7 cargo box options for Subaru Outback

9 Best Subaru Outback Rooftop Carriers Buying Guide

Last Updated on February 23, 2024

Are you looking for a rooftop carrier for your Subaru Outback? In this article, you will first see a quick-pick list of recommended Rooftop Carriers that fit your Subaru Outback. Then you will discover some detail about these Rooftop Carriers with their advantages.
You may think about driving your Subaru Outback to a faraway destination to enjoy a relaxed and comfortable vacation time with your family or friends.

However, do you know that your Subaru Outback does not have enough room for a large family’s luggage? Fortunately, a rooftop carrier can fulfill your hauling needs on your road trips, and it will provide extra storage space for your belongings and keep them safe and dry.
A rooftop carrier box is a piece of equipment that mounts on top of your car to offer you ample and secure space to store your items. If you have a big family, you can use a cargo roof box to carry all your necessary stuff to have fun on a long-way road journey. Below, we are going to give you more info about each of the suitable cargo roof boxes.

First, we will list seven roof boxes that fit your Subaru Outback if you do not have enough time to read them carefully.

7 Subaru Outback Rooftop Carriers Buying Guide
9 compatible cargo boxes for Subaru Outback

Subaru Outback Roof Rack

If you are looking for roof racks for Subaru Outback, you can find them on Amazon or Ebay. You can read Tips about Choosing a Car Rack to know how many types of car racks we have on the market. We have a list of 5 roof racks for your consideration ( You have to consult the car dealer for a compatibility check). A list of universal roof racks for all vehicles (compatibility check required) – You can use any of these crossbars to build a base for using the cargo boxes below.

best roof boxes for subaru outback 2021

Quick-Pick List of Rooftop Carrier Boxes for Subaru Outback

Thule Motion XT Cargo box
  • Product: Thule Motion XT Cargo box
  • Capacity: 16 cu ft
  • Size: L: 90″ W: 35″ H: 15″
  • Opening: Both sides

Yakima Skybox NX 16 or 18 for Subaru Outback
  • Product: Yakima SkyBox NX 16 or 18
  • Capacity: 16 cu ft or 18 Cubic
  • Size: L: 75.5 x 35 x 16 inches or 84 x 36 x 16.5 inches
  • Opening: Both sides

DNA MOTORING cargo box for luggage and othe sporting equipment on subaru outback
  • Product: DNA MOTORING Car Rooftop Luggage Box
  • Capacity: 11 cu ft
  • Size: ‎53.3″ x 34.15″ x 14.65″
  • Opening: Single Side

SportRack Skyline XL Car Rooftop Carrier Box
  • Product: SportRack Skyline XL Car Rooftop Carrier Box
  • Capacity: 18 cu ft
  • Size: L: 54″ W: 39″ H: 20″
  • Opening: Passenger

INNO Shadow Cargo box
  • Product: INNO Shadow Cargo box
  • Capacity: 11 cu ft
  • Size: L: 83″ W: 36″ H: 14″
  • Opening: Both sides

Thule Pulse Cargo Box
  • Product: Thule Pulse Cargo Box
  • Capacity: 16 cu ft
  • Size: L:89″ W:26″ H: 13″
  • Opening: Passenger

Yakima Showcase Rooftop Carrier Box
  • Product: Yakima Showcase Rooftop Carrier Box
  • Capacity: 9 cu ft
  • Size: L:47″ W: 27″ H: 17″
  • Opening: Passenger

SportRack Vista XL Cargo Box
  • Product: SportRack Vista XL Cargo Box
  • Capacity: 18 cu ft
  • Size: L: 63″ W: 38″ H: 19″
  • Opening: Rear

Yakima Skybox Carbonite Car Roof Box
  • Product: Yakima Skybox Carbonite Car Roof Box
  • Capacity: 21 cu ft
  • Size: L: 90″ W: 36″ H: 12″
  • Opening: Both Sides

Goplus roof box for Subaru Outback
  • Product: Goplus Aerodynamic Roof Box
  • Capacity: 14 cu ft
  • Size: 63 x 31 x 15 inches
  • Opening: Dual-sided opening

8 Alternatives For Transporting Your Gear

Recently, some cargo boxes are not in stock because of some unpredictable reasons. We don’t know when or if the manufacturers can fulfill their warehouse for Amazon, so you can consider using a soft cargo bag as an alternative for your outdoor life. Furthermore, when you attach a roof bag to your vehicle, you even don’t require to have a pair of crossbars. You can find more differences between hard-shell cargo boxes and roof bags on one of our posts.

