Best Rooftop Cargo Bags

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Looking for a way to transport your gear without taking up all the space in your vehicle? A rooftop cargo bag may be the perfect solution!

These bags are designed to strap onto the roof of your car, truck, or SUV, and can hold a variety of items. 

In this article, we will take a look at some of the best rooftop cargo bags on the market. 

We'll discuss their features and what makes them unique so that you can find the right bag for your needs.

Best Rooftop Cargo Bags

Rooftop cargo bags come in various shapes and sizes, so it's essential to choose one that will fit your vehicle. 

You'll also want to consider how much space you need. Smaller bags are great for carrying smaller items or if you're short on space, while larger bags can hold more gear.

let's look at some of the best options of the best rooftop cargo bags.

1. Fivklemnz Car Roof Bag

The Fivklemnz canvas rooftop cargo carrier bag is a fan favorite. It's made of 700D oxford fabric, weighs 6.6 pounds, and has a carrying capacity of 15.0 cubic feet. It is secure, quiet, and easy to install on the roof. It is, in fact, much easier to attach than many soft-shell cargo carriers. It sits on a protective anti-slip mat, and you can use the available straps to tie it down. It has many straps for stability and security, but you'll need to tuck and clip the straps after loading your cargo. The mat also protects the top surface of your car from scratches.

The zippers boast strong material and high-quality stitching. Thanks to its lightweight yet durable material, the Fivklemnz is among the quietest soft-top cargo bags. It costs only $90 and installs on any car with or without a roof rack or side rails.

If you aren't satisfied with what you get, you have 30 days from the date of purchase to return and ask for a replacement or your money back. It also comes with a 12-month warranty at the same time.


  • Decent storage capacity.
  • Doesn't require a roof rack.
  • Easy to install.
  • Quiet on the roof.
  • Durable, sturdy design.
  • Keeps items dry in the rain.
  • 30-day satisfaction guarantee and a 12-month warranty.
  • Excellent customer service. Some users have reported that they got their money back after writing torn straps.


  • The hook's quality feels cheap.
  •  Not 100% waterproof.

2. Billiton Premium Rooftop Cargo Carrier Bag

The Billiton Mashi soft-shell cargo bag is a simple, low-cost option for anyone working with a small budget. It costs around $90 and has a storage capacity of up to 15 cubic feet. The material is durable military-grade Fabric. It is the first anti-theft design, thanks to an ingenious locking mechanism that makes it possible to leave your cargo on your car wherever it's parked without worrying that someone will break into it. In addition, it comes with ultra-durable seatbelt straps featuring heavy-duty buckles that help secure it in place.

The Fabric is also waterproof. It's the same stuff used to manufacture kayaks, meaning it's resistant to impact, abrasion, sand, rain, wind, and harmful UV rays. Featuring switchless construction - heat-sealed seams, zipper flaps, no water can get inside. So you can confidently drive through rain, snow, sun, wind, and grit. 

Finally, Billiton Mashi engineers address the issue of drag by making the design more aerodynamic. Unlike many rooftop cargo carriers on the market, this bag minimizes drag, which is notorious for being less aerodynamic because of its boxy design. In addition, it has a premium thrust vectoring that ensures safety and stability while also lowering wind noise and fuel consumption.

When the bag is not in use, you can simply fold it to a small size for storage in your vehicle's boot. 


  • Ultra-durable strong kayak material. 
  • Weather and abrasion-resistant.
  • Anti-theft combination lock. 
  • Aerodynamic design to reduce drag.
  • 30-day return policy. 
  • 2-year warranty.
  • Installs on any vehicle with or without a rack.


  • Because the only access is through the bag's back, stuffing the first few things into the corners is a bit troublesome at first. However, the design helps keep wind and rain out.
  • When you pack pointed and heavier objects, the inside scratches, so you might want to stuff in some padding or towels.
  • The zipper is troublesome. It's stiff and doesn't move quickly, especially near the corners. However, leaving the bag in the sun for a short time will soften it.

