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The Complete Buyers Guide to Car Roof Racks

The Complete Buyers Guide to Car Roof Racks

Roof Racks are the easiest way to increase your vehicle's storage capacity and bring the goods you need while protecting the vehicle & gear from damage. Your vehicle is an everyday necessity, and you can still make some changes. Adding items like roof racks does not void your warranty, and neither does installing windshield covers.

The inside cargo of your vehicle is limited regardless of the size vehicle you have. There are many ways of increasing your storage capacity but there's no better way than a roof rack.

There are many valid questions that may come to mind before you choose what roof rack to buy.

• Which roof racks will fit my car?
• How much weight can the roof racks carry?
• Which roof racks will suit my lifestyle?
• How safe are they?

If you enjoy off road driving and planning your next trip or a family trip to enjoy the outdoors or even a tradie that has a lot of tools for work, the easiest way to secure these is on a set of roof racks.

What Is A Roof Rack?

Roof Racks are a frame mounted onto the roof of your vehicle. You have the option of adding a basket to this for easy storage to carry shorter items. Rather than this system you can attack a backbone system and add a platform tray to carry items.

Take away the pain of searching for Roof racks for sale in Sydney as Bars N Racks can offer you advice on which is the best system for you. Roof racks are available in several brands and are designed to fit individual vehicles. Save time looking for a roof rack shop in Sydney as we can offer your assistance in getting the correct set for your vehicle.

Depending on the model vehicle or roof type you have, roof racks can be installed. If you have existing roof rails on your vehicle, then a set of roof racks can be installed on these rails by our roof rack shop Sydney at Bars N Racks.

A bare roof has roof channels, and a set of roof racks can be installed by mounting points or drilled into the roof after the roof channels have been removed.

Roof Rails Vs Roof Bars

Many model vehicles have pre-fitted roof rails. They sit above the roof line of the vehicle and go from back to front. These rails can be an attachment point for the roof racks.  Bars N Racks can direct you to the best one.

There are many roof rack sales in Sydney but Bars N Racks will additionally advise you on the type of roof rails that best suit your vehicle. They will also give you information on the dimensions and mounting points so that you have a correct fit. Roof Bars run from side to side of the vehicle, and they can be rounded, square, or even aerodynamic. They are ideal for carrying larger items such as surfboards, swags, and canoes.

You need to remember that roof rails are not roof racks and for this reason, they should never be used for carrying anything except roof racks.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Car Roof Rack.

When purchasing a roof rack, we understand you may have a limited budget but unfortunately you also need to consider a few other things other than money.

• What kind should you choose?
• What is your vehicle’s weight limit?
• What is the maximum amount I can afford?
• What will the roof rack be used for?

What Materials Are Roof Racks Made Of?

All roof racks in Australia sold by Bars N Racks are made of either aluminium or steel. Both have their pros and cons

Aluminium materials are cost efficient and very durable, however, in some cases become heavy when carrying a full load. While steel is more expensive, it is much lighter and more durable.

Either way, you will be advised of the weight limit your roof racks can carry before you purchase it. The main thing before you purchase any roof racks is to check your vehicle manual to confirm the maximum weight that your actual roof can carry. This means before you fit roof racks on and add your load you need to make sure you do not overload your roofline.

What is Your Vehicles Weight Limit?

Many people think that the weight the roof rack they have purchased can carry is the actual weight of the load it can carry. This is not true, your roof rack itself has a maximum carrying weight.

It is crucial to ensure that you know the maximum weight that your actual roof can handle. This means before you fit roof racks on and add your load you need to make sure you do not overload your roofline. This information should be found in your vehicle manual or on the manufacturer's website.  It is essential that you never overload the roof line. If you do and have an incident your insurance company may not honour your policy for a payout in the event you make a claim as you were liable for overloading the roof of the vehicle.

What Can I Use My Roof Racks For?

Roof Racks have many uses and are beneficial for keeping items out of the car when you are planning a trip or need long items for work. Roof racks have so many uses, both on road and off road, you can carry many things like:

• Suitcases or heavy luggage
• Camping gear
• Bike racks for bikes
• Sports gear & boards
• Sports bags
• Roof Box
• Roof Top Tents

Are you looking for Bike Racks for cars Sydney, Bars N Racks can provide you with a set secured onto the roof racks for easy transport. While there are many bike racks available for the roof and at the back of the vehicle many choose the roof so you can still easily access the rear of the vehicle. There are many options available and can assist you if you are in the need of a bike rack.

