If you regularly travel long distances by car, having extra storage for your luggage can make a big difference to your comfort level. Many cars include luggage racks on the roof for excess baggage. If you already have a rack, the best solution for extra storage is to add a car roof box. If you don’t have a rack, you can still find the right setup to work for your vehicle. There are many different forms of roof storage, and you’ll find that it’s not hard to mount them to the top of your car even if you don’t have an existing luggage rack. If you’re considering buying and installing a roof box, here’s what you need to know.
Available Types of Roof Storage
There are two main kinds of roof luggage storage available: flexible roof cargo bags and hard-shell roof boxes. Both of these options allow you to free up space in your car for other supplies. The qualities to look for in each type of storage are essentially the same, but there are a few characteristics unique to each of them. Here are some of the considerations you should be aware of, along with important details to keep in mind.
Roof Cargo Bags
Roof cargo bags are made of durable waterproof fabric with reinforced leak-proof seams. Some models are even laminated with a thin rubber coating for additional waterproofing. The advantage of heavy-duty fabric roof storage is that it can be easily removed and folded up for storage. It’s also more flexible if you’re using it to carry odd-shaped items.
Hard-Shell Roof Boxes
Made from hard, heavy-duty material that’s also designed to be lightweight, most hard-shell roof boxes are designed to fit onto just about any luggage rack. If you’re mounting a roof box directly on top of a vehicle, make sure it includes a protective barrier to put between the box and the roof. The main advantage of a hard-shell roof box is ease of attachment and removal. A quality storage box will have built-in roof clamps and tightening gears or straps, and most models can be lifted and mounted to the roof of your car by one person.
Considerations When Buying Roof Boxes
- Aerodynamic Design: Your roof box should be shaped to eliminate as much wind resistance as possible. This is easier with a hard-shell box.
- Sufficient Storage: Find a roof box that has at least 15 cubic feet of storage capacity. If you have a very small vehicle, you may want a scaled-down storage box that holds 8 to 11 cubic feet. If you opt for an extra-large unit, make sure it will fit your vehicle.
- Ideal Shape: Be sure to write down the measurements of your car’s roof or luggage rack before making a selection. There are many different shapes and sizes of car roof boxes, so you’ll be able to find one that’s just right for your car.
- Ideal Weight: Many roof boxes are made of strong, flexible polymers that provide support and protection without adding extra weight. If heaviness is a consideration, compare the weight of each model in order to find one that suits your requirements.