3. RoofPax Car Roof Bag and Cargo Carrier

The RoofPax soft-shell cargo carrier is bigger than most, with a capacity of 23 cubic feet. However, it's one of the safest rooftop cargo carriers because it comes with 4+2 extra straps that hook to the door rather than passing through the inside of your car. Using straps that run through a car's inside to secure rooftop cargo is hazardous because it interferes with the function of airbags in times of emergency and is even prohibited in some states in the United States.

Waterproof dual seam technology, two waterproof zippers, and a double coat of water repellent sealer make this bag a waterproof cargo carrier. It also has a built-in anti-slip protective mat and ten stretchy restraints to keep straps from flapping. A massive SBS zipper, ten solid NIFCO strap buckles, and twin strap covers with eight Velcro stripes round out the security features. 

It comes with a lifetime warranty on the zippers and buckles, and it can be used with or even without roof rails. It stands nearly 20 inches tall and occupies a 47.2-inch long by 35.4-inch-wide surface area when fully loaded. If you don't have use for the large bag, there's a small 15 cu ft carrier option; this too expands to nearly 20 inches tall but only occupies 43.3 inches long by 33.5 inches wide surface area.


  • Lifetime warranty on the zippers and buckles.
  • Can mount to a bare rooftop.
  • Two sizes available.
  • TSA approved lock.
  • Safe and secure door hook straps.
  • Water repellent double coating.


  • At $90, it's on the high end of the price spectrum.
  • The protective flap barely covers the zipper.
  •  Not 100% waterproof.

4. Amazon Basics Cargo Carrier

For around $46.00, this soft-shell cargo carrier from Amazon works fine. It adds 15 cubic feet of storage space atop your car, allowing you to haul your items even in harsh conditions and elements. The zipper has a flap, which also prevents rain from getting through. It comes with eight straps for added security and stability. 

This bag will need roof rails at the very least, but you can also tie it to crossbars or place it inside a good cargo basket. The straps loop around a car's crossbars or side rails and adjust separately using buckles. Don't worry if your vehicle doesn't have roof racks; Amazon sells clips that can be used to tie down the bag. 

Customers appreciate the bag's carrying capacity and waterproof design in general. However, many people wish it came with an anti-slip pad because you might find a hole in the bag and scratches all over your car's roof after a single round trip. To protect your car's rooftop surface, you'll need to purchase your own mat.


  • The zipper flap is held in place by Velcro.
  • A lightweight 4.7-pound option that folds easily for storage.
  • While fastened to the car roof, buckles simply unsnapped for quicker cargo access.
  • Waterproof material that's also fade-resistant to keep your items safe from dust, rain, snow, and wind.

A carrying case is offered for easy transportation when not in use.

  • oversized zipper flap to keep rainwater out.
  • Strong seams.
  • A one-year Amazon Basics limited warranty is included. 


  • There is a protective anti-slip mat on the lower side of the bag, so you might have to stop several times to adjust the bag if it keeps moving.
  • Availability fluctuates, as it does with other Amazon Basics items.

5. RoofBag Rooftop Cargo Carrier

The RoofBag comes in multiple designs for individuals who like options or possess more than one type of vehicle. Two 11 cubic-foot bags are available. Both of these are approximately 36.5 inches wide and 40 inches long. They're both suitable for vehicles with roofs 48 inches or even longer. 

One features straps and a protective mat on the underside, while the other has three waterproof duffle-like bags for neater parking and extra protection against harsh elements. So if you own a hatchback or smaller sedan and don't want a bag over your rear window, these small RoofBag carriers will suit you. 

The larger RoofBag provides 15 cubic feet of storage space and can be used without liners. This carrier bag is perfect for vehicles with roofs higher than 58 inches. It has 38 inches wide by 48 inches long footprint. 

Both RoofBag designs have a unique shape as well. The smaller bag's front and back measurements are 10 and 17 inches, respectively, while the larger bag adds one inch to each end. Indeed, these measurements make them lower in the front and higher at the back for aerodynamics to lower wind noise and gas mileage at the same time.

