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Soft cargo carriers are a great way to transport extra items in your vehicle without taking up space in the cabin. Whether you're going on a road trip, camping or just need to bring large items with you, a soft cargo carrier can be a valuable accessory to have. However, with so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to figure out which one to choose. In this article, we'll go over valuable tips to help you pick the perfect soft cargo carrier for your needs.
1. Consider the Size
Before you start shopping for a soft cargo carrier, it's essential to know how much space you have available on your vehicle. You'll need to measure the length, width and height of your vehicle's roof to know what size of cargo carrier will fit. Once you have these measurements, you can start looking for carriers that meet those specific dimensions. Be sure to factor in the height of the carrier when it's packed, as this can vary depending on the product.
- The size of your vehicle
- The size of the roof rack or crossbars
- The size of the cargo that you're planning to transport
2. Look for Waterproof Materials
If you're planning to use your soft cargo carrier outdoors, it's essential to look for products made with waterproof materials. The last thing you want is for your items to get wet in the rain or snow. Many soft cargo carriers are made using durable water-resistant materials such as nylon or PVC. However, some products may not be completely waterproof, so it's essential to read the manufacturer's specifications before making a purchase.
Waterproof Material Options:
3. Consider the Mounting Options
Another important factor to consider when selecting a soft cargo carrier is the mounting type. Soft cargo carriers are generally designed to attach to either roof racks or crossbars, so it's crucial to find a product that's compatible with your vehicle's setup. Some carriers come with their mounting hardware, while others require specialized kits that you'll need to purchase separately.
Mounting Options to Consider:
4. Look for Durable Construction
Soft cargo carriers should be made using durable materials that can withstand the elements and regular use. Look for products made using high-grade materials that can handle heavy loads without tearing or breaking easily. Remember that you'll be driving at high speeds with your cargo carrier on your roof, so you'll want a product that doesn't shift or move while in transit.
Durable Material Options:
- Heavy-duty nylon
- PVC-coated fabric
5. Consider the Weight Limit
When selecting a soft cargo carrier, it's important to pay attention to weight limits. Soft carriers have a weight limit that ranges from 100 to 600 pounds, depending on the product. Overloading your carrier can cause damage to your vehicle, and in extreme cases, can cause the carrier to rip and items to fall out onto the road. Always check the manufacturer's specifications and recommendations regarding weight limits.
Weight Limit Guidelines:
- Don't exceed the weight limit specified by the manufacturer
- Evenly distribute the weight of items
- Secure items well to prevent shifting during transport
6. Look for Easy Installation
The soft cargo carrier that you purchase should be easy to install and remove from your vehicle. Nobody wants to spend hours fiddling with hardware, trying to get the carrier attached or detached. Look for products that come with clear installation instructions and don't require specialized tools or equipment to attach.
Easy Installation Features to Look For:
- Step-by-step installation instructions
- Minimal hardware requirements
- No specialized tools or equipment needed
7. Check for Reinforced Zippers
The zippers on your soft cargo carrier are critical to keeping your items dry and secure during transport. However, if the zippers aren't made using durable materials, they can break, and your items can spill out onto the road. Look for soft cargo carriers with reinforced zippers that can handle the stress of opening and closing repeatedly.
Zippers to Consider:
- YKK zippers
- Heavy-duty zippers
- Double-stitched seams and zippers
8. Look for Adequate Straps
Soft cargo carriers must be securely attached to your vehicle to prevent shifting during travel. Look for carriers that come with adequate straps that can hold the carrier in place without slipping or becoming loose. Some products come with adjustable straps to ensure a tight fit.
- Adjustable straps
- Heavy-duty straps
- Multiple straps for extra security
9. Consider Storage and Portability
Once you've reached your destination, you'll need a place to store your soft cargo carrier. Look for products that are easy to fold up and store in your trunk or garage when not in use. Additionally, some carriers come with carrying cases that make them easy to transport between locations.
Storage and Portability Features to Look For:
- Foldable designs
- Carrying cases
- Lightweight materials
Selecting the perfect soft cargo carrier requires some considerations, but with our valuable tips, you'll be able to pick the perfect product for your needs. Remember to check for the right size, waterproof materials, durable construction, weight limit, easy installation, reinforced zippers, adequate straps, storage and portability features. By keeping these factors in mind, you'll be able to find a product that's not only functional but easy to use and transport as well.