Last Updated on May 6, 2021
It’s no surprise adding a cargo carrier to your vehicle will give you extra storage space. Here is the thing though, while many carriers are built well and have ample space, some don’t come with tail lights or license plate brackets, and that can get you in trouble with the law.
I am sure none of us wants that to happen. We rounded the best-enclosed hitch cargo carrier you can buy right now, no matter what your needs are. There are large carriers and also smaller ones for those whose needs are a bit modest.
3 Best Enclosed Hitch Cargo Carrier Review
Here is the deal with hitch cargo carriers, they all look the same. No, that isn’t a knock on the design of all of them. To the untrained eye, these useful carriers appear to have very similar features and benefits. And to save the trouble of sifting through all of them, we rounded up the top 3.
StowAway Max Hitch Cargo Box
StowAway takes the first spot of our reviews and is also our top pick. It has all the things you would need from a hitch cargo carrier—ample amounts of space and solid durability.
Before we get into how much you can store here, let’s take a look at the build. Because honestly, what good is a carrier that can store all the things but breaks down just after a couple of months? Thankfully, that isn’t a worry here since this one is made from hard plastic.
The shell is very durable and will withstand general wear and tear very well. Some might wonder why not go for a metal carrier. On the surface, that might look like a good idea, but metal is very rigid and heavy. You don’t want to lug around a heavy box at the back of your car all the time.
Speaking of lugging it around, this one is just the right size for trucks, SUVs, Jeeps, or a large car. You can easily access the back of your vehicle with the swinging frame. When you need to, just swing the frame out, and voila, complete access.
Alright, what about the space? If you haven’t noticed yet, this one has ‘Max’ in its name. This immediately means it has lots of space – 16 cubic feet, to be precise. And a max weight limit of 200 lbs.
This is perfect for keeping all your things organized in a convenient carrier at the back of your vehicle and not worrying about it. There is also taillights and license plate bracket to keep you out of trouble from the law.
- Very durable hard plastic built quality
- Frame swings out to give you easy access to the back of your vehicle
- Large 16 cubic feet of space inside
- A maximum weight limit of 200 lbs. is enough for all kinds of gear
- Rear lights and license plate bracket
- Might be too big for some
Thule Transporter Combination
If you don’t need something as large as the previous one, this one from Thule comes in a smaller load capacity, but you get partial access to the back of your vehicle.
Durability is a non-issue here for the most part. Thule is also a very reputed brand when it comes to hitching cargo carriers, and it’s no surprise to see this level of quality from their products.
It is also waterproof, which means whatever you store inside won’t get ruined. Of course, this doesn’t give you the same space as the previous one. You still get a respectable 13 cubic feet of space with a maximum weight capacity of 150 lbs.
Those might be smaller numbers but are actually still impressive. And to keep your possessions safe and sound, there is also a central locking mechanism.
You might wonder what about the rear lights of your vehicle if this mounts to the back. Well, there are two pre-wired 4-pin taillights and also a license plate adapter.
This means you can have the best of both worlds – have storage at the back of your vehicle and also not lose the taillights and license plate. That should keep you out of trouble with the police as well. And that surely is a great thing, wouldn’t you agree?
Installation is super easy as well, and the best part is you don’t need any extra tools or equipment. It will fit in most 2 inch and ¼ inch receivers with ease. Keep in mind, though, that a smaller hitch with an adapter also means you get a lower maximum weight limit too.
- Waterproofing adds to the overall durability of the product
- Central locking system that keeps your possessions safe
- Very easy toolless installation
- 13 cubic feet of space with 150 lbs. weight capacity means you can carry all the things you need
- Pre-wired tail lights and license plate adapter
- Allows only partial access to the back of your car
StowAway Standard Cargo Carrier
We are going to keep this short and sweet. That’s because this standard cargo carrier from StowAway is basically the same as the first one but is only a little smaller.
You get almost all the features of the previous one. This one is still built like a tank and keeps true to the StowAway quality we have come to expect. The heavy-duty carrier sits on a rugged swing frame which not only gives you clear access to the rear of your car but is also very durable and rigid.
Just like the Thule one, it also has taillights and a license plate bracket. Another cool addition is a drain plug which can be used for easy cleaning. Already impressed, aren’t you? We aren’t quite done yet.
If you think the first one was too big and you still want to stick to the StowAway brand name, you will love this smaller carrier. It’s actually the smallest one on our list, giving you 12.5 cubic feet of space.
The weight limit is still an impressive 200 lbs., though. We quite like this one, as you can probably tell and for the right person, this will undoubtedly be the right purchase.
- The rigid frame gives it great structural rigidity
- 12.5 cubic feet of space with an impressive 200 lbs. load capacity
- Rear lights and license plate adapter makes it street legal
- Easy to clean
- Not the best for large families who travel frequently
There you have it. We just saved you a ton of headache choosing the best enclosed hitch cargo carrier. Whether you’re a frequent traveler or need to carry lots of equipment, a cargo carrier is a must.
You might also like to read our reviews of hitch cargo carriers for SUV.