Best Cargo Box Reviews 2018

Cargo boxes can be a great way to transport more of your belongings with you without taking up valuable legroom up in the car; however it can be a task finding one that’s the right size, price and type to fit your car! We conducted extensive research and picked these 5 top choices from the best cargo box brands, which represent what we think most people want in cargo boxes. Please note that these featured products are just samples of what these brands offer.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Size
Capacity
Construction
Installation
Extras
Our Top Choice
Thule Force Alpine Rooftop Cargo Carrier
In the world of outdoors equipment, Thule has a passion for supporting people in transporting their gear to their destinations. Its Force Alpine Rooftop Cargo Carrier is made for tool-free, quick installation.
Aerodynamic shape helps cut through air for smooth driving. Secure lock to avoid spillage. Dual-side opening makes loading and unloading easy.
It is not waterproof. Other than that, you get value for your money.
74 x 36 x 16.5 in/39 lbs
16 cu. ft
ABS plastic
Cargo racks
Dual side opening, grip mounting
Best Value
Rightline Gear Sport Jr Car Top Carrier
Rightline Gear is committed to making products that help people have experiences they remember for a lifetime. Its 100S50 Sport Jr. Car Top Carrier has a 9-cubic-foot load capacity.
Great for cars without roof racks. Waterproof. Made of durable material.
The straps don’t last very long.
14 x 12 x 6 in/6.2 lbs
9 cu. ft
PVC mesh & hydrotuff material
Straps and car clips
Waterproof, aerodynamic design
Yakima Skybox 21 Carbonite Cargo Box
Yakima provides a wide range of support for moving your outdoor gear wherever and whenever you want. Its SkyBox 21 Carbonite Cargo Box has a quick-release mounting system.
Enough space to carry a lot of items. Locking system ensures rigidity and cargo security. Easy to install.
Its latches can be a little difficult to use.
92 x 36 x 18 in/62 lbs
21 cu. ft
ABS plastic
Integrated SKS locking system
5 min. tool-free installation
SportRack Vista XL Cargo Box
SportRack's brand policy is innovation for customer satisfaction. It makes a wide range of products for outdoors enthusiasts. Its Vista XL Cargo Box is built with ABS plastic for durability.
Quick-release system makes installation easy. UV resistant. Rear opening puts you behind the car, away from moving traffic.
If you are using it on a van, the rear opening might cause problems with loading your cargo.
64 x 39 x 19 in/42 lbs
18 cu. ft
ABS plastic
Cargo racks
Rear opening lock, quick release
Keeper Roof Top Cargo Bag
Keeper boasts of a large assortment of high quality cargo products. Its commitment to performance is evident in its Waterproof Roof Top Cargo Bag.
15 cubic feet of space is good for the price. Soft flex sides allow for oddly shaped cargo. It folds neatly for easy storage.
Shreds rather easily. Reducing speed reduces wind turbulence against the bag, giving it longer life.
44 x 34 x 17 in/5.2 lbs
15 cu. ft
Nylon
Straps and clips
Waterproof, soft side flex

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Cargo Box?

How many people can remember preparing for summer trips, family reunion or Christmas at the grandparents’? How much stress it was trying to cut down the number of clothes and stuff to carry just so that the car would not be overloaded? How at the end of the day some trips have had to be done in two vehicles because there was just no space in the trunk for the skim board, folding bike or all the Christmas presents.

Cargo boxes are designed to alleviate some of that stress. All you need do is load up the box, install on the roof of your vehicle and you are good to go! You no longer need to bother about how to carry all your travel gear and luggage; no need to damage your stuff trying to squeeze them into the trunk of your vehicle. Once you know the features that are compatible with your vehicle, you can comfortably proceed on your trip with a good cargo box that frees up space in your vehicle.
Price
The cost of getting a cargo box is definitely way below that of getting a second car, and the benefits also outweigh replacing a car that has been damaged by overload. The price of a cargo box like any product is affected by many factors like the material it's made of, design, brand, and size amongst others. You can get a cargo box for as low as $50 or as high as $600. Note that there are high end cargo boxes which are more expensive than the price stated.

