5 All-Time Favorite Roof Rack Storage Carriers

Young male taking boxes out of luggage boot of car

Roof cargo carriers allow car owners to add more room to their cargo capacity. Roof rails, baskets, cargo boxes, and rack storage carriers add more space to your capacity and the overall style of your vehicle. Some can fit universally on any car; others require roof rails already installed. 

Modern cargo carriers are stylish enough to match the aesthetic of your car without increasing your gas mileage. All you need is a proper roof rack to increase your cargo capacity. Let’s talk about different types of rooftop cargo carriers and list our top 5 favorite solutions.

Different types of rooftop storage carriers

Old car on road between lush trees in sunlight

There are two main types of roof rack storage carriers, and we’ll quickly review them here.


Car, Holidays, Travel, Hdr, Vacation, Trip, Road, Rough

The box is probably the most common type of cargo carrier. A box carrier is also called a rocket box and is secure, heavy, and hard-sided. Out of all-cargo carrier solutions, the box carrier is the safest for your stuff. It will keep your gear out of the weather, safely secured in an enclosed shell. 

Boxes come with bar and rack attachments and lockable lids, and while the mounting process can get a bit tedious, a box carrier requires no cinching of straps or tying of ropes to keep it secured on your rooftop.


man in brown tank top standing on white car

Aside from boxes, there are also baskets and bags, but they are storage carriers for vehicles without a roof rack. That is why a sport-specific cargo carrier is an excellent solution for all who will be transporting items that won’t fit in a basket, bag, or box. If you’re transporting one item, such as a bike or kayak, you’ll need a storage carrier solution built for that particular object.

Aside from different types, there are also some essentials to consider before you make a purchase. First is the rack. Then you need to think about the correct type of carrier for your vehicle. Finally, decide on the carrier’s shape. 

Now that you have some basic knowledge about storage carriers, let’s move on to our top 5 roof rack cargo carriers.

Thule Motion XT XL

Here is an excellent and elegant carrier with a glossy and stylish finish that will permanently add to your vehicle. It’s our absolute favorite due to many great things about it. It’s easy to mount and use, spacious enough to fit a lot of equipment, and flashy enough to add to the overall looks of your car. It also opens from either side and has supporting lifters for popping the lid open. 

All this sleek design and versatility come at a reasonable price, but this is a worthy investment that will last for a long time and add to your road trip adventures. It also comes with an intuitive mounting system that provides audible notifications that the carrier is on with correct tension.

Yakima Skybox 16 Carbonite

Here is a carrier that comes at a great price and brings ease of use, lots of space, stylish design, and top aerodynamics under one roof. Aside from providing enough room for various types of gear, this carrier affords aerodynamic storage that has enough space for even the most adventurous drivers. 

It comes with a reinforced lid with stiffeners that keep it from buzzing, warping, and curling at high speeds, and you can open it from either side. However, this beauty stands out because of its sustainability – it’s made with 80% recycled materials. This hard-sided cargo box comes with fantastic features and will keep your staff easily accessible, secure, and safe.

Thule Sidekick

Thule Sidekick will make sure your equipment gets to where you’re going. While it may not be as stylish as the two solutions mentioned above, this cargo carrier makes up for what it lacks in style in its incredibly affordable price. 

Many people will look at the price first, and then the size, use, and aesthetics. If price is your main driving factor, the Sidekick might just be right up your alley. It may not be great-looking, but it comes with spacious storage. Although it features one-side entry, the Sidekick ensures safety and security for your stuff on the road.

SportRack Vista XL

The SportRack is an affordable cargo carrier solution for car owners who need a lot of additional space. This roof rack storage carrier isn’t that flashy or stylish but is more subdued and can easily match the style of a wide range of vehicles. 

The SportRack is a box-type cargo carrier with front hinges, so you can open it from the back. If you’re looking for the best value for the dollar, this is the correct box for you.

Thule Pulse Alpine

The Pulse Alpine brings enough space for all kinds of cargo storage needs. This cargo box can give your car’s storage capacity a real boost, and its low aerodynamic profile will do wonders for your fuel efficiency. 

On top of that, you probably won’t have to take it off to drive into the garage, depending on the height of your vehicle. While its capacity could be better, this is an excellent solution for people who need additional space and extra safety on the road.


Whether you plan on going for a trip in the woods or you’re going skiing, these five storage carriers will make sure you and your gear get to the wanted destination. 

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

Related Articles

Back to top button