Keeping Within Your Budget

The cost of roof racks varies, and a roof rack shop in Sydney like Bars N Racks can assist you to do their best in keeping within a budget but that said they must ensure no corners are cut as safety is paramount. Depending on what you plan on putting on the roof also factors into the cost. If you wish to have a roof top tent, then you also need the addition of a platform tray, and this adds to the cost at the end of the fit.

3 Types Of Roof Racks

There are three common kinds of roof racks.

Crossbar System

Crossbars run from the driver's side to the passenger side (across the roof). They clip onto the existing gutter rails that are factory standard on many vehicles. They consist of two to three bars depending on the length of your roof. The crossbar system is perfect for mounting bikes, kayaks or ski equipment. Bike racks for cars Sydney can assist you with fitting mounts for these items.

Bolt-On Crossbar System

Bolt on crossbars is attached to the vehicle mounting points. They are an extremely secure and durable system and very easy to install and remove. They bolt into the existing mounting points in the roof, but you must ensure they are attached and secured correctly. You additionally need to ensure that the weight distribution across the roof of the vehicle and across the body is even.

Clip On Crossbar

These can be attached and detached easily at home and are very efficient and stable when secured correctly. The crossbar is clipped on the side railings of the vehicle and takes no longer than 5 minutes to install or remove. You need to consider though that these crossbars are NOT meant to carry heavy weights and are only recommended for loading light items.

Platform Tray/Rack

The platform tray acts as a flat tray that is sturdy and can carry many things including swags, gas bottles, and roof top tents. The weight must be distributed evenly across the roof. The platform is fitted to a backbone system that sits in the roof tracks of your vehicle.

Roof Baskets

Like the platform, tray baskets provide a large flat area to store items on your roof. Again, the weight needs to be evenly distributed out but the best thing about a basket is it has sides to allow more support for items you are putting in. Roof racks for sale Sydney can assist in fitting roof racks and a basket to securely sit on top for you.

Benefits of Installing Roof Racks on Your Vehicle.

Using roof racks to store items outside the vehicle free up room inside especially if you are carrying family or friends it makes the trip more comfortable.

1. Maximises the Car's Ability to Function

Roof racks provide the perfect platform or base for a roof top tent. You can free up room by taking the tent on top of the vehicle and it brings with it a comfortable way to camp with a faster set up and pack up. No worries about clearing floor space to have an even floor either!

2. Expand The Car's Storage Capacity

Large, bulky items that could damage the inside if your vehicle is easily stored on the roof. Looking for a car bike rack in Sydney, bars N racks can get you set up with bike racks, fishing rod holders (these can cause rips and tears from hooks if lifted incorrectly inside the vehicle), and even ski carriers. The beauty of storing things on the roof means you don't have to choose what you will leave at home due to a lack of room inside your vehicle.

3. Bling Up Your Vehicle's Look

Bars N Racks supplies and fits many things and while a roof rack may not add to the look of your vehicle, a tray or basket with a set if lights attached can certainly make the vehicle look like a tough, mean machine on or off the road. Choosing a roof rack and even an add on can complement the vehicle's roof line and overall appearance.

4. Keeps the Vehicle Safe Along With You and Your Passengers

Overloading is one of the most dangerous things we can do as a driver. Lose items can become missiles if you have the need to break suddenly. To remedy this, it is better to store as much as you can on the outside in a basket or on a roof rack.

Another bonus is to make sure all items you carry that may have sharp ends are secure away from passengers also. Making sure you secure the load is of the utmost importance and keeping big and small people safe must be a priority.

Things To Look For When Buying Roof Racks


Roof Racks are designed to withstand the harshest weather. Before you load the roof racks be sure to check the racks are firmly secured and do not need adjusting.


Cheapest isn't best in the long term and researching for roof racks for sale in Sydney may give you many solutions but Bars N Racks always insist you purchase good quality products that will not rust, fad or break easily. While cheap may fit your budget better it is not always the safest option especially if you intend on using them for transporting and not just to add to the look of your vehicle.


Rather than searching for a roof rack shop in Sydney, ensure you have an experienced fitter from Bars N Racks advice and fit the correct roof rack system for your model vehicle. Not all roof racks are a standard fit. Your vehicle needs to be checked for a compatible roof rack.

Platform trays come in different sizes, so you also need to make sure the one you select is the right size for your vehicle. Too big and your vehicle will not cope with the weight and too long and it will not hold safely on your roof.

It is always recommended that when it comes to purchasing roof racks you should always speak to someone who is experienced in fitting and selling them. Making the wrong choice in the exact racks you need could result in disastrous results for you and other vehicles on the road should your load shift and fall.

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