Are you about to embark on a lengthy vacation? Trying to put all of your gear and language into the trunk of your car can be hectic and feel like a game of Tetris, whether you’re going on a long bike ride across the countryside or camping in the woods.
Fortunately, roof boxes come into play here. They’re a terrific way to save up some packing space, and there are a variety of sizes, prices, and features to pick from.
In this essential guide, we’ll help you narrow down your options and select the best roof box for you.
1. Clearly Define Your Needs
Before you start looking for the best roof basket make a list of your requirements.
Consider how frequently you will require the cargo box’s services. Additionally, consider the equipment that the cargo box will support. Are they camping or trekking equipment?
You should also know the weights of everything you will be transporting in the cargo box and whether you need the cargo box to serve you alone or with guests and relatives.
2. Examine the Dimensions of Cargo Boxes
Now that you know what you’ll most likely store in a roof rack box, it’s time to look at the measurements of several boxes to select one that’s the correct size for what you need to put in it. To accomplish diverse objectives, manufacturers blend cargo boxes’ length, width, and height in various ways.
Most cargo boxes are 6 feet or larger in length. A 6-foot-long box will easily accommodate a pair of 180cm skis and most other items of that length.
If you have skis or other things that are longer than 180cm (5 ft. ten in.), such as a long pair of cross-country skis, you must find an extra-long box to accommodate them. If you never want to transport long objects, a sub-6-foot box may suffice.
A broad roof box, unsurprisingly, has greater storage capacity than a narrow one. Still, it may leave you with no space on your rack’s crossbars for things like a bike or kayak rack.
Increasing height is another obvious technique to increase capacity. Taller boxes, however, may block you from driving into some spots, such as your home garage, a public parking garage, or a drive-through restaurant.
If you already have a tall vehicle, consider how much height a cargo box will add and whether this will limit where you may go.
3. Consider What You Want To Store In A Cargo Box
Outdoor enthusiasts often use cargo boxes to transport tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, backpacks, camp furniture, strollers, skis, ski poles, and ski boots. But they’re also perfect for gardening equipment, beach gear, and children’s toys.
Considering what you will store in a cargo box will narrow your search to what length, width, and height your equipment requires. Keep the below factors in mind as you do so:
- Bulky, lightweight things fit well in roof boxes: Items that consume a lot of space but don’t weigh much are ideal for putting roof boxes on top. Tents, sleeping bags, mats, cushions, camp chairs, and other items are suitable.
- Heavy things are better kept inside your vehicle: Most cargo boxes are designed with a maximum weight capacity of roughly 150 – 165. To prevent exceeding the maximum weight, keep heavier goods inside the car, such as a full cooler, jugs of water, and bins of dry food.
- Longer items require a longer roof box: If you intend to store lengthy items in your roof box, such as skis and snowboards, the shorter, more compact roof boxes may not be suitable. Many roof boxes will accommodate most downhill skis and snowboards, but if you have exceptionally long skis (such as a pair of 210cm cross-country skis), you must pay close attention to the box’s length. To ensure that your skis or other long objects fit, compare their dimensions to the inside dimensions of roof boxes.
4. The Cost
Regarding cost, the decision is based on a few criteria. To begin, how frequently will you utilize it? Second, will you keep it properly? The more expensive roof boxes should be more durable and capable of regular use. In contrast, a less expensive version may suffice if you want to use it infrequently and care for it.
The cost of a roof box is determined by its quality, warranty, convenience of use, and materials, not by its size. Premium roof boxes can cost between £600 and £1,000. A 400-470 liter roof box might cost between £200 and £400.
While cargo boxes provide many advantages, a few negatives exist, such as wind resistance and clearance concerns. However, although brands have made significant progress in optimizing the aerodynamics of boxes, there will still be some drag.
Significantly, choose a box that is big enough to carry your gear but small enough to take off when not in use, so you won’t have to be concerned about decreasing your car’s fuel efficiency in normal driving.
Notably, when installing a cargo box, consider the clearance levels in parking garages and beneath bridges and other overhangs. If you have a huge SUV, make sure the increased height of your new cargo box won’t be an issue.
A cargo box is an excellent investment to keep your car cleaner and your belongings in better condition, enhancing your overall travel and outdoor excursions.