Best Hitch Cargo Carrier | Guide To The Best Rated Hitch Cargo Carrier

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Are you looking to take a trip but want to bring along the best hitch cargo carrier on the market? Maybe you’ve been looking for a way to pack more stuff but haven’t yet found the perfect cargo carrier for your needs. Whatever the case may be, this guide will help you identify the best hitch cargo carrier options available. It will also take you through some of the most important considerations when looking to buy the best hitch mounted cargo carrier on the market.top luggage rack for suv

But first—what is a hitch cargo carrier? We’re not talking about a rolling trailer that you tow along behind your car. A hitch cargo carrier is a tray or basket that hangs directly behind your bumper, on which you can stack additional cargo. This might include suitcases, coolers, or other miscellaneous items that you don’t have room for in your vehicle. The best hitch cargo carrier for you will have room for everything you need.

All of the best luggage rack for SUV products attach to your vehicle with a tow hitch. (Don’t worry if you have no idea what that is—we’ll cover that here, too.)

The Best Hitch Cargo Carrier For The Money (Full Hitch Cargo Carrier Reviews Below)

RANKINGIMAGEPRODUCT 
1.Vault Cargo Hitch CarrierCheck Price
2.Rola 59502 Vortex Steel Cargo CarrierCheck Price
3.Reese Explorer ProSeries 63153Check Price
4.Curt 18153 Basket-Style Cargo Carrier Check Price
5.MaxxHaul 70108 Aluminum Cargo CarrierCheck Price
6.Pro-Series 6502 StrongArm Hitch CarrierCheck Price
7.Highland 1042000 Hitch Mounted Cargo CarrierCheck Price
8.Kingbird 60” x 24” Folding Cargo Carrier Check Price
9.Merax Foldable Hitch Cargo Carrier Check Price
10.MaxxHaul 70422 Aluminum Cargo Carrier Check Price
11.Erickson 07496 Cargo Carrier with Sides Check Price

How can you use a hitch cargo carrier?

While full trailers are great for transporting a large amount of cargo, the best cargo carriers are less of a hassle for smaller loads. If you find that you just barely don’t have enough space in your vehicle for everything you need, a hitch cargo carrier is for you. It also takes away the stress of towing a rolling trailer or anything else behind you. The best hitch cargo carrier is basically just a small extension of your car.

When it comes to what you transport on your carrier, that’s completely up to you. Coolers, suitcases, camping gear, duffel bags—just about anything can be safely transported (within reason). And that’s as long as you safely tie down your cargo and don’t exceed the weight maximum for the best hitch cargo carrier you find.

What makes a great hitch cargo carrier?

Before we dive in to review the best cargo carrier list, let’s take a moment to discuss what makes a hitch cargo carrier great. It’s important to understand the elements of a great carrier, because making the right choice for you is vital. In some cases, you’ll have to choose between two features. For example, if you want high-end features and durability, you may need to spend a bit more up front. But we believe that the best hitch cargo carrier offers everything you need and more. So let’s take a look at the most important qualities of a truly great carrier for your vehicle.

Price

This is likely the first thought on most people’s minds when it comes time to buy. How much is it going to cost? It’s important to know that the best hitch mounted cargo carrier won’t always be the most expensive. There are some lower-cost options that will get the job done. However, you’ll find that sometimes it pays to pay a little bit more for a quality product. Don’t worry—the durability and features you’ll earn as a result will be worth the price. It’s all about deciding what’s right for your budget and working from there to make the right choice. Top rated cargo carrier

Durability

Durability is always a very important factor when looking for the best hitch cargo carrier. That’s especially true when it comes to items exposed to the elements for most of their use. Your carrier will be blasted rain, hit with road debris, blasted with dirt and grit from the road, and more. That’s why you want to choose a product that rates highly in durability and long-lasting design. You want hitches that are sturdy, parts that won’t breakdown after a few uses. Quality outweighs price every time, so consider a slightly costlier carrier if it looks like it will be more durable. That way you’re not just making a purchase—you’re making an investment.

Size

If you’re looking for the best rated hitch cargo carrier, you want it to be able to carry your cargo. That’s a no-brainer. So be sure to consider carrying capacity when you’re choosing the carrier for you. Think about your personal needs and how much you plan on towing on the carrier. What kinds of items will you be attaching to the carrier? Questions like these will help you choose the right size for your unique circumstances and ensure that you end up satisfied with your purchase. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself with a carrier that doesn’t suit your needs and just takes up weight in your garage.

