Before I went with a full roof rack, I used to use Yakima crossbars on my LC to carry bikes and or kayaks. I also had the Yakima Load Warrior roof basket with the extension.(same basket that comes on the Heritage Edition, minus the extension, I believe) The Yakima basket worked great for me when I needed extra cargo space, and you can remove it in about 5 minutes when not needed. Works well on the factory roof rails as well.
Stuff you throw on the roof is exposed to the elements. When we’re going kayaking, I have a large waterproof duffel that holds our life jackets, helmets (if the river calls for them), rescue ropes, dry bags / boxes, basically all the boat extras. Throw it up there and strap it down. Same with a five gallon water jug. You get the idea, the basket is useful for stuff that is either water/ dust tight, or won’t matter if it’s dusty or wet.I don't have any ideas for you, but I am curious what kind of stuff people typically carry in an open roof basket. Don't things get dusty, dirty and wet?
We have a Thule box that we carry extra stuff in when we are fully loaded and need more space (like on a long camping trip). It installs and removes fairly quickly. It also keeps things out of the weather pretty well.
I use a Rhino Rack basket on mine. I use it for all kinds of stuff. Wood, trash, coolers (2 fit nicely), etc. I also use it to strap down Home Depot materials for projects around the house. The only time I take it off is winter time