Best Cargo Carrier Reviews 2023

You’re going away on an epic adventure trip, driving your kid down to college with their mountains of stuff, or trying to fit the whole family and the dog into the car, but sometimes even for the best packer there isn’t enough room. We’ve searched the market high and low, and finally picked out five of the best cargo carrier brands and will feature a box from each.
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Our Top Choice
Thule Force Cargo Carrier
Thule, an international company that originated in Sweden, sells products aimed to help customers live life to the max with easy, practical solutions when out and about.
Five-layer ABS plastic is ideal for year-round trips out. Easy and quick access from either side. Streamlined. Secure. Mounts easily. Versatile.
Rain may get inside when driving in hard rain.
Five-layer ABS plastic
74 x 36 x 16.5 inches
16 cubic feet
Tool-Free Quick-Grip
Best Value
Rightline Gear Sport Jr. Car Top Carrier
Based in Asheville, Rightline Gear is passionate about the outdoors, so all of its products are developed and tested not far from the office.
ZipRight system and Dual Seam technology keep equipment dry. 4 attachment straps and 4 car clips included. Great for smaller cars.
The car straps weren’t strong or durable enough for some customers on long journeys.
PVC Mesh and Hydrotuff material
36 x 30 x 13 inches
9 cubic feet
Attachment straps and car clips
Yakima SkyBox Carbonite Cargo Box
Yakima believes in bringing people together by creating easy ways to travel and make new adventures.
Patented SuperLatch fixes box onto the base securely and quickly. Tool-free installation and removal. Aerodynamic. USA-made. 80% recycled.
A small number of customers got damaged or defective products that had to be dealt with by Yakima.
Carbonite textured lid
 92 x 36 x 18 inches
21 cubic feet
Tool-free installation
SportRack Vista Cargo Box
SportRack is committed to manufacturing safe and high-quality products for more convenient ways of transporting your belongings around with you.
Quick-release mechanism. Constructed with ABS for UV protection. Aerodynamic design. Fits several car roofs. Locks up for more security. Limited lifetime warranty.
Occasional reports of damaged cargo boxes on arrival.
ABS construction
63 x 38 x 19 inches
18 cubic feet
Quick-release mechanism
Keeper Roof Top Cargo Bag
Over 36 years of delivering high-quality products to individuals and commercial buyers, Keeper has built a trustworthy reputation for its range of cargo equipment.
Rubber laminated nylon ensures your belongings keep safe. Soft sides for easier to fit on any car or roof rack. Lots of space. Folds away for storage.
Some customers reported that in heavy rain, some of the rain got into it.
Rubber laminated nylon
44 x 34 x 17 inches
15 cubic feet
Attachment ties

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Watch Our Cargo Carrier Review

What is the Best Cargo Carrier?

It’s important to know what you’re planning to use it for; for example, if you need to take your skis somewhere, the product you choose has to be long enough for them. However, on the flip side, if you just want to purchase one for more room and have no particular equipment in mind, a particular length isn’t as important—but versatility is. Also, if you’re not the type to conquer DIY missions, then make sure you get one that’s easy to install and securely lock, because getting frustrated with something that’s meant to make your holiday easier is exactly what you don’t want. Keeping this in mind, let’s move on to our cargo carrier reviews so you can find the best one for you!
Our Top Choice
The Thule Force Cargo Box with Aero Skin Lid is a streamlined, easily accessible, and secure cargo box for any time of year with its five layers of ABS plastic! Need a cargo box that’s easier to reach? Check out the 665c Transporter Cargo Box that attaches to the back for easy reach.

Thule Force Cargo Carrier Box with Aero Skin Lid – Available in 5 Sizes

Thule is an international brand started in Sweden decades ago, and since then has continued to help customers lead an active life safely and with ease. Whether you live out in the sticks or you’re a city dweller, Thule offers a range of products so you can feel connected to the earth and those around you.

The Force Cargo Box combines practicality, durability, and style, with attention to detail so the end-product possesses a great balance of new features and tried and tested functions. Available in five different sizes, the Force provides at least 11 cubic feet of storage space, and at the same time reduces drag and improves fuel efficiency with the streamlined, elegant shape.

The sleek black cargo box includes all of these great features:
  • Lid with diamond texture and aerodynamic features to withstand the elements all year ‘round
  • Aerodynamic shape reduces drag and improves gas mileage
  • Super-easy mounting system secures the box in under 5 minutes
  • Features an Oversized Secure Lock to guarantee it’s fastened securely on all sides
  • Opens from either side for easy access no matter what side you’re facing
  • Fits onto Thule racks, rounds bars, and the majority of racks
  • Five sizes to choose from: Alpine, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large
With these features, it’ll be a breeze packing up the car and getting away for a well-deserved break.
Best Value
The Rightline Gear Sport Jr. Car Top Carrier is entirely waterproof with its ZipRight system and Dual Seam technology, and you can securely fix it onto your car without a roof rack. If you need more space for your trip, then the Edge Car Top Carrier could be better suited for you; make sure you check it out!

