Waterproof Roof Cargo Bags – A Guide

While many people looking for additional storage space on their vehicle immediately shop for hard roof boxes, waterproof roof cargo bags are a wonderful option for many families.

While they serve the same purpose as a hard roof box, they are made differently, so shoppers need to know what they are looking for and how they can find the best cargo bag for their use. 

Understanding the difference between various options on the market as well as how to choose the best one will keep families happy and will ensure that their belongings are safe when on the road.

Here’s our comprehensive guide to help you find the best waterproof cargo bag for your next adventure.

One of the first things that shoppers need to consider when looking for waterproof roof cargo bags is how much space they have on the inside. The internal volume is what will dictate how many things can be easily stored in the bag and taken on a trip.

As a general rule, with these cargo bags, smaller vehicles will need smaller bags, while larger ones will have the space necessary for larger bags.

Here’s some great bags with plenty of space:

Keeper 07202 Cargo Bag

This is a great small rooftop cargo bag that is perfectly sized for users who don’t need a lot of additional space but want to make sure that their gear and belongings are safe when on the road. 

Even though it only offers 11 cubic feet of additional space, this waterproof bag is designed to stand up to all types of weather, making it ideal for short and long road trips.

The soft sides flex easily to allow storage of odd-shaped items, but the durable material is able to withstand rain, hail, grit, and sun. 

Thanks to the durable zippers on this bag, there isn’t any chance of it leaking when you’re on the road.

LED Kingdomus Car Roof Bag

Larger cargo roof bags need to be held to the same high standards as their smaller counterparts to ensure that everything stored in them is protected. This impressive roof cargo bag boasts 20 cubic feet of space, which is plenty for most users.

The problem that some people run into when opting for a large bag is filing it all of the way up.

Unlike a roof cargo box that won’t flap or bounce in the wind when it is isn’t completely full, bags can have this tendency.

For this reason, anyone looking to buy a cargo roof bag needs to do their best to size it to their needs so that there isn’t a lot of extra space in the bag. Using something light such as pillows to fill empty space is always a good idea if you buy a bag that is larger than you need.

ROLA 59100 Platypus Expandable Roof Top Bag

A great compromise for people who aren’t sure if they would be happy with a smaller or a larger roof top bag is this expandable option.

This is perfect for people who travel on a regular basis but whose needs change every time they get on the road, as they won’t have to invest in more than one bag to have multiple size options.

This bag can easily expand from its smaller size of 40” x 34” x 16” to a larger size of 41” x 35” x 24”. This adds an impressive amount of volume.

 With a smaller size of just 339L and a larger size of 453L, it’s easy to see how much more space this bag has when expanded, making it one of the most versatile options available on the market today.

Check the Material

The fabric used in the creation of a roof bag plays a huge role not only in whether or not it is truly waterproof, but also how long it will last before wearing out or showing signs of aging. 

High-quality fabric that is tightly woven will be able to easily stand up to rain and storms as well as harsh UV rays. Vinyl-based fabrics tend to be more reliable than nylon-based fabrics.

SPAUTO Car Cargo Roof Bag

Even though vinyl cargo roof bags tend to be more durable than ones that are made from nylon, when you shop for a bag with rubber laminated nylon, you can enjoy a durable and high-quality bag.

These lined bags have more protection than you would enjoy from a simply nylon bag, which is why they are often considered to be on par with high-quality vinyl bags.

In addition, extra protection on the zippers as well as included vacuum storage bags ensure that nothing in the bag will get wet or damaged when you are on the road.

Mockins Waterproof Cargo Roof Bag

This durable roof bag is made from high-quality vinyl and is designed to last for a very long time without breaking down or showing signs of wear and tear. 

Not only is it water resistant, but it is also waterproof, which means that even extended exposure to water and heavy rains won’t cause the bag to leak or get soaked.

Thanks to the use of heavy-duty abrasion-resistant vinyl, this bag is able to offer some of the best resistance to extreme conditions. 

Unlike other bags that are not made with this high-quality material, this bag from Mockins is designed to last for years. With the addition of 2” zipper flaps, there is very little chance of water leaking in through the zippers of this bag.

Weight Capacity

It’s also important to ensure that you choose a bag with a high enough weight capacity for all of the belongings that you want to carry. The fabric must be able to easily secure everything stored inside of the bag, or it can easily split or come loose from the roof.

The bag won’t be lifting any of the items stored inside of it, but the fabric has to be rated high enough to secure the bag and to prevent it from being damaged. If objects stored inside of the bag are too heavy, then the bag can split or slide off of the roof rack.