Weight Capacity

Just as size is an important factor, weight is equally important when choosing the best cargo carrier for you. You’ll want to know beforehand how much weight your particular model can carry. This isn’t just a safety concern, though overloading a carrier past its weight can be unsafe. It’s also about convenience. There’s no point in buying what you consider the best hitch mounted cargo carrier if it’s not going to sustain the weight of the cargo you need to attach. So don’t just shop by price—be sure to check each products specifications and weight capacity before you buy. Your car will thank you for it later.

Safety

Attaching anything to your car while driving comes with the important consideration of safety. It’s vital to choose the best hitch cargo carrier that’s rated highly for safety, attaches properly, and will give you peace of mind. A loose or poorly designed carrier is not only a danger to you and your passengers, but also other drivers. It might also mean you could arrive at your destination with all of your possessions scattered somewhere down the highway. That’s an experience that no one wants as part of their next family vacation.

Security

The last thing you want after shelling out for a quality hitch cargo carrier is to lose it to theft. That’s why it’s important to choose a carrier that either offers a locking hitch pin or at least the ability to attach one. We’ll discuss a bit about what a locking hitch pin is later on, but essentially it secures your carrier to your car so no one can remove it but you. The best hitch cargo carrier will allow you to lock it securely so that no one can take it while you’re away. That way you won’t feel the need to remove and store it every time it’s not in use.

Features

Don’t forget about the extra features that can help make the best hitch mounted cargo carrier more useful and easy to use. These might include tie-down straps, or the ability to easily move the carrier so that you can access your trunk. Whatever the feature you’re looking for might be, don’t miss out on the cargo carrier that might offer it. Do your research and browse through the list below to find the perfect balance of price, features and other factors. In the end, you’ll be glad you took the time to do your research into an easy-to-use, streamlined carrier.

Accessibility

Mounted Cargo Carrier ReviewYou’ll want to make sure that your cargo carrier is easily accessible and just as easy to use. Some carriers allow you to shift the position so that you can access the trunk. Others make removal and installation extremely easy. Whatever convenient features you want, be sure to pick the best luggage rack for SUV to help you obtain them. That way you won’t find yourself regretting your purchase every time you go to use your carrier.

How much can you and your vehicle safely tow?

How much weight you can safely tow or carry behind you depends on your vehicle, your hitch and your towing package. Your vehicle will determine the limits on your gross combination weight rating (GCWR) and gross trailer weight (GTW). Your GCWR determines the total amount of weight your vehicle can safely handle. That includes both its own weight and the weight of its towed load.

The GTW is the full weight of your trailer or cargo carrier when its loaded with everything inside (or on top in the case of a hitch cargo carrier). This is an important figure to know when it comes to safely carrying any type of cargo with your vehicle. Even the best rated hitch cargo carrier can’t outmuscle your car’s limitations.

Fortunately, the built-in limitations of even the best rated hitch cargo carrier mean that you shouldn’t have to worry too much about exceeding your vehicles limits when towing. But it’s still very important information to keep in mind.

What type of hitch do you have on your vehicle?

There are five classes of hitch, and each one comes with its own sized opening and weight capacity. It’s important to first research your vehicle to determine how much weight the manufacturer dictates you can safely tow. From there you must choose the right hitch class based on your unique needs.

Class I

These hitches work well with small vehicles, including sedans and crossovers, and come with a GTW of up to 2,000 pounds.

Class II

Usually found in mid-sized cars and minivans, these hitches are able to tow loads as heavy as 3,500 pounds.

Class III

Class III trailer hitches are extremely versatile, and work well on everything from pickup trucks to full-size sport utility vehicles. They can tow between 3,500 and 6,000 pounds of gross trailer weight.

Class IV

Class IV hitches feature heavy-duty capability, allowing users of fully muscled trucks and big SUVS to tow loads as much as 10,000 pounds in GTW.

Class V

Most common on commercial vehicles, these are the heaviest duty hitches and can tow loads over 10,000 pounds in GTW. That’s a whole lot of muscle, and more than you’ll need for even the largest and best cargo carrier.

How do I know whether a hitch cargo carrier will fit my hitch?

