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Is Steel Roof Rack The Right For You?

A roof rack is one of the best additions to your vehicle. Thanks to the extra cargo space it provides, driving on road and off-road with bulky equipment or multiple items becomes bearable. With it, you don't have to squeeze your load into the trunk, or worse, inside the cabin. You don't have to ask someone to pick up and deliver your things. You don't have to buy or rent a more spacious vehicle. Before you reap these benefits, you have to shop wisely first. You might need to ask if a steel roof rack is the right for you.

When you shop for a roof rack, the first factor you have to consider is the style of your vehicle's roof. Does it have a rain gutter? Are there factory installed mounts or roof rails? These are just a couple of questions you need to answer. However, you shouldn't stop at weighing on your car's roof style. You should consider the material used for your roof rack as well.

Based on the materials used, roof racks are classified into: plastic, steel and aluminum. Each type has its fair share of advantages and disadvantages. Among the three, the steel roof rack type tends to be middling.


Various factors determine the life span of your roof rack. These include material, use, maintenance and environmental factors. Naturally, steel and aluminum types are more durable than the plastic ones. Steel and aluminum are tougher, and therefore, can take more weight than plastic roof racks.

However, in terms of environmental factors particularly rain, wind and airborne salinity, plastic roof racks are more resistant. The said factors may cause your steel or aluminum roof rack to rust. Consequently, the rust may shorten the life span of the roof rack. If you clean your rack regularly though, the impact of the said factors could be lessened.


When it comes to functionality, the ranking is aluminum, steel and plastic as first, second and third respectively. Plastic roof rack can only carry small and/or less heavy items.

Between aluminum and steel roof racks, the latter is heavier but it doesn't mean it can take more weight. If you pick a steel type, you can only load as much as half of the roof rack's total weight. Going beyond the recommended weight may slow your car down, damage your car's roof, and worst of all, put your life in danger. If you follow the recommended weight, then there will be no problem.


If you combine durability and functionality, the aluminum roof rack will emerge as the most ideal type. But there is a catch: it is also the most expensive option. Plastic type is cheapest. The steel roof rack type is your best bet if you want something as durable as aluminum yet less pricey.


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