2018 Best Roof Racks For Car Buyers Guide

Written by: Monique Seitz-Davis

If you have ever gone on a family vacation whether it be while you were young or recently with your current family, then you have slapped some luggage or something for the extracurricular activates in the roof racks on top of your car. Cheap and best roof racks for cars do not always come easy, however, they can be quite difficult to find. There are several things that you need to look out for including price, strength, capacity, and length.

Best Roof Racks for Car of 2018




Where to Buy

Whispbar Flush Bar

Reducing noise
Good weight limit
SmartFill technology
Drills into frame

Rail Grab Kit

Mild design blends
Hooks right into rail system
Very lightweight
Lifetime warranty
Doesn’t come with locks

Rage Aluminum Locking

Increases space
4 large knobs
Key lockable clamps
Additional grip
50″ width
Only supports 150lbs

SportRack Roof Rack

Made of steel
Key locking system
Prevents rust
Easy installation
No lifetime warranty

Flush Mount Rack

Reduces noise
Airplane styled wing
Non-sliding bracket
Costly than other

What We’ll Cover Here

We are going to go over the importance of using a car roof rack in this guide and possible outline some concerns that you should take into account in order to have a safe family vacation or even just a Sunday afternoon outing. Your roof on its own cannot support the kind of weight a roof rack can and will buckle under the pressure of the weight. When you use the roof rack itself, what you are doing is removing the weight from the center and putting all of the pressure from the weight onto the frame of your vehicle. That can be beneficial in numerous ways and can help balance the weight of your vehicle directly.

Slapping on a pair of roof racks is essential for vacationing because you can put kayaks, bikes, skis, luggage, a cargo rack, or even a pair of snowboards. Most of the good car racks will cost a hefty sum, but with the right amount of reading (hint, hint), you will find the right set and they will last you through many, many trips. So, with that being said let’s get into the beneficial aspect of car racks and put you on the right track to buying a nice set of car racks.

6 Known Things You Should Read Before Buying Roof Rack

Now that we have got you reeled in, let’s get right down to the good stuff. You are wondering why you need to buy a roof rack, correct? What you might find interesting is that the majority of travelers will swear by roof racks by claiming how much more they can store above their vehicle. Not only that but the convenience of being able to bring your equipment with you. Equipment such as bikes, snowboards, kayaks, etc. There are a few things to look for when shopping for car racks and we are going to point those out for you here and now.



The first thing we are going to suggest that you look for when searching for a new roof rack for your vehicle is versatility through the seasons. You can spot low-quality material a mile away and generally other buyers of the product will leave their reviews stating how quickly the material deteriorated or fell apart. Be sure to look for that in the product review section.

Lockable Mounts

The next feature that we recommend you shop for is lockable mounts. This feature really speaks for itself in the sense that it creates a barrier of safety for your products, your vehicle, and the vehicles that are traveling behind you.


The next feature that is up on our list is adjustability. Generally, the reason you want a roof rack for your vehicle will end up determining what kind of roof rack you end up purchasing. There are going to be some of you who use it for transporting your business equipment or the daily transport of your sports equipment and then those of us who only will use roof racks to go on an outing for the weekend or vacations every so often. A raised roof rack will be more versatile and will allow you to move the bars to ensure that whatever you are transporting fits.


What comes to your mind when you are thinking of being on the road during a vacation and you think of the word noise. While you and your family are barreling down the expressway, the last thing you want to hear is a rattling on top of your vehicle of sports equipment or perhaps the shaking of your cargo case.

Simple installation

There isn’t one person who wants to make the installation of using a product more difficult so chances are you are looking for a roof rack with a smooth installation and ease of use. There are some roof racks that will require you to have a professional installation. Raised roof racks, on the other hand, do not need you to use a fitting kit, so you are free to do the installation all on your own. Make sure you follow the directions, as you wouldn’t want to have to buy another set of racks for improperly installing your old set.


The final feature that is important for all who are purchasing roof racks is accessories. Yes, that’s right, not only are roof racks very useful on their own, you can buy roof racks that come with accessories that make them even more useful. An example of said features would be a light bracket so that while you are moving your equipment or cargo around at night, you have some light to do so.

Comparison Chart For Best Roof Racks

Top Five Best Roof Racks For Car


Whispbar Flush Bar Roof-Rack System


Aerodynamic technology reducing noise.
Good weight limit, 165lbs per pair of racks.
SmartFill technology for ease of applying accessories.
Sleek design to adapt to vehicle specifications.


Drills into your frame.
Design may be too strong for some vehicle types, causing damage.
Requires you to read the guide to install.

If you are looking for one of the most inexpensive products that you can slap on top of your vehicle to help you cart sports equipment, then the Whispbar Flush Bar Roof Rack might be the product for you.

With a very innovative design, the Whispbar Roof Rack has a very sleek and complex design that adds style to any vehicle. Whispbar has developed a state of the art aerodynamic technology that reduces the noise pollution that most roof racks cause. This product also reduces drag by up to 70% as stated by the company. The roof rack comes with several great accessories including the SmartFill technology, which is located in the bar itself. The integrated SKS locks enable users of the product to put up to 165lbs on top of these racks and to secure them safely in as well. This weight limit is per pair.

This product is incredibly easy to install compared to other roof racks. The product comes with a reference guide to ensure that you are choosing the right fitting kit and ensuring you choose the right bar size for your vehicle.

Yakima Rail Grab Kit
Yakima Rail Grab Kit

Yakima Rail Grab Kit (58″ Bars + 4 Towers)


Mild design blends in with the vehicle.
Hooks right into your rail system.
Very lightweight.
Lifetime warranty.


