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How to choose a roof rack that’s right for you

Maybe it’s the perfect occasion for an unplugged family long weekend away, or perhaps you’ve planned the ultimate fishing & camping trip with the lads. Either way, you realise that you have a tonne of shit to carry and very little car space. 

It’s times like this where your mate usually drops ahhh told ya, you should’ve got a ute. Yeah, thanks Steve, great suggestion — where do the kids go? (just chuck em in the ute) just kidding.

Anyway, back to it.

How to choose a roof rack.

A roof rack gives you the flexibility to transport bulkier items on your vehicle’s roof and creates more storage space inside the car for all your camping, fishing and adventuring essentials. 

Not only that, but you can also get variations of roof racks which allow you to securely transport bikes, kayaks & canoes, heck you can even attach an awning to it. The additional storage space creates wonders for smaller vehicles, making it far easier to pack as well as providing a more comfortable ride.

So, does this mean the roof rack you need will depend on what you need to transport & what are you using it for? It sure does.

The roof rack you choose will depend on what you’re transporting and how it will be used.

Consider the following…

5 factors that will determine which roof rack you should buy

1. What do you want to transport

As mentioned above, the type of roof rack you choose is heavily dependent on what you want to transport. 

2. What’s the weight capacity of your vehicle’s roof?

The roof of your vehicle can only support so much weight. You can find out the total weight of the roof rack and carrier capacity in your vehicle’s owner manual, or online if you no longer have the manual. 

3. What’s the combined weight of items going on the roof rack?

If you plan on transporting a heavy canoe, as well as all your essential camping gear and equipment, make sure the combined weight is less than your vehicle’s maximum weight capacity. 

4. What is the vehicle’s current roof set-up?

The type of roof rack you choose will also depend on the current set-up of your vehicle’s roof. Roof side rails run along the sides of the vehicle’s roof, front to back, and provide both a mounting point for roof cross bars, and a convenient tie down point for securing carriers or baskets. 

5. What is the width of your roof?

Measure the width of your roof from front and rear and take note of which type of measurement you’re taking. Is it the inside, centre or outside? Different makes and models of cross bars will attach to side rails in various ways. That said, most roof racks should come with adjustable widths, some are also designed for a more tighter fit and will require accurate measurements.

Choose a roof rack that supports your load

What you rackin’? Is pretty much what it comes down to. There are a tonnes of different roof rack designs and accessories, some acting as a storage box for smaller gear, others are more versatile like the Pioneer Tray, allowing you to rack larger and more bulkier items. 

ARB Roof Rack

ARB roof racks are built to support the full rated roof load capacity of a vehicle with the mounting system and structural integrity of the rack being designed to withstand the most demanding of conditions. ARB racks are available in a variety of lengths and widths for vehicles with or without gutters, so you can choose the appropriate size to suit your requirements. Supplied with stainless steel hardware, and variable height fitting kits, an ARB roof rack is a great investment for any vehicle.

Rhino Roof Rack

The sleek and stylish Pioneer Platform with Rhino-Rack Backbone System is the ultimate load carrying solution for your vehicle. The black powder-coated design makes life easier by allowing you to load and unload your equipment in moments. The Pioneer Platform is made from reinforced nylon and aluminium which creates a lightweight strength that is incredibly durable. The non-corrosive Pioneer Platform has withstood testing in the harshest conditions around the world so you know it can be trusted.

Tracklander Roof Rack

The Tracklander 4WD Roof Rack 2.2 m Aluminium version is the original and legendary Tracklander 4WD Roof Rack. This rack comes with the distinctive “high impact acrylic wind deflector” for greater aerodynamics, quiet travel and a streamlined, up-market appearance. Its strong fully welded mesh base is an excellent platform for any size of load and is easy to tie down to.

Bike Racks

Bike racks are a great option for transporting your bicycles if your vehicle is not compatible with rear mounting. Each rack can house a single bike, but you do have the option of adding multiple bike racks. 

Canoe/ Kayak Racks

These racks are designed to transport your canoe or kayak on the roof of your vehicle using existing roof bars. Make sure to strap it in and secure the boat in properly, occasionally stopping during your trip to ensure it hasn’t come loose.

Need help customising your entire roof rack setup?

After the best looking roof rack set-up that makes attaching and removing loads and accessories that much easier & faster? From finding out your vehicle’s maximum roof load and dimensions to understanding your individual needs, Coastals can provide you with a complete roof rack solution. Speak to a friendly rep or drop us a message on Facebook today.