The Best Rooftop Cargo Carrier For SUV Complete Reviews With Comparisons

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Choosing the best rooftop cargo carrier for SUVs can be quite challenging as it caters to a very niche set of audiences with an active market. Thus, I’m here to make this job a lot easier for you with this list of cargo carriers that I believe will answer your cry for help! I have handpicked some of the best products based on the features they provide and of course user feedback.

That still should be a long shot compared to all the details you should be aware of. I have specially curated this article to include a variety of rooftop cargo carriers that should fall under your criteria. But before you head on to the reviews I advise that you take a look at this comparison table to get a brief idea of how these cargo carriers compare to each other. 

Comparisons table

Image
SportRack Vista XL Rear Opening Cargo Box
YAKIMA, GrandTour Premium Rooftop Cargo Box for Cars, Wagons and...
Yakima Skybox 16 Carbonite Cargo Box
Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier, XXL , Black
INNO Wedge Cargo Box/Carrier for Skis Snowboards and Winter Gear
Title
SportRack Vista XL Rear Opening Cargo Box
YAKIMA, GrandTour Premium Rooftop Cargo Box for Cars, Wagons and...
Yakima Skybox 16 Carbonite Cargo Box
Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier, XXL , Black
INNO Wedge Cargo Box/Carrier for Skis Snowboards and Winter Gear
Ski/ Snowboard capacity
5-7 pair skis, 3-5 snowboards
4-6 pair skis, 3-4 snowboards
5-7 pair skis, 3-5 snowboards
5-7 pair skis, 3-5 snowboards
4-6 pair skis, 3-5 snowboards
Opening
Rear Opening
Dual Side
Dual Side
Dual Side
Passenger side
Material
Waterproof, UV light-resistant plastic
Plastic
840D Weatherproof PVC fabric
Plastic
ABS Plastic
Weight capacity
165 lb
165 lbs
165lbs
165lb
110lbs Max
Interior Capacity
18 cu. ft.
11- 16 Cubic Feet
12, 15 (Lo), 16, 18, 21 cu ft
16-22 cu ft
10.6, 12.4, 13.4, 14.1 cu ft
Color
Black
Black
Black
Black, Titan
Black
Price
$399.95
Price not available
$678.95
$899.95
Price not available
Image
SportRack Vista XL Rear Opening Cargo Box
Title
SportRack Vista XL Rear Opening Cargo Box
Ski/ Snowboard capacity
5-7 pair skis, 3-5 snowboards
Opening
Rear Opening
Material
Waterproof, UV light-resistant plastic
Weight capacity
165 lb
Interior Capacity
18 cu. ft.
Color
Black
Price
$399.95
Buy online
Image
YAKIMA, GrandTour Premium Rooftop Cargo Box for Cars, Wagons and...
Title
YAKIMA, GrandTour Premium Rooftop Cargo Box for Cars, Wagons and...
Ski/ Snowboard capacity
4-6 pair skis, 3-4 snowboards
Opening
Dual Side
Material
Plastic
Weight capacity
165 lbs
Interior Capacity
11- 16 Cubic Feet
Color
Black
Price
Price not available
Buy online
Image
Yakima Skybox 16 Carbonite Cargo Box
Title
Yakima Skybox 16 Carbonite Cargo Box
Ski/ Snowboard capacity
5-7 pair skis, 3-5 snowboards
Opening
Dual Side
Material
840D Weatherproof PVC fabric
Weight capacity
165lbs
Interior Capacity
12, 15 (Lo), 16, 18, 21 cu ft
Color
Black
Price
$678.95
Buy online
Image
Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier, XXL , Black
Title
Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier, XXL , Black
Ski/ Snowboard capacity
5-7 pair skis, 3-5 snowboards
Opening
Dual Side
Material
Plastic
Weight capacity
165lb
Interior Capacity
16-22 cu ft
Color
Black, Titan
Price
$899.95
Buy online
Image
INNO Wedge Cargo Box/Carrier for Skis Snowboards and Winter Gear
Title
INNO Wedge Cargo Box/Carrier for Skis Snowboards and Winter Gear
Ski/ Snowboard capacity
4-6 pair skis, 3-5 snowboards
Opening
Passenger side
Material
ABS Plastic
Weight capacity
110lbs Max
Interior Capacity
10.6, 12.4, 13.4, 14.1 cu ft
Color
Black
Price
Price not available
Buy online

5 Best Rooftop Cargo Carriers For SUVs

This list is prepared with a variety of products keeping in mind a diverse panel of the audience with specific demands for their cargo carriers. I hope you find the perfect match from one of them. If not, do give our next section a read to help yourself find a product that better fits your needs!

