for a cargo carrier?

Yes, for most hardshell rooftop cargo carriers. They will require roof racks and metal hardware to attach the carrier. There a few types of cargo carries like The Yakima Dry Top and similar bag style carries require no roof rack and due to adjustable straps attach directly to the roof of your vehicle.

Final Thought

A roof-top cargo carrier allows you a lot more space for your gear. This a great way to increase your vehicle's cargo-carrying space without having to upgrade to a larger vehicle or compromise passenger room. However, it is crucial to choose the best rooftop carrier or bag for your needs. This detailed review has shown you the best 8 options.