Are you looking for a new roof rack for the upcoming winter season? Unsure of how to select one that will be the right fit for your vehicle? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

Roof racks are a great accessory for your vehicle as they provide a myriad of benefits including but not limited to:

  • The maximization of storage space
  • Prevent damage to interior of vehicle
  • Safely transport bulky or fragile cargo
  • Improve vehicle appearance
  • Enhanced versatility of your vehicle

With winter fast approaching, many people are preparing to take advantage of the many recreational activities the season has to offer. And whether your interest of choice is snowboarding, skiing, tobogganing, etc, once you get a roof rack installed, you’ll wonder how you ever made it through winter without it.

Here are 6 tips to help you choose the proper roof rack for your vehicle.

1. Figure Out What You’ll Be Moving

First things first, you won’t be able to choose the correct roof rack unless you clarify the equipment/materials you’ll be transporting. So what is it that you’ll be moving? The proper roof rack cannot be determined unless you answer this question first. Are you moving snowboards? Skiing equipment? Sledding gear? Once you become clear on the primary materials you’ll be using your roof rack for, then you can move on to the next step, which is…

2. Determine The Volume of Weight Your Roof can Manage

Without knowing the proper amount of weight your vehicle can support, you run the risk of permanently damaging your roof. To prevent this, refer to the owner manual of your vehicle to check its specifications. Additionally, you can also do a Google search to find out these details as well.

3. Add up the Total Mass of Your Materials

This is where you get to flex your math skills a little bit. By adding up the combined weight of the materials and equipment you plan on transporting, you can then match the number to the maximum capacity of your vehicle’s roof. From there it’s easy to determine whether you need to lighten the load or if you have some leeway to add on more. Depending on how much weight your roof can handle, you may need to pack some of the materials within the vehicle rather than on top to prevent any damage from occurring.

4. View the Roof Set up of Your Vehicle

You need to have an idea of the current setup of your roof so you can gather the appropriate parts for the materials you want to transport. Roof cross bars are mounted horizontally on top of your vehicle, while roof side rails are installed on the sides of the roof in the vertical position. Based on the kind of vehicle you have, you may be outfitted with cross bars with no side bars or vice versa. Once you’ve determined your own roof setup, you’ll have a better idea of whether or not you’ll need to install additional roof equipment to meet your cargo needs.

5. Estimate the Roof for the Installation of Cross Bars

Consistently adding and removing your roof rack can become annoying and tedious fast, particularly if you need to do it when coming and going through casual areas like a parkade or your home garage. This is where understanding how often you’ll be using your roof rack can be of value, because you may be able to retrofit it with an adapter or additional accessory to fold the roof rack when it’s not in use.

6. Pick a Roof Rack That Matches Your Needs

Once you’ve done your research by following the tips listed above, you are now equipped. You have the right knowledge to make an informed decision of the type of roof rack best suited for your needs.

Here are a few types of roof racks to choose from:

Once you know the weight of your materials and the capacity of your roof, you can then select the appropriate option for a roof rack that will meet your needs. And you’ll be able to enjoy your winter trips with the comfortable knowledge that all your valuable equipment is safe and secure.