1. SportRack Vista XL

SportRack’s Vista XL secures the top spot on our list due to its budget-friendliness and the value it has despite its price tag. If this product had a middle name, it should be "Best Value for Money", and the customers seem to agree. It also comes fully assembled initially, so there’s no hassle while installing it.

Though its storage is considered to be constricted, I believe 63 inches of length would suffice to store a good number of your belongings. The only downside to this cargo carrier is that it may not store skis.

Moreover, this cargo carrier isn’t quite accessible from all sides, meaning you can extract your goods only from behind the rear.

On the other hand, it can pretty much be used in any roof rack system you can think of for your SUV. UV-resistant ABS is used to make up its highly durable shell that can support a total weight of about 100 pounds.

All in all, I couldn’t have found a better alternative to this product that delivers just about all the convenience you can expect from a cargo carrier at the cheapest rate! Also, unlike many entries that you will see below in this list, this is the only cargo carrier that only comes in one exclusive size!

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 63 x 38 x 19 inches
  • Cargo Capacity: 18 cubic feet
  • Accessible from: Rear
  • Accommodation of Skis: N/A

Features

A good amount of storage: I believe a length of 63 inches and a total storage capacity of 18 cubic feet will suffice the needs of many! This is enough for casual SUV owners.

Easy to Install: Not only does it come with all the handy tools and a guidebook, but you can pretty much install it on all sorts of rack systems. Just be sure to check the compatibility with your current rack system before making the purchase.

Easy on your money: Other competitors can almost cost double its amount and still do just about the same function with a few extra features. If you just want a simple-looking carrier that does its job and is easy on your pockets then this should be your choice, hands down.

 Pros

  • Low Cost
  • Easy to Install and Remove
  • Convenient and Secure
  • Easy to Maintain
  • Tons of Space

 Cons

  • Does not Accommodate Skis
  • Is not accessible from the sides

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Related: The 5 Best Hard Shell Rooftop Cargo Carrier: Complete Guide

2. Yakima Grand Tour Roof box 16

If this was a little bit cheaper, I might have just let it be our top pick. Nevertheless, it made it to the second spot for all the right reasons!

This cargo carrier is one of the simplest to install and operate. What I like about this carrier is that it is very smooth inside, which prevents your goods from getting stuck on anything while loading or unloading.

It is also accessible from both sides while being fairly sturdy and safe and looks excellent on most automobiles. The clamps offer a greater range than usual, allowing this box to fasten to a larger variety of crossbar sizes and shapes. The lid isn't floppy, and using the latches and locks isn't difficult.

This is also one of the best-looking cargo carriers I could find, with a high-gloss finish, a smart short and broad profile, and a contoured base that keeps it lying low on the crossbars. Simply speaking, the Yakima is a great fit if you have a luxury car with an empty roof rack.

Inside, the mounting mechanism employs a retractable knob to tighten each clamp and then stores them to the side, resulting in a sleek, flat base and more room for your gear.

The GrandTour is a competent and attractive tool for expanding your carrying capacity for skis or bags, filthy cycling equipment, or your child's portable equipment! All in all, it’s a great all-rounder that comes at a reasonable price!

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 82 X 36 X 17.5 inches
  • Cargo Capacities: 16 and 18 cubic feet
  • Accessible From: Dual side
  • Accommodation of Skis: Up to 185 cm

Features

Sleek Design: A lot of you will be instant fans of its sleek yet sneaky design that has a glossy finish and an elegant shape. I believe its aerodynamic shape can also help your SUV lower some of the impending air resistance on the road!

Variety of Capacities: Although it comes in only one shape, it does come in different sizes of 16 and 18 cubic feet, respectively. It can accommodate different sizes, with the bigger version being capable of hauling skis up to 210 cm in length. However, I believe 16 cubic feet would do your job just right, as it has for us!

Accessible from Both Sides:  You can just about grab your belongings from any of the sides while your trip mates unpack their things from the trunk. It’s quite convenient when given a few extra thoughts, we'd say!

Pros

  • Beautiful Design
  • Accessible from dual side
  • Comes in a variety of space
  • Can Accommodate skis
  • Easy to Install

 Cons

  • It's a bit pricey compared to Vista XL
  • Some similarly priced carriers have better aerodynamics

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3. Yakima Skybox 16

The Yakima Skybox Carbonite is an excellent buy given it provides tons of features for quite a reasonable price. It does an excellent job of keeping our stuff safe, secure, and conveniently accessible, all at a price that allows you to buy more gear to fill it.

The lid of this cargo isn’t floppy at all, and the latching system signals when the Skybox is open, making it far more difficult for you to be careless enough to drive away with an open box.

Furthermore, the matte black surface conceals scratches and scrapes far better than any other box available on the market. Getting started with the initial setup is a real headache. However, if you’re an avid traveler with your separate SUV reserved for traveling, you can just leave your cargo on for days!

