A 4wd vehicle with a cargo bag on the roof

The 5 Best Rooftop Cargo Bags For Road Trips

If you are in a hurry and want to find out what the best rooftop cargo bag for travel is, then we recommend TOOLGUARDS Car Top Carrier Roof Bag as the best one.

If you travel long distances with your family and friends, space is one of the most important things you need in your car.

Here is where having the best rooftop cargo bag comes in handy, as it helps you free up space in the vehicle for a much comfier driving trip.

Based on the size of the rooftop cargo bag you decide to buy, you can carry various loads on your trips, such as kayaks, camping tents, snowboards, skis, travel coffee makers, and other items needed throughout the expedition.

So, if you’re in the market for the best rooftop cargo bag for travel, it’s essential to note that they come in various sizes and make, and every carrier has its pros and cons.

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Read on to find the five best rooftop cargo bag worth buying, plus we’ve included a detailed buyers’ guide to help you identify the most important features.

Top 5 Rooftop Cargo Bags For Travel

Here are the top 5 of our favorite rooftop cargo bags for travel. Click the link provided to find out the best deal for you!

Best Large Storage Cargo Bag: ToolGuards Rooftop Cargo Carrier Bag

Most fabric rooftop cargo bags in the market aren’t sturdy enough to last you an extended period. However, this rooftop cargo carrier bag from ToolGuards stands above the rest. 

Designed from robust coated tarpaulin, this roof bag is waterproof. So, you’ll not need to worry about your valuables and other items getting soaked if it rains.

Car Top Carrier Roof Bag + Protective Mat - 100% Waterproof & Coated Zippers 20 Cubic ft - for Cars with or Without Racks

Also, the bag keeps out dust and prevents leaks, thanks to the included waterproof zippers. Therefore, your belongings will not get dirty as you drive in dusty environments. 

The harmful UV sun rays will not damage the bag since it’s made from UV-resistant material. This means that the bag will remain in top condition for many years.

Furthermore, this roof cargo bag perfectly works on vehicles that either have or don’t have a roof rack and incorporates the ideal straps to fit it to your car, regardless of the setup.

Key Features of the ToolGuards Rooftop Cargo Carrier Bag:

Top-quality Material

ToolGuards rooftop carrier bag is designed from a coated tarpaulin, a very thick and robust material.

The zippers, on the other hand, are coated and fabric-guarded. Generally, this bag is quite reliable and well-designed and should last many years.

Easy to Install

You don’t necessarily need to have a roof rack to install. Besides, you can install it on cross rails, side rails, or roof baskets. The installation process is pretty easy, and it should take you a mere 5 minutes. Of course, you’ll do it much faster after consistent use.

Protective Mat

The bag incorporates a protective mat to prevent potential damage to your vehicle’s roof.

100% Waterproof

The bag will endure harsh climatic conditions. Thus, heavy rains will not drip into your items.


  • 100% waterproof
  • Two-year warranty
  • Easy to install
  • High-quality material


  • Quite narrow
  • Terrible strap design

Best Waterproof Cargo Bag: RoofPax Car Roof Bag

RoofPax 19 cft. Extra Waterproof Rooftop Cargo Carrier Bag, Double Weatherproof Zippers, Integrated Mat, 10 Heavy-Duty Tie-Down Straps fit Cars with/Without a Rack or Side Rails, Safety Hooks Included

For amazing peace of mind during lunch breaks or rest stops, the RoofPax roof bag features a combination lock that keeps your belongings safe when you are away from your vehicle.

It is designed in 1680-D PVC fabric and has dual seams and sturdy waterproof zippers.

Perhaps the number one feature that makes this carrier outstanding is its waterproofness. While other bags on the market only avoid roughly 80% to 90% of rainwater, this one can secure your belongings, thanks to its 100% water-resistant material.

The military-grade sturdy design is another feature that makes this bag popular. It incorporates a top-quality PVC material that lasts for many years. Besides, this material utilizes dual seam technology to protect your items against sun, rain, snow, and wind.