Rightline Gear Sport Jr. Car Top Carrier – Attaches with or without Roof Rack

Rightline Gear, from Asheville in North Carolina, takes advantage of its luscious location, developing and testing its products outdoors—where you’re going to be using them. Striving to improve its designs, Rightline Gear thinks outside of the box and continuously offers new, original features with its products.

The Rightline Gear Sport Jr. Car Top Carrier is versatile in that it has two attachment options: with a roof rack or without one. It’s also completely waterproof due to the many new, innovative changes to previous designs. With the zip hidden under the flat, rain water can no longer leak in whilst on the road, and with Dual Seam technology along every side (sewn, then welded) you won’t have any more soggy luggage when you get to your destination.

But there’s so much more to this Sport Jr. Car Top Carrier. Take a look:
  • Attachable to vehicle without rack; with the straps and car clips you can secure the carrier down
  • Zipper goes three quarters of the way around for easy access to load and unload
  • ZipRight system covers the zip with a protective flap from elements to ensure no water leaks through
  • PVC Mesh construction (PVC made stronger with polyester and Hydrotuff Material for durability and practicality
  • Edges are sewn to each other and welded at the seams for a 100% waterproof result
  • Carrier can be folded down after use for storage
  • Aerodynamically designed to reduce gas expenditure
  • Made for compact and medium-sized cars, but can also be used for larger vehicles
  • Includes 4 attachment straps, 4 car clips, and stuff sack which includes instructions for setting up
With all of these easy-to-use and practical features, what’s not to love?
You can install the SkyBox Carbonite Cargo Box by Yakima without any tools, so you can start using it in no time at all—it can be removed likewise. If you need something bigger, suited for more luggage or a bigger vehicle, the Yakima Rocketbox might be what you’ve been looking for.

Yakima SkyBox Carbonite Cargo Carrier - Available in 5 Sizes

Yakima believes in connecting with others and bringing people together to create memories in amazing destinations. Taking a trip to do extraordinary activities can mean you have a lot of gear, equipment, and packing, but Yakima wants to take all of that off your hands to have a stress-free, fun time with your loved ones.

Yakima’s SkyBox Carbonite Cargo Box is designed to be versatile, sleek, and practical. Easy to install and load with your holiday gear, this cargo box offers you more space in your car for friends, and more time to spend making memories.

The SkyBox Carbonite Cargo Box has many great features to get you and your things where you want to be:
  • Dual-sided opening for easy access to load and unload
  • Ready to go right away with no installation
  • Can be installed and detached without the use of tools for convenience
  • Can be attached to any Yakima bars
  • Carbonite-textured lid for aerodynamic design
  • Made with internal lid stiffeners to use with ease
  • Patented SuperLatch feature fastens the lid securely to the base
  • Reduced hatch interference due to tapered design
  • Fits snowboards or skis up to 7 feet long
  • SKS locks included
  • USA-made with mostly recycled materials (80% are recycled)
What’s not to like about being able to grab your friends and go on an adventure?
SportRack’s Vista Rear Opening Cargo Box can be taken off or put on in moments with its quick-release mechanism, and is designed to protect your belongings from sun damage with its ABS construction. If you like the sound of this one but would like a smaller size, why not get the SportRack Horizon Cargo Box, which offers 11 cubic feet of storage space?

SportRack Vista Rear Opening Cargo Carrier Box

SportRack has developed its products to adapt and enhance its customers’ active lifestyle by creating gear and equipment to help transport all the luggage you need. The safety and quality of its products is a high priority for the company at every stage of the process, which definitely shines through in each new thing it brings to the table.

The Vista Cargo Box puts your safety first by designing the box to have its opening at the back so you can have easy access, out of the way of traffic. This cargo box is also UV-resistant to protect your belongings from sun exposure over long journeys, thanks to its durable ABS construction.

Another feature we think adds to its safety and convenience is its quick-release mechanism, which makes the process of mounting it and taking it down again so much easier. And you’ll never have to worry about your things spilling out on the road, as it features a lock to make your things that much more secure. Lastly, but not least, this cargo box fits the majority of roof racks—little worry there! With this convenient and well-thought-out cargo box, you can be on your way to a new adventure in no time!
The Keeper Waterproof Roof Top Cargo Bag can be used at any time for a range of gear, luggage, or equipment with its nearly universal design. If you’re unsure if this is the right one for you, take a look at the 07203 Waterproof Roof Top Cargo Bag, which offers an even sturdier-looking exterior!