The two common sizes found in hitch receivers (the section of hitch attached to your vehicle) are 1.25” and 2”. It’s important to know the size of your receiver to compare to the hitch size of the carrier you want. That way you can be spared the frustration of ordering the best hitch mounted cargo carrier around only to find it doesn’t fit your hitch receiver.Cargo Carrier Review

We’ve also listed the hitch size of each cargo carrier on our list in its respective section. That way you can know right away which of the best hitch cargo carrier options will fit your current setup.

 

What if the carrier I want doesn’t fit my hitch?

You’re not out of luck. Fortunately, there are hitch converters that can adjust your hitch from one size to another so that you can enjoy the best hitch cargo carrier for you. That said, not every cargo carrier manufacturer recommends using these for their products. It’s important to be informed before using a hitch converter in order to use a specific cargo carrier.

 

What if I don’t have a hitch on my car at all?

Don’t worry! Tow hitch packages are actually very easy to buy and install. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, many towing and moving companies will do it for you for a small feel. Reach out to your local U-haul location or a local towing company to find out whether they can help you. You can also request a price estimate for the price of a towing package, hitch, and installation.

Keep in mind that legally, your hitch setup must also include an electrical attachment. This is to ensure that your vehicle’s brake and turn signals will activate the corresponding lights on whatever you might be towing (even if, like a cargo carrier, there are no lights).

 

Do I need a locking hitch pin? 

Some of the best hitch cargo carriers on this list provide these for you, but you can also find them in auto stores and towing shops. These connect your receiver to your cargo carrier, ensuring that no one can remove the best hitch cargo carrier you purchased from the back of your car or truck. It’s peace of mind that’s worth the negligible price you’ll pay to have one attached. And remember, some of the products listed below include them with their cargo carrier.

Ranking the Best Hitch Cargo Carriers 

It’s time to compare the 11 best cargo carrier options and see how they stack up against the rest, and each other. You’ll find plenty of info here about price, features, durability, and other info. That way you’ll be able to make an informed choice and enjoy the most use out of the best rated hitch cargo carrier. Remember—each situation is unique. The carrier that might be perfect for one person might not be right for another.

That said, you can’t go wrong choosing a product near the top of this list. The items we rank as the best hitch cargo carrier options combine all of the features discussed above in order to bring you something truly excellent. And when it comes to countless summer road trips, moves, or other needs, you want a carrier that’s a pleasure to use every single time. You also don’t want to be replacing your carrier every year because it’s worn out. Go for quality, focus on features, and balance price with other factors to make the right choice on the best hitch cargo carrier. You won’t be disappointed.

1. Vault Cargo Hitch Carrier – Best Hitch Cargo Carrierbest hitch mounted cargo carrier

The absolute best hitch cargo carrier on our list comes from Vault. They’re a trusted producer of a wide range of car accessories. This cargo carrier is no different, packed with impressive features at an affordable price you’ll love.

Price

With a listed price of $129.97, this cargo carrier definitely won’t break the bank. When combined with its impressive list of features and hearty design, it’s the best value on the list and the bestluggage rack for SUV available. If you’re looking to get the absolute most bang for your buck, look no further than this Vault hitch carrier.

 

Durability

Made from square steel tubing designed to bolt the two pieces together, durability is the name of Vault’s game. And the raised rim surrounding the carrier will ensure that your cargo is safe, too. Heavy-duty and designed to get beat up along the road, you can’t go wrong with this beast of a carrier.

Size

At 60” by 22.5”, this carrier is the perfect size to carry your cooler, luggage or other cargo. It features a 2” hitch attachment. Meanwhile, it’s not so large that its cumbersome to use or creates wings on either side of your car. If you want to carry a large amount of cargo without inconveniencing your travel, this is the carrier for you. It’s the best hitch cargo carrier at balancing size with ease of use.

Weight Capacity

With a 500lbs carrying capacity, overloading this carrier definitely won’t be an issue. You can fill up the cooler, toss in bonus gear, and get on the road. You’ll never have to worry about loading too much with this impressive carrier.

Safety

The Vault cargo hitch carrier’s rugged steel construction and universal mount design make it completely safe for use with a standard receiver. The raised rim around the carrier also keeps your cargo safe from falling out. If you want the peace of mind to enjoy your next trip, the Vault design will let you do just that. This helps make it the best hitch cargo carrier on the market.

