The Best Toyota Prius Rooftop Cargo Box

By on 26 September 2021 / Updated on: 26 September 2021

When travelling, one of the most stressful things about it is making sure you have everything packed and ready for your trip, so to have that extra space with a cargo box can take a little bit of that stress away. Rooftop cargo boxes are a very practical tool for any family vacation or trip when the interior space may be a little taxed.

With this in mind we are going to give you a rundown on a few of the top rated cargo boxes for the Toyota Prius. We will give you a rundown on each cargo box and see if any of these could help you in your search for a potential stress reliever that can last a lifetime for you and your family.

Things To Look Out For Before You Buy

As with anything that has anything to do with storage, space is king. Having a larger cargo box will simply allow for more luggage for your trip as well as be able to take awkward sized things like skis or larger suitcases.

However with the added space you may experience issues, as extra materials can cause higher costs and wider cargo boxes restrict the use of your roof rails for extra accessories such as bike racks or sporting equipment like skis or snowboards.

Mounting Type & Roof Rails

Mounting most cargo boxes to the roof couldn’t be easier as the only thing required is to use the clamps/ straps that are included to attach the box safely to the roof rails. However, oddly shaped roof rails or particularly wide/ narrow variants may require additional brackets to be purchased, for the roof box to fit perfectly.

To make this guessing game a little easier, many companies also sell roof rails sling with cargo carriers to allow the carrier to be bolted-up no problem. And as if that wasn’t easy enough many roof rails are now standard in sizing so many rails should and carriers should work when switching from vehicle to vehicle.

Weight

One of the biggest concerns when putting heavy weight on the roof of a vehicle is that it can cause potential harm to the structural rigidity of the roof. However, as roof rails are mounted to the outer edges of the roof, the weight then disperses down the sides of the car and into the large structural steel panels that are designed to take crash impact damage. So in short, a 100-250 lbs. cargo box is very unlikely to harm anything on your vehicle.

The roof rails are a little different however, as they will have a maximum load rating. You can find this information via the roof rail manufacturer or directly from the vehicle dealership, whether they were installed on the vehicle from new or as part of an additional dealer add-on. It is in your best interest to follow the maximum load ratings as failure to do so could cause damage or worse, particularly in the case of an accident.

Security

Security is a definite issue when going on vacation and knowing your possessions are well secured to prevent any kind of theft to put a damper on your trip. Because nothing is worse than leaving your vehicle for a few hours only to find it’s been emptied of all your belongings. So security is crucial for a rooftop cargo carrier, and many come installed with a locking mechanism or facility to add locks to the case to prevent any would-be robbers from getting into them.

Craftsmanship is also a large part of this as well.  A cargo carrier with flexible or soft materials may be bent or broken for thieves to gain entry rather easily and quickly. So with maximum security in mind we recommend going for the higher-quality cargo carrier, with inbuilt security methods and also have the ability to add additional locks to minimize any risk of theft.

The Best Toyota Prius (All Variants) Rooftop Cargo Boxes

thule pulse alpine rooftop cargo box jegs rooftop cargo box goplus rooftop cargo box yakima skybox rooftop cargo box thule force xt x large rooftop cargo box
Product Thule Pulse Alpine Rooftop Cargo Box Jegs Rooftop Cargo Box Goplus Rooftop Cargo Box Yakima Skybox Rooftop Cargo Box Thule Force XT X-Large Rooftop Cargo Box
Dimensions 88.5 x 25.5 x 12.5 inches 61.25 x 39 x 12 inches 63 x 31 x 15 inches 94 x 29 x 18 inches 82.68 x 33.86 x 17.32 inches
Capacity 11 cubic feet 18 cubic feet 14 cubic feet 12 cubic feet 18 cubic feet
Opening Passenger side Both sides Both sides Both sides Both sides
Price
Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon

Thule Pulse Alpine Rooftop Cargo Box

thule pulse alpine rooftop cargo box

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First on the list is from the very well known Thule brand and this Alpine is a great middle of the road carrier. Made from high quality material they offer great durability and are made to fit perfectly to your application. Thule makes a wide variety of carriers for all kinds of vehicles ranging from full size SUV’s to cars and wagons. So with all these options it’s safe to say they also include all different kinds of carriers for different purposes as well.

We will cover another one in the list but the Alpine is personalized for the water or winter sports adventurer. With it’s long and thin design it is perfect for being able to house skis or snowboards, and in fact can fit up to 6 ski’s or 4 snowboards. So if you are looking for a secure carrier for your skis or snowboards while taking your winter vacation, this is the container for you.

Dimensions: 88.5 x 25.5 x 12.5 inches

Capacity: 11 cubic feet

Opening: Passenger side

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Thin design keeps a low profile on the roof of the vehicle
  • Well made to fit its application

Cons:

  • Fairly narrow on its use, so if you don’t have ski’s this may not be for you
  • Being as thin as it is you could put tall bags in it
  • Depending on use given the size it may be difficult to use other exterior carrying devices

Jegs Rooftop Cargo Box

jegs rooftop cargo box

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For our second carrier on the list we have the most budget friendly option with the Jegs Rooftop Cargo Carrier. This is a great option for anyone who needs that little bit more storage for their trip but doesn’t want to spend the money for one of the big name companies like Yakama or Thule. The Jegs Carrier is also made in the USA and has a limited lifetime warranty as well so if anything does happen you have the protection behind it to replace it if necessary. Although I’m not sure how necessary that may be as it is very well made from hard plastic and is also waterproof to keep all your belongings protected.