Image Cargo Bags Links
2024 MENZOKE 21 Cubic Feet Cargo Carrier  Check It Out on Amazon
81F5jYBrqFL. AC SL1500 2024 Fivklemnz 15 Cubic Feet Car Roof Bag Check It Out on Amazon
81%2BYaUS5uZS. AC SL1500 2024 FRUNO 15 Cubic Feet Roof Bag Check It Out on Amazon
71VTPb 2024 Vetoos 21 Cubic Feet Cargo Carrier For ALL Vehicles Check It Out on Amazon
2024 RoofPax Car Roof Bag 19 Cubic Feet Check It Out on Amazon
71fE66UzYwL. AC SL1500 2024 MeeFar Roof Rack Carrier Basket Universal Rooftop Cargo Carrier – 51 x 36 x 5 inches Check It Out on Amazon
2024 Car Rooftop Cargo Carrier Bag 21 Cubic Feet Check It Out on Amazon
619gOdtK8zL. AC SL1500 2024 Asinking soft roof cargo bag 21 Cubic Feet  Check It Out on Amazon

Best Cargo Baskets For Subaru Outback

A list of 10 cargo baskets for all SUVs, Sedans, Vans, and Trucks – You can use this list to find out the most popular and top-ranking cargo baskets to generate more ideas about building your expected cargo management system on your Subaru Outback. Most popular ideas: a pair of roof racks + a rooftop cargo basket + a narrow-design cargo box + other roof-mounted carriers.

These rooftop cargo baskets are open to the air without covers, so they are suitable for carrying waterproof items like spare tires and gasoline bins. You can find more differences between cargo boxes and cargo baskets in this guide: cargo boxes VS cargo baskets.

You don’t want either a hardshell cargo box or a soft cargo bag, and you still have other options like cargo baskets. Some people use a cargo basket + a cargo bag to create a water-resistant cargo carrier as cargo boxes are. We have a list of the best cargo baskets for your Subaru Outback, and you can take a look at them for ideas. You also can use hitch cargo boxes to create extra storage at the rear of your Subaru Outback, and these boxes have easy accessibility.

Related Article: 5 Roof Racks & Other Rooftop Carriers (kayaks, canoes, snowboard, skis) For Subaru Outback

Details about 9 Rooftop Cargo Carrier For Subaru Outback

Thule Motion XT Rooftop Carrier

Thule Motion XT Rooftop Carrier

Thule Motion XT rooftop carrier is the best option for your Subaru Outback because of its large space. If you have a big family or many friends, the Thule Motion XT rooftop carrier can help you a lot on your road trips. 

Its aerodynamic design reduces the wind noise on the highways and has no impact on your gas mileage. The length of this rooftop carrier is enough to hold several 70.8 inches of items, such as your snowboards and Golf Clubs.

Thule Motion XT Car Rooftop Cargo Boxes Buyer Guide – With 5 More user Videos

Thule Motion XT cargo box on Subaru Outback

Thule Motion XT roof box is not only easy to install and use but also very secure and safe for both your family and your Subaru Outback. The simple mount system fits most factory racks, so you don’t need to worry about choosing a pair of roof bars to suit the Thule rooftop boxes. We recommend you choose OEM roof racks or big-brand racks to support the use of a cargo box because a pair of reliable roof bars won’t cause damage to your car.

Related Topic: Thule Motion XT VS Thule Force – Compare the most popular two Thule roof boxes and find the differences between them

When you are loading or unloading the rooftop carrier, the lid-lifter will help you to hold the lid up to protect you from getting hurt by a sudden-falling lid. Then, when you don’t need the rooftop carrier, you can uninstall it within minutes without any tools or assistance from others.

This aesthetic rooftop carrier will fit on the roof of your Subaru Outback, so there is no interference between the rooftop box and the hatchback. You may need to adjust the box’s position to avoid interference with the hatchback gate and the antenna.

 ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) makes it super light, sturdy, durable, and waterproof.

In general, we recommend this rooftop carrier to you, and we believe you will feel satisfied and happy with this Thule Motion XT rooftop carrier.

