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Top 10 Best Roof Rack That Will Make Your Travelling a Breeze

cargo roof rack

There are lots of times where a situation may come up that you will need to use a car in transporting items that have odd shapes which may not fit into the trunk. On such occasions, placing the items on the roof of the car is your best alternative.

Roof racks play a vital role in such cases as it makes it easy to put the items on the roof. It does not only ensure they hold the items firmly to the rack, but also prevent any discomfort due to a reduction in the space for the occupants.

1. What is A Roof Rack?

A roof rack is s set of bars which are attached to the roof of a vehicle using a hook, bolts or fitted directly from the manufacturers. They are connected to the roof so they can be used to carry heavy items without damaging the body of the roof. They are important especially when the object to be transported is irregularly shaped.

bike roof rack


Roof racks are of different types, but they all have fitting pieces, gear mounts, towers, support brackets, rack feet, and crossbars as the major components. Everyday items which we usually transport on roof racks are bicycles, luggage, and outdoor sporting equipment like a kayak.

2. Is it Legal to Overhang Loads on Your Vehicle? 

Placing loads on the roof of your car and transporting them does not make you a law breaker. There are no laws against overhanging loads, so it is legal.

One thing you should take note of is that "you must secure your load and it must not hang out dangerously" according to the Highway Code. This means you may be stopped if you don’t adequately safeguard the load on the roof. There will also be consequences for this action.

You don't want the load to go beyond a 1m gap from the roof at the front and the back of the car. The sides of the cargo should not be more than 200mm from the edge of the car.

You should also be careful if the vehicle is registered as a commercial fleet which is controlled by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Another important thing to take note of is driving with load overhanging at night. For a situation like this, what you need is a light shining on the load so that other road users can take note of it when driving close as far as 200m away.

3. Why You Should Buy a Roof Rack?

There are lots of reasons why you should purchase a roof rack and if you don’t have any idea on the importance, read below.

●    It helps protect the roof finish when transporting items

● Using a roof rack contributes to preventing you from impeding on the space available for the passengers inside the vehicle

●   You get to increase the carrying capacity of your vehicle when you add the roof to the trunk

●    To ensure there is clear visibility for the driver when he needs to look behind

●    It is ideal for cars with trunks that cannot fit in any meaningful load.

There are some vehicles which come with a roof rack, like a SUV, which does not require an additional purchase of a roof rack. A pickup also doesn’t need the roof rack since the trunk is much wider than that of a regular car.

While this may be true, there may be cases where you need to encroach on the roof space when using a pickup. In such situations, it won’t hurt if there is a roof rack attached.

4. What Can You Carry with A Roof Rack? 

There are lots of things you can use a roof rack to carry and most of the times it is for items with irregular shapes.

Here is a list of what you can carry on your Roof Rack:

●    Kayaks, canoes, and gear for water sports

●    Bicycles

●    Mattresses

●    Snowboards and ski

●    Luggage

●    And any large cargo.

Although it is great to know that you can carry almost anything on the roof of your car, there are limits to what you can, or rather, what you should carry. This is because excess loads can either damage the vehicle or cause the roof to cave in.

5. How Many Types of Roof Racks are there?

There are lots of various kinds of roof racks available, and the difference in construction is as a result of the roof’s design. Some common types of roof racks available include:

Bare Roof Rack

For this kind of roof rack to be used for a vehicle, there should be no rain gutter, rail, or attachment points on the roof.

 This system is simply placed on the roof of the vehicle and is connected to the door frame with a hook to secure it. It is quite familiar with newer car models, and it is arranged using a rubberized hook, the rack fit and kit, and a crossbar.

Fixed Point Roof Rack

If a car is designed while considering a customer fitting a roof rack to it, the manufacturer may decide to create threaded holes with which you can attach the roof rack.

This will require a fixed point roof rack to be connected to these holes using the correct size of bolts or screws. Most fixed point roof racks usually come with a rubberized pad which has holes drilled into it, rack feet, and the crossbar for the rack.

Raised Side Rail Roof Rack

 A side rail is a type of roof rail that runs parallel to the length of the car. In a raised side rail, there is space between the bottom of the roof rail and the roof.

What this implies is that you can get a good grip on the rail if you wrap your hands as there is space for the hand to go round the rail. It usually consists of the rack feet and cross bars.

Flush Side Rail Roof Rack

 This is another type of side rail roof, and the flush is used to imply that there is no space between the bottom of the rack and the roof of the car.  The rails are also parallel to the length of the car.

In this roof rack, trying to get a grip on the rail may not be possible as the space between the bottom of the rail and the roof is not wide enough for your hand to fit in. It does not mean there is no space.

 It just means it is not very wide. Unlike the raised side rail, there is an additional component in this type of side rail roof which is the hardware kit. It contains a specialized device which is used to connect the rack feet to the rail.

