Choosing a Roof Box for your Vehicle

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When you make the decision that you want to get a roof box for your vehicle, it can be a perplexing decision with lots of questions such as “what size do I need?” or “what is the most aerodynamic shape?” This article will try and shed some light on some of those questions.

As we get older, our lives can sometimes change and we are in need of more carrying capacity in our vehicles. Some people may be living in their vehicles, switching between work and adventure, while some may be considering buying a minivan for new additions to the family, or some people’s adventures may require hauling more gear than can typically fit in an SUV. If upsizing is out of the questions, or if you aren’t ready to relinquish the vehicle you have had in your younger years in exchange for more space, a roof box may be the way to go to haul all that extra luggage and gear.

Hard or Soft Shell?

Depending on the gear you are hauling, how much you can/want to spend, and how much room you have to store your gear in your home, you’ll need to decide if you want a soft shell roof ‘bag’ style carries or one of the many hard shell roof boxes

Cargo bags will have their advantages: they cost less than a roof box, they are able to collapse easier for storage when you are not using them, and you do not necessarily need a roof rack to install them. On the otherhand, you are basically getting around with a soft-sided cooler strapped to your roof.

Furthermore, if you want to move large or heavy gear such as skis, a hard-sided roof box is more than appropriate. While they might be more expensive and generally big, bulky things to store away when you aren’t using them, they are much more durable, have a larger capacity and are much more visually appealing. It can also live on your your car for months on end if feel so inclined as it will be able to resist all kinds of inclement weather.

What to Look For in a Perfect Roof Box

Now that you’ve decided to go with a hard shell roof box you will need to consider a few things before buying it. These include: shape, size, features, and roof rack compatibility.


Realistically, you want a roof box that is as aerodynamic as possible so it can save you money as well as being able to reduce road noise. Both are equally as important as each other when considering shape.


Roof boxes come in different volumes ranging from 10 to 20+ cubic feet. Depending on what you will end up carrying will determine the maximum size you will need in length and height. Different models all have different load capacities, so you will need to decide just how heavy the gear you are moving around will be, and if your roof rack can support it.


One of the most convenient elements of the hard shell roof boxes is the ability to open it from both sides, thus reducing a significant degree of hassle. This is a particularly handy feature when you’re dealing kids, animals or your gear. They have the stiffest leads so they won’t collapse on you when you are opening.

Roof Rack Compatability

If you happen to be in the market for a roof rack system or crossbars, most of the company’s websites will be able to walk through your selection process, starting with the vehicle you have and whether or not you have factory fitted racks or a ‘naked roof’. Furthermore, the shape of your crossbars will almost certainly affect the wind noise in your vehicle. Square bars are the least aerodynamic with regards to shape, then round, and oval.

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