SportRack Skyline XL Cargo Box

SportRack Skyline XL Cargo Box

SportRack is a famous brand on the market, and it produces many high-class merchandises such as rooftop carriers. SportRack uses high-density material to manufacture the Skyline XL roof box for its durable and sturdy characteristics; it has the rugged physical strength to resist the possibility of being damaged.
This rooftop carrier is opening on the passenger side, so you won’t face the risk of being hit by traffic when you want to park and use the roof box on the highways.

SportRack Skyline roof box on Subaru Outback

The advanced lock system helps you keep your content secure and safe during your vacation time. You also can use some tactics to protect your roof box from thefts. Besides, the easy-to-use U-belt hardware and the mounting system allow you to install or unassemble the roof box without tools in minutes.

You can use this rooftop carrier to stow up to 150 lbs of belongings without a problem, so it is a choice for a large family.
SportRack Skyline XL rooftop carrier also has an aerodynamic design to reduce wind noise and make no impact on your gas mileage.

INNO Shadow Rooftop Cargo Box

INNO Shadow Rooftop Cargo Box

When you first see the INNO shadow rooftop carrier, you will be attracted by its bullet-shaped design that not only reduces wind noise on the roads but also has no impact on your gas mileage. This rooftop carrier has 13 cubic feet of internal space for your belongings, and its ample inner space is enough for a big family. 

INNO shadow roof cargo carrier on Subaru Outback

This rooftop carrier box has a dual-opening feature that offers you convenience when you are loading or unloading it; you won’t use the driver’s side to open it on the highway because of the potential risks of coming traffic.

According to the official measurement, you can put six snowboards or eight pairs of skis, or two surfboards in the rooftop carrier box without a problem; for sports lovers, the INNO shadow rooftop carrier is a perfect choice for their gears. 

It fits most rack systems on the market, but you need to double-check the compatibility before you get one. 

Moreover, the three layers of the construction plus the advanced lock system offer you extra security to your content; an empty INNO rooftop cargo box is as light as 41 lbs for easy carrying by a single person.

Thule 615 Pulse Rack Large Roof Box

Thule 615 Pulse Rack Large Box

Thule 615 Pulse Rack rooftop carrier is another choice for your Subaru Outback, and if you are a fan of skiing, it is perfectly fit for your needs of transporting gears. You can carry all your skis and snowboards inside the large rooftop carrier to enjoy the fun of skiing.

You can easily carry three to five pairs of skis or four to six snowboards in the large rooftop carrier box without a problem. Thus, you won’t worry about leaving some things behind to ruin your skiing time.

Thule Pulse Cargo Boxes Buyer Guide – with user videos

Thule Pulse low-profile cargo box on Subaru Outback

It has 15 cubic feet of stowing space with a 180cm length making it big enough for a large family. 

A glossy, aesthetic, and aerodynamic design offers the Thule 615 Pulse rooftop carrier many outstanding advantages like attracting eyeballs, color matching to vehicles, reducing wind noise, and having no impact on gas mileage.

A specially designed push-button latch makes your belongings extra safe in the roof box, and the lid-stiffeners hold the lid up while you are loading or unloading from both sides of it.

SKS locks are components of the cargo box, and it is offering added security to your content. You won’t worry about losing your belongings when you are away from your vehicle. If you forget the keys, you can follow this guide to check some methods to open a locked cargo box without keys.

Yakima Showcase Rooftop Cargo Box

Yakima Showcase Rooftop Cargo Box
  • The Yakima showcase rooftop carrier box has a 15 cubic feet loading capacity that makes it a suitable accessory for a large family.
  • A 180 cm length roof box offers the possibility for you to carry sport-gears like snowboards or skis in it without a problem.
  • The rooftop carrier comes with high-gloss printing to satisfy your aesthetic desires.
  • The dual-side opening provides you with a convenient way to use it while you are packing your belongings.
  • A push-button latch gives extra security to your content. Find other ways to increase the security to a roof box
  • The SKS locks add more security to your items, so you won’t have a chance to lose them.
  • The aerodynamic design reduces wind noise and has no impact on gas mileage.
  • There are color options for the Yakima showcase rooftop cargo box.
  • This rooftop carrier box weighs 70 pounds.
  • Yakima showcase rooftop cargo box is 82 inches in length, 38 inches in width, and 16.75 inches in height.

