best cargo basket for cars

Best Roof Cargo Baskets For Cars

Do you need a cargo basket for your outdoor dreams? Do you have someone to help you choose and compare these cargo baskets on the market for your selections? No worries, we are here to assist you with our experience and knowledge.

A cargo basket is a car accessory that you can mount on top of the roof racks for carrying gear or equipment between locations. When choosing one, you need to consider its loading capacity, measurement, compatibility with your roof racks, materials, aerodynamic design, and price. We find the differences between cargo boxes and cargo baskets.

best cargo baskets for cars in 2021 and 2022

Quick-Pick list of Best Cargo Baskets

202440 x 39 x 6.5 inchesYAKIMACheck Price
71s2SvP2wRL. AC SL1500 202450.25 x 41 x 6 inchesThuleCheck Price
51UNS +ybzS. AC SL1000 202451.8 x 31.5 x 7.5 inchesYAKIMACheck Price
51KhbzscfUS. AC SL1200 202434 x 26 x 8 inchesYAKIMACheck Price
614LRc5RkDL. AC SL1500 202441.5 x 27 x 8.5 inchesRhino RackCheck Price
81vz41wlVFL. AC SL1500 202464 x 39 x 6 inchesMAXXHAULCheck Price
51YE+aSCREL. AC SL1000 202467.6 x 41.4 x 8.42 inchesTyger AutoCheck Price
71jNT4ghMfL. AC SL1500 202464″x23″x6″XCARCheck Price
71q0DIvbdNL. AC SL1500 202443″(L) x 39″(W) x 6′(H) no extension/with extension 64″(L) x 39″(W) x 6′(H)Leader AccessoriesCheck Price
71LEdWZ3qML. AC SL1500 202443″ to 84″ Length/3 optionsARKSENCheck Price

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Detail of These Cargo Baskets

Yakima – LoadWarrior Rooftop Cargo Basket

yakima loadwarrior cargo basket in use with a yakima frontloader bike carrier
You can mount a Yakima Frontloader bike carrier on either side of the Yakima Loadwarrior for transporting your bikes.

It is a product from a top-ranked outdoor company – Yakima. The Yakima group has been manufacturing outdoor relevant gear and equipment for decades with professional experience, and it has a variety of product categories for outdoor enthusiasts. 

The Yakima LoadWarrior cargo basket is made of alloy steel that is sturdy, water-resistant, long-lasting, and UV-resistant. After a successful installation, you can leave the cargo basket on top of your vehicle for years without taking it off because the Yakima LoadWarrior has a wind-faring design that can minimize the wind effects (wind noise or wind whistling) when the car is in motion. 

The Yakima LoadWarrier cargo basket is compatible with most factory, round, square, and aerodynamic roof racks, so we can call it a universal cargo basket for all vehicles. However, we recommend the Yakima racks for people who what to use the LoadWarrior as the add-on storage because of a formula (Yakima + Yakima = All Right).

The Yakima LaodWarrior cargo basket’s dimensions are 40 inches (101cm) x 39 inches (99cm) x 6.5 inches (16.5cm). You can use these numbers to estimate that how much area it will occupy on your car roof. Otherwise, you can figure out if your longest and widest items can fit into it or not. We believe that you can mount longer or wider stuff (gear, equipment, furniture) on top of the Yakima LaodWarrior cargo basket because we have straps and bungees.

When you want to expand the length of the Yakima LoadWarrior, you can use an extension part to make the basket larger. The extension part is 18 inches (46cm) long, and it makes the basket 62 inches (157cm) long which is enough for regular outdoor items. We like the Yakima LoadWarrior cargo basket, for the Yakima has a specific extension component for it. 

The LoadWarrior weighs 11 kilograms, so we believe you can heft it alone. When it is time to install it on top of the roof rack, there are 4 clamps in the package for locking the basket on the crossbars; besides, you don’t need a tool for the installation, and the process may only take several minutes. 

Some users have tested it with 150 lbs of items, and we believe 175 lbs is the max because most roof racks’ loading capacity is up to 175 lbsOverloading is dangerous, so never try for any reason. If you are new to cargo carriers, you may want to know some safety tips for using a car roof carrier.

