Do you ever find yourself in need of extra space when you’re driving? Moving house? Carrying specialized gear for work? Going off-roading? Or maybe you’re going on a long road trip?
Using one of the best soft car top carriers on the market will give you extra storage space for your items. Combine that with the convenience of being able to remove and easily store them when you’re not using them. We don’t think there’s a better overall option out there.
So, let’s take a look at the very best soft top carrier for cars out there and find the perfect option for your needs…
- 1 Top 5 Best Soft Car Top Carriers On The Market In 2021 Reviews
- 1.1 1 KEEPER Rooftop Cargo Bag – Best Budget Soft Car Top Carrier
- 1.2 2 RoofBag Rooftop Cargo Carrier Bag – Most Secure Soft Car Top Carrier
- 1.3 3 FIVKLEMNZ Car Roof Bag Cargo Carrier – Best Weatherproof Soft Car Top Carrier
- 1.4 4 RoofPax Rooftop Cargo Carrier – Best Premium Soft Car Top Carrier
- 1.5 5 SANHIMA Roof Cargo Carrier Bag
- 2 Best Soft Car Top Carriers Buyers Guide
- 3 Looking for more superb motoring products?
- 4 So, what are the Best Soft Car Top Carriers?
Top 5 Best Soft Car Top Carriers On The Market In 2021 Reviews
1 KEEPER Rooftop Cargo Bag – Best Budget Soft Car Top Carrier
Quality for a great price…
This bag was the cheapest one that we tested at around roughly $60, which we thought was a great price. But we also thought that it might be too good to be true. We were pleasantly surprised, though!
It is made from a rubber laminated nylon material, which gave it a very durable feel. This also offered excellent protection from road grit, sun, and wind. Another great feature was just how small it packed down to. Out of the bags that we tested, we were able to pack this one down to the smallest size, which meant that storing it was even easier.
Not everything was such a pleasant surprise, though. As mentioned, the rubber laminated nylon material offered good protection. However, there have been complaints about water getting in. During a long drive through heavy rainfall, we did notice some water inside the bag at the end. However, this was very heavy rain, and it was a long drive.
We don’t think it would be a problem most of the time. The other thing that we didn’t particularly like were the straps. They felt a bit thin and weak compared to the other products we reviewed. We also had issues with them getting slightly loose on long highway runs. Since there are eight of them, it wasn’t bad enough that we thought we would lose the bag. But it was enough to make us nervous.
- Strap design.
2 RoofBag Rooftop Cargo Carrier Bag – Most Secure Soft Car Top Carrier
Sleek and secure…
The first that we noticed about this bag is its design. It’s shorter at the front (11 inches) than it is at the back (18 inches). That means that it has a smaller area up front to reduce wind resistance. This has a big impact on your fuel economy, and this bag is easily the most fuel-efficient option on the market.
The straps on are woven through loops on the top of the bag. This makes you more confident that they won’t move around due to wind. Because of the shape and the quality of the straps, the bag feels very secure on the roof of the car. At no point were we worried that it was moving around.
If you also look at security as “the safety of your items,” then this bag performs well in that area too. If you put a lock on the zipper, everything feels very safe and protected.
We would also like to point out that the heavy-duty polyester material is liquid-coated with vinyl on both sides. This is different to most brands because it’s not a laminate, so it’s more likely to withstand long wear and tear.
The only complaint that we consistently saw when researching which bags to test was the waterproofing. We read about some defective bags that allowed water to leak in. However, this wasn’t the case with ours.
- Strap Design.
- Security Features.
3 FIVKLEMNZ Car Roof Bag Cargo Carrier – Best Weatherproof Soft Car Top Carrier
Weather? What weather?
This bag really surprised up with the weatherproofing. Out of all the bags that we looked at, this one was the best at keeping out the weather. And we mean all the weather. For around $80, we don’t think that you’ll find a better bag for keeping your things dry.