The 16-cubic-foot variant I tested provides a tool-free installation that is compatible with most rack systems. There's a size variant for everyone, with sizes ranging from 12 to 21 cubic feet. I would recommend that you check all the other sizes out for your convenience. The larger the size, the higher the price!

Skybox consists of an aerodynamic shell that harbors ample space for a large number of goods and gears.

The lid has stiffeners to protect it from nudging at highway speeds, and the box opens from both sides. Oh, and it’s quite eco-friendly as it is also crafted from 80 percent recyclable materials.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 81 x 36 x 15 inches
  • Cargo Capacities: 12, 15 (Lo), 16, 18, 21 cubic feet
  • Accessible From: Dual side
  • Accommodation of Skis: Up to 185 cm

Features

Range of Sizes: There are a ton of varieties of this product, from 12 cubic feet to 21 cubic feet. Thus, you never need to worry about not finding the right size for this model. If you want the standard size, then 16 cubic feet would do the job for you. If you are opting for larger spaces, then you can always go for an 18, or perhaps a 21!

Matte black Finish: This model has a more matte finish compared to other entries on our list. It caters to the needs of people who want a less shiny design to conceal any scrapings or scratches they might come across on their journeys!

Eco-Friendly materials: Who doesn’t love expensive things you rarely use made out of materials good for the environment? This makes Skybox a unique model in our list, as others on the list do not get to boast this feature!

 Pros

  • A variety of models with varying sizes are available
  • Made of recyclable materials
  • Durable and Resilient
  • Can Hold Skis just fine

 Cons

  • Installation is not easy at all
  • Little on the expensive side

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4. Thule Motion XT XL

Thule’s Motion XT XL is quite nice on its own, even though it has its setbacks. This box is really handy and simple to use, with one of the best, most straightforward mounting solutions I've tested to date, allowing you to install it in about a handful of minutes. This makes it almost as convenient as our first pick, and it packs a lot of storage as well.

This rooftop cargo is strong and has a safe locking mechanism that stops you from leaving the box unlocked by accident. It features a pretty streamlined, visually pleasing design and comes in a variation of two colors: black and off-white.

Unfortunately, this cargo box is one of the costlier ones I have examined and will eat a significant chunk out of your budget. However, if you intend on keeping your cargo box on your car quite frequently, then it might be worth the splurge.

However, Thule's Motion XT stands out, with a polished quality and finish, simple installation and operation, and a range of sizes from 16 to 22 cubic feet.

Finally, the nose design is excellent, with an extra-solid base and ample overlap that prevents gaping and offers superior wind resistance. Overall, the Motion XT is quite an expensive but wise pick for users looking to spend more.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 84.5 x 36 x 17 inches
  • Cargo Capacities: 16, 18, 22 cubic feet
  • Accessible from: Dual side
  • Accommodation of Skis: Up to 200 cm

Features

Easy to Open: Thanks to its wide handles on each side, smooth locks, and a hard lid, the Motion XT is simple to open, close, and keep your belongings secured! You can’t even afford the luxury of keeping your box open by mistake thanks to its smart locking system!

Dynamic Shape and Design: This cargo carrier will look dashing in just about any SUV. Its nose-like design provides sufficient aerodynamic value and helps you slipstream other cars with ease! I did feel a little change in our driving style with this bad boy!

Variations in Colors: Unlike many products on the list, you can choose between two great options for visual appeal. Although it may not matter to most about how their cargo carriers look, to some people it does, and if you’re one of them, you should opt for products like this with a variety of color options!

Pros

  • Great Design
  • Easy to Access from Both sides
  • Secure lock system
  • Comes in a variety of colors

Cons

  • Quite expensive compared to other entries on the list
  • Does not come in smaller sizes

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5. INNO Wedge 660

What’s great about our 5th pick is that the INNO Wedge 660 is one of the best designs in the low-profile category, with a contoured form that provides 11 inches of depth while only rising 9.6 inches over your rack system’s crossbars. Although INNO's Wedge includes a variety of various sizes, it's worth noting that the 660 is the only low-profile variant.

The appropriately sized aero shape will help minimize drag and increase gas efficiency, and INNO takes it a step further with the Wedge by constructing a curved base that "sinks" into the roof rack, lowering the height of the box without compromising storage capacity.

It also supports a universal mounting system that is compatible with all types of bars which simplifies the hassle of mounting by a long shot. The box is also accessible from both sides, making it easy to reach your stuff no matter which side of the car you're on.

The Wedge boasts a quality fit and finish, including tool-free installation, a beautiful and aerodynamic design that minimizes wind noise while accommodating a back antenna and door, and a dual-sided opening that improves access and organization.

