Family Road Trip - Best Cargo Box For Honda Pilot (Honda Pilot Owners Don't Miss This!)

Best Honda Pilot Cargo Carrier – 2024 Buyers Guide

We researched and reviewed a bunch of cargo carriers for Honda Pilot that are available across a wide price range, with most models usually falling between $300 and $1000.

There are many options to choose from, but we only choose the one that can fit right with the Honda Pilot. That means you don’t have to drill the cargo box to install it, provided that you already have the right roof racks set up.

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And here are our top picks for the best cargo box for Honda Pilot.

The Best Cargo Box For Honda Pilot

Thule Force XT Rooftop Cargo Box, X-Large

Thule is a trusted brand in the car accessory industry. And Thule Force XT Cargo Box is our top choice for Honda Pilot because of its well-built, excellent security features, and proven durability.

The Thule Force Cargo Box is available in 4 sizes (11 cu ft, 16 cu ft, 18 cu ft, and 22 cu ft).

We recommend you go for the 18 cu ft one because it is the perfect size for the car. It is not too long to block the panoramic view (specifically for the Elite version).

This sturdy cargo box can hold up to 165 lbs of load, so you don’t have to worry about carrying heavy items like camping gear.

If you’re an avid skier, you can accommodate 5-7 pairs of skis no longer than 195 cm and 3-5 snowboards.


  • Capacity: 18 cu ft
  • Opening: Dual-side Opening
  • Weight Limit: 165 lbs
  • External Dimensions: 82.75 x 33.75 x 17.25 inches
  • Item Weight: 47 lbs

This box is easy to install. The click-lock system makes it easy to attach and remove. It weighs about 47 lbs, and you probably need an extra hand to lift and install it on the rooftop.

If you want to learn more about this cargo box, click here!


  • Well-made cargo box.
  • Excellent locking system.
  • Easy to install.


  • A bit expensive.
  • Sometimes hard to open and close with the locks.

Best 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

Thule Pulse Rooftop Cargo Box, the Alpine version, is the best option to carry your skis and snowboards for long car ski trips. The best part is that it can accommodate up to 9 pairs of skis no longer than 210 cm long. 

This low-profile cargo box has a storage capacity of 11 cu ft. It’s slim and narrow, making it less susceptible to wind noise or rattling when driving down the highway. 

One of the advantages of a narrow roof box like this Thule Alpine is that you can install a bike carrier or kayaks side by side. You just have to ensure that the cargo box is positioned at the passenger side because of its opening.

But of course, the disadvantage is that you might have trouble fitting large items. 

If you want to learn more about this cargo box, click here!


  • It can hold many skis and snowboards.
  • The narrow design can improve the gas mileage.
  • Doesn’t take up a lot of space on the rooftop.


  • Not cheap.
  • Not practical for big items.

Best Budget Option

SportRack Horizon Cargo Box


  • Capacity: 16 cu ft
  • Opening: Passenger-side opening
  • Weight Limit: 110 lbs
  • External Dimensions: 76.88 x 32.88 x 17.13 inches
  • Item Weight: 43 lbs

If you’re looking for a budget option, we recommend the SportRack Horizon Cargo Box as the best one. This 16 cu ft of storage is the right size to fit all your luggage for a few days’ trips. 

It can transport up to 4-6 pairs of skis (up to 178 cm) or 3-4 snowboards. The box is durable and made from durable ABS plastic material, but it won’t hold more than 110 lbs of the total weight of your items. 

The cargo box is lightweight and easy to install by one person. A quick-release attachment kit is included for easy installation and removal. However, we found that the mounting hardware is a bit clunky to use, but it’s perfectly secure.

This cargo box is the best alternative to the more expensive cargo boxes like Thule. It is fairly sturdy and works for the intended purpose. It comes with only black color option.

If you want to learn more about this cargo box, click here!


  • Affordable pricing.
  • Lightweight.
  • Easy to install.


  • The attachment mechanism could be better.
  • The locks look cheap.