There are also cheap cargo boxes as we found out during our research, but the reason they are not featured in this review is because they are not made with top quality material and are not durable. We have confidence in the products/brands featured and know that any choice made based on this review would afford you great value for your money.
Features
As you make a choice for your cargo box, you need to know the features that are important so that you'll be able to make a purchase that would give you what you’re looking for. Some of those features are:
  • Size - The dimensions of the box should be measured in relation to the vehicle it will be strapped onto and the volume of things it can carry
  • Compatibility with Vehicle - Check that the model you want is compatible with your vehicle
  • Ease of Installation - Find out how easy it is to install
  • Design - This would determine the type of stuff you can carry in it; suitcases/ skis/ hiking gear, ect.
  • Ease of Access and Use - Ensure that it's convenient to open and reach your stuff
  • Material and Finish- This would determine how it would look on your vehicle and its durability
  • Manufacturer’s Warranty - This shows how confident a manufacturer is about its’ product
  • Weight Capacity – Ensure that you don’t exceed the weight capacity of your vehicle or cargo box
  • Firmness – This would affect its stability on the vehicle when in motion
If you're still feeling weighed down by all the information, keep reading and all will become clear!
Construction and Design
As you go shopping for a cargo box, you need to bear in mind that whatever design you get has to be compatible with your vehicle. Check for the height and width in relation to your vehicle and your garage entrance especially if you plan to leave the cargo box on the vehicle for long durations. If you'd just install it for the periodic trips and short periods, then you may not have to bother about the height clearance for your garage entrance. You'd also not want to have a cargo box that's too wide for your vehicle; it might encumber you on your trip.

There are different designs of cargo boxes, and each design has specific items that they are most suited for. Long and narrow cargo boxes are ideal for snowboards and items with such designs, so they work well for packing items for camps and beach outings. The short and wide ones are suitable for household stuff and other items. You might need to carry both skis and household items on your trip so before you purchase a box, fit some of that stuff in it if you can but if you can’t, then ensure you read many reviews to find out from people who have bought and used the type of box you are considering.

The material the cargo box is made of will determine its durability. You don't want to get a box that's made of thin cheap material that may come apart on the highway some day. It pays to spend a little extra to get a box made of top quality material, whether it is plastic, reinforced rubber or fabric. It ideally should be water/ weather proof because it would be on the roof of your vehicle and will encounter all sorts of weather conditions (especially for the very adventurous traveler).
Performance and Ease of Use
Some cargo boxes have a dual opening; this means that you can open it from two sides; you can alight from any side of the vehicle and access it. Ensure that the locks are secure enough to keep the box firmly closed even as you speed along on the freeway.

Look out for the ease of installation when considering a box. If the box is going to remain on the roof for a long period, you might not be unduly concerned about spending time installing it properly but if you have the box for just short weekend trips or the occasional events that you have extra luggage, you might not want a model that would take up so much time installing and dismantling it.

Make sure that you know the weight capacity of your car so that you don’t get a box that exceeds the maximum weight capacity of vehicle. This will impact on the speed and stability of your vehicle, or worse still -- dent the roof of the vehicle. Cargo boxes with sleek designs have aerodynamics which work with your vehicle and allows you to travel faster and with less noise than designs without this feature.

What is the Best Cargo Box?

Everyone's preference for any product would not be the same; this also holds true for cargo boxes. As you go through the review of these different cargo boxes, note the features that appeal most to you so that you'll know to look out for them when you go shopping and with that, you'll get the best cargo box for you. Any box you pick will be good value for money because they are all from great brands.
Our Top Choice
Thule is a manufacturer focused on giving customers top product performance. That ideal is what its Force Alpine Rooftop Cargo Carrier offers, with its quick-grip mounting hardware. If you prefer a smaller version, try the Thule Atlantis Series Cargo Box and get the same quality for enjoying the great outdoors.
Thule Force Alpine Rooftop Cargo Box – Five Sizes

Thule Cargo Box 623-PARENT - Black


Features
Thule’s motto, “Active Life, Simplified”, captures the spirit of how it develops products for its consumers to better enjoy active lives. As a global market leader, Thule believes in designing safe, easy-to-use, and good-looking solutions for active families and outdoor enthusiasts.

The Thule Force Alpine Rooftop Cargo Carrier ($449.95 – Suggested Retail Price) has a diamond-textured aero skin lid that is durable and an aerodynamic shape that helps it cut through the air. Its other features include:
  • Tool-free quick-grip mounting system that attaches box to rack in less than 5 minutes
  • SecureLock that ensures that all gear is locked and box is properly closed prior to driving
  • Dual-side opening for easier loading and unloading from either side of the vehicle
  • Low-profile design that provides greater garage access without sacrificing box capacity
  • 2 one-key locks (included) to secure box contents and lock the box to the carrier
  • Fits Thule rack systems, round bars and most factory racks
This cargo carrier is available in matte black AeroSkin only.
Best Value
When a manufacturer is focused on giving customers good quality, comfort, and an unforgettable experience, it's always good to buy from it. Rightline Gear belongs to that class. Its Sport Jr Car Top Carrier is aerodynamically designed for a smooth drive. If you have more things to carry, consider the bigger Rightline 100S30 Car Top Carrier.
Rightline Gear 100S50 Sport Jr. Car Top Carrier, 9 cu ft, Waterproof, Works With Or Without Roof Rack

Rightline Gear Cargo Box 100S50


Features
Rightline Gear is located in Asheville, North Carolina, the car top carrier capital of the world. This puts it in a position to understand what customers want from cargo boxes. This brand has lots of hands-on information to use in designing its cargo boxes.

