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Best rooftop cargo box for cars – In-Depth buying guide

How do you choose the best rooftop cargo box for cars? What features and features should the rooftop cargo box for cars fit for your needs? Read our guide and get informed.

When you have a large family it can be a real challenge to go all on holiday with your personal car, especially if it does not have generous storage space. When you can not get the kids to take with them just what’s necessary, you could end up having the luggage as passengers.

You can avoid this unpleasant situation by purchasing a rooftop cargo box for cars that can be mounted either behind the machine or on the roof.

If you want to find out where the other drivers found such a box at an affordable price, but also how to choose the best rooftop cargo box for cars, read this article carefully.

If you are on a tight budget, take a look at our top 5 of the best rooftop cargo boxes for cars under $100.

Why choose the best rooftop cargo box for cars?

The rooftop cargo box for cars is a practical and handy solution when the haul or trunk does not offer enough storage space. For your things to be safe on the road, however, you need the best rooftop cargo box for cars.

An unconscious choice may be problematic in terms of storage capacity or actual box size.

What kind of box do you choose? One for the ceiling or one that fits behind the car? Which is the most convenient option for your car? Before you make any purchases, you need to get a good idea.

How to choose the best rooftop cargo box for cars

The market offer for these car accessories is very abundant. Prices vary greatly, and at first glance, it may be difficult to explain the price difference, because apparently all looks the same.

Also, before you buy a rooftop cargo box for cars, you have to find answers to some questions. Does the box’s weight matter? What is the right size and shape for your car? What are the safety measures that the box needs to secure? How do you choose a box that is easy to mount and easily accessible?

You find answers to all of these questions in this shopping guide specifically designed to help you invest money in a product that will certainly help you. At the end of this article, you will certainly be ready to buy the best rooftop cargo box for cars at the best quality/price ratio on the market.

So read carefully the following important information.

Size and shape

Shape and size matter more than you think. They directly influence your ability, the extent to which you can put something besides the box, as well as the ease of driving and parking.

On the market you will find boxes in many shapes and sizes, width, length, and height, indicated by the manufacturers in the product description.

To choose a model compatible with your car, make sure that the dimensions allow you to easily mount the box on the roof bars. You will notice that most often you will give a longer and narrower, wider and shorter, or wider and longer pattern.

The long and narrow car rooftop cargo box is suitable for safely transporting skiers or skis as well as other long objects that fit into the box.

The advantage of this type of box is especially felt by families with children who, besides the box, want to use the roof to carry one or two bicycles, a snowboard or other big items needed on vacation.

If the shortest and the shortest seem to fit you, find out that they will not occupy all the space on the ceiling. Most likely there will still be room for you to carry another bicycle on the roof, but not two. So if you have children, this may not be the best choice for you.

You also need to be ready to make a compromise. When you have a large family, you will most likely be ready to opt for the most enormous box, even if it will cover your roof.

The long and long model is the most spacious and surer, you will be able to accommodate all the luggage the car’s trunk can not swallow. The disadvantage is that such a large model is most likely larger than the width or length of the car roof. This inconvenience could get you tired of driving or parking, so opt for such a model only when you’re sure of your advanced driving skills.

A more convenient version that gives you plenty of space and is easier to access and easier to fit is to use two car rooftop cargo boxes, both long and narrow. This will have approximately the same storage capacity as the previously analyzed model, but you will not face the disadvantages.

Storage capacity

The capacity of such a storage box is expressed in liters. If you can quickly the market, you will notice that the limits range somewhere between 200 liters and 700 liters.

Although it gives you a solid clue as to the volume you can use, you did not expect to use all the volume indicated. The reason is simple. Some models have more prominent edges, or the cover has a deformed shape. These issues restrict storage capacity. So you can use much less space than the one indicated. So think realistically, which is the real space you could exploit.

Another thing that you need to be careful about is the height of the car rooftop cargo box. That’s because the higher it is, the more you can store in it. On the other hand, if you choose a lesser model, you will not only be able to fill it with as many objects, but such a box is less resistant to wind, and when it is strong, including consumption fuel is amplified.


