Consider “shape” and also price and the features

The choice of the best roof box will be determined by the basic shape of box best suits your needs. That’s the most important thing is “What is the width of the box?” followed by “What length of box?”

It’s generally quite simple to decide which design of box you’ll go for. First rule: If you wish to put other items on the roof as well as the box, now or later, pick the box that leaves room on the roof bars. That’s obvious. Narrow or Medium-width boxes will suit people who want the flexibility to carry bikes, windsurfers and kayaks. Rule #2: When your need to transport large items that exceed 2 metres, you’ll require a long box, whatever the size. Also obvious!

Even if you don’t have particularly bulky items It’s likely that the long-width box is for you best if it’s meant for a family comprising four or five persons. Long full-width and long medium-width boxes are very large our most sought-after ‘family flexible’ boxes. They usually have space between the bars on top to accommodate at most one bike carrier especially if you use T-track aluminum aerobars (which allow the full span of bar to use to transport loads), and you choose the style of roof bars that extend beyond the roof bar ‘feet’.

“Long boxes” are almost always taller than your car’s roof and will be visible on the windscreen however “So how do you know?” The box will not be noticed by you. box when in the car.

There’s no such thing as an exact box that is suitable for a particular car, however, it’s logical to be in a position to open your tailgate completely, and making sure that any tailgate spoiler does not hit the back of the box, so there are certain boxes that don’t work with certain cars. Sometimes, the location of the bars for the roof on the car’s roof can require some boxes to be put in an awkward position. we’ll tell you about these types of bad combinations as soon as we have the information.

Cost is important, but bear in mind that a roof box can be expected to last for many family weekends and holidays; it should give many years of reliable and sturdy service. We don’t carry any of the really cheap boxes because there are real concerns about their safety and build quality.

Different shapes for different uses More details

There are other ‘Rules of thumb’ where boxes are fitted with 120cm or 118cm aluminium T-slot roof bars: There’s enough space in a medium-length box to fit 2 bike carriers, and space on a full-width, long-length box for 1 bike carrier. Medium-width mid-length boxes are generally large enough to accommodate a family of 4people, leaving enough room for up to 2 bikes. Take note that 3 bikes can generally be mounted on the rear of the vehicle and 4 bikes in a towbar.

Narrow roof boxes (up of 60 cm wide)
People usually need to choose smaller boxes in order to leave enough space for the tops of standard width vehicle to accommodate a kayak or to accommodate two or three bike carriers.

Large-width roofing boxes (up at 75cm width)
These boxes are significantly less difficult than full-width boxes for a fairly robust person to lift them and to move around safely and safely, not just because they’re generally lighter, but also due to the fact that they can be accessed by the boxes by both ends. Depending on the kind of roof bars you are employing, you must be able to transport at least one bicycle on the roof, often two bikes.

These are our most popular family boxes, because of their versatility.

There’s a filter in the list of roof boxes with a medium width for mid-length boxes and for long boxes.

Roof boxes with full width (up at 95 centimeters wide)
Wide roof boxes impose limitations on the items you are able to carry on the roof. There’s usually roof bar space for one bike carrier, based how long the roof bars and whether you use T-track aluminium bars.

There’s a filter that can be found on the full-width category , which is available for small boxes as well as long boxes.

Long full-width boxes are always quite bulky and awkward to transport on their own They can also be significantly more difficult to store.

Most of our new customers have never owned a roof box previously, as roof-mounted boxes are definitely something that people begin thinking about when they consider buying one. We would like you to get a quality box from the beginning however if you do not have one, then “No worries”, you can exchange your roof box.

Our roof box reviews are our special field and we’ve established by experience which models will keep up with the pace for many times, as well as which aren’t always durable, regardless of the manufacturers’ guarantees. We’re therefore confident about our reviews, suggestions and star ratings. If you purchase from us (and we hope that you do!) you might be purchasing an item from a roof-box manufacturer you’ve never heard of before No worries!

Capacity versus volume. It’s not always what they seem

Don’t make too much of manufacturers’ estimates of the capacity (litres). A few centimetres in height can make a massive distinction to the nominal capacity of a roof box however it will likely make no difference to its practicality in particular if the lid is styled with a distinctive design. However, the smaller the box the less is the wind resistance. It is possible to place an additional layer of bags at the bottom of the box, then coats and flatter objects over them. no box on the market will be deep enough for 2 layers of bags. Therefore, “Length and width are the most significant indicators of usefulness”.

