Whether you’re going camping or taking a road trip, expanded cargo capacity is almost a necessity. No matter how large your vehicle is, there’s a good chance you can’t fit everything you need when you’re taking a trip, which means leaving some things behind. That’s when cargo carriers are extremely handy, expanding your cargo capacity without impacting the actual interior space of your vehicle.
There are plenty of different cargo carriers out on the market, but hitch-mounted units are convenient and expand your cargo capacity with ease. Designed with practicality in mind, some hitch-mounted cargo carriers even have a foldable design, allowing you to easily store it when it’s not being used. Other products come in the form of a cargo bag, which is great for protecting your contents from weather conditions.
Most cargo carriers can be easily mounted on today’s crossovers, SUVs, and even some passenger vehicles. Naturally you’ll need to make sure your vehicle is equipped with a hitch receiver, and if not, you can outfit nearly any vehicle with an aftermarket offering.
To learn more about hitch cargo carriers, refer to our table of contents.
Table of contents
- 1. Editor's Pick: Reese Pro Series Rambler (63153)
- 2. Best Cargo Bag: ROLA Wallaroo (59102)
- 3. Best for Versatility: Curt Basket-Style Cargo Carrier (18153)
- 4. Highland Hitch Mounted Cargo Carrier (1042000)
- 5. ROLA Rainproof Cargo Carrier Bag (59119)
- 6. MaxxHaul Hitch Mount Compact Cargo Carrier (70107)
- 7. MaxxHaul 49" x 22.5" Hitch Mount Aluminum Cargo Carrier (70108)
- 8. Merax Foldable Hitch Cargo Carrier
- 9. MaxxHaul Hitch Mount Steel Folding Cargo Carrier (70103)
- 10. Arksen 60" x 20" inch Cargo Carrier
- How to Choose the Right Hitch Cargo Carrier
1. Editor's Pick: Reese Pro Series Rambler (63153)
One of the highest rated and most popular hitch cargo carriers on Amazon is the Pro Series Rambler. Sporting a 60″ by 24″ platform, this cargo carriers offers 500 lb capacity, while 5.5″ side rails helps keep your cargo secured within the platform. It’s also extremely easy to maintain and clean, thanks to a rugged mesh floor. This product fits 2″ square vehicle receivers and features a rise shank design to elevate your cargo, delivering improved ground clearance.
Sporting a 2-piece design, this cargo carrier has a durable powdercoat finish to resist elements, scratches, and rust.
2. Best Cargo Bag: ROLA Wallaroo (59102)
If you’re looking for a cargo bag, the ROLA Wallaroo is a great choice, offering up to 11.5 cubic feet of storage space—expanded from 9.5 cubic feet when the extra zipper is unzipped. Manufactured from a premium-quality, rainproof material with sonically welded seams, this cargo bag will keep all its contents dry, clean, and protected no matter where you’re heading.
With 6 straps, this product is designed to be a universal fit with most hitch mounted cargo strays and baskets. Inside the bag are 2 interior pockets that can hold small items and help with organization. It tips the scales at 6.5 lbs, so it won’t add any significant weight to your carrier.
3. Best for Versatility: Curt Basket-Style Cargo Carrier (18153)
This basket-style cargo carrier from Curt features a folding shank (1-1/4″ or 2″), so it can be tilted up when it’s not in use. Measuring 60″ by 24″, this cargo carrier has 6″ tall sides to keep items more securing during travel. It is made from heavy duty carbide steel with a tubular construction that has been powdercoated and has a carrying capacity of 500 lbs. At the bottom is a mesh base, allowing for easy cleanup of debris.
Installation is fairly easy with this product, thanks to a bolt-together design. This cargo carrier can also be mounted to a front hitch if your vehicle is equipped with one.
4. Highland Hitch Mounted Cargo Carrier (1042000)
Sporting a 2-piece design that bolts together in minutes, this hitch mounted cargo carrier from Highland fits any 2″ receiver and offers up to 500 lb capacity. The platform itself measures 60″ by 20″ with 2.5″ tall sides and features an expanded metal deck and convenient tie down points. Constructed from heavy duty steel, this carrier has a durable powdercoat finish to help resist rust and other elements.
Compared to other cargo carriers, its sides aren’t as tall, so you’ll want to pay close attention when securing your cargo. It is however, more affordable than some of the competition.
5. ROLA Rainproof Cargo Carrier Bag (59119)
If you need more storage, ROLA offers another rainproof cargo carrier bag offering up to 20 cubic feet. Measuring 59″ by 24″ by 24″, this is one of the larger cargo bags available on the market and it will fit on cargo baskets measuring 60″ by 24″ and up. Like the Wallaroo, this cargo bag comes with a 6-strap system to help keep everything in place.
