When it comes to transporting larger than normal amounts of luggage or other accessories while traveling in your car, there are options to consider, like rooftop cargo carriers. I will briefly outline some of the benefits and disadvantages of certain types of carriers and also mention some models that are currently on the market for your consideration.
It is important to remember that even though you are able to fit various styles of carrier to your car, any carrier will affect the mileage you get when driving, as there is the issue of added weight on your car as well as the physical area that the carrier displaces. When your car is moving, the aerodynamics are designed to be as efficient as possible, while putting as little drag on the car and the engine. Installing a car top carrier means there is obviously an alteration to the original design of the vehicle.
Differences Between Hard and Soft Rooftop Carriers
However, all is not lost, as there are different factors to consider. If you decide to use a soft top carrier, you will find that many of them are a lot easier to fit to the vehicle as well as having a more malleable shape. That means that if you have not filled it completely, that you will not displace as much area and be able to therefore run your car relatively efficiently. Some models also have separate compartments or sections which can make them easier to pack in a more organized manner. An example of a soft bag style carrier is the Thule 867 Tahoe Rooftop Carrier, as well as the Keeper 07203 Waterproof Roof Top Cargo Bag.
When ever you look at buying one of these rooftop bags, it is a good idea to read up any reviews on them to make sure you are getting an objective experience from other people about the product. As an example, one person said that even though they used the Keeper 07203 soft bag, they were still able to keep all the contents in a safe and dry manner, with no leakage. As a rule, even though the soft bags are often designed with extra protection, it stands to reason that a hard box style will offer the very best protection from weather.
However, the problem with some hard style rooftop racks is that they will typically be much heavier, and add weight and fuel consumption to your vehicle. However, the benefits for these units is that they can be better protected in terms of being locked more securely, as well as fastened more securely to your vehicle’s rooftop bars.
If you are traveling a lot, it can be a safer option for security and protection. Another example is that if you ever hit an obstruction in the road, you will typically have a better rate of protection from damage with a hard top roof carrier. As a general note, it is important to consider the altered height of your vehicle when fitted with either a hard or soft top roof carrier.
Examples of hard top carriers are the Thule 667ES Excursion ES Car Top Carrier and the SportRack A90095 Explorer Car Top Cargo Carrier. The decision as to which rooftop cargo carrier style to use comes down to your budget as well as fuel efficiency needs. Hard carriers are typically a little more expensive and heavy than the soft style, but if portability is important for you, you will find the soft style can be better. There is no hard and fast answer on this, as you need to decide based on your individual requirements.