Keeper Waterproof Roof Top Cargo Carrier Bag

Keeper has been continually at the forefront of the cargo equipment market for the last 36 years, and is considered a cargo control expert thanks to its consistent reputation for quality. It delivers its products to individual casual users, large commercial users, and everyone in between.

The Waterproof Roof Top Cargo Bag was crafted with families looking for adventures in mind. The soft sides increase cargo space, while making it easy to fit everyone’s luggage in it. At the same time, it’s constructed with durable rubber laminated nylon that will protect your gear against the various elements, and features a foldable design that makes storing it away after use so easy. Perhaps best of all, this cargo box is guaranteed to fit all roof racks, and boasts of attachment options for each of its four sides for even more convenience. So, what’s not to love when it comes to merging durability and quality?

How Do I Choose the Best Cargo Carrier?

Road trips can be a time of excitement, hours of laughter, singing along to your favorite tunes, and brilliant views whilst cruising through the countryside; but only if you’re not cramped up against piles of luggage. Whether it’s 5 pairs of skis for the whole family, a tent and all its equipment, or your kid’s bean bag chair they refuse to leave at home when moving to college—wouldn’t it be great if it didn’t have to be inches from your face for hours on end? Well, we have a selection of cargo boxes that will make the journey more spacious, comfortable, and enjoyable.
If you’re on a budget, don’t panic; you can get a cargo box for around $50, giving you enough extra storage for around two medium suitcases, and can fit securely onto most roof racks. At the top end of the selection, cargo boxes are priced at around $600, which use unique, patented designs for an improved user experience, with easy access and protection against the elements. That said, watch out for cheap cargo carriers; these will likely give you the opposite and a whole lot of trouble with low-quality materials or hard-to-use features.
There are many things to consider when it comes to getting the right cargo box for you, but to make the process easier, we’ve put together a list of the things to keep in mind.

Here are the features we think are important to think about when buying your cargo caririer:
  • Size - Especially consider length if you have specific sports gear you need to fit in it
  • Mounting system -Important if you will need to buy a roof rack or fit it onto your vehicle
  • Waterproof - Waterproof materials and zipper folds help protect the case and what’s inside
  • Installation - Some are tool-free, making it easy for people who aren’t as DIY-savvy
  • Loading access - This is usually dual-sided or rear-sided
  • Material/Shape - What you choose depends on what you’ll use it for and what shape/versatility you need
  • Lock system – To ensure your belongings are safely locked away
  • Aerodynamic technology - Shape and material can help improve gas mileage when travelling with the cargo box
There are great options out there, combining different needs; so hopefully you will find the right combination for you!
Construction and Design
Size is a really important factor to get right for your needs. There’s no need to buy the biggest option, just to have unnecessary weight to drive around if you aren’t actually going to use it all. But if you need to carry around big things, sporting gear, or family/group equipment, you will definitely need the extra space!

Installation can be a frustrating and challenging chore if you don’t have what you need or the cargo box ends up not even fitting to your roof rack or vehicle. Some have options where you don’t even need a roof rack or tools, while others are more structurally advanced and will take more time to set up. Some hard-exterior boxes will only fit on certain roof racks or vehicles, so make sure you check it out before purchasing. Or you can buy soft-shaped cargo bags that can mold to the right shape.

Cargo carriers can add more weight and height to your vehicle, which can be a concern when it comes to the cost of gas which can add up quickly on a long journey. However, many companies have found ways to reduce the cost and make the extra weight much more aerodynamic for you.
Performance and Ease of Use
Having a waterproof cargo carrier is very important when it comes to keeping your things safe and dry, and on a long journey even a few drips of water getting in can build up quickly. There are tried and tested materials that are used to keep the water out, and secure locks or zips cover up with waterproof flaps to ensure that the box is kept dry inside.

Loading and unloading can be a stretch, and awkward if you’ve had to park next to another car or on the side of a road. Every design has its own solution so you can choose from dual-sided access, rear access, or quick-zip access to get your things with ease.

Get the Best Cargo Carrier of 2023!

That’s it, that was all of our top five brands! We hope you’ve found the one best suited for you, so now you can drive off into the sunset with everything you need. If you’re still not settled on one, remember that these brands have other products you can choose from!

Our Top Choice
Thule Force Cargo Carrier
Best Value
Rightline Gear Sport Jr. Car Top Carrier
Yakima SkyBox Carbonite Cargo Box
SportRack Vista Cargo Box
Keeper Roof Top Cargo Bag