The Jegs Carrier is also fairly tall too so you are able to carry quite a few different sized suitcases in it to really help you bring everything you need without feeling like you are jamming everything in and setting a trap for yourself later. It is easy to mount and lightweight so anyone can install it to the roof using their hardware that is included, really making the Jegs Carrier a great budget friendly option for anyone looking.

Dimensions: 61.25 x 39 x 12 inches

Capacity: 18 cubic feet

Opening: Both sides

Pros:

  • Cheapest Carrier on the list
  • Has a lifetime warranty
  • 100lb storage capacity

Cons:

  • Given it’s height, will affect mileage when driving
  • It’s larger and bulky given the size
  • Locking engagement is stiff, be sure everything is tight before driving

Goplus Rooftop Cargo Box

goplus rooftop cargo box

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Next on the list is the Cargo Box from Goplus. Goplus is regarded as a top 5,000 Amazon seller and you may see their products in places like Home Depot and Walmart as well, they make quality equipment at an affordable price and are regarded as another great alternative if you’re not able to spend $1,000 dollars plus on a cargo carrier.

This particular travel carrier is a great road trip carrier for when you need to carry luggage for extended periods such as cross country roadtrips or camping adventures. It is made from high grade plastic and other material and was formed to keep a low profile and remain as aerodynamic as possible in an effort to retain mileage. It has four mounting places to help keep it firmly faceted to your vehicle when at speed so you don’t have to worry about any kind of movement or mishaps when travelling.  It also has a 165 lb storage capacity so it can carry most anything you need inside for your adventure.

Dimensions: 63 x 31 x 15 inches

Capacity: 14 cubic feet

Opening: Both sides

Pros:

  • High Carry Capacity
  • Affordable
  • Aerodynamic and strong
  • Easy to Install

Cons:

  • Not a well known company and is more house brand
  • Customer support can be a challenge (offshore support)

Yakima Skybox Rooftop Cargo Box

yakima skybox rooftop cargo box

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Next we have on our list is the ever popular Yakima Skybox Aerodynamic Cargo Box. Yakama, like Thule, is one of the top companies in the market of Cargo carriers and for good reason, they supply many different options for any vehicle to really pin down exactly what you need for your application. They are all well made with a durable material and have great locking features to keep your belongings protected.

With the Skybox series, you have the ability to make room for friends and family to come with on the adventure! Built to be aerodynamic and tough, Yakama worked to reduce the drag and wind noise to make the skybox as quiet and unnoticeable as possible. They feature lid stiffeners for added durability and their SuperLatch security system to keep your equipment and belongings safe and sound. It also features a quick release mounting system to make it quick and convenient to travel with. Making the Yakama one of the best quality cargo carriers on the market.

Dimensions: 94 x 29 x 18 inches

Capacity: 12 cubic feet

Opening: Both sides

Pros:

  • Sleek and aerodynamic
  • Rigid and well built frame
  • Easy to install

Cons:

  • Yakima are known to be expensive

Thule Force XT X-Large Rooftop Cargo Box

thule force xt x large rooftop cargo box

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For the last Cargo carrier on the list we circle back to Thule and the Force XT. They offer very durable, and well made equipment at a very competitive price for anything ranging from bike racks to cargo carriers and even travel tents. Thule’s quality standards are second to none, while their product range is also highly impressive.

Thule worked tremendously hard with this design to maximize space and retain its aerodynamic shape. It is also extremely easy to install thanks to Thule’s quick connect system and torque displays that give a clear indication of proper installation. Thule also ensures that the carrier will fit onto nearly any set of roof rails. Combine this ease with a modern slide lock system to keep it secure and you have by far one of the best cargo carriers on the market. If you want a no worry, hassle free trip and don’t want to deal with off brand or delayed waits the Thule Motion XT is top of the class when it comes to Cargo Carriers.

Dimensions: 82.68 x 33.86 x 17.32 inches

Capacity: 18 cubic feet

Opening: Both sides

Pros:

  • By far one of the highest quality constructed Carriers on the market
  • Has some of the highest capacity
  • Great aerodynamics to keep wind noise at a minimum

Cons:

  • The most expensive carrier listed
  • Large and bulky so may require multiple people to install

In Conclusion

Though inexpensive, cargo carriers are a great option that will likely last for many years and can easily out last the time you own the car. Having that added storage capacity on the roof makes travelling easier than ever, and also may help keep you from having to spend a lot more on a larger vehicle or even a trailer. Having added rooftop storage also allows you to be able to stow away things you may not immediately need inside on the roof and also leaves the interior room free for passengers and/ or pets.

A relatively small space on the roof can massively increase storage capacity of your Toyota Prius to make it a no-brainer. In just a few short minutes you can have that without any other maintenance or work to do on the vehicle. And when you don’t need it, cargo carriers can simply be taken off and stored in the garage or used elsewhere to hold your earthly possessions until you go on your next big adventure!

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Collin Andrews

Automotive Journalist and all around gearhead. I am the first U.S. and one of Czok’s newest contributors. I have grown up in California surrounded by classic cars and drag racing and ever since I could walk and talk I’ve been helping out in the shop wrenching on old iron. I now help run our family’s shop as well as write automotive articles and work on my automotive photography skills. I am an avid drag racing enthusiast and currently bracket race my 1967 Chevrolet Nova that I have had since I was 14 and hope to continue for years to come. Hopefully I can share my knowledge and experiences to help as many people as possible both work on and make decisions for there own automotive adventures.

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