Family Road Trip - The 5 Best Cargo Box For Toyota Rav4 Reviewed

The 5 Best Cargo Boxes For Toyota RAV4 Reviewed

Want to jump straight to the answer? The best cargo box for Toyota Rav4 is Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier (16 Cu Ft).

Like the compact SUV Subaru Crosstrek, Toyota Rav4 has limited rear trunk space for you to pack your gear. If you need more room, a cargo box is the best solution by providing additional storage on the car rooftop.

So which cargo box is correct for you? Whether the Rav4 cargo box is right depends on your needs and budget. There’s no one perfect solution that will work in every situation because everyone has different requirements.

In this review, after consulting reviews from hundreds of Amazon customers and referring to manufacturer information for product specifications, I recommend these five cargo boxes for Toyota Rav4.

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Let’s get into it!

The Best Cargo Box For Toyota Rav4 Review

In this mini-review, I’ve covered some of the best features, the pros, and the cons of each cargo box so that you can make an informed purchase.

Best Cargo Box Overall: Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier

The Thule Motion XT-L is an excellent choice for a cargo box for your RAV4 because its aerodynamic shape will slice through the wind and be relatively quiet compared to other cargo boxes. It also looks great, especially in the smooth black glossy finish.

This cargo box has 16 cubic feet of storage which is spacious enough for hauling all your gears for camping, golfing, or road trips. It can fit up to 7 pairs of skis (or up to 5 snowboards) with a length no longer than 175 cm.


  • Capacity: 16 cu ft
  • Opening: Dual-side Opening
  • Weight Limit: 165 lbs
  • External Dimensions: 77 x 36 x 17 inches
  • Item Weight: 42 lbs

The Motion XT has excellent quality overall because it has a thicker front lip that makes it more rigid and less flimsy. Moreover, it offers a much greater overlap between the base and lid at the front of the box.

This design ensures that the lid and base will not separate in extreme conditions.

It also features the Power Click mount mechanism, making it easy to attach and detach the box from the crossbars when not needed. It is easy to use, and the dual-side opening can be very helpful.

The downside of the Thule Motion XT is pricey but covered with a lifetime warranty. Is the extra spending for Motion justifiable? It is very durable and comes with a lifetime warranty, and it will be the last cargo box you ever need to purchase.


  • Easy to install on the roof rack
  • Thicker material construction
  • Aerodynamic design
  • Lifetime Warranty by Thule


  • Easily get scratch
  • Pricey

Best Large Cargo Box: Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier (18 Cu Ft)


  • Capacity: 18 cu ft
  • Opening: Dual-side Opening
  • Weight Limit: 165 lbs
  • External Dimensions: 84.5 x 36 x 17 inches
  • Item Weight: 46 lbs

If the Thule Motion XT 16 cu ft cargo box doesn’t meet your storage needs, you should consider the Thule Motion XT (XL) cargo box. It has 18 cubic feet of cargo space, and like the Large version, it also comes with two color options: black glossy and titan glossy.

It measures 84.5-inches long and 36 inches wide, slightly longer and wider than the 16 cu ft version. It allows you to load up to 200 cm maximum length of skis and snowboards.

Based on the manufacturer’s guidelines, this cargo will fit most Toyota RAV4 models without interfering with the rear hatch when fully open.

However, when it comes to the antenna, you’re likely to see some reception issues if this long box covers it. The solution is to position further forward, but you must double-check for the overhang issue.

Feature-wise, the Thule Motion XT 18 cu ft cargo shares the same features like PowerClick mount, dual-side opening, maximum weight capacity of 165 pounds, and slide lock locking system. 

The pricing is slightly more expensive than the 16 cu ft version, which is expected. It does come with the manufacturer’s lifetime warranty.


  • Spacious
  • It’s wider, which means it could store some medium-size suitcases
  • Lifetime warranty


  • Could interfere with the antenna reception
  • Expensive
  • A bit heavy that could potentially affect the gas mileage

Best Alternative To Motion XT: Thule Force XT Rooftop Cargo Box


  • Capacity: 16 cu ft
  • Opening: Dual-side Opening
  • Weight Limit: 165 lbs
  • External Dimensions: 74.75 x 33 x 18 inches
  • Item Weight: 41 lbs

If you like the Thule cargo boxes and don’t want to spend much money on Motion XT, the Thule Force XT is the best alternative. It has 16 cubic feet of storage to store your traveling gear, and this cargo box size perfectly fits your Rav4.

Although the Thule Force XT looks identical to the Motion XT in many ways, the key difference is the locking system. While the Motion XT uses a SlideLock system that automatically makes the lid lock once completely closed, the Thule Force XT has a lock knob that you turn to unlock the box.

