After probing deeply on the best options for hauling luggage on a long road trip, I’ve discovered that rear hitch carriers, rooftop cargo bags, and roof racks are the possible choices to go for.
Stumbling on the fact that hitch-mounted racks can fit vehicles with hitch receivers and are limited in capacity, I’ve pursued my mind to get the best rooftop cargo bag for hauling some extra luggage.
A rooftop cargo bag wins the bet of being a better cargo-carrying solution for gear addicts. When tested this type of cargo bags on various cars, loaded to the brim, I’ve learned that these are extraordinary gadgets for carrying outdoor gear.
Regardless of what you put in these rooftop luggage carriers, they securely transport your luggage and goods to your desired destination.
If you’re shopping on a budget, read below to know which rooftop cargo bag has the largest capacity and is the safest to fit your needs.
Without further ado, let dive straight into it:
1. Jegs Rooftop Cargo Carrier
The Jegs rooftop cargo bag is our pick for the best all-around option. In terms of installation and usage, this cargo carrier is one of the most user-friendly options available.
This bad boy is huge yet lightweight. We appreciate the reasonably smooth inside, which prevents your stuff from getting stuck on anything when you’re loading or unloading. It also looks great on most automobiles. The clamps offer a greater range than usual, allowing this bag to be secured to a broader range of crossbar sizes and shapes. The lid isn’t floppy, and using the latches and locks isn’t a hassle.
This bag offers a huge capacity that allows you to fit your outdoor gears with a breeze. Some of the users tell that even when they have exceeded the manufacturer’s weight limitations, this one firm stand and never breaks off. Impressive! However, we recommend using your wits while stuffing your goods in it.
Since this bag is massive, so you may find it cumbersome to install it. If its mounting holes won’t match up with your vehicle’s rails, you may have to drill new holes for the rail. Once you drilled new holes, it mounts quite nicely.
This cargo bag works well even during rain and heavy thunderstorm. The interior and the goods in it remain dry and no water intrusion is being observed.
Thanks to the manufacturer who has worked hard to design this bag in a way to keep noise level at a minimum, when you’re driving on highways.
For the price, it’s worthy to recommend!
- Material: HDPE plastic hard shell
- Dimensions: 57 L x 38 1/2 W x 17 3/4
- Weight: 35 pounds
- Size: 18 cubic feet
2. Thule Pulse Rooftop Cargo Bag
Thule steps forward and has become the leading name in manufacturing high-quality automobiles’ gears. Among the best rooftop cargo bag options, the Thule Pulse has its unique place. With its plain design and lack of embellishments, this cargo bag might be the right choice for those who’re looking for a basic rooftop carrier.
In appearance, this bag looks so sleek and compact that it seems somewhat difficult to expect sufficient storage space from this cargo bag. However, it remains the best cargo bag because it offers 11 cubic feet of storage space to fit your outdoor gears. Most of the competitor’s cargo bags come with a floppy and flimsy lid that can withstand a lot of abuse from harsh weather conditions, but thankfully, Thule Pulse is an exception. Its plastic lid remains sturdier and rigid even when open or close excessively.
As far as the ergonomics of this bag are concerned, it impresses the users and scores decently. You don’t need to break your sweat to install or take off this cargo bag. Also, the opening and closing of the lid are a cinch. The users also appreciate that it doesn’t require any elbow grease to load/unload gear on this carrier. The clamps are a bit different and we expect them to make a clicking sound to inform if they are tightened enough. Nevertheless, we can say that it’s one of the best rooftop cargo carrier bag and ladies as well.
If you’re a Thule user, you must by now know that Thule’s products are one-key system compatible. This cargo bag is the same and uses just one key to lock/unlock the bag.
In terms of value, Thule Pulse comes with a lower price tag than its peers.
- Material: Plastic
- Dimension: 88.5″ x 25.5″ x 12.5″
- Weight: 30 lbs.
- Size: 11 cubic feet
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3. SportRack Vista XL Rear Opening Cargo Bag
Surrounded by a simple design and practical features, Sportrack Vista XL has everything you’re expecting from a cost-effective cargo bag.
The Vista XL is a great choice for those avid adventurers who have a bigger family with a larger amount of goods to carry on a road trip. The 18 cubic feet cargo space gets the said job done.