Security

The Vault carrier comes with an included locking hitch pin. This means you can safely secure your cargo carrier, so no one can remove it without you. This is an excellent feature considering that not all hitch cargo carriers include it, so you’ll be saving money and hassle on the best hitch mounted cargo carrier.

Related: The Best Tonneau Covers For Your Truck

Features

One of the best features of this carrier is the elevated shaft. It bends upward from your receiver and raises your cargo above your exhaust. This keeps all of your cargo from smelling like gas at the end of your trip. It also includes a free hitch pin and clip for security, as mentioned above.

Accessibility

The raised rim of the Vault hitch cargo carrier is just high enough to keep your gear from sliding. But it’s not so high that it makes removing your gear or loading it in difficult. The same goes for the raised shaft, which is high enough to avoid exhaust but low enough to access easily. Features like this make it the best hitch cargo carrier in terms of accessibility and ease of use.

Overall, the Vault hitch cargo carrier’s impressive list of features and design elements at an amazing price make it our number-one pick for the best hitch cargo carrier.

2. Rola 59502 Vortex Steel Cargo Carrier

best rated hitch cargo carrier

Price

It’s a bit more expensive than the Vault model at $153.99, but this Rola cargo carrier is still a great value given its quality and durability. You might be hesitant to top $150 in spending for a carrier, but when you start delving below the $100 range you run into poor quality and other flaws.

Durability

This carrier may not be the #1 best luggage rack for SUV, but it is definitely built to last. The impressively heavy-duty steel frame is black powder coated to protect against rust, scratches and other damage. This carrier will keep on trucking long after your first use, which makes it an even better value for the money.

Related: Best Winches For Your Truck

Size

At 56” x 23”, it’s slightly smaller than the Vault carrier. But it’s still a solid, impressive size to allow you to haul a significant amount of cargo. If you have a bigger vehicle or expect to need more space, opt for a bigger design. But for standard use you should be just fine with the Rola, even if it’s not the best hitch cargo carrier money can buy.

Weight Capacity

Rola’s weight capacity is 600 pounds, which is an impressive figure. That said, we find that the size limitations of a cargo hitch carrier mean that coming close to 600 pounds of cargo is very difficult. The Rola is still worth considering, but if you’re paying more for added weight capacity, you might be better off saving and going for the Vault. It’s still considered the best hitch cargo carrier for your money.

Safety

The durable construction we mentioned above pairs with with a raised, heavy-duty rim for safe storage. You’ll still want tie-down straps even with the best hitch cargo carrier, but this design helps keep everything secure. And with a standard hitch attachment, the connection will always be solid.

Security

Unlike the Vault, the Rola model doesn’t come with an included hitch pin attachment for locking your gear in place. This isn’t a dealbreaker, but it’s something to consider given the higher price of the Rola carrier and that it’s ranked as the second best hitch cargo carrier.

Features

With a 2” attachment for 2” hitch receivers, most hitches will accept the Rola 59502. It also features a 2-piece assembly for easy installation and attachment points for relocating your license plate for visibility. You can even upgrade your model to include a fully functioning light setup.

Accessibility

Like the Vault, the Rola features a low-set profile and rim for easy loading and unloading. However, it doesn’t feature the same elevated design of the Vault carrier for keeping exhaust out. In any case, you’ll be able to easily access your trunk and carrier with the Rola carrier which makes it one of the best hitch cargo carrier designs.

3. Reese Explorer ProSeries 63153

best cargo carrier

Price

The Reese Explorer comes with a $134.99 price tag on Amazon, making it more affordable than the Rola carrier but not quite the value of the best hitch cargo carrier. It’s a great value, and it’s led to extreme popularity for the Explorer model among car owners of all kinds. But how does it stack up when it comes to other features and design? Let’s find out.

Durability

The 2-piece construction of this carrier combines with powder coating for a durable finish. Powder coating is a process that helps steel resist damage from the elements, keeping it looking new for longer. It’s a great feature to have but isn’t essential to the structural strength of the carrier.

Size

At 60” x 24”, the Reese Explorer is marginally larger than the Rola or Vault. While those few inches might not make a dramatic difference, the Explorer is still an impressively sized carrier. You’ll be sure to be able to fit most of your cargo whenever you take it out for a trip.