Rain gutter roof rack 

There are also other types of roof racks which are no longer common. An example of this is the rain gutter which allowed people to fix the roof rack in the gutter. The channel used to come on the roof of the car and is often seen in old models of different vehicles.

There is also the factory pre-installed roof rack. In most cases, these roof racks cannot be removed from the vehicle. It is sometimes known as to as factory bars.

On a truck, an alternative to a roof rack is also installed. This is called the bed rack. This is different when compared to the roof rack, and the height of the frame can be adjusted so space below can be used for other items.

6. What Are the Best Roof Racks for Carrying Particular Item? 

Apart from the roof rack, some items require the attention of a specified carrier to convey it from one place to another. Listed above are some of them.

Carrying Bikes

A bike bar rack is useful if you have a bicycle to mount on the roof of the car and it allows you to arrange up to six bicycles on the rack. It is installed while using the car roof rack as the base. There are lots of different bike racks and different methods of mounting.

bike roof rack


There are other additional products like the fork, frame, and wheel mount which are also used. The fork mount is used to hold the front fork in place when the bicycle is mounted, so it does not move.

The frame mount is used to lock the frames to the bike rack while the wheel mount is used to lock both wheels to prevent them from moving.

Carrying Canoes, Kayaks

kayak roof rack


Kayak and canoes can be installed directly on the roof rack if you wish but if you use a wide mouth J bar, you can easily mount your kayak or canoe in a nearly upright position and strap it in easily.

Carrying Luggage, Cargo or Camping Gear

cargo roof rack


Transporting luggage and other gear or cargo can be done with any roof rack. As long as you secure it from falling off, it will be okay.

 You should also consider buying a carrier basket for this type of items. A carrier basket is simply a basket in which you can arrange the items. This makes it easier to cover and then mount on the roof by attaching to the bar racks.

7. How to Figure Out the Right Roof Rack for Your Car?

Here are a few points you should take note of before choosing a roof rack for your car

    Consider the Maximum Weight the Roof Can Carry?

When you want to buy a roof rack, one of the questions you want to ask yourself is what kind of car roof do you have?  First, make sure your vehicle is rack compatible by checking with the rack manufacturer. After that, you also have to figure out the maximum amount of weight the roof can carry along.

    Consider the Vehicle Overload Limit

If you have a commercial or four wheel-drive, have a think of what you want to carry. Figure out your vehicle payload limit as well as the manufacturer maximum roof load capacity. There is no need for heavy-duty racks if the vehicle and other components like tires, engines, and fuel efficiency can't take the load.

    Determine the Type of Rack that Fits Your Vehicle.

If you have a SUV, we recommended you use a simple rack system like those that come with crossbars and sturdy towers.

However, if you have a vehicle without pre-installed rails like a hatchback or sedan, then you want to go for a specialized roof rack that offers hardware, kit of pad, and bolts.

    Decide what Items You Want to Carry

Before buying a roof rack, it would be an excellent idea if you decide on the types of load you want to carry. If you aim to haul bikes, then go for a rack that is suitable for bikes like the Thule Sidearm. If you want to haul different types of gear, then you may want to go for a customized roof rack.

In a nutshell, you can also check the manufacturer’s website on crossbar links to know which one is the best for your vehicle.

8. How to Install Roof Rack on Your Car? 

Below are various ways to install roof racks of different models and make.

Install Naked Roof Rack

If you have a vehicle that has a naked rooftop, below are easy to follow installation tips you can apply on your vehicle.

Step 1: First figure out your car specific instructions in the q-clip measurement to know the exact for your vehicle.

Step 2: Remove any accessories on the roof and do a thorough cleaning

Step 3:   The next step is to place the pads on the roof of the vehicle. Make sure they are 2 feet apart and at the same time parallel to each other.

Step 4:   You want to open all the doors on your vehicle and wrap the chest around your vehicle.

Step 5:  After that, wrap the chest around the vehicle through the bracket.

Step 6: You will also have to wrap the straps around your car, then thread the straps through the bracket of the other side.

Step 7:  Tighten the straps and ensure that the pegs are firmly in place.

Step 8: At this stage, you can place your item on the roof using the straps to tighten the load. Don't forget to wrap the strap around the bracket.

Step 9: make sure your item is securely placed on the roof

Step 10: Please test-drive after installation.

Install Fixed Point Roof Rack

Step 1: When setting up your fixed point crossbar start by setting up your fit kit to your vehicle by inserting the metal attachments into the rubber base pad.

Step 2: Once you have the metal inserted into the rubber base pad. You’ll need to attach the base pad on the foot. This is easily done by lining up the holes on the foot with the holes on the metal bracket.

Step 3: know that each kit will be slightly different depending on your vehicle and whether or not you have fixed points or flushed rails.

Step 4: You can adjust the feet by loosening the silver Allen bolt which allows the crossbar to slide in and out of the foot housing.

