Top 5 Roof Racks for Your Vehicle

Top 5 Roof Racks for Your Vehicle

Many roof racks for your vehicle exist, but which one will suit your needs? Before you conclude the purchase of any roof rack, consider what you want to use it for. Some are designed for holding bikes, kayaks, or general cargo.

Roof racks are essential car accessories if you are outdoorsy or adventurous. The trunk or cargo space may not fit all your gear. An additional area is required to safely carry everything for your next trip or adventure.

To meet different needs, we considered various car roof rack designs. We considered all possible factors and user reviews to compile this list of the top 5 roof racks. Prepare for your next adventure by choosing the one suited to your purpose.

Let’s dive in for detailed reviews to help you decide on the best product for your needs.

1. YAKIMA, Highroad Wheel-On Upright Bike Mount

Yakima’s highroad wheel-on upright bike mount is one of the best roof racks for different car types. It is ideal if you want to safely transport your mountain or a road bike or don’t want to leave your bike behind. It can accommodate bicycles with wheelbases up to 48 inches, 26–29-inch wheels, and tires from 23mm to 4 inches.

But what makes the Yakima bike mount rooftop rack different? This bike roof rack is secure, sleek, and easy to use. You can easily install it to make transporting your bikes a breeze. It features a tightening knob, which fits almost any bike with the specifications mentioned.

By design, the Yakima bike mount car roof rack securely holds the bike upright. You don’t have to remove the wheels or disassemble anything. Besides, it does not make any contact with the bike frame. This avoids any abrasion or ruining the paint job on your bike.

Who can use the Yakima bike mount roof rack? This car roof rack can be fitted on any vehicle, provided you have crossbars installed. The distance between the crossbars can range from 18 to 35 inches, which means it can be used on almost any car type.

But if you want more peace of mind when transporting your bikes, consider adding 2 Same Key System (SKS) locks. These are sold separately but are worth it for more security.

Pros and Cons

  • Sleek, secure rooftop-mounted upright bike rack
  • No frame contacts
  • Low-profile tray minimizes interference with vehicle hatches
  • Tool-free installation – has universal hardware for fitting on crossbars
  • Does not hold bikes with tires smaller than 26 inches
  • Locking system sold separately
YAKIMA, Highroad Wheel-On Upright Bike Mount image
Leader Accessories Folding Kayak Rack image

2. Leader Accessories Folding Kayak Roof Rack

Transporting a kayak is a daunting task, and any kayaker knows it. That is because of its large size, making it nearly impossible to fit into your car. Most kayaks require a utility trailer or a pickup truck with a bed large enough to carry it. But what if you don’t have any of these? No problem!

The Leader Accessories folding kayak roof rack makes kayak transportation on the rooftop a breeze. In fact, it is one of the best roof racks for different car types. It is ideal for recreational kayakers or people who like exploring new fishing grounds with their kayaks.

This kayak car roof rack has a set of 4 J bars for holding the kayak on the car roof. You can use the Leader Accessories kayak rack on an SUV, sedan, or truck with pre-installed crossbars.

The kayak roof rack features foam padding and rubber pedals to prevent scratches on the kayak or your car. The kayaks will also not rub against each other if you carry two on the car’s roof. Another feature is its ergonomic quick-release design, which allows you to fold and raise the rack. Besides, the Leader Accessories kayak roof rack can fold flat if you are not using it. This gives you a better clearance to maneuver through tight spaces with small overhead clearance.

Consider the Leaders Accessories roof rack if you are looking for a heavy-duty roof rack for transporting a kayak, canoe, ski board, or snowboard. It will serve you for the longest time. Thanks to its high resistance to varying weather conditions. This product is powder-coated for durability and rust protection.

Lastly, the roof rack has a universal mounting design. It is compatible with almost all crossbars in the market, including square, factory, and aerodynamic crossbars. However, you should not consider it if you already have round bars installed unless you plan to change them.

Pros and Cons

  • Folds flat when not in use to improve clearance
  • Quick-release design for convenience
  • Durable construction and rust resistant
  • Accommodates a wide range of equipment
  • Easy to install
  • Not compatible with round crossbars
  • Some brackets are incorrectly mounted

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3. MaxxHaul 70115 Universal Steel Roof Rack Basket

What if you don’t want to transport a kayak or bike but general cargo? The trunk space may not be enough to accommodate everything you want to take with you to a camping site or any other trip. That is why we have included this universal rooftop cargo basket.

