Reviews Top 5 Best Hitch Cargo Carriers

Hitch cargo carrier can be a great option if you want to free up some space inside your vehicle. We usually carry lots of goodies with ourselves on trips and camping ventures like bikes, grillers, and so many other things that we think could add a fun quotient to our adventure.

There are certain types of cargo such as bike, land mower, wheelchair, generator, etc. which cannot be accommodated inside the vehicle properly. To solve this problem we assemble a carrier to the hitch. In this article, we are going to check out the most popular hitch cargo carriers and carry out a thorough study of each and every aspect of these products. In this review, get a detailed account of their specifications, pros, and cons. It will make it easier for you to judge the best-suited carrier to meet your requirements.

** Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews by click in " Reviews " column, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon .com.

See more about: Fifth Wheel Hitch

What is a Hitch Cargo Carrier?

A hitch which is also called a tow hitch or tow bar is a device attached to the chassis of a vehicle for the purpose of towing (pulling a car with the help of another vehicle).

So a carrier which we can assemble to this hitch to tow our cargo is called a hitch cargo carrier.

Types of Hitch Cargo Carriers

Each type of carrier has different features and is meant to meet different requirements. Currently, there are four types of cargo carriers available in the market. They are as follows:

  • Basket Style

This type of cargo carrier has retaining walls made up of steel tubes (rails) and a rugged mesh floor. These walls keep the cargo in place and prevent from falling. The cargo can also be strapped down to the rails adding more security while carrying from one place to another.

  • Tray Style/Flatbed Style

Lifting a heavy cargo up to a height of basket carrier will require a lot more strength. To counter this situation a tray style or flatbed carrier is a good option. The slightly raised edges have holes or anchor points to tie down the cargo with cargo nets and bungee cords.

  • Three Rail Style

Like a hybrid of both the basket style and flatbed style. Has three rails to keep cargo from sliding off the back or sides and hitting the road but no rail on the vehicle side to still allow for bulkier items.

  • Ramp Cargo Carriers

This type of cargo carrier can be a basket style carrier or a tray style carrier with a ramp which folds up or slides in. Heavy machines like generators, lawn mowers or snow blowers which have wheel base can be easily loaded up the carriers. To lift and load such machines will not be an easy task so to make things easier a folding or sliding ramp is given.

Key Factors to Check before Purchasing Cargo Carriers

In this section, I am going to highlight some key factors to check for when buying a hitch cargo carrier.

Hitch Type

It is the first thing you should go after if the hitch type will not match you cannot be able to assemble it to your vehicle.

Durable Frame

Definitely, you should not overlook the quality of gauge used for making the frame. It is a prerequisite to a sturdy and long-lasting carrier. Weak frames may fail to survive the weight of the cargo and could lead to mishaps.

Strong Mesh Floor

A strong mesh floor is very necessary else it will bend from the weight of the cargo, and the luggage could suffer damage.

Ground Clearance

It is another important factor to check for. A low cargo carrier will suffer scrapes and scratches when driving out of steep parking lots or any raised platform.

Review Top 5 Best Hitch Cargo Carriers

No matter what the manufacturing companies claim I always believe in the products which deliver to the expectations of the customers and are cost effective too. After doing all the hard work and comparisons of different cargo carriers available in the market; I have listed out some of the most popular carriers out there or available on the eCommerce portals.

1. Curt 18153 Basket Style Cargo Carrier


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Curt is a trustworthy brand which has provided several cargo carriers in the market. This product is a very sturdy carrier, made with heavy gauge tubular steel construction. It has 2" x 2" shank options available. 1 and ¼ inch by 1 and ¼ inch option with an adapter sleeve are also available. This basket style carrier has a weight capacity of 500lbs which is pretty good. It provides a 60 inch by a 24-inch platform which is quite spacious to load cargo, bikes, kayaks, etc.

The brand not only ensures that can carry heavy cargos but also maintains the safety of your valuables as this can be evidenced by 6-inch side rails to check the cargo from sliding off the carrier. It is easy to setup and with the help of few tools you can do it quite easily. The rise in the shank keeps the basket at a height suitable to load the cargo and also protects from scrapes when driving out of a steep parking lot. It sticks out further from the receiver and lets you load the trunk of your vehicle easily.


