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11 Best Roof Cargo Baskets: Compare & Save

best roof cargo basket

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Stretch your cargo capacity with a roof basket. Most cargo carriers fit virtually any crossbar on sedans, SUVs and trucks. They also install quickly to avoid sacrificing precious vacation time. Transport everything from luggage pieces to shovels and spare tires with the best roof basket for your lifestyle.

If you’re going on an extended road trip, browse our best hitch cargo carriers to create more space.

yakima loadwarrior Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Custom fairing reduces wind noise
  • Fits most Yakima gear mounts
  • Minimal assembly required
Price: $349.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
maxxhaul roof basket Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Universal U-bolt mounting system
  • Simple time-saving installation
  • Holds up to 150 pounds
Price: $104.10 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
rhino rack xtray Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Built for off-road use
  • Available in two sizes
  • Works with most crossbars
Price: $325.53 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
tyger roof basket Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Sleek-looking E-coating
  • Thick steel tube frame
  • Mounts to most vehicle roof rails
Price: $552.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
reese explore roof rack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Fits nearly any vehicle
  • Aerodynamic shape
  • Easy to assemble
Price: $121.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
best roof basket Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Durable steel frame
  • Front wind shield for increased efficiency
  • Holds up to 150 pounds
Price: $239.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
curt roof rack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Includes all installation hardware
  • Fits most roof rack rails
  • Can be expanded
Price: $145.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
arksen roof rack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Heavy-duty front shield
  • Can be extended
  • Ideal for long road trips
Price: $209.96 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
leader accessories roof rack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Extension is included
  • Made with alloy steel for longevity
  • Fits crossbars on most sedans, minivans, SUVs and trucks
Price: $239.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
ecotric roof rack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Supports up to 250 pounds
  • Works with crossbars and straight bars
  • Heavy-duty steel fairing
Price: $155.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
roof rack for pickup truck Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Holds up to 250 pounds
  • Ideal for budget shoppers
  • Durable powder coated finish
Price: $160.50 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. EDITOR’S CHOICE: Yakima LoadWarrior Rooftop Cargo Basket

    • Optional extension expands carrying capabilities by 40 percent
    • Spacious enough for tall and wide loads
    • Universal mounting hardware works for most racks
    • Doesn't come with locking brackets
    • Fuel efficiency might suffer
    • More expensive than many competitors
    You’ll be ready for any adventure with the Yakima LoadWarrior, which fits most crossbars. It also works with most Yakima gear mounts. Fortified by heavy-duty steel, this rack supports as much weight as your crossbars allow. Also considering the limited lifetime warranty for peace of mind, the LoadWarrior is our top pick for your next trip.
    There’s plenty of room for bulky gear on this carrier, which measures 44″L x 39″W x 6.5″H. It requires a crossbar spread between 24 and 32 inches. Need more space? Attach the LoadWarrior Extension for an extra 18 inches.
    Some installation is required, but Yakima estimates it will take around 30 minutes. Universal mounts fit most crossbars on a wide range of vehicles.
    You can haul kayaks, skis, spare tires and luggage with this roof rack. If you want to bring a hybrid bike, boards or rooftop tents, consider the Yakima SkinnyWarrior. A narrow profile takes up less space on your roof so that you can transport larger items. For larger vehicles or trips requiring extra cargo space, the MegaWarrior could be a better fit. This Yakima rack is built for bigger SUVs and trucks and is sturdy enough for off-road adventures.
    Looking for more coverage for your gear? A cargo pod could be just what you need.
  2. 2. RUNNER UP: MaxxHaul Steel Roof Rack

