Your Quick Guide In Buying Best Car Top Carrier

Do you need help in choosing the best car top carrier? Consider yourself lucky that you are reading this article. In the rest of this post, we will provide you with insights on some of the things that you need to know, making it easy to choose a product that can provide the best bang for the buck. We will also have a rundown of some of the best models that you can find in the market today, as well as their most notable features. A brief discussion of their pros and cons will also be provided. In the end, we expect that this post will make it easier for you to end up with a wise decision.

The 5 Best Car Top Carrier On The Market

Product (Amazon Links)

Images (Amazon Links)

SportRack SR7018 Vista XL Rear Opening Cargo Box

Keeper 07203-1 Waterproof Rooftop Cargo Bag

Thule Force Cargo Box

Thule 682 Sidekick Rooftop Cargo Box

Yakima RocketBox Pro 14 Cargo Box

Types of Car Top Carrier

Generally speaking, you will be confronted with two choices:

  • Hard Car Top Carrier: This is a good choice if you are looking for security and durability. The hard outer shell will make sure that it is going to last for a long time. Also, it offers great protection from the weather, especially from rain. They are also good for transporting larger items, such as skis and snowboards. They are generally expensive. They can also be a bit hard to install, although many manufacturers have introduced their respective technologies, making sure that their car top carriers can be placed within a few minutes and, in some instances, in a manner that is tool-less.
  • Soft Car Top Carrier: One of the benefits of a soft cargo bag is that it is cheaper compared to a hard carrier. Because of the choice of material, it can easily be folded and can be space-efficient when stored. It is also a good thing that there is no need to install a rack. However, one of the problems is that they lack durability. Because of the soft materials that are used, they do not offer a high level of protection, especially from weather conditions.

Essential Factors To Consider

To make it easier to decide which product will be chosen, make sure to keep in mind the factors that will be mentioned below:

  • Size: One of the first things that you should consider would be the size of the car top carrier that will be purchased. They can normally range from 10 to 25 cubic feet. To pick the right size, think about the size of your car and limit your choices to what it can realistically handle. More importantly, think of the stuff that you will be putting inside to help you determine which size is best.
  • Shape: There is more to shape than just aesthetics. For beginners, it is important to note that one that comes with an aerodynamic choice is the better option. This will not only help in the reduction of wind noise, but will also make it practical in more ways than one.
  • Durability: Would you buy a car top carrier if you know that it is not going to last long? To be provided with the best value for money, make sure to pick one that will be durable. Among others, the choice of material is the factor that will be highly instrumental of the carrier’s durability. ABS plastic is perhaps the best material that is available. It provides a hardcover for the carrier. This will also provide protection against weather conditions, especially rain.
  • Security: You should choose a top carrier that comes with a security lock. This will provide you with the confidence that your stuff will remain safe, even if they are unattended. The materials should also be thick and strong enough. They must not be prone to being ripped as this can also possibly compromise security.
  • Accessibility: Some carriers can be opened only from the rear, and others can be opened only from the front. To enjoy versatility and convenience, it is recommended that you find one that has dual side opening. This means that whether you are in the passenger or driver seat, you can easily open the cargo box.
  • Assembly: As a rule of thumb, pick one that will be easy to assemble. No one will have the patience to deal with a carrier that is filled with complications, especially when having it assembled. There are many technologies that are incorporated in today’s products to make them as user-friendly as possible. Look for those that can be assembled without requiring tools and without needing too much time.
  • Price: For a lot of people, the cost of the carrier is one thing that will affect their decision on which should be chosen. However, keep in mind that at all times, you should never choose one product only because it is cheap. If it is cheap, there is a chance that quality is also inferior. It would be better to spend for an expensive product if this means that you will be able to enjoy quality that will be hard to match.

Our Recommendations for the Best Car Top Carrier

In this section, we will briefly review five of the best options that are currently available in the marketplace.

1. SportRack SR7018 Vista XL Rear Opening Cargo Box


This hard shell cargo box comes with an ABS construction, which is perhaps one of the reasons for its durability. This also provides UV resistance. It has a total capacity of 18 cubic feet. It has a length of 64 inches, width of 40 inches, and height of 19 inches.

Security is one of the reasons why this is a popular choice amongst people who are looking for high-quality car top carrier. It has a lock at the back, which will provide you with the assurance that things kept inside will be safe from unauthorized access.

You will also enjoy ease of use with this car top carrier. The hardware included will make it effortless to complete the installation even on your own. It can fit most configurations, but to be sure, check the measurements and see to it that it will be perfectly fitted for the rack.

