If you go camping a lot or just want to have some extra storage space for a long journey in your car, then you should consider buying a car top carrier without a roof rack. Hard top roof carriers can be an issue because they require a rack, and they can be more expensive. A good roof bag can give you the extra storage you need and is very easy to install.
If you’re looking for an affordable cargo carrier for your car then here are some of the best on the market right now
Most Aerodynamic Roof Bag
If you want an aerodynamic bag for your car, then you can’t get much better than the Roofbag Waterproof. It features a trapezoidal design that eliminates drag to save you time and money, including money on gas. If you’re looking for a feature-packed solid car-top carrier that won’t break your budget, then this is definitely one to consider.
“So we made it from NYC to Central California with no issues with the RoofBag..we drove through pouring rain all of IL and MI..super strong cross winds in NM,AZ, and CA and not one single problem with the bag itself.”
Like other soft carriers, you won’t need a roof rack to secure this carrier to your car. It comes with two heavy-duty straps that are used instead. The straps go across the entire carrier to secure it into place from above as well as from the sides. It’s super easy to set up, so you’ll have no problems with this one. The fast installation time means that you avoid stressing and put it to use right away. It works on any car with or without a strap, which means that it is incredibly flexible.
The cargo carrier has a decent amount of storage capacity at 15 cubic feet, and it should attach neatly to any SUV, full-sized sedan, or a van. The dimensions of the bag itself come in at 48 x 38 x 18 inches. It is better suited to shorter excursions through the wilderness and long haulage trips across the country. It holds up well against the elements come rain or shine too. Whether driving in the rain or sun, the carrier has been designed to deal with the elements and just keep on going no matter what. Many customers have been impressed with the large usable capacity of the bag. The air resistance works best when the setup is focused on the front part handling the resistance.
- The most aerodynamic model on our list. This model offers the least drag, and so has the least impact on your miles per gallon.
- Resists the elements well and can deal with rain and UV radiation alike
- Can be mounted without the need for a roof rack
- Two straps design
This is a solid all-round roof bag that provides excellent aerodynamic technology to ensure minimal noise and the lowest impact on your fuel usage. At the price, it is definitely worth the money, and we highly recommend it to those in need of a flexible and easy to install roof carrier.
Most Storage Capacity – Car Top Carriers No Roof Rack
RoofPax Car Roof Top Bag
The RoofPax Car Roof Top Bag offers the most storage capacity of the bags we have for you today. It is one of the largest and safest bags on the market right now with plenty of storage capacity. It racks in at a huge 19 cubic feet of space, and it can be attached to cars with or without roof racks. The huge size means that it is likely that you will never run out of space. It also features military quality waterproof technology, which means it can easily navigate difficult weather conditions.
The Roofpax provides the most storage up to 19 cubic feet
Another thing that makes this bag stand out is that the top carrier is secured with hooks rather than straps. It provides extra protection against water through the use of 1218d PVC fabric and a double coating of a water-resistant substance. Made from top quality material, this military-grade heavy-duty car roof bag is sure to last you for a long time to come. There is a real consideration given to safety, which puts it ahead of similar car top carriers. Roofpax has added the technology that makes this rack incredibly safe and secure for all journeys. The zippers and buckles are also given a lifetime guarantee, which provides further reassurance.
- Plenty of storage space
- Light-reflecting logo for a touch of extra night-time security
- Comes with a TSA Complying Combination Lock
- Doesn’t damage windows and doors
- One-size-fits most
- Easy to install
- Full protection against the elements
- Doesn’t offer the best protection against heavy rain
- Doesn’t fit every vehicle
If your primary concern is size and safety, then this is simply the top carrier for you. The huge size and the military-grade technology makes this a top pick for the majority of families. You won’t have to fight about space on your next journey since 4-6 suitcases can easily be held.
Most Versatile – Car Top Carriers Without Roof Rack
Rightline Gear Car Top Duffle Bag
The Rightline Gear car top duffle bag offers the most versatility in terms of storage space. Rather than being one huge bag, you get a smaller bag and can attach up to four of them to your car without a roof rack. Each bag comes with a shoulder strap that can be stored inside the bag when it isn’t attached to your car. This provides additional flexibility, which makes it easy to simply ‘grab and go.’