    • All assembly and mounting hardware is included
    • Rubber gasket reduces risk of internal rust buildup
    • Works on most stock and aftermarket crossbars
    • Extension isn't available
    • Can get noisy at higher speeds
    • Doesn't come with a rack lock
    The MaxxHaul 70115 Roof Rack installs on most vehicles with stock roof crossbars. Measuring 46″ x 36″ x 4.5″, it fits most SUVs, crossovers and sedans. According to the manufacturer, it’s compatible with crossbars from .60 to 1.5 inches thick and works on factory and aftermarket crossbars.
    All the necessary assembly and mounting hardware is included for quick and easy installation. A universal U-bolt mounting system speeds up the process so you can hit the road faster.
    You can transport up to 150 pounds of evenly distributed weight, such as a large cargo bag or luggage sets for the whole family. The 100 percent steel frame is sturdy and keeps cargo secure when driving.
    As with its popular hitch mount cargo carrier, this roof rack is powder coated to resist rust. There’s even a rubber gasket to reduce the risk of internal rusting. However, these measures may not offer full protection. A few users have used black Rust-Oleum paint to keep rust at bay.
  3. 3. Rhino-Rack XTray Roof Cargo Basket

    • Heavy-duty steel construction
    • Universal attachment system fits most crossbar brands
    • High sides are ideal for winding roads
    • Noticeable wind noise over 40 miles per hour
    • Front air deflector is plastic
    • Doesn't come with a cargo bag
    Despite its slender profile, the Rhino-Rack XTray Roof Cargo Basket has a load rating of 165 pounds. That’s more than the standard 150-pound rating on most other cargo baskets. Crossbars are required. You can use the XTray with many popular crossbar brands, including Rhino-Rack Vortex, Euro, Thule, Yakima and Rola Sport.
    Rhino-Rack’s unique rails aren’t just for looks. These high rails offer extra protection on rough, winding roads. They’re well-suited for off-road use and support your camping gear and luggage for extended weekend getaways.
    Constructed with steel, this roof basket is a durable choice for your next adventure. Black powder coating protects against the elements, so you can confidently travel even when the sun isn’t shining. It resists rust but isn’t entirely rust-proof.
    An integrated wind deflector protects your precious cargo and enhances fuel efficiency. It comes with a user-friendly release mechanism for easy on and off.
  4. 4. Tyger Auto Super Duty Roof Cargo Basket

    • Several tie-down points for securing luggage
    • Optional middle piece extends the frame
    • Covered by a five-year warranty
    • Doesn't come with a cargo bag or net
    • Not fully water-tight
    • Can be tough to remove
    Sold in two configurations, the Tyger Auto Super Duty Roof Cargo Basket is a sturdy choice for your sedan or SUV. It’s larger than most, measuring 67.6″L x 41.4″W x 8.42″H. An optional middle piece extends the frame to haul even larger loads for family vacations.
    Sturdy 1.5-inch steel tube frames hold up to 150 pounds of cargo and luggage. It doesn’t come with a cargo net, but you can attach your own using the many available tie-down points.
    A durable E-coating gives this basket a sleek look and resists rust. It’s not fully rust-proof, though, and Tyger suggests removing it before going through automatic car washes.
    The steel wind fairing isn’t huge, but it reduces dirt and wind exposure on road trips. It makes the carrier more aerodynamic for improved fuel efficiency.
    This product arrives in three pieces and is easy to assemble. All the necessary mounting hardware is included.
  5. 5. Reese Explore Rooftop Cargo Basket

    • Angled front shield enhances fuel efficiency
    • Durable steel construction for all-weather use
    • Scratch-resistant powder coat
    • Load capacity is lower than average
    • Doesn't have an extender
    • Needs weather-proofing for rust resistance
    If you don’t need a large, flashy roof basket, the Reese 1391300 Explore could be your answer. There’s plenty of room for extra luggage and cargo, with 38″L x 33″W of usable cargo space. The load capacity is 125 pounds.
    This Reese cargo carrier matches most existing crossbars on sedans, SUVs and trucks. It comes with U-bolts for speedy installation.
    You can install this rack with its easy-on design and included screwdriver assembly. Although it doesn’t come with extras, you can attach a bungee cargo net or rooftop cargo bag to the basket.
    Pack several pieces of luggage, cargo bags and outdoor gear into this basket, which measures 18.4″ x 37.9″ x 9.2″. An angled front shield makes the basket more efficient and reduces exposure to dirt and dust on long road trips. Heavy-duty black powder coating also guards against scratches.
  6. 6. XCAR Roof Rack Carrier Basket