As we’ve mentioned, some bags seem to be weatherproof but leak in high rainfall. However, this was the first carrier that truly impressed us. This bag performed exactly how we expected it to, based on the price point and our experience with the other bags.
Quality design and materials…
The weatherproofing on this bag might be attributed to the unique material used in its construction. Unlike most companies, FIVKLEMNZ uses what is called 600D Oxford cloth in their bag. Instead of using a vinyl-base, this is a nylon based material.
This helps make the material itself water-resistant. Then you add a layer of weatherproofing on top of that. That’s why this bag is so impressive in this area.
With this bag, the main thing that worried us was the security. The hooks don’t feel as strong as they do on other models. With this bag being right in the middle of our price range, roughly $80, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. But all the other models just felt slightly stronger.
Another thing that we found frustrating was the strap design. They seem overly complicated and don’t feel as well-made as the straps on the other models we reviewed.
- Excellent all round weatherproofing.
- Strap Design.
- Security Features.
4 RoofPax Rooftop Cargo Carrier – Best Premium Soft Car Top Carrier
Dry as a bone…
As you would expect, we had high hopes for this bag. This Roofpax bag was, by almost $50, the most expensive bag that we tested. And one thing that definitely didn’t disappoint was the weatherproofing! This bag made it seem like everything inside was in its own world, away from all the issues that come along with the outdoors.
However, this shouldn’t come as a surprise from a bag that is at the top of the price range.
Again, this bag uses a higher quality material as its base to gain an edge in the weatherproofing area. Most companies in this price range use between 400-600D PVC. RoofPax uses 1680D PVC, which gives them a clear advantage when it comes to waterproofing.
Higher price = higher quality?
Our first concern with this bag is the price. The RoofPax carrier bag is nearly $140. That means that you could buy both of the bags at the lower end of our test range for the same price. However, when we tested this bag, one thing that really stood out was the feel. It just didn’t feel like a bag at this price point. That makes us question the durability.
The door hooks also don’t seem to fit every vehicle in the way that they’re described. On some cars, the hooks fit just fine. While on others, they seem to put a lot of pressure on the door seals. In the long run, that could lead to damage and leaky door seals.
- Good weatherproofing.
- Security Features.
5 SANHIMA Roof Cargo Carrier Bag
Next, in our reviews of the Best Soft Car Top Carriers, we have another bag that is easy-going on the wallet. At around $65, it’s our second budget-friendly option, which obviously makes us very happy.
Something else that made us very happy was how easy it is to install. SANHIMA provides instructions on how to mount the bag no regardless of if you have a full roof rack, just side rails, or no roof rack. They break it down and explain things very well. This would have been very helpful with some of the other bags we reviewed.
Too good to be true…
After our first budget rooftop carrier bag performed so well, we thought that this one would be a similar story. However, that wasn’t the case. The waterproofing of this bag was thrown into question straight away. Even during shorter, lighter rainfall, at slow speeds, somehow water managed to get inside the bag. This could cause serious damage to the items inside.
Then, it began to wear out at an alarming rate. Little spots that could easily grow into holes or full tears started showing up even at city speeds. Lastly, we have a concern about straps because they don’t feel very strong. We’re not convinced that they would hold up on a long drive.
Not the best option if you’re on a budget…
Overall, this bag performed slightly lower in all the main categories that we were testing. Across all of them, the KEEPER bag performed better, and for a slightly lower price.
- Easy to Install.
- Security Features.
Best Soft Car Top Carriers Buyers Guide
Testing soft car rooftop carriers may sound pretty straightforward, but we tried to consider everything that you might need to know and look at each of them individually. So, let’s go through what we took into account…
All the carriers that we tested were 15 cubic feet. This only refers to the interior space of the bag and does not refer to the shape of the carrier bag.
Just because the capacity is the same, it doesn’t mean that all the bags are the same. There are different dimensions for each bag, which will be the main factor in what you can carry. Some bags are slightly shorter or longer than others. While some are shorter at the front than they are at the back to reduce the wind resistance.