The Rightline Gear Sport Jr Car Top Carrier (selling for $79.95 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is 100% waterproof with dual seam technology - sewn for strength/welded waterproof. Here are its other features:
  • Aerodynamically designed for compact cars without roof racks; can also be used on larger vehicles and vehicles with roof racks
  • PVC mesh (polyester re-enforced PVC) and hydrotuff material (PVC-backed polyester)
  • ZipRight system; urethane-coated zipper located on the protective flap keeps water out
  • Includes carrier, 2 nylon straps, 4 car clips, stuff sack, and sewn-in set up guide
The Sport Carrier can be folded down for storage in its own stuff sacks after use.
Yakima is a company dedicated to creating superior products. Its dedication to quality and performance is exceptional. Its SkyBox 21 Carbonite Cargo Box has a locking system that keeps your cargo secured. If you need something smaller, the Yakima RocketBox Pro 14 Cargo Box is highly recommended.
Yakima SkyBox 21 Carbonite Cargo Box With SuperLatch™ Security And Integrated SKS Locking System

Yakima Cargo Box 8007334-parent


Features
Yakima’s first consideration in its product design is practicality for the end user. It develops inventive solutions for moving your items easily, safely and securely. The Skybox 21 exemplifies that in every way.

The Yakima Skybox 21 Carbonite Cargo Box (selling at $599.00 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is big enough to handle everything large families need for road trips. There’s more to this cargo box:
  • Perfect for hauling gear for up to 5 campers
  • Great for snowboards and skis up to 215 cm
  • 21 cubic feet; also available in 12, 18, 16 and Lo sizes
  • Fits Yakima round, factory, aerodynamic and square bars
  • Integrated SKS locking system
  • No assembly required
  • Tool-free installation/removal from vehicle
  • Designed with internal lid stiffeners for durability and easy open and close
  • Tapered design reduces hatch interference
  • SuperLatch™ security to ensure your lid is secure to its base, and your gear is safe
SportRack is committed to satisfying customers with the quality of its products. The SportRack Vista XL Cargo Box has durable ABS construction. If you want a lower-priced, water-resistant carrier, try the SportRack A21120B Hitch Basket.
SportRack SR7018 Vista XL Rear Opening Cargo Box

SportRack Cargo Box SR7018-Parent


Features
SportRack is proud to offer safe, quality products that allow you to take full advantage of your vehicle’s carrying capacity. SportRack accessories adapt the gear and equipment you use to your vehicle perfectly, helping you live your active lifestyle with ease.

The Sportrack Vista XL Cargo Box (selling for $299.95 – Suggested Retail Price) features an ABS construction that is durable and UV-resistant. It has a rear opening for easy access away from traffic, a quick-release hardware mounting system for fast removal and a lock to secure contents in the box. The cargo box fits SportRack roof rack systems, and square, round and most factory racks.
It's always best to get products from a company known for its commitment to superior quality and style. Keeper is such a company. Its Waterproof Roof Top Cargo Bag truly protects your cargo against nature. Its Keeper 06144 ATV Cargo Net is a perfect fit for ATVs and motorcycles.
Keeper 07203-1 Waterproof Roof Top Cargo Bag (15 Cubic Feet) – 2 Style Options

Keeper Cargo Box 07203-1


Features
For over 36 years, Keeper has met the demands of a changing marketplace, improving cargo handling and helping shape the way the world transports cargo. It is committed to maintaining its reputation as a cargo control expert, consistently providing high-quality and innovative products.

The Keeper Waterproof Roof Top Cargo Box (selling for $51.99) gives you 5 cubic feet of protected storage. This provides lots of room for your luggage, gear and more, and protects it from road grit, sun, wind and rain while you're on the go. It is made of rubber laminated nylon, with attachment points on all four sides. It is designed to fit all roof racks with attachment capabilities on all four sides. If you're not using all four, caution needs to be taken for secure attachment. The soft-sided design makes it easy to store when not in use.

Get the Best Cargo Box of 2018!

With this review, you should now have a clearer understanding of the product and brand that offer the features that are most important to you. You can now buy your cargo box with confidence that you have made the right choice.

Our Top Choice
Thule Force Alpine Rooftop Cargo Carrier
Best Value
Rightline Gear Sport Jr Car Top Carrier
Yakima Skybox 21 Carbonite Cargo Box
SportRack Vista XL Cargo Box
Keeper Roof Top Cargo Bag