The best roof boxes in the UK 2023

With a capacity close to that of a car trunk (between 250 and 650 L), the roof box is the solution to your luggage problems. It is the ideal accessory to safely transport your ski or fishing equipment or your children's belongings. Hard or soft roof box, for regular or occasional use, for winter or summer, which type of attachment? Read our guide to find out which roof box will best suit your needs.

THULE - Motion XL 460 Litres 1

Best value for money

THULE - Motion XL 460 Litres

The best roof box in 2021

Designed to accommodate as much equipment as possible, this box can hold up to 7 skis. It has a sliding locking system, it is really the roof box to have for a trip in all serenity.

See the price

The Thule motion XL is an extra-large hard-sided trunk that is ideal for carrying your sports equipment, as long as it does not exceed 190 cm (the trunk is 196 cm long). But with a capacity of 460 L, it will be just as suitable for carrying your luggage and other bulky items as long as they do not exceed 40 cm (the trunk is 45 cm high). It weighs 19 kg, but is still fairly easy to install. It also has a very secure locking system: it can lock automatically even if you forget to do so. Finally, it is equipped with a very practical handle system to face bad weather (rain or snow). Despite its 196 cm, the design of the Thule motion XL means that it will not block access to your tailgate. The weight limit of this box is 75 kg.

HANDIWORLD - HandiHoldall 400 Litres 2

Best value for money

HANDIWORLD - HandiHoldall 400 Litres

The best entry-level roof box

If you're looking for a practical roof box with plenty of storage space at a low price, the 400-liter HandiHoldall pack is the perfect option for you.

See the price

The HandiHoldall pack from Handiworld is a flexible roof box with a capacity of 400 L and a maximum weight of 50 kg. It offers a very large storage space which is perfect for families with a lot of equipment in tow. It is a waterproof box, easy to install thanks to its kit for installation on metal bars and/or its reinforcement bars (HandiRack) for the box. It is equipped with a nautical type zip opening. This pack includes the 400 L soft box, 1 kit for installation on bars, 2 non-slip pads, and the reinforcement bars that you just have to inflate to support the box efficiently.

POLAIRE - VOYAGER C440VONA 430 litres 3

A great choice


A great alternative

This trunk is a lightweight storage option (only 12 kg), but with a very large capacity (440 L). It will allow you to travel with complete peace of mind.

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The Polaire Voyager hard case is made of a sturdy ABS plastic for a long life. It is large and voluminous enough to hold up to 75 kg of luggage. This trunk is equipped with a centralized 2-point locking system. An additional locking point on the front makes it possible to open it from two sides, which is convenient. It even has an anti-turbulence vent in the back. It's easy to install and will even fit wide roof racks (up to 80×36 mm).

THULE - Ranger 90 280 Litres 4

Very good

THULE - Ranger 90 280 Litres

The most convenient

If you need a roof box, but storage after use is a problem, the Thule Ranger 90 is the box for you. It's lightweight, fully collapsible, but with a large capacity.

See the price

If you don't have a lot of space to store your roof box after use, the Ranger 90 from Thule is a reasonable solution. Made of a waterproof tarp-like material, this soft box attaches quickly with the Easy-Snap quick-mount system. It weighs only 7 kg for a capacity of 280 L, the weight limit is 50 kg. This case will perfectly protect your luggage thanks to water resistant material, welded seams and a sealed zipper. Cargo should be packed in plastic bags in case of extreme weather conditions. A special bag for storing the box when folded is included with the Ranger 90.

Buying guide • November 2023

Best roof box

Any specific needs?