Unless indicated otherwise, all the boxes we offer can hold many sets of golf clubs or a good-sized sleeping bag, tent etc. Many customers ask whether their child’s buggy will fit inside the roof box. The answer is “It depends” – the size of the wheels being the most common issue. It’s going to be simpler to put the buggy in the back of your vehicle and utilize the roof box to store other things. Hard suitcases, particularly large ones, aren’t typically suitable for use in roof boxes; soft bags are always more appropriate.

Box features you won’t look at, but are the most important ones:

Boxes appear on the surface of it very simple products made of two pieces of plastic that are joined by hinges, locks, and struts. Many manufacturers source these material from similar European suppliers.

Safety

The boxes we offer have been tested thoroughly crash-testing, meeting ISO standards. If you’re considering other brands, such as supermarket brands, ask the safety questions!

If you’re likely to be carrying skis, keep an eye out for boxes with a “safety nose” which is an additional energy-absorbing barrier designed to prevent skis from bursting through the front of a box in high-energy collisions.

Security
We have seen boxes where the front and rear hinges are far enough from the ends of the box. Also, the plastic is thin, and it’s simple enough to lift up either end and take a look inside. Some are so weak that you can get your arm in and pull stuff out. It is a guarantee that the boxes we sell have good locking systems.

Materials
The thickness and the quality of plastic make a huge impact on the overall quality of boxes. Boxes have to endure huge forces when they move, and thinner plastic boxes – the ones that seem like eggs can rattle after long-term use, since the rivets could compress the thin plastic and move about. This isn’t the case when using heavier and thicker plastic boxes.

Unless stated, all the boxes we sell are constructed from various types of ABS plastic that is UV-protected, and they’re 100% recyclable.

Waterproofing
The waterproofing process is typically based on the quality of the moulding, the length of overlap between lid and base and the mechanism for protecting the roof bar by fixing slots or holes into the base.

Box features are the most visible ones:

Locking systems
Central locking is a smart idea but often it makes roof boxes harder to shut!

This is because the majority of central locking systems require a centrally located key to be turned , and, at the same time, both the front and the back of the box need to be properly closed. This may sound simple, but will become a three hands operation (two people!) if there is bulky gear inside the box, securing up the lid even soft coats may cause this issue. It could also happen when the base is sliding or is weak or the box was placed incorrectly, with too much load at the front or at the back.

KAMEI’s central locking system is different; you unlock the box with the quarter-turn of a key, but you don’t have to touch the key when locking it. Simply close the box until there is a sound that signifies that all three locking points are engaged, at which point you can remove the key. Their Husky and Delphin range uses push-button locks at both end, allowing users to lock first one end and then the other.

The Atera Casar, INNO boxes and Thule Motion XTs have a pull shut to lock system.

Gas struts or spring struts
Calix and KAMEI use hydraulic struts to support the lid, the same technology that supports the tailgate of your car, making for a particularly seamless opening and closing mechanism. Other boxes make use of spring assisted struts. This isn’t a big deal either way.

Box to bar fitting systems
Our experience has been that every box is the same speed and simple to attach to roof bars, whether or not they have ‘quick fit’ systems. Marketing professionals make a huge deal about their quick fitting systems but the truth is that certain of them are heavy and take up too much space in the box; The smaller the profile of the fittings, the better.

It’s not easy to install U bolts onto full-width single side opening boxes. You have to stretch a long way to attach the hinge side fittings however it’s not a problem with any of the boxes we sell. The KAMEI Husky or Delphin boxes have special grippers that hold the U bolts securely in place prior to they are secured with butterfly nuts to ensure that the U bolts aren’t able to fall onto the roof of the car. They also have T-track adapters that can be used for aluminium bars.

Hapro and Thule utilize claw-style rubber grippers that can be fitted around the bars we stock, tightened with a few turns of a twist wheel. the most effective of them include an automatic torque mechanism that stops over-tightening and makes sure that the bars are held optimal. The downside of gripper systems is that they shouldn’t be used in the vicinity of the feet of the roof bar; they both Hapro and Thule sell T-track adapters an accessoryto allow full flexibility regarding where the roof box should be set on the bars. This is crucial if you’re also transporting bikes up the roof.

KAMEI’s Fosco and Oyster boxes are equipped with the ultra-low-profile ClickFix system that is by some means the most rapid fitting system available, suitable for T-track aluminium bars only.

It’s worthwhile to mention that many people leave their box permanently connected on the bar of their roof, storing the two together using a roof box hoist to pull the whole lot into their garage roof space thus fitting times are not important. Consider asking yourself the question “If I bring my box on vacation three times a year, and the slow but often lower profile U bolt fittings require about 2 minutes more to install each time, does this really have any effect?”

