Are Roof Boxes a Thing of the Past?

For short weekend trips to cross country adventures, roof boxes have proven to be a valuable addition to the savvy traveller’s inventory. With prices that significantly vary, roof boxes allow you to quickly and easily expand your vehicle’s carrying capacity. Short of buying a bigger car, roof boxes are definitely the next best thing, especially for travellers who always seem to run out of space.

What is a Roof Box?

A roof box, in the simplest possible terms, is a waterproof container usually made of plastic that is secured to the top of your vehicle via a roof bar. Sometimes, roof boxes may be confused with carriers or roof baskets. However, roof boxes are differentiated by the fact that they are completely enclosed in order to protect its contents from the elements.

When selecting a roof box, safety should be the number one priority. Hence, you need to make sure that your roof box is securely fixed to your vehicle’s roof bars. Moreover, one should also never overload the roof box.

Different Types

Narrow Roof Boxes (below)

True to their namesake, narrow roof boxes are narrow and long, thus leaving plenty of additional room for a kayak and/or one or two bike carriers. Narrow roof boxes are ideal for people looking to transport additional equipment on the roof of their vehicles.

Medium Width Roof Boxes (below)

A medium width roof box provides users with a greater degree of flexibility as compared to narrow or wide roof boxes. This is because medium width roof boxes have a respectable carrying capacity, while still allowing for the vehicle to support one or two additional bike carriers on the roof. Hence, this makes medium width roof boxes fairly popular with families.

Wide Roof Boxes (below)

Wide roof boxes are able to provide superior carrying capacity at the expense of additional room on the roof. Due to their much larger size, a wide roof box takes up almost all of the space on a vehicle’s roof. Thus, leaving little to no room for additional equipment on the roof.

However, you do need to take into account that wide roof boxes are broken up into two variants which have vastly different characteristics, namely: short wide roof boxes and long wide roof boxes.

Sort Wide Roof Boxes (above)

This type of wide roof box is suitable for owners of smaller sized vehicles (i.e., hatchbacks) who are looking for superior carrying capacity. It should also be noted that short wide roof boxes often take up the entire width of the vehicle’s roof. Thus, leaving no room for additional equipment.

Long Wide Roof Boxes (below)

Ideal for travelers looking for massive storage capability, long wide roof boxes are suitable for owners with larger sized vehicles such as SUVs and/or vans. Such boxes are suitable for large families looking to haul big amounts of luggage and little else. A disadvantage of the long wide roof box is that it is bulky and awkward to handle by one person.


Uses of Roof Boxes

A Day at the Beach

Beach outings are tremendous fun for the whole family and from here, we can see why the roof box is such an invaluable asset. Usually, luggage such as swimming attire, towels, spare shoes, surf boards, life preservers and children’s toys can be stored in a roof box. As a result, there is still plenty of space left in the passenger cabin.

At the end of the day, all wet and sandy clothing and equipment can be stored safely in the roof box, thus making sure that your car stays clean and dry. Later on, the roof box can be easily cleaned out with a hose.

For a Cross Country Adventure

If you ever decide to go on a cross country adventure, the roof box would be an ideal travel companion. A cross country adventure would require you to be able to carry a large amount of supplies over a long distance with ease.

A medium sized roof box will easily allow you to carry enough luggage for a party of 4 adults, along with several bike carriers mounted on your roof.

For Shopping Trips During the Holiday Season

The Christmas holidays are always a magical time for everyone. However, Christmas shopping can be an extremely stressful affair, what with the insane rush and your vehicle’s limited carrying capacity.

However, with a simple roof box installed, you are able to more than double your vehicle’s carrying capacity and cut down on that holiday stress.

Skiing Trips (below)

Roof boxes come in many different sizes, thus allowing you to configure your vehicle’s carrying capacity with a great degree of flexibility. If you’re heading to the mountains for a family skiing trip, having a roof box at hand would be convenient. That is because it allows you to pack an entire family’s worth of luggage while at the same time, safely transporting skis and snowboards.


Far from being obsolete or even outdated, roof boxes are here to stay. As technology advances and designs become increasingly radical, you will find increasingly stylish and elegant roof boxes here and there, as well. Thus, paving the way for their acceptance within the mainstream.


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