The trunk of the car is not always sufficient to accommodate your luggage. In this case, the soft roof box can offer additional storage space. Safe, lightweight, and removable, it does not affect the look of the car. Among the models we compared, the HandiWorld HandiHoldall particularly stands out. Its robustness and ease of installation work wonders.
HandiWorld HandiHoldall:The best soft roof box in 2020
Well thought out, the HandiWorld HandiHoldall offers a storage volume of 330 L. With this flexible roof box, you can travel serenely without limiting the amount of luggage to carry.
With the HandiWorld HandiHoldall, you have 330 L of volume to store your luggage. This imposing soft roof box is very easy to install. Several straps allow it to be easily attached to the roof racks. A large zipper is used to open and close it quickly, without any difficulty.
This roof box is waterproof. So you won’t have to worry about it when traveling in rainy weather since your belongings will be protected from the elements. The fabric used to make its outer walls is also resistant to the effects of sunlight such as fading. The equipment comes with fiberglass polish for a more rigid base.
Thule Ranger 90: The best high-end soft roof box
Very durable, the Thule Ranger 90 is the soft roof box you need for traveling. Easy to attach, waterproof and suitable for all cars, it will be of great help to transporting your belongings.
Is your car trunk not big enough? Do you find your rigid chests too expensive and complicated? Treat yourself to the Thule Ranger 90 soft roof box. Placed on the roof of the car, it offers a large storage space. Thanks to the Easy Snap attachment , it can be easily installed on the roof bars.
Made from a very durable and waterproof fabric , this model features sealed seams and a reinforced zipper . It is therefore resistant to humidity and supports up to 50 kg of load. When not in use, the bag folds up and slips into a storage case to clutter it up.
How to choose a car roof box?
The soft roof box is essential equipment for those who travel by car. It provides an additional removable storage space. To take full advantage of its advantages, you must first of all choose the model that best meets your requirements. Evaluate the following criteria to find out whether or not a roof box can meet your needs.
Criterion n ° 1: The volume
This is one of the first criteria to take into account when choosing your soft roof box. You can take a small model (150 to 200 L) if you have a large trunk and your luggage is not very numerous. A 300 to 600 L soft roof box will be needed to carry bulky luggage. Note that the available volume also depends on the dimensions of the roof box. The larger the dimensions, the higher the volume.
The bottom of this type of roof box can be flexible or rigid. If it is flexible, the trunk will be placed directly on the surface of the roof of the car. If it is rigid, the trunk will be placed on the roof bars. Models with a hard bottom are generally more expensive and take up more space when not in use. They are, however, more reliable especially when it rains, the water flowing on the roof does not come into contact with the bottom of the trunk.
Criterion n ° 3: The method of fixing
The straps are the fasteners used for soft roof boxes. Other builders choose clips or snaps. In any case, it is important to check the solidity of the fixing system to prevent the bag from falling on the way. Also, assess the ease of installing the safe.
Criterion n ° 4: Resistance
This criterion depends mainly on the type of fabric used for making the flexible roof box. Polyester and polyamide are the fabrics most used to make the outer walls. Usually, a water repellent fabric is used to ensure the waterproofness of the trunk. The seams should also be reinforced so that they do not break when the trunk is loaded.
Criterion n ° 5: The load capacity
This selection criterion only concerns models equipped with a rigid bottom. This has a limit as to the load it can support. The load capacity depends on the volume of the boot. Ideally, a trunk with a volume of less than 300 L should support 50 kg of load.
The different types of flexible roof boxes
There are two main types of soft roof boxes: soft bottom models and those with hard bottom. Each type has its strengths and weaknesses.
Soft-Bottom Soft Roof Box
The soft bottom roof box looks like regular backpacks. It is placed directly on the roof surface of the car. The question of load capacity therefore does not arise, since it will be defined by the strength of the roof. As a result, this type of flexible roof box can have volumes of up to 500 L and more.
