Are you looking for a Car Roof Box for your next roadtrip? Car roof boxes are a great way to store extra items and luggage outside of your car’s interior and keep your car’s interior clutter free.
Car roof boxes are great, and I’ve recently been taking the time to digest what’s available on the market, and have come up with a list of what I personally believe is the best car roof boxes for 2021.
I once was doing a lot of camping, in a motorhome, or trailer tent, and even back to basics camping with tents right? I’d get to a service station, would use their facilities to come back to my car to be unable to find those sandwiches that I had packed earlier that day.
Car roof boxes are the ideal solution to providing extra storage for a small car and keep your car’s interior clutter free.
I’m going to help you decide the perfect car roof box to buy, by breaking them down into several categories…
The Best Overall – G3 2214 ROOF BOX
- Weight: 75kg
- Capacity: 335 liters
- Lock: yes (2 centralised locking systems with key)
Up first in our review list of best overall roof boxes is the roof box by G3. Some roof boxes simply don’t provide enough value when you purchase them. Or don’t give you enough flexibility when you’re installing them.
We like that the G3 car roof box is well secured, and comes with a wonderful quick mounting kit to allow you to quickly get it mounted onto your car’s roof with ease.
The quick mounting kit will allow you to take the hassle out of mounting the roof box.
It’s also nice to see that this roof box comes with a standard 5 year warranty, and whilst the majority of car roof boxes will come with warranties, they don’t all come with a warranty with this amount of time, and that’s another reason it’s made it into our list.
Need to open your car roof box from both sides? Then look no more, I especially find it useful to open a car roof box from both sides when compared to one… you could be parked in an awkward space, or have luggage that you’ve previously packed to one particular side.
Getting to that luggage is made even more challenging if it’s heavy.
However, what I’m not so sure about is the design and brand of this car roof box. It’s not bad, but if I was planning on keeping this car roof box for an extended period of time, for year after year, I’d want a car roof box with a slightly better design to it!
As for the brand, it’s not terrible, but the naming of the brand might put some people off, they might not think that the G3 brand is very good, and thus might provide a lower review, but this doesn’t mean that it’s bad at all.
The Best Budget Car Roof Bag – RougeRV Roof Top Cargo Carrier Bag
- Weight: 3.04kg
- Capacity: 15 cubic feet
- Lock: no
On a budget? We’ve got this one well covered, and this is absolutely a great purchase as it’s considerably more lightweight than our best overall roof box.
The RougeRV company specialise is the creation of many types of car rooftop bags, or roof bags.
Rooftop bags are made out of a high quality material that’s waterproof and rainproof, meaning your contents of your car’s rooftop bag will remain completely dry throughout the seasons.
I like that you get a 12 month warranty, and this is a pretty standard warranty for the majority of car roof bags and it didn’t go unnoticed in my review.
It’s also nice to see how this rooftop bag secures your contents of whatever you put in there, the bag comes with 8 reinforced straps, meaning you shouldn’t need to worry about the contents of the bag coming out whilst you’re driving around a sharp corner, or on a motorway slip road.
In terms of luggage and what you can fit into this roof bag, we found that you’re able to fit about the following:
- 2 medium sized suitcases
- 1 cooler
- 2 camping tents
- And a few other small items
This is likely all you’ll realistically need to put into this rooftop bag as you’ll still be able to utilise the rest of the space in your car, or car’s boot.
However, what I did fine with this car roof bag is that it’s quite large, and this might not be to everyone’s tastes, even though it’s quite large, it’s affordable, and will mean you’ve got room for expansion in the future.
I also found that unlike our best overall car roof box, this roof bag doesn’t have any locking mechanism other than the reinforced straps, so I wouldn’t recommend storing valuables in this car roof bag for any extended period of time.
The Best Runner Up – Thule Ranger Foldaway 280 Litre
- Weight: 7kg
- Capacity: 280 litres / 50kg
- Lock: yes (integrated)
I came across the Thule Ranger Foldaway roof box a little while ago, and was extremely impressed with it! There’s a lot to like about this car roof box, so I’ll tell you my honest review of this car roof box and what I don’t like also.
Firstly, the size.
I was impressed with how small this car roof box actually is, when you think of a roof box, you’d typically think of something big, bulky and undesirable to stick on the top of your car right?
Not with this one, the design is pretty spot on, it comes with a generous 5 year warranty, much like our earlier best overall car roof box from G3. So this is spot on!
I also really like that this is the first foldable car roof box that I’ve found, and despite the increased price tag, you can pick one of these up for a great price during the spring and winter months.
The load capacity of 50kg is reasonable, it’s not the most capable roof box on the weight side of things, but then again it is foldable, so there’s got to be some appreciation from this point of view.
