What do you put on a roof rack?

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There are many different options available to you for transporting items. But if you need to transport many things, or if the items are large and heavy, you may need to consider using a roof rack. So what do you put on a roof rack?

First, let's look at some of the most common items people transport using roof racks.

there are many things, You can put on a roof rack, including bicycles, canoes, kayaks, skis & snowboards, roof boxes, and surfboard carriers. golf club, camping gear, luggage, sleeping bags, tents, water bladders, spare tires, coolers, and jerry cans.

As you can see, there are many different things that you can put on a roof rack.

Below is a guide to help you understand how to put things in a roof rack based on what I mentioned above.

Roof Boxes

If you're looking for an easy and convenient way to transport your belongings, a roof box is a way to go. Roof boxes are great for carrying more oversized items that won't fit inside your car or keeping things safe and dry while you're on the road. Plus, they're easy to load and unload. Here's how to put a roof box on your car:

First, choose the correct roof box for your needs. You'll need to consider the size of the box and the type of car you have when deciding.

Next, attach the roof box to your car. Make sure it's securely attached before you start loading it up.

Now it's time to start loading your belongings into the roof box. Again, distribute the weight evenly, and don't overload the box.

Once you've loaded everything into the roof box, secure it in place.

Make sure everything is securely fastened before you hit the road.


Several options are available if you're looking for a roof rack to support your kayak.

The best and most convenient is probably one of those Thule/Yakima or even local dealers who sell them outright; attach an easy-to-mount flexible platform onto the car with felt-lined saddles, so it's much more ergonomic when loading up!


Putting a canoe on a roof rack may seem daunting, but it's pretty simple once you know the steps.

  • First, lift the canoe onto the rack, carefully protecting the gunwales (sides) from damage.
  • Next, balance the canoe to distribute it on the rack evenly.
  • Then, toss some cam straps over the top of the canoe and wrap them around.
  • Be sure to tighten the straps so that the canoe is secure.
  • Finally, tie off any loose ends and attach a bow and stern lines to further secure the canoe.

With these precautions in place, you can be confident that your canoe will stay put no matter how bumpy the road gets.



Putting on a bicycle on the roof rack can be a great way to keep your bike safe and secure while you are driving. Here are some tips for putting your bike on a roof rack:

  • first; grab the key and unlock the rack, 
  • squeeze the great trigger on the hook, 
  • slide to the top of the arm and rotate the arm forward. 
  • Then under the rear strap, now lift the bike with both hands. 
  • Hold on to the cycle while you bring the front arm up,
  • pull the hook down tight around your front wheel at the top next to the fork, 
  • and shake the bike to Make sure it's secure. 
  • put the rear strap through the spin and secure it down in the holder, 
  • lock the rack, 
  • you're good to go.

Skis & Snowboards

How will you put your skis or snowboards on the roof rack? You have two main choices: a carrier/rack or a roof box. 

A carrier/rack is an excellent choice if you frequently put your skis or snowboards on and off the roof rack. They're also generally less expensive than a roof box. However, they can be more challenging to install and less aerodynamic, increasing fuel consumption. 

A roof box is an excellent choice if you want an easy-to-use, aerodynamic option. They're more expensive than carrier/racks, but they're worth it if you don't want any hassles. Just put your skis or snowboards in the box and close it up – it's that easy! 


Surfboards are long and bulky, making them difficult to transport. That's why a roof rack is essential for any surfer. With a roof rack, you can put your boards on top of your car and strap them down, keeping them secure during transportation. Here's how to put a surfboard on a roof rack:

  • First, put the board up against the roof rack.
  • Then, grab two straps, each about three meters in length.
  • Next, put the buckle underneath the roof rack and throw the two straps over your boards.
  • Repeat this process on the second roof rack.
  • Now it's time to secure the straps. Underneath the roof rack,
  • grab the loose end of the strap and put it into the buckle.
  • Then, pull it nice and tight.
  • Once the strap is secure, take the open end and wrap it around the roof rack, half-pitching it off.
  • Repeat this process on the second strap.
  • Make sure both straps are nice and tight before you hit the road.

Once you're finished, your surfboards will be securely attached to your car, ready for transportation.

Golf Club

Putting a golf club on a roof rack can be a great way to transport your clubs without taking up valuable space inside your car. Here are some tips for putting your clubs on a roof rack:

the best to transport a golf club on a roof rack is to use a roof box. It will make it easy for you when you are loading and unloading; however, you'll need to ensure the size. I reached out to the Thule expert and recommended to use

This Thule rooftop cargo box, which has a capacity of 16 cubic feet, is 76 x 33 x 16-1/2 inches in size. The single-side-opening lid includes a lock, and the Easy-Grip clamps allow you to mount the box to your roof rack without using any tools.

Camping Gear

If you're going camping, you'll need to bring along a lot of gear.

Bulky or long items are ideal for packing on the car roof because they won't take up space inside the car, and they'll be out of the way. Plus, if you can keep them dry and dust-free, they'll be less likely to get dirty or damaged. Some items that are perfect for packing in the roof rack are:

a tent or swag, sleeping bags, air mattresses, and clothing. Other great things to put on the roof rack are cooking gear, a camping table, camping chairs, and poles. So, next time you're packing for a camping trip, put your bulky or long items on the roof rack!

Here are some tips for putting your camping gear on a roof rack:

First, choose a suitable carrier for your needs. If you have a lot of equipment, you'll need a large carrier. If you only have a few items, you can get away with a smaller carrier.

Next, attach the carrier to your roof rack. Make sure it's securely attached before you start loading gear into it.

Now it's time to start loading your gear. Again, distribute the weight evenly, and don't overload the carrier.

Once you've loaded all your gear, secure it in place with straps or bungee cords.

Make sure everything is securely fastened before you hit the road.

Now you're ready to go camping! Just load up your car with your gear, and you're good to go.

What To Consider Before Loading Items on Roof Rack


There's a weight limit on how much your roof rack can handle when it comes to cargo. It's usually tied up with the weight capacity of the vehicle itself. On average, a roof rack system can carry about 165 pounds. However, manufacturers set the limit to 150 to protect its weak points. 

If you exceed the TWC, it can damage the roof cargo rack altogether through the immense pressure of the load. 

It can lead to having an unstable roof cargo rack where one side is stiffer than the other. You may even have your tires losing air pressure in the long run. 

Likewise, the pressure can damage the vehicle's roof depending on how heavy the load is. Plus, it dramatically affects your steering and fuel efficiency.


Aside from the weight, you also have to consider the size of your package. Both factors affect one another, which impacts the vehicle's overall performance. Likewise, improper placement of oversized items can also cause a nuisance on the road. Hence, you have to plan it well. 

If you have larger items, you can examine whether fitting them in a vertical or horizontal position would work better. But, again, its surface area is of concern, especially when the car starts moving.

Type of Material

Given that your items are more exposed on the roof rack, it only makes sense to keep delicate items inside instead. 

Things you wouldn't want to expose to dust, sunlight, or possible water damage due to weather changes should not be placed on the roof rack, especially if they lack added protection or covering.

On the other hand, sturdy and rugged items like bicycles, kayaks, and surfboards typically remain safe on the roof rack. 


Now that you know all about roof racks and what they can hold, it's time to get packing for your next road trip! Check out our other blog posts for more tips on making the most of your vehicle when hitting the open road. As always, thanks for reading!

About the author 

Vieira Babeker

Hi! I'm Vieira. I've always been interested in different Auto Accessories

My passion here at theroofboxes.com is to provide helpful straight forward clear advice and tips for Automotive Accessories.

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