Roof rack for car – Opinions, Analysis and Comparison in 2022
When the trunk of the car or the cargo space of the van are too small, it is necessary to have aids so that the transport of our luggage is safe and comfortable. A task in which car roof racks play an important role, both for their easy installation and for their versatility. In the current market we find universal models, such as the Maypole RB1040 MWAY EAGLE roof rack, with the capacity to carry 60 kilos safely and which has a universal design suitable for many current vehicles. If you have a Citroen Berlingo, then you can resort to the VDP XL135 roof rack, whose bars support 90 kilos of load and offer you a pre-assembled system, which makes assembly easier.
The best car roof racks on the market
Making a move, buying furniture or carrying something bulky are situations in which finding the best car roof rack is a great help, since it allows us to take advantage of the roof of the vehicle to carry what we need. However, not all roof racks are suitable for any car, since a roof rack for a Seat León is not the same as one for a Peugeot Partner, as an example. For this reason, we present our selection of the best car roof racks for 2022, which will make it easier for you to find the perfect model for your vehicle.
universal car roof rack
Maypole RB1040 MWAY EAGLE
Betting on a universal car roof rack is a good idea if our vehicle is one of the usual ones on the market. Something that allows us to find models like the Maypole RB1040 MWAY EAGLE roof rack. It has an adjustable design that fits models from over 70 manufacturers on the market today, so it fits a wide range of vehicles. In part, because the bars have an adjustable design that mounts on rails with at least 2 centimeters of space, in line with the usual.
These bars also have a high-strength aluminum construction, capable of supporting up to 60 kilos of weight on its surface. Regarding size, the bars have a width between supports of 120 centimeters, with a height of 10.5 centimeters above the ceiling and 13 centimeters wide in the bar itself, to better support the load.
If you are looking for the best car roof rack of the moment, learn more about this Maypole model and its characteristics.
Strength : The high quality construction of this roof rack offers a load capacity of 60 kilos.
Lock : The bars of this roof rack have a lock, to prevent them from being stolen.
Manufacturing : The bars are made of aluminum and adequately withstand the use and effects of the weather.
Compatibility: It is compatible with vehicles of more than 70 brands, universal in nature.
Installation : The installation process is simple and is based on the T Track system, one of the most common.
Noise: Some user comments that at high speeds the noise sneaks into the interior of the bars and “whistles”.
For those who want to know which is the best car roof rack currently on sale, the Walser 16506-1 model may be the answer. We are talking about a universal car roof rack but different from the others. The bars of the roof rack are inflatable and not metallic, as usual. These air chambers are very resistant and better cushion the bumps in the road, so that what you transport will not be scratched or dented, as the bar itself cushions those movements.
An innovative model that is easily assembled, requiring just 30 seconds to inflate the bars and around 5 minutes to have the system ready to ride. And as if that were not enough, this product is among the cheapest we have found, being close to being the best value for money car roof rack on the market today.
Finding a cheap and quality roof rack is easy, as this model shows us, which we analyze below.
Installation : The assembly process takes just five minutes, including an inflation pump for the bars.
Universal : The product is universal and suitable for a wide range of vehicles, thanks to the adjustment strap system.
Cushioning : Since we are talking about inflatable bars, they cushion the load during the trip, preventing them from being scratched or damaged.
Easy to store: When the roof rack is not in use, simply deflate the bars and store them in the included bag.
Punctures: Although the nylon of the bars is resistant, we must treat the product with care to avoid punctures.
Water : Some user comments that on very rainy days water can enter the interior of the vehicle, when the fastening straps get wet.
Roof rack Citroen Berlingo
The VDP XL135 model is a roof rack for Citroen Berlingo and other large vehicles that require bars of 135 centimeters, the width of this model. A product suitable for these vans from 1996 to 2010, as long as they include the usual roof rail system.
These bars have a very resistant aluminum construction, measuring 5 centimeters wide and 3.2 centimeters high with respect to the support, so they can withstand loads of up to 90 kilos, subject to the load supported by the roof itself. The roof rack is delivered already assembled, which facilitates the installation process. In addition, it has a security key lock, which prevents the bars from being stolen and facilitates their subsequent disassembly when they are not necessary.
So that you have all the necessary information to know which car roof rack to buy, we summarize what this model offers you.
Use: It is specifically designed for the Citroen Berlingo in its versions from 1996 to 2010, in its high roof and 5-door combi versions.
Load capacity: The bars have a load capacity of up to 90 kilos, subject to the resistance of the roof.
Assembled : The bars are delivered already assembled, which is an aid during the assembly of the roof rack.
Screw : Some users comment that you have to have a certain skill to find the lower hole of the bar when placing the screws.
Noise : As with other models, they can make some noise at high speeds.