There is no interference between this rooftop carrier box and your car’s hatchback.

SportRack Vista XL Cargo Box

SportRack Vista XL Cargo Box

The Sportrack Vista Xl rooftop carrier fits most factory rack systems, and it is also compatible with other square and round aftermarket roof bars. You have no trouble using it with your old rack bars or other rack systems from other brands. The easy-to-use mounting hardware makes the installation pretty simple without the involvement of tools. You assemble this rooftop carrier with your bare hands, and it’s only 28 pounds in weight.

Related Topic: how much weight you can load on a car roof?

SportRack Vista cargo box on Subaru Outback

If you plan to go on a road trip with your family or friends, the 18 cubic feet of internal space will fulfill everything you need to ensure that you can have satisfying vacation times. SportRack Vista is one of the best-selling cargo boxes in recent years.


SportRack Vista Car Rooftop Cargo Carriers Buyer Guide – with user videos

SportRack uses ABS materials to build the durability, strength, and waterproof construction of this cargo box, so your belongings will stay safe and dry during your road trips.

This rooftop carrier box can carry up to 100 pounds of items for you, and it will fully protect your belongings from water, damage, and other unpredictable accidents.

The rear open of this roof box is unique, and it is easy to use and free from interference with your car’s hatch and trunk. You can open the roof box on the highway without putting yourself at risk of coming traffic.

Yakima Skybox Carbonite Cargo Box

Yakima Skybox Carbonite Cargo Box

If you wonder what type of rooftop carrier boxes are best for your Subaru Outback, you are in the right place to know more. Yakima constructed this cargo box with super durable, waterproof, and high-gloss materials to ensure that your luggage is in protection during a road trip. 

Its 12 cubic feet of internal space is at the middle level of all the rooftop carrier boxes on the market; if you need larger ones, you can consider the above recommendations or choose the other size options of this product from 16,18 to 21 cubic feet. However, the length of this roof box is 180 cm which is ok to carry the regular length of skis and snowboards.

Yakima Skybox rooftop cargo box on Subaru Outback

SKS locks and sturdy construction make this rooftop carrier durable and waterproof to provide extra security to your belongings when you drive on the roads or are away from your car. Yakima CBX 16 is another high-quality rooftop cargo box that you can use to boost the loading capacity of your Subaru Outback.

Yakima SkyBox Car Rooftop Cargo Carriers Buyer Guide – with user Videos

Its aesthetic and aerodynamic design reduces wind noise and has no impact on your gas mileage.

This rooftop carrier’s dimension is 94 x 29 x 18 inches, and it is 54 pounds in weight. It is a little heavier than other rooftop boxes on the market; the extra weight comes from the rugged, durable, and high-density materials. The Yakima Skybox cargo carriers are not available for a while, but you can check out the Skybox NX 16 or 18 boxes for consideration.

Yakima SkyBox NX 16 and 18

Yakima SkyBox NX 16 or 18

The Yakima SkyBox NX series has two size models: 16 and 18. You can use either as the added storage room above your Subaru Outback. Yakima released these models in early 2023, and the Skybox NX boxes are more appropriate for road trips.
What do you need to know about the Yakima Skybox NX roof boxes?

Yakima Skybox NX roof boxes

When you get a Skybox NX box, you get two keys and one removable torque wrench. You must ensure the distance between your existing crossbars to fit the requirement: Skybox NX 16 (60 -91.4 cm) and Skybox NX 18 (60 – 101.6 cm).
You can use the removable torque wrench to tighten the clamps to lock the cargo box on the crossbars. When rotating the torque, you can hear the “click” sound after the bottom clamps fully grasp on the roof bars. When putting a roof box on your Subaru Outback, the cargo box should be at the center, face the front, and leave enough space for the open hatchback.