Better quality boxes have adjustable fitting systems that can will accommodate unique roof bar centers and eliminates the hassle of drilling extra holes.

Dual side openings
Dual-side opening the capability to open a box either from the left or from the right side, is particularly useful on full-width boxes, particularly when used in tall vehicles. However, it is of less benefit on smaller ones as it is easier of access , these boxes require being situated on one side of the car or the opposite side, and can’t be accessed from the other side. The placement of a box in the middle of the car could look tidier but unless it’s large, you’ll end up having to stretch while balancing on the sill of your door and at risk of getting your back hurt.

Rear-opening box doors allow access from 3 sides simultaneously in accordance with the height and width of the vehicle.

Styling and streamlining
The best boxes will be quiet when used. Boxes that are too close to the roof are likely to make a noise when driven in high speed, so you’ll notice that roof bars lift them about 10cm from the roof of the car.

The roof bars that are that aren’t covered by a roof box usually make the most noise; if you are buying a premium box it makes sense to buy one that is built with the most recent low drag and low noise technology. So, choose Atera aero-profile bars, CRUZ Airo bars, Thule WingBars or Yakima Whispbars.

You’ll need roof bars

Roof boxes are installed to a set roof bars, which is a set of steel or aluminium bars that cross the car from one end towards the opposite. Cars equipped with longitudinal roof-rails factory-fitted are still required to have roof bars running from rails to.

Other than these KAMEI Fosco and Oyster boxes that can only be fitted into T-track slots. Any brand of roof box can be fitted to any brand of roof bars, regardless of whether these roof bars are provided by us or by a car dealer.

Of course we would like to sell you both the box as well as bar for the roof, however there is more to it beyond this. The issue is that bar sets supplied by dealers are attractive in appearance, but are not practical, having a shape that is too odd to allow for anything other than a roof box; for example, you might not locate bike carriers that can be fitted to the bars.

It’s also a good idea to point out that some dealer-supplied “Original Equipment’ bars are just own-badged Atera and Thule bars.

If you’re a fan of roof bars with closed ends, that is to say, in terms of not having end of the bar sticking beyond the mountings (we refer to them as “through bars”) then you’ll need to check what options are available. CRUZ Airo Fuse, Thule WingBar Edge or Yakima flush bars for your vehicle.

Flush bars will always be shorter than through bars This will prevent you from carrying bikes on the roof, as well as you are using a roof box.

Steel bars or aluminium bars

Aluminium bars look superior to steel bars however, they are low-noise and low drag. This means that you don’t have an Middle C background hum, often loud and annoying, that is associated with steel bars that have square edges.

Aluminum bars allow you to put more weight on your roof, thanks to the “T-track” slots that run full across the length, specifically designed to hold adapters.

Other than noise, the biggest issue of steel bars could be that bar that connects to the vehicle’s fixings is likely to be placed in the wrong location for your combination of roof box and bike carrier fixings (U bolts, also known as claw grippers) which are wrapped through the bars. This is why you will almost always carry a wider weight on aluminium T-track bars than you can on steel bars.

If your home already has aluminum bars or decide to purchase on our site Be certain to purchase the correct T-track roof box adapters! They are standard in some roof boxes however they are an essential accessory for other.

Many top manufacturers of roof bars have followed the Yakima’s model and are now producing low-noise roof bars that are quiet. Alongside Yakima Whispbar, look out for Thule WingBars, Atera aero-profile bars Aero-profile bars Atera is among the German car rack brands and also the cheaper but nonetheless excellent CRUZ bars produced in Spain.

Frequently Asked Questions (not covered elsewhere)

Customers often ask similar questions even if they’ve not ever used a roofed box before. Here are some frequently asked questions, and the answers:

Do I require anything else apart from bar for the roof and an roof box?

No. The box to standard bar fittings comes with every roof box that we sell, as well as an assortment of straps that secure luggage. If a box has been locked it isn’t able to be lifted off the bars since the fittings that secure it to the roof bars are secured within the box. Consequently, the box will be locked.

Which side has left hand opening, and which one is Right hand opening?

Left hand opening boxes open to the passengers side a normal UK right hand drive car nearside. Right hand opening refers to ‘driver’s side’, ‘offside’.

I have a complete length box and it appears to be overhanging the bars a long way. Do you think this is ok?

Yes. The boxes are made so that approximately one third is hung over the rear bar, one third rests on the rooftop bars. The other one third extends over the front bar.

Roof box accessories

We offer a range of roof box accessories, comprising specially designed rooftop box bags internal lamps, storage devices, and protective covers.