Constructed of quality waterproof materials and sonic welding technology, all the zippers on this product are protected by rain flaps. ROLA offers a 5-year warranty on this cargo carrier bag.
6. MaxxHaul Hitch Mount Compact Cargo Carrier (70107)
MaxxHaul has several cargo carriers available, one of which is this option measuring 53″ by 19-1/2″ (outer dimensions). Constructed from heavy duty steel, this carrier boasts reflectors for added safety and high side rails to keep your cargo securely in place. This product fits standard Class III and IV 2″ by 2″ receiver hitches and weighs 27 lbs. It supports a fairly standard 500 lb capacity.
Unlike similar carriers however, this one doesn’t have a mesh base. This may not affect you, but it’s something to keep in mind. Overall, it’s an inexpensive and fairly basic cargo carrier that does the job.
One major complaint for this product is that on some vehicles, it sits really low and close to the car’s exhaust. Take some measurements or use caution if that’s the case with your car, since the exhaust can get hot and could melt your cargo—or worse, set it on fire.
7. MaxxHaul 49" x 22.5" Hitch Mount Aluminum Cargo Carrier (70108)
If you’re in the market for something lighter weight, another MaxxHaul offering is is this aluminum cargo carrier. Designed to fit Class III and Class IV 2″ by 2″ hitch receivers, this aluminum basket is resistant to corrosion and easy to install, featuring reflectors for increased road safety just like MaxxHaul’s other products. It has a maximum distributed weight capacity of 500 lbs and measures 49-1/4″ by 22-1/2″ by 7-1/4″ (outside dimensions).
The high side rails helps keep cargo secure, while this carrier’s design provides limitless tie down points for your loads. The under support for this product is made from heavy duty gauge steel with a powdercoat finish to resist rust and corrosion. The carrier itself weighs 30 lbs.
8. Merax Foldable Hitch Cargo Carrier
While expensive, this is one of the most versatile hitch cargo carriers available, but it’s also not for everybody. Featuring 15.4″ tall sides, you can feel safe dropping cargo into this basket, which measures 59″ by 24″. Unfortunately, its max cargo capacity is 360 lbs, which means it isn’t as robust as other options on the list. If you don’t need the more popular 500 lb capacity however, this is a great carrier since its 4 sides and shank are foldable, so it can be conveniently folded up when not being used.
This product fits 2″ vehicle receivers and is easy to install. It’s also very easy to clean thanks to a mesh flooring, and comes with 2 red reflectors so it’s easier to see at night. The entire carrier has a powdercoated finish to help prevent rusting and damage from outside elements.
9. MaxxHaul Hitch Mount Steel Folding Cargo Carrier (70103)
Yet another MaxxHaul product on our list, this steel folding cargo carrier has outer dimensions of 60″ by 21″ by 6-1/2″. The all-steel construction features a durable black powdercoat finish to resist rust and corrosion, while the mesh-style basket helps accommodate all sorts of cargo. It has a maximum 500 lb weight capacity and also comes with red reflectors for increased visibility at night.
This product can be folded up when not in use and uses locking pins to keep it securely fastened. It’s a bit on the heavier side, weighing 53 lbs. It fits 2″ by 2″ Class II and Class IV hitch receivers.
10. Arksen 60" x 20" inch Cargo Carrier
One of the few cargo carriers on the market that includes a cargo bag comes from Arksen. It measures 60″ by 20″ and features strong square tube construction with a black powdercoat finish. It’s an easy-to-assemble product with 500 lb distributed weight capacity, like most of the other carriers on our list. The basket-style carrier is foldable with a mesh bottom to prevent smaller objects from falling through.
The included cargo bag is water resistant and can expand from 20″ to 27″ in width. It measures 58″ long and 19-1/2″ tall and can be folded up for easy storage when not in use. This product fits 2″ Class III and IV hitches, although a hitch pin isn’t included.
How to Choose the Right Hitch Cargo Carrier
There are a few things to take into account when choosing the right hitch cargo carrier for your vehicle. You want to start off by determining what hitch class your vehicle has, especially if you installed an aftermarket hitch. You’ll want to make sure the hitch cargo carrier you’re purchasing is compatible with your specific hitch class.
Next, determine the type of cargo and how often you’ll be using your cargo carrier. Do you need a solution that folds up when it’s not in use? Or perhaps you live in an area that often experiences rain, which means you’ll want a weatherproof cargo bag to protect your gear. If you believe you won’t need to use your cargo carrier that often, then you might want to choose a carrier that is easy to install/uninstall.
Lastly, make sure you estimate the weight of your cargo and purchase a cargo carrier that will support that weight. Some cheaper cargo carriers will have a lower weight capacity, so keep that in mind if you plan on hauling heavy items.
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