What Are Luggage Boxes?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

Luggage boxes are hardshell cases usually mounted to the roof of a car or truck in which luggage can be stored safely and securely during travel. Rooftop luggage boxes are usually designed to be aerodynamic and lightweight, and they must be secured properly to a roof rack to prevent the unit from flying off the rooftop during travel. Many boxes are made from different types of durable plastics, and they are often hinged to allow easy access to the inside of the box. Many models feature locks as well to ensure the contents of the box are safe when the vehicle is not in motion.

Other types of luggage boxes can be mounted to other parts of the vehicle, or they may be designed for other vehicles entirely. Some types of motorcycles, for example, feature luggage boxes that mount at the back of the motorcycle, or even on the sides of the motorcycle by the rear wheel. Some automobile boxes can be mounted to the car or truck via a trailer hitch receiver unit, meaning the box will be located at the back of the vehicle rather than on top of it.

The size and shape of rooftop luggage boxes can vary according to the motorist's needs. Some boxes are short and wide, spanning the entire width of the vehicle's roof, while others are narrower and slightly taller, taking up only half the width of the vehicle's roof. In both cases, the front of the luggage box is usually tapered for better aerodynamic positioning. The rear of the box may also be tapered, though this is not always the case, as it can limit the storage space. The overall length of the box can vary as well according to the user's needs, though most of the boxes span the length of the roof entirely.

Luggage boxes must be secured to the top of the vehicle using mounting hardware known as feet. These feet are usually padded on the bottom to prevent damaging the car's finish, and the top of the feet feature hooks or other securing methods designed to work in conjunction with the box itself. This hardware secures the box directly to the roof or to an existing roof rack for stability during travel. It is not uncommon to find feet that feature locks to prevent theft of the entire box unit.

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      Woman holding a book