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Can I Put A Roof Box On A Panoramic Roof?: A Qualified Yes

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If you have a car with a panoramic, moon or sunroof then you may be wondering whether it’s still possible to fit a roof box to add some extra storage space.

The good news is that in many cases you still can. The only downside to adding one in this scenario is you lose the view!

In order to avoid damaging your car, you should really check out the manufacturer’s instructions for fitting a roof rack to your vehicle and then find a cargo box that will fit that roof rack.

In case you’re unsure of the difference, a sunroof is situated above the driver and front passenger and allows you to see out of the top of the vehicle. It can also be opened as an extra means of ventilation. A moonroof is similar but remains fixed in place. Although different manufacturers tend to use different meanings for these options. Having a panoramic sunroof has become fairly popular in recent years because they allow all occupants of the vehicle to see through as they run most, if not all of the length of the vehicle.

Cargo Bag or Cargo Box?

It would be inadvisable to fit a cargo bag directly on top of your car if you have a panoramic glass roof or sunroof because you may damage it. This is likely to be an expensive repair!

In order to use any type of additional storage, you’ll need to fit a rack first. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for your vehicle to make sure that fitting a roof rack is possible and also to check whether they recommend a particular type of rack.

It is also fairly safe to say that while any type of storage is fitted to your car you don’t want to be opening your sunroof!

Depending on the type of roof rack that you fit you may be able to use a cargo bag but you should take care if you go this route that the items you are storing don’t cause the bag to protrude and come in contact with the glass sections of your vehicle.

Choosing The Right Cargo Box For Panoramic Roofs

Make sure that any rooftop cargo box you purchase explicitly states that it is compatible with a panoramic/moonroof/sunroof before parting with your hard-earned cash.

It is possible that the load limits will be lower than a conventional roof so you will need to take account of that when purchasing your cargo box and also when working out what to carry up there.

Here are some suggestions for Panoramic roof compatible cargo boxes starting with a couple of suggestions if you are looking for a smaller size box.

Thule Sidekick Cargo Carrier

Amazon Product Image Sidekick

Made by one of the biggest manufacturers in the segment, Thule. This particular model is sufficiently compact to allow you to add other roof-mounted items. Ideal for your camping gear on your family trip it can hold up to 8 ft³ and a weight of 75 lbs. While it only opens in one direction to allow access from the passenger side there are two locks to secure your belongings and its durable polyurethane construction will protect the contents during your travels.

The Thule Sidekick should have a solid connection to your rack due to the use of U bolts and reinforcement plates.

While you aren’t able to carry as much equipment with one of the smaller boxes you do have the advantage that it will be a little bit easier to store when not in use.

Yakima RocketBox Pro Rooftop Carrier Box

Amazon Product Image Rocketbox

This box gives you almost 50% more storage space than the Thule Sidekick and its greater length will allow you to store much longer items such as skis.

The downside you will need to check carefully that your vehicle can handle the extra weight both of the box and your contents.

You can access your belongings from either side as this model offers dual-sided opening. Although this does mean the box won’t open quite as far as models with only single side opening.

For the security-conscious, the Yakima RocketBox is fitted with SKS lock cores.

Yakima RocketBox Pro

Here are some medium-sized cargo boxes for those with greater storage requirements.

Goplus Waterproof Cargo Box

Amazon Product Image golplus

This box can hold up to 14 ft³ of items and is available in a range of three colors, white, black or grey. It can hold up to 165 lbs don’t forget to check that your vehicle is capable of supporting that load on its roof.

Unusually the Goplus is described as waterproof rather than weather resistant so if you tend to spend a lot of time traveling in the rain this might be of particular interest.

The content can be accessed from either side due to its dual opening lead and its streamlined design should reduce wind noise and help with your fuel consumption.

Thule Pulse Rooftop Carrier Box

Amazon Product Image pulse

Another model from the top Swedish manufacturer. This rooftop box can be purchased in three different sizes (16, 14 and 11 ft³).

