Whether you’re into kayaking, biking or simply run a smaller car safe in the knowledge a roof box will cope with the holiday luggage, a set of bars is essential.
They unlock the potential for carrying loads on the roof, but as you might not want to leave them on permanently, simple fitting and removal is key. So which of eight sets makes your summer getaway painless? We put eight top-sellers through their paces.
Each roof bar was road tested to check noise levels, and we also assessed the initial assembly involved out of the box, as well how simple they were to fit to the car.
Where possible, we tried rail and door versions of each system, although prices, taken from various online sources, relate to open rail versions for a Volvo V70. Warranty, security and capacity were also factored in.
We preferred modular systems because they often allow for compatibility with a range of cars rather than a single model or type, but assembly has to be easy.
Thule and Atera battled it out for first place in our test, although the former has the edge on account of its better warranty and versatility. Farad’s Alu Bars are highly capable all-rounders at an almost budget price.