They also both feature waterproof zippers, straps, and flaps. Also, no stitching is left exposed, which helps keep water from getting through your items. 

The bags also come with the most durable straps. They are 1.5 inches wide and durable nylon for unrivaled strength. For added security, the straps are not sewn to the carrier bags so that they won't come off no matter what. 

A built-in protective mat helps keep the bag in place and protects your car rooftop from scratches. So you can cruise at high speed without worrying that the bag may slide off the roof.


  • Versatile: liner bags for those with bigger vehicles and smaller bags for those with smaller sedans.
  • It can be used with a roof basket, crossbars, roof rails, or a naked roof.
  • Strong seatbelt style straps to secure your cargo in place.
  • Anti-slip protective mat to keep the bags from sliding and also prevent scratches.
  • 100% waterproof since every part of the bag is constructed from a single piece of water-resistant material.
  • Heavy-duty UV-resistant Fabric.
  • Aerodynamic design to reduce wind noise and promote fuel economy.
  • The heavy fabric also helps reduce flapping in the wind.
  • 2-year warranty.
  • Excellent customer service in case of a defective product. 


  • The anti-slip mat is not 100% effective as some users say the bags tend to slide a little if not filled to capacity.
  • Comes with only 2 straps, so you may have to purchase extra cords for added security.
  • Must be filled to capacity for aerodynamic efficiency.
  • At $130, these are on the expensive side of soft-shell carriers.

6. Midabao Car Roof Top Carrier

This large soft-shell rooftop cargo carrier is constructed using long-lasting PVC. This is an excellent choice if you require a large carrying capacity that surpasses comparable bags. It easily adds 20 cubic feet of storage capacity to your vehicle and weighs only 8.5 pounds.

If your vehicle doesn't feature a rack, this bag can be attached without any trouble. However, it costs a few dollars more than the Fivklemnz Car Roof Bag. 

The bag's strap system is trickier than most soft-shell rooftop bags. It's designed with four-door hooks, two long straps, and six short tie straps. However, you won't need a roof rack to fasten it to your car. Instead, you have to pull back your car door weatherstripping seal to attach the hook to the metal door frame and then pop the seal back and close the door. So, the same thing on the other door. These hooks will anchor the bag.

The Midabao bag is one of the noisiest carriers on the list, thanks to the numerous straps it employs. But on the other hand, the straps enable you to tightly secure the carrier to your car's roof, enhancing aerodynamics. Indeed, this carrier may be more drag-resistant than other soft-shell rooftop carriers if you pack it in the right way.


  • Extra-large carrying capacity: The intention of getting a carrier bag is to have extra storage space, and this bag doesn't disappoint. The roof bag's overall dimensions are 51.1" by 39" by 17", with a carrying capacity of 20 cubic feet.
  • Convenient design: it is compatible with all vehicles and doesn't need a roof rack, and thus offers the best overall value.

The soft inner lining makes it ultra-malleable for easy storage.

  • It has straps that allow you to tighten it to an aerodynamic shape for more fuel economy and reduced wind noise.
  • Excellent and durable stitching.


  • Not 100 % waterproof.
  • Waterproof sealing on the zipper makes it hard to move around.
  • Not easy to tie down on the roof.
  • It Doesn't come with a built-in abrasion-proof cushion, so it may slide on the roof as you drive and even leave it with some scratches.

7. San Hima Car Roof Bag Cargo Carrier

This travel storage luggage bag costs only $47 but has many features that make it as great as the high-end bags on this list. It boasts strong PVC mesh material that's both heat and water-resistant, ensuring your items are safe from water and extreme temperatures. It's also colorfast, so you won't see it fading.

The zipper is waterproof and features Velcro straps to keep rainwater from getting through. When fully loaded, it has a maximum capacity of 14.6 cu ft, balloons to a height of 17 inches, and occupies a 34-inch wide by 44-inch-long surface area. The straps help tie it down to an aerodynamic shape to minimize drag. You can use it on a naked roof or even with roof rails, crossbars, or cargo carrier baskets.

