These rooftop carrier bags are the answer to a cramped trunk — and some work without a cargo rack
Although there's nothing like the freedom of hitting the open road, it does come with its fair share of challenges, chief among them trying to find a way to cram all your essentials into your trunk. For extra space, the best rooftop car carrier bags fasten securely to your car and add as much as 20 cubic feet of storage. There are a few key factors to consider when shopping around:
Durability and water-resistance:Rugged materials like 1,000-denier polyester and tarpaulin will ensure durability and tear-resistance, and heavy-duty zippers can help upgrade the protection factor. You'll also want to make sure your carrier bag is waterproof to keep your belongings safe and dry.
Attachment: Most rooftop cargo carriers can work with or without a cargo rack, thanks to hooks and straps that can be secured to the frame of the car door, just underneath the weatherstrips. However, cargo carriers that only work with roof racks tend to cost less, so keep that in mind if your budget is tight. Either way, the attachment mechanisms on all of the options below are hardy enough to withstand a few bumps when you're flying down the highway at 65 miles per hour.
Size: The majority of car roof storage bags come in 15- and 20-cubic foot sizes, but if you have a compact car — or are packing less — you may want to opt for an option that's closer to 10 cubic feet.
You may also want to consider a built-in combination lock to keep items secure when you're at rest stops, a carrier with a protective mat that protects the finish of your car, or even an extra-large option that secures to the back of your vehicle, instead of on top.