Roof rack Renault Kangoo
Coming from what is, for many users, the best brand of roof racks for cars at the moment, the Cruz 922-431_58 model is the answer of this manufacturer to those who need a roof rack for Renault Kangoo. This is made up of two independent bars, made of steel with a square profile and a galvanized finish, which gives them greater resistance.
The bars have been manufactured in accordance with the ISO standard, which is a guarantee of a careful manufacturing process. Something that is perceived in its finishes or in its load capacity, which reaches 75 kilos even though they are relatively narrow bars in terms of their size. The product is accompanied by all the necessary elements for assembly, the brand also having other accessories compatible with the bars, for the transport of specific loads such as bicycles or luggage chests.
Add more load capacity to your Renault Kangoo with this car roof rack and everything it offers you.
Construction: The bars have been built in high resistance galvanized steel.
Load capacity: Despite their width, the bars support up to 75 kilos of weight on their surface.
Fixings : The roof rack includes all the necessary elements for its installation and assembly.
Finish: The finish of the bars is square and black, compared to the aluminum finish and the rounded shape of other products. Something only visual, because it does not affect its resistance.
Age : It is suitable for models after 2004, and may not be used for vehicles prior to that date.
Ford Focus Roof Rack
Within the specific products, the BB-EP 90114062 model is all you need if you are looking for a roof rack for Ford Focus. This has the usual double bar system and supports for fastening to the ceiling using a rail system, so its installation is quite simple. Something that helps to have the security locks of the RONIS brand, which prevent the theft of the bars once they are placed on the roof.
These bars have their own measurements of 41 millimeters high by 23 wide, in an oval design that is very beautiful to look at and with a load capacity of up to 75 kilos. A roof rack that also allows the mounting of all kinds of objects on it, such as chests, bicycle racks, ski racks and many more.
Let’s see more details of that roof rack for Ford Focus and everything that it puts at your disposal.
Height of bases: The height of the bases of the bars facilitates assembly and prevents damage to the roof of the vehicle.
Locks : RONIS locks provide extra security to prevent anyone from stealing your bars.
Load capacity: The roof rack supports up to 75 kilos of load on its surface, thanks to its manufacturing quality.
Models: The roof rack is not compatible with the Combi type vehicles of this model, only with the Hatchback.
Color : The bars are completely black, which may not be to the liking of some users.
Cross Airo R133
Although it is not among the cheap models in our selection, the Cruz Airo R133 roof rack does offer us quality and design worthy of being on it. This universal roof rack is made up of two bars 133 centimeters wide between fasteners, thus offering compatibility with a wide range of vehicles. The bars have a high quality aluminum manufacture, which allows us to load up to 75 kilos of weight on them.
In addition, the roof rack has an improved design, which reduces wind resistance and is more aerodynamic. This translates into greater safety when driving, less noise and lower fuel consumption than other models. It is finished off with a mounting system, easy to execute, as well as anti-theft locks on the sides, so that nobody takes it when you leave your vehicle parked.
To help you decide better, we give you some more details about this roof rack and its characteristics.
Measurements: The bars are compatible with vehicles that use a rail width of 133 centimeters.
Installation : These bars have a very simple installation, which will hardly take you time to execute.
Efficient : The bars have a better aerodynamic coefficient, which reduces noise and wind resistance.
Clamp Rubbers: Clamp rubbers can easily fall off and be lost when the bars are not mounted.
Compatibility : As with all universal models, checking compatibility with the vehicle is key.
Thule roof rack
In a selection of this type of product, a Thule roof rack could not be missing. The chosen model is the Thule TH959500n, which shows us the usual quality of the brand. The bars of this roof rack are made of high-strength aluminum and have a total load capacity of 75 kilos.
Some bars that include other details of class, such as the molded plastic finishes and double cover system, which improve their appearance and do not leave the locks visible. These locks facilitate the otherwise very simple assembly while preventing theft of the bars while they are mounted on the vehicle. And as proof of its universality and wide coverage of models, this roof rack comes in six different sizes, so you can choose the one that best suits the measurements of your vehicle.
If you are still not sure if this roof rack is what you need, we will give you some more details about its characteristics.
Arch Design: The slightly arched design better distributes weight and extends the distance from the ceiling.
Sizes : This model comes in six different sizes, making it easy to choose the right one for your vehicle.
Finishes : The double cap molded plastic finishes give the bars a greater elegance.
Weight : The bars have a total weight of 5.1 kilos, somewhat higher than other models that we find on the market.
Sunroof: As usual, the use of the bars can prevent the use of the sunroof, in vehicles that include it.
Van roof rack
Auto Shop 07.74156
Although some models are compatible with these uses, if what you need is a roof rack for a van, it is always better to bet on a specific model such as the AutoShop 07.74156. This specific model is compatible with the Renault Traffic, in its versions from March 2001 to May 2014.