Installing the carrier on your car is a walk in the park, whether the car has a crossbars/rack or not. Instead of the bag with straps, it incorporates 6 door hooks to fit your vehicle for optimal safety and security. 

Additionally, the included protective mat prevents your cargo from sliding as you drive, preventing potential body scratches.

Key Features of the RoofPax Car Roof Bag:

Safety Door Hooks

Even if you don’t have cross bars or roof racks, use these hooks to fit the bag securely. Remember, using straps that go through your vehicle’s inside to fasten a rooftop carrier is extremely dangerous because it interferes with airbags. 

Luckily, this bag comes with 6 door hooks to solve this problem.

100% Waterproof

Forget the cheap carriers that use cheap materials and leak during rains. The 1680-D PVC fabric used in designing this bag is 100% water-resistant and protects the belongings against stormy conditions.

Adequately Large

With a massive size of 19 cubic feet, you can comfortably store 4 to 6 suitcases. Thus, this bag is ideal for family trips.

Military Grade Heavy Duty

Avoid buying bags that break after one use. RoofPax is designed with a military-grade durable material to last you for decades.


  • Fast and easy to install
  • Six door hooks for optimal safety
  • Protective mat included
  • 100% waterproof


  • It doesn’t live up to the hype
  • Weak straps

Made In USA: RoofBag Rooftop Cargo Carrier Bag

RoofBag Rooftop Cargo Carrier, 15 cu ft Original Roof Bag Made in USA for Any Car Size with or Without Roof Rack. Waterproof Car Top Carrier Includes Straps, Protective Mat, Storage Bag

Another amazing rooftop cargo bag is this cargo carrier from RoofBag. One of the best things you’ll love about this bag is that it’s 100% made in the United States.

It also incorporates a 100% weatherproof design combined with a triple-seal technology that lets you carry it in any weather.

The bag provides you with 15 cubic feet of storage space. As you can see, it’s a fairly spacious bag that allows you to carry all the essentials you require when going out for an expedition.

When buying this luggage, you are assured of acquiring a storage solution that has served you for many years.

A sturdy polyester fabric liquid coated with vinyl is also used to design this bag. Well, this means the bag is resistant to both abrasion and tears.

The material also provides outstanding resistance to extreme cold, heat, and harmful UV sun rays.

Key Features of the RoofBag Rooftop Cargo Carrier Bag:

4 Genuine YKK Buckles

The bag has reliable straps with 100% genuine YKK buckles to let you secure it in the vehicle. The straps are extremely strong to prevent the bag from flying off when driving at high speeds.

Non-slip Roof Mat

Remember, the bag includes a non-slip roof mat to prevent body scratches on the roof and make it easy to store the bag when not in use.

Easy to Install

The bag is easy to install. You can effortlessly install it on cars with or without a rack.


  • Heavy-duty material
  • Made in the USA
  • Easy to install
  • It perfectly fits on a bare roof


  • Weak zipper
  • You may experience minor leaks

Best Cargo Bag for a Small Car: KEEPER 07202 Rooftop Cargo Carrier Bag

KEEPER - Waterproof Rooftop Cargo Bag, 11 Cubic Feet

The KEEPER 07202 Rooftop Cargo Carrier Bag is a perfect option for regular uses or camping due to its durable material, large volume, and affordable price.

It gives you up to 11 cubic feet of storage space, sufficient for an extended camping expedition.

In addition, the bag is seamlessly sized to fit on all roof racks. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that you cannot mount it without a roof rack in place.

Another thing you’ll love about this cargo carrier is that it incorporates a sturdy fabric construction and waterproof material for protection against harsh weather conditions. 

Besides, if you’re not going to your campsites, the bag easily packs down to a small and compact size for easy and quick storage.