Mild design.
A little on the thin side.
Doesn’t come with locks.

They say that when products are more expensive that the quality really can speak for itself and with this product that old saying may really be true given a number of features that the kit comes with.

A supportive roof rack package can be found with this product. The design, however, is quite mild but Yakima more than makes up for that with the tower and crossbar kit that can complete any roof rack system. Now, most new vehicles have a rail system, and with this package, you get two 58″ bars and four towers that will lock right into the aforementioned rail system. The benefit of those here is that they are very thin and easily blend into the roof of almost any vehicle. This kit works well with either the raised or flush mounted side rails that come straight from the factory on most vehicles.

One of the strongest benefits that Yakima offers their customers is the ‘love it until you leave it’ slogan that comes with the warranty. The warranty is a lifetime, meaning you can return it at any time.

Universal Aluminum Locking Roof Cargo Bars

Rage Powersports Aluminum Locking Vehicle Roof Racks


Increases cargo space.
4 large knobs for clamp support.
Key lockable clamps to prevent theft.
Clamps provide additional grip.
50″ width of support.


Only supports up to 150lbs.
Light weight, could product noise.
Needs existing rails.

This product is made for those of us with rails that are already pre installed on the roofs of our vehicles. If you are one of those lucky few, then this product may just be for you.

One of the strong features of this product is the adaptive ability to increase the available cargo space on top of your vehicle by turning the existing roof rails into a cross bar cargo rack. There are 4 large adjustment knobs in order to control the clamps. Two of those knobs are key-lockable in order to prevent theft. The racks fit up to 50″ inches apart. Both bars come with 5/8″ wide rubber inserts that most certainly provide added grip. The weight capacity for these racks is actually rather impressive sitting at 150lbs.


SportRack Complete Roof Rack System


Very strong design, made of steel.
Key locking system to prevent theft.
Design prevents rust and damage.
FitGuide ensures an easy installation.


Heavier than most products of this model
No lifetime warranty.

Nothing really can compare to steel. With that being said, if what you seek is a strong, durable product that will not break or falter during the weather or during extreme use, then this may be the product for you.

Let’s get right into the good stuff here. One of the most appealing features of this product is that it is made out of steel and is painted black in order to prevent rush and damage to your vehicle during harsh use. This product is very versatile and can fit almost any model car excluding some types of convertibles. Anther strong benefit to this product is that the installation is very smooth and has no real complicated sections where you have to have some kind of special knowledge. The fit guide that comes with the product will help you handle the fitting. Everything comes in one, easy to use package that comes with the load bars, hooks, locks and every other part needed for the installation.

Thule AeroBlade Edge Flush Mount Rack

Thule AeroBlade Edge Flush Mount Rack


Reduces noise.
Airplane styled wing.
Help keep gas mileage stable.
Non-sliding bracket for racks.


More costly than other products, seemingly worth it.
No lifetime warranty.
Requires sliding rack.

If you are looking for a roof rack that is not only top quality but also helps prevent against drag, then look no further because this may be the product for you.

With the majority of roof racks, the most common fault is that the roof rack increases the amount of effort your car has to put forth, thus increasing the amount of gas used. With this specific roof rack, that has been reduced by their airplane wing styled design. Most SUVs and certain models of cars will have the sliding racks that are needed for this product to function already installed at the factory level. This company also offers a non-sliding bracket at an additional cost for those of us without the sliding rail functionality. This brand is far from cheap but is effective in eliminating the noise that most roof racks produce and lasts much longer than the other brands as well.

What are the Advantages

One of the main advantages is the cost in comparison to other forms of vehicle racks. The top roof racks for cars are normally very versatile as well. They will be able to adapt to weather changes and be better accustomed to staying functional over time. Roof racks also have a feature called lockable mounts, which are another form of safety. While your bikes are on top of your car, they will not shake or sway like they normally would with certain model trunk racks. These car racks will also not cause any obstructions in your line of view near your windshield.

The finish will also be less damaged as most roof racks are made for a smooth material and have flush non-damaging contact with the roof of your vehicle. There is also equipment that you can buy that will help you load any traveling materials onto your vehicle.

What are the Disadvantages

Some of the models that you will see will reach overhead to secure the equipment. This can be burdensome to some, but not everyone. Your gas mileage will be minimally effected as the extra weight will effect the aerodynamics of your vehicle, thus causing the engine to have to work harder, thus using more gas. Even though most model roof racks are generally silent, some will cause wind resistance and you will hear it inside your vehicle. The final disadvantage is that some equipment will be difficult to load on top of your vehicle, as it is either very heavy or too oblong to put the proper amount of force to place it on top of your car.

All in all, you should always use buyer’s discretion when you are buying a roof rack because some companies are not exactly honest with the features of their roof racks. We, however, have assembled what we think to be the top roof racks for cars and have the best features for your money.

Final Thoughts

With the majority of roof racks out there having meek designs at best and causing more noise than they are worth, the products we have listed here have been known to go above and beyond expectations. Gas mileage, warranties, needing specific types of rails, versatile designs, and key locking security measures are just a few of the concepts we touched on and is one of our best roof racks for cars reviews that we have ever written.

Now, we know that there is a lot of information in this best roof racks review, but fear not because it is all tailored around our desire to give you the best possible choices. Even with all of the information here, always make sure that you do your due diligence when buying products and by all means make sure there is a warranty in case you encounter any problems. We hope to have helped you with the information here and good luck with your new roof rack!