Are Rooftop Cargo Boxes Worth it

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Rooftop cargo boxes are excellent pieces of equipment when looking to increase the overall storage capacity of a vehicle. It provides motorists many advantages, but the real question is, are rooftop cargo boxes worth it?

A rooftop cargo box is undoubtedly the best option to increase a vehicle’s storage capacity. It offers adequate protection, a significant amount of loading space, and superb anti-theft mechanisms, making these cargo boxes more than worth the investment.

The genuine benefits you can obtain from these cargo carriers are immense, yet there are negatives also. Therefore, to decipher whether these are considered “good” for your application, I suggest you become familiar with the pros and cons section below.

Pros and Cons of Rooftop Cargo Boxes

Before determining whether something is “worth it”, it’s mandatory to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages that it presents. Because of this, the most accurate and fair way of achieving this is through a pros and cons section. 

Pros of rooftop cargo boxes

First, let’s start with the positives that rooftop cargo boxes present in our lives. Undoubtedly, there are many, and there might be more depending on your application. However, these are the primary three:

Offers additional storage capacity

As you can imagine, a rooftop cargo box offers additional storage capacity to a vehicle. But, it can withstand a lot because of its location and strength capabilities. For instance, this Thule Force XT cargo box offers an extra 22 cubic feet of packing space and has a load capacity of 165 pounds. To better visualize this, it’s around 5-7 pairs of skis or 3-5 snowboards 215cm long.

Apart from rooftop cargo boxes, there’s also various “specialist” equipment that can be installed onto your crossbars. Instead of a cargo box, you can install ski racks, fishing pole holders, and more, which could benefit an end-user.

Supports adequate protection

An advantage that cargo boxes have over other carriers is their protection. Usually, these are manufactured from hard-shelled plastic that can protect your cargo from harsh weather conditions such as snow, hail, rain, and the sun.

Comparing protection to other cargo carriers, the box-type excels. When looking at the protection characteristics of cargo bags and hitch-mounted storage units, there isn’t much available unless you purchase additional equipment. This reason alone makes cargo boxes the more favorable choice of additional storage equipment for road vehicles.

Provide the utmost security of belongings

Bags, hitch-mounted, and other forms of cargo carriers, don’t offer sufficient protection. Most are exposed to the outside environment and don’t have locking mechanisms, meaning thefts can occur if your cargo is left unattended. However, most cargo boxes come equipped with locking and security mechanisms that prevent this situation from occurring.

They have locks, hard casings, and more, unlike the others. Therefore, it acts as a deterrent while also providing protection, making them excellent cargo carriers.

Cons of rooftop cargo boxes

As you can see, there are various advantages to owning a rooftop cargo box. However, with all benefits, negatives occur. Therefore, to determine whether this is the right option for you, knowing the below is advised.

Extra fuel consumption

The primary disadvantage to a cargo box and all additional storage units is the extra fuel consumption that comes along with them. It isn’t a specific amount extra because it depends on multiple variables (see below), but it could be upwards of 50% more.

However, this can be counteracted and reduced significantly if thought about correctly. The factors that increase fuel consumption are weight and aerodynamics. Although we cannot increase or decrease the load weight because that’s why the cargo box is required, aerodynamics can be improved.  

Aerodynamics is all about how air moves around objects. When the air becomes trapped on an obstacle, it starts causing force and friction. As a result, more power is required to move the vehicle forward. Therefore, purchasing a box that doesn’t overhang your front windscreen will offer more aerodynamics and reduce fuel consumption.

Costly storage device

In addition, a cargo storage box is usually the most expensive additional storage unit for a vehicle. Although this can deter many away, these are much more advantageous than traditional carrier systems. The security, protection, and storage capabilities combined, make these cargo carriers more expensive.

Typically, these can cost anywhere between $100 to $500+, depending on the brand and complexity. However, other cargo carriers like a bag or hitch-mounted device can be anywhere between $50 to $300, so there could be a huge price difference.

Difficult loading process

Another disadvantage to a cargo box is the challenging loading process. It’s located in the middle of your vehicle roof, which is a problematic reach for most individuals. Therefore, it’s recommended for people loading these boxes to use a step ladder.

Those who have problems with their legs, backs, or balance should consider this storage unit. When loading the cargo, there’s a lot of lifting and twisting involved, which could cause stress on these problems that some suffer from.

After reading the above, you should have a fundamental idea of whether rooftop cargo boxes are worth it. In all honesty, it highly depends on the type of individual, but the pros and cons list should help identify whether a cargo box is an ideal solution for you.

Overview

Pros of rooftop cargo boxes

Cons of rooftop cargo boxes

Offers additional storage capacity

Extra fuel consumption

Supports adequate protection

Costly storage device

Provide the utmost security of belongings

Difficult loading process

Now you’ve gained valuable insights into this, I thought it’d be beneficial to express my own opinion about the topic. Personally, I believe cargo boxes are worth it. However, it depends on the application. A hitch-mounted trailer would be more beneficial if I’m transporting larger, awkwardly-shaped goods. Other than that, with camping, winter sport, and fishing equipment, a rooftop cargo box is an excellent solution.  

Conclusion

After reading the above, you should have a more comprehensive understanding of whether rooftop cargo boxes are worth the investment. So, now you know this, will you consider investing in this storage device?

About the author 


Vieira Babeker

Hi! I'm Vieira. I've always been interested in different Auto Accessories

My passion here at theroofboxes.com is to provide helpful straight forward clear advice and tips for Automotive Accessories.

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