This model can only be accessed from the passenger side although that should mean that the lid will open further giving you easier access to your belongings.  The 16 ft³ model has a load capacity of 110 lbs which you’ll need to confirm is within the limits for your vehicle. Its low-profile design means it will be easier to fit in your garage or public parking facilities while it is still attached.   Features Thules Easy-Grip mounting hardware and SecureLock technology.   

This Thule Pulse box is also aerodynamic so you should be able to leave it in place all the time without greatly increasing wind noise or reducing your fuel economy.   Finally for those of you looking for maximum storage space here are some large cargo boxes. Please remember that roof boxes are designed to carry bulky but lightweight items. Always stay within the recommended weight limits as per your vehicle handbook.

JEGS Rooftop Cargo Box

Amazon Product Image jegs

This roof cargo box provides an additional 18 ft³ of space and can accommodate everything from luggage to snowboards up to a total of 110 lbs. 

The JEGS is one of the cheaper boxes available particularly considering its size.

You can purchase either a rear or side opening model of this heavy-duty box that is made in the USA.

It is supplied with mounting hardware and you won’t need any tools to fit this box.

JEGS Roof Cargo Box

SportRack Vista XL Cargo Box

Amazon Product Image vista

Offering 18 ft³ of storage and a weight capacity of 100 lbs the Vista XL from SportRack should be large enough to accommodate the needs of most people.

Accessible from the rear the box is made of durable ABS and can be mounted without the need for tools. It attaches to your rack using u-bolts and has a quick-release mechanism.

Its waterproof and aerodynamic construction should make it a favorite for years to come.

SportRack Skyline XL Cargo Carrier

Amazon Product Image skyline

The Skyline XL also offers 18 ft³ of storage that can handle up to 100 lbs It comes with its own mounting kit and does take some assembly. Unlike the Vista XL, it opens from the passenger side.

For security, it has two locks plus latches at the front and rear of the carrier.

SportRack is part of the Thule Group of companies.

Thule Motion XT Rooftop Carrier

Amazon Product Image motion

The 3rd Thule model in this guide. The Motion XT can be yours in either 16, 18 or 22 ft³!

That’s almost 3 times the storage space of the Thule Sidekick. Again you need to make sure that the items you’re storing don’t exceed the maximum weight limit of the box and that the box plus its contents do not exceed the maximum weight for your vehicle!

The sheer size of the 22 ft³ model means you could store pretty much anything you would like to. With a maximum weight capacity of 165 lbs, you might be tempted to carry everything plus the kitchen sink!

For example, you could fit skis up to 84.5 inches (215 cm) inside.

You can access your belongings from either side of the vehicle and they are protected using their SlideLock security system. The box has been designed to fit towards the front of the vehicle meaning you should have no issues accessing your rear hatch. 

This particular model is at a higher price point!

Some Of The Models Featured

Can I Put A Roof Box On A Panoramic Roof?: Summary

So there you have a selection of different size and capacity boxes to choose from. Make sure that you are conforming to the weight limits recommended by your vehicle manufacturer and also when loading the cargo box take note of any weight limits for the box itself. Don’t forget to include the cargo box in your calculations when working out how much weight you have on your roof.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]

Can you put a cargo bag on a panoramic sunroof?

No. You shouldn’t install anything directly onto a panoramic sunroof as it is likely to damage it. Any repairs required are not likely to be cheap!

How much weight can a panoramic roof hold?

This will vary between different vehicle models. You will need to consult your owner’s manual to be sure. Typically a conventional roof can hold up to 75 kg or 165 lbs. The figures for a panoramic roof are generally going to be somewhat less.

Can you have a roof box with a panoramic roof?

A qualified yes. Some manufacturers will allow you to place a roof box mounted to an appropriate rack even if the vehicle has a panoramic roof. You will need to check the documentation for your vehicle to make sure you have the correct fittings to avoid damaging your car.

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