If you’re looking for a way to expand the cargo capacity of your vehicle, roof rails and roof racks should be somewhere on your shopping list. In addition to make your vehicle more practical, roof bars come in handy if you’re planning to go on a road trip or need extra space for luggage that won’t fit in your trunk. Or perhaps you often go camping or carry outdoor sporting gear with you. Whatever may be the reason, there are plenty of roof bar options to fulfill your needs. 

Some vehicles come with pre-assembled roof rails which makes it a lot easier to install a roof rack. But if your car isn't equipped with roof rails, you should know that there are a number of original and aftermarket options to choose from that will work just as well as factory installed ones. 

Choosing the best roof bars for your car depends on a number of variables that you need to check for, like weight limits, aerodynamics, bar length compatibility and of course, safety. You might be tempted to overlook this one last detail, but it's crucial that you invest your money in a set of well built roof bars, whether transverse or longitudinal

Before you start looking for the perfect roof bars, remember to consider the following: 

1. Compatibility & safety

If you go for original roof bars, then compatibility is no longer an issue to worry about, however the prices for such an acquisition are quite high. For those of you who want a nice set of sturdy and fiable roof bars and pay a reasonable price, the aftermarket options offer a wide variety of manufacturers. 

Make sure you take your time to find out the exact measurements of your car before buying your set. Some sellers say they have roof bars compatible with your car, but sometimes you might just be in for a bad surprise, like having to adjust the length of the bars by cutting or drilling. It happened before and it could happen to you too, so be careful. If the roof bars are not quite compatible, then the issue of safety comes up. There's no guarantee that those bars will support the weight of your cargo during transport and not just fall off when you least expect them. 

You should also consider buying roof bars that come with an anti-theft lock, the ones from Can Auto, sold under de brand Thule, are perhaps the best option out there. 

2. Aerodinamics

Roof bars that have been created to be aerodinamic will always be lightweight and be shaped to cut through air. Take for example the roof rack cross bars from Menabo seen below. They are made of durable aluminum, being mounted on the longitudinal bars of your car, and the profile of the bars is aerodynamic to help minimize noise and reduce aerodynamic drag. As a general rule, simply avoid steel square bars and you'll be better off.