Finding the Right Roof Box Size for You

| Updated on March 27, 2024

Keeping your car clean on long journeys is impossible when you are traveling with a family. Keeping your car clean and tidy can feel like a losing battle, take a look at and keep your car interior looking as good as new. There is so much that you need to take on a holiday the boot is full in no time. This is why many people use a roof box.

Looking for a roof box but have no idea what size to pick? This one’s for you! Roof boxes come in all sizes and shapes and finding one that suits you can be a hassle.

As such, it’s always a good idea to evaluate the measurements of several boxes so you can select one that’s the proper size for the items you’ll be putting inside. To accomplish diverse objectives, manufacturers blend the length, width, and height of cargo boxes in various ways. Read on to find out more.

Factors to Consider When Picking the Right Size of Roof Box 

• Length

The majority of cargo boxes are 6 feet or larger in length. A 6-foot-long box will easily contain a pair of 180cm skis, as well as most other items of that length. If you have skis or other things longer than 180cm (5 ft. 10 in. ), such as a long pair of cross-country skis, you’ll need to seek an extra-long box. If you don’t plan on carrying anything longer than a few items, a box under six feet may suffice.

• Width

Broader boxes have more storage space than narrower ones as long as other dimensions are comparable. Broader boxes, however, could leave you with no space on your rack for things like a kayak rack or bike rack. If you wish to store other items on your roof in addition to the roof box, you’ll need to look for thinner boxes (or wider crossbars).

• Height

Another obvious option to expand the capacity of a cargo box is to increase height. Taller boxes, however, may block you from driving into some locations, such as your garage, a public parking garage, or a drive-through restaurant. People with tall vehicle need to consider how much height a cargo box will add and whether this will limit where you may go.

• Capacity of Equipment

The overall gear capacity (usually stated in cubic inches, cubic feet, and/or liters) of a roof box is the sum of its length, width, and height. Most individuals don’t need a specific amount of feet, inches, or liters, but the capacity specification is still useful for comparing how much different boxes can contain on an apples-to-apples basis.

See below for a broad sense of how much capacity you’ll need depending on the number of people who are to use the box. (Keep in mind that these figures are estimates, and the amount of space required will depend on the size of your car, your unique packing style, and the contents in the box.)

No. of person Capacity of equipment in liters, cubic feet, and cubic inches. 

2   340 liters / 12 cu. ft. / 20,736 cu. in.

3   425 liters / 15 cu. ft. / 25,920 cu. in.

4  510 liters / 18 cu. ft. / 31,104 cu. in.

5  595 liters / 21 cu. ft. / 36,288 cu. in.

Other Tips to Guide You When Choosing the Right Size of Cargo Box

Larger boxes aren’t necessarily better

Some people come to the idea that they should purchase a large box in case they ever require a large amount of extra room. Here are a few reasons why acquiring a larger box than you actually need may not be such a smart idea:

• Larger freight boxes are more expensive: It’s as easy as that; the larger the package, the more money you’ll pay. Save some money and choose a smaller box if you know you won’t need the extra capacity.

• Larger cargo boxes impact fuel efficiency: Anything you put on your roof, including crossbars, can reduce your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. A large whale of a box in particular will eat into that much more. So, if you don’t require a large box, don’t purchase one. You’ll save money at the petrol station and exhale less carbon into the atmosphere.

• Larger cargo boxes are more difficult to store or switch between vehicles: If you wish to remove the cargo box from your car to store it or switch it between cars, think about the size and how difficult it will be.

• Larger freight containers produce more noise: More surface area means more air hits the box, which equals more noise on the top of your vehicle. This isn’t a big deal for some people, but it’s something you should consider.

Wind Up

With these pointers, anyone can pick just the perfect size of the cargo box to suit their needs. Finally, remember that the best place to start before looking at the dimensions is to plan for what you will stow in your cargo box. This should always come as a precursor!

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