Contrary to popular opinion, there is no such thing as a particular roof box for a particular car. You’re better off thinking about what shape will be most suitable for you – considering first and foremost if there’s anything else, such as a bike carrier, that you want to carry on the roof too.
Also think about quality of materials and time-saving features, as well as closing and locking systems. Boxes, especially when stuffed full, are easier to use if the lid can be secured just by being pulled down, whilst boxes that can be opened from either side save the effort of stretching across to the hinge side. Such features do tend to cost more, though.
1. Thule Motion 800 460: £389.99, halfords.com
Made by the world’s biggest car-rack brand, this sleek-looking, durable roof box is a huge best-seller. It’s easy to fit with clamps that simply locate over the roof bars and are then tightened using a twist grip. Fitting an impressive 460 litres, it’s got ample space for weeks away with a big family and dogs and it has dual side opening too.
2. Karrite Odyssey: £114.99, skidrive.co.uk
This is a small box, but good for anyone who wants a cheap and reliable way to carry a bit of extra gear. It’s durable, with a single rear lock and because it’s made with rear opening, you can access it from both sides, which makes it easier to both fit it to the roof boxes and to load.
3. Kamei 510: £389.95, roofbox.co.uk
This has a clever “just pull to lock” central locking system, which basically means you can’t take the keys out of the lock until it’s locked. It also boasts lots of space, dual side opening and the kind of quality you’d expect from this specialist and award-winning box manufacturer.
4. Auto-Plas 415: £119.99, amazon.co.uk
This is a so capacious that you can fit everything you need for a big family camping holiday, and more. Great for families who don’t want to be wedged in with all their stuff in the car itself, this roof box also scores well in rain tests.
5. Hapro Traxer 6.6: £284.95, roofbox.co.uk
This elegant and contemporary-looking, medium-width box has a shape that optimises the use of available space, as well as dual side opening. Combing strength and practicality, it is robust, secure, spacious and has central locking system for extra security. The box to bar fittings are easy to use too.
6. Thule Ranger 90: £199.95, roofracks.co.uk
This soft option is made of fabric and uses well-sealed zips to allow you to open it up. That makes it ideal for people with lack of storage space as it can be stowed away in a roll when not in use. You can even carry it around in your car boot in case you buy extra stuff on holiday that you want to bring home. It’s super-light too.
7. Hapro Roady 350: £124.95, roofbox.co.uk
This innovative and smart box from the world’s second-biggest roof box manufacturer is a similar size to the Karrite, but a step up in quality. It’s hinged at the front and opens at the rear, meaning you can easily fit it and open and load it, and there’s easily enough space to carry at least one bike carrier as well.
8. Halfords Exodus 360: £229.99, halfords.com
This carbon-fibre-effect black roof box is simple to attach to your car’s roof rack and has no problems coping with extreme temperatures, as well as doing well in impact tests. It looks more sophisticated than many designs and accommodates a decent amount of luggage, as well as leaving space for bikes or kayaks to fit alongside.
9. Yakima SkyBox Pro 18: £474.95, roofbox.co.uk
This aerodynamic storage unit is the daddy of roof boxes. You’ll be hard pushed to find one with better build quality, design and features and they look slick and sophisticated too. We particularly like the easy locking system and the lid is three times better than competitor boxes too, which means you can open and close the lid with one hand.
When it’s empty, the Thule Motion 800 460 can appear a bit flimsy, but load it up and you’ll soon appreciate the build quality. It’s roomy and idiot-proof to fit, open and lock. If you want something smaller and cheaper, the Karrite Odyssey is hard-wearing and easy to load and lock.
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