Are Roof Racks Worth It

Last Updated on March 15, 2023 by Will Sabel

The price range for roof racks starts from $150 going all the way to $600 or more. Since it’s a pretty big investment even for frequent voyagers, you’re probably wondering, are roof racks worth it?

According to most users, roof racks are definitely worth the cost as they serve so many purposes at once. These racks provide extra storage while ensuring the highest safety for small to medium cargo. They look stylish and don’t cause any legal problems. Plus, you can get one at an affordable price and it will last for years!

Benefits of Installing Roof Racks

Let’s start on a positive note. Below are the most common advantages of using roof racks. Have a look-

Provides Extra Storage

roof rack storage

As you know, roof racks are available in many different sizes and they provide 10 to 20 cubic ft. of extra space to accommodate your necessary stuff. Be it your vacation luggage, camping materials, bikes, or skis, roof racks can provide enough room for all.

Ensures Maximum Security

Roof racks come in many different styles. One thing all of them ensure is the highest security for the stored items. Most roof racks feature fitting kits, clamps, or straps to secure the heavy products on your car roof.

Even if you go off-road, ride on bumpy terrains, or rocky areas, you can be sure your load will remain safe in place.

Long-Lasting Performance

Good quality roof racks are made of durable, heavy-duty materials to provide long-lasting service. Most roof racks are constructed from metal and feature a durable coating of paint or black powder. This way, the rack can maintain its quality for years against environmental abuses.

No Legal Issues

Trailer racks, tray hitches, bike racks, etc. are some common alternatives to roof racks. However, these devices need to be installed on the front, side, or back of your vehicle. Hence, they can restrict the view of your headlights or taillights which is illegal in many states.

Roof racks are installed on the car roof and won’t cause you any such legal issues ever.

Suitable for All Weather

As mentioned, roof racks feature a durable coat that allows them to resist weather changes. The coat prevents water, snow, UV damage, and other harsh conditions that cause peeling of the material. So, you can use them all year round. 

Looks Good

Another advantage of purchasing roof racks over other alternatives is that it looks good on your vehicle. As they are installed on the roofs, you don’t have to carry an odd pile on the back of your car and block the way of other drivers.

Roof racks are also available in different colors and styles to suit diverse tastes.

Easy to Carry

Most modern roof racks have a lightweight and convenient design allowing you to easily carry, install and mount them on your vehicle. When you’re done, you can leave the device on your roof if you want. This is a great advantage for your mobile lifestyle and sporting adventures.

Potential Disadvantages of Installing Roof Racks

It all seems good on paper until you practically use a device. Like every other useful equipment, roof racks also have some disadvantages. Which include-

Feels Heavy

stainless steel roof rack

Although many modern roof racks are made of lightweight alloys, some are manufactured from heavier metals like cast iron and stainless steel. This adds extra weight to car which affects its overall performance, specifically for smaller vehicles. 

Decrease in Car Mileage

Again, the added weight is the culprit here. Once you increase the speed over 60 mph, you’ll feel the decreasing mileage as the added weight strains the mechanical parts of your car.

The rack’s aerodynamic shape also plays an important role here and it eventually increases fuel consumption. It can be a bummer for occasional travelers.

Creating Annoying Noises

Another thing that annoys the users most is the constant whistling noise thanks to the aerodynamic arrangement of the roof rack. You’ll also notice cradling and rubbing sounds once you start driving on tough terrains.

Dents and Peels

car roof dents

As the rack is continuously rubbing against the exterior surface of your car, wear and tear are inevitable. Roof racks can peel off your car’s paint and create ugly scratches. Chips and dents are also common upon regular use.

Final Verdict

So, are roof racks worth it? Roof racks are definitely worth your money as long as you get your hands on a good-quality rack and use it regularly.

You might have to sacrifice the mileage and compromise with the scratching and peeling. However, roof racks also provide unbeatable convenience for larger families and frequent travelers. So, you should definitely give it a try.

Author: Will Sabel

Will Sabel is an avid car enthusiast. When he's not writing for RidersWant, you'll find him cruising the country in a new car. People are always wondering how many cars he has!

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