Last Updated on July 17, 2022 by
Are you trying to figure out the best roof rack for your car? There are many types in the market, and finding the perfect one is essential to match your needs and budget. This blog will guide you through the different types of roof racks to make an informed decision.
Before you pick the best roof rack for your car, it is advisable to check your car model and manufacturer recommendations. Afterward, you can check what is on the market and the various designs that can fit onto the roof of your car. Also, evaluate the benefits, durability, and costs of each type.
The following are the different types of roof racks available in the market. Read more to learn about their use, compatibility, and installation.
1. OEM Rails and Crossbars
This system works with the existing rails and crossbars on your car. It is a straightforward installation you can do at home. The main advantage of this roof rack system is its low cost and compatibility with various vehicles. Any car that comes with factory-installed roof rails can use this system.
If yours comes with this system, it is ideal for most operations. You may need to use roof rack add-ons to increase its efficiency for some activities. For example, you can add a bike rack or a cargo box to increase its carrying capacity.
The OEM roof rack is the most popular type because it offers many benefits at an affordable price. Many car owners use this system for their daily needs and occasional trips.
2. Universal Roof Rack
Cars without manufacturer-installed rails can use a universal roof rack system. This system comprises two towers that attach to the door frame and crossbars that fit over the roof. The towers have clamps that grip the side of the car and create a firm connection.
The main advantage of the universal roof rack is its versatility. It can fit on any car regardless of the make and model. You can also use it on vehicles with curved roofs such as RVs and SUVs.
The only downside of the universal roof rack is that it is more expensive than the OEM system. The installation process is also more challenging, and you might need professional help. However, most car owners can install it without any issues where there is a manufacturer’s guide.
The universal roof rack is an excellent choice for cars that do not have factory-installed rails. It is versatile and can work on any car with a rooftop. You can use it with other add-ons to carry various types of gear, such as bikes and cargo boxes.
3. Cargo Box
A cargo box will suffice when you want to carry bulky items such as luggage. This system attaches to the existing rails and crossbars, providing sufficient storage space.
The main advantage of the cargo box is its ability to carry large items. It is also weatherproof to protect your belongings from the elements. The other benefits include easy loading and unloading of items and increased security.
The main downside of the cargo box is its high cost. It is also bulky and can reduce your car’s fuel efficiency. If you often carry large items or go on long trips, the cargo box is suitable.
4. Cargo Basket
Like a cargo box, the cargo basket is ideal when transporting big items. However, the basket is not closed. Therefore, it can support larger items that would otherwise not fit in an enclosed box.
The major disadvantage of this type of rack over the cargo box is that it does not provide weather protection. Also, because it is not closed, your belongings are at risk of falling out when driving. If you choose a basket, secure your items well.
You can use this type of rack on your car when going on a short ride. For instance, you can put your chairs, umbrellas, and cooler in the basket when going to the beach.
5. Kayak and Canoe Rack
Do you love spending your weekends paddling on the lake? If so, you need a kayak roof rack. This system secures your boat to the roof of your car and prevents it from tipping over. You can also use it to carry your surfboard, paddleboard, or canoe. Its adjustability enhances its versatility.
Using this rack is essential when carrying your boat and other beach gear. Without it, your car is at risk of damage, and your belongings might fall off. The good news is that it is easy to find a roof rack that meets your needs and is strong enough to accommodate the weight of your gear.
Finding the correct type and size of roof rack for your car will ensure that you can safely transport your belongings. It is essential to consider the make and model of your vehicle when choosing a roof rack. Also, think about the types of things you want to transport and how often you use the roof rack.