Toyota RAV4 is a great vehicle, and the sales numbers are the best proof of that, but its limited cargo capacity for long trips can be the reason why many people choose to avoid it, to solve this we have listed the best rav4 roof cargo boxes that you can find on the market right now.

thule vector review
Thule Vector
Thule Force XT Cargo Box
Yakima Carbonite Skybox

What is the best rav4 roof cargo box?

There are many good options for a rav4, but the Thule Force XT is the one that provides a better value for the money, its sleek and modern looking design, lower noise emissions, and low fuel consumption makes the THULE FORCE XT the best rav4 roof cargo box on the market.

Volume Opening
Thule Force XT XL 18 cu ft Both sides
Thule Sidekick Cargo Box 8 cu ft Passenger
Yakima Carbonite Skybox 12 cu ft Both sides
Thule Vector 13 cu ft Both sides
INNO Wedge Cargo Box 14 cu ft Both sides
Table of Contents
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    Overview of Our Best RAV4 Roof Cargo Box

    Thule Force XT XL

    Thule Force XT Cargo Box

    We reviewed this roof cargo box many times, and every time we recommend it as the best roof box, the same is said for the Toyota RAV4, it is not too expensive and also not dirt cheap.
    The Thule Force XT XL is large, it can accommodate a huge number of small tools and bags, you can even put many small bags and strap them in, or put pairs of skis or snowboards depending on what you need during your next trip.
    It is available in multiple sizes: L, Large, X-large, XX-Large, XL, and finally the Sport size.
    This versatile roof box can be used in many situations, and what is even better even if you need to change your current car, you only need a roof rack, and you are ready to use it, even if the internal storage of your new car is limited, this cargo box will compensate for that.
    A second person might be handy if you are trying to install this roof box on the roof of your RAV4 for the first time, it is not heavy, but the size of the box can be hard to work with for anyone shorter than 5 feet.
    The picture above speaks about the sleek design of the Thule force, it is optimized to look good on a wide range of vehicles, including the rav4.
    We also loved the fact that this box can be opened from both sides, an essential feature to have on any modern roof box at that price range, this dual side opening will let you pack and unpack your roof box with ease and in an extremely short time.
    And just the majority of Thule roof boxes, this one doesn’t require any manual modifications or a specific roof rack to be installed, its Quick-Mount system is flexible, and can fit many roof racks either factory or aftermarket ones.

    Thule Sidekick Cargo Box

    Thule sidekick for toyota rav4

    The Thule Sidekick is for anyone in need of a basic roof box, without all those fancy features, but with a good quality for the price.
    Being cheap doesn’t mean that it is bad, other than the improved security system, and the colors and the internal lighting in the more expensive Thule boxes, the Sidekick is very similar in terms of quality of build and strength.
    The roomy interiors are able to fit many camping gear or skis or pretty much anything that you need to have during your travels.
    It can be fixed to the rav4 crossbars using the U-bolt on its bottom.
    In any review, the reviewer must include what he didn’t like, in our case, we surely did not love the one side opening, it makes the box harder to install and to pack and unpack in comparison to boxes with dual side openings.
    The assembly of this roof box requires a look at the installation guide, you can check the Thule official website if you didn’t receive one.
    The Thule sidekick can also be attached to most RAV4 roof racks, this lightweight cargo box will not carry everything in the case of a large family, but for its price, it is surely a good deal.

    Thule Sidekick of Toyota RAV4 technical details


    • 8 cubic feet of internal volume.
    • Its external dimensions are 54” by 25” by 15.5”.
    • Its internal dimensions are 48” by 23” by 13.5”.
    • It can carry a maximum weight of 75 lbs while its own weight is 16lbs.
    • Only one side opening of the passenger side.
    • Reinforced U-bolts used for attaching the box to the RAV4 roof rack.
    • The assembly time is average and longer than the other Thule roof cargo boxes on this list.
    • An installation guide is included with the box when you get in (check the link below).

    Yakima Carbonite Skybox

    Thule is not the only manufacturer of high-quality roof boxes, Yakima is also a very known brand for anyone with experience with roof boxes. Yakima Carbonite is also a good choice for any RAV4 owner in the need of a roof cargo box that provides a high value at a cheap price, it has some of the best features and ergonomic design on the market. Its handles are similar to the ones on roof boxes with twice the cost, and its black matte color makes the design of the Yakima Carbonite Skybox timeless and will, in fact, improve your rav4 overall look. You get what you pay for, the good handle and strong structure sadly can’t hide the fact that the mounting system of this roof box is a little bit complicated and can even be confusing sometimes. If you are planning to leave this Yakima box on the roof of your RAV4 for a long time, then the previously mentioned issue is not a reason to ignore this exceptional roof box. The handle is the best thing when using this roof box, it will make the process of opening and closing this box very easy, even when using gloves. During our test trip (to review this box), we really noticed the great performance and ease of use, and we also liked the ease of assembly and storage. We found the included guide a bit difficult to follow, and we are reviewing and working with a lot of roof cargo boxes, and for someone with nor experience, the mounting process will be difficult without a guiding video or pictures. The installation duration of the Yakima Skyrise on a RAV4 will be around 25 minutes. Once you finish with the mounting, you will notice why this box is one of the best choices for a rav4, with its extreme noise reduction, and a dual side opening for a great user experience.