The Thule Force XT opens from either side. If your Rav4 has crossbars, this cargo box is easy to install. It features the PowerClick Mount system that will click when you tighten it into the position, ensuring your cargo box is fully secure to the crossbars.

I like the Thule Force XT because it’s slightly bulkier on the back, so you could put taller gears towards the back. This cargo box measures 74.75 inches long and somewhat shorter than the Thule Motion XY (16 cu ft), which won’t interfere with the rear hatch.

The Thule Force XT cargo box has only one color option: a black matte finish. Overall, it looks sleek and as durable as other Thule cargo boxes. This cargo is an excellent option if you can live without a SlideLock system without spending too much.


  • Easy to install on the roof rack
  • Can store tall items towards the back
  • Reasonably priced
  • Lifetime warranty


  • It looks a bit bulky
  • The locking system will not auto-lock

Best Cargo Carrier For The Money: JEGS Rooftop Cargo Carrier


  • Capacity: 18 cu ft
  • Opening: Dual-side Opening
  • Weight Limit: 110 lbs
  • External Dimensions: 61.25 x 39 x 12 inches
  • Item Weight: 28 lbs

If your Toyota Rav4 has an existing roof rack (horizontal crossbars) that can be adjustable, this JEGS Rooftop Cargo Carrier would have no problem fitting into your car.

If you don’t have those rack systems, you may require additional holes drilled into the bottom of the cargo carrier to match the fixed position width.

This high-profile cargo box has 18 cubic feet of storage so that you can easily store your suitcases, luggage, or golf clubs. It is made from a durable HDPE plastic material and can be opened from either side for easy loading and unloading.

This cargo has basic hardware but is easy to use and install. To open or close the lid, unlock or lock the bale latch. You have to ensure that all bale latches are closed and secured as you don’t want them to accidentally open while the car is moving. 

The JEGS carbo box is quite tall, which is great for packing large items, but you may have some issues with it.

Firstly, depending on the height of your garage entrance, this cargo box could hit the entrance. Secondly, you might notice some wind noises and less gas mileage.

Overall, the JEGS Rooftop Cargo Carrier is not a bad option. It doesn’t have all bells and whistles like other expensive brands like Thule and Yakima. But it does the job well at a fraction of their price.


  • Spacious
  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight
  • Limited lifetime guarantee


  • Entering the car garage could be a problem.
  • It looks bulky.

Best Cargo Box For Skis And Snowboards: Thule Pulse Rooftop Cargo Box, Alpine


  • Capacity: 11 cu ft
  • Opening: Passenger-side opening
  • Weight Limit: 110 lbs
  • External Dimensions: 88.5 x 25.5 x 12.5 inches
  • Item Weight: 30 lbs

If you love to make a few trips to ski resorts, this Thule Alpine Pulse cargo box is the best solution for additional space to carry all skis and snowboards.

This 11 cubic feet cargo box is made for that purpose, and you take 4-9 pairs of skis (2-3 snowboards) with a maximum length of 210 cm.

This cargo box is a very low-profile, sleek, smooth line with an excellent aerodynamic design that reduces wind drag and noise while improving your car’s MPG.

It opens from the passenger side and comes with a central locking system, a standard feature.

Before buying this cargo box, you should be aware that it could interfere with your rear hatch when it’s fully open. Depending on the Toyota Rav4 model that you have, this is not an issue. If it does, you could position it forward.

Finally, if you always carry stuff like large bags, suitcases, or camping gear, this Thule Pulse Rooftop Cargo Box (Alpine) might not suit you. But this cargo box might be the best choice if you’re an avid skier or snowboarder.


  • Accommodate many pairs of skis and snowboards
  • Lightweight and very aerodynamic design
  • Limited lifetime guarantee


  • Not practical to carry big items
  • It might interfere with the rear hatch


Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about the Toyota Rav4 cargo box.

How much is the cargo volume Toyota Rav4 has?

For the latest models, including the LE, LE Hybrid, and XLE, the Toyota Rav4 has about 37.5 to 37.6 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats.

What is the weight limit the Toyota Rav4 can handle?

The weight limit the Rav4 can handle is about 102-103 pounds.

Which cargo box is the best for gas mileage?

All cargo boxes will affect MPG because they are all dragged to certain degrees. The Thule Alpine Pulse Rooftop Cargo Box is the best cargo box for gas mileage because it is lightweight, low-profile, and aerodynamic.

Our Verdict

The Toyota Rav4 is a compact SUV with little space in the rear trunk, and the cargo box offers some additional room to haul your items safely and securely.

We highly recommend the Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier (16 Cu Ft) as the best cargo box for Toyota Rav4.

It has ample storage and looks perfectly fit for the car. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty for peace of mind.

Finally, when buying a cargo box for your Toyota Rav4, ensure the right roof rails and crossbars are ready.

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