The San Hima soft-shell rooftop cargo bag folds up nicely for storage when not in use. It's compatible with most cars, vans, and SUVs.


  • This UV-resistant soft-shell cargo carrier is made of 500*500D PVC tarpaulin and boasts high-frequency machine seams to withstand years of abuse.
  • Dependable straps and tough buckles to secure your cargo and provide peace of mind.
  •  Anti-slip roof pad keeps the carrier stable and protects the cargo in the bag from scratches caused by road grit.
  • A transportation and storage case is available.
  • Straps help tie it down to a dynamic shape for fuel economy and reduced noise.
  •  Low-cost option.


  • The bright orange logo is not low-key.
  • Only 15 cubic feet of storage.
  • Not completely waterproof.

8. Roof Master Rooftop Cargo Carrier

This Roofmaster roof carrier is a nylon cargo bag with a large storage size of 16.0 cu ft. It installs on a car roof with or without a rail and is perfect for family camping trips and adventures. It will keep your items safe from snow, sand, rain, and wind thanks to its military-grade threads, heat-welded seams, and massive waterproof zipper.

The bag is pretty light and features a protective anti-slip mat. However, it's one of the most challenging to pack after attaching to the rooftop. Also, its straps are not easy to fasten; it might take some getting used to. However, the straps allow you to tie it down to an aerodynamic shape for low wind noise and high fuel economy. 

You can simply roll it up and fit it into a small space, making it convenient to store when not in use.


  • Decent 16.0 cubic feet storage capacity.
  • It can be towed to an aerodynamic shape.
  • Good weather resistance.
  • Waterproofed zipper.
  • The soft bag folds easily for storage.
  •  Costs less than the Midabao car rooftop carrier.


  • Useless straps, you might have to get your own bungee cords.
  • The nylon material is not robust.

9. Sunnyglade Waterproof Roof Top Cargo Bag

This 15 cubic foot rooftop carrier bag is compatible with all roof racks and costs only $50, and is thus one of the most affordable soft-shell carrier bags. In addition, it instantly adds 15 cubic feet of travel luggage storage space, giving your family more room in the vehicle to enjoy the journey.

The PVC mesh fabric is tough and waterproof. As a result, you can drive confidently, knowing that your cargo is protected from sun, rain, wind, snow, and road grit. 

You'll appreciate the enhanced zipper, too. It has a 2-urethane protective layer and Velcro flap, making it completely waterproof and thus preventing water from entering. In addition, double heavy-duty construction ensures that the bag can hold all types of luggage inside.

The bag is designed with two buckle straps that make it simple to mount to the car rack. The strap material is high quality. It looks and feels tough and unbreakable. The bag's appearance is enhanced by double layering and hot pressing.

Customers love the bag and have given it positive feedback. Some people praise its roomy, claiming that it can fit two huge suitcases and two smaller ones. Others laud its waterproof feature, stating that it keeps belongings dry even in torrential rain and snow. However, some people have complained about how short and flimsy the straps are. 

Overall, this is a fantastic low-cost option for on-the-go households, adventurers, or anyone who simply needs more space for travel luggage.


  •  Low-cost option.
  • Decent 15 cubic feet storage capacity.
  • Oversized zipper flap with a 2-urethane protective coating to keep rain from passing through.
  • High-quality straps to secure the bag on the rooftop.
  •  Comes with a storage bag.
  • 100 % waterproof.


  • It cannot attach to cars without a roof rack.
  • Noisy in the wind.
  • Straps are pretty short for SUV.

10. Keeper 07203-1 Waterproof Roof Cargo Bag

This is another low-cost carrier bag best suited for on-the-go households, adventurers, or anyone looking for extra space for travel luggage. It's a waterproof soft-shell cargo bag with 15 cu ft. The bag is made to fit all vehicle roof racks and has attachment points on all 4 corners, allowing you to increase luggage space without sacrificing passenger comfort.

