Already planning your next adventurous trip? You’ll need the right gear and a functional way to carry them.
We all know how difficult it can be to try and pack all your travel gear into the trunk or roof of a car. It’s even worse when you have too much gear and too little space for them to fit comfortably. Well, you will find several roof cargo boxes and baskets on the market; however, most of them may not fit your size requirements.
So, to make the search easier for you, we have picked some of the best low-profile roof cargo box and roof basket options you can consider.
Roof Basket Vs. Rooftop Cargo Box
As the name suggests, a roof basket is essentially an open storage solution that you can install on the top of a car roof. These baskets are open on all ends, so you will have to fasten all your items with durable ropes or a net.
However, a roof basket can accommodate all kinds of luggage without hassle since it doesn’t have any edges to prevent oddly-shaped items from fitting into it.
Rooftop Cargo Box
On the other hand, cargo boxes are closed storage compartments with limited storage capacity compared to roof boxes. However, a cargo box can be locked, giving you more protection over your valuables. These boxes are also more hardy, durable and can protect your travel gear from all kinds of weather.
Best Low-Profile Roof Cargo Box
Thule Pulse Rooftop Cargo Box, Alpine
With 11 cubic feet of storage space, the Thule Pulse Rooftop Cargo Box is an excellent choice for most camping and road trips.
It features a FastGrip quick-mount system that enables easy assembly within minutes. Furthermore, it is made of highly durable and rugged materials that will protect all of your essentials during travel.
The best part is that this cargo box is sleek and compact, so it doesn’t look too out of place on top of your car. Also, its super secure locking mechanism ensures that the Thule Comfort Key can only be removed once all the locking points are activated.
INNO BRA240BK Ridge Cargo Box
If you are looking for a compact, lightweight, and aerodynamic cargo box for your car, consider this product from INNO. This Japanese-made cargo box is designed to fit on most factory racks, whether your car has a round, square, or any other type of roof.
Furthermore, its safety lock system ensures that all your luggage is safe and secure within the cargo box when it is locked. With an easy assembly and installation process, this product is a joy to have on all camping trips.
INNO Shadow 15 Low Profile Rooftop Cargo Box
With a high level of durability and a super rugged exterior and interior, this cargo box from INNO is another excellent pick for your travels. It has an 11 cubic feet capacity and can easily accommodate up to 4 snowboards, 8 skis, or 2 surfboards. This gives you adequate room to pack for yourself or an entire family.
Not just that, its low-profile design is highly aerodynamic, saving space, reducing noise, and providing better fuel economy.
INNO Shadow 16 Low Profile Cargo Box
Yet another one of our picks is from the Japanese brand INNO. This low-profile cargo box features 13 cubic feet of space, giving you adequate room to pack it in with all your travel essentials.
However, it is designed to be super sleek and compact, so it doesn’t weigh too much or take up excessive space on the roof of your car.
Since it can be opened from both sides, you can easily access all your items during travels and camping trips.
INNO BRM660BK Wedge Cargo Box
Another great pick from INNO is the Wedge 660 roof box. This product features 11 cubic feet of interior space, along with having a super sleek and compact design. Furthermore, it has a universal fit, so it can go comfortably on all kinds of car roofs.
Its dual-sided opening also enables easy installation and gives you access to your luggage without hassle.
Best Low-Profile Roof Basket
Elevate Outdoor Low Profile Steel Roof Cargo Basket
Looking for a low-profile roof basket that has adequate weight-bearing capacity to hold all your essential travel gear? This product from Apex Rage Powersports features durable powder-coated steel frames that easily bear upto 150 pounds without fear of damage or breakage. Also, it is pretty easy to install and assemble.
MaxxHaul Steel Roof Basket
This MaxxHaul Steel roof basket features a rust-resistant finish that enhances the durability of the product. Furthermore, it can easily accommodate all types of luggage and travel gear without fussing over weight and storage space. However, you will need to assemble it yourself.
Fortunately, it comes with all the required assembly tools, hardware, and instructions, so you won’t have a hard time assembling and installing it.
ROLA 59504 V-Tex Rooftop Cargo Basket
With a load capacity of 130 pounds, this product from ROLA is excellent for smaller luggage and travel gear. Furthermore, its alloy steel body is durable and will last for years to come. It also comes with an air deflector feature which enhances its functionality.
YAKIMA LockNLoad Platform Roof Rack
If you are looking for a product with a higher load-bearing capacity, check out this product from YAKIMA. It can bear up to 165 pounds with ease. Furthermore, its limited lifetime warranty ensures that you can replace or repair the product in case you aren’t satisfied with it.
