4x4 Truck & Jeep

Top 5 Best Hitch Cargo Carriers Reviewed – [2019]

We Review The Strongest, Lightest And Largest Capacity Hitch-Style Cargo Carriers

Never let a lack of car space prevent you from bringing everything you need for your trip with you. If you’re interested in purchasing a hitch cargo carrier but don’t know where to start, follow this comprehensive guide for the top 5 best hitch cargo carriers.

Below, you’ll find reviews of each of these hitch cargo carriers. Their features are highlighted, as well as the benefits of each option. Following their reviews, you can read through our buyer’s guide, How To Choose The Best Hitch Cargo Carrier and our FAQs.

Quick Answer: Top 5 Best Hitch Cargo Carriers

  1. ROLA 59502 Vortex Steel Cargo Carrier, Hitch-Mount, High-Capacity Basket
  2. CURT 18153 Basket-Style Cargo Carrier
  3. Pro Series 6502 StrongArm Hitch Mounted Folding Cargo Carrier
  4. MaxxHaul 70108 Hitch Mount Aluminum Cargo Carrier
  5. Mockins Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier with Cargo Bag and Net

Best Hitch Cargo Carriers

 ROLA 59502 Vortex Steel Cargo CarrierCURT 18153 Basket-Style Cargo CarrierPro Series 6502 StrongArm Hitch Mounted Folding Cargo Carrier
editors choice
Size56 x 23 x 5.25 inches
60 x 24 x 6 inches
48 x 20 x 3 inches
Weight72 lbs
70 lbs
48 lbs
Special Features
Heavy-duty steel construction and coated with scratch resistant black powder
Heavy-duty tubular steel construction and coated with a carbide black powder
Made of heavy-duty steel, finished with powdered coating
Customer Ratings
4.2 / 5.0 Stars4.4 / 5.0 Stars4.6 / 5.0 Stars

Also see: Hitch Cargo Carriers Comparison Table


Best Hitch Cargo Carriers Reviews

#1 ROLA 59502 Vortex Steel Cargo Carrier, Hitch-Mount, High-Capacity Basket

best hitch cargo carriers

At A Glance:

  • 56 x 23 x 5.25 inches
  • 72 lbs
  • Heavy-duty steel construction and coated with scratch resistant black powder
  • 600 lb capacity
  • Easy assembly
The ROLA 59502 Vortex Steel Cargo Carrier is a great option for adventurers, travelers, or movers from all over. ROLA has been in the business of making car carriers for and roof racks for over 30 years now and they can ensure your product is the best quality.

Assembled in Australia, ROLA’s racks were built to withstand the worst of outback conditions. No matter where you go with the ROLA 59502 Vortex Steel Cargo Carrier, it will be able to effectively support up to 600 pounds of material.

Made with a heavy-duty steel construction, this hitch cargo carrier will hold nearly anything you need it to. You can fit up to 600 pounds of material into the ROLA 59502 Vortex Steel Cargo Carrier. This is like fitting the weight of four baby elephants into the trunk of your car!

Finished with a black, scratch resistant powder, your carrier will always look like new. This hitch rack is 56 inches by 23 inches and has a depth of 5.25 inches, meaning the carrier is generally shallow, but you can stack your items and strap them down with cord.

Never fear not having enough space for all of the items you want to bring on your journey and enjoy the ease of the ROLA 59502 Vortex Steel Cargo Carrier. It fits on any two-inch square receiver hitch and has a two-piece easy assembly and installation process. To put the carrier together, it’s a quick and easy process that only involves one tool – a socket wrench.

After the carrier is fully assembled, there are spots for you to put a license plate. The ROLA 59502 has the option of a light package as well. This assembly would take a little more time, as it involves some light wiring work to connect to your brake lights. This addition is beneficial, though, as if it is dark some people behind you may miss your carrier and could rear end you.

This cargo hitch carrier is ideal for bags, coolers, camping gear, and various other forms of bulky equipment. No matter what kind of material you may be carrying, the ROLA 59502 can guarantee you stability, security, and ease of use.


#2 CURT 18153 Basket-Style Cargo Carrier

CURT-18153-Basket-Style-Cargo-Carrier

At A Glance:

  • 60 x 24 x 6 inches
  • 70 lbs
  • Heavy-duty tubular steel construction and coated with a carbide black powder
  • 500 lb capacity
  • Equipped with a folding shank
Great for long-distance trips, the CURT 18153 Basket-Style Cargo Carrier is a one of the best hitch cargo carriers on the market. No matter what you are using your carrier for, you can guarantee that it will remain intact for as long as you need it.

The CURT 18153 adds a lot of extra space to your vehicle and opens up your trunk or internal car space for additional items. If you’re looking for a great cargo rack hitch, the CURT 18153 Basket Style Cargo Carrier is one to beat.

