We select the best roof racks based on independent tests.

Choosing the best roof racks based on independent tests.

The one who is looking for «superstructure» for the roof of a car for the first time, it may be surprising that the trunk is called only a set of two crossbars and four struts, with which they rest on the roof or roof rails. This design alone costs from 3,000 to 20,000 rubles. You also need to buy either a box, or a bike rack, or an expeditionary rack (also called a cargo basket), or a mount for skis and snowboards or for boats and surfs.

In chapter «Auto parts» Drom.ru offers a wide range of both basic mounts and various boxes.

More space, but less payload.

Mid-size box models to fit almost any vehicle can hold 400–500 l of luggage. That is, if you have, for example, a Renault Duster or a Hyundai Creta, it turns out that even more things can fit on the roof than in a regular trunk. True, spaciousness does not mean a large carrying capacity: boxes are usually designed for only 50–75 kg. In addition, it must be borne in mind that each car has a maximum permissible roof load, which is indicated in the operating instructions. For example, for Duster it is limited to 100 kg, and for many passenger models — 80 kg.

You need to understand that the box itself with racks and crossbars may well weigh 30 kg, which means that it will not be possible to load 75 kg inside: the entire structure, including the load, should not exceed the maximum permissible roof load by weight.

For most motorists, the most relevant, of course, are boxes. By the way, they can also accommodate short skis and snowboards. The boxes themselves are usually designed in such a way that they are compatible with almost all types of crossbars and fit almost any vehicle. Is that the owners of five-door and three-door models should make sure in advance that the rear door, rising up, will not rest against the trunk.

However, the struts and cross members are very different, and they must be selected individually for each car model..

What you need to know about roof rails, struts and crossbars?

If the car has a roof, then there is a suitable roof rack. But the models of the suitable uprights and crossbars will vary greatly. It’s one thing if you have standard roof rails (most crossovers, SUVs and passenger station wagons are equipped with them). Another thing — standard fastening places on the roof (for example, Ford Focus has them).

And the most difficult thing is if the car has a flat roof without seats for the trunk (for example, like the Hyundai Solaris). Trunks that are attached to doorways are addressed to similar machines..

All three options are quite reliable and do not limit you in any way in the choice of boxes and others. «superstructures». The difference, by and large, is only in convenience: it is easier and faster to mount the trunk on the roof rails, on the fastening places — not so convenient, but with details for a flat roof, the most fuss. In addition, the latter can scratch the paintwork (although the fasteners «paws» usually rubberized).

Possible difficulties — it is the presence of a hatch and an antenna. Avoid uprights that are too low: because of them, the box can interfere with the opening of the hatch. If you have an antenna, make sure before buying that it can be bent under the box..

The exact answer whether a roof rack is compatible with a particular roof can only be given by the website of the manufacturer of the roof rack or the websites of online stores. They have selection services depending on the brand, model and year of manufacture..

So, the racks and crossbars are selected, it remains to decide on the box itself. And then the eyes run up. Inexpensive Russian-made models and products of expensive foreign brands do not differ so much externally and internally, and their prices — several times.

The best models can only be identified through independent testing. In addition, not all boxes, even of well-known brands, successfully pass crash tests, leak tests, strength tests at low temperatures, and the like..

Who and how conducts independent tests of autoboxes?

The most detailed tests are carried out by the German auto club ADAC. First, the products are checked for tightness. Moisture-absorbing paper is placed in the box and closed, and a special installation sprays 180 liters of water onto the trunk in 15 minutes.

Secondly, they check if the box becomes too fragile in the cold. To do this, each model is kept in a freezer at a temperature of -20 °C for at least 6 hours, after which a load weighing 2.5 kg is dropped onto different parts of the trunk. Thirdly, a crash test is carried out: on a special stand, the trunk is accelerated as in a typical road accident, at a speed of 30 km / h. The product should not lose weight or fall off the mountings.

Fourthly, experts assess how easy it is to install a particular model and use it, whether the fastenings for luggage are convenient, whether the instructions are clear, whether the risk of errors during installation and operation is high, as well as the potential for injury and the risk of damage to the car. Fifth, they check the compliance of the declared volume of the trunk with reality, for which the boxes are filled with special bulk material.

