What Features to Choose When Buying Rooftop Cargo Boxes


So, you are the outdoorsy type and love going on adventure trips frequently. You must be carrying a lot of stuff on each trip. Hence, adding a rooftop cargo box to your vehicle makes sense. You can carry most of your gear in the box and keep your vehicle’s interiors free of clutter.

Here are some tips on features to look out for:

The Material

As your cargo box will be exposed to the elements, the first thing you need to look for is the durability of the material. Look for a cargo box made out of ABS plastic. If you are an eco-conscious person, check if the material is made out of recycled stuff, and you’ll be doing your bit towards maintaining the fragile eco-balance. ABS is light, durable, and easy to handle, and it is waterproof, and your luggage is protected from the rain at all times.

The Dimensions

The size of your rooftop cargo box should match the size of your vehicle. It should also fit the roof of your car perfectly, without protruding on either side. If you are a regular skier, you’ll need a box not less than 6 feet long or more. A 6-ft box will easily accommodate a pair of standard size skis (up to 180cm); however, you can always choose a box matching your ski size. You can decide on the box’s width depending on what else you plan to store on your car roof, outside the cargo box.

Similarly, while checking the cargo box’s height, consider the size of your garage door, any public parking garages you use, and drive-through restaurants. However, if the cargo box’s height is too much, it makes it look a bit unwieldy.

Storage Capacity

While choosing a rooftop cargo box for your vehicle, another vital feature to consider is the overall capacity, which is generally measured in cubic feet. Anywhere between 12 to 20 cubic feet (approximately 340 to 585 liters, respectively) should be an ideal capacity to suit all needs. Always plan to carry stuff that fits into your cargo box, as overloading can damage the gear and the vehicle. Choose a cargo box with a capacity that matches the size of your car.


It should be easy for you to access your cargo box for loading and unloading gear, for which it should feature smooth hinges and a comfortable, click-lock mechanism. Also, check if the rooftop cargo box you plan to buy has openings on either side (driver and passenger), making loading and unloading an easy task. While at it, check if the lid has a handy handle that is easy to operate.

Aerodynamic Shape

The cargo box should feature a streamlined, aerodynamic shape to ensure the least wind resistance when driving at high speeds. Such features help reduce unnecessary friction and wind resistance that affect the vehicle’s performance (reduced mileage) and reduce the wind noise. While going on long trips, what you need is a fit-it, forget-it cargo box.

Summing it Up

Fixing a cargo box to your vehicle’s roof should be a one-time affair. Hence, it makes sense to spend enough time checking out the boxes available in the market before purchasing. The focus should be on durability, appearance, and functionality.

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