Key Features of the KEEPER 07202 Rooftop Cargo Carrier Bag:

Fantastic Design

First, this waterproof cargo carrier from KEEPER prides itself on having a rubber laminated nylon material construction and a soft and flexible fabric that lets you keep extra belongings in the vehicle. 

The manufacturer also incorporates adjustable buckles on this bag to fit small vehicles and SUVs.

Easy to Install

The bag includes a rubber laminated nylon textile that boasts an easy-to-attach design. Well, this is the feature that makes the bag easy to attach and detach after use. You’ll only take a few minutes to fit the car on your car’s roof.


The bag keeps your belongings dry and moisture-free thanks to the waterproof design. The soft-sided design allows you to store the bag with abnormal shapes. In addition, it has straps that let you attach and detach fast and easily.


  • Easy to install
  • Waterproof
  • Affordable


  • Minimal security
  • It tears easily

Best Larger Cargo Bag on A Budget: Wild Xplorer Rooftop Cargo Carrier Bag

Car Rooftop Cargo Carrier Bag XXL: 6 Suitcase Universal Car Top Carrier Without Roof Rack - Car Topper Luggage Carrier Waterproof - Car Roof Bag - Luggage Rack SUV -6 Hooks,Mat,Storage Roof Cargo Bag

You can use this bag in any season and weather because it uses 600D PVC water-repellent materials.

The bag keeps your road trip stuff, hunting supplies, ski, snowboard equipment, and camping gear dry and safe in snowy and rainy conditions.

Another important feature is that the bag will not cause any damage to your vehicle. The cartop carrier rests directly on the top of your car without a rack. Additionally, the included anti-slip protective mat will prevent potential paint scratches.

What’s more, the bag is adequately large. So, whether you are boating, hunting, fishing, or even camping, this bag gives you a cool 19 cubic feet of storage space to keep all your storage accessories.

You can seamlessly fold it to fit in your backpack or trunk if not in use.

Key Features of the Wild Xplorer Rooftop Cargo Carrier Bag:


It’s the only XXL waterproof rooftop cargo bag with a lifetime guarantee.

Since it’s made from high-quality material, you may not need to buy another bag after purchasing the Wild Xplorer rooftop cargo carrier bag. The bag withstands any weather conditions.

Easy to Install

With or without a roof rack, the bag will install in minutes. You can use the bag on any 4-door vehicle, truck, SUV, pickup, or minivan. However, you’ll have to use a cargo rack, car roof rack, or roof rack if you own a 2-door car.

Perfect Camping Bag

The bag is incredibly spacious such that it lets you store up to six suitcases for a family tent, outfits, pillows, and an air mattress.

With this type of space, you can easily store all your car camping fittings, road trip essentials, outdoor gear, and glamping items.


  • Installs with or without rack
  • Waterproof design
  • Affordable for the space offered
  • It folds down for easy storage


  • Not 100% waterproof
  • Clips break easily

Buying Guide: How To Choose The Best Rooftop Cargo Bag For Road Trips

Since there are countless cargo bags to choose from in the market, you must know the factors to consider when shopping for one.

Here are the most important factors to remember as you shop for a rooftop cargo carrier.

FRT - Roof Box

Load Capacity

The carrier’s dimensions play a huge role in determining the amount of load you can carry.

If you’re shopping for a cargo carrier for a small car, you should select a compact yet adequately spacious bag with a load capacity of at least 140 pounds.

Although a medium or large rooftop cargo bag has a capacity of over 150 pounds and properly fits huge luggage, such as camping gear, ski boards, surfboards, and bikes, the carrier requires two or more individuals to fit and secure it on your car’s rooftop correctly.

Material/ Waterproof Protection

A great feature to consider when buying a rooftop cargo carrier is sturdy material and waterproofness. You certainly don’t want to invest in a rooftop cargo carrier only to break down after one or two road trips. 

Similarly, it’s not wise to invest in a bag that gets wet as you drive in the rain to a campsite. Remember, not all rooftop cargo bags are 100% waterproof. 