The soft-bottomed roof box is also easier to store since it can be folded several times to be inserted in a case. However, when it rains, the water flowing on the roof will come into direct contact with the bag, which increases the risk of moisture infiltration.
This type of roof box has a rigid base that rests on the roof bars. There is therefore no direct contact with the roof surface. The fixing of this type of trunk is simpler but requires roof bars adapted to the straps.
It is also necessary to take into account the load capacity of the trunk. It is defined by the volume of the trunk, but also by the material used to make the base. Models with steel bases are preferred to benefit from optimal load capacity.
Soft roof box or hard roof box?
Soft roof box
The soft roof box is made of canvas and can have a plastic or steel frame. This type of roof box has the advantage of a small footprint. When not in use, you can fold it up to store it in the trunk of your car. It is also much more affordable in terms of price.
Note, however, that the impermeability of the fabrics used on the flexible roof boxes is limited. It is, therefore, possible for water to seep in in the event of very heavy rain. In terms of service life, these flexible models are also more exposed to the effects of wear.
Hard roof box
Like suitcases and hard luggage, the hard roof box has a compact body made from materials like PVC. It is foolproof and has a long lifespan. Its capacity can go up to 700 L and the trunk can hold all luggage, whatever its shape.
You have to spend more to buy a hard roof box. Its fixing also requires the presence of a gallery or roof bars. Since the hardtop box cannot be folded, storing it when not in use requires a lot of space.
If you’re on a budget, the soft roof box is still the best option. The same is true if you plan to use the safe occasionally. If you plan to use it very regularly, investing in a hardtop box may make more sense.
How to install a soft roof box?
Attaching the soft roof box is quite simple. It will depend on the fixing system and the need or not for roof bars or a gallery. The most important thing is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing the roof box.
In these cases, it is essential to tighten the straps or clips properly and to ensure that the trunk does not tip, left to right or front to back. If possible, secure the trunk to the roof before filling it. Then tighten using the upper straps to fully compress the trunk.
Choose an aerodynamic roof box
By choosing roof boxes with better aerodynamics, you can limit the increase in fuel consumption.
Drive at less than 110 km / h
Driving less than 110 km can also limit fuel consumption when a roof box is installed in your car. Beyond this limit, the increase in consumption may be greater.
A label to remind you of the presence of the roof box
We may tend to forget the presence of the roof box when driving. However, the height of the car increases by more than 60 cm. To remind you of this increase, put a visible label on your dashboard. It will be very useful to you when going through tolls, underground parking lots, or even low tunnels.
Check the roof box at every stop
Remember to check the roof-box at every stop. This will allow you to identify any problems with fixing or closing.
Place light luggage in the roof box
Place heavy luggage in the trunk of the car and lighter items in the roof box. This will allow you to keep a low center of gravity, which will improve the driving comfort of the car.
What is the best soft roof box?
The best soft roof box depends on your needs and your budget. Read our buying guide to find the best products around.
Does the soft roof box increase fuel consumption?
Yes. This is explained by the fact that the presence of the roof box modifies the aerodynamics of the vehicle. Air resistance increases, which has an impact on fuel consumption. The average increase is 0.5 to 1 L per 100 km.
Can you attach a roof box to a car without roof bars?
Yes, but only if the model allows it. Some soft-base roof boxes are suitable for installation without a roof rack, but these are quite rare.
Do we have to install the roof box before filling it?
Yes, because it greatly facilitates its fixation. Moreover, flexible roof boxes generally have a very wide zipper opening which makes them easier to fill.
Can a soft roof box be incompatible with my car?
Manufacturers make soft roof boxes so that they fit the most common vehicles. If you choose a large trunk (more than 600 L), check that its dimensions correspond to those of the roof of your car.
Resources: https://besteautodachboxen.de/ – Beste auto dachbox
Dmitry Petrov is an engineer who specializes in materials science, and has a deep passion for all things related to automotive technology. He is a true motorhead at heart, and spends much of his free time tinkering with engines and studying vehicular dynamics.