Ever found yourself cramming all your belongings into your car, only to discover there’s no room left for your dog, your kids, or even yourself? Well, a roof box might be your knight in shining armor! These magical contraptions provide much-needed extra storage, allowing you to hit the road without sacrificing comfort. In this article, we’ll explore the different sizes of roof boxes and their recommended uses so that you can find the perfect fit for your next adventure. Ready to up your road trip game? Buckle up, and let’s dive in!

Types of Roof Boxes

Before we talk about the sizes and uses of roof boxes, it’s important to understand the different types available on the market. There are two main categories to choose from:

  • Rigid vs Soft Shell: Rigid roof boxes are made from durable materials like ABS plastic or fiberglass, providing a solid and weather-resistant storage solution. On the other hand, softshell roof boxes are typically made from heavy-duty fabric or vinyl and offer a more flexible and lightweight option.
  • Aero Design: Aero-designed roof boxes are built with a sleek and aerodynamic shape, helping to reduce wind resistance and noise while driving. This design not only looks great but also improves fuel efficiency.

Choosing the Right Roof Box

Now that you’re familiar with the different types of roof boxes, it’s time to consider what size and style will best suit your needs.

  • Dimensions and Suggested Uses: Roof boxes come in various sizes, from compact units for smaller cars to large and spacious models for families and outdoor enthusiasts. Consider the amount of storage space you need and the size of your vehicle when selecting a roof box.
  • Weight Capacity: Each roof box has a specific weight capacity, which is crucial to consider when packing your belongings. Overloading your roof box can lead to dangerous driving conditions and damage to your vehicle or the roof box itself.
  • Fitting and Measuring for Compatibility: Roof boxes attach to your vehicle using a mounting system, so it’s essential to ensure compatibility with your car’s roof rails or crossbars. Measure the width and length of your roof bars, and check the manufacturer’s specifications to find a compatible roof box.

Leading Roof Box Manufacturers

Several reputable manufacturers, including Thule, Yakima, and Rhino-Rack, produce high-quality roof boxes. Researching the best brands and reading reviews can help you find a durable and reliable roof box.

Materials and Durability

When investing in a roof box, it’s essential to consider the materials and durability:

  • Roof Box Materials: As mentioned earlier, rigid roof boxes are typically made from ABS plastic or fiberglass, while soft shell roof boxes use heavy-duty fabric or vinyl materials. Choose a material based on your preferred balance between durability and flexibility.
  • Fixing and Replacing: Roof boxes are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions and regular use. However, if your roof box becomes damaged, it’s important to fix or replace it promptly to ensure the safety of your belongings and fellow drivers.

Packing and Securing Items

Once you’ve chosen the perfect roof box, it’s time to pack:

  • Even Weight Distribution: Distribute the weight of your belongings evenly throughout the roof box to maintain proper balance while driving. This helps reduce the risk of accidents and ensures a smooth ride.
  • Safety Factors: Secure your items using straps or bungee cords to prevent them from shifting during transit. Additionally, never exceed the weight capacity of your roof box, and always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for safe use.

Additional Items and Accessories

Enhance your roof box experience with these handy extras:

  • Extra Items: Many roof boxes have features like locks, straps, or dividers. These can help keep your belongings organized and secure.
  • Mounting Systems: Depending on your vehicle and the roof box you choose, you may need to invest in a compatible mounting system. These systems attach the roof box securely to your car’s roof bars or rails.

Legalities and Limitations

Before hitting the road, familiarize yourself with the legal requirements and limitations surrounding roof boxes in your area. This may include restrictions on overall vehicle height, weight limits, and any necessary permits or registration.

Taking Off and Storing Options

snow on roof box

When it’s time to remove your roof box:

  • Effect of Weather: Be aware that weather conditions can impact the performance of your roof box. Regularly inspect your roof box for any wear or damage, and make necessary repairs or replacements.

Pros and Cons for Different Users

Roof boxes offer a range of benefits for various users:

  • Advantages for Outdoor Lovers: For those who enjoy outdoor adventures, a roof box provides extra storage for camping gear, sports equipment, and other bulky items. Plus, it frees up interior space for a more comfortable journey.
  • Pros for Families with Kids and Pets: A roof box is a lifesaver for families, offering additional room for luggage, strollers, and pet carriers. No more sacrificing legroom or leaving behind essentials on your family vacation!
  • Perks for Businesses: Roof boxes can be an excellent asset for businesses that require extra storage for tools, equipment, or product samples. They provide a secure and organized storage solution for company vehicles.

Environmental Effects and Reduction

Using a roof box reduces the need for multiple vehicles on the road, leading to lower emissions and a smaller carbon footprint. Additionally, aero-designed roof boxes improve fuel efficiency by reducing wind resistance.

Roof Box vs. Rack vs Tow

When comparing storage solutions, consider the advantages and disadvantages of roof boxes, roof racks, and tow trailers. Roof boxes offer secure and enclosed storage, while roof racks provide open-air storage for larger or oddly-shaped items. Tow trailers offer substantial storage but can impact maneuverability and fuel efficiency.

Care and Cleaning

To extend the lifespan of your roof box, clean it regularly using mild soap and water. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or tools, which can damage the surface. Check and lubricate locks and hinges as needed, and store your roof box in a cool, dry place when not in use.

Noise Levels

Aerodynamic roof boxes help reduce noise levels, but some wind noise is inevitable. You can minimize noise by packing your belongings securely and ensuring your roof box is installed correctly and closed.


The correct roof box can revolutionize your travel experience by providing extra storage and allowing for a more comfortable journey. With a range of sizes and types available, there’s a perfect roof box for every adventure. Consider the various factors discussed in this article, and you’ll be well on your way to finding the ideal roof box for your needs.


What size roof box should I choose for my car?

Consider the size of your vehicle and the amount of storage space you need when selecting a roof box. Ensure the roof box’s dimensions match your car’s roof bars or crossbars.

How do I properly secure my items in a roof box?

Use straps or bungee cords to secure your belongings, and distribute the weight evenly throughout the roof box for proper balance.

What are the main differences between rigid and soft shell roof boxes?

Rigid roof boxes are made from durable materials like ABS plastic or fiberglass and provide a solid, weather-resistant storage solution. Softshell roof boxes are more flexible and lightweight, made from heavy-duty fabric or vinyl.

Can I use a roof box in all weather conditions?

Roof boxes are designed to withstand various weather conditions, but it’s essential to inspect and maintain your roof box regularly to ensure its integrity and safety.

Are there any legal requirements or limitations for using a roof box?

Legal requirements and limitations vary by location. Familiarize yourself with local regulations, including height restrictions, weight limits, and necessary permits or registration.