We recommend ordering the Yakima basket and the extension part together, for you only need to do the installation once; otherwise, you have to practice the assembling process at least two more times.

Most people choose cargo baskets because they can use for many different outdoor events like cycling, camping, skiing, hunting, hiking, fishing, kayaking, road trips, and more. You can mount other cargo carriers on the basket bars to make the cargo basket able to carry things like bikes, kayaks, cargo boxes, ski carriers, and others

Unfortunately, cargo baskets cannot ensure your items don’t get wet during a road journey, especially in extreme weather conditions. We believe it is a weakness of the cargo baskets. Furthermore, cargo baskets don’t have covers to protect your items from unexpected accidents. If you want more security and safety for your luggage, you can choose a cargo box for that purpose.

A Yakima stretch net is a must-have accessory for all cargo basket users, and it prevents your items from falling off when your car is in motion.

Thule Canyon XT Cargo Basket

what it looks like when use a Thule Canyon XT cargo basket on top of a SUV
You can install the Thule Canyon XT cargo basket on top of the Thule AeroBlade roof rack.

In the outdoor gear industry, the Thule Group is the most popular manufacturer that produces a variety of categories of outdoor equipment and tools. The Yakima is another well-known brand that is not as popular as the Thule brand. 

The Thule Canyon XT cargo basket is also a combination of alloy steel, so it is durable, rugged, waterproof, and weather-resistant. It only has one black color option, and we think it is possible to print it in other colors with auto-grade spray. 

Its dimensions are 50.25 inches (127cm) x 41 inches (104cm) x 6 inches (15cm), and these numbers are for figuring out how large it is; moreover, you can use its measurement to test out if you can use it for your long gear.

The Thule Canyon XT cargo basket works with most rack systems: factory, round, square, and aerodynamic roof racks. We believe it universally fits all cars with roof racks. If your car’s roof is naked, you can read an article on our site to find 8 universal fit roof racks for all vehicles.

The Thule Canyon XT cargo basket is wedge-shaped with tapered sidewalls, so it is easy to grip for loading and unloading. It has a wind fairing design that reduces the wind effects, so you don’t hear much wind noise or whistling sound on the roads. 

You have to ensure that the distance between your crossbars (if adjustable) is between 37 inches and 20 inches; otherwise, you cannot mount it on your existing racks. 

Thule Group also produces an extension part for the Thule Canyon XT basket, and the extension part is 6.69 inches(17cm) long; besides, it makes the entire basket 50.25 + 6.69 = 56.94 inches in length.

The Thule Canyon XT cargo basket is easy to install with 4 t-track mounting feet, and you don’t require a tool for the installation. The basket weighs 29 pounds, so we believe you can lift it alone; also, you can finish the assembling in minutes. The basket can load up to 150 pounds of items, and it is enough for up to 3 campers’ luggage.

The Thule Group provides a warranty on its products, and when you have questions and requirements, you can contact Thule’s customer service center for assistance.

YAKIMA OffGrid Roof Cargo Basket

yakima offgrid cargo basket on top of a pickup truck
It is better to use a set of cargo nets to cover your belongings for safety.

It is another Yakima product for your consideration. It has two size options: Medium and Large. 

Medium Dimensions: 42.75 x 27.4 x 7.5 inches (108.585 x 69.596 x 19.05 centimeters)

Large Dimensions: 51.8 x 31.5 x 7.5 inches (131.572 x 80 x 19.05 centimeters)

If you feel the original OffGrid basket is not large enough for your demands, you can find the extension parts on the Yakima official site for both medium and large options.

With an extension part, the medium model becomes 18 inches longer and 12.5 lbs heavier; besides, the large model should be 22 inches longer and 17.6 pounds heavier.

The Yakima offers adjustable accessory bars to the Yakima Offgrid cargo basket for adding other cargo carriers to carry gear like bikes, kayaks, canoes, and more. It is different from the above two cargo baskets. 

The Yakima OffGrid cargo basket works with most Yakima mounts, and you can use it on most factory racks or round, square, and aerodynamic bars. We recommend using Yakima racks for holding it because of fewer compatibility issues. We have a list of 8 universal fitting roof racks for your consideration if you don’t have one on top of your car. 

