Sat navs and car accessories Best Buy roof boxes

Wonderfully handy things, roof boxes. Trips away are so much less stressful without having to decide between another carton of beer or another case of wine. But pick a poor-quality roof box, and you could end up fitting in a fraction of what the sales staff said you should.

In our tests we found some roof boxes are less hard-wearing than others, although most roof boxes are well designed and solidly built.

These Which? Best Buy roof boxes not only provided strength in a crash and plenty of storage space, they didn't require a chiropractor visit after fitting.

And while none of the roof boxes we tested will withstand a thief's determined attempt to break in, the Which? Best Buy roof boxes did better than most.

Thule Ranger 90 Soft box ?

Thule Ranger 90 Softbox roof box

Which? test score: 80%

Typical price: £165

The Ranger has the highest score of all the roof boxes we tested. But it isn’t a hard plastic enclosure like the other boxes – instead, it’s made of fabric and uses well-sealed zips to allow you to open it up.

This means it can be stowed away in a roll when not in use. Not only will it take up very little space in your garage or attic but it is actually small enough to carry around in your car’s boot.

Far lighter than the other boxes, it’s one of only two on test that can be fitted easily by just one person. The one downfall is that it’s very easy to break into and doesn’t have huge capacity, but overall we were impressed by this innovative design.

Thule Spirit 780 ?

Thule Spirit 780 roof box

Which? test score: 73%

Typical price: £400

This sleek roofbox from Thule can be opened from either side making loading and unloading very easy. The 208-litre capacity wasn’t the largest of the boxes we tested but it can carry loads of up to 75kg.

This box is tough, too: it survived all our temperature and crash tests, as well as remaining watertight under the most torrential conditions we could simulate. 

It takes about five minutes to fit or remove the box from your car and the clear instructions and easy to use clamps make this a simple process. It has comprehensive clear instructions, complete with dos and don’ts.

The interior space is slightly impractical because of some intrusions that snag your luggage, but otherwise this is a great product.

Kamei Delphin 375 ?

Kamei Dephin 375

Which? test score: 72%

Typical price: £180

The Delphin 375 was most secure box on we looked at. It has two locks compared to most boxes’ one – making it more difficult to steal from.

It would take thieves a reasonably long time to break into this roof box (thanks to effective locks) or steal it completely, owing to very sturdy roof rack fastenings. 

The downside is that this roof box taks quite a long time to mount. It’s not a difficult process, and the instructions are fine, but there are too many fiddly and easily lost washers for our liking.

The Kamei also performed brilliantly in our rain test.

Thule Atlantis 200 ?

Thule Atlantis 200 roof box

Which? test score: 71%

Typical price: £220

With a capacity of 296 litres a maximum weight of 75kg this large box from Thule ought to be able to swallow up most things you can pack in it. The box can be opened from either side and so is easy to access, while installation and removal is a doddle.

This was the second most secure of all the boxes we tested, though it's not the most sturdy – after our impact test a small gap appeared at the front of the lid. 

We found a few drops of water inside after our rain test, but nothing serious, and you’d expect a bit of moisture with a name like Atlantis.

If you want to carry skis, the Atlantis 200 has an accessory that allows you to fit them snugly inside.

Other sections in this guide

  1. Overview
  2. Best Buy roof boxes
  3. Other roof boxes on test
  4. Roof box features
  5. How we test roof boxes
  6. How to buy a roof box