So, if you live in areas with heavy rainfall, it would be beneficial to buy a waterproof carrier for optimal safety for your items.

Thus, a cargo carrier with waterproof fabrics, sturdy material, and zippers are very important.


Most rooftop cargo carriers for travel are waterproof and foldable because they’re designed with a fabric material. Additionally, the bags are fairly priced but tend to wear out fast.

While the boxes are designed from rigid plastic material, the baskets are made from sturdy galvanized iron.

As opposed to bags, baskets and boxes tend to be sturdy, thanks to their durable construction. With this, the carrier will surely last you for a prolonged period.

Easy to Install

A rooftop cargo bag is reasonably light to let you mount it alone.

So, if you are purchasing a rooftop cargo bag, you must choose the one you can easily install in vehicles that don’t have racks, such as sedans, SUVs, hatchbacks, and other compact cars.

Ease of Use

A lot of cargo bags can easily fit on most car roof racks. Nevertheless, a couple of bags are made to fit cars that do not come with roof racks. Bags come with ease of installation, use, and storage. 

Therefore, if your vehicle lacks a roof rack, you need to install one to give you the ability to use a roof basket or box.

Luckily, modern roof boxes come with a dual-sided opening system that allows you to open the luggage from either the left or right side.

Besides, your luggage will be safe throughout the trip, thanks to the incorporated security system.

However, since some of them aren’t 100% waterproof, you’ll need to be extra cautious when storing electronics and other gadgets on the rooftop.

Also, it’s worth noting that baskets and boxes don’t come with waterproof and security features.

Size & Weight

Your car’s load capacity defines the size and weight of the rooftop cargo carrier. Well, you can get this info from the vehicle manual. 

After checking on your vehicle’s load capacity, shop for top-quality cargo bags with high weight limits so you can store huge luggage without worrying about overloading the car.

If you are one of those who love carrying strangely shaped luggage, you need to buy a solid carrier, such as a soft bag or a basket. 

In addition, baskets are excellent choices if you want to carry heavy and large objects because you can fasten them using straps and cords.

Design and Aerodynamics

Cargo bags need to feature intuitive and ergonomic designs that allow you to store the luggage safely, besides giving you extra space in your car.

Also, you need to consider an aerodynamic design if you want to lower your gas mileage and save money on the journey.

Unlike bags, baskets and boxes feature universal designs that embrace amazing aerodynamic performance. 

A substantial number of aerodynamic carriers are intuitive, thanks to the included mounting hardware that streamlines the installation process.

You can easily carry camping gear and sporting equipment with mounting tools.

Extra Features

As said earlier, if your vehicle has a rack, you’ll have an easy time mounting a roof box. While a roof box has a sleek design, it may limit you from carrying peculiarly shaped luggage. 

On the other hand, baskets boast a metal construction that makes them more massive than boxes.

So, a basket needs more than one person to fit it in your vehicle due to its heavy weight. Therefore, if you have a large garage, it would be beneficial to permanently install them on the car rooftop.


For your belongings’ safety and security, the above are the best rooftop cargo carriers you need to consider buying. 

They’re waterproof and quality bags constructed from sturdy materials, ensuring they last for a prolonged period. Besides, the bags have anti-slip tops; use them with or without rooftops.

Additionally, they are armed with buckles and straps that make them easy to attach to the side of your vehicle.  This means the bag will stay in position even when moving at high speeds.

All in all, the bag that stands out against the rest is the ToolGuards Rooftop Cargo Carrier bag.  Here’s why it’s the best rooftop cargo bag for travel:

  • It is 100% waterproof.
  • It’s built from a sturdy coated tarpaulin and fabric.
  • It has four quality straps for a perfect and secure fit.
  • It comes with an aerodynamic design that lowers wind resistance.
  • It has a protection mat to prevent scratches on the paintwork.
  • The manufacturer offers a two-year warranty and a 100% money-back guarantee.
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