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Basket or Box?

Next summer I will be transporting 4 people (2 adults, 1 toddler, and 1 infant) and 2 dogs (50 pounds each) into the great outdoors. What carries more gear? A roof basket like the Thule MOAB, or a roof box?

Question:

Next summer I will be transporting 4 people (2 adults, 1 toddler, and 1 infant) and 2 dogs (50 pounds each) into the great outdoors. What carries more gear? A roof basket like the Thule MOAB, or a roof box?

Submitted by - Matthew - Oshkosh, WI

Answer:

I can’t say that I’ve actually done the math on this to find out which carries more (there are a huge variety or both cargo boxes and baskets out there). But personally, I prefer baskets. They’re easier to put on and take off you’re your car, easier to store when you’re not using them, easier to load (just drop your bags in and strap on) and less expensive.

Just be sure to pack your gear in water-resistant duffles so you stuff doesn’t get drenched if you drive through a storm. (Here’s my favorite all-time duffle from The North Face).

1 Comment

  1. jim west

    good grief, this Gear “pro” is so wrong it’s hard to believe. baskets are pretty much awful in my opinion except for a very few situations, therefor the cargo box wins for the all-around best solution. yeah, if you are loading up fuel tanks and spare tires, go for a sturdy basket, otherwise those “dry” bags not only leak but then hold the water inside. the dry bags are also costing more $ which in the end, if the bags are top quality, could cost more than just a good cargo box. next, your stuff is less theft secure because it’s out in view but also easier to simply take. baskets are MUCH less aerodynamic, increasing noise and fuel costs (again, the “cheaper basket” ending up costing more in reality), for the same volume/area, the baskets really aren’t much different in weight. baskets are more often less versatile in what they can carry – even though this goes against one’s first impression. consider a long cargo box like the thule 2100 which has both huge volume but also length for long classic nordic skis.

    things like “coolers” don’t belong on the roof anyway and once you pack all the varied shaped things in a big cargo box, there’s plenty of room left for a cooler in the vehicle.

    the cargo box even allows quicker access to items while on the way because just the carry bags you have are right there to access without having to first deal with some crazy tightened up dry bag.

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