Long road trips and overlanding adventures are only done right when you pack until your vehicle is almost overflowing. But if you’re playing Tetris with bags and your truck is bursting at the welds, chances are you won’t be able to see anything out the rear window — and that’s not safe. Roof racks are great for spreading gear to the often unused and underutilized space on the roof, but also for storing equipment that won’t fit in your car to begin with. Paddleboards, mountain bikes and kayaks should all ride topside, especially after a long weekend of hard use.
So to find out the best ways to attach gear to the outside of your ride, we spoke to Tom Henwood of Main Line Overland to see what the pros are using and what’s popular on today’s market.
“The best roof rack is the best design for a given application, rather than a particular brand,” Henwood said. “We help customers select racks and storage systems based on what they intend to carry on their travels, where they intend to go, etc. We look for componentry that maintains a low profile and low center of gravity for off-road driving, so we often choose aluminum roof racks to keep weight down up top.”
Best All-Around Roof RackRhino Rack Pioneer Platform Rhino Rack Read More
Best BudgetYakima JetStream Bar Yakima Read More
Best UpgradeAluminess Mercedes Sprinter Roof Rack Aluminess Read More
Best Mountain Bike HaulerRhino Rack Roof Top Hybrid Bike Carrier Rhino Rack Read More
Best Roof Rack for KayaksThule Hullavator Pro Thule Read More
Why Use a Roof Rack?
Whether you have a sedan, a truck or an SUV, the interior cargo space can always fill up quicker than you think. And while the average person doesn’t need a roof rack 24/7, much like winter tires, they can be a valuable asset to have on hand — whether you’re overlanding, going on a long road trip, moving to a new house or just going up to the lake for a day.
So if you’re going to be strapping things to the roof of your car, do the job right; as per Hendwood’s philosophy above, it’s best to use solid, lightweight hardware that’s designed to carry loads, not roped-together guesswork.