Cargo roof boxes are exceptional storage attachments for cars and many other motorized vehicles. But, because of the different sizes available, people miscomprehend what you can actually fit within these cargo carriers. That being said, can you fit an ordinary suitcase in a roof box?
Ideally, you don’t want to put a hard suitcase in a roof box. Although you can in most, it’s much more advantageous to load soft duffle bags. This is because they allow extra room for the cargo carrier to close. Whereas with hard suitcases, you’re limited to the potential adjustments.
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As you can see, you can put hard suitcases in most roof boxes. However, because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Instead, it’s much more beneficial to load a suitcase in your boot, or alternatively, use soft duffle bags for your cargo roof box. If you want to understand more about what you can fit into a rooftop cargo box, along with how to pack it for optimal space, I recommend you read the below.
What can you fit into a roof box?
The abundance of different equipment you can place inside of a rooftop cargo carrier is close to endless. However, the main factors you’ll want to consider are weight, width, and length. As you can imagine, a roof box is limited in width and length because of its size. But weight is slightly different as this isn’t necessarily indicated on the box itself.
With roof boxes, you get various weight capacities you’ll want to familiarize yourself with to ensure optimal safety for you, your passengers, and other road users. Usually, they’ll be weights associated with roof rails, crossbars, the actual roof itself, and the box. Therefore, you’ll want to ensure you’re not exceeding this weight limit to reduce the occurrence of breakages.
Needless to say, for the size of a roof box, it’s hard to go beyond these weight limits with traditional camping equipment, etc. To visualize better what you could potentially fit into a roof box, see the below:
- Camping equipment
- Fishing gear
- Golf clubs
- Safety equipment
- Winter sport goods
The above is a small outline of what you could fit into a roof box without exceeding the length, width, and recommended weight capacity. Of course, the above will highly depend on which type of equipment you’re considering transporting, but it should be able to offer you a better understanding of the items you could travel with.
Six tips for packing a roof box like a pro
With rooftop cargo boxes, you’re limited on space. Because of this, you’ll want to carefully think about exactly how you’re going to pack it. Below are some of our “must know” tips suited towards helping you pack like a pro:
Understand weight limits
As mentioned above, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with weight limits before you consider packing anything inside of your cargo box. If you believe that packing certain types of equipment will make you exceed your roof rails, crossbars, box, or actual roofs weight limit, you’ll want to consider locating them inside your vehicle.
Don’t forget your boot
That brings us onto this next section, don’t forget your boot! Having a rooftop cargo box is excellent, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use other storage departments located on your car. Most notably, your boot. These are large storage areas that are situated at the back of your vehicle. Here you’ll want to store your largest, heaviest, and most awkwardly shaped items. The space you’ll have in your cargo box will be limited, so don’t waste this on unnecessary items.
Additionally, if you have other storage departments attached or located around your vehicle which is available, you’ll want to think about these also. Back seats, trailers, literally anything, remember that you don’t only just have a rooftop cargo carrier to store goods during transportation.
Evenly distribute weight
When you store goods inside your rooftop box, you’ll want to guarantee even weight distribution. Failing this could result in equipment having movement during transportation and the vehicle having uneven weight distribution, which can cause a whole host of problems. You don’t need to get the distribution perfect, but you’ll want to consider it while packing your rooftop cargo box.
The best tip we can provide for this type of situation is to start with a solid base of goods. This means packing square or rectangular items at the start of the loading process to provide an even platform for equipment stored above them. Here you can layer the bottom of your cargo box and work yourself upwards.
Place awkward items on top
Above, we suggested it’s ideal to consider a solid base of square or rectangular items on the bottom of your cargo box. Because of this, you’ll want to place all the awkwardly shaped items on the top. If they’re extremely awkwardly shaped, you might even want to consider storing these inside the vehicle if they’re going to cause any problems.
Ensure your roof box can be shut
Packing everything in your roof box might seem like a good idea, but something which doesn’t seem so fun is not being able to shut the cargo carrier. Of course, it’s not ideal traveling down a motorway, and your roof box opens up and disburses all your beloved belongings. It’ll result in your goods becoming destroyed and maybe even lawsuits from other road users. Therefore, ensure you’re allowing your cargo roof box enough room to close without force.
Take full advantage of straps, holders, or hooks
In some rooftop cargo boxes, they’ll be located straps, holders, or even hooks. These can be utilized to secure your load further. They dramatically reduce the occurrence of movement, meaning weight will remain evenly distributed throughout the entire journey.
After becoming knowledgeable on the above, you should understand whether you can fit a suitcase inside a cargo carrier or not. In most, you can. However, it’s much better to place soft-shelled duffle bags, as they can be moved around and compacted much easier. If you don’t believe a rooftop cargo box is sufficient for your transportation needs, why not consider a cargo bag or basket?