It's a heavy-duty design that will keep your belongings safe from the other elements and has soft sides so you can store odd-shaped items hassle-free. In addition, it folds up for easy storage when not in use, maximizing space efficiency.


  • Installation is simple, without so much struggling with straps or repositioning required.
  • You can cruise through the rain as long as you've followed the installation instructions and covered the zipper area with the available flap to keep your belongings dry.
  • It can easily accommodate two children's suitcases, a Pack-n-Play, one large duffel bag, and other small backpacks.
  • There will be no problems with road noise.


  • It's zippered shut with 2 small zipper pulls and a tiny little lock, but it wouldn't be hard for someone to break in, so you might be forced to unload it every time you pause for the night. However, given that this bag costs only $60 and the hardshell versions cost $600, it's not much of a deal-breaker; but still, it can be inconvenient.
  • After a short period of use, tears appear along the front edge.
  • Because it is not dynamic, it may impact gas mileage and car handling.

11. Fiery Red Car Roof Bag Cargo Carrier 

This FieryRed rooftop soft-shell cargo bag adds 15 cu ft of storage space atop your SUV for that fifth or sixth suitcase, freeing up space on the inside for your passengers to enjoy a comfortable drive. In addition, if you are going camping or driving through rainy areas, your cargo will be kept safe from the elements thanks to four layers of tough Fabric welded together with superior technology. 

The bag also features a robust waterproof zipper with Velcro flaps to keep water from getting through. It's a great alternative if you have many different types of cars since it's compatible with just about any vehicle with or without crossbars or side rails.


  • This soft-shell rooftop carrier is IP65 water-resistant and offers all-weather dependability thanks to its tough stitching, multi-welding technology, and massive zipper with a Velcro flap. 
  • straps have Velcro tapes to keep them from flapping in the wind.
  • Reliable straps, strap guides, and solid buckles for extra security.
  • Adjustable straps allow you to fasten the bag to an aerodynamic shape for improved gas mileage and reduced wind noise.
  • Anti-slip mat keeps the bag secured on the roof and also prevents scratches.


  • Straps are flimsy, so you might have to stop several times to adjust your cargo if it keeps sliding on the roof.
  • There have been reports that the strap buckles break easily.

12. Mockins 25 Cubic Feet Rooftop Cargo Bag

This is yet another fantastic low-cost carrier alternative for quickly loading up for a trip out of town. It's abrasion-resistant PVC and provides dependable weather cover for even the harshest elements and conditions such as rain, snow, wind, storms, extreme temperature, UV rays, and road grit.

It will add 25 cubic feet of storage to your vehicle, allowing your family to sit comfortably and enjoy the ride. The bag comes with a protective anti-slip mat, four tough straps, and two additional ratchet straps to accommodate your luggage transportation needs. The bag is easy to mount on a car's sidebars or roof racks, and the soft-shell Fabric allows you to roll it up when not in use for space efficiency.

The package includes a simple-to-follow instruction sheet. It describes how to fasten and release the ratchet straps and the types of straps to use if your car doesn't have a rack. It clarifies that the carrier should be placed on the rooftop first, followed by loading the heavy items.

Straps pass across the top side, threaded through its four corner loops, to secure the bag onto the roof bars. Four-door hooks are also included to mount the bag without ratchet straps. So even in storms and winds, the bag won't move. But feel free to wrap an extra strap through the middle and secure it with a ratchet strap. If necessary, the protective mat can be cut or folded to fit. This roof carrier comes with a money-back guarantee. So, Mockins 25 Cubic Feet Rooftop Cargo Bag is more secure to purchase since you can return it to the manufacturer in case of anything.


  • 100 % waterproof and weatherproof, even in the most extreme conditions.
  • Heavy-duty impact resistance vinyl on both sides.
  • It is a low-cost option, costing only $70.
  • Guaranteed satisfaction.
  • Extra-large capacity storage.
  • Anti-slip pad that also protects your vehicle from scratches.


  • Ratchet straps allow wind to enter through the windows.
  • There have been complaints that the bag's straps are easily detached.