The best roof box in 2021

The best entry-level roof box

A great alternative

The most convenient

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best roof boxes

THULE - Motion XL 460 Litres 5
HANDIWORLD - HandiHoldall 400 Litres 6
POLAIRE - VOYAGER C440VONA 430 litres 7
THULE - Ranger 90 280 Litres 8
THULE - Motion XL 460 Litres
HANDIWORLD - HandiHoldall 400 Litres
THULE - Ranger 90 280 Litres
Designed to accommodate as much equipment as possible, this box can hold up to 7 skis. It has a sliding locking system, it is really the roof box to have for a trip in all serenity.
If you're looking for a practical roof box with plenty of storage space at a low price, the 400-liter HandiHoldall pack is the perfect option for you.
This trunk is a lightweight storage option (only 12 kg), but with a very large capacity (440 L). It will allow you to travel with complete peace of mind.
If you need a roof box, but storage after use is a problem, the Thule Ranger 90 is the box for you. It's lightweight, fully collapsible, but with a large capacity.
Stylish and practical design (does not block tailgates)
Easy to install trunk
Very large capacity
Very light, and easy to store (just roll it up like a cigarette)
Opens on both sides
Very large capacity, ideal for family vacations
Easy to install
Very good capacity (280 L, dimensions: 110 x 80 x 40 cm)
Very secure locking system
Excellent water resistance
Excellent locking system
EasySnap system for easy installation
Easy to install
Not waterproof
Opens from both sides
Very good water resistance
Weighs 19 kg, so you may need help installing it
Trunk opens only on one side
Trunk hinge seems a bit flimsy ( comes off easily, but it goes back on easily too)
Load limit is only 50 kg (the lowest for this brand)

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Buying guide - roof box

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How to choose your roof box

Consider the following criteria when buying your roof box:

#1 - Size and volume

Most roof boxes are available in small, medium, large and extra large (XL and XXL) sizes. Small, medium and large boxes generally work best for luggage and other conventional sized items. The difference between the sizes of roof boxes is measured in terms of volume, in liters. The size of these boxes generally varies between 200 and 600 L. Obviously, the more volume a roof box has available, the more stuff you can store in it. However, larger boxes are also heavier and create more wind resistance for your car.

#2 - The weight limit

Each roof box has a specific weight limit designated by the manufacturer. Most cargo boxes can accommodate between 40 and 50 kg. Always check the manufacturer's specifications to make sure the model you choose has the capacity you'll need. Never exceed the stated weight limit.

#3 - Ease of access

The best roof boxes allow you to easily pack and unpack your items. For easier access, consider a trunk that opens from both sides. If you're concerned about your gas mileage, look for a trunk with a sloping front. An aerodynamic, streamlined shape can help reduce wind resistance.

Make sure the box is compatible with your car

Even if a cargo box is the right size for your needs, it won't do you any good if it's incompatible with your car. Some cargo boxes are better suited to certain types of vehicles than others. For example, a small box is difficult to access on top of a large vehicle, while a large box may block the tailgate of a small vehicle. Also, some trunks may not be compatible with all luggage carriers. Check the manufacturer's recommendations to see if the box you choose will work with your car.

#4 - Gasoline consumption


roof boxes can affect your car's gas mileage because they add weight to the vehicle and increase wind resistance. Consider checking this detail.

#5 - Frequency of use

If you travel frequently and need a roof box for travel, you probably won't be too concerned about ease of installation, as you'll be leaving it on the car for extended periods. In such a scenario, your main concern should be how easy it is to open and close the box. Look for a box that offers a one-handed opening and stays open once you unlock it. However, if you only need to use your box a few times a year, you will definitely want one that is easy to install and remove. In this case, soft safes are best suited, as they are lightweight and easy to assemble.

How to install a roof box?

First of all you will need a roof rack (roof rack or bars), because that is where you will have to attach and lock your roof box. If your car doesn't already have one, you can easily buy one in stores. Next, check the mounting system. Here are two of the most common roof box mounting systems on the market today:

  • U-bolt mounting: This system uses U-bolts that fit around the cross section of the roof rack. Inside the roof box are screw caps that secure the entire kit in place. Roof boxes that use U-bolts are compatible with almost any roof rack. That said, you may need to invest in a special T-rail adapter if you have Thule brand fender roof racks. It takes about 10 minutes to install a U-bolt system.
  • The Power Click attachment: This system uses clamps to attach to the rack. It takes about five minutes to adjust.