 Specifications

  • Dimensions: 80 x 33 x 11 inches
  • Cargo Capacities: 10.6, 12.4, 13.4, 14.1 cubic feet
  • Accessible from: Dual side
  • Accommodation of Skis: Up to 185 cm

Features

Low Profile Design:  Many products here add over two feet to the top of your SUV, considering both the height of the box itself and the rack. This is quite risky for SUV users, as parking in garages and indoor parking lots can be a hassle. However, the low-profile design of this product is definitely a problem solver!

Aerodynamic Shape: The wedge-shaped carrier makes for a low-profile as well as perfect aerodynamics. This design not only minimizes the effects of air resistance but also lowers gas usage. It’s a win-win both economically and speed-wise.

Universal Mounting: Almost any rack system can support this bad boy without making you go through the hassle of installing specific rack systems.

Pros

  • Low Profile
  • Aerodynamic
  • Improves gas efficiency
  • Universal Mounting supported

Cons

  • The design may not be appealing to some

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Things to Consider Before Buying a Rooftop Cargo Carrier 

If you haven’t been sold by any of our listed products, then I might just have what you need. In this section of the article, I will be passing down some crucial knowledge that will ensure you get to choose the Cargo carrier of your choice. However, it is of utmost importance that you give special consideration to all the criteria I will be listing down below.

Rack-support: To buy the cargo carrier of your choice, you first need to ensure how much weight can the roof of your car support. Some SUVs come with built-in racks, however, if you don’t have one by default then you must buy and install one. 

The kind of rack you will be installing is crucial as not all-cargo carriers are supported by every rack system. You also need to double-check the weight capacity of the roof of your car before installing any racks or cargos! 

Storage: You should know your needs best. How much are you looking forward to being carried around on your trips? Are you looking forward to carrying skis with you? If so, save your efforts towards cargo carriers with high cubic feet dimensions and ski support options. 

Buying a small cargo carrier will not be a wise decision, because you will be sacrificing storage capacity to save a few bucks. Hence, if you’re determined about your adventures, always go for the big ones! 

If you're looking to learn more about cargo box storage solutions, I recommend this article.

I recommend reading this article to learn more about how to make roof racks more aerodynamic article.

Aerodynamics: If you see yourself using your cargo carrier quite frequently throughout the day, then you should at least consider being efficient fuel-wise. In this case, some carriers can add extra drag onto the car which is why the shape and how your carrier looks are vital. 

Thus, opt-out for streamline shaped cargo carriers that can reduce drag and burn fuel efficiently enough to make up for the extra money it’ll cost you to buy them!

I recommend reading this article to learn more about how to make roof racks more aerodynamic article.

Installation: Convenience is a customer’s right. Not all cargo carriers respect this right, however. As I have mentioned in our reviews, some cargo carriers can be a hassle to be installed while others are bread and toast. If you are looking forward to going on spontaneous adventures randomly, then choose an easy-to-install cargo carrier! 

Bestselling Rooftop Cargo Carrier for SUVs on Amazon

Bestseller No. 1
Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier, XXL , Black
Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier, XXL , Black
Oversized roof-mounted cargo box provides 22 cubic feet of additional packing space; Designed for optimal space efficiency, aerodynamics, and vehicle fit
$899.95
Bestseller No. 2
Thule Pulse Rooftop Cargo Box, Medium
Thule Pulse Rooftop Cargo Box, Medium
Functional rooftop cargo box provides 14 cubic feet of additional packing space; Rugged and durable design keep contents protected
$549.95
Bestseller No. 3
SportRack Horizon Cargo Box (Alpine, 11 Cubic Feet)
SportRack Horizon Cargo Box (Alpine, 11 Cubic Feet)
11 cubic foot (311 L) cargo capacity; Made from rugged, impact resistant ABS material; Passenger side opening for easy loading and unloading away from traffic
$379.95
SaleBestseller No. 4
SportRack Vista XL Rear Opening Cargo Box
SportRack Vista XL Rear Opening Cargo Box
18 cubic foot (510 L) internal cargo capacity; Made from durable UV-resistant ABS material
$399.95
Bestseller No. 5
DNA MOTORING PT-ZTL-8166-BK Car Roof Top Mount Travel Storage Box...
DNA MOTORING PT-ZTL-8166-BK Car Roof Top Mount Travel Storage Box...
OVERALL DIMENSION: 53" L x 34" W x 15" H; Opens to 14" Wide to Store Bulky Items; CAPACITY: 110 lbs and 11 cu. ft.
$369.99

Conclusion

This brings us to the end of our article! I hope you won’t have any trouble choosing the best rooftop cargo carrier for SUVs now. Pick any one from our list and you will be just fine. And in case you want to do a bit more browsing before buying one, the buying guide should come to your aid.

I wish you all the best in your ventures ahead and thank you for your time!

Last update on 2022-05-22 / 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 theroofboxes.com is to provide helpful straight forward clear advice and tips for Automotive Accessories.

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