Auto Motor und Sport magazine tests were carried out at the Dekra test center. Among the tests, there are some that ADAC does not. A very important test — high-speed. A car with a trunk is moving at a speed of 120 km / h: noise measurements are taken, in addition, the trunk must withstand two abrupt maneuvers: a two-lane rearrangement to the side (this simulates a detour of a sudden obstacle) and emergency braking to a complete stop. The water test on the bench simulates driving in the rain at a speed of 100 km / h. Crush test — the same as that of the ADAC (at a speed of 30 km / h).

Experts evaluate the usability of the model, volume and fasteners, as well as — what is not less important! — protection from thieves.

The British edition AutoExpress rates roof racks for ease of use, safety, volume and organization of space. Laboratory and sea trials are not carried out. Their compatriots at The Independent rate trunks as part of their IndiBest project, which publishes ratings for a wide variety of consumer products.

Expert estimates and test results are taken into account, but the details of the scoring are not disclosed..

Legal issues.

Traffic rules establish uniform requirements for the carriage of any cargo, not only on the roof. The driver is obliged to control the placement, fastening and condition of the cargo before and during the movement in order to avoid its fall and interfere with traffic (clause 23.2 of the SDA). If you installed the autobox incorrectly, and it falls off the roof right in front of the traffic cop, then this threatens with a fine of 500 rubles or a warning (Article 12.12 of the Administrative Code). It will be much worse if the dropped cargo damages other vehicles or injures people. In this case, the responsibility will be the same as in any accident caused by you.

OSAGO must cover the damage (within the limit), but, unfortunately, there are cases when insurance companies do not recognize such a situation as an insured event. According to the law on OSAGO, payment is due, but not all motorists manage to prove this in court.

Separately, it is worthwhile to stipulate the situation when you load something large onto the roof that protrudes beyond the dimensions of the car. Even if the cargo is securely secured, you can be fined for violating the rules of transportation. Traffic rules read: «Cargo protruding beyond the dimensions of the vehicle in front and behind by more than 1 m or to the side by more than 0.4 m from the outer edge of the parking light must be marked with identification marks “Oversized cargo”, and in the dark and in conditions of insufficient visibility, in addition, in front — lantern or reflector white, at the back — lantern or reflector red».

Maximum cargo sizes — those that protrude at the rear by more than 2 m, as well as those with which the total width of the vehicle exceeds 2.55 m or the height exceeds 4 m.If you do not fit into these frames, then your car turns into a large-sized vehicle, and for such transportation requires a special permit from the traffic police. For violation, serious fines are provided (up to 10,000 rubles), possibly even deprivation of rights for six months.

The best boxes according to the results of European tests.

We have collected ratings of autoboxes, which included 30 models. Of these, we selected those roof racks that showed the best results not only according to expert estimates, but also in running trials and crash tests. Then we screened out products not sold in Russia. As a result, there are five «the best of the best».

Moreover, all the places were divided among themselves by only two well-known «luggage» stamps — Swedish Thule and Dutch Hapro. However, their models were not equally flawless..

Thule Motion 800 (35,000 rubles, made in Sweden)

ADAC-2013 — test leader. Independant-2014 — first place in the Top 9. AutoExpress-2016 — eighth place in Top-8.

Volume 460 l Length 205 cm Load capacity 75 kg Net weight 19 kg Maximum length of transported cargo 190 cm Opening options on both sides.

In ADAC tests, this box performed excellently in all test types except the low temperature test. Thule practicality and workmanship — this is the highest level, but in the cold it is worth being careful: the body cracked from a blow with a 2.5-kilogram load. For all other parameters, no model received so many positive evaluations from experts.

AutoExpress complains about the high cost, but this is a sore point for all Thule models.

During the time that has passed after the tests, this brand has managed to update the lineup. In the current range, the Motion XT XL model is an analogue of the Motion 800 box. but «eight hundredth» the model is still on sale and is popular with many companies that give boxes for rent.

Hapro Traxer 6.6 (27,000 rubles, made in the Netherlands)

ADAC-2013 — second place. AutoExpress-2016 — third place in the Top-8. Independant-2014 — fifth place in Top-9.

Volume 410 l Length 191 cm Load capacity 75 kg Net weight 18 kg Maximum length of transported cargo 175 cm Opening options on both sides.