Buying Guide: 6 Key Factors You Should Look For In A Cargo Box For Honda Pilot

You’ll want to consider several factors before purchasing if you’re in the market for a cargo box for your Honda Pilot. Here are six key points to keep in mind:

Storage Volume

The cargo box’s storage volume is one of the most important factors. The storage space does not necessarily need to be big, but it should at least fit all your belongings in there. 

Cargo boxes come in different sizes. In our opinion, any cargo box storage volume from 16 cu ft to 18 cu ft is just the right fit for Honda Pilot. 

If you need extra large space to accommodate many items, there’s an oversized option like the Thule Motion XXL 22 cu ft cargo box.

The problem with an oversized cargo box is that they are slightly longer in dimension, which can be obstructive to your moonroof (only applicable to those who own the Honda Pilot Elite and Black Edition model).

Compatibility With Roof Racks

Cargo box installation requires a roof rack system. As for the latest Honda Pilot 2022 variants, all models come with factory flush mounted rails except the EX-L variant, which is a completely naked roof.

Whatever setup you have, you need crossbars compatible with your cargo box mount. It is recommended to get the universal roof rack crossbars that are adjustable so you won’t have any issues installing the cargo box.

Normally, the typical crossbar spread for Honda Pilot would be 25-3/4″ between the center of your rear crossbar and the spot where the rear cargo hatch and the roof meet. Again, this spread also depends on your crossbar type.

Easy To Install And Uninstall

Generally, a cargo box can be installed (or uninstall) in literally under 20 minutes. Depending on the size and weight, it can be done by one person.

If the cargo box is big and heavy, you might need extra hands because the hardest part is lifting the cargo box onto the roof rack and getting it into position correctly. You don’t want to accidentally scratch or dent your car rooftop.

Most roof boxes come with clamps that hold the crossbars. Just turn the knob, and it will click when you tighten them enough.

Maximum Load Capacity

Regarding maximum load capacity, not all cargo boxes have the same weight limit. The average cargo box can hold about 110-165 lbs. Never try to overload your stuff beyond the limits.

You could damage the cargo box. Always check for the weight capacity of a given model before making your purchase.

If you’ll have a heavier load than the roof can carry, do look into the Honda Pilot’s pretty reasonable towing capacity, a trailer may be your preferred option.

Durability and Build

You don’t wanna invest in a cargo box just to have it break constantly. We looked for cargo boxes that we felt were built well and durable. We aim to recommend cargo boxes that stand the test of time and hold up in even the harshest conditions.

One of the characteristics of high-quality cargo boxes is the materials. Almost all cargo boxes out there are made from hard plastics. The premium cargo boxes like Thule Motion are constructed with durable and high-quality ABS plastic materials.

Does It Safe And Secure?

Cargo boxes are built well-protected and secure under a hard plastic shell. They protect your belongings from torrential rains, hot weather, and hard impacts. 

When we did the research, we looked at locking mechanism design because this is the area where many thefts will attempt to break into. 

Popular brands like Thule and Yakima cargo boxes are equipped with excellent locking mechanisms that are harder to break into. 


Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about the cargo box for Honda Pilot.

What Is Recommended Roof Rack for 2021 Honda Pilot to Use Thule Force XT Cargo Box?

If your car has side roof rails installed, we recommend the Yakima CoreBar Aerodynamic Crossbars. If your car model doesn’t have roof rails, we recommend this crossbar and these towers.

What Is The Largest Roof Cargo Box Available For Honda Pilot?

If you require extensive cargo space for your stuff, we recommend the Thule Force XT-XXL cargo box that provides a 22 cu ft amount of storage.

How Much Weight Can A Honda Pilot Hold On The Roof?

The Honda Pilot can hold up to 75 kg (165 lbs) on the roof when evenly distributed load.

Final Thoughts

The Thule Force XT Rooftop Cargo Box is our best roof cargo box for Honda Pilot. It’s easy to use and designed for the ultimate protection of your cargo during both short-term and long-haul travel. 

If you want a cheaper option, you can go for the SportRack Horizon Cargo Box, which also does a great job at an affordable price. 

Happy traveling!

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© Family Road Trip 2024

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