How to Load a Rooftop Cargo Bag

Suppose you've taken the initial step of purchasing a cargo bag, excellent. However, upon buying, nobody explains how to load your storage unit correctly. Failing to achieve this accurately can cause a whole hoax of issues, so we want to avoid this at all costs. To better understand how to load a rooftop cargo bag properly, see the below:

When loading a rooftop cargo bag, you first want to evaluate it to ensure no holes or rips have occurred from the previous usage. Once you've done this, start by loading the heaviest items first and distribute the weight evenly, being careful that you're not damaging the vehicle's roof. While filling up the cargo bag, ensure you're not overloading the recommended manufacturer's capacity.

Loading your rooftop cargo bag doesn't have to be difficult, and it's easy if you follow some core fundamental rules. Now you understand the process, let's discuss some tips to ensure your goods are safe, secure, and waterproof during transportation.

Tips for packing your rooftop cargo bag

Guaranteeing that your cargo bag is correctly loaded on your roof is highly important. It'll dramatically reduce stress while driving and ensure your goods travel safely. To maximize your chances of successfully transporting goods with a rooftop cargo bag, I recommend reading the tips below. Here's what you need to know:

1. Pack heaviest items and suitcases first

Before packing anything, you'll want to locate your heaviest items and suitcases. Ideally, you'll want to pack these first, as they provide a good "base" for your cargo bag. We'd still consider this if the heavy items are awkwardly shaped. Loading heavier goods last will result in the cargo bag being top-weighted. When this happens, movement can occur within the storage unit, which could cause damages.

For awkwardly shaped or small items, we recommend you store them in duffel bags on amazon. For example, clothing. Instead of loosely placing clothing in your cargo bag, pack a duffel bag full of clothes. It allows for a much more solid base for goods placed on top of the bag.  

2. Try and balance the weight evenly

Additionally to the above, you'll want to distribute the weight evenly. Not achieving this could be catastrophic as turns, high winds, or bumpy trails could cause the load to move uncontrollably. When this occurs, you increase your chances of the cargo bag ripping from pressure, goods breaking inside the storage unit, or affect the vehicle's weight distribution (only in extreme circumstances).

When trying to balance the weight, you don't need to be exact. Instead, roughly estimate how heavy each item is you're placing in the cargo bag. However, if you're traveling and you notice your vehicle is pulling left or right, rearrange the goods.

3. Use internal strap holders when possible

If you're lucky, you may have invested in a rooftop cargo bag that comes equipped with internal strap holders. Hopefully, you have, meaning you're able to utilize them and secure your load even further. The internal straps are there for added security. You're able to use these to compact your load and ensure no movement during travel. If you don't have internal straps within your cargo bag, try and load it fully. By doing this, you're restricting the amount of movement your load can encounter during transportation.

4. Include additional protective material if needed

Cargo bags are excellent storage units, but sometimes they lack protection. Not just for your load but also for your vehicle. Suppose your cargo bag doesn't come supplied with a foam base internally or externally. In that case, we recommend placing a layer of foam underneath the bag to reduce the chances of your vehicle becoming damaged. Additionally, you may want to add more protective material between goods and around the walls of the bag.

5. Ensure it's tightly attached to the vehicle

Before setting off on your trip, be sure your cargo bag is attached securely to the vehicle. You're able to perform a security test by just pulling on each strap and measuring the amount of movement the bag shows. Ideally, if the bag moves more than two inches, it isn't secure enough, and you should re-evaluate how it's attached.

6. Pack full to reduce wind noise

If you've never packed a cargo bag full, you'll understand the annoying flapping sound it can produce. Traveling far distances while hearing this isn't ideal. To dramatically reduce this from occurring, pack the cargo bag full. This will guarantee that the external material of the bag cannot move with the wind and force of driving.

After reading the above, you should have adequate knowledge about how to successfully ensure your cargo bag is loaded appropriately. Remember, before setting off, always double-check everything. Having a cargo bag is remarkably convenient, but safety should also be a priority.

If you haven't already purchased a cargo bag, I recommend looking at our blog post here. Throughout, we detail the top six cargo bags that are currently circulating in the market.

Load a Rooftop Cargo Bag

How to install a rooftop cargo bag

Ensuring you've appropriately packed your cargo bag is essential. But making sure you've installed it correctly also plays a significant role in transporting your goods safely. When installing your rooftop cargo bag, you'll encounter three different options: side rails, pass-through, or door hooks. Whether you have roof rails will determine which option you select. To better understand these installation methods, see below:

Side rails

A prominent way of installing your rooftop cargo bag is with side rails (roof rails). However, not all vehicles have them. If your vehicle does, here's how you'll install the cargo bag:

  • Place the bag in a suitable location on your roof, ensuring it doesn't block the side rails or hang off the edge of the vehicle.
  • Begin to fill the cargo bag, evenly remembering that heavy items are loaded first.
  • Continue zipping the cargo bag up.
  • Now attach the short rack strap to the side rail securely. After, attach this to the top strap.
  • Adjust the strap guide to ensure your load is fully secure.
  • Perform a strength test before you start traveling.

Pass-through

The pass-through method is highly unconventional now due to door hooks. However, this could be your only option if you don't have door hooks or side rails.

  • Place the bag in a suitable location on your roof, ensuring it doesn't hang off the edge of the vehicle.
  • Begin to fill the cargo bag evenly, remembering that heavy items are loaded first.
  • Continue zipping the cargo bag up.
  • Here, you'll want to use an inside strap that goes from one door panel to the other.
  • After, attached the inside strap to the top strap.
  • Now you've achieved this, tighten the connection by using the strap guide
  • Perform a strength test before you start traveling.

Door hooks

In recent years, many manufacturers of cargo bags have started supplying door hooks with every order. It's a much more modernized way of the pass-through technique.

  • Place the bag in a suitable location on your roof, ensuring it doesn't hang off the edge of the vehicle.
  • Begin to fill the cargo bag evenly, remembering that heavy items are loaded first.
  • Continue zipping the cargo bag up.
  • Open each door panel and connect the hook straps onto the arch and close the door.
  • After attach the top strap to the hook straps you've installed
  • Now you've achieved this, tighten the connection by using the strap guide
  • Perform a strength test before you start traveling.

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