Cargo Boxes vs Baskets Which is Better and Why?

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A cargo box, or a roof rack basket is perfect for the person looking to maximize space. One may be more practical than the other depending on your lifestyle, needs and vehicle type. If you're not sure which one will work best for you then read this post! 

"A cargo basket is a better option for consumers who want more of a permanent solution. However, if you need to load items that won't get wet, choose roof boxes because they provide dry and secure spaces for extra family road trip stuff".

The roof rack basket provides a taller platform that can hold up to 150 pounds of weight while the cargo box can only handle 165 pounds. So it's really just about what will serve your needs better in terms of height and weight capacity as well as how much money you want to spend. 

The Best Option for storing items: Boxes vs Baskets

When it comes to which is the better option Roof Box vs Cargo Basket, there are a few factors to consider. You should think about these questions before making any decisions. These can be helpful starting points for your decision-making process:
What kind of transportation will you use with this? 
Do you need security features like locks or alarms? 
How much space do you have available on top of your vehicle and what size items will fit in that area once they're loaded onto their carrier (which might depend on whether they'll stack)?

  • security features: Do you want something simple or do you need more safety? Are the security measures strong enough for what your needs require?
  • weight limit:  how much total weight it can hold.
  • price: How much are you willing to pay? Do you want the best quality or the best bang for your buck?
  • roof rack: do you need roof rack or a cross bar
  • fuel economy: which one can affect fuel economy if your car is too heavy or fuel economy loss due to wind resistance
  • parking garage: do you park your car or are you going to do drive through a parking garage with a roof box or a cargo basket because using these types of carriers on cars has a limited clearance that you need to consider!
  • storage space: do you have a good place to store it when you don't need them,

The Pros And Cons of Roof Boxes

A roof box is a storage solution for the top of your vehicle. It will provide you with more space to store items like camping gear, luggage, or other bulky items that don't fit in the car. There are both advantages and disadvantages to choosing this option over another type of storage container on your vehicle's roof such as a rooftop carrier. 

Pros of an Roof Box

Extra Cargo space: A roof box is a storage solution for the top of your vehicle. It will provide you with more space to store items like camping gear, luggage, or other bulky items that don't fit in the car. 

Do well for mobile lifestyles: If you enjoy a mobile lifestyle, it can be difficult to find vehicles that are able to accommodate your needs. For musicians who need space for large instruments or hairdressers with their own equipment; roof cargo box carriers will likely come in handy at some point!

can be used for sporting adventures: Roof cargo boxes can be used for a number of different activities. For example, they work great for sporting adventures like hiking and mountain biking, camping tools.! it provides more room when going places with friends without worrying about taking up too much trunk space.

keeps your stuff safe and secure: Cargo boxes keep your things safely secured in place while you drive around or travel with them.

  • You’ve got options — You can find several manufacturers that deliver a quality roof box that you can rely on.
  • Weatherproof — roof boxes can handle quite a lot. Manufacturers build them to hold up against rain, heat, and cold weather.
  • Easy installations — roof boxes have the advantage of not needing extra tools to mount. All you need is the cross bar and the roof rack.
  • Easier — roof boxes are easy to use when loading and unloading them to or from your car.
  • Cargo capacity: The roof box can hold up to 165IB while the basket could handle up tp150Ib.

These are just a few advantages if you choose to go with a roof box. but Keep in mind that not all roof boxes are created equal. Go with major brands, like This Thule Force XT Rooftop Cargo Box (on Amazon) offers a great compromise between affordability and quality. While cheaper rivals may offer you a lighter strain on your wallet, it doesn't compare when they fall short in their ability to prove how “weatherproof” they are.

Cons of Roof Boxes

  • fuel economy: A roof box can have a negative effect on your car's fuel economy if you are filling it with too much weight or the loss of efficiency due to wind resistance when compared with using a rooftop basket.
  • Price: The cost of a rooftop cargo box is very expensive; even when compared to the roof basket.
  • Not great for large items: The large items you have to load , the less of a chance they’ll have to go into the roof box 

How to Install roof cargo boxes

  • Install anchor points inside your roof box (could be U-brackets/bolts). Push the sliding block screws from the bottom of the roof box and thread the clamp plates from the top. Screw the bolts loosely. Repeat for each of the 4 anchor points.
  • Place the roof box on the roof rails (PS: It’s advisable to find help).
  • Slide the roof box to the left of the carrier rails and the sliding blocks into the roof bar carrier. Repeat for the right side.
  • Align the roof box centrally and tighten all clamping bolts on the sliding blocks.
  • Done! Pack your luggage and drive off.

Here’s a video generalized installation guideline:

What Should You Look For in Roof Cargo Boxes?

When searching for the best option, make sure you go with a trusted brand. The Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier (on Amazon) has great reviews and is durable. You should note that while terms like "waterproof" sound nice, they don't tell much about quality or durability as it varies by industry standards.

Unless they have an IP rating, which suggests their quality. opt for brands that advertise themselves as weatherproof because it means they can stand up to more than just water; some are also built to last in the heat and cold.

The Pros And Cons of Roof Baskets

If you are thinking about purchasing a roof cargo basket, it's important to do your research before the purchase. It is also helpful for every owner of a rooftop cargo carrier to know some downsides that may come with owning one.