MaxxHaul 70115 roof rack basket is one of the most reputable manufacturers and distributors of recreational towing and hitch mount products. The company is known for its high-quality and reliable products, visible in this roof rack. MaxxHaul is undoubtedly one of the best roof racks for different car types. It has maintained an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 on Amazon after over 9K reviews. But what makes it different?

This universal rooftop cargo basket instantly increases cargo-carrying capability. Its dimension is 46 x 36 x 4-1/2 inches, which adds significant cargo space for holding more items on the car roof.

Additionally, MaxxHaul is easy to assemble and install. It attaches to the crossbars with U-bolts and comes with all hardware needed to accomplish the task in your garage. These include rubber caps to cover the bolts and protect the cargo.

Lastly, the product is designed to withstand the harshest weather conditions. It is powder-coated to prevent rusting and degradation due to UV radiation from the sun. That means you get lifetime service from this universal rooftop cargo basket.

Pros and Cons

  • Offers instant cargo space
  • Resistant to weather elements
  • Relatively affordable
  • Durable and reliable
  • Unsightly on some vehicles
  • Takes time to install
MaxxHaul 70115 Universal Steel Roof Rack image
Yakima Whispbar Flush Bar Roof Rack System image

4. Yakima Whispbar Flush Bar Roof-Rack System

The Universal roof rack basket discussed above is only ideal for SUVs and trucks. Installing it on a sedan may spoil the aesthetics, which explains why we recommend this Yakima Whishbar flush-mount roof rack system. It is both functional and decorative, making your car look more attractive.

The Yakima Whisbar flush-mount car roof rack does not require crossbars. It securely attaches to the vehicle roof’s channels, and you won’t worry about the installation process. You can install or remove it in seconds, thanks to its patented SmartFill technology.

The roof rack is rated for 165 pounds. This load-carrying capacity is sufficient for most gears and accessories you need for your adventure. Besides, its simplistic design makes it easy to customize. It also has an integrated SKS locking system that secures everything in place.

The Yakima Whisbar roof rack system is optimized for aerodynamic performance. The manufacturer specifies that it reduces noise and drag by up to 70%.

Pros and Cons

  • Does not require crossbars
  • Sleek and aesthetically appealing
  • Relatively high load-bearing capacity
  • Optimized for aerodynamic performance
  • Installation instructions could have been better

5. Thule 91725B Universal Ski & Snowboard Rack Black

Consider the Thule 91725B roof rack system one of the best roof racks for different car types if you want to transport skis and snowboards. It is ideal for a family or a group because this roof rack can hold up to 6 ski pairs or 5 snowboards. You can also have skis and snowboards on the roof rack, provided you don’t exceed its load-bearing capacity.

The Thule 91725B universal ski and snowboard roof rack is made of durable aluminum that resists weather elements. It also features soft, rubber-padded arms designed to prevent scratching your equipment.

This roof rack is also one of the easiest to install on your car. It has a push button release that quickly releases your gears. Besides, it is compatible with most aftermarket crossbars from brands such as Yakima, Thule, Malone, Inno, and others.

Unlike other car roof racks that require locks to be purchased separately, Thule 91725B has two lock cylinders and keys. This ensures your equipment is protected from theft in the parking lot.

Pros and Cons

  • Compatible with most aftermarket crossbars
  • Easy to install
  • Comes with two locks and keys
  • Durable aluminum construction
  • Easy to load and unload equipment
  • Require crossbars, which are sold separately.
  • Bolts for attaching to crossbars may be short
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Thule 91725B Universal Ski & Snowboard Roof Rack image

Conclusion – Top 5 Roof Racks for Your Vehicle

The best roof rack should give you more space for carrying your equipment or general cargo. The one designed for kayaks differs from a roof rack for bikes or snowboards. That is why you need to spend your time considering all the factors.

Apart from the types, you should consider the mounting points, capacity, weight limit, and aerodynamics. The best roof racks for your vehicle should not introduce too much drag or noise. They lead to poor fuel economy and discomfort in the cabin, respectively.

Choose a roof rack that suits your needs and is easy to install. We looked at the best roof racks for different car types and purposes. You can choose one accordingly to help you carry your equipment or cargo for your next adventure.