SportsRack is also impressive when it comes to its simple design, installation, and user-friendly features. The bag comes pre-assembled and all you are required to do is to mount the unit on the rooftop of your vehicle. Closing/opening the lid is a cinch. The U-bolt mounting system is also straightforward. We recommend buying this cargo bag if you’re strictly on budget and require a cargo carrier not that too often.
A word for its design: unlike its rivals that typically come with a side opening, this one comes with a rear opening that is slightly awkward when it comes to its user-friendly statistics. however, the user can’t help praising the simplicity of its design. What lacks in Vista XL is the inclusion of a handle that you would have in many top-tier cargo bags from other top-notch brands on the market.
Coming to the durability of this bag, we have found it surprisingly terrific. Although it looks flimsy the material is sturdy to worth the bucks you spend for getting this.
Regarding its impact on gas mileage, we have received no evidence if it is causing any harm. It creates no whistles even when you’re driving fast.
For budget-pickers and family-oriented travelers, it is a huge rooftop luggage carrier.
- Material: UV-resistant ABS
- Dimension: 160 x 96.5 x 48 cm
- Weight: 42 Pounds
- Size: 18 cubic feet
4. SportRack Horizon Cargo Bag
Similar to SpaortsRack Vista XL, SportsRack Horizon is another great and budget-friendly consideration but with relatively smaller yet adequate cargo space.
The Amazon buyers appreciate the high quality and usability of this product. “It is lightweight, watertight, flexible when open but sturdy when closed.” The 11 cubic feet cargo space is great and can fit nearly 3 ski boards with two pairs of boots, 2 skis, and some other stuff effortlessly. Even when traveled through the storm and bad weather, this cargo bag doesn’t nudge at all and remains firmer.
If ease of use is your primary concern when buying a rooftop cargo bag, then this product is mediocre in this category. The front, center, and back are all held locked by three latches, and you cannot lock it shut or remove the key until all three latches are closed fully. Bag straps often get in the way of closing zippers, therefore this safety feature makes sure the lock is fully closed before you remove the key.
Once you get the hang of this bag, it becomes convenient to install or take off the unit as per your requirements. Even though no additional tools are required to install the unit, however, the instruction manual doesn’t come with sufficient instructions to follow. Therefore, if you’re a first-time buyer, installing this bag is complex. Also, if your vehicle is tall, then mounting the bag over the rails is fairly difficult.
Durability, more-than-average performance, and improved security feature make it one of the best rooftop cargo bags on our list.
- Material: rugged ABS
- Dimension: 88.4 x 20.7 x 15.9 inches
- Weight: 33 Pounds
- Size: 11 cubic feet
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5. Roofmaster Rooftop Cargo Carrier
For adding more cargo space, you can consider buying a flexible and the best soft rooftop cargo carrier that is relatively a cheaper investment than a hard-shell cargo bag.
It does have all the necessary features; a watertight interior, flexibility to haul sports gear, and some impeccable aerodynamics to prevent mpg loss. If you want to have it all: Roofmaster Rooftop cargo carrier is one of the best waterproof rooftop cargo bag choices you can go after.
The best thing about this soft cargo carrier is not just its weight but its budget. Without breaking your funds it just costs you around $60; this price is visibly lower than the price of any hard cargo carrier.
Furthermore, the company prides itself on the high quality of its fabric that is five times the strength and wear resistance of a high-grade PVC. The durability of this premium-quality cargo carrier is imparted from its military-grade Nylon Cordura fabric. Therefore, this cargo carrier offers 100% value for the money.
Another versatile feature of this cargo carrier is its compatibility with all sorts of vehicles with/without roof rails. It comes with Duraflex buckles and a high-friction mat underneath the bag to mount it firmly on the rooftop of your vehicles. However if your vehicle lacks a roof rail or a roof rack, you may need to buy hooks separately by paying few extra bucks to install the unit.
Like its other counterparts that can be folded easily when not in use, this softshell cargo carrier is also foldable. Being this, it takes very little storage space once you unload cargo from it.
From every aspect, this product is a win-win.
- Material: cordura
- Weight: 5 pounds
- Mounting type: straps
- Dimension: 45″x34″x18″
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6. Fivklemnz Car Roof Bag Cargo Carrier
We think, when in doubt and are minimal on budget, then this cargo carrier serves you the best purpose. It’s flexible, affordable, and a great roof bag with solid base to date.