Hapro Traxer 6.6 is almost in no way inferior to the competitor from Thule, except that in the crash test it earned not «excellent», but «OK». In terms of workmanship and practicality, this is a very worthy model. Plus, it’s more affordable than Thule..

Thule Motion Sport / Motion 600 (29,000 rubles, made in Sweden)

ADAC-2015 — test leader.

Volume 320 l Length 190 cm Load capacity 75 kg Net weight 14 kg Maximum length of transported cargo 176 cm Opening options on both sides.

This model has been tested as successfully as the two above, however, it is not

their competitor. Thule Motion Sport is comparable to them only in length (and, therefore, skis can fit in it), but this box will not work for bulky luggage. In our selection, this is the most compact model: only 320 liters.

In the current Thule range, a similar model is called the Motion XT Sport..

Hapro Zenith 8.6 (45,000 rubles, made in the Netherlands)

Auto Motor und Sport-2013 — second place in Top-8.

Volume 440 l Length 215 cm Loading capacity 75 kg Net weight 23 kg Maximum length of the transported cargo n. e. Opening options on both sides.

This box is similar in performance to Hapro Traxer 6.6, but Zenith 8.6 — this is «older» model. This is a very convenient and well thought-out box, which, however, affected the price. However, in tests, he showed himself somewhat worse than others. During the crash test, the lid cracked, but all the luggage remained inside, so the score was slightly lowered.

As a result, in the ranking of the German edition of Auto Motor und Sport, this model stood just one line below the much more expensive Thule Excellence XT box, which received the highest rating..

Thule Excellence XT (92,000 rubles, made in Sweden)

Auto Motor und Sport-2013 — test leader.

Volume 470 l Length 218 cm Load capacity 75 kg Net weight 28 kg Maximum length of transported cargo 200 cm Opening options on both sides.

Very expensive and the most «fancy» model. Thule designers have put all their skill in it. Here is the most sophisticated luggage fastening system with belts and mesh, there is lighting inside. Tests have shown that the strength of the structure — flawless. Spectacular two-tone case — is also one of the strengths of the Excellence XT.

But in general, in terms of price / quality ratio, more affordable models are preferable.

Bicycle racks, ski bindings and others «superstructures»

If you plan to carry only two pairs of skis or a pair of snowboards, you can save money and do without racks and crossbars altogether. For such a light load, special racks with magnets are available. Such models cost from 4000 to 9000 rubles. Prices for traditional ski racks that attach to crossbars also start at 5,000–6000 rubles, but such models can already carry up to six pairs of skis or four snowboards.

In addition, the statements that there will be no traces of magnetic roof racks are somehow hard to believe..

Roof mounted bike carriers are divided into two types. Some allow you to mount the entire bike, while others require you to remove the front wheel. In the first case, the bike is attached to the frame or pedal assembly, and in the second — by the plug. The second option is less convenient because the removed wheel takes up space in the trunk. But in reality, it is easier to drag a bike without a wheel onto the roof and fix it there, and the fork mount fits more bike frames.

The type of construction does not affect the price. The cheapest bike rack can be bought for 1,500 rubles, and the price of advanced models reaches 10,000 rubles.

Alternatively, consider the bike racks that are attached to the rear of your vehicle. In terms of prices, they are comparable to roof mounts and are designed for 2–3 bicycles. For the roof, you will have to buy two separate bike racks (sometimes they are sold in pairs).

We should also mention the cargo baskets, also called expedition racks. The device, it would seem, is simple, but the range of prices — very big. Prices for imported models reach 50,000 rubles, and for domestic brands start at 3,500 rubles. Moreover, these can be models of the same size and carrying capacity.

Less cheap baskets — this is a rather unpresentable appearance. But if you use cargo baskets for their intended purpose, then the trunk design will worry you last. If we are really talking about an expedition, then professionals usually prefer simple but very strong tubular structures.

Similar models of foreign brands cost about 20,000 rubles.

Overview of Russian-made boxes — up to 20,000 rubles.

In the price category up to 20,000 rubles, famous brands like Thule, Hapro and MontBlanc do not offer anything, but in this segment there is a large selection of Russian-made models. At least three brands are found in most stores specializing in car luggage carriers. These are brands «Atlant», «Eurodetal» and LUX.