The reason that we tested 15 cubic feet soft carriers is because it is the standard size.
This will come down to the materials that the bag is made of. Most brands offer a bag that is waterproof and made from water-resistant materials with a waterproof coating on the outside. This typically works great. However, on lower quality bags, this protective coating can wear thin and cause some minor leaks.
This doesn’t only refer to the safety of the items inside the bag. We are also referring to how well the bag secures to the car. How sturdy are the straps? Do the hooks attach well to the car? This also has to be considered.
Benefits of Having a Soft Car Top Carrier
The main benefit of a rooftop carrier is the amount of extra storage space it provides. Obviously, this can also be achieved by having a hard car top carrier. However, soft rooftop carrier bags have other advantages.
One of these is the storage of the carrier bag when it’s not being used. These are much easier to attach to, and remove from, your car. They also roll or fold down into a much smaller size, which allows you to take these down and store them just about anywhere.
Versatile and practical…
Another big upshot to these soft carriers is the ease of use, and most will work well on any car. If you have a roof rack, they will attach perfectly. If you just have side rails on the roof of your car, they will attach to that too. Or, if you have a small car that doesn’t have anything on the roof, all you need is a protective rubber mat, and you’re good to go.
All of your standard hard-shell roof carriers will typically require a roof rack. If you have a truck or an SUV with already has one installed, that’s fine. If you don’t, that’s where these soft carriers shine.
The final consideration that makes us really love these bags is the price. When starting this review, we considered looking at some hard rooftop carriers as well. However, the savings in price really made us reconsider. That’s why, in the end, we decided to only focus on the soft car top carriers.
Different Types of Soft Car Top Carriers
Overall, there’s not a lot of difference when it comes to this type of rooftop carrier. Most of them are a square shape. However, some companies do try to make them more aerodynamic to save as much as possible on fuel.
One main difference is the size. We know that we touched on this in the Buyers Guide, but these range in size from 8 cubic feet all the way up to 20 cubic feet. So make sure that you get just the right size for your needs.
The only other thing that would really differentiate one style from another would be the material. Most of these soft car top carriers are made from the following items:
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) – the common term for this material is just vinyl. We saw both PVC and vinyl used; however, they mean the same thing. They are normally used for products at entry-level price points.
- Rubber Laminated Nylon – Slightly higher standard of weatherproofing and used for mid-level price points.
- Tarpaulin Coated Fabric – Will provide the highest level of weatherproofing but also the highest price points.
Top Brands of Soft Car Top Carriers
When researching, you will see a few names that appear over and over again. These include:
- Rightline Gear
- SHIELD JACKET
- Tool Guards
Out of these, we only wanted to test five, so we decided on a price range that we were happy with. We also decided on the size that we thought was the most common. And we wanted to test brands that were very well known. These factors are what lead us to narrow the list down to the five soft rooftop carriers that we decided on.
The reason that these brands show up at the top of the list is simple. They either make high-end products that are at the top of the price range and ensure that the quality reflects that higher price point. Or, they make consistently good quality products that are made for a more affordable price.
Every company has the odd defective product, but the best ones will also provide outstanding customer service. This ensures that, even if you do get a defective item, they can resolve the issues and make sure that you’re as happy as possible.
Soft Car Top Carrier Pricing
We were surprised by the price range that soft car top carriers were available for. We saw everything from $40 all the way up to $250! However, we decided to stay at the lower end of that price range. Those seem to be the most popular soft car rooftop carriers that you can get anyway.
The main factor when looking at pricing is quality. You want a product that will match your price bracket. No matter if you’re just looking for the cheapest option for a quick trip across town, or you’re looking for a high-end option to last a long time.
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So, what are the Best Soft Car Top Carriers?
In the end, it could really only be one, and this is the….
We were very pleased with the overall performance of this bag, and couldn’t find any faults with it. The only consideration was the waterproofing issue that we mentioned. We feel that this bag, for less than $100, is the best option that we found. You won’t be disappointed with it!