Whether you need a cargo carrier for carrying your outdoor gear or your vocational trip includes members from your extended family and there’s a lot of stuff to go onboard, this cargo carrier is the best bet because of its 15 cubic feet of cargo space. So don’t worry if your vehicle’s trunk has run out of storage, this cargo carrier is the lifesaver.
Most of the buyers feel skeptical about the performance of a soft rooftop cargo carrier. Would it be as strong as a hardshell cargo bag? Or can it withstand the windy weather? Or they may wonder if it would remain as firmer and sturdier as a hardshell cargo bag when loaded with cargo. All of these concerns have got covered with the performance of this cargo carrier. When tested against these metrics, this product has performed fairly well. it doesn’t tear apart with odd-shaped sports gear, neither the storage space proves inadequate. So an all-rounder cargo carrier for your needs.
Fivklemnz is a bit pricier soft rooftop cargo carrier option than the Roofmaster cargo carrier, but it is fairly bigger when it comes to its width and length. With wider and longer measurements, it provides you wider room for cargo.
Weighing under 7 pounds, it is lighter than many of its counterparts. Owing to its weight, storing this product is a cinch.
Apart from this, for the buyers who are in search of a soft car top carrier without a roof rack, it is worthy to consider.
- Material: plastic
- Volume: 15 cubic feet
- Mounting type: straps
- Weight: 6.6 Pounds
7. Car Roof Bag Cargo Carrier
This choice is among the best waterproof cargo carrier bag options because FIERYRED has kept an eye on its waterproof abilities while designing it.
For a soft cargo carrier, you might think of a compromise on quality, performance, and price. but this option has ticked all bags on our checklist and is a true workhorse. You won’t have to make any compromises at all since it fairly does well what it is supposed to do.
First off, this luggage carrier is durable and is constructed with high-grade PVC Tarpaulin UV-coated mesh. Regardless of what the weather conditions are, it remains unaffected. not only this prevents the roof of your vehicles from scratches and gouges but welded seams and waterproof zipper ensures that no water gets intrusion within the interior of this cargo.
The most impeccable feature of this cargo carrier is its 2 specific configurations which are 14.6 cubic feet or 15 cubic feet. You can get the one that suits your needs more. The bag features a friction-resistant mat to hold the bag and its content firmly in its place when you’re driving. So it won’t be a bad idea to call it a roof bag with a solid base.
An interesting factor that must inspire many buyers to lay their hands on this product is its fairly simple installation. If you have a roof rack with crossbars, it is wonderfully easy to put up this bag. But don’t worry if your car doesn’t have a roof rack, you can still install this product by attaching its front and rear straps with add-on hooks.
The product is believed to remain aerodynamically impressive but the users warn the buyers that it creates “horrible humming noise due to the straps catching the wind”. This glitch can be overcome while driving at moderate speed on highways.
On the whole, this option is great when you want the best rooftop cargo bag at a reasonable price.
- Material: UV-coated PVC
- Dimension: 44″L x 34″Wx 17″H
- Weight: 7.5 Pounds
- Size: 14.6 cubic feet
Does rooftop cargo bag affect the mpg of a car?
After being tested by experts, it is observed that a rooftop cargo bag with a rooftop rack can decrease your car’s mileage to 19%. So one should make sure to use a cargo carrier only when the need arises.
Do people mug rooftop cargo bags?
The answer to this is: yes. In a fraction of time, an expert thief will likely steal your rooftop cargo bag. All you can do to prevent your cargo bag from stealing is to get the one that comes with enough security and a locking system.
Which is the best brand for a rooftop cargo bag?
Thule and Yakima are the two leading names who have introduced several rooftop cargo carriers for the users. Both offer superior style, elegant style, and premium price to meet the users’ specific needs. Both offer great customer service. So you can choose between the both according to your constraints.
Cargo bags or cargo carriers come in two distinctive forms: hardshell cargo carrier and soft cargo carrier. Both of the options have their fans following. Choosing the best rooftop cargo bag isn’t difficult at all when you know the difference between both options.
A hard cargo carrier is a more expensive, weightier, and more beautiful tool for carrying extra luggage. But it tends to break off too quickly when abused. On the contrary, a soft cargo carrier is a more budget-pick thing with the same flexibility and functionality as a hard shell cargo carrier. Nevertheless, a soft cargo carrier is much more stow-able as you can fold it anytime you want to.
Let us know which option meets your needs the best. The ball is in your court.