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Weight Capacity

The Reese Explorer offers a 500 pound maximum weight capacity, the same as the Vault. As we mentioned in our review of the Rola, 500 pounds is about the most you could possibly need in even the best cargo carrier. Much more than that and you’ll run out of space long before you run out of weight capacity.

Safety

The 5.5” rails that surround the carrier keep your cargo nice and secure (with help from tie-down straps, not included). Meanwhile, the carrier fits 2” vehicle receivers for secure and safe attachment. You won’t have to worry about your cargo during your next big weekend trip.

Security

Like the Rola, the Reese Explorer does not come with an included locking hitch pin. That means you won’t be secured against carrier theft unless you purchase one yourself. It’s something to keep in mind when deciding which is the best hitch cargo carrier to purchase.

Features

Many of the features are optional additions, including full lighting setup or hitch receiver adjustments. But the rugged mesh flooring along the carrier’s bottom make cleaning straightforward, which is a nice touch.

Accessibility

The Explorer rises slightly off the bumper, helping to improve ground clearance and keep you from bending nearly to the ground. This is a great feature, as it also helps provide a bit of clearance from the exhaust. This can keep your cargo from smelling like gasoline after your next road trip.

4. Curt 18153 Basket-Style Cargo Carrier 

Pricebest luggage rack for suv

At $121.90 on Amazon, the Curt 18153 is the most budget-friendly carrier on our list so far. It’s a great value and offers an impressive number of features and design elements for the cost. If value matters to you, the Curt is a solid choice to make.

Durability

The 18153 is made from a heavy-duty steel design that’s tubular for lightweight strength. It’s a design used in other carriers, and it’s just as effective here. That said, the 18153 is not powder coated like some other models. But this is mainly a cosmetic concern, as it may be more prone to scratches and visual wear. It doesn’t keep this from ranking as one of the best hitch cargo carrier options.

Size

The listed size is set at 60” x 24”. This sits it right in the standard range for carriers, though it’s a bit more shallow than some. It will still offer plenty of room for carrying your cargo on a trip, so no worries there. It’s 6” railing height is also an inch or so higher than the other products on our list so far.

Weight Capacity

Like most other carriers, the 18153 boasts a 500 pound carrying capacity. This should be plenty for your loaded coolers, camping gear, luggage, or any other cargo you want to load up. It’s an excellent baseline weight for carrying cargo on your trips.

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Safety

The 2” shank size allows for safe, secure installation with a 2” receiver. Meanwhile, the 6” railing is higher than some other carriers which helps to ensure your cargo is secure. Just don’t forget to purchase some tie-downs to ensure that your cargo stays in place.

Security

No locking hitch pin included, you’ll need to get one for yourself.

Features

One of the most powerful features of the carrier is that it can fold up flush against the back of your vehicle. This is a great feature for when your carrier isn’t loaded, but you don’t want to detach it. It can fold up to keep it from adding length to your vehicle while driving.

Accessibility

The angled shank keeps the carrier up and away from your exhaust, while also giving more ground clearance. You’ll be able to easily lift cargo in and out, but the raised 6” railing might be a bit of a frustrating when lifting heavy items out and over.

5. MaxxHaul 70108 Aluminum Cargo Carrier

Pricebest luggage rack for suv 2018

The MaxxHaul price comes in at a downright cheap $78.17, which makes it one of the least expensive on our list. You’ll find out way soon enough, but if you’re looking for an ultra-budget friendly carrier, then you’ll want to consider the MaxxHaul 70108. Is it the best hitch cargo carrier on the market? No. But it’s inexpensive and gets the job done.

Durability

While the aluminum construction makes this a lightweight design, it also suffers in terms of durability. Aluminum can’t stand up to the strength of powder coated steel, so keep that in mind when buying. That said this is a well-made aluminum carrier that should hold up to general use.

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Size

The inner basket size is 47” x 20”, which makes it one of the smaller models on our list. That means you won’t be able to fit quite as much cargo as with other designs, like the Vault. But you should still be able to fit a medium-to-large cooler or some luggage and camping gear inside.

Weight Capacity

The 500 pound weight capacity should come as no surprise at this point. But the 70108 does get some points for managing that capacity with an aluminum frame. You don’t have to worry about overloading or weight damage to this hardy aluminum carrier, which is a nice touch for added peace of mind. It makes this arguably the best luggage rack for SUV vehicles when it comes to aluminum designs.

