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Car roof boxes review

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01.Introduction

Car roof box

We review five mid-size car roof boxes, priced from $449 to $829.

On this page, you'll find all the brands and models tested, as well as how we test.

Our rigorous tests reveal which roof boxes are easiest to:

  • load and unload
  • fit to your roof bars, and
  • lock and unlock and open

Why buy a car roof box?

Imagine an aeroplane cabin with no overhead storage. The aisle would be blocked, legroom compromised and if the plane hit turbulence – well, things could get quite ugly.

Although it may seem a far-fetched comparison, this is not unlike what many people do when it’s time to pack the car up for a camping holiday or road trip. If it can’t be stuffed into the boot, chances are it will end up in a footwell, on a seat, or in someone’s lap. The consequences can be a long, uncomfortable and potentially dangerous journey. A car roof box, sometimes called a luggage box or roof pod, is designed to fit onto the roof bars of a car and help resolve storage space shortages.

Moving some of the clutter into a roof box might also be good for your safety and sanity. Your rear visibility may improve, and the risk of objects flying around the cabin in the event of an accident will be greatly reduced. And not having to contend with kayak paddles or fishing rods poking you in the back will almost certainly ensure you arrive at your destination in a much better frame of mind.

The car roof boxes we looked at range from 395 litres to 460 litres. They’re popular mid-size pods suitable for general storage and can fit most vehicles. There are other various shapes and sizes on the market, some with more specialised designs if you need to carry skis or other sports equipment.

Brands and models tested

  • Prorack Exploro 4 / 425L
  • Rhino Rack RMF400 / 400L
  • Carfit Travel Twin 460 / 460L
  • Thule Motion 200 / 410L
  • Yakima Rocketbox Pro 14 / 395L

How we test

We score roof boxes on useability, including:

  • loading and unloading them,
  • ease of fitting them to your roof bars,
  • and loading and locking.

Our testers then check the largest box for its effect on your car's fuel consumption.

We conduct noise tests too, but found no measureable difference between any of the models on test.

If you need more information on car accessories, see our Cars section.

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