The easy lock and load feature gives you ultimate protection over your luggage while enabling easy access to essentials.
Reese Explore Low Profile Rooftop Cargo Basket
Next, we have the Reese Explore Low-Profile Rooftop Cargo Basket. This product can withstand only 100 pounds, making it perfect for smaller luggage for short camping trips and adventures.
However, its center-supported frames provide excellent support and stability for long trips and ensure that your luggage remains undamaged.
Benefits Of Low-Profile Roof Cargo Box And Roof Basket?
Installing a low-profile roof cargo box and roof basket on your vehicle has a lot of benefits. Let us talk about some of the significant ones below:
One of the primary reasons you may be considering a roof cargo box and roof basket is for additional storage space. More often than not, a small car or SUV simply does not have adequate room to fit in all your travel gear and essentials, especially if you are on a family trip.
A roof cargo box and roof basket can act as an extra trunk at the top of your car. Furthermore, the benefit of opting for a low-profile version is that it does not stick out from the top of the vehicle, giving it an exaggerated and unappealing look. It also does not unnecessarily increase the weight on top of your vehicle.
The Interiors Are More Comfortable
Can you imagine how uncomfortable it can be to sit in a cramped-up car with your family and all their luggage? Inevitably, any fun road trip can soon turn into an on-road disaster.
The addition of a low-profile roof cargo box and roof basket can eliminate this discomfort. Not only do you have adequate space to sit inside, but your luggage remains safe and protected.
Protection From All Elements
Road trips are full of adventure and the unexpected. So, a sudden twist, turn, or bump along the way can easily damage any travel gear you have in the trunk of the car.
On the other hand, most low-profile roof cargo boxes and roof baskets are made of extremely tough and durable material that is designed to withstand all kinds of weather and elements. Come hail, snow, sunlight, rain, or storm, you can rest assured that all your luggage will always be safe.
Protection From Theft
We often leave our luggage in the trunk or backseat when we go out for a meal or just to gaze at nature during road trips. However, this leaves your car vulnerable to thieves, who can go to any means to break into your car and steal valuables.
The addition of a low-profile roof cargo box and roof basket makes it more challenging for thieves to know where your luggage is and how to break into it. You can also install additional security systems that protect your luggage from break-ins, thus, protecting all the valuables.
Rooftop Low-Profile Roof Basket And Cargo Box Buying Advice
Vehicle Length And Hatch Clearance
Before purchasing a low-profile roof basket or cargo box, ensure that you check its dimensions. You wouldn’t want your luggage or the roof basket or cargo box to stick out from the sides of the car roof
Also, ensure that you check that there is adequate space and hatch clearance, which is the space between the trunk of your car and the center of the front crossbar.
Interior Length And Cargo Box Volume
When purchasing a roof basket or cargo box, many people forget to check the interior length and only go by the exterior length. Keep in mind that the interior length will determine the type of travel gear that will fit into these items.
Furthermore, check the cargo box volume so you can gauge the number of items it can fit and the depth of the box.
Materials And Durability
One of the most important things you need to check when purchasing a cargo box or roof basket is the materials they are made of. Ensure that the materials are water and weather-resistant, as the worst thing to happen on a road trip is for your travel gear and luggage to get damaged by weather.
Furthermore, purchase a cargo box and roof basket from a manufacturer specializing in designing heavy-duty, durable items. This will ensure that they last for years to come without hassle.
You need to check the weight of the cargo box and roof basket to ensure that the roof of your car can withstand its capacity. Furthermore, check the load capacity of the items as well; otherwise, you may end up overstuffing and causing damage.
It goes without saying, but one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a roof basket or cargo box is its capacity. There is no point in buying one of these items only to realize that it doesn’t have adequate storage space to hold all your luggage and travel gear.
Assembly And Installation
Finally, we recommend purchasing a roof basket or cargo box that you will be able to assemble, disassemble, and install on your own. Of course, there is no harm in getting professional help when assembling or installing them. However, in the case of an emergency during a road trip, you wouldn’t want to fumble around with them in case they got loose or broke off.
So, now that you know the differences between a roof cargo box and a roof basket, which one will you choose for the next adventure trip?
Both have their own benefits and disadvantages, so you need to weigh the pros and cons carefully before purchasing one. Furthermore, we hope our list of recommendations helps you choose the right product for your requirements.
That said, always remember to check the dimensions, weight-bearing capacity, material, and volume of each product before picking the best one.
This finally brings us to the end of our guide. Keep coming back for more such guides and reviews. Until then, have a safe and fun trip. Goodbye!