Car roof boxes on a Mercedes

The outdoors is always nice, it’s the travelling that puts us off. Especially if we have to pack family and gear in the car and space is scarce. 

A lifetime of outdoor adventures often comes with a lot of bulky gear. Backpacks, tents, boots and skis are just a few of the things you may find yourself bringing from home at the start of your vacation. By adding a car roof box to your vehicle, you’ll gain additional storage space, which is useful for being able to bring everything you need for a fun trip but without having to fill your car to capacity.

Car roof boxes on top of a car
Car roof boxes attaches securely to the top of your car

How to choose the right size car roof box

First of all, you need to think about what you want to put in the box.

Outdoor enthusiasts commonly use roof boxes to hold tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, backpacks, camp furniture, strollers, skis, ski poles and ski boots. But these systems are also great for other things, such as gardening tools, beach items and children’s toys. As you consider what you’ll be cramming into a box, focus your research on what length, width and height your gear requires.

And, as you do so, keep these two points in mind:

  • things that are bulky and lightweight fit well in car roof boxes 
  • things that take up a lot of space but don’t weigh a ton are good items to put on top of rooftop boxes. 

So, things like tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, pillows, camp chairs, etc. are perfect to be answered in the box.

Longer items require a longer car roof box: if you plan to store long items, such as skis and snowboards, shorter and more compact boxes may not be right for you. Many car roof boxes fit most downhill skis and snowboards well, but if you have exceptionally long skis (like a pair of 210 cm cross-country skis), then you need to pay close attention to the length of the box. Compare the size of your skis or other long items to the inside dimensions of the boxes to make sure they fit properly.

Roof boxes for cars and heavy objects

Heavy things are best stored inside your vehicle – most cargo boxes are designed with a maximum weight capacity listed on the owner’s manual. To avoid reaching the maximum weight, it’s best to store very heavy items inside your vehicle, such as a full cooler, water jugs, and dry food bins. It’s also important to know that even if a car roof box is designed to support that weight, it’s still good not to exceed it but not to reach it either. To figure out exactly how much weight you can put in a box, do the following:

Car roof boxes Nordrive
Car roof boxes offers additional storage space

Always check the recommended maximum load for your vehicle. You should be able to find this information in your owner’s manual. Then subtract the weight of the box and any other roof rack accessories you might use (such as bike racks or kayak racks) from your vehicle’s maximum load. Next, examine the dimensions of the cargo boxes, and now that you have an idea of what in the car roof box, it’s a good time to take a closer look at the dimensions of the various boxes so you can find one that’s the right size for what you need to put in it. Manufacturers combine the length, width and height of cargo boxes in different ways to get different results.

Car roof boxes and dimensions

Most cargo boxes are about 6 feet long or more. A box that long will fit a pair of 180cm skis and most other things of that maximum length. If you have skis or other items longer than 180cm such as cross-country skis, then you need to look for an extra long box (which usually what more). 

How to install a car roof boxes on your vehicle

Not surprisingly, a wide car roof box will offer more storage capacity than a narrower one (assuming the other dimensions are similar), but it could also leave you without room on the crossbars of your roof rack for things like a bike rack or kayak carrier. If you want to be able to put other gear on the roof next to the box, you may need to look at narrower boxes (or equip yourself with wider crossbars).

Increasing the height is another obvious way to increase the capacity of your car roof box. But taller boxes might prevent you from driving in certain places, such as your home garage, a public parking lot and in drive-through restaurants .

With these considerations made, you’re ready to choose your car roof box.

Carrying objects, shopping, animals, and various kinds of sports equipment inside your car can create many problems. Especially if you love the outdoors or if you have a faithful four-legged companion who loves running around in the dust, your trunk could reach its limits … or at least get dirty! Read some tips how to keep a Clean and organized trunk.

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