The material will dictate the ease of storage, product durability and driving convenience. On the market, there are both boxes made of textile and made of plastic.

Textile fabrics are rarely chosen by drivers. However, this model allows more flexibility because it can be easily mounted but also stored when you no longer use the box because the fabric can be folded.

You do not have to worry about humidity because the box is treated for impermeability. Also, the closure is made of the zipper, and when it is broken it is much easier to repair than the closures of a plastic box.

Plastic models are recommended for those who want something more durable. Before you buy a plastic boot box, make sure the plastic is ABS. Also, a heavier and more rigid plastic will fit better, ensuring driving comfort and resisting at higher speeds.

Smaller plastic patterns will wear out more quickly, especially at grip rivets. The material will wear out what will damage the box, causing vibrations on the roof during driving, movements that will surely bother you. Even if you have to invest more in a thicker plastic model, keep in mind that this is a long-term investment.

Closing and locking mechanism

The car rooftop cargo box lid closing mechanism is another aspect that you need to consider. This can be an important differentiation criterion because, depending on what you choose, one or two people will need to be able to close the box.

The most common closure mechanism is the three-point central closure. This is also the most inconvenient because it assumes key lock, but removing it is only allowed when all three points are completely closed. Because you have to remove the key at the same time that all three points are closed, you may need another person to help you.

Easier convenient closure variants are easy to find on the market. In the case of a more ergonomic model, closing is done automatically. Just wait until you hear a noise indicating the shutdown after you have closed the lid, and you are free to remove the key.

Another model has no key at all. These are the three-point push-button boxes, each with a button. Of course, in terms of security, this model is not very good.

Opening the box

The extent to which they have access to the luggage in the box will be pretty much affected by the opening system, or rather, by the side on which it opens. There are both models that open from one side, generally straight and back, as well as on both sides.

If you have a smaller box, there will be no problem if the opening is made of a safe part. This is as long as the box is not positioned firmly in the middle and rather on one side. If placed in the center, you may need a chair to access the box.

If you have a larger model, the single-sided opening is not recommended for many reasons. First of all, it will be much harder for you to load the box evenly and efficiently. Space without openness might be quite empty as you struggle to remove all the objects in one place.

You will also find it harder to organize your luggage properly, and heavier objects should be positioned in the center of the box so that it does not become unbalanced later and does not affect fuel consumption so much. Last but not least, a double-opening box is more practical when parking parallels to a gate or wall, and you do not have access to a particular part.

What facilities should have the best rooftop cargo box for cars?

  • Anti-theft system – if it is not properly protected, the box or box items can be easily stolen when you are not around the car, or when parking overnight at the hotel.
  • Partitioned space – if you want to organize luggage, choose a box that has special storage compartments.
  • Handle – externally positioned, contributes to mounting as well as to a much easier opening and closing.
  • Rubber cap – when traveling in the rain or cold season, the keyhole is exposed to frost and moisture that can cause rust. These rubber caps are an important protection measure.
  • Non-slip surface – placed inside the box, prevents the chaotic luggage movement during driving.
  • Protective pouch – to protect the plastic surface (often glossy) when you do not use the box and want to store it.
  • Adapter – If the box size does not fit perfectly on the roof bars, you can buy an adapter to solve this problem.
  • Lighting light – In order to have optimum visibility at night when removing the luggage.


As with any other product, and in the case of the luggage compartment, the manufacturer can be an important indication of quality.

Beware of No-Name companies selling such products at dubious good prices. Most likely, the product will leave much to be desired. As always, we present a list of the companies that drivers recommend: Thule, Hydra, Dacia, Modula, Farad.

Many drivers found the right product online, so we encourage you to start searching online as well. You will find quality products at very advantageous prices, without having to go home.

Also, remember that before buying a product check the opinions of other drivers about it. By comparing their experience with your expectations, you will find it easier to see if it is the right product for you.

Now that you have all this information, you are ready to buy the best rooftop cargo box for cars.