This roof rack is made up of three independent bars 180 centimeters wide, made of resistant galvanized steel, which is finished with a PVC coating, so as not to damage those objects that we transport on it. Objects that, in total, can add a maximum load of up to 100 kilos. Even being a van, this does not prevent the bars from maintaining the easy installation typical of other models, as well as the anti-theft system, with which to prevent the bars from being removed. So you don’t miss anything that the highest quality car roof racks offer.
Expand the space of your vehicle with this roof rack for Renault Traffic and its great functionality.
Distribution : The lot consists of three independent bars of 180 centimeters wide each.
Resistance : The total weight supported by the roof rack is 100 kilos, also having a plastic finish that does not damage the load.
Anti -theft : The bars of the roof rack include an anti-theft lock, which provides extra security.
Compatibility : The bars are suitable for vehicles manufactured from 2001 to 2014, according to the manufacturer.
Layout : The bars are taller than they are wide, making it a bit difficult to place certain loads on them.
Guide to buying car roof racks
Among the solutions that we have within our reach when the space of our vehicle is scarce, the car roof rack is one of the most popular. On the one hand because it allows us to save space and on the other because it is an open space, where it is easier to transport bulky packages. But for this transport to be safe, we must always use a quality product. Something that is above how much it costs or its appearance. To make your search easier, we leave you our guide to buying the best car roof rack, with all kinds of practical advice that will help you in this task.
Measurements and compatibility of the roof rack
Just as each car model is different, so are the different car roof racks that we find on the market. Something that is easy to check if we see any comparison of car roof racks, in which we will find wider, narrower models, with two bars, with three bars, etc.
For this reason, the first thing we should know is what measurements the bars that make up the roof rack of our vehicle should have. Something for which we can resort to the vehicle manual that the manufacturer gave us at the time or to one of the many applications that the different manufacturers of car roof racks make available to us. It is important that when searching we take into account the exact model of the vehicle and the year of manufacture, since the bodies change both between these models and according to the corresponding year.
As an alternative, instead of resorting to universal car roof racks, we can always search if there is a specific model for our vehicle. In general, except for very well-known models, very specific and with very different measurements to those of other similar vehicles, it is something that is not going to be necessary, but we always have that option if we have doubts or some other problem during the process.
A good and cheap car roof rack must necessarily have good manufacturing materials. We have to think that the bar is an additional object to the vehicle that will support a considerable load, as well as the stresses of use, both due to the wind generated when moving and the weight of the load that we put on it. So build quality is key.
In the current market we can find different manufacturing materials for these bars. The most common are steel and aluminum. Both materials are acceptable as long as the bars are of quality construction, the bar profiles are of adequate thickness, and the design of the bars helps that load travel safely. Something that practically all the bars on the market meet, although taking a look at the comments of other users also helps to confirm it.
On the other hand, this bar construction and these materials also dictate the maximum load of the roof rack bars. In general, the roof of a car has a load capacity of approximately 60 to 75 kilos. A figure that increases to 90 kilos in the bars for larger vehicles, such as SUVs or vans. In the case of vans, the capacity can reach 100 kilos. Also keep this in mind depending on what you plan to carry on the roof rack.
Installation and security
As a last section, it is essential to take a look at the installation process of the roof rack. In general, all the roof racks on the market have a system that uses the roof rails to hook the supports and subsequently place the bars safely. A process that is not usually complex, although there are marks or bars that require some effort to place the screws or some of the elements that are part of it.
As an alternative to this system, today we can find inflatable roof racks, which use pneumatic nylon tubes. They are products for occasional use with a simple assembly system that do not require more than five minutes to leave the bars mounted, between inflating and fixing them. If you don’t want to deal with tools, it’s a good alternative.
Within this section we do not want to forget the anti-theft lock, located on the roof rack supports. This element prevents the bars of the roof rack from being stolen when we leave our vehicle parked, so it is something that the roof rack that we plan to buy should always have.
Frequently asked questions
Q1: What can be transported on the roof of the car?
On the roof of the car you can carry everything, as long as it is carried correctly. Among the legal obligations we have is the one that prevents the load from protruding from the sides of the roof rack. In case of protruding from the rear, it may protrude from 10 to 15%, depending on whether the load is divisible or not. Said load can never compromise the stability of the vehicle, it must be securely fixed in order to prevent it from becoming detached or falling onto the road and it cannot cause liquid spills, dust dispersion or other inconvenience to other road users.
Q2: How to remove the roof rack from the car?
To remove the roof rack from the car, it is necessary to use the key of the anti-theft lock, in order to release the mounting system and proceed with its removal. Keep in mind that this system allows you to remove the bars from the roof rack but not the supports. To remove these supports, it will be necessary to unscrew them from the vehicle, in a reverse process to the one you followed in your day to proceed with the assembly of the roof rack.
