Roof Bag vs Roof Box: Which Is Better?

Road travelers find it difficult to understand the difference between a roof bag and a roof box, so this topic is here to do justice to the question.

Being careful will not cause you even a cent. It will only further make you happier depending on your situation.

This statement served as a guide for uprooting this topic for me to rescue you from a materialistic mistake you may encounter while purchasing things like a roof bag and roof box.

Behold, these products are two different items. They may have some similarities but many differences regarding what they are.

There can be a time you are planning to go for a picnic or travel with family and friends but later realize that there is no space in the vehicle for you to store your loads, there will be a need for you to create space since it is a must you go with those load.

How do you do this? Are you going to keep the loads on each passenger’s lap? Or will you keep the loads on your head while you drive?

Well, I don’t think you need to give me an answer here. This is precisely the reason why the roof bag and roof box will come in.

Wait a Minute!

What is a roof bag, and what is a roof box? Let me say something about what they are before comparing them or clearing the difference between them.

What is a roof bag?

A roof bag carries bulky objects such as canoes, skis, luggage, bicycles, Kayaks, and various carriers and containers.

This roof bag is so important that it allows you to transport your items on the roof of your vehicle without in any way reducing the inner space in your car, jeep, or bus. If you have targeted the number of people who can occupy your vehicle’s interior space, getting a roof bag is an ideal decision.

The design of a rooftop or cargo area is limited to the size of the main car’s trunk design. You must have seen people carrying an object that looks like a bag on their vehicles’ rooftop, and it could be a roof bag or roof box, you and I don’t know yet.

Let’s continue to read the article until justice finally prevails.

What is a roof box?

Difference Between a Rooftop Bag and a Rooftop Box

A roof box is said to be a large box you can attach securely to the roof of your car. This is an item that is made specifically to add storage space to store things like suitcases, sports bags, camping equipment, outdoor equipment, etc.

Are you able to spot any difference yet? or have you not discovered any difference. Perhaps you think that one of them is a box and the other is a bag.

Understanding the Differences Between a roof bag and a roof box

Difference Between a Rooftop Bag and a Rooftop Box

It is often difficult deciding which to buy, a Cargo Box (roof box) or a Cargo Bag (roof bag) after all, you now have the need to store your traveling items, and yet you can’t just call a space a shovel because there is no enough space in your car.

Hmm, you are still trying to figure out where I’m driving to, right? For you to be able to differentiate between a Cargo bag and a Cargo box, you must, first of all, understand the features each of them carries. This will aid you in carrying out the right decision at critical times like this.

This write-up will make a clear difference between the two items to enable you to understand the difference between the two and then help you automatically channel your intelligence to a reason to buy a particular item.

It could be from the use, your purpose, budget, and another requirement. Are you picking the difference already? Good. Now, let continue to the main point.

Detailed explanation about Cargo Roof Box

Can you see this diagram? What shape can you see? Fine, keep it in your heart, that’s just a diagrammatic illustration of what a cargo box looks like.

What is the technical significance of this item? I want to draw your attention to these.

Security Wise: what makes you think you are safe in your room while you lock your door with security locks and then sleep peacefully?

It is the quality of the door and the lock that locks it. Now, open your mind. Come along, and a cargo box is made of locks that enable you to lock away your valuables and then walk away as if you are sleeping in your bed after locking your giant gate with a lock.

Your properties will be secure in the roof box, not only because it has locks, but the body is made of tough materials that cannot be easily broken. So, there are hard shell casing for these boxes – extra security for you and me.

I can also compare a cargo roof box to a car trunk. This is because a car trunk protects everything in it from weather conditions.

The same thing a cargo box does, it is hard enough to protect your valuables from thieves and any weather conditions.

There is one advantage of the cargo box, and that’s the crazy space they give you to store your valuables.

A cargo box is usually 22 cubic feet and can also help protect your luggage from influences during the trip.

Detailed explanation about the roof cargo bag


Now, let us talk about the roof cargo bag. A cargo bag cannot accommodate much luggage as a cargo roof box does, and at the same time, I don’t see it being as hard as a box.

Roof bags are softer while the roof boxes are hard.

The Cargo roof bag takes about 18 cubic feet on top of your vehicle. Therefore, it holds less but nearly the same luggage as the roof box.