DNA MOTORING Car Rooftop Cargo Box

DNA MOTORING Cargo Boxes for subaru outback

DNA MOTORING uses ABS plastic to build another high-quality, rugged, waterproof cargo box for car owners. You can use this roof box in extreme weather conditions like storming and snowing. The cargo box comes with an aerodynamic design that reduces the wind noise and decreases the effect on gas mileage, and you won’t pay extra dollars for gas when having the cargo box on top of your Subaru Outback.
Most people choose it because of its universal fitting mounting system, and the DNA cargo boxes work with roof bars only. If your Subaru Outback’s roof is naked, you can consider using roof bags or getting roof racks for it before ordering a cargo box.
You can scroll to the bottom to check the loading limit of your Subaru’s roof and follow the number to pack the rooftop carriers, never overloading cargo carriers for any reason.
The manufacturer textures its boxes to pure black, and you can customize the color when it is in hand with professional printing instructions.
The DNA Motoring cargo box has lid supporters that hold the lid until you close it when loading or unloading.
The DNA roof box offers you 11 cubic feet of interior loading space for Subaru Owners to stow luggage or gear in the rooftop box for transportation. Its dimensions are 53″ Length x 34″ Wide x 15″ Height, and you can use the measurement to figure out if you can put specific items or gear in the box or not. Besides, you have to test out if you can drive through the garage or not with the added height on top of your vehicle.

When loading or unloading the roof box, you may feel it is high to reach and hard to find items; consequently, you can use a car Door Step to stand for reaching every corner of the cargo box.

use a door step to reach every corner on the car roof for cargo box or roof bag or other cargo carriers
You can step on the DOOR STEP to load or unload the cargo carriers. There are more accessories that you can use for your cargo carriers.

Cargo Boxes On Subaru Outback Gallery

drive my Subaru Outback to the mountain zone in winter with Thule Motion XT on top for loading my camping luggage and skiing gear
Thule Motion XT on top of the Subaru Outback in the winter of 2022 January

Motion XT and bike rack on top of Subaru Outback 2022
bike racks + Force XT roof cargo box

rooftop bike rack and Force XT roof box on Subaru Outback
Are you ready for bike hiking?

Subaru Outback Roof loading Limit

You need to follow the roof loading limit to load the roof of your Subaru Outback because it is super dangerous with an overloaded cargo box on top of your Subaru Outback when it is in highspeed motion.
These limits come from the Subaru official manual, so they are trustable. If you want to double-check, you can visit the Subaru official site to find the brochures.

  1. Subaru Outback 2000-2009 holds up to 99 lbs (45 kg) of belongings.
  2. Subaru Outback Wilderness 2022 can carry up to 219 lbs (100 kg) of stuff on the roads.
  3. Subaru Outback 2010-2013 can carry up to 149 lbs (67 kg) of items.
  4. Subaru Outback 2014-2019 can hold up to 175 lbs (79 kg) of gear when it is time for road trips.
  5. Subaru Outback 2020-2022 can load up to 149 lbs (67 kg) of items when it is in motion.


You are here to find a cargo box for your Subaru Outback wagon. By following this guide, you can find 7 compatible cargo boxes that you can install on top of the roof bars and carry what you need on an outdoor journey. When choosing a rooftop cargo carrier, you may be confused about the differences between these cargo boxes; thus, we recommend you read through an article to understand the key factors and learn how to judge if a cargo carrier is suitable for your outdoor needs.

After having roof racks (crossbars) on your Subaru Outback, you can build a cargo management system with different kinds of cargo carriers. As a result, you better understand what you can do with these rooftop cargo carriers.

In this article, we have listed Seven rooftop carrier boxes for your Subaru Outback, and we also discussed in detail about their features and advantages. If we have the right judgment on those products, you can pick a suitable one from our recommendations. We will feel so happy if we can help you with choosing a rooftop carrier box

Tips for buying a roof box:

  1. Capacity: How much luggage you can put inside of the roof box.
  2. Dimensions: Width? Length? Height? It is necessary to know those numbers before your buying actions.
  3. Weight: How heavy is it? Its weight number shows you how heavy it is.
  4. Mounting system: How to install it? the best position of a cargo box
  5. Lock System: Single lock? Duel locks? Latch lock? 
  6. Material: Made of ABS or not? 
  7. Design: Aerodynamic or not?
  8. How to use it: how large is your family? How many belongings you will carry on a road trip?
  9. dos and don’ts: check a complete beginner guide to learn some dos and don’ts.

By considering and learning from the tips above, you will have a chance to pick the perfect rooftop carrier box without a problem. Thanks for reading. See you on the other pages.

We also have articles on choosing rooftop carrier boxes for other brands of vehicles, including Subaru models: WRX, Forester, Impreza, Legacy, Crosstrek.

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