How to Securely Install a Rooftop Cargo Carrier

rooftop cargo carrier

Knowing how to install a rooftop cargo carrier securely is essential to transport your gear safely and securely. Fortunately, with the proper techniques and know-how, it's a simple process that anyone can do.

There are right and wrong ways of doing things. And when it comes to improperly installing a rooftop cargo carrier, the outcome can be dangerous.

By reading the steps below, you'll learn the proper way to install your rooftop cargo carrier with ease.

Rooftop Cargo Carrier Options

Before we go any further, discussing the available options is best. From soft to hard shell and even rooftop baskets, there is a rooftop cargo carrier for every type of traveler.

Hard Shell Rooftop Cargo Carrier

The hard shell rooftop cargo carrier offers the most protection from the elements and is often used to transport bulky items. This type of cargo box has a sturdy outer shell that provides excellent protection for your belongings.

However, it requires a dedicated roof rack install. The cost of the shell and roof rack adds up and blows past your budget in a hurry.

Soft Shell Rooftop Cargo Carrier

The soft-shell rooftop cargo carrier is a lighter-weight option, making transporting, storing, and installing easier. It's also less expensive than the hard shell option and does not require as much effort to get going on your next trip.

Look for a model with superior waterproofing, high-quality zippers, and additional straps and buckles that ensure a safe journey.

Permanent Roof Baskets

For avid off-roaders and overlanders, this is a great choice. But for most of us, permanently installing a roof rack is out of the question. The cost, time to install, and reduced fuel economy are all factors to consider when deciding if this is the right option.

If you already have a permanent roof basket, consider getting a roof cargo bag to keep your valuables safe and secure during your next trip.

RoofPax's lightweight rooftop cargo bag and patented door hook system

Important Safety Precautions

As with any roof cargo bag, specific safety precautions should be taken to ensure a safe and secure journey.

First, double-check the rooftop cargo carrier for any imperfections. A small tear or defective zipper can cause the roof cargo bag's contents to spill out when you least expect it

Second, before tightening any straps or buckles, ensure the rooftop cargo carrier is loaded properly and securely. A poorly loaded rooftop cargo bag can be dangerous during transport.

Lastly, use a heavy-duty, TSA-approved lock to help keep valuable items safe and secure.

Some luggage carriers are cumbersome and require the use of a ladder to mount on the roof. There are now lightweight models, like those made by RoofPax, that can be installed easily without using tools or ladders.

To securely install your rooftop cargo carrier:

1. Place the rooftop cargo bag on your vehicle to ensure it fits the area.
2. Secure the bag to the roof using the straps, buckles, and patented door hooks, ensuring it is tightly secured.
3. Load the roof cargo bag directly on the car.
4. Alternatively, the bag can be loaded on the ground to distribute the weight evenly.
5. Tighten the straps, buckles, and door hooks as much as possible to secure the bag in place.
6. Double-check that everything is securely attached and the roof cargo bag is properly balanced.

RoofPax Extra Waterproof Car Top Carrier Bag

Keeping the Cargo Secure

Security is one of the most important factors when installing car rooftop storage bags. It can be broken down into two sections: Physical security and waterproofing.

Physical Security

Use heavy-duty, TSA-approved locks to make sure your luggage stays put. Ensure all zippers are closed, straps are tight, and hooks are mounted correctly. In addition, do one last walk around before you head out. It's also recommended that this step is repeated every time you take a rest break.


Having a waterproof rooftop cargo carrier is a must. Properly waterproofed cargo bags will keep your belongings safe and dry during the journey. You never know when a sudden rainstorm will strike.

Final Words

Now that you know how to securely install a rooftop cargo carrier, your next adventure awaits. With RoofPax's lightweight rooftop cargo bag and patented door hook system, you can be sure your belongings are safe and secure. So, what are you waiting for? Get packing!

FAQs: Maximize Your Rooftop Cargo Bag Space

What is the key to maximizing space in a rooftop cargo bag?

To maximize space in a rooftop cargo bag, it's crucial to start with the right size. Ensure your bag is large enough to accommodate your belongings but not so oversized that it won't fit on your vehicle's roof.

How can I keep my belongings organized in a rooftop cargo bag?

Organizing your belongings is essential. You can divide and organize your items by using duffle bags, traditional luggage, or foam dividers to keep things separated and secure during your trip.

Where should I place heavy items in a rooftop cargo bag to ensure safe handling of my vehicle?

Proper placement is key to vehicle safety. Avoid stacking heavy items on top, as it can create a higher center of gravity. Instead, place the heaviest items at the bottom of the cargo bag to distribute the weight evenly.

How can I prevent overpacking my rooftop cargo bag?

To avoid overpacking, it's essential to bring only what you need. Make a list of essentials and stick to it, resisting the urge to pack unnecessary "just in case" items. Packing light is the key to maximizing space effectively.

What should I do if I'm unsure about the amount of cargo space I need for my trip?

If you're uncertain about the cargo space you need, consider using an expandable rooftop cargo bag. These bags offer a flexible solution for accommodating varying amounts of luggage and belongings, ensuring you have the right size for your trip.