RoofBag Rooftop Cargo Carrier

Even users who have smaller cars are going to be better off looking for a roof cargo bag that has a higher weight capacity.

While it is easy to find some that are rated for around 2,000 pounds, opting for one that is a little heavier tends to be a good idea.

This roof cargo bag is rated to hold an impressive 3,000 pounds.

While most people will not put anywhere near that much weight in their bag, this means that this bag is rated to be durable and strong. It won’t easily slip and slide on the roof and offers the protection that you need to keep all of your gear and toys from being damaged or lost.


In addition to being waterproof, roof bags also need to be secure. It’s important to make sure that the bag you choose will stay properly attached to the roof of your car, even when you are traveling at high speeds.

In addition to checking the security of the bag on the car, you need to make sure that the bag you choose is easy to lock and that the zippers are all durable. Durable zippers will help to keep out the rain and also prevent someone from getting into the bag.

Fedmax Car Rooftop Carrier

Great rooftop bags will attach securely to the roof and will also be easy to lock.

One example is this bag from Fedmax, which includes a lock to hold the zipper ends together and prevent the bag from opening.

It can be tricky to find a high-quality lock that is designed to work with a carrier bag, which is why buying a bag with an included lock is such a good idea.

A sturdy lock, as well as durable zippers that are designed to withstand any attempts to break into the bag, will help keep belongings safe. For this reason, considering the security of the bag, as well as how durable it is, is very important.


How durable a bag is plays a huge role in how waterproof it actually is, but even the highest quality roof bags will slowly become less durable over time. This is because any fabric, no matter how high-quality it is, will start to degrade with use. 

However, the bag you choose shouldn’t wear out right away and shouldn’t sag or allow water to seep in around seams.

Portability and Storage

It’s easy to overlook how you are going to store and transport your bag when not in use, but this is also something that everyone shopping for a cargo bag needs to consider. These bags can get really big and can be difficult to fold. 

Being able to fold a bag into a small and compact shape for storage and transport is important.

Reese Explore 1393500 Rooftop Carrier

Storing a cargo bag can be tricky, especially since they seem to take up so much space when they are not on the car.

Leaving one on the car isn’t always safe, as they can flop around and get caught in high winds on the highway.

However, there are some bags that are designed not only to fold flat when in storage, but they can actually be left on the car and folded flat there.

The unique design of this bag makes it possible to fold it flat for storage, no matter whether you prefer to leave the bag on the car’s roof for last minute trips or want to store it in the garage for a later time. 

Since this bag folds flat, there are very few problems with being able to fold it easily or with damaging the bag by creating creases when storing it.


How the bag fits on the top of the car is another consideration. Some bags rest on a pad and then straps run through the doors to hold the bag in place. While this is a great option for users who don’t have a permanent roof rack on their vehicle, there are some bags that are more secure when mounting to a rack.

ToolGuards Car Top Carrier Roof Bag

One of the great things about this roof cargo bag is that it can rest directly on a naked roof without needing a roof rack.

This is wonderful for people who do not have a roof rack or who do not want to invest in one.

While some users prefer a bag that connects to a roof rack because they tend to feel more secure, this option is ideal for anyone in a hurry and who knows how to drive safely with a bag on top of the car.

Since this bag comes with a pad to protect the roof, owners can quickly spread out the bag, place the bag on top, secure it, and drive off. The pad is thick enough to protect the roof from any damage and is designed to fold up quickly and easily for storage. 

This means that it doesn’t take up too much space and is very easy to use.

CURT 18221 Extended Roof Rack Cargo Bag

While this roof bag can be used on a naked roof, it is best used with a roof rack.

Thanks to all of the straps attached to this bag, it’s easy to secure it tightly to the rack before driving away.

Using a roof rack allows for the use of additional tie-down points, which is great news for anyone looking for a little additional security when traveling.

Thanks to the security of these additional straps, users who have a roof rack and buy this bag won’t have to worry about the security of their belongings when traveling. 

The use of a roof rack adds so much additional support to the bag that it is a great option for any trip.

Final Thought

With so many things to consider when shopping for waterproof roof cargo bags, it can be a little overwhelming at first. However, families can easily choose the right one for them by considering the listed features and considerations. 

Since these bags are relative newcomers to the market, some are higher quality than others. Choose well and you’ll have a versatile way to add more storage to your vehicle that will last for many years to come.

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