How To Attach a Car Top Carrier Without a Roof Rack?

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Having additional rooftop storage on your vehicle can present a whole load of excellent benefits. But there’s a lot of controversy about car top carriers and roof racks. Many people believe you need a roof rack to install this piece of equipment onto your vehicle. However, they couldn’t be any more wrong. Here’s how to attach a car top carrier without a roof rack:

Most car top carriers that follow a bag-like format should come with hook-shaped clips that you can attach to the holding straps. These clips can securely be attached to the archway of your car doors. Additionally, if your cargo bag doesn’t come with these clips, you can purchase them on amazon separately and attach them to the pre-existing straps.  

I’m sure you’re relieved to hear that it’s effortless to attach a car top carrier without a roof rack. This is perfect for those that don’t want bulky, expensive, and unpleasing attachments installed onto their car. To develop a more significant understanding of how to attach a car top carrier without a roof rack successfully, I suggest you read the below:

Attaching a car top carrier: a detailed guide

Luckily for both you and me, attaching a car top carrier without a roof rack is extremely easy and doesn’t require any particular skill set. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Place cargo bag on the vehicle – First, grab your cargo bag and place it on top of your vehicle in a good location. For four-door cars, you’ll want to center the straps so each can go to one door. For two-door cars, this will need to be situated in the middle of both doors. Notably, you don’t want to pack anything while the bag is on the floor because it’ll be rather problematic to lift afterward.
  • Start packing your bag – Now the cargo carrier is on the rooftop of your vehicle, it’s time to load it. With this, you’ll want to pack the entire bag full. Failing this will result in horrific wind noise during transportation.
  • Attach doorway hooks to holding straps – Depending on which brand or model you’ve opted for, it will depend on whether they already come equipped with doorway hooks. Failing this, you’ll need to purchase them separately and thread them onto the holding straps. If you have them, perfect. All you need to do is open your door and place the hook around your archway. Afterward, tighten the holding straps to ensure optimal strength.
  • Perform a safety test – Once you’ve done all four holding straps, you’ll want to perform some safety tests before heading out on your travels. This just involves you pulling on the straps and seeing if there’s any movement. If the bag fails the test, act on the issue accordingly before transportation.

Leading car top carriers that don’t require a roof rack

After developing a deeper understanding of how to attach a car top carrier without a roof rack, I’m sure you’re more eager on the idea of purchasing one if you haven’t already. Below are cargo carriers we highly recommend for this application.


Undoubtedly, RoofBag on amazon is one of the more expensive options compared to others available on the market. However, you get everything that you truly desire from this type of product. You’ll be given the option to purchase various sizes ranging from 11 to 15 cubic feet, be supplied the hook clips we spoke about above, and it’s made in the United States. All these added bonuses truly make it a desirable cargo bag option that doesn’t need a roof rack installed.


  • Straps that hold the cargo carrier onto the vehicle aren’t sewn to ensure optimal durability and secureness.
  • Unlike others available on the market, this is entirely manufactured in the United States.
  • The materials used are tear-resistant, peel-proof, and durable but aren’t created from harmful chemicals that affect our environment. 



It can be purchased in various sizes to accompany an array of needs

It’s the most expensive option on the list, but the quality shows

Straps aren’t sewn onto the bag to ensure maximum strength

Doesn’t look visually appealing, considering other cargo bags available


Something more stylish than the above is this cargo bag from MIDABAO on amazon. It’s sleek, comes with all the important attachment accessories, and is extremely spacious. With this bag, you’ll receive a cargo carrier that has a carrying capacity of 20 cubic feet (which is the largest on this list). This, along with its visual beauty, makes it a perfect option for anyone considering a cargo bag.  


  • The straps aren’t sewn, they are metal-on-metal buckles to guarantee strength and durability
  • Its entails one of the larger carrying capacities in the cargo bag world at 20 cubic feet, which is huge
  • The design is built with aerodynamics in mind, meaning it’ll lower your MPG compared to other rooftop bags



All materials used are waterproof to keep your goods dry during transportation

It doesn’t come with a non-slip matt or cushion to protect the vehicle’s roof

You’ll be given six straps to promote maximum security during traveling

Reviews have identified that around the stitching, it can leak 


The last cargo bag we want to mention is this one from Fivklemnz on amazon. This bag is tremendous and something that many avid campers use to increase their total storage capacity. It looks great, has a safe design, and can easily be installed, which is everything you look for in a product like this.


  • Comes with everything you need, clips, non-slip matt, and protection bag
  • It’s the cheapest option on this list for those living in the United States
  • All products from Fivklemnz come with a 12-month limited warranty to ensure optimal customer satisfaction



Its highly simple to install, tighten, and remove when needed

Straps are stitched onto the connection points, which could promote weakness

The material used is military-grade to offer the most amount of waterproofness available on the market

Only available in one single size, which can hold 15 cubic feet of capacity


After reading the above, you should have a solid idea of attaching a car top carrier without a roof rack. Along with this, we’ve mentioned the best cargo carrier that can be fitted that doesn’t require a roof rack to ensure you can be prepared for your next adventure.

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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