If you’re preparing for your first trip around the outback with your Jeep, and are looking for ways to extend your luggage capacity, you’re probably looking at all the different products available that serve that purpose, of which the most common two are cargo boxes and cargo bags. Deciding between a cargo box and bag can be difficult. To some, the differences seem obvious, but even still, they don’t understand what features are provided by both before they make a decision. Both luggage solutions come with their own advantages and disadvantages, and you’ll also have to take your budget, use and personal requirements into account.
Cargo boxes are secure as they come with locks so that you can lock away your valuables, giving you peace of mind knowing everything is safe and sound when you move away from your vehicle. These luggage solutions are strong and feature a strong, hard-shell casing which also adds to the protection of your belongings.
Having a cargo box is like having one more trunk – it will keep everything you pack protected from moisture and adverse weather conditions. Additionally, it will protect your belongings from impact. You’ll easily find a wide range of cargo boxes at an aftermarket Jeep parts and accessories stores.
Roof cargo bags can hold almost as much luggage as cargo boxes. Their main advantage, however, is the fact that they’re portable and easy to store when not in use – all you have to do is fold it into a small block and tuck it away. And unlike cargo boxes, you don’t need a roof rack to mount one on your roof.
Another benefit is that they’re versatile and can easily store oddly-shaped items. Additionally, they’re more affordable. While they might not be as durable and secure as cargo boxes, most cargo bags nowadays feature some kind of weather and moisture protection, and some might include extra security features.
So, now that you have some basic understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of both cargo boxes and bags, you might have an idea of which one is more suitable for you. But in case you don’t, there are a few key differences that may help you narrow down your choice even further.
Roof Rack Requirement
If you’ve decided to go for a cargo box, you’ll also need to buy a roof rack from an aftermarket Jeep parts and accessories store. That being said, you’ll have to make sure the roof rack is compatible with the cargo box you choose in order to ensure it fits properly. On the other hand, cargo bags don’t require a roof rack, so if you’re on a tight budget, definitely consider getting one.
Space and Storage
In terms of space, both cargo bags and boxes provide about the same capacity. However, if you have a lot of gear to pack up, you’ll probably want to get a cargo box, even though the difference in capacity is minimal. You also have to consider storage when you aren’t using the bag or box. As briefly aforementioned, cargo bags can easily be folded and stored away in basically any shape you want.
When you aren’t using a cargo box, however, you’ll have to consider where you want to keep it. If you have a garage – that can be a great option, but if you don’t – storing the cargo box may be problematic. While you can keep the cargo box on top of your Jeep at all times, the added height and weight can be problematic.
The obvious winner in this category are cargo boxes. They come with locking mechanisms and they’re made of durable materials. On the other hand, cargo bags usually come with a zip lock and they’re made of materials that can easily be cut open with a knife. So, if you’re bringing a lot of valuables with you, you should definitely consider going the safer route. However, if you’re travelling the outback, the chances of thieves stealing from you in the middle of nowhere are rather slim.
So, Which One Is Better?
The better choice for you will come down on personal requirements after you’ve considered all the aforementioned differences and factors. Storage capacity, compatibility, security, storage and cost will all play a role in your choice. Cargo bags provide ample space, save you a few bucks and provide decent weather protection. Cargo boxes offer superior protection, more space, prevent impact damage, are completely weatherproof, but all of that comes at a higher price.
That being said, consider where you stand on security, storage after use, whether you already have a roof rack or rails, and if you don’t, make sure you factor in those costs as well. Don’t forget to read some reviews about the product and brand you want to buy from, to make sure you’re getting good value for your money.