An advantage a cargo roof bag has is that it can be easily folded after use. Just fold your bag into a small box and store it in a safe corner. Another glad tiding about roof bags is that they are flexible; you can stop items of any shape in them.

Let us talk about the difference between the cargo roof bag and the cargo roof box.

The Difference between the roof box and roof bag

We have finally reached the stage to reveal the difference between these two items.

Hold on to this important information with your incisors firmly without hesitation.

The Space Between the two

The cargo bags are made to occupy 18 cubic feet, while the cargo boxes occupy 22 cubic feet. The two cargos are super spacious, but if you need to add extra luggage and want your valuables to be more protected, cargo boxes will be your best choice.


Without any argument, cargo boxes are more protective – meaning they are a step ahead of the cargo bag security-wise. Apart from being designed with locks, they are also made of hard shell casings that give them extra protection.

This means if at all you are scared of losing your valuables using a roof bag that can be easily slit into the piece using a sharp knife or scissors, your mind will be at rest using a roof box that cannot be easily broken even with a hammer.

The Roof Rack

As for the cargo boxes, they are known to increase your vehicle’s storage space. Unlike the cargo bags, they cannot stay without the roof rack installed.

You will need to research a compatible roof rack with a cargo box before you purchase one.

Storage and Flexibility

Now, we have come to a point where storage and flexibility play a significant role. The roof bags have an advantage over the roof boxes in this case.

When the roof bags are not used, you can fold them and be easily stored. However, the cargo boxes will require a dedicated space to take their shapes.

To me, having a roof box is like having a borehole thank. There must be a dedicated point to store it, and it must take its shape too.

What are the Shapes of the roof bags and boxes?

Difference Between a Rooftop Bag and a Rooftop Box

Every item has the shape it is generally identified with. In the case of roof bags and cargo boxes, they are not exempted.

The roof bags are usually designed in a rectangular, C-shaped shape like the common shapes associated with normal bags.

They can come in different colors, but the available space common with them is 12.25, 13.5, 15, 18, and 21 cubic feet capacity, respectively. As for the roof boxes, they also come in different shapes.

Some cargo boxes come in a rectangular shape, too, while most of them come in the shape of a boat that can be compared to a triangular shape, some are in the shape of a plastic cooler depending on the shape of the manufacturer is creative about.

The space capacity can be 22 cubic feet maximum.

A tabular Illustration of the difference between a roof bag and a roof box

Cargo Box Cargo Bag
It is made of hardshell cases. It is made of nylon or vinyl material.
It is larger in size and height, recommended a maximum of 22 cubic feet. It is lesser in size and height, recommended maximum of 18 cubic feet.
Cargo boxes are usually more expensive. They are less expensive.
They are made of locks that increase the security of your valuables. They are made of durable zippers to enhance the security of your items.
This is a box, not a bag, as many have misunderstood to be a cargo bag. This is a bag, not a box. It should be noted.

Compare the two items by yourself to know which you should purchase at a particular time, for a particular reason and purpose.

Things to note before buying a roof bag

Roof bags are fantastic options for many families to increase storage space for their vehicles, especially during the journey on the road.

Remember, roof bags serve the same purpose as hard cargo boxes, they are designed differently. This implies that you must, first of all, know what you are shopping for.

It would be best to understand the difference between a cargo bag and a cargo box.

Without a doubt, I have been hammering on the difference since the beginning of this article. Then, after that, you are free to follow this guide below.

Internal Volume of the Cargo bag

Don’t joke with this factor at all. This should be the first thing you should consider as a shopper whenever you plan to get yourself or a loved one a roof bag.

The primary aim of getting a roof bag is to create additional space for your luggage that cannot occupy any space in your vehicle.

When the internal volume of your cargo bag is large enough, it will accommodate luggage, which is why it is ideal to consider it the number one priority.

However, smaller vehicles need smaller roof bags, while larger vehicles can accommodate suitable sizes.

Check the Material of the Bag

Don’t go for a cargo bag that will not last long. You need to consider the material a roof bag is made of. Is it the type of material that easily turns, or what does it look like?

It would help if you also considered the reaction of the roof bags to weather, rain, and UV rays, so I will advise that you go for the types made of vinyl fabrics. They tend to be more effective than those designed with nylon.

Consider the Weight Capacity

There is no need to buy a bag that cannot carry the weight of the items. Your item must be strong enough to accommodate the luggage stored in it to not split into pieces.