How do you store your roof box?

Roof boxes are handy, but when you're not using them, they can quickly become cumbersome. The ideal place to store them would be in your garage, on a shelf above the car, or perhaps in a shed. But you can also use a hoist (ceiling lift system) or storage straps.

  • Hoist: This uses a pulley mechanism to hoist your trunk from your car roof to your garage roof. The system is simple: just unlock your trunk from the crossbars and pull it up.
  • Storage Straps: This is a less expensive option, but works the same way: the straps hold your trunk suspended from the roof of your shed or garage. These straps are not as easy to use as the hoist, as there is no pulley mechanism to lift the box, but they will do just as well.

And if you don't have a garage, roof boxes are pretty weatherproof. This means that in the worst case, you can store it in the least exposed corner of your garden, just cover it with a thick tarp.

The different types of roof boxes

When looking at the types of car roof boxes, you can narrow the options down to two selections: soft-sided box or hard-sided box.

Flexible roof boxes

This type of roof box looks like large, thick duffel bags with extra straps to secure it to your vehicle. In reality they are real trunks made of a thin, flexible, but strong polymer plastic. Like vinyl chloride (PVC) or other vinyl alternatives. Using materials like these helps to waterproof the bag and they are very inexpensive to purchase. In addition, they weigh less than hard-shell luggage racks, which is perfect for a smaller vehicle. Unfortunately, they don't offer as much protection, especially if you leave items in the carrier overnight. You run the risk of being stolen if you don't purchase a locking mechanism.


  • Lightweight and compact, they are very easy to assemble and disassemble.
  • Storage is not a problem either.
  • Suitable for all types of cars, large or small.
  • They are usually waterproof, or at least very water resistant.


  • Soft trunks have a fairly small capacity: they are smaller in size so you can't carry bulky items (like suitcases, sporting goods, etc.) in them.
  • They are not equipped with a locking system, which is a bit limited in terms of security.

Who is it for?

This type of trunk will work for you if you have a small car or if you only want to carry very little luggage or modestly sized items.

Hard-shell roof boxes


are the best choices for roof boxes. Hard-shell trunks are stronger, they usually come with a lock: your stuff will be safer in such a trunk. This type of box can hold your sports equipment (skis, kayak paddles, etc.) as well as your suitcases or other bulky items.


  • They usually have a large capacity and can hold suitcases, sporting goods, etc.
  • They are usually equipped with a lock, so your belongings will be safer while traveling.
  • They are much sturdier than soft cases, they will last you longer.


  • Due to their design, some roof boxes may prevent the tailgate or trunk from opening in some vehicles.
  • Hard-shell boxes are generally difficult to assemble and disassemble. You may need assistance during this process.

Who is it for?

Hard-shell trunks are best suited for carrying specific equipment such as skis, certain types of fishing rods, etc. This type of box will also work best if you are used to carrying a lot of luggage.

Roof box or trailer?

Roof box

This is an additional car boot. Its main role is to protect your equipment from all kinds of weather, including moisture. A roof box is well secured, you can always place your stuff in it even if you leave your vehicle. Indeed, it offers many advantages beyond the very profitable aspect of having one. Its use covers your belongings from shocks that may occur during the trip.

Moreover, it is versatile, as you can use it as a tool storage box to put in your garage when it is not on top of your car. However, a roof box does have some drawbacks. Its height can be a real concern when you drive past an underground parking garage. Also, the height of the garage where the car will be parked will still not be compatible with the height of the box. Moreover, its size remains problematic, because you will not be able to place all your luggage inside. This forces you to opt for a trailer.


The trailer is an additional vehicle without engine, very practical for transporting several pieces of luggage at the same time. It is available in semi-enclosed or fully enclosed models. The choice depends largely on the weight of the items to be transported and the length of road to be crossed. Driving with an open trailer makes it easier to carry large items. While the closed type greatly reduces the risk of theft and burglary during the trip.

