All About Car Top Carriers Without Roof Rack - FAQ

car top carriers without roof rack

If you're an avid traveler, outdoor enthusiast, or someone needing extra baggage space for your car, a car top sack can be a game-changer. But not all vehicles come equipped with a roof rack. 

That's where car top carriers without a roof rack come into play. This guide will delve into the world of car top sacks without roof racks. We will explore:

  • The benefits.
  • Installation methods.
  • Limitations.
  • Frequently asked questions surrounding these innovative storage solutions.

Whether you're planning a family road trip, camping adventure or just need extra space for your belongings, this guide will equip you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision about using a car-top sack without a roof rack. So, let's explore the possibilities of maximizing your car's storage capacity

Do You Need a Roof Rack to Use a Car Roof Bag?

One common misconception regarding top car sacks is that a roof rack is necessary. But the good news is that you don't need a roof rack to enjoy the benefits of a car roof sack. Car top carriers provide a convenient and secure storage solution without roof racks.

Car roof sacks typically feature robust straps and attachment systems. They allow them to be secured directly to the roof of your vehicle. These straps are adjustable. And they can be tightened to ensure a snug fit. It helps keep your belongings safe and secure during your travels. The car roof sack design considers the vehicles' varying shapes and sizes. It makes them versatile and compatible with most: 

  • Cars.
  • SUVs.
  • Sedans.

How Do You Tie Down a Cargo Bag Without a Roof Rack?

If you're using a car top carrier without a roof rack, securing it properly is essential. Here is how you securely tie down a sack to your vehicle:

  1. First, start by placing the baggage sack on the roof of your car. Ensure it's centered and positioned properly. 
  2. Then, open the sack and load your items, distributing the weight evenly for stability.
  3. Next, locate the attachment points on the baggage sack. These are usually reinforced loops or straps specifically designed for securing the sack. 
  4. Pass heavy-duty straps through these attachment points and under the roof of your car. 
  5. Ensure the straps are across the cargo bag, forming an "X" shape to provide the most stability.
  6. Once the straps are in place, close the doors of your vehicle. Ensure that the straps are securely trapped. 
  7. To tighten the straps, use a ratchet strap or a cam buckle. It creates tension and firmly secures the baggage sack to your car's roof.
  8. Double-check that all straps are tightened, and the baggage sack is securely fastened. Do it before hitting the road. 
  9. Periodically check the straps during your journey. This is to ensure they remain tight and in place.

Can You Drive with an Empty Cargo Bag?

Consider whether driving with an empty cargo sack is safe when using a baggage sack on your vehicle. The consensus is that driving with an empty baggage bag attached to your car is not recommended.

An empty baggage sack may have several risks while driving:

  • Firstly, the sack can create unnecessary wind resistance. It can cause drag, impacting your vehicle's aerodynamics and fuel eficiency. This increased drag can lead to decreased gas mileage. And it potentially affects the handling and stability of your vehicle.
  • An empty cargo bag may also flap or move around due to wind gusts or air currents while driving. This movement can create distracting noise, potentially obstructing your view. Or it even can cause damage to the sack itself.

What Is the Easiest Car Top Carrier to Install?

Regarding car top sacks, ease of installation can play a crucial role. Soft-sided car roof sacks are the best if you want to install a car top carrier easily.

Soft-sided car roof sacks are typically made from durable, weather-resistant materials. They are nylon or polyester. They are lightweight and flexible. It makes them easier to handle and install compared to their rigid counterparts.

To install a soft-sided cargo bags:

  1. Start by placing it on the roof of your vehicle. 
  2. Ensure it's centered and aligned properly. 
  3. Once positioned, open the sack. 
  4. And load your items, distributing the weight evenly for balance.
  5. Next, use the integrated straps or attachment points the car roof sack provides. 

Once the cargo bag is securely fastened, double-check the tightness of the straps to ensure a snug fit. Following the manufacturer's instructions and guidelines for proper installation is important.

How Fast Can You Drive with a Roof Top Carrier?

It's also important to consider the speed limits recommended for safe driving when carrying luggage on top of a car. There isn't a specific universal speed limit for driving with a rooftop sack. But it's generally advised to drive within the legal speed limit. And take into account the added weight and potential impact on vehicle handling.

The speed you can drive when carrying luggage on top of a car largely depends on various factors. They are:

  • The type of sack.
  • The load you're carrying.
  • The design of your vehicle.
  • Road conditions.
  • Local traffic regulations.

But as a general guideline, driving at or below the posted speed limit is usually recommended. It's especially when carrying a heavy load.

My Car Has Doors with No Frame Above the Window. Will It Work?

If your car has doors without a frame above the window, it may impact the compatibility of certain types of car top sacks when carrying luggage on top of a car. The frameless design can limit the attachment options typically utilized for securing rooftop sacks. But there are alternative solutions available. They can still allow you to use a car top sack effectively.

One option is to consider using a suction cup rooftop sack when using a rooftop cargo bag with no rack. These sacks rely on powerful suction cups. They adhere directly to the roof or glass surface of your vehicle. They provide a secure attachment point even without a frame above the window. But it's important to ensure that the suction cups are:

  • Of high quality.
  • Properly sized.
  • Have a strong grip to guarantee stability.
  • Prevent detachment during travel.

Another alternative when using a rooftop cargo bag with no rack is to explore a strap-based car top sack. They typically come with adjustable straps. They can be looped through the vehicle's interior, including the front and rear doors. It's to create a secure attachment. 

Before purchasing a rooftop cargo bag for a car with no rack, reviewing the product specifications and compatibility information carefully is advisable. 

If I Buy a Car Top Carrier for a Car Without Rack, Can I Use It Also on a Car With Rack?

If you buy a car top carrier designed for use on a car without a roof rack, you can also use it on a car with a rack. Most car top sacks are versatile and compatible with rack and rack-less vehicles.Sacks without a roof rack often feature adjustable straps or attachment points.

They allow them to be secured directly to the roof of your vehicle. These attachment mechanisms are to accommodate various vehicle sizes and shapes. It makes them suitable for use on cars with roof racks as well. You can simply detach or bypass the straps intended for rack-less installation. And instead, use the sacks’ built-in loops or attachment points to secure it to your roof rack.