So, while buying your roof bag, ensure that it is made of material tough enough to resist the pressure exerted by the loads contained in it.

Part of precaution measure; do not store too heavy stuff in a roof bag when you know it may not be able to take the weight.

What about Security

Despite that roof bags are not as hard as roof boxes, they can still secure your luggage, and however, this depends on you.

As you are planning to purchase a cargo bag, don’t forget to ensure that it is the type that will stay attached adequately to the roof of your car even when you are at high speed.

Another thing you must consider is the zippers. The zippers of your cargo bag should be durable enough to close well so they can prevent your valuables from rain and thieves. It would help if you also got security padlocks for your roof bags.

Portability and Ease of Storage

It is almost impossible to find no portable roof bag, to me, since they can be folded, they are portable and easy to store.

But, if you go shopping and then find a so-called roof bag that cannot be folded into a smaller size, then don’t go for it – you must ensure your convenience for a product. Sometimes, its size could cause the lack of a portable bag.

So, don’t go beyond 18 cubic feet capacity as advised above.

The Mounting of the Bag on the Rooftop

You need to consider the mounting of the bags on the roof of your vehicle. If your car doesn’t have a permanent roof rack, you can consider a bag that can rest on a pad and then strap run through the doors to keep the bag firm.

Families need to consider the entire factors mentioned above. When followed correctly, these factors will aid the family to purchase the best product that will serve them and last long.

Which of the rooftop items should you buy?

I emphasized earlier when talking about the difference between cargo bags and cargo boxes. Depending on the purpose and need, you can decide to buy any of the items.

In some areas that are not secure, of which you know, if your car is packed, some people can easily steal something, by all means, you may want to consider buying a roof box that will give them a tough time to break.

Many factors may trigger you to buy one in place of the other. Let me analyze some of them.

Why you may want to buy a cargo bag instead of a cargo box

Here are some reasons you should consider a roof bag rather than a roof box.

  • Are you considering storage space and flexibility?
  • Do you need a smaller storage material?
  • What is your budget?
  • Affordability is also key in making a buying decision

Why you may want to buy a cargo box instead of a cargo bag

  • If you consider a higher security advantage, you may want to go for a cargo box because they are made of a hard shell casing that cannot be easily broken.
  • They also come with locks that protect your luggage. With a cargo box, you are more secured and relaxed compared to a roof bag that may be slit with a sharp knife even though it is made of vinyl.
  • It creates more space of 22 cubic feet than a cargo bag with 18 cubic feet. So you may want to go for the box if you consider this factor.
  • Roof boxes can withstand harsher weather conditions than roof bags, so which are you going for now if you have the money?

What are the advantages of buying a roof bag?

The advantage in this context means the benefit of the roof bags. So, what are the benefits of buying a good roof bag?

The Versatility of the item is important.

There is a universal advantage attached to a cargo bag. A cargo bag can aid in carrying sports equipment, personal valuable, camping gear, and so on.

Additional Storage Space for you.

A carrier cargo bag will create additional storage space for you if there is not enough space in your car to accommodate extra luggage that must be carried along during your journey.

Security and organization of your item guarantee.

With the cargo bag, your items will not be misplaced, which means they will be intact throughout the journey. Apart from the misplacement of items prevented, your valuables will be protected from rain and other weather conditions during the journey. Also, people will not find access to your bag.

Safety Tips for Cargo bags and cargo boxes

Since these two items serve the same purpose but are made differently, their safety tips in this aspect remain the same. Here are some tips you should consider for the safety of your valuables.

  • Ensure that the cargo fits. The rooftop you are considering buying should be the type that will fit the size of your car rooftop to prevent sliding while the vehicle is at high speed.
  • Consider the road. What do I mean by this statement? It means you should load your cargo bag or box to a height that will enable you to pass through hanging branches, garages, and carports.
  • Ensure a balance weight. When the load contained in your cargo is balanced, there will be no swinging at high speed. These balanced loads increase the firmness of your cargo bag or box attached to the roof rack.


Families should begin to consider cargo bags or boxes for travel or picnic, or sports events since the vehicle may not always accommodate the entire load needed for a trip.

The two cargos carry work for the same purpose but are not made the same way, making one tougher, more secure, and expensive. So, it is left for you to purchase any of the two cargos depending on your budget and purpose.

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