Roof Box vs Luggage Bag - Which is right for you?
15 Apr 2021
15 Apr 2021
Anyone with a keen eye for adventure knows this feeling all too well; you’re getting organised for that big family holiday or epic 4WDing adventure until you realise that all your gear doesn't fit in your car. This is the point where your pre-trip search begins; to find the best way to securely transport all your gear from point A to point B on the roof of your car.
‘The best way’ is the operative phrase here, because of the two most popular solutions on the market - roof boxes and luggage bags - both have their own strengths and trade-offs. It's best to understand these before you invest in a new rooftop carrying solution, and we’ve put together a full comparison of each so you know which option will suit your needs the best.
These magical rooftop carrying solutions are an excellent way to expand your vehicle’s storage capacity. They are incredibly sturdy, lockable and ultra-weatherproof so they keep your gear dry even in a torrential downpour. The hard outer ‘clam shell’ design opens up to give you easy access to your gear while adding protection from potential impacts. Rhino-Rack Roof Boxes come in a range of sizes up to 530L and 2.1 metres in length so you can clear your vehicle of all sorts of extra bulky gear - you could even store a badly behaved child up there (however effective, Rhino-Rack does not officially endorse this practice).
A strong solid shell is ideal when it’s on the roof, however when it’s time to take the roof box off and store it you will need to make sure you have enough space to do so. Alternatively, Rhino-Rack Wall Hangers allow your roof box to be mounted on the wall, off the ground and out of the way. While they are not that heavy, roof boxes are bulky, so you will need two people to lift and install it on the roof. You will also need to spend a little bit more on a roof box and if you do not already have roof racks you will need to factor those into the equation too.
Lightweight, easy to install and with lots of extra volume - Rhino-Rack Luggage Bags are an excellent rooftop carrying solution. Especially for those who own the award-winning Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform, it only takes one person to securely strap it anywhere on the roof. This means you can position it around jerry cans, tents, gas bottles or anything else you happen to have up there. They also offer even more volume than roof boxes, up to 600L, and if you already have a Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform or tray on your vehicle, they are a little cheaper than roof boxes. And finally, the best part about luggage bags is that once you are home, you can fold them up and store them easily if you’re tight on space.
With all that versatility, the luggage bags do have few tradeoffs. Firstly, they are not lockable so they are not an ideal place to leave valuables on the roof while you zip in to do the shopping. Also, while luggage bag material is waterproof, there is a chance water could enter the bag during heavy driving rain. Once on the roof, luggage bags can be a little awkward to access (although not significantly more than luggage boxes), and due to the flexible nature of the material, they’re not recommended for carrying hard edged, sharp or heavier objects, like snowsports equipment.
Roof boxes are great for most things; snowsports equipment, tents, sleeping bags, spare camping equipment - you name it. Make sure you understand the roof box’s loading capacity before you pack it and if you do pack heavy objects, make sure they cannot roll around up there when you’re travelling - pack some soft objects around them.
A luggage bag is ideal for bags of extra clothes, sleeping bags, pillows and highly packable but bulky items. If you don’t fill up the bag make sure you pull the straps down over your load, thereby eliminating the extra space, so your gear cannot slide around. Your load rating for the bag will depend on what you have it mounted on (platform or mesh basket), so take note of these ratings before you head off.
So you can be sure to invest in the system that works best for you, it’s worth putting a little bit of extra thought into it. You will thank yourself during your trip. Explore our range of Rhino-Rack Roof Boxes or Luggage Bags.