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The Gearzette
Why you might need a roof rack

Why you might need a roof rack

- October 06, 2023

Do you like filling your vehicle with kids, friends, family, camping and sports equipment? This means you’re probably often faced with the age-old dilemma of not having enough space to fit them all in. Do you ever wonder about getting a roof rack to solve your lack of vehicle packing space and gear-carrying challenges? ​

There are many ways to pack your gear in your vehicle smartly. A cargo slide in the load area will help organize stuff if you drive a pick-up. Some like to load gear-filled plastic storage boxes, such as the Front Runner’s Wolf Pack Pro, into the back of their vans, SUVs, 4x4s, sedans or pickups.​

What happens when you’ve exhausted all the options inside and around the sides of your vehicle? You turn to the roof, of course, and install a rack on it. One of the significant advantages of roof racks is that they free up masses of internal vehicle space. Dirty or dusty gear is kept on the outside of the vehicle, plus it’s easy to access when on the rack thanks to a rack handle or handle. ​

Creative mounting systems and quick gear access give you more time to use and enjoy your sports and adventure gear. Before buying a roof rack to solve your cargo-carrying woes, here are some important things to consider.​

© Craig Rhodes-Harrison © howfarfromhome

What can go on your roof rack?​

Roof rack companies constantly release new rack accessories and offer endless cargo-carrying solutions. Don’t forget to check the maximum weight your vehicle's roof can legally take. ​

If you’re looking for a rack that suits your lifestyle needs and can be customized accordingly, you must have a good shop around because they’re certainly out there. You can have a roof rack that carries three mountain bikes the one day, and then a week later, you can reconfigure it to carry a roof top tent, plastic storage boxes, water containers and jerry cans. It doesn’t matter if you’re an overlander, weekend warrior, cyclist, rower or just need to carry some gear on your roof; there’s certainly a rack out there for you.​

© Craig Kolesky

What type of rack? ​

Let’s pause before you get too excited about putting a roof rack on your vehicle. What vehicle will you be putting this rack on? There are racks for many vehicles, while some cannot host a roof rack. Others might not support a roof rack without drilling into the roof first. So, you must first find out which category your vehicle fits into. 

​A roof rack will significantly increase the height of your ride and even more so once you mount jerry cans or roof top tents onto the rack. You need to be very aware of this as you won’t be able to fit into certain parking areas. Even the most experienced overlanders will tell you about when they forgot about the roof rack and gear and tried unsuccessfully to drive into underground parking – the sort of thing you only do once, as it can be costly and damaging. 

© Denis Savescu © Signaphoto

Get the right rack ​

You want to get the right rack for your vehicle, and with a myriad to choose from, it’s helpful to chat with people with the same vehicle type and interests as yourself and see what rack option they’ve chosen. Before shopping online or in-store, you should consider what you’ll use it for.​

This is the most critical question you need to ask yourself before deciding if you need a rack and what type of rack. A rack is, without a doubt, the best option for an overlander who needs to transport extra gear on their roof, such as Jerry Cans, Roof Top Tent, Awning, large water containers and load boxes. If versatility is important to you then the Front Runner Slimline II is the rack for you as you’ve over 55 accessories to choose from allowing you to change your rack setup depending on the adventure and who will be going with you. If you're looking for a sportier alternative to take yourself or your family out for a surf or a bike ride then the Slimsport rack is a great option. And the Slimpro Van Rack is perfect for those that want to turn their roof into a storage solution to allow space for more friends, kids, and gear to take along on your next adventure.​

© Craig Kolesky

Get your rack on ​

There’s no doubt a roof rack will significantly enhance your vehicle’s gear-carrying capacity. A quality rack and the right accessories will give you peace of mind when on the road, as your gear will be safely secured and out of the way. Plus, it’ll free up lots of extra space inside your vehicle, which is what you originally set out to do, right? What are you waiting for? Get your rack on.