Getting the Thule Ranger roof box onto your car couldn’t be any easier thanks to the easy-snap mounting system included, it makes it a breeze to fix it to your car.
It’s also waterproof, thanks to the hard shell design, but this is to be expected of most roof boxes, and likely is something you’ll want to look at when you’re searching around for a roof box, ask yourself:
Do I need my car roof box to be waterproof?
If you do, then this is the one for you.
Despite everything great about this product, I found it to be on the smaller side, and reasonably expensive given the size of the box. But, you’ve got to make a sacrifice somewhere if you’re prioritising the ability for the roof box to be foldable.
The Best Car Roof Bag Under £50 – Sailnovo Car Roof Bag
- Weight: 3kg
- Capacity: 15 cubic feet
- Lock: no
Last in our review list for the best car roof boxes to purchase in 2021 goes to the Sailnovo Car Roof Bag, similar to our roof bag we reviewed earlier, this is a roof bag rather than roof box.
Car roof bags tend to be more affordable, and depending on when you’re reading this review this car roof bag can be found for under £50, making it very affordable.
If you’re just getting into the car roof bag scene, then this car roof bag makes perfect sense.
It’s installed via the bare roof of your car, meaning no car roof rack is needed to install this roof bag.
It’s waterproof, making it great for all weather conditions, including the harsh snowy winters if that’s when you’re going to be going out on a road trip and need to carry some extra luggage.
This roof bag comes with 6 built in straps, I’d prefer if it had come with a few more straps, and would prefer if they were reinforced, but they unfortunately aren’t in this case.
Are you looking for a universal car roof bag or universal roof box?
This roof bag is universal.
What do I mean by a universal roof bag? Universal roof bags typically will fit the majority of vehicles on the road, whether you’ve got a new car, or a used car, it shouldn’t matter. But I recommend always checking with the product you’re purchasing if you need it to be universal.
I like that we’ve got the invisible zipper on this roof bag, this will help reduce the potential theft of the roof bag.
However, with all strengths, comes a few weaknesses, and being a budget car roof bag, I found that this one doesn’t come with any locking mechanism, it’s bulky,and is made from fabric.
How Much Weight Can Your Car Roof Box Hold?
I know, it’s tempting to cut your losses and go for a cheaper car roof box and then try to fit as much into it as possible right?
Especially if it’s made from fabric and has straps instead of a hard roof box, you’ll be tempted to just stretch the fabric a little to squeeze a few more items into there, but this isn’t a great idea.
A car roof box or bag is designed to hold a certain amount of weight, typically not much more than around 70kg on average, and whilst this might seem like a fair amount of weight, those camping chairs will quickly reach that weight limit before you know it.
Also, you might not have considered…
But your driver’s license will only be valid for up-to a certain weight limit, and this limit is everything that your car can carry…
That’ll be you, your passengers, fuel, windscreen wash, and your car roof box or bag right?
Know what your restrictions are and don’t try to exceed them. If you’re unsure, I recommend purchasing a budget car roof box or bag with a capacity of around 50kg first, this way you won’t be able to overload the roof bag.
How Durable Are Car Roof Boxes?
Car roof boxes typically spend a lot of time exposed to the natures of our world, wind, snow, rain, heat, and some level of G force when you’re driving.
Regardless of the roof box, they are all reasonably durable and should last for many, many years. You shouldn’t need to worry, as this is what they’re designed for.
However, of course, like most physical objects, they will at some point need replacing with a new car roof box. They don’t last forever, and if you time it right, you’ll be able to get a roof box at an affordable price when you’re ready.
What Are Roof Boxes Made From?
Car roof boxes can be made from many different types of materials, the most common material I found roof boxes to be made from is UV-protected ABS plastic, it’s strong, durable, and will prevent colour fade over time.
However, some can be made from other types of material, such as strong fibreglass / glass reinforced plastic.
Do You Need to Access the Roof Box From Both Sides?
You might discover when searching for the best car roof boxes to purchase that some will allow for you to access them on both sides of the box, whereas others will only allow one side or the other side.
Take this into account prior to purchasing a roof box.
You might be parked next to another car, or parked on the side of a street and need access to the roof box realising only the side nearest the road is accessible and you’re unable to open the other side.
If this is the case, it might be worth considering a car roof bag instead or a budget bag.
Roof Box Security
When I look for roof boxes to purchase, I often wonder whether that expensive roof box will be easily stolen, and you likely are wondering the same…
And this is a very valid point, car roof box security is something that should be taken seriously.
You’ve just spent a lot of money on a car roof box or car roof bag.
I’d recommend prior to the purchase, check the following:
- Does it come with a lock?
- Are the straps reinforced if it’s a bag?
- Is it a box or bag?
If the box or bag doesn’t come with a lock, it likely is going to come with some straps, and if so, are these reinforced? If they are, then you should be good to go!