Unfortunately, domestic products did not pass such demanding independent tests as imported models, but consumer reviews — not bad, and the popularity of such boxes in our market is very high.

From the assortment of Russian brands, we have selected three models that can be considered «classmates» mentioned foreign boxes. Our top three include mid-size models with a volume of 400–500 l and about 190 length–200 cm. Shorter models may not fit skis, and longer boxes are not suitable for every vehicle. All the models we have chosen have a completely modern design (for example, the lid opens from both sides) and in operation are in many ways similar to more expensive brands.

But — once again note — these models should be perceived as a simplified and cheaper analogue of those products that are leading in world rankings. They correspond to their price, but no more.

Atlant Dynamic 434 (16 800 rub.)

Volume 430 l Length 180 cm Load capacity 50 kg Net weight 14 kg Maximum length of transported cargo 171 cm Opening options on both sides.

The downside of the Atlant Dynamic 434 is that the inner length is only 171 cm, so not all skis will fit there. Otherwise, it’s a decent boxing. Those who need more should choose the large Dynamic 504 (internal length — 216 cm).

It is 4000 rubles more expensive.

Roof racks from car companies.

Many car brands offer their own branded roof racks as branded accessories. True, quite often in such a product the features of some well-known Thule are well guessed. Such products are not at all cheaper than the same Thule, and often more expensive. For example, Nissan, among the branded accessories for the X-Trail crossover, offers a ski rack for 12,600 rubles. and own crossbars for 15 600 rubles.

Land Rover has a very wide range of roof racks. For example, for Discovery Sport there are two types of roof racks and one — on the fifth door, two types of mounts for kayaks and surfs, a rack for skis and snowboards. The Land Rover bike rack costs 13,000 rubles, and the ski rack — almost 16,000 rubles.

Add to this the cost of branded crossbars (about 20,000 rubles), and the meaning of such a purchase seems to be lost. But there is no doubt that all the elements will ideally fit the car..

Eurodetal Magnum 420 (15 500 rub.)

Volume 420 l Length 199 cm Load capacity 70 kg Net weight 15 kg Maximum length of transported cargo 185 cm Opening options on both sides.

This model surpasses the competition in terms of carrying capacity (70 kg versus 50) and in the maximum length of skis. But at the same time, the total volume here is less than that of the other two models in our selection.

LUX 960 (16 000 rub.)

Volume 480 l Length 196 cm Load capacity 50 kg Net weight 17 kg Maximum length of transported cargo 175 cm Opening options on both sides.

LUX 960 — this is the maximum volume for its price. Capacity — as much as 480 liters. The manufacturer claims that all fittings are designed taking into account the harsh Russian operating conditions..

How to ride with a roof rack and not screw up?

Formally, the presence of a load on the roof does not impose any speed limits, but we must not forget that a car with such a makeweight behaves completely differently than without it. fifty–You may not even notice 70 kg in a regular trunk, but a similar load placed on the roof, — quite another matter. The center of gravity rises, and therefore the machine becomes more swathing and unstable when cornering. The car also nods more strongly when braking, which causes the rear wheel grip to deteriorate and the braking distance increases.

If, during deceleration, you also need to dodge an obstacle, then an underloaded rear axle increases the risk of skidding..

Emergency training instructors recommend taking turns only at a calm pace, and not gaining more than 100 km / h on the straights. Even with a relaxed ride, you need to understand that if a lightning-fast change of lane is required, the car will go into sliding at lower speeds than in the absence of load. It is necessary to keep the distance longer and predict the development of the road situation: a loaded car will need more space to avoid a collision.

So, a good trunk with all fasteners will cost at least 25,000 rubles, and to purchase the best models, you will need a budget of 40,000–50,000 rubles. If you only travel by car once a year or less, it looks like a waste of time. It is more logical to rent a trunk, and such services have become widespread. A two-week rental of an expensive box will cost about 7,500 rubles, but during the skiing season there are often higher rates due to high demand.

Russian model can be rented for 2500–3000 rubles for the same period. And, perhaps, this may be the best option. Although domestic products are inferior to imported ones in ergonomics and practicality, in the case of renting this is not such a significant nuisance.

And the savings — solid!

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