Constructed with heavy-duty and high-grade tubular steel, your CURT 18153 trailer hitch basket is built to withstand significant wear and tear. The steel is also coated with a carbide black powder which is known to resist scratches from dirt and debris.

You won’t have to worry about your carrier losing its new, out of the box look. The dimensions of this carrier are 60 inches by 24 inches and has a depth of 6 inches. This depth is one of the larger ones which makes for a more secured load. For extra protection, secure your materials with cord.

Up to 500 pounds can fit inside the CURT 18153 Basket Style Cargo Carrier. This is equivalent to a fully-grown American alligator in your cargo hitch basket. You can fit a lot of heavy items in this carrier, so no matter what you decide you need to bring on your trip, all of your gear will be fully secure.

The CURT 18153 Basket Style Cargo Carrier is easy to use and has plenty of benefits. Because the bottom base is made of a thick, durable mesh, any messes or debris will easily pass through, making for easy cleaning. You’ll never have to worry about dirt buildup getting into any of your items.

Additionally, this carrier is equipped with a folding shank. This allows you to position the CURT 18153 Basket Style Cargo Carrier in an upright, folded position when not in use. This folding hitch cargo carrier is great for tight parking spots or if you want to avoid removing your carrier each time it’s not in use.

Most cars and trucks are compatible with the CURT 18153, as it has a 2-inch shank. The shank itself is angled. This added angle raises the platform higher off the ground than your hitch is placed which is great for additional ground clearance. Uniquely, this hitch not only works on the rear of your vehicle, but it fits front hitches if your car is equipped with one.

No matter how much gear you need to bring on your next trip or adventure, the CURT 18153 Basket Style Cargo Carrier can help you along the way.


#3 Pro Series 6502 StrongArm Hitch Mounted Folding Cargo Carrier

At A Glance:

  • 48 x 20 x 3 inches
  • 48 lbs
  • Made of heavy-duty steel, finished with powdered coating
  • 500 lb capacity
  • Foldable arm for storage
The Pro Series 6502 StrongArm Hitch Mounted Folding Cargo Carrier is perfect for individuals who need a temporary rack of added storage on their vehicle. This rack is perfect for small trips like when traveling to a campsite, or if you just need some extra room for your automobile.

You’ll never have to worry about not having enough space when you install the Pro Series 6502 StrongArm Hitch Mounted Folding Cargo Carrier. Made of a heavy-duty steel, the Pro Series 6502 is sure to withstand anything you put it through.

The steel is also coated using a black powder that is resistant to scratches from dust, dirt, and debris, and even UV light protected. This means that the surface of this carrier will always look just like new. In addition to the surface strength, this carrier can hold up to 500 pounds of gear.

This means that if you need to haul heavy items along with you that can’t fit inside your vehicle, you can tie it down to the Pro Series 6502 StrongArm Hitch Mounted Folding Cargo Carrier.

Speaking of tying your items down, this hitch mounted cargo carrier is equipped with 3-inch railings. While this may seem shallow, there are built in holes for easy tie down locations. This means that the 3-inch barrier is tall enough to make sure your items don’t slip off, and it provides enough spots for tie downs. Never fear your items falling off of your carrier during bumpy terrain with the Pro Series 6502.

One great feature about the Pro Series 6502 StrongArm Hitch Mounted Folding Cargo Carrier is how it is perfect for small spaces. There is a hinge located on the arm of the carrier allowing it to fold up when it isn’t in use. This gives you easy storage and allows you to keep the carrier on your car instead of removing it and reinstalling it every individual time you need to use it, which is perfect for trailer hitch storage.

The Pro Series 6502 StrongArm Hitch Mounted Folding Cargo Carrier is a great hitch cargo carrier option for all individuals who want an easy to use hitch carrier.


#4 MaxxHaul 70108 Hitch Mount Aluminum Cargo Carrier

At A Glance:

  • 25 x 22.5 x 5.25 inches
  • Lightweight 29.4 lbs
  • Constructed with aluminum
  • 500 lb capacity
Compared to other hitch mount carriers, the MaxxHaul 70108 Hitch Mount Aluminum Cargo Carrier is better for permanent use. This carrier is ideal for larger items, as the holes within the carrier are very large. This could allow smaller materials to fall through. Larger, heavier items can disperse the weight and sit comfortably in this carrier.

Made of aluminum, this aluminum hitch cargo carrier is unlike others. Many trailer hitch luggage racks are made of steel, but having an aluminum frame allows a lighter load. Aluminum is known to be strong, yet light, and can therefore ensure your vehicle does not sink significantly when you place the carrier on.

This MaxxHaul 70108 Hitch Mount Aluminum Cargo Carrier can fit onto all types of vehicles that are equipped with a 2-inch hitch. This means that if you purchase the MaxxHaul 70108 Hitch Mount Aluminum Cargo Carrier and switch cars after some time, it will most likely be compatible with your new vehicle.