Q3: When the roof rack of the vehicle is not used, is it advisable to remove it?
The usual recommendation is that when the car’s roof rack is not in use, it should be removed, as carrying it can increase fuel consumption. However, it is also advisable to use common sense. As an example, we have the case of a driver who has a vehicle with a roof rack, who uses it on weekends for long trips and the rest of the week he barely drives 10 kilometers in the city to go to work. In this case, it may not be worth the effort to assemble and disassemble the roof rack for a small saving.
Q4: How to tie a surfboard to the roof rack?
To carry your surfboard safely, it is recommended to buy one of the accessory kits on the market for this purpose. This kit includes some supports designed to hold the boards, preventing them from being scratched during the trip, as well as the flexible straps with which to fasten the board to the roof rack. This fastening must be done both widthwise and lengthwise, to prevent the board from being thrown out in the event of braking.
Q5: How to make a car roof rack?
Making a roof rack for the car requires knowledge of welding, a workshop with the necessary tools and a specific design so that it is safe. In theory, it would be enough to make some suitable supports for the vehicle and cut resistant metal bars, fitting them into the supports. However, given that the roof rack is an element that can considerably affect safety and that a “homemade” roof rack can be a source of problems on the ITV, our advice is to use an approved and quality roof rack.
Q6: If luggage is loaded on the roof rack of your car, is it allowed to protrude from the sides?
Given that a passenger car is not a vehicle intended for the exclusive transport of goods but for the transport of people, current legislation establishes that the load can only protrude from the rear of the vehicle by a maximum of 10%, extendable to 15% if said charge is indivisible. Thus, since it is not expressly authorized for the load to protrude from the sides, it is understood as illegal for the load of the roof rack to protrude from the sides of the car.
Q7: How to carry a mattress on the roof of the car?
To place this load, it will be necessary to place it as centrally as possible on the roof rack, in order to prevent it from protruding from the sides of the vehicle. Especially if the mattress is 1.5 meters wide, since its measurement is almost identical to the width of any car. Once on the support, it will be necessary to fasten the mattress to the roof rack both lengthwise and widthwise, using straps, “octopuses” (flexible rubber ropes with hooks at the ends), or any other system that guarantees that the mattress does not move.
Q8: How to put the bike on the roof of the car?
To put the bike on the roof rack, we will start by holding the bike by the frame with one hand and by the central part of the handlebar with the other, so that it does not turn during placement. Next, we pull the arms and place the bicycle with the wheels upwards, until we reach the vehicle, where we will lower it until it is aligned with the support. Once supported, we place it in its position and we will leave it fixed on the roof rack. If you have a house with a porch, high steps or something that serves as a platform, you can always use them, to make it easier.
How to use a roof rack
The roof rack is the lifesaver for many users when it comes to carrying everything they need when space in the trunk is scarce. However, the roof rack can also pose a risk if we do not use it safely. For this reason, we want to leave you with some tips to make the process of loading and using the roof rack something safer for you and for other drivers.
In general, before putting a single piece of luggage on the roof rack, it is necessary to check its general condition. In this review we must check that the supports are correctly anchored and do not move, as well as that the bars are in place and correctly fixed. Also check that the bars have no gaps or are bent more than they should, as this is a sign of weakness in the material. If there is something loose, it is essential to tighten the corresponding fasteners before starting to load the roof rack.
When it comes to distributing the load on the roof rack, we should always go from the largest and heaviest to the smallest and lightest. The idea is to take advantage of the entire surface of the roof rack widthwise, minimizing the total height of the vehicle with said load. It is also convenient that the larger packages be used as a base, supported by both bars, for the smaller ones that we can load on top.
In any case, it is essential to remember that the load of the roof rack must never protrude from the sides and that it cannot protrude from the front either, if its dimensions are greater than those of the vehicle. The only thing authorized by current legislation is that the load protrudes a maximum of 10% of the total surface of the vehicle from the rear, which can be extended to 15% in the event that an indivisible object is loaded.
Another aspect that we have to consider when loading the roof rack is weight distribution. That weight should never exceed the maximum limit indicated by the manufacturer of the roof rack. But, in addition, the weight must be distributed in the most balanced way possible, in order to maintain the stability of the vehicle in circulation. An excess load on one of the sides will cause greater suffering to the tires and shock absorbers on that side, and may even cause tipping over if we have to swerve or drive through areas with strong gusty air.
Mounting of accessories
If you plan to use accessories on the roof of the car, such as bicycle racks, ski racks, luggage boxes or any other similar, we must also take extreme precautions. Follow the accessory manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly during assembly, verifying the tightness and stability of the installation. Also check that the objects you place on them (bicycles, boats, suitcases, etc.) are properly secured. And do not forget to also comply with what we have mentioned regarding the stability of the vehicle and the correct distribution of the load.