The bag itself is made from high-quality materials that provide some protection against the elements. This waterproof gear bag is made from a PVC coated mesh that offers great efficiency when traveling. It’s lightweight and durable enough for you to use as an actual gear back while hiking and camping to save even more room. Installation is simple, and the bag can be ready within minutes. Many customers have been impressed with the durable construction and the waterproof quality. This is a versatile bag that can make the last long-term even when pushed in the toughest terrains and conditions.
- Only weighs 4.1 pounds
- 100% waterproof thanks to urethane-coated zippers, welded seams, and a hook hook-&-loop close zipper cover
- Fits to any size car with or without roof racks
- Package includes 2 attachment straps, 4 car clips, and a setup guide
- Material can be stiff
- Some people have trouble with the strap
- Straps can make noise
- Doesn’t come with hard panels and can only be installed on flat surfaces
If versatility is your main priority, then this is the top carrier built for you. The durable material combined with the flexible usage makes this is a fantastic bag for a variety of uses. It is no surprise that many customers have driven through thunderstorms and arrived with completely dry baggage.
Best For Big Loads
G4Free Waterproof Car Top Carrier
If you’re looking for something that can be used to tackle big loads and offer plenty of storage capacity, then the G4Free Waterproof Car Top Carrier is a great choice. It has some sizeable dimensions, coming in at 55″x37″x15.8″ to enable you to take even oddly shaped and large cargo with you wherever you go. That size is also one of the biggest drawbacks of this bag, however, as it does restrict the kinds of vehicles that it can be used with. There’s basically no chance of a small or compact car being able to take the G4Free. It’s just too large to be securely mounted to them, roof rack, or no. Even some standard-sized cars may have trouble with this one. Make sure that the carrier is securely attached to the top of the car. If even a small amount of carrier hangs off over the roof, it’s a major security risk that can’t be ignored.
This bag can do some heavy lifting
The dual seam technology works incredibly well to provide a true waterproof experience. The straps and strong and wide, which means they are versatile. The top carrier works with and without roof racks to provide excellent support for large loads. It is incredibly durable and designed to protect your luggage from all conditions.
It’s a shame that the roof top carrier is limited by its size, given that it can be attached to cars without roof racks. It also comes with a total of ten straps for complete security. These straps are all tested to handle up to 3,000 pounds of pressure. This carrier should stay securely attached to any car, provided that it can be attached to it in the first place. The G4Free is made from a high-density polyester with a PVC coating. This is somewhat surprising given the price of the carrier. For that price, you’d expect something a little bit more durable – such as nylon.
- Offers up to 18.5 cubic feet of storage
- Large dimensions to make room for cargo of all shapes and sizes
- 10 security straps tested to 3,000 pounds of pressure mean that security is not an issue here
- As spacious as the carrier is, that space makes it too large for some vehicles
The price is a little high considering the material and demand for this kind of product
The Wrap Up
At the end of the day, the question of which is the “best” car top carrier without roof rack depends on your needs. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution here. It’s all about what you want out of the carrier. You should firstly have a reasonable budget in mind that will define your expectations. The top carriers we have gone through today will suit different budgets, which means you can pick one that best suits your price range. However, all of them do provide fair value for money, which means you can be reassured that it was well spent.
Given that different carriers tend to focus on different things, you should first determine what you plan on using the carrier for. Once you have that narrowed down, you can consider the pros and cons of the different options to find the one that best suits your needs. It is also worth considering the views of customers, which we have included to provide further context. This context can be crucial in making your final purchasing decision. The longevity of a carrier is an important consideration to make, and it will depend on how many journeys you intend to go on, and the conditions that you are likely to face.
If you want a lot of storage capacity and can support it, then get the G4Free. If you don’t need all that much space and just want to store some camping gear, then you should get the Rightline Gear Car Top Duffle Bag. For something in the middle, consider the choices and see which option is the right car top carrier, no roof rack for you. If you want a balanced choice between quality and price, then you should seriously consider the RoofBag Waterproof.