13. Asani Waterproof Car Roof Cargo Carrier Bag

This weatherproof and waterproof cargo carrier bag from Asani adds 15 cubic feet of extra space atop your car. That's enough room for more than 5 mid-sized suitcases of belongings. 

It's also simple to set up. It comes with 8 bolstered straps with massive buckles for easy and secure installation. This roof bag will fit as long as your vehicle has a roof rack. Simply follow the instructions to mount this cargo carrier safely.

The bag's design incorporates a triple-layer tough tarpaulin that can withstand rain, snow, heat, wind, and grit and a zipper flap that keeps your belongings completely dry. It has soft sides that simply flex to accommodate oddly shaped items, and it can swallow up to 99 pounds in belongings size.

It simply rolls up to a small size for easy transportation and storage when not in use. It's also straightforward to keep clean: just wipe it down every now and then.

It also includes a lifetime warranty for complete peace of mind and the best value for your money.


  • Affordable: it only costs $45.
  • Triple-layered tarpaulin zipper with flaps to keep water out. 
  • Eight reinforced straps with heavy-duty buckles for added security.
  • Accommodates even odd-shaped items.
  • Installs on any car easily as long as there's a roof rack.
  • Lifetime warranty.


  • Slight noise as it condenses and shifts where the wind hits it.
  • The material seems flimsy, so you have to be careful when driving through woods for camping.
  •  There have been complaints that the straps break easily.

14. Adakiit Car Roof Bag Cargo Carrier

This is a soft-shell rooftop carrier with 6 reinforced straps and 8 additional adjustable straps for any vehicle, whether you have a roof rack. In addition, its 20 cubic feet carrying capacity allows you to bring 5-7 travel suitcases, sleeping bags, tents, and other items on your next outing.

The bag is made of a triple-layer high-density 1000 PVC fabric and is also coated with PVC on the inside for extra waterproofing.

Besides carrying capacity, stability and security are the other essential features needed in a vehicle rooftop carrier. This bag includes additional six-piece large straps and two-piece 3M straps, so you can secure it as you'd like. And mounting is not complicated at all, thanks to the straps. The straps go from left to right on the side rails, but they go from front to back if you have crossbars.

On cars with bare roofs, they pass through the vehicles inside via the doorframe, and the doors close over them. The strap seams are heavily reinforced to keep them from coming undone after you've packed and securely fastened the bag on your car's roof.


  • Durable, string 1000 PVC fabric.
  • Weatherproof coating.
  • Dual-fabric waterproof zipper.
  • Reinforced straps. 
  • Stiff inner lining to protect your items from abrasion.
  • Adds a whopping 20 cubic feet of storage space.
  • Installs on any car with or without a roof rack, rail, or crossbars.
  • Reliable guarantee.


  • The instructions manual is not great.
  • It might be too bulky for you.
  • Not 100% waterproof.

You might have to purchase separate bungee cords to tie the bag atop your car because the supplied straps don't feel strong enough.

15. FRUNO 15 CUFT Rooftop Cargo Carrier 

This is another low-cost waterproof carrier for any automobile that holds 15 cubic feet; this is enough space to haul up to four large suitcases and several other items.

It's 600d strong duty fabric with a tear-resistant polyester grid sandwiched between two PVC coatings for waterproofing and wear resistance. High-frequency technology is used to glue the seams, making them waterproof. On the other hand, its water-resistant zippers have a 4-inch-wide flap to keep the water out.

This bag will fit any vehicle, whether there's a roof rack. The cargo bag's eight straps and six door hooks make it simple to secure it to a vehicle's roof. However, it cannot be used on rackless cars with sliding doors or weatherstrips bonded to their door frame.

A reinforced patch between each strap and the bag adds extra protection preventing the straps from being torn off the bag. You may also use the accompanying anti-slip mat and two separate anchoring straps to secure the bag and keep it from sliding off your car.

It comes with a one-year warranty and a guarantee that you will get your money bag if you are not pleased with the job.