    • Universal U-bolts for easier assembly
    • Available with cargo bags, ratchet straps and nets
    • Includes a hardware set for installation
    • Not entirely rust-resistant
    • Prone to wind noise
    • Can be tough to properly align screw holes
    You can easily install the XCAR Roof Rack on most sedans and SUVs with crossbars. The rack mounts to crossbars up to 4.6″ wide and 1.35″ thick. It’s also suitable for round bars up to 1.35″ in diameter. Four universal U-bolts make assembly less stressful.
    Measuring 64″L x 39″W x 6’H, it’s spacious enough for your camping gear, luggage and cargo bags. If you need a bag, ratchet straps or other accessories, there are several other versions of this rack.
    The heavy-duty steel frame holds up to 150 pounds. A front wind shield protects your cargo. Its aerodynamic design saves precious MPGs on your next road trip.
  7. 7. CURT Universal Steel Roof Rack

    • High walls contain cargo when traveling
    • Carbide black powder coat for longevity
    • Works with nets and cargo bags
    • Manufacturer doesn't include a weight rating
    • Plastic mounting brackets aren't the sturdiest
    • Not fully rust-proof
    Unlike most roof carriers, the CURT 18115 roof rack expands to transport bulkier items. Increase your storage space from 11 to 17 square feet with this CURT extension. You’ll have more room for luggage, gear and cargo bags such as the CURT 18221 Extended Roof Rack Cargo Bag. No extra hardware is required for installation. Both products feature a universal fit that works with most roof rack rails.
    Sold in two pieces, this CURT carrier is easy to put together. High-strength tubular steel supports gear, luggage and other items. There isn’t a standard weight rating, so many users go by crossbar or mounting limitations. Several people have transported over 200 pounds on this rack.
    In case the weather doesn’t cooperate, you’re covered rain or shine with a carbide black powder coat. In addition to protection against scratches, the coat offers lasting resistance against corrosion
  8. 8. ARKSEN Universal Roof Rack Cargo

    • Installs easily on most crossbars and straight bars
    • Durable bottom metal bars
    • Reversible wind fairing adds a stealthy look
    • Doesn't come with a cargo bag
    • Pre-drilled holes don't always line up properly
    • Rust spots aren't uncommon
    Free up cargo space on your next road trip with the ARKSEN Universal Black Roof Rack Cargo. If you’re traveling with family or tons of gear, the extended version offers an extra 23 inches of storage room. Both versions fit most crossbars and straight bars on sedans and SUVs.
    ARKSEN uses a heavy-duty steel wind fairing for dependable results. Strong metal bars on the bottom support up to 150 pounds of camping equipment, luggage and other gear. Four U-bolts are included to speed up the installation process, with or without the extension.
    As with most steel roof racks, this product resists corrosion but isn’t immune to rust. Taking preventative measures, including spraying the screws, can reduce the risk of rust spots.
  9. 9. Leader Accessories Roof Rack Cargo Basket

    • Available with cargo bags, tie-down straps and other accessories
    • Steel wind fairing minimizes noise
    • Universal U-bolts for easy mounting
    • Not recommended for kayaks
    • Should be used with a sealant for rust protection
    • U-bolts only come in one size
    Securely install the Leader Accessories Roof Rack onto nearly any car, truck, SUV or minivan with crossbars. You’ll need to use the included extension if your crossbar distance is greater than 29.7 inches. Sold with four universal U-bolts, the rack works with crossbars less than 4.6″ wide and 1.375″ thick. It also works on round bars with less than a 1.375″ diameter.
    Constructed with alloy steel, this luggage holder is durable all-around. A steel wind fairing minimizes wind resistance and noise, although you can still expect some noise at highway speeds. The weight capacity is 150 pounds. This versatile roof rack fits outdoor gear such as stand-up paddleboards and cargo boxes.
    If you need more than a roof rack, you’ll find separate variations with cargo bags, tie-down straps, cargo nets and other accessories. You can also check out waterproof cargo bags for all-weather protection. The rack’s black powder coating resists scratches and rust. But you might want to touch up the screw connections with sealant spray for lasting performance.
  10. 10. Ecotric Roof Rack Cargo Carrier

