How to Choose the Right Size Rooftop Cargo Carrier for Your Vehicle

How to Choose the Right Size Rooftop Cargo Carrier for Your Vehicle

Are you planning a road trip but struggling to find enough space for all your luggage? A rooftop cargo carrier might just be the solution you need. These handy devices can add valuable extra space to your vehicle and make your trip much more comfortable. However, before you rush out to buy one, it's important to choose the right size for your needs. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a rooftop cargo carrier size:

1. Roof Rack Compatibility

The first thing you need to check is whether your vehicle has a roof rack or not. If it does, you'll need to ensure that the cargo carrier you choose is compatible with your rack. You should also make sure that the carrier's weight capacity does not exceed that of your roof rack.

Check out this guide on how to securely install a rooftop cargo carrier for more information.

2. Vehicle Size

The size of your vehicle is another crucial factor to consider when choosing a rooftop cargo carrier. If you have a small car or SUV, you'll want to opt for a smaller carrier that doesn't add too much bulk to your vehicle. On the other hand, if you have a large SUV or van, you can go for a larger carrier to maximize your storage space.

3. Storage Needs

How much luggage do you plan on taking with you? This will determine the size of the cargo carrier you need. If you're traveling alone or with one other person, a smaller carrier should suffice. However, if you're traveling with a family or a large group of people, you'll want to choose a larger carrier to fit everyone's luggage.

Check out this guide on what to consider when buying car roof storage for more information.

4. Cargo Weight

Another important consideration is the weight of your luggage. Different carriers have different weight capacities, so make sure you choose one that can support the weight of your heaviest items. You should also make sure that the weight of your luggage doesn't exceed the weight capacity of your vehicle's roof.

5. Aerodynamics

Aerodynamics play a crucial role in the performance of your vehicle. A bulky or poorly designed cargo carrier can reduce your vehicle's fuel efficiency and increase wind noise. Look for a carrier that has a sleek and aerodynamic design to minimize drag.

6. Storage Space

Finally, consider where you'll be storing your rooftop cargo carrier when you're not using it. Some carriers can be quite bulky and difficult to store, so make sure you have enough space to store it safely and securely.

Check out this guide on how to install and load a car top carrier for more information.


Choosing the right size rooftop cargo carrier can make all the difference on your next road trip. By considering your vehicle's compatibility, size, storage needs, cargo weight, aerodynamics, and storage space, you can find the perfect carrier for your needs.

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How do I know if a cargo box will fit my car?

To determine if a cargo box will fit your car, consider the following factors:

  • Roof Rack Compatibility: Check if your car has a roof rack and ensure the cargo box is compatible with it.

  • Vehicle Size: Choose a cargo box that suits your car's size - smaller for compact cars, larger for SUVs or vans.

  • Storage Needs: Select a size that accommodates your luggage needs, whether you're traveling alone or with a group.

  • Cargo Weight: Make sure the cargo box can handle the weight of your items without exceeding your vehicle's roof capacity.

  • Aerodynamics: Opt for an aerodynamic design to minimize drag and maintain fuel efficiency.

  • Storage Space: Consider where you'll store the box when not in use, as some can be bulky.

Can a roof box fit any car?

Roof boxes are designed to fit a variety of cars, but compatibility depends on your vehicle's roof rack and size. Not all roof boxes will fit all cars. Ensure compatibility by checking your vehicle's specifications and the cargo box's requirements.

Can a roof box be too big?

Yes, a roof box can be too big for your car. An oversized box might extend beyond your car's roof or exceed its weight limit, affecting safety and handling. Choose a box that complements your vehicle's size and load capacity.

What is the best position for roof bars?

Roof bars should be positioned according to your vehicle's roof rack instructions. Typically, they are placed across the roof from front to back. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines to ensure proper installation and weight distribution.

Will a roof bag damage my car?

A roof bag, when properly installed and used within weight limits, is unlikely to damage your car. However, ensure the roof bag is securely fastened, and periodically check for any signs of wear or stress on your car's roof.

Do roof boxes damage your car?

Roof boxes generally don't damage cars if used correctly. Damage can occur if the box isn't properly secured, exceeds weight limits, or isn't installed following the manufacturer's instructions. Regularly inspect your car's roof for any signs of stress or wear.

How much weight can my car roof carry?

Your car's owner's manual will provide information about its roof weight capacity. This capacity includes the weight of both the roof rack and any mounted cargo. Never exceed this limit to ensure safe driving conditions.

Do roof boxes increase fuel consumption?

Yes, roof boxes can increase fuel consumption due to the added aerodynamic drag they create. However, choosing an aerodynamic design and removing the box when not needed can help mitigate the impact on fuel efficiency.

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