This carrier is 49.25 inches by 22.5 inches and has a height of 5.25 inches. This is taller than many other cargo carriers on the market and can ensure your materials will not slip off when driving fast or over bumpy terrain. Always protect your materials by adding straps or an additional cargo net for extra and added safety.

One thing to be aware of with this hitch carrier is it does not have an angled stem. This means that if your vehicle hitch connection point is not raised high, there is a chance of scraping or bottoming out the MaxxHaul 70108. This means this carrier is not ideal for those with low cars.

The MaxxHaul 70801 Hitch Mount Aluminum Cargo Carrier is one of the best hitch cargo carriers for individuals looking for a lighter and durable hitch carrier.


#5 Mockins Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier with Cargo Bag and Net

At A Glance:

  • 60 x 20 x 6 inches
  • 52 lbs
  • Made of strong, coated steel
  • 500 lb capacity
  • Foldable hinge for easy storage
The Mockins Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier with Cargo Bag Net is one of the best all-inclusive hitch cargo carriers on the market. It comes with everything you may need to effectively use a rear cargo carrier.

Included with the individual hitch carrier, the package includes a cargo net, waterproof cover to keep your items safe, two ratchet straps to secure your items, and hitch stabilizer. With all of these items, you can take your vehicle and hitch anywhere, since it will keep all of your items free of damage.

The purpose of purchasing a hitch cargo carrier is to have additional space to hold any item you may need that won’t fit inside your vehicle. The Mockins Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier is one of the largest carriers on the market. At 60 inches by 20 inches wide and 6 inches deep, this carrier can hold plenty of your large items.

You can feel comfortable bringing all the items you need in this large, heavy duty carrier. The Mockins Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier holds up to 500 pounds of gear, so whatever you may need to bring, this carrier can support it. The strong, mesh wire on the bottom of the carrier not only holds your items, but it makes for an easy clean up as well.

This Mockins Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier is equipped with a hinge on its arm that allows it to fold upwards when the carrier is not in use. This makes for a great storage mechanism and allows easy parking. You’ll never have to remove this cargo carrier when you’re finished using it. Leave it connected to your vehicle so the next time you need it, it is fully ready for use.

The Mockins Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier with Cargo Bag Net is a great, all-inclusive option for individuals who want to purchase everything they need to use their cargo carrier effectively in one single shot.


Hitch Cargo Carriers Comparison Table

Best Hitch Cargo Carriers PriceSizeWeightSpecial FeaturesCustomer Ratings
ROLA 59502 Vortex Steel Cargo Carrier$154.7756 x 23 x 5.25 inches
72 lbs
Heavy-duty steel construction and coated with scratch resistant black powder
4.2 / 5.0 Stars
CURT 18153 Basket-Style Cargo Carrier$123.5960 x 24 x 6 inches
70 lbs
Heavy-duty tubular steel construction and coated with a carbide black powder
4.4 / 5.0 Stars
Pro Series 6502 StrongArm Hitch Mounted Folding Cargo Carrier$139.9948 x 20 x 3 inches
48 lbs
Made of heavy-duty steel, finished with powdered coating
4.6 / 5.0 Stars
MaxxHaul 70108 Hitch Mount Aluminum Cargo Carrier$114.9925 x 22.5 x 5.25 inches
Lightweight 29.4 lbs
Constructed with aluminum
4.1 / 5.0 Stars
Mockins Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier with Cargo Bag and Net$179.9960 x 20 x 6 inches
52 lbs
Made of strong, coated steel
4.2 / 5.0 Stars

How to Choose the Best Hitch Cargo Carrier

If you travel in your car frequently and notice you need some extra space for any of your materials, you may benefit from purchasing a trailer hitch cargo carrier. These are known to open up more space in the trunk of your car and hold plenty of extra goods you may have not been to bring otherwise.

Hitch cargo carriers are the best way to store items that may not be damaged when exposed to the outside of your car. Examples of goods you can place in a hitch cargo carrier include firewood, coolers, and various other forms of equipment. No matter what you decide to bring with you, your materials will remain safe and conveniently located.

hitch style cargo carrier on car

There are plenty of things to keep in mind when looking for the perfect hitch cargo carrier for you. Various different features exist within these cargo carriers, and not all of them are made equally.

To help you identify specific characteristics of hitch cargo carriers that you may benefit from, read through this list of compiled key features to look out for when purchasing the best hitch cargo carrier for you and your lifestyle.

Material

One of the most important aspects of hitch cargo carriers to be aware of is the material that it is made from. Composition may vary, and these could affect its usage. The two most common forms of material include heavy duty steel and aluminum. Let’s take a look at the differences.

