What Makes a Good Roof Rack?

What Makes a Good Roof Rack

Racks on top of a car are often positioned to hold additional items, but what makes a good roof rack? What’s the best kind of rack for your vehicle? How many roof racks should you have in your vehicle? Is there such thing as too much storage space, or is this just another form of being prepared to meet any situation that may arise? This post answers these and many more questions about roof racks so you know what to look for when shopping. It also provides specific recommendations for those looking to purchase.

Read More: Top 9 Best Roof Racks For Vehicles

What Kind of Rack Should You Use?

Racks come in many different forms and designs, from simple to complicated. Racks can be lightweight or heavy, made of plastic or steel, and carry weight on the roof of your car or SUV. Racks can be open on top or have drawers underneath for items like helmets, tents, and water bottles.

Some racks are only meant for one-off uses such as transporting something fragile, securing a trailer hitch receiver (i.e. bike rack), and carrying supplies for everyday use, such as groceries or tools in a work van. On the other hand, some racks are meant to be installed permanently on your roof. For this purpose, they will come in different sizes and will require a more complicated installation process than a simple one-off rack.

What Makes a Good Roof Rack?

The first step in determining which rack you should buy or install is knowing what you want to carry. If this is a one-off rack, you can get away with anything. But if you plan on installing a permanent rack, the roof space needs to be large enough for the rack.


If you’re planning on using the rack for camping or travel, you’ll want to look at racks with built-in ladders or other means of safely climbing onto the roof. Of course, as with any ladder, you should only use it when it’s absolutely necessary. Make sure your ladder is locked into place and secure before climbing up. You can also purchase a separate ladder for even more safety and security.

See More: Can You Put Roof Racks on Any Car?


If your roof rack is designed to carry weight, you should make sure it will secure your items. You’ll want to look at weight ratings for each piece on the rack and attempt to fill it up with weight similar to how you would use it in real life. If you plan on moving the items for any reason, check that the racks are easy and quick to detach from your car.


Size is one of the most important things you should assess when shopping for a rack. Remember that a roof rack is just one part of your vehicle’s storage system, and as such, it needs to be compatible with other storage solutions. For example, if you have a cargo box attached to your roof which can hold even more items, then do not purchase a rooftop rack.

How Many Roof Racks Should You Have in Your Vehicle?

Depending on your storage needs and the size of your car, there are different numbers of roof racks and roof trays that you should have in your vehicle. On average, a car needs at least one roof rack and one tray. Some owners will opt to get a 3-4 tray with an extra rooftop rack for their second car; this can be useful so you can put stuff on the trays in bed or have the extra racks if they will be necessary.