Pros of Roof Baskets

Many people have been asking themselves what the advantages of roof cargo baskets are, but they might not know. Roof cargo baskets are perfect for transporting goods to and from your vehicle.

great for large items: They allow you to take large items with ease without having to worry about them falling out of the back while driving or getting in the way when loading other things into your car.

Extra space: The roof cargo basket is a great addition for anyone that needs some extra storage space on their vehicle!

price: A roof basket is cheaper than a rooftop box.

cons of Roof Baskets

There are many disadvantages to roof baskets, including the fact that they can be it is not waterproof, you need to cover them. or put things there that okay to get wet. the basket seems to make more noise. Roof baskets may also cause you problems with your garage door or carport if it is too close by. The largest disadvantage would be their weight capacity; for example, a long roof basket will weigh to carry up to about 140 pounds!

How to Install roof cargo baskets

  • The rack can only be installed on vehicles with mounting rail and cross bar. NOTE: Check with your vehicle dealership for compatible mounting rail if necessary.
  •  Position the saddle away from the center of the rack for even weight distribution. Align them to the crossbar on your vehicle. NOTE: Relocate the crossbar on the mounting rail if necessary. The 2 crossbars need to be at least 15” apart from each other.
  • Clamp and secure the rack on the crossbar by tightening the wing nuts on the saddle.

Here’s a video generalized installation guideline:

What is a cargo basket used for?

Baskets mounted on top of vehicles is helpful because it saves room inside cars and SUVs since there isn't any need for extra storage bags with these kinds of carriers available instead, this allows users to place more important cargo safely out-of-sight such as carrying groceries, camping gear and other items that need to be kept safe.

When choosing a cargo basket, it is important to select one with the proper rating for outdoor use. This will ensure that you do not experience any issues while using it This ARKSEN 64" Roof Cargo Basket on amazon features Great ideal for hauling extra cargo bags, camping equipmentluggage and more

Do you need cross bars for a cargo basket?

All Cargo boxes and cargo basket require a roof rack with crossbars to be installed on your vehicle before you can attach the cargo box. These universal mounting accessories are compatible with any type of round, square, aerodynamic and factory crossbar. It is important that your rear hatch will not hit the cargo box as it opens all the way.

Cargo carriers are a great way to transport stuff on top of your vehicle without having it in the open. However, choosing a good cross bar is key because if you choose the wrong one, things could go badly for you when using your cargo carrier.

You can even opt for a cross bar built for outdoor use, like this CargoLoc 2-Piece 52" Aluminum Cross Bar on amazon

If you have larger items that are too long for the typical basket and might not secure well or safely on top of a single front/rear rail, it is good to add cross rails.

Are roof cargo boxes safe

Roof cargo boxes provide functionality as well as style all while ensuring occupant's safety throughout travel journeys by meeting strict industry standards regarding roof impact resistance capacity, strength-to-weight ratio and windup stability test specifications amongst others which ensures its ultimate performance during adverse weather conditions like heavy rains & snowfall etc., Roof Cargo Boxes back up each claim made about providing added protection from bad roads.

When you purchase one of these products it is important that they have an ASTM certification on them because this means the product has passed stringent lab testing so your family can be sure when using it in their car or SUV there will not be any problems with safety.

There is a lot of debate about the safety and security of roof cargo boxes. There are some that believe they work well if installed correctly, while other think it’s not worth taking any risks by putting their items in one because there have been many reports on accidents involving them falling off cars at high speeds or damaging roofs due to bad installation methods.

The Pros And Cons of Roof Baskets

Are roof baskets worth it

A roof rack basket is a plastic or metal carrier that mounts onto the top of your car. It can hold items such as luggage, kayaks and bikes without using any part of your vehicle's interior space.

They are usually made out of aluminum or steel so they're strong enough to carry heavy objects but lightweight for easy installation with no drilling involved if you have crossbars on your car.

although there might be some cases where it may need bolts installed in order to attach properly depending upon each model's specifications which vary from brand-to-brand and models themselves making their compatibility not universal! 

Additionally when carrying anything besides groceries then consider getting bungee cords since cargo nets aren't recommended because things tend to bounce around inside unless everything has straps also included already.

Can you put a cargo box on a roof basket

Vehicle weight capacity varies by make and model. Check your owner's manual or with a local dealership (using car VIN) to confirm how much total roof can handle without damaging vehicle.

Cargo must be light enough not cause damage when combined with carriers on top of the carrier base, but maximum allowable load is determined individually for each specific vehicle based upon its specifications as outlined in manufacturer guidelines.

Cargo boxes may weigh as much as 50-lbs, and a car's roof weight limit is usually around 100 lbs. This means that you should be careful about choosing cargo carriers as they can quickly use up your entire capacity of the vehicle if too heavy or large.

Can you Rent an Outdoor Roof cargo box or Baskets

absolutely! Renting a roof box or basket is an excellent option for camping trips. There are several companies that offer rentals, and they vary in price depending on the time of year and location. If you're willing to pay more money though, it's worth considering since this way equipment isn't yours so there will be no issue if something breaks down while using it!

While you certainly don't want to damage anything, more often than not everything needs insurance. This means any mistakes or broken pieces won’t fall on you to fix. Another factor that makes renting a good option is installation - some companies will offer this and make sure the everything set up properly for no extra charge!

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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