  • Low-cost option. 
  • Decent storage capacity.
  • Easy to install on a car with or without a rack.
  • Weatherproof Fabric.
  • Water-resistant zippers with weatherproof curtains.
  • Lashing straps to secure the bag tight.
  • 1-year warranty.
  • Excellent customer service. They'll replace or refund you if you don't like what you get.


  • It can't work on the rackless cars in which weatherstrips are glued to the door frame or doors are sliding doors.
  • Not 100 % waterproof.
  • Overall, this is a sturdy solid bag. Fasteners and zippers work well; you will have no issues securing it to crossbars. It comes with a drawstring storage bag to keep it in when not in use.

Are Roof Bags Legal?

No one will give you trouble hauling luggage atop your car as long as it's properly secured. However, the tiny trailers that individuals drag behind their automobiles are of far greater interest to traffic cops than rooftop bags, as these must be registered independently and feature wheels, lights, and brakes, among other things.

On the other hand, the roof bag is simple, even though it cannot haul as many trailers. However, if the bag is loose or flies off, you may be cited for creating unsafe conditions or obstructing other vehicles on the road.

How Do Roof Bags Work?

How Do Roof Bags Work ( Best Rooftop Cargo Bags )

Roof bags are secured to your car's roof with buckled straps and door hooks. They're great for packing as much as possible because they can balloon to swallow bulkier items and fold down to a tiny size when not in use. A good cargo bag adds storage capacity without adding weight to the vehicle and is tough enough to withstand UV radiation, sand, rain, and snow. 

Roof Bags are also less expensive than cargo boxes and depending on how you load and tie them, you can accomplish aerodynamics, which means better gas mileage and reduced wind noise.

Do Cargo Bags Scratch Your Roof?

rooftop cargo bags might scrape and even damage your car's roof if not installed correctly. Rooftop cargo bags are only safe if you consider your car's max allowable rooftop cargo capacity and the bag manufacturer's strap tightening, weight distribution, and other guidelines.

If you load sharp objects into the bag without properly securing the strap, you might have scratches on your vehicle's roof. The risk of scratches increases if you are cruising on an uneven or rough road.

Dents are infrequent, but they occur, mainly when the items are heavy and exert much strain on the vehicle's rooftop. Damage can be avoided by purchasing robust bags with good anti-slip mats on the bottom surface. For example, if you buy a super-tough freight bag with thick cushion padding on its bottom surface, you can transport sharp-edged items without worrying about your car's roof surface.

How To Load a Rooftop Cargo Bag?

How To Load a Rooftop Cargo Bag?

Start by attaching the rooftop carrier to the vehicle's roof and then load it before strapping. Because cargo bag carriers are more malleable than box carriers, the straps usually adjust to the load's size and shape and are even easier to achieve aerodynamics. Make sure weight distribution is even.

Start loading the heaviest items first for stability, and put these towards the center. Next, load the lighter items; these go towards the bag's edges. Think about what things you'll utilize first and those you'll need quick access to. Keep the packing compact.

Don't leave any spaces between cargo; otherwise, the bag may slide atop the roof as you drive. Consider taking extra waterproofing precautions to dry your items when driving through rain or snow. Materials like plastic or waste bags can help keep water from getting on the bag.

Remember, rooftop cargo bags are only safe if they aren't overstuffed, filled with soft-sided luggage, and securely fastened to the vehicle. A cargo bag that is not securely fastened may move or let the wind get under it, increasing noise and gas mileage.

Check your car's maximum allowable dynamic and static roof load and the maximum carrying weight of the cargo bag. The dynamic roof load is the vehicle's weight limit when in motion, while the static roof load is the weight limit when standing immobile.

While at it, handle cargo bag with care. If not properly handled, cargo bags might sustain damage. Wear and tear are also possible due to harsh external factors such as weather, which increases the risk of scratches. I'd recommend reading this article for further information.

Can You Attach Roof Top Carrier Bag Without Roof Rack?

a soft car top carrier without a roof rack is possibleWith some accessories, you can mount the bag on a bare rooftop. Loops Ratchet straps are some of the most popular accessories. A look at the other end of the loop can be attached to a car's door frame to add loops to the perimeter of your vehicle's roof.

