Tips on Packing for a Road Trip: Car Storage Bags

Well folks… I’ve gotten myself into a bit of a predicament here. Let me back up and explain a bit about my situation. My husband and I are three and a half months into our transition to moving south to Tampa, Florida. My husband moved down to Tampa in mid-February for work purposes and I am still in Chicago until early June. Now, this hasn’t been inherently an issue… we’ve already made it though a large portion of the time so that’s not exactly my issue at this point. Back when my husband moved in Feb. we did the whole moving thing… rent a moving truck, pack your whole apartment into it, and haul yourself off to your new life.

However, because I wasn’t necessarily moving myself to my new life (yet), I decided that there were certain essentials that I needed to keep with me. See, this is my issue, much like I tend to over pack for a vacation, I severely over estimated the amount of extra-curricular activities I was actually going to get to in that duration. For some reason February me thought I needed to keep all my macrame materials (e.g., two rolls of rope, ten driftwood sticks), my ukulele, and my cricut with me… in addition to two bins and a suitcase of clothing. I’m working on bettering myself. Don’t ask me how many macrame projects I’ve completed in the past few months.

In the meantime, however, I needed figure out how I was going to be able to fit all this and more (working as a speech-langauge pathologist in early childhood means that you collect a fair amount of materials in three years) into our Toyota Corolla sedan. HELP! Enter the car storage bag – tips for packing for a road trip.

What Is That?

A car storage bag is a large cubic storage bag often times made of PVC material that can be secured to the roof of any vehicle to allow for you to carry more items with you when you just don’t have any more room to spare. In my case, not only will our trunk be packed to the max., but since our cat is traveling with us I purchased a kitty tent for her that pretty much takes up half of the backseat alone.

How Does It Work?

First, you need to secure the bag to your vehicle’s roof. There are many ways to do this considering the type of vehicle you have and the type of car storage bag you have purchased, but in our case, I purchased a storage bag with straps to secure it to our car. There are other types of storage bags created to specifically work with vehicles with racks, but this isn’t the case for us. With the product we have, you essentially place the bag on top of your vehicle and then feed the straps through the doors on both sides and buckle the straps on the inside of your car. The car doors then should be able to shut with the straps buckled. That’s it! Then you can start loading your storage bag with your items.

What Does It Hold?

It depends on what size you purchase, but it appears like quite a bit! On Amazon, the description indicates the 15 cubic feet bag is able to hold two medium suitcases, two sleeping bags, and one small tent. We purchased the 20 cubic feet bag so ideally we should be able to fit a bit more.

When Can I Use It?

Anytime you need extra space! Truthfully, although we specifically purchased this for our move across country, I definitely see us using this time and time again for a variety of trips, especially camping trips! I would imagine it being great to store all your camping gear in before and after your trip. It might even prevent your car from being soiled from dirty, used camping gear. Seems like a win/win to me. I also envision taking a car full of kids on a trip and having to utilize the trunk and space on top of the car to pack everything you need.

Is It Worth It?

Depending on how much you are willing to spend, this product would be worth it for someone who never seems to have enough space. I personally did not spend a ton of money on car-storage-bagthis purchase considering it would be our first experience using a product such as this. In my opinion, it got the job done. I did not over pack in this case as this product did have some poor reviews regarding ripping of the material during commute.

What do you think of these tips on packing for a road trip? Have you had any experiences using a car storage bag during long commute? Leave me your thoughts below! 🙂


June 5, 2019 at 6:06 am

Thank you for this information! I’m going to be moving soon so knowing about storage bags is helpful. I’ll consider that option when I’m about to move.

    Louise Ashley
    June 5, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    I was able to travel with at least twice the amount of items I would otherwise have not been able to fit in my car. It definitely was a lifesaver! Best wishes to you and your move. Thanks for visiting! 🙂

June 5, 2019 at 1:28 pm

This will be the first summer that I go on a camping trip. For me, this is a great investment. I can never pack enough stuff for my toddler so I always need extra space when we take weekend trips. I love that I can use this time and time again, even trips to the beach with all of our beach gear, toddler tent and toys. I can see this getting many uses in my household. Thanks for the recommendation.

June 5, 2019 at 3:40 pm

Well, I think I need to get myself one of these bad boys! My boyfriend and I are planning several road trips this summer, and our soonest one down to Lake Powell will have some serious space issues, since we are bringing the dog and his five year old son. The kennel takes up half the room in the back of the four runner, and we were looking at hard cover cases, but they are so pricey! Thanks for the info!

    Louise Ashley
    June 5, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    Yes, I ran into the same issue as I was looking at the hard cover cases… I just wasn’t really ready to pay THAT much and I feel like the soft one actually might pack more in? Sounds like one of these would be very helpful for you! 🙂 Thanks for visiting!

June 6, 2019 at 12:48 am

We have one of these. I love it, Keeps things dry in driving rain as well! I love all the extra space it created for our doggy in the vehicle as well.

June 6, 2019 at 8:19 am

OMG – this info is actually great for me right now! Every year we do a road trip for Summer and since there is 6 of us in total (2 adults, 4 kids) you can just imagine all the bags?? So we are about to buy a new car (a 7 seater) – but what do we do about storing our travel bags? Car storage bags could be the answer! Thank you for sharing – my husband will be happy with this possible solution and might stop complaining about how much we pack!

    Louise Ashley
    June 6, 2019 at 12:22 pm

    Wow! Sounds like you have a full house, or rather, a full car! 😉 Car storage bags could be a game changer for you. Thanks for visiting! 🙂

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