    Thule Vector

    rav4 roof cargo box Thule Vector guide
    This is the most expensive choice on this list, we already did an extensive review of the Thule Vector where we judged all of its features and why it is so expensive. What we loved the most is the futuristic and advanced look of this box, and also its ergonomics, a high-quality handle that works every time we used it, and also the internal lighting system that uses multiple LED lamps with movement sensors to turn themselves off anytime you close the box.

    INNO Wedge Cargo Box

    INNO Wedge Cargo Box on a Toyota RAV4

    INNO Wedge is a small box with a spacious inside that can hold 8 cubic feet of cargo, this cargo carrying capacity is far less than the Thule roof boxes.
    This compact design ( outside dimensions: 80 x 33 x 13.75 and inside dimensions: 72 x 25.6 x 11) is more aerodynamic, resulting in less air drag and less speed penalty, some RAV4 owners care about fuel consumption more than the cargo capacity, if you are one of them, you need to check the INNO Wedge.
    The mounting process is straight and easy, with a weight of 44lbs, anyone can carry this roof box to put it on and off a rav4 without any issue.
    The lightweight also allows the INNO Wedge to be stored in many places, without the need to have a special place just for your roof box storage.
    The INNO Wedge can also fit on many factory and aftermarket roof boxes, no matter the brand, and for both steel and aluminum roof racks.
    This roof box was originally designed to carry skis and snowboards, but it can be used to carry multiple items, while its diffuser and black matte coated structure will keep the noise levels down and the mounting system to the roof rack doesn’t make any annoying sounds.
    There is a good hatch and windshield clearance, this is useful and more secure, with that said, most of the roof cargo boxes on this list have a good hatch clearance because it is an important factor to include a roof box in this list.
    We like the security system of this box, it is very similar to the more expensive Thule vector, once you insert the locking key, you cannot remove it again unless the roof box is closed and properly secured.

    What is the weight limit of a Toyota RAV4 roof rack?

    On average, the maximum weight limit of Toyota RAV4 factory roof racks is 165 pounds or 74.8427.

    What to check in a roof cargo box before buying one for a Toyota RAV4

    Before buying a roof cargo box for your RAV4, you need to check the following areas:

    • The cargo capacity: larger cargo boxes gives you more freedom of choice while choosing what tool and gear to take with you when you are planning to go for a trip with your family or what camping gear you need to take, stovee? roof top tents? Tents? Portable kitchen ?, some roof boxes are optimized for carrying skis and snowboards, you also need to cock the length of the roof box that you are trying to buy.
    • The weight: the own weight of a roof box is an extremely important factor to know about when planning to buy a roof cargo box, in most times you are going to mount and remove the box from the top of yu rav4 alone, if it is so heavy, you are going to have a very bad time, and in the contrary, a lighter roof box will allow you to carry more heavy items without passing the maximum weight capacity of your RAV4 (165 pounds).
    • Fuel consumption: the design of the box and its weight are the main factors deciding the level of any possible increase in fuel consumption, you will get a very noticeable fuel consumption increase when you carrying kayaks or roof bags, but when you have n aerodynamic roof box like the ones on this list, you will not notices any increase.
    • Noise levels: Noise is something that you can test when you are checking a roof box up close before buying it, and it is somehow similar to the fuel consumption, both are affected by the aerodynamic design of the roof box, the noise can also be more noticable if the contact points between the box the the roof rack cross bars are not fixed properly (this can happen when the box in not compatible with the roof rack).
    • Ease of use and ergonomics: does this box have a handle, and if yes is this handle any good, can I use this handle if I’m wearing thick gloves during snowy weather? You need to ask these questions whenever you are checking a roof cargo box, some top of the line roof boxes like the Thule Vector can have multiple LED lamps on the inside for night times.
    • Mounting difficulty: this is not an important factor while choosing a roof box, simply because the majority of people choose to leave it on the top of their vehicles all the time. Generally speaking, Thule cargo boxes are the easiest to mount, their quick-mount system makes them compatible with many roof rack on the market, for sedans and SUVs and vans…

    Storage when not in use: You need to check the shape of the box to decide if you have someplace to store it if you decide to not keep it on the roof of your RAV4 all the time.


    We hope that you have found the best roof cargo box for your Toyota RAV4, if you have any question, or you have a vehicle that is not listed on, please contact us, we will prioritize a review specially tailored for you.