Few vehicles may come with factory installed roof racks, but many may come with no roof rack at all. If you are hauling extra cargo on your roof rack then you need to select a suitable one so that you can easily carry your cargo.
There are usually 4 components to any roof rack:
- The foot packs are considered as “feet” of your roof rack, which serve as connection between roof rack crossbars. For your car, fit kits that are specially designed and secure to foot packs of your vehicle roof.
- Crossbars may act as foundation of roof rack system where gear and accessories are mounted.
- Lock cylinders are security system which keeps the roof rack and also its contents secured.
- Typically, crossbars will be installed last
While buying right roof rack, you need to check the following:
- Check the weight
Many racks can be clunky and may use heavy material like steel etc. but you need not sacrifice strength for losing weight. Any well-engineered, aluminum rack is 30% lighter than steel, having more strength and also capacity for carrying load.
- Go for modular
Modular rack can allow easy assembly, and allow you to add rack slats meant for different uses such as constructing full platform, adding items like an expedition rails and swapping out an accidental damage.
- Check out your accessory lineup
Having widest accessory range will create endless adventure possibilities. Make sure that your rack will accommodate mounts for fuel cans and water, roof top tents, skis, bikes, surfboards, canoes/kayaks, axes and whatever else that you may need.
- Strength and durability
If you want to plan for heading into back country, then a cheap rack may not make it. So, make sure that rack manufacturer will specialize in building gear which has been proven well in harsh conditions.
- Low profile
Lower profile can make loading as well as unloading gear easier, and gives much easier access to any low parking garages, which creates less drag that means lesser noise and also better fuel mileage.
- Learn from its Pros
You may look at few adventure heroes who may be hardened explorer or any famous adventurer photographer, who may need the best equipment for difficult to reach places.
- Product support
Many fly-by-night rack companies can be found who are selling poorly made rip-offs, and disappear after taking your money.
So better stick with those companies which have been present for decades and will offer you better customer service to help in rack installation.