Safety

The 2” shank size gives you a safe, secure installation with a 2” receiver. Meanwhile, the 7” railing is significantly higher than some other carriers. This can help to guarantee your cargo is secure. You will still want to buy tie-down straps for additional safety when driving.

Security

No included locking hitch pin to be found, so you’ll want to purchase one separately. Keep that in mind when you’re looking at the impressive price.

Features

The basket is built to be resistant to rust and corrosion which should help ease the minds of skeptical buyers. The aluminum also makes the carrier more lightweight compared to steel designs, which should make installation and storage easier.

Accessibility

The carrier sits quite low on the bumper, which makes accessing your trunk more straightforward. But that low profile also means you’ll have less ground clearance and will have to bend lower to load and unload your things. It’s a trade-off, one that’s not a dealbreaker in either direction.

6. Pro-Series 6502 StrongArm Hitch Carrier

Pricebest cargo carrier 2018

The $139.50 price tag on this Pro-Series carrier is right in the sweet spot of other products on the list. It’s not too expensive, under $150, and offers enough features and smart designs to be well worth the cost. For a solid combination of value and price, the Pro-Series 6502 is not a bad choice.

Durability

The powder coated finish on this steel carrier makes it incredibly tough and resistant to wear. Whether its scratches, grit, dust, or rust, powder coating helps ensure long-lasting durability. Meanwhile, the rugged mesh along the bottom make it strong and durable from top to bottom for long-term use. The best hitch cargo carrier brands all feature this durability.

Size

At 48” by 20”, this carrier isn’t overly large but sits comfortably in the standard range for a cargo carrier. It will allow you to fit your coolers, bags and luggage or other gear without feeling tight on space. That way you’ll free up space inside your car for more legroom or additional cargo on your next trip.

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Weight Capacity

Once again, the standard 500 pound capacity is the name of the game here. This is the standard for the best hitch cargo carriers, and the 6502 is no exception. You’ll be able to carry plenty of weight for long trips or moves without any trouble. That peace of mind is worthwhile on its own.

Safety

The 3” side rails are on the short side, which means less protection against cargo hitting a bump and moving up and over the ridge. But you should be using nets or strap tie-downs anyway, so this isn’t a dealbreaker. The 2” hitch fits 2” receivers for a secure and safe connection.

Security

No included locking hitch pin, so don’t forget to get one yourself if you want to be able to secure this carrier safely to your vehicle. It doesn’t mean this isn’t one of the best hitch cargo carrier options, it’s just worth considering.

Features

The Pro-Series 6502 folds up flat against the back of your vehicle, which is a nice feature when the carrier is not in use. You can leave it attached for easy access but fold up and out of the way. This effectively shortens the length of your vehicle for more convenient and safe driving.

Accessibility

The shank is not angled to raise the carrier above exhaust or for greater ground clearance, but it does mean you should be able to easily access your trunk or backdoor even when it’s attached. But if the carrier is loaded, even the best hitch cargo carrier might block your way. It’s just part of the trade-off of hauling extra cargo.

7. Highland 1042000 Hitch Mounted Cargo Carrier 

Price

best rated hitch cargo carrier 2018

With a price point of $58.07 on Amazon, the Highland 1042000 is the cheapest carrier on our list. If budget pricing is the most important factor for you, look no further. What this carrier loses out on features and design it makes up for in savings. It will get the job done for a low price if that’s all you need.

Durability

The construction is fairly sturdy for such an inexpensive design, featuring heavy-duty steel construction that’s powder coated for added strength. That will keep you safe from scratches and dings, as powder coating creates a protective barrier around steel. Meanwhile, the mesh grate long the bottom is fairly durable and sturdy itself.

Size

At 60” x 20”, the 1042000 is a respectable size. That 60” width allows for a cooler plus additional cargo by its side, which is a convenient feature. It’s a bit shallow in depth but should still give you plenty of space for all of the cargo you need to bring along with you.

Related: Best Aluminum Floor Jack

Weight Capacity

The standard 500 pound capacity also applies here, making this (at least in terms of weight) a great value compared to other models. You still get the maximum weight of other carriers with as little as half the cost. But you’ll still lose out on overall build quality, durability and features.