Pull back your car door weatherstripping seal to attach the hook to the metal door frame, and then pop the seal back and close the door. The doors close on the loops and keep everything in place. if you want to get into specifics on this topic – I'd recommend reading this article for further information.

Rooftop Cargo Bag Vs. Cargo Box

Cargo bags cost less than cargo roof boxes. They also tend to be quite easy to install and simply conform to the shape of the loaded objects. Also, because they are ultra-malleable, you can load and tie them down to an aerodynamic shape reducing drag and gas wastage.

They use straps, strap guides, buckles, and door hooks to attach with or without roof racks, side rails, and crossbars. When not in use, soft-shell cargo bags simply fold down to the size of a tablet for transportation in the vehicle's glove compartment or boot.

On the other hand, car cargo boxes have a rigid shape that you can't change, and therefore, if it's not designed for aerodynamic advantages, there's nothing you can do about it. They're also usually more expensive because they're built to last longer and haul heavier, bulkier, and even sharp-pointed stuff like kayaks, snowboards, camping stoves, tents, sleeping mats, and other items.

They are more protective, but they will require the installation of rails or crossbars. If you load hard-sided bags, some space will be lost because they do not conform to the shape of the objects. In addition, because they cannot be folded up to a compact size, they take up more storage space. if you want to get into specifics on this topic – I'd recommend brewing yourself some coffee and reading this article for further information.

How To Choose Between Rooftop Cargo Bags

Not every rooftop cargo bag is appropriate for every vehicle. Some are designed for mounting even on bare rooftops using ratchet straps. However, most require roof rails, and others can sit inside roof baskets, which creates the need for crossbars and a rack system. Therefore, depending on your car's roof style, you might have to shop around to find a better cargo bag that suits you.

Consider the bag's carrying capacity and your vehicle's max allowable dynamic roof load. Overloading reduces your car's handling and increases gas mileage. Plus, you might be cited for creating even more harmful conditions.

Look at the straps, the material, and each bag's ability to withstand harsh weather elements such as sand, snow, rain, wind, and intense heat. Accordingly, consider each price and construction, including how the straps are reinforced and attached to the car.

Once you've established durability, pick the bags that would suit a wide range of cargo and your vehicle type. Some models also have gently padded matting to secure them atop a car's roof and prevent scratches. But you may have to verify the mat's toughness because some feature paddings but still move when you drive on rough or uneven roads leaving a few scratches on the roof.


Now that you know what to look for in a rooftop cargo bag, let's look at some of are favorite options of the best rooftop cargo bags.

The first bag we'll recommend is the RoofPax Rooftop Cargo Carrier. This bag is designed to fit your car, truck, or SUV on the roof. It has a waterproof bottom layer and adjustable straps.

The Car Roof Bag Cargo Carrier - SANHIMA is a great option if you're looking for a larger bag. This bag is designed to hold up to 17 cubic feet of gear. It has a waterproof bottom layer, adjustable straps, and a reflective strip. 

Finally, we have the Mockins 25 Cubic Feet Rooftop Cargo. This bag is great for larger vehicles. It can hold up to 25 cubic feet of gear and is weather-resistant. 

Rooftop cargo bags are intended for use to add space to your minivan or any other car without sacrificing passenger comfort. They attach to vehicle roofs and expand to swallow stuff, and then you can fasten them using available straps and buckles. Some require roof rails or crossbars; some do not.

Depending on your budget, there are various rooftop cargo bag designs. If you are interested in purchasing one of the rooftop cargo bags discussed above, consider the suggestions outlined or shop around even further using our guide.

No matter your needs, there's a rooftop cargo bag that's perfect for you. With so many great options on the market, you're sure to find the perfect one for your car, truck, or SUV.

Happy shopping! And don't forget to check out our other buyer's guides at

Last update on 2024-02-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About the author 

Vieira Babeker

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

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

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