The Yakima OffGrid cargo basket comes with a wind fairing design that reduces wind noise and whistling sound and minimizes the effects on gas mileage. The cargo basket is super easy to install with 4 quick-release mounting feet, and you don’t need a tool to operate the mounting system.

It is necessary to have a cargo net to cover your items when using a cargo basket, and the cargo net can prevent a sudden fall and organize your stuff for easy transporting. Cargo baskets don’t have a lid or a cover, so your items are exposed to natural elements. If you cannot accept the exposure of your essentials, you may be a fan of the cargo boxes. We can help you make the right decision on using the same budget for a better product – a cargo box (best cargo boxes for four seasons).

The medium model weighs 40 pounds, and the large option is 45 lbs; consequently, could you please call someone else to help you lift it to the top of your car roof for safety reasons? Can you imagine what will happen when you heft a large piece of steel frame alone beside your car? It is super dangerous to your vehicle and the people near you, so do it with someone else. 

Yakima ShinnyWarrior Multisport Car Rooftop Basket

Yakima ShinnyWarrior cargo basket
It is a narrow basket that allows you to mount other gear on top of your vehicle.

It is a narrow guy for people who want free space to mount other gear like bikes, kayaks, canoes, snowboards, and skis beside the cargo basket. You can slide it to the right or left as you wish for loading luggage bags, backpacks, helmets, shoes, and more. 

The Yakima ShinnyWarrior’s dimensions are 34 inches (86cm)x 26 inches (66 cm)x 8 inches (20cm). You can use these numbers to figure out how large it is and prepare the arrangement on top of your car roof. Like Yakima’s cargo baskets, it also has an extension part for expanding its length and loading capacity. The extension part is 16 inches long, so, with it, you can get a narrow basket that is 50 inches long

The SkinnyWarrior cargo basket’s mounting hardware is universally fitting to most rack bars: factory, round, square, and aero. However, a formula (Yakima + Yakima = Always Right) is right to follow. It is super easy to install without a worry, and the installation process may take you 10 minutes from beginning to finish. 

Yakima offers a set of cargo nets for the SkinnyWarrior cargo basket, and you can not randomly get one because of compatibility problems.

You can use it with a cargo box for better enjoyment of your outdoor holidays, and if you do think so, you can follow a guide for picking a car rooftop cargo box to maximize the fun of your outdoor holidays.

If you are a fan of skiing, you may want to mount your skis or snowboards beside the cargo box; consequently, you may need a list of the best cargo carriers for skis or snowboards.

What we don’t like: If your existing rack system is not adjustable, you may need to drill new holes for using the SkinnyWarrior cargo basket. 

If you want to make your cargo basket as those cargo boxes to have a cover for protecting the items, you can consider using a cargo bag and mounting it on top of the basket for carrying stuff in extreme weather conditions. We have a list of best-selling cargo bags to make your cargo basket more useful for different outdoor situations.

Rhino-Rack USA RMCB01 Car Rooftop Cargo Basket

what it looks like after installing a Rhino-Rack USA RMCB01 Roof Mount Cargo Basket on top of a SUV

It is a pick from the Rhino-Rack brand, and it is much more affordable than other options in this article. Its dimensions are 41.5 inches (105.41 cm) x 27 inches (68.58 cm) x 8.5 inches (21.59 cm), and it is easy to use the measurement to estimate if you can fit your items into the basket or not. 

It works with most rack systems: factory, round, square, and aero, and you have to make sure the bar size is below 90mm wide and 33mm in height; otherwise, you cannot lock the mounting hardware to the bars. 

Rhino-Rack doesn’t produce any extension part for the RMCB01 model, so you only have one size option. 

The cargo basket doesn’t occupy your car’s entire roof and leaves enough space for mounting at least two bikes or up to three pairs of skis. 

You can install the RMCB01 cargo basket on your crossbars in minutes without a tool, and you can drive with an empty basket without taking it off every time after using it. The Rhino-Rack has a set of cargo nets that protect and organize your items when your car is in motion.