    • Sturdy bottom metal bars
    • Fits most passenger cars and SUVs
    • Easily accommodates mounting accessories
    • Doesn't come with an extension
    • Need to purchase cargo bags and accessories separately
    • Can get loud at higher speeds
    You may recognize Ecotric from its stylish e-bikes, but the company makes more gear for your active lifestyle. This heavy-duty steel luggage basket is one example.
    This cargo carrier has a 250-pound load capacity, which eclipses the 150-pound capacity on most other roof cargo carriers. It’s reinforced with sturdy bottom metal bars and high side rails for stability. A steel wind shield protects luggage and gear from wind, dirt and grime.
    As with most other roof carriers, this product comes with four universal U-bolts to make installation less stressful. It measures 43″L x 39″W and 6’H. Use the carrier with square crossbars up to 4-3/4″ wide and 1-7/8″ thick as well as round bars up to 1-7/8″ in diameter.
    It doesn’t have an extension, but this Ecotric product is spacious enough for large loads, including camping equipment. It’s not entirely rust-proof, which is why the manufacturer suggests applying silicone sealant to the welds and joint during assembly.
  11. 11. 7BLACKSMITHS Roof Cargo Basket

    • Steel wind fairing creates a more aerodynamic shape
    • Compatible with a wide range of crossbars
    • Adjustable fit for most vehicles
    • Doesn't include a cargo bag or tie-downs
    • Should be reinforced with silicone sealant to prevent rust
    • Not sold with an extension
    The affordably-priced 7BLACKSMITHS roof rack carries up to 250 pounds of luggage, cargo bags, camping gear and more. It’s compatible with most crossbars and comes with U-bolts for quick installation. Use this product on most aero, factory, square and round crossbars on sedans, SUVs and trucks. As long as you have the appropriate crossbars, it should fit.
    This product features heavy-duty side rails and metal bars for full protection. You can secure loads even more by using the various tie-down points. U-bolts are included for installation.
    Despite its powder coated finish, this carrier can still rust. You can apply silicone sealant to the joint and welds during assembly to protect against rust.

Are Roof Baskets Worth It?

Roof baskets are worth it if you want to free up cargo space. They're popular for transporting luggage and gear, but you can use these handy baskets to haul coolers, skis and even lockable food boxes.
Our staff pick is the Yakima LoadWarrior Rooftop Cargo Basket, which carries tall and wide loads. It's constructed with heavy-duty steel and has a custom front shield to reduce drops in your average MPG. There's even a slimmer version available if you want to carry a larger object, such as a mountain bike or kayak.
Most baskets can expand your carrying capabilities without breaking the bank. However, you want to make sure your vehicle can safely transport that extra weight.
Fatherly.com recommends checking the dynamic capacity first to determine how much weight the car roof can support. This number often hovers around 165 pounds for SUVs, trucks and full-size sedans. Expect a smaller weight limit for a more compact vehicle.

Do I Need a Roof Rack for a Rooftop Cargo Carrier?

Most rooftop cargo carriers on our list require a roof rack. If you've previously carried larger items, such as a canoe or yoga iSUP board, you probably already have a roof rack.
However, luggage racks aren't just designed for transporting bikes. Check out our truck tailgate pads and electric bike racks if you want to bring your bikes along.
Although some manufacturers specifically design carriers to fit their own roof racks, they often work with most crossbars. When in doubt, measure the crossbars or check with the manufacturer before purchasing.

How Do You Install a Roof Cargo Carrier?

Most luggage baskets require crossbars for proper installation. If you're not sure whether it will fit, take some measurements before starting the installation. You might discover that you need an extension for a proper fit.
According to YourMechanic, roof rack towers attach to the rails and mounts secure it to the vehicle. There are several points of contact to securely tie down your load. Universal U-bolts are often included to reduce installation time and secure your cargo.
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