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We spoke to Tom Henwood of Main Line Overland to see what the pros are using and what’s popular on today’s market. “The best roof rack is the best design for a given application, rather than a particular brand. We help customers select racks and storage systems based on what they intend to carry on their travels, where they intend to go, etc. We look for componentry that maintains a low profile and low center of gravity for off-road driving, so we often choose aluminum roof racks to keep weight down up top.”
Once you’ve got your bars and towers sorted, the biggest factor in selecting the best cargo box is its size and its shape. You want space ample enough to handle whatever you’re going to toss inside, of course. But those looking to haul a quiver of skis for the entire family or a few surfboards will want a box long enough to accommodate your hard goods, while others who just want some extra space for a variety of items can consider wider, shorter models. Those with hatch-backs that open vertically should also be sure that the cargo box won’t interfere with the door, and those who want their cargo box to look like part of their luxury vehicle should consider boxes that are made with higher-quality materials or that are low-profile, which provides a sleeker silhouette that looks better, creates less drag, and less noise than bulkier models.
As expected. Installation was a little tricky. First I got the wrong 'foot kit' for my vehicle on accident. Once that was corrected, the measurements in the included instructions were wrong for my vehicle. I looked up my kit online, found that there was a new version of the manual with new measurements for my vehicle. This turned out to be a closer fit but still not quite right. I had to 'widen' the measurements slightly... in order to allow the "doors" on the "feet" to close (these are the doors where you use the tool to crank down the brackets to your vehicle body to ensure a snug fit). Once completed, I'm happy with the product, just wish the installation instructions were a little easier to follow. There is an online video available through the 'thule fit guide' which was helpful but also not entirely accurate. I like this product because it is "modular" in the sense that when ski season is over, I can remove the attached ski racks and replace with bike/kayak racks.

The Thule WingBar Edge is the most safe and silent roof rack, and now available in a low fit. It is a universal fit (use selector tool above to see if available for your vehicle) by using telescopic feet. It's low profile and close fit to the roof creates a stunning look and is available in the following models 9581-9586, 9591-9596 in Black and Silver.


Upright – As the name suggests, this type of rack will hold the bike upright. This is a very safe and secure method of transporting a bike. On the downside, a roof rack itself can have a negative impact on fuel performance though you can offset that a lot by selecting the best roof rack. It can also be harder to load these types of racks, especially with taller cars or heavier bikes. Speaking of taller cars by the way, if you do have an SUV or Minivan, just bare in mind the extra height you now have when driving!
I must confess that I've used the 815s without bow or stern tie-downs, but my two kayaks have not budged at all. I peek at them through the moonroof on my car from time to time, and they've never shifted. It's important that you read the directions on how to secure the two strap assemblies. If you do it correctly, they will not loosen. Thule's buckle bumpers are pure genius for protecting your car and your boat. When I get home one night with only one kayak on the roof, I entered my garage before the door had fully opened. The bow of the kayak hit the bottom lightweight insulated aluminum panel of my garage door and crumpled it, but the kayak didn't budge (nor did it get damaged, phew!). However, in the interest of safety, I have resolved to use bow and stern tie-downs in the future. To this end, I have purchased and installed bow hood loops from Riverside Cartop Carriers on my car.
Whispbar made a name for itself by introducing some of the industry’s most aerodynamic and sleek cross bars before moving onto sport-specific mounts for things such as bikes and kayaks. This attention to design-forward aerodynamics continues with their Aero Compact Cargo Carrier. Available in either black or silver high-gloss finish, this box has been intentionally designed for smaller, more compact vehicles, proffering 10.8 cubic feet of storage that can accommodate skis up to 155 centimeters in length.

However - there's no need to fret, at Halfords we offer a market-leading range of roof top bars, roof racks and fittings, from brands such as Thule, Exodus and Cruz as well as our own brand alternatives. Our roof bars will suit all leading vehicle manufacturers, including Ford, Volvo, BMW and Vauxhall and we also offer universal models that will suit many vehicles.
I don't know what to say. I have the same load bars on my 2003 Pathfinder that I put on my 1985 Chevy Cavaliere back in 1994 when I was in college. I have loaded everything you can imagine on them,, furniture,, 2x4's,etc. Everything.The bike rails are from 1994 too and I still use them to this day. I have had to replace footpacks because I am on my 4th Pathfinder since that Chevy and the different factory roof racks needed different adapters,, but the load bars and bike rails are perfect. Rust on the load bar a little,, plastic is cracked,, but hey,, 13 years almost,, across the country 2 times,, east coast from Vermont to West Virginia countless times,, I think they are doing damn good. Anyone that is having trouble with there THULE products is lying or just plain had bad luck. I have installed these racks on friends cars too and they have been great. I recomend them for sure
The Thule brand was established in Sweden in 1942 and ever since then, they have helped countless customers transport anything you care for with Thule roof bars, roof boxes and bike racks, easily and in style so that you are free to live your active life. Whatever your passion, whatever your pursuit. Wherever you're going, whatever you're bringing. With Thule, you're free to live your active life to the fullest.
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