MaxxHaul Steel 70115 Cargo Basket

a view after installing the MaxxHaul 46" x 36" x 4-1/2" - 150 lb. Capacity - NOT Assembled 70115 Steel Roof Rack on top of a SUV

MaxxHaul is another well-known outdoor brand with many car-related accessories like roof racks, bike racks, cargo carriers, truck racks, and towing accessories. The Maxxhaul 70115 cargo basket is appropriate for carrying almost everything, and its loading capacity is up to 150 pounds of items. You cannot overload any cargo carriers, and cargo baskets are not exceptional. 

The Maxxhaul cargo basket has two size options: 46 inches (116.84 cm) x 36 inches (91.44 cm) x 4.5 inches (11.43 cm) and 64 inches (162.56 cm) x 39 inches (99.06 cm) x 6 inches (15.24 cm)

You can choose one that fits your items’ measurements. Most people mount a cargo bag in a cargo basket when they want to carry something that can not be wet, and you can find a list of top-rated cargo bags to transport your essentials. 

The Maxxhaul cargo basket is much cheaper than the other options in this article, so it is a good pick for both price and quality. Universal mounting hardware and wind fairing design make the Maxxhaul cargo basket for all vehicles and four seasons. 

Tyger Auto TG-RK1B906B X-Large Cargo Basket

a view after installing the TYGER Auto Large cargo basket on top of a SUV

The Tyger Auto cargo basket is the largest one on the market, and it is for a variety of vehicles like passenger cars, SUVs, and trucks. Its dimensions are 67.6 inches (171.7 cm) x 41.4 inches (105.1cm) x 8.42 inches (21.38 cm), and it weighs 55 pounds

You have to ask someone else to help you lift the cargo basket because it is large and heavy. When you install it, you can use 4 clips to lock the basket on the crossbars. It is easy to operate without a tool or any assistance from others. However, you must make sure your existing bars are 0.37″ to 1.02″ thick and not wider than 3.55 inches. Otherwise, you cannot use the Tyger Auto basket.

The Tyger cargo basket has a stylish design and an E-coating finish to make it super attractive; besides, the fairing design reduces wind noise and minimizes the effects on gas mileage for the Tyger Cargo basket. 

If you have a large family with up to 3 people, you can use it to carry almost everything for your family’s holiday outdoor journeys. In addition, you can mount bikes, kayaks, canoes, boats, snowboards, skis, fishing rods, hunting gear, or other equipment to maximize the fun of your outdoor adventures. We like its ample size. 

Tyger Auto TG series has 4 size options: RK1B906B is the biggest. Other models are smaller in length and width. All these models can load up to 150 lbs of items, and you must not overload them for any reason. 

XCAR Cargo Basket with Folding Kayak Racks

XCAR roof basket and 4 foldable kayak carriers in a bundle
what is in the package

XCAR cargo basket is an option that has 4 foldable kayak holders in a bundle, so you pay one and get two things. If you are interested in getting it, you have to confirm that your existing roof bars have diameters less than 4.6 inches wide and 1.35 inches thick. The XCAR cargo basket is universal to most factory, round, square, and aero roof racks, but you need to pay attention to the crossbars’ width and thickness and the bar spread (must be more than 29.7 inches). 

The foldable kayak carriers don’t work on round roof bars, and they require that the distance between your roof racks and the car roof be more than 1.8 inches.

When you don’t need the kayak holders, you can fold them down to give clearance for driving your car into the garage or other places with height limits like underground parking.

If you are an outdoor enthusiast, you can use the XCAR cargo basket for hiking, camping, road trips, fishing, golfing, hunting, traveling, skiing, and more. We like to add a cargo bag on top of the cargo basket to protect items from extreme weather like storms, and a cargo box is even a better choice for transporting stuff without any damage. 

Leader Accessories Roof Rack Cargo Basket

leader accessories cargo basket on top of a SUV biside a beach
It is necessary to use a set of cargo nets to cover your items for safety.

It is another sturdy and durable cargo basket that you can mount on most rack systems: round, square, aero, and factory, but you have to make sure the bars’ diameters are less or equal to 1.35 inches high and 4.6 inches wide. If your roof racks are adjustable, you have to check if the distance between bars is equal or more than 29.7 inches; otherwise, you cannot mount the cargo basket on the rack bars.

According to the manufacturer’s info, you can load up to 150 lbs of items on top of the basket, and you have to cover your stuff with a set of cargo nets. 