It is also a good thing that it comes with rear opening. This will make it easy to open the box and to access its contents, even in traffic.

Things We Liked:

  • Built to last long
  • Provides generous amount of storage space

Things We Didn’t Like:

  • Can create wind noise
  • A bit large for smaller cars

2. Keeper 07203-1 Waterproof Rooftop Cargo Bag


Equipped with 15 cubic feet of storage space, this can prove to be another excellent choice for the best car top carrier. It is flexible and can be kept even inside the car. The best thing is that it can be folded, making it easy to have it stored when not in use.

The material that is used in this product is one thing that is worth noting. It is made from rubber laminated nylon. This is waterproof. However, compared to those that are made from hard shell, this carrier offers minimal protection for your stuff and can also be less durable.

There are attachment points on each of the four sides of this car top carrier. This will make it easy to have it strapped on the racks of your car’s roof.

It is also a good thing that it comes with a soft design. This may compromise security and durability, but it is a good thing in a sense that it can accommodate even things with irregular shape.

Things We Liked:

  • Waterproof construction
  • Can be folded for easy storage
  • Easy to attach

Things We Didn’t Like:

  • Prone to punctures
  • Can be easily ripped

3. Thule Force Cargo Box


This is one of the high-end models within the product category, which is why you can expect it to have a wide array of premium features as well. Among others, one of the most notable is Diamond-Textured Aero-skin Lid. This is not only good looking, but can also encourage smoother airflow, which minimizes the possibility of creating noise. The choice of material also makes sure that it is going to withstand long-term use.

Tool-Free Quick-Grip mounting is another feature that should be highlighted and one of the reasons why it is excellent in terms of being user-friendly. With the latter, it can be installed on the rack in just as short as five minutes.

The dual side opening of the rack is also a great thing. This makes it convenient as it can be opened from either sides. Whether you are on the passenger or driver seat, you can easily access stuff inside the cargo box.

The size is also commendable. It has a total storage space of 21 cubic feet, which is way better than many others within the competitive landscape.

Things We Liked:

  • Generous capacity
  • Durable construction
  • Lightweight

Things We Didn’t Like:

  • Water can infiltrate the box

4. Thule 682 Sidekick Rooftop Cargo Box


Among other things, brand name in itself is already enough reason to have it considered above other options that you can find in the market. For years, Thule has been committed in manufacturing high-quality products, and such is evident in the case of this model.

This car top carrier comes with a storage space of 8 cubic feet. This is lesser compared to other models, but this can actually be a good thing if you have a small car and if you do not actually have a lot of things to put in a carrier.

It comes with a side opening, which will make it easy to load and unload items inside the cargo box.

For security and to provide you with peace of mind, two locks are already included. This will make sure that no one will access your stuff without your authority.

It comes with an innovative U-bolt mounting system, which is perhaps the reason why you can expect that its installation will be a breeze. It is almost tool-free and the entire assembly can be done within a few minutes.

Things We Liked:

  • Easy to install
  • Lightweight design
  • Made by a reputable brand

Things We Didn’t Like:

  • Minimal storage space

5. Yakima RocketBox Pro 14 Cargo Box


If you are looking for a car top carrier that will be effortless to put in place, this should be in your list of choices. It offers tool-less assembly, making it a snap to have it placed in the racks. Even if you have not used a similar product before, things will surely be easy.

For convenience, it is equipped with dual opening. Regardless if you are in the rear or front, you can have it easily opened.

With a length of just six feet, it is the perfect choice even for smaller cars. In spite of such, however, you can expect that there will be generous storage space. In fact, based on the specifications from the manufacturer, it can fit skis and snowboards with length of up to 170 centimeters.

There are SKS locks that are included. This will make sure that your things will be kept secured inside the cargo box. It comes with push button security, providing you with peace of mind.

Lastly, it is also worth noting that it comes with a flat bottom. This is a good thing when it comes to versatility of application as it can be installed in almost any rack.

Things We Liked:

  • Sleek and aesthetically pleasing design
  • Easy to install
  • It can be opened from both sides

Things We Didn’t Like:

  • Not meant to sustain abnormal weather
  • Average quality of materials


By now, we hope that we were able to help you understand the fundamentals of choosing the best car top carrier. Indeed, choosing the best will not be an easy task. It can be overwhelming, but the important thing is that you should be responsible enough to differentiate the choices. You should go beyond price, which means that you should be willing to spend more to be able to enjoy superior quality. To make things easier, go back to the models that we have recommended earlier and limit your choices with these products.