Safety

A standard 2” hitch receiver will safely secure this carrier to your vehicle. The low 2” ridge is a bit of a concern, but with tie down holes included you should be able to safely stow your cargo without much worry. You can also attach an additional netting to the carrier for added secure storage.

Security

Unlike the Vault listed at number one as the best luggage rack for SUV, the Rola model doesn’t come with an included hitch pin attachment for locking your gear in place. This isn’t a huge shortcoming, but it’s something to keep in mind when buying.

Features

The 1042000 is fairly light on features, but it does include tie-down points for helping to secure your cargo. It also comes in two pieces that bolt together for quick setup and attachment. Otherwise, the $58 price tag makes itself known with the lack of other features like foldability.

Accessibility

The low profile of this carrier makes it easy for you to access the rear and trunk of your car when it’s not loaded. It may not be the best hitch cargo carrier on the market, but with a price like that, does it matter?

8. Kingbird 60” x 24” Folding Cargo Carrier 

Pricebest hitch mounted cargo carrier 2018

The Kingbird folding cargo carrier comes in at $131.99 on Amazon, which fits it right in the average range of the carriers we’ve featured here. And with the included features and add-ons that come with this carrier, we think it’s a solid value for the money. Find out more by reading on below.

Durability

The extremely thick steel construction of this carrier makes it one of the hardiest, most durable on our list. Even the mesh along the bottom is made from thickened steel. Meanwhile, the tubular construction helps cut down on a bit of weight while black powder coating protects against wear and damage. Overall, it’s a beast of a carrier that’s built to last.

Size

The 60” by 24” dimensions are fairly standard for carriers of its type, so it neither loses nor gains significant points for this in our ranking. The 60” is nice and wide for coolers and other gear, and overall you’ll be able to fit plenty of cargo. Whatever you need, this carrier can haul it.

Related: Best Low Profile Jack

Weight Capacity

The 520 pound weight capacity is a slight upgrade from the standard 500 pounds. Will that 20 pounds make the difference when loading up for your next road trip? Probably not. But it’s enough to give the Kingbird a solid boost in our rankings above other models.

Safety

The 6” side rails are on the higher side, which helps keep your cargo secure. And the included heavy-duty straps are a nice touch. They’re not only solid and dependable but will keep you from having to buy straps or tie-downs separately. The two sturdy metal poles on each side of the carrier also help ensure safety when bearing a heavy load.

Security

Compatible with a locking hitch pin, but one is not included with the carrier. This doesn’t mean it’s not the best hitch cargo carrier for your needs, but it’s worth considering.

Features

One of the best features of this carrier is its included pair of advanced tie-down straps. It also boasts the ability to fold up against the back of your vehicle. This is very convenient as it keeps you from needing to detach the carrier each time it’s not in use. You can simply fold it flush against your car’s rear and drive as normal without worrying about the length of your vehicle.

Accessibility

The folding ability and low profile of this carrier make accessibility a positive factor. When empty, you should be able to easily access the rear of your vehicle or fold the carrier up for access to your bumper. You can also remove it fairly easily from your hitch for quick storage.

9. Merax Foldable Hitch Cargo Carrier 

Pricetop hitch mounted cargo carrier

While it’s not the best hitch cargo carrier on the market, the Merax Foldable Hitch Cargo Carrier is a solid value at $135.99. If you’re looking for something sturdy and dependable that won’t break the bank, look no further. The Merax carrier has you covered.

Durability

The Merax uses a slightly lighter-weight material for its frame, which makes it less durable but also more lightweight. You shouldn’t worry about it breaking apart, but it’s worth considering that more heavy-duty models are powder coated for long-lasting strength.

Size

Choosing the best hitch cargo carrier isn’t just about size, but it’s one important factor. The Merax model is 59” x 23.6”. This makes it a respectable, wide size that will fit plenty of cargo. Next time you’re looking for a cargo carrier with plenty of space for everything you need, the Merax should be kept in mind.

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Weight Capacity

This is where the Merax loses some major points and falls short of being named the best hitch cargo carrier available. It’s maximum carrying capacity is only 360 pounds, significantly less than the 500 pounds that’s standard in other brands. You’ll have to be careful about overloading this model, which can be a stressful inconvenience.