The leader cargo basket has an extension part that makes the basket 21 inches longer. Dimensions without or with extension part: 43″ x 39″ x 6″ and 64″ x 39″ x 6″.

The Leader cargo basket is not much different than the above options, so you can use the link below to check its price for better decisions.

ARKSEN Universal Roof Rack Cargo Basket With Extension

arksen universal mounting cargo roof basket for outdoor and travel

It is a perfect option for hauling other cargo carriers like cargo boxes, bike racks, kayak carriers, soft roof bags, and more, and it works on most roof racks except for the bars wider than 4.52″ and taller than 5″. As a result, you have to check the dimensions of your existing crossbars before buying actions. 

The ARKSEN cargo basket has three size options: 43″, 64″, and 84″. You can choose one that fits your needs and your vehicle’s roof size. We don’t recommend using a big cargo carrier for small cars because of safety.

It can load up to 150 lbs of items for your outdoor activities, and it comes with a wind-fairing design that eliminates the wind noise and whistling sound.

We like its size options because it fits most people’s desire on loading different gear from short to long. We don’t like the assembling process because it is a little bit complex. 

It offers a bundle with cargo nets and cargo bags in it, so you can get all you need in one purchase. When you want to buy things separately, you can do so without hassles. It is easy to find buying options on the seller’s page.

If you wish to mount a cargo box on it, you can check a list of the best cargo boxes for expanding your car’s storage space. 

BougeRV Anti-Rust Roof Basket

BougeRV Anti-Rust roof basket for most SUVs trucks

BougeRV Anti-rust Rooftop Cargo Basket is another good pick for most car owners who want to carry extra luggage or equipment above their vehicles: SUVs, sedans, Vans, and Trucks. It has two color options available: black and silver. The manufacturer uses aluminum materials to build this rooftop cargo basket, so it is ultra-light compared to other options on this list. It weighs 17.64 pounds, and we believe you can lift it alone. Its dimensions are 47.24 x 39.36 x 8 inches, so it is wide enough for most outdoor scenarios.
The BougeRV roof basket’s loading capacity is about 150 pounds, but you should always follow the car roof loading limit first. Its mounting hardware is compatible with most roof racks: round, square, aero, and factory crossbars.
You can use it to carry cargo bags, boxes, kayak carriers, and snowboard carriers in four seasons. Its designs and materials realize what outdoor dreams you have in childhood.
You can use this rooftop basket to carry a portable solar panel to charge an electronic device in the woods or on the beach. It is a good idea for camping holidays. THE BougeRV roof basket is easy to install with 4 U-bolt mounting hardware, and the installation process is almost the same as other roof-mounted cargo carriers. You can use the button below to find more information about the BougeRV roof basket.

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

What is a cargo basket?

A cargo basket is an easy-to-use car accessory for transporting items or gear on top of your vehicle, and you can mount other cargo carriers on a cargo basket without compatibility issues. Most people choose to add cargo bags on top of a cargo basket to keep their items dry during their road trips.

How do you use the Yakima cargo basket?

If it is needed, you have to assemble several steel frames to become a cargo basket. Then, you lift the cargo basket and use 4 mounting hardware to lock it on top of your existing rack bars. You can use a set of cargo nets to tighten your items to the bottom of the cargo basket for safety reasons. You can mount other cargo carriers like bike carriers, kayak carriers, snowboard carriers, cargo bags, or cargo boxes on top of a cargo basket. When the cargo basket is not in use, you can leave it on top of your vehicle. 

Is a cargo basket worth it?

Cargo baskets are car accessories that can create an added storage room on top of our cars. The cargo baskets are sturdy, weather-resistant, durable, and easy to use, so they are good choices for people who want to buy a large car for carrying luggage or gear. People, who like camping, skiing, hiking, road trips, fishing, golfing, and hunting, may consider using cargo baskets to carry their items or equipment between places.

What are cargo baskets used for?

Cargo baskets can transport many things like gear, equipment, furniture, luggage, bikes, kayaks, canoes, suitcases, and more. If you want to pack your cargo baskets in a better organization, you can use duffel bags for that purpose. Cargo baskets require mounting on a pair of car rooftop crossbars; consequently, you have to check compatibility before buying actions.

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