Over the years, automobile manufacturers have continued to make cars and SUV’s that are more compact. With less room for cargo, this has created a problem for anyone wishing to take a road trip or travel for an extended period of time. When traveling with family or friends, the experience can be rather dissatisfying if everyone is crammed together with the extra luggage. Before choosing a rooftop cargo carrier, it is important to consider your needs, the type of vehicle, and your budget. Other considerations that you may want to make include the type of items you will need to carry, how often, and whether your vehicle is fitted with a roof rack.
When considering the best roof cargo carrier, you also need to think about safety and whether or not the cargo carrier will properly fit on top of your vehicle. You could potentially lose all of your luggage or cause a serious accident if your carrier is not properly strapped down and secured correctly. Lastly, you’ll need to consider choosing a roof bag that will protect your luggage from the elements. Having a carrier that is waterproof is an absolute must. Let’s take a look at some of the best roof top carriers on the market today.
Shield Jacket Waterproof Cargo Bag
The Shield Jacket waterproof luggage carrier is designed for any car, van or SUV. You’ll need to measure your roof length so that you select the correct carrier for your vehicle. The bag comes in 15 cubic feet size which is fairly suffecient for most adventures and features double-wall vinyl 2 compression straps for strength and durability. The carrier comes with a unique aerodynamic design that lets you enjoy a quiet ride while at the same time helping you save on gas. The instruction booklet is pretty straightforward on how to set up the carrier.
One of its most satisfying features is that it is 99% waterproof which will protect your possessions unless you happen to drive through a serious enough storm . This would most likely warrant you pulling over or finding shelter anyway, so you can feel confident with the protection that this bag offers. The Shield Jacket is made of tight-knit polyester canvas that is coated on both sides with a vinyl layer that is abrasion-resistant. This means the bag will withstand the rigors of travel without cracking, ripping, peeling, or prolonged exposure to sun.
STAR BUDGET PICK
Keeper Roof Cargo Bag
The Keeper Waterproof cargo bag is the perfect carrier if you are looking to travel on a budget. It comes with 15 cubic feet of luggage space, which is significant providing your vehicle’s roof length can handle it. It comes with a waterproof design that protects you valuables from road grit, wind, sun, and rain. With its soft sides, it can really help you pack odd-shaped goods into the bag. The more stuff you can pack into these carriers the better. With the increased space, you’ll have happier passengers and this will make your trip all the more enjoyable.
The best feature of the Keeper apart from its low price is that it can easily be folded and tucked away when not in use. One thing to keep in mind with these types of cargo carriers is that they can become heavy when fully loaded. If the bag is full, you’ll need a hand to mount or dismount the bag from your your vehicle’s roof. If you’re by yourself, then it’s probably best to add or remove your luggage while keeping the carrier on top of your vehicle.
RoofBag Cross Country Cargo Carrier
The 100% waterproof cross country cargo carrier offers excellent weather protection and durability. It is made from heavy duty and tightly knit polyester canvas and is coated with a strong vinyl layer on both sides. What’s really good about this carrier is that it has no exposed stitches, water-repellent straps, and comes with a waterproof zipper. All of these features allow it to withstand the most severe of weather conditions.
It comes in an aerodynamic design which will provide you with a noiseless ride while at the same time saving you on fuel. This is one of the larger carriers at 18.5 cubic ft and will pack in more stuff than most roof-top carriers. Once again, it’s important that you carefully measure your roof’s length to ensure you get the bag that is best fitted to your vehicle. Users have reported that this bag is fairly heavy duty and is well made. The last thing you want to deal with, when travelling, is a cargo carrier that is not holding up or properly protecting your possessions.
Rightline Gear Car Top Bag
This 9 cubic feet capacity carrier bag from Rightline Gear is another Roof top carrier that needs careful consideration. This is the perfect bag for compact cars due to its smaller footprint. It is one of the only cargo bags on the market that is designed for small or compact cars that do not have roof racks. The bag is fairly decent for all-weather travelling with it’s dual seam technology and claim of 100% waterproof. The zipper unzips up to three quarters of the way making it easy to load or unload your possessions.
This Rightline carrier comes with a non-skid roof pad and carrier cable lock. You’ll have to really ensure that the straps are properly fixed as this particular bag can make a lot of noise when it’s not installed correctly. The fact that this bag will fit on most compact and sub-compact cars is it’s best selling feature. This carrier would be badly needed if you wanted to travel with lots of luggage and a car full of passengers. One thing to keep note of is that you do need to fill this bag with some heavier items to ensure it stays down and stable on top of your car. The reason this is important is that the bag will tend to flap if it’s not being weighed down enough. All in all though, a very solid choice and a good bet for best roof cargo carrier for a smaller vehicle.
Choosing the Best Waterproof Rooftop Cargo Carrier
There’s nothing worse than trying to stuff your luggage into an overhead bin on an airplane, except for trying to cram your luggage into a trunk or your vehicle’s cargo area! You’ll have to make tough decisions on items you have to leave behind or worse – stack all of that extra stuff around your passengers because you’ve run out of luggage space. Regardless, you’re going to have unhappy passengers.
This is where a rooftop cargo carrier or bag come in handy! If your car or SUV has a roof rack then you’re in business. Most rooftop bags attach to standard roof racks with included straps. Yes, you must look for waterproof models that clearly state they are waterproof. The last thing you want is to have all your luggage ruined because the bag leaked during a rainstorm while driving to your destination. These are the perfect solutions for small vehicles or when you want that extra bit of room for your passengers.