nerd radio

Get ready for the new daily show

Best Rooftop Cargo Boxes: Storage Wars

June 2nd, 2022 by Irwin Fletcher Comments

Image by Kyle Brumm on Unsplash

Struggling to find what you’re looking for in your favorite car loan app? Adding a cargo box to the roof of your vehicle, whether you drive a little hatchback or a huge SUV, may help with organization, carrying capacity, and comfort.

These boxes are available in a variety of sizes to fit your gear (including skis), and they differ in terms of durability, convenience of use, aesthetics, security, and other factors. Roof-rack giants Thule and Yakima build the majority of the top models for 2022, while businesses like INNO and SportRack also make significant contributions. Below is our overview of the market, which ranges from high-end luxury models and small carriers to popular all-rounders that do the work for the majority of people. Read on to find out what the hottest trends for cargo boxes are on the car market today.

  1. YakimaGrandTour16

If you’re looking for the greatest all-around cargo box, we believe the Yakima GrandTour is the way to go. The reasonably smooth inside avoids your luggage from getting stuck on anything while loading or unloading, making this cargo carrier one of the easiest types to both install and operate. It opens on both sides, according to our experience, is extremely sturdy and secure, and looks well on most automobiles. The clamps offer a greater range than usual, allowing this box to be secured to a larger variety of crossbar sizes and shapes. The lid isn’t flimsy, and the latches and locks aren’t difficult to use. We’ve tried a lot of cargo boxes that can be a pain to use, but this one works well.

The smooth interior does, however, have one drawback: tightening and loosening the clamps requires a separate tool. For this, Yakima offers a handy torque wrench. The wrench is one of our favorites since it is easy to use and creates a clicking sound when tightened properly—not too loose, not too tight. Inside the cargo box, Yakima provides a place for the tool, allowing it to live safely and conveniently. However, there is still a chance of losing. Should the need arise, replacements can be obtained from Yakima. We had a great time testing and utilizing the Yakima GrandTour and would definitely suggest it to anybody seeking a high-end rooftop storage option.

  1. Thule Motion XT XL

The Motion XT XL is one of the best models to hang above your automobile. This box is really practical and simple to use, with one of the best, most straightforward mounting solutions we’ve seen to date, allowing you to set it up in under five minutes most of the time. This box is tough and safe, with a locking mechanism that stops you from leaving it unlocked by accident. It boasts a sleek, visually pleasing design and comes in two hues – black and off-white – to better fit a larger range of vehicles.

Unfortunately, this cargo box is one of the more costly cargo boxes we have examined, and it will eat into your budget. However, if you intend on often loading and unloading your cargo box, this may be worthwhile. If the pricing isn’t right, save some money and choose a less costly product that is a little more difficult to install but leaves more money in your budget for what’s inside the box. If you want a great cargo box but the GrandTour isn’t available, the Thule Motion XT is a great alternative.

  1. SportRack Horizon Alpine

The hardware in this category is rather pricey. If a Yakima SkyBox‘s price tag is still out of reach, the SportRack Horizon Alpine is the cargo carrier for you. The Horizon Alpine is a bare-bones device that lacks the convenience features of higher-end versions but costs a fraction of the price. This low-cost box looks good and feels solid and long-lasting. Once you get the hang of it, loading and unloading a car isn’t too difficult, and it can accommodate skis and snowboards up to 210 cm in length, which is rare for a cheap freight carrier. 

While the Horizon Alpine will transport your belongings from point A to point B, it comes with a number of price concessions. The lid only opens on one side, and there’s no way to change it, and there are no integrated straps for keeping your belongings inside, nor is there a built-in light. The Alpine’s lid is also a touch floppy, and the Alpine’s aesthetic appeal is bordering on monotonous. The Horizon Alpine is a wonderful alternative if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a cargo solution for your car, but it’s far from perfect. Despite the fact that it lacks the bells and whistles of the expensive competitors, it’s more than capable of transporting your belongings.

Interested in reading more about car trivia? Explore our article on How a child’s brain development and imagination relate to toy cars

I'm an LA journalist who really lives for his profession. I have also published work as Jane Doe in various mags and newspapers across the globe. I normally write articles that can cause trouble but now I write for FTN because Nerds are never angry, so I feel safe.