Safety

One positive that the Merax model brings is a basket-style design that keeps your cargo safely secured. The basket extends 15” from the base of the carrier, which even some of the best hitch cargo carrier designs can’t match. With a 2” vehicle receiver you’ll have a safe attachment that you can depend on, too.

Security

No included locking hitch pin, as is often the case with most models except our #1 pick from Vault. Again, it’s not a dealbreaker but is worth considering.

Features

We mentioned the basket-style design above, but it’s also worth noting that the basket is foldable for space-saving storage and easy transportation. The mesh flooring is also easy to clean, which might not make this the best hitch mounted cargo carrier but is a nice touch.

Accessibility

This carrier comes far enough out behind your car that you may still be able to access your trunk even with the basket extended. That said, you can easily fold the basket down to open the trunk if necessary. For such a large-profile carrier, this may be one of the best hitch cargo carrier options for accessibility.

10. MaxxHaul 70422 Aluminum Cargo Carrier 

Pricetop rated hitch cargo carrier

We’ve already covered a MaxxHaul brand aluminum carrier in this list, but the 70422 is even more cost-effective at $61.88. It’s even bigger than its other, more expensive MaxxHaul counterpart. But what you get in affordability you lose in terms of features. We’ll get to that in a moment on our list of the best cargo carrier products.

Durability

The same knock applies here as it does to the other MaxxHaul design. Aluminum doesn’t have quite the same strength and durability of powder coated steel. As a result, an aluminum carrier will never be rated the best hitch cargo carrier on the market. That said, MaxxHaul makes quality products so you generally can depend on the rust and corrosion-resistant aluminum design.

Size

The size tops out at 48” x 21”. That makes this a mid-range but not particularly impressive carrier in terms of capacity. It’s certainly not the best hitch mounted cargo carrier based on size. But if you’re just looking to free up a little space in your vehicle with a cooler or luggage, it will get the job done.

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Weight Capacity

The MaxxHaul can handle the standard 500 pounds of distributed weight. This brings it right in line with the average among our rankings, despite its aluminum construction.

Safety

The ridge surrounding the carrier isn’t as high as we would generally like to see, but it’s still a safe, durable and dependable carrier for your cargo. The 2” hitch connection will keep the carrier secure against your vehicle.

Security

No locking hitch pin is included.

Features

The open design of the floor means that moisture and grime won’t be able to gather. Meanwhile, the 2” side rails are built right into the frame for a more durable, long-lasting construction. Otherwise, the 70422 is light on features when compared to the best rated hitch cargo carrier options on our list.

Accessibility

You should be able to access your trunk just fine when the carrier isn’t loaded with gear, and even if it has a small bit of cargo loaded. The ground clearance is still pretty impressive, so you won’t be too stressed about bumps and uneven terrain.

11. Erickson 07496 Cargo Carrier with Sides 

Pricetop cargo carrier

At $149.88, the Erickson 07496 is on the expensive side for our list. But it’s still a solid value given what it has to offer.

Durability

The collapsible steel basket is strong and durable enough to give you peace of mind while driving. It’s also built to hold up to years of regular use, so you shouldn’t need to replace it anytime soon. It may not be the best hitch cargo carrier on the market, but it’s certainly durable.

Size

The best hitch cargo carrier options often have at least 45” by 20” of space. The 07496 offers an impressive 60” of width for carrying large cargo loads. That’s an impressive figure for storing plenty of gear on your next road trip.

Weight Capacity

You’ll find the Erickson 07496 offers the same 500 pound weight capacity that is standard in other brands and models.

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Safety

What makes this the best hitch cargo carrier for load safety is the high-side basket design, which keeps your gear safely enclosed and protected in a wire frame on all sides. That frame is foldable for storage and transport, but when raised it creates a barrier of safety surrounding your gear.

Security

No locking hitch pin is included.

Features

The basket design is arguably the most impressive feature, but the best cargo carrier products go above and beyond. In that sense, the 07496 loses points in the area of features. Aside from its high basket design, it’s essentially devoid of extra features.

Accessibility

The height of the basket may make it difficult to access your car’s trunk, but the sides can always fold down when the carrier isn’t loaded with cargo.

Conclusion 

The best hitch cargo carrier for you will depend a great deal on your personal needs. But this list should serve as a solid starting point to show you what features are available and what price points are worth the value. With a little research you’ll be able to find the best hitch cargo carrier for your needs in no time.

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