Heavy Duty Steel: Steel is one of the strongest materials you can use to hold your items in. Steel is very durable and will maintain its shape over time. No matter what you place in your steel carrier, it can hold as long as it meets its weight requirement. Additionally, most steel cargo carriers are coated with a black powder that is resistant to scratches and ultraviolet light damage. This could conserve the look of your cargo carrier over time.

Aluminum: Aluminum is much lighter than other alternative materials and can limit the amount of stress you put on your vehicle. Having too much weight on the hitch of your car could damage your suspension over time, so cutting weight wherever possible can benefit your car’s longevity. Alternatively, aluminum is less strong and can get damaged easier.

Size

Size is another aspect of choosing a hitch cargo carrier that is best for you. Depending on how much you need to hold in your rear, you may require either larger or smaller width carriers. It helps to envision what you’re using the hitch cargo carrier for and identify whether or not you believe everything you need to fit, will. In addition to width, height is a significant factor.

The guard rail height of the cargo carriers can range significantly. If you know you’ll feel safer with a higher rail height, purchase a carrier with a height of at least 5 inches. If you won’t be driving on bumpy terrain or significant inclines, you can deal with a shorter rail system. Whichever option you choose, it is best to obtain a cargo net or straps to hold all of your gear down when driving your vehicle.

Weight Capacity

Different people require different weight capacities for their hitch cargo carriers. You should be aware of how much you will generally need to hold in your rear carrier. Many hitch carriers can support at least 400 pounds, but many can reach up to 600 pounds or higher.

If you plan to hold plenty of heavy materials in your hitch cargo carrier, plan for this ahead of time and purchase a more heavy-duty carrier that can support more weight. If you plan to use your carrier for lighter gear or don’t have a lot of material to place in it, you can most likely pass using a carrier with a smaller weight capacity.

Foldability

If you’re looking for ease of use in your hitch carrier, consider purchasing one that has a hinge on its arm. This allows you to fold the carrier upwards when it is not in use. Being able to fold your carrier allows you to park in smaller parking spaces and maneuver around easier.

This is a great option for those who will be frequently using their carrier, or for individuals who don’t want to disconnect and reconnect their cargo carriers from their car after each time of use. With carriers that cannot fold, you’d have to take your hitch cargo carrier off after each use for the same perks that the foldable joint offers you.

FAQs – Hitch Cargo Carriers Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What do you need to set up a hitch carrier?

Answer: To set up a hitch cargo carrier, you’ll need a wrench and an extra set of hands. Hitch carriers can be heavy, so setting up one by yourself will be of great difficulty to you. Most carriers come disassembled but can be put together quickly and easily by using a socket wrench to connect their bolts together. Once assembled, you can attach your cargo carrier to your hitch by sliding the two-inch connecting points together.

Question: How long does assembly of a hitch cargo carrier take?

Answer: It typically takes between 15 minutes and an hour depending on your experience with assembly, and if you have an extra set of hands to help you or not. Assembly can be difficult for an individual to do alone, so make sure to have someone else there to lend a hand, if possible.

Question: Will I benefit from a cargo carrier?

Answer: Many different individuals can benefit from purchasing a hitch cargo carrier. Some people who may benefit from a carrier can include those going on a camping trip, traveling a large distance and need to take extra goods, and even construction workers who need to lug around additional materials.

Question: Do you need additional add-ons along with the carrier itself?

Answer: Some individuals may be in an environment where they need extra items to get the most optimal use out of their hitch cargo carrier. These items can include a cargo net, straps, or waterproof coverings to hold your materials in place and protect them. If you believe you may need these items, find a carrier that includes them. If you don’t need these, or if you already own them separately, you can purchase a carrier that doesn’t have these add-ons included.

Conclusion

Hitch cargo carriers are useful tools for plenty of individuals. If you need extra space in your vehicle or desire to carry as many items as you can possibly need, you may benefit from purchasing one.

This guide leads you through the top 5 hitch cargo carriers on the market to date, each of the benefits that they offer, and specific features to look for when choosing the best carrier for you. Hopefully after reading this guide, you are able to make a more informed decision about the type of hitch carrier that suits all of your needs!

OutsidePursuits.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. OutsidePursuits.com earns fees from products sold through qualifying purchases by linking to Amazon.com. Amazon offers a commission on products sold through their affiliate links.

R. L. Moore "El Tigre"

Richard M. aka El Tigre is an avid adventure traveler with extensive trekking experience throughout Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. In 1998 he weathered category 5 Hurricane Mitch on the northern coast of Honduras. He has mountain-biked, hiked and 4x4 toured extensively in Central America, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Mexico. In the summer of 2004 he lived among the Kuna Indians of the San Blas islands in Panama. Today, he manages a real estate investments company based in San Jose, Costa Rica and organizes adventure travel excursions to Costa Rica. He is a motorcycle enthusiast and enjoys sport touring and dual-sport riding. Richard lives in Arizona.

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