Best Hitch Cargo Carriers: Haul More without Sacrificing Roof Space

Handy cargo carriers that fit right onto the back of your vehicle

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There are many solutions for adding extra storage to your vehicle. While rooftop carriers are popular for drivers with roof racks, a simple cargo hitch rack can be the perfect option if you won't want the loud noise or drag you get from roof options. Hitch cargo carriers come in many designs and sizes, so here's our handy guide to give you everything you need to know. 

  • Best Overall
    Mockins Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier
    Summary
    Summary
    A simple steel cargo basic that offers 60 x 20 inches of extra cargo space on the hitch.
    Pros
    Pros
    It comes with a number of organization and transportation accessories like loading straps and a cargo net.
    Cons
    Cons
    The packaging has been known to arrive damaged, but the cargo carrier tends to be undamaged. Some holes may require drilling for the correct sizing.
  • Best Value
    CURT 18153
    Summary
    Summary
    The best folding cargo carrier that has extra-high support walls to keep things from sliding off of the main platform.
    Pros
    Pros
    The cargo carrier is easy to secure onto a standard 2-inch hitch with the included mounting hardware. Good surface area on the platform.
    Cons
    Cons
    The surface tends to rust after a storm or two. Some additional paint coats may be required to properly weatherproof the exterior.
  • Honorable Mention
    MaxxHaul 49.5 Inch x 22.5 Inch 70422 48" x 21" Hitch Mount Compact Aluminum Cargo Carrier
    Summary
    Summary
    A great all-aluminum cargo carrier that has a heavy-duty steel support frame for extra strength underneath.
    Pros
    Pros
    The combination of aluminum and steel does a good job of decreasing the weight over all-steel designs without sacrificing the strength of the cargo platform.
    Cons
    Cons
    Installation may require more than one person depending on the height of the vehicle.

Tips

  • Make sure you have the right hitch size or an adapter for a particular cargo rack. The 2-inch hitch is the most common size.
  • Extra straps or cargo nets will be required to secure loose items to the cargo platform. Some cargo racks come with these accessories, but you may need to buy them separately. 
  • An enclosed cargo rack, while expensive, offers the most amount of protection from thieves and the surrounding elements. 

FAQ

Q. Can I add a hitch if my vehicle doesn't have one?

A. Yes. There are many aftermarket hitch options, especially if you don't plan on pulling anything heavy.

Q. What keeps things from falling off of the cargo rack?

A. Straps or nets are needed to keep everything secure onto the rack. Some racks also have an enclosed shell.

Final Thoughts

Our top pick for the best hitch-mounted cargo carrier is the Mockins Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier.

Save some money with the budget pick, the CURT 18153 as well.