Its most significant advantage is that it provides a better solution for carrying heavy items up to three tons or more. This brings us to its real disadvantage, as the heavier it is, the more difficult it is to maneuver. Also, its load distribution is not as good. This will cause instability. In short, a trailer offers a less pleasant driving experience.


You need to determine your expectations first, before choosing between a roof box and a trailer. Using a trailer doubles the space available for your luggage and belongings. However, a roof box is much safer and less bulky because of its size.

Key benefits of installing a roof box

Extra storage

There has probably been a time when you have run out of storage space in your car. This is a very common problem for those who drive small cars, especially when taking the whole family on a long road trip. If it is impossible to increase the trunk space of your car, you can gain additional storage space by installing a roof box. The storage container essentially acts as a second trunk that sits on top of your vehicle. When you install a roof box, you'll never have to worry about storing all your stuff in the back of the car again.

Improved interior comfort

Sitting in a car for a long time can be uncomfortable, and the experience is even worse if you have to sit next to a bunch of loose luggage. It's hard to have a fun trip if everyone is uncomfortable during the ride. Fortunately, a car roof box can easily solve this problem. Items that used to have to be placed in the backseat can now be placed in the storage container on the roof. This frees up a lot of extra space and improves the interior comfort for everyone inside the car.

Protection from the weather

All high-end roof boxes are made from strong plastic or fiberglass materials. This ensures that they can withstand extreme weather conditions without being damaged, so you never have to worry about your items being destroyed due to exposure to rain or snow. Since you can't control the weather, this is a huge advantage of roof boxes over other car loading solutions such as roof racks.


Aerodynamics play an important role in the overall fuel efficiency of your vehicle. If there is wind resistance, the engine must use more power to maintain the desired speed, which means you use more gas. Roof boxes are specially created with a sleek design to improve the aerodynamics of your car, allowing air to flow easily over the car's roof box while you're on the road.

Improved security

Leaving your luggage in the back seat instantly makes your car a target for criminals. If they think there is a good chance of finding something valuable in your bags, they will do whatever it takes to break into your car. Not only does this result in your stuff being stolen, but it also damages your car. When you use a roof box, no one will know you are traveling with valuables, making it more likely that potential thieves will move to another car instead.


Never exceed the weight limit specified by the manufacturer

If you overload your trunk, you could damage it and the roof of your car. It could even cause an accident.

Distribute the weight evenly


general, it's best to pack only lighter items in your roof box. You can still load heavier items into it, but if you do, store them first to ensure even weight distribution.

Get your stuff organized


throwing loose items into your roof box. Remember to pack small and sharp items. That way you won't lose them or hurt yourself when unloading.

Check visibility after installation of the trunk


behind the wheel and make sure the trunk doesn't affect your side and rear visibility


Remember to bring spare supplies for your trunk


s a good idea to bring extra trunk supplies. A spare strap, for example, so if the one already installed breaks while driving, you can easily replace it.


What is the best roof box?

The best roof box depends on your needs and your budget. Read our buying guide to find out more.

Does a roof box work with any car?

Your car should have a roof rack or bars to support the trunk. Think about installing them before you buy your trunk.

How much weight can a roof box hold?

The weight a roof box can hold will depend on the model, so be sure to check the manufacturer's specifications to determine how much you can load into it. Most boxes can hold up to about 50kg.

What features make it easier to load and unload a roof box?

You'll find it much easier to load or unload your trunk, especially larger models, if it opens from both sides. Your belongings will be more easily accessible.

Are the roof boxes waterproof?

Generally, roof boxes have a high water resistance but may not be waterproof. If this feature is important to you, be sure to check the manufacturer's specifications.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
THULE - Motion XL 460 Litres 9
THULE - Motion XL 460 Litres
HANDIWORLD - HandiHoldall 400 Litres 10
HANDIWORLD - HandiHoldall 400 Litres
POLAIRE - VOYAGER C440VONA 430 litres 11
THULE - Ranger 90 280 Litres 12
THULE - Ranger 90 280 Litres


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