  • 6 inch high sides prevent the sliding down of cargos while you are driving
  • 500lbs of weight capacity makes sure you can carry different types of luggage
  • Added durability with a heavy duty tubular steel construction


  • Lack of sealing lets water to get inside the tubes and cause rusting from inside

2. Pro Series 63153 Rambler Hitch Cargo Carrier


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Any type of cargo no matter whether it is a gear or a bike can be loaded up and strapped down for this carrier is meant to be a heavy duty carrier with a weight capacity of 500lbs. With a platform of 60 inch x 24 inches, it provides enough space to load your goods.

It has a smart, rugged mesh floor which is easy to clean. The rise shank design elevates carrier and thereby increases ground clearance. It comes coated with a durable powder to resist rusting and scratches. The heavy gauge metal body and proper welding make it very sturdy and durable. An upward bend in the stinger gives the cargo carrier a good ground clearance. The rack aligns with vehicle quite well, so there is no additional drag. Hence, it does not reduce the gas mileage. The assembly is very simple you only have to attach 4 small and 3 large bolts, that's it.


  • 500lbs capacity is good and robust
  • 5.5-inch side rails keep the cargo intact
  • Easy to clean smart, rugged mesh floor
  • A good ground clearance with rising shank design
  • Two piece construction with durable powder coat to check rusting


  • No hitch pin included, you will need to buy it
  • The harness is too short

3. Curt 18152 Basket Style Cargo Carrier


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This is a great product if you are looking forward to increasing space for cargo. Curt 18152 has a well-built frame to provide a lot of strength to carry heavy cargos. It comes in three pieces but assembling this carrier is quite easy.

The side rails are 6 inches high and don't let the valuables to fall on the road while driving. Its shank is adaptable from 1 – ¼ inch to 2inches with an adaptor sleeve. Over the time some carriers tend to tilt, which is not an issue with this one. Like other Curt carriers, it also has a protective carbide coating to check rusting.


  • 5/8 inch hitch pin included
  • 6 inch high sides prevent falling off of cargo
  • Heavy duty frame, all steel tubular construction


  • The gauge is lightweight

4. Curt 18110 Cargo Carrier


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For all the people who are packing for a weekend camping trip. Curt tray cargo could be a very useful and cost-effective accessory. It is hitch mounted to add a convenient space to your vehicle. This carrier has 2 inches by 2-inch shank option available; 1 and ¼ inch by 1 and ¼ inch option with an adaptor sleeve are also available.

This tray style carrier has a weight capacity of 300lbs and provides a good storage area. This cargo carrier is lightweight but a sturdy one. The curves 2-inch adjustment increments increase the elevation and ground clearance considerably.


  • 1 ¼ inch fixed shank
  • 2-inch adjustment increments
  • 2 pieces unit assembles quickly
  • Hitch pin included
  • 300lbs weight capacity


  • Although claimed to be capable of carrying 300lbs weight but some issues have been reported

5. Direct Aftermarket Folding Hitch Rack Cargo Carrier


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This is a premium folding cargo carrier which provides extra hauling capacity to your vehicle. You can haul many different types of cargo likewise luggage, gear, and cooler, etc. Its frame is constructed of tubular steel and coated with a weather-resistant epoxy powder to prevent rusting of the frame. This is a true heavy duty carrier with maximum weight capacity of 500lbs with a metal grate to support the different types of cargo.


  • The maximum weight capacity is 500lbs
  • 60in x 24in platform to keep the cargo safely
  • 6in side rails to prevent cargo from falling
  • Epoxy powder coated steel frame to keep rust away
  • Convenient foldable cargo carrier


  • Ground clearance could be an issue
  • Instructions in the manual are hard to read


A lot of expensive cargo carriers are available in the market and to sort out your confusion "What to buy or not to buy?" I did a detailed analysis of all carriers without taking their costs into consideration. All the products came under the scrutiny whether expensive or non-expensive. They were all examined for their durability, weight capacity and ground clearance.

To sum up, I would suggest Curt 18153 Basket Style Cargo Carrier as the best buy for it is more durable as it has a frame made up of heavy gauge tubular steel construction, has a good weight capacity of 500lbs and the rise in the shank provides a good ground clearance too. The 6in high side rails offer better protection for your cargo. So this product stands well at all levels whether it is durability, safety, weight carrying ability and ground clearance, etc.

I hope this hitch cargo carrier review will help you in making a good decision, keeping in mind your preferences and requirements.

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