Step 5:  To prevent the crossbar from sliding in the foot, simply tighten the bolt.

Step 6: Remove the fix points cover to the fix point location.

Step 7: You need to screw the bolts that come with the rack into the fix point locations.

Step 8: The next step is to tighten the bolts to prevent any cross threading.

Step 9: Then slide a barrel sleeve over the bolt and finish tightening the bolts with the tools provided.

Step 10: Repeat this procedure in all the four fix point locations

Step 11: After the fixed point bolts are fastened install the bolts through the hole in the middle of the rubber base pad.

Step 12: You want to adjust the pad so it’s properly aligned

Step13: Then place a washer and tighten a barrel nut to secure the foot in place.

Step 14: Next, ensure you have your rubber base pad attachments and the points fully tightened as well.

Step 15: With the foot securely fastened you want to measure your crossbar so you have equal crossbar length in each foot, then tighten a silver bolt to secure the crossbar in place.

Step 16: Insert a rubber strip to help eliminate any wind noise that is created by the open channel. You can do this by simply pressing the strip into place.

Step 17: To complete the installation place the lock cover onto the foot and use a plastic plug to secure the cover in place. So, you have to buy a lock core separately and install the lock and place the plastic plug and lock crossbar to your vehicle.

Install Raised Side Rail Roof Rack

Step 1: Assemble your roof rake components. You’d have to slide the clamp into the cross rail.

Step 2: Then install the end cap into the end of the cross rail.

Step 3:   Insert the rod on the lock assembly into the center hole of the end of the cap and clamp

Step 4:  Rotate the lock counterclockwise to rotate to open the jaws of the clock.

Step 5: Repeat this process on all four ends of the cross rails.

Step 6: Place the roof rack onto the vehicle.

Step 7: Make sure you adjust the position of the roof rack on the rail and make sure the cross rails are centered.

Step 8: Fasten the clamp jaws and rotate the lock clockwise.

Step 9: Lock the end of the ends of the roof rack with the supplied keys

Install Side Rail Roof Rack

Step 1: place the front crossbar to the front of the vehicle's roof. Make sure you measure from a fixed point on your factory side rails.

Step 2: Once you have established this position, use the included Allen key hold down the bolt which will pitch the clamps firmly to the side rails on your vehicle.

Step 3: Repeat this process on the driver and passenger side of the car so that the front crossbar of equal opposite position with the side rails.

Step 4: After this, you can place back all the cover you have removed before installation.

Step 5: Place the rear crossbars to the rear of the vehicle's roof.

Install Rain Gutter Roof Rack

Step 1: Adjust the rubber boat to all four legs.

Step 2: Fit the lakes to the vehicle gutter, adjusting each leg so the foot sits into the groove of the cutter.

Step 3:  Position the legs parallel across the vehicle

Step 4: Slightly tie the clamp screws and measure the distance of the vehicle.

Step 5: Repeat this process on the other side of the car.

Step 6: Place the heavy-duty crossbar onto the legs and push the leg attachments to bolt up and turn so that the channel nut is fully located on the inside of the bar.

Step 7: Make sure you measure for equal crossbar overhang.

Step 8: Hold the leg against the outer edge of the cute and use a spanner to tighten m10 bolt and the channel, but to 15-Newton meter.

Step 9: Do not over tighten. Lower all to secure the roof rack of the gutters

Step 10: Don't also over tighten the m6 screws too. Insert the end caps by using a rubber mallet to knock the end caps into place.

Step 11: After all this, your rack system is now ready for use.

In all, please read the appropriate instruction of your manufacturer’s manual to ensure you get the list to all components.

9. How to Tie Things to Your Roof Rack? 

luggage on roof rack


It’s important to always secure your items on your roof rack before hitting the road as failure to do this may pose serious problems to you and those around you. Here are a few ways you can tighten items on your roof rack.

Step 1: As earlier said, you want to make sure that your roof rack is unique to your vehicle model

Step 2: Make sure the item is not too heavy. The most you want to place on your roof rack is about 80 kilograms.

Step 3:  Ensure the roof bars are set wide apart to evenly support the load and make sure you properly fasten the straps.

Step 4: Don't forget to spread a blanket or any piece of clothing that will protect the vehicle from being scratched up before loading the item.

Step 5: Make sure you arrange all your loads in an orderly manner.

Step 6: Although roof rack that is attached to the side of a rail roof is preferable, make sure you loop the rope through the doors of your vehicle and tie it around the item on the roof if you have a vehicle that is using a naked roof rack.

Step 7: Check for movements and make sure the load is securely fastened.

Step 8: You may need an extra strap when conveying bulky items like canoe, ladder or even a bike. In such case, you’ll have to get another strap and wrap it around the front and back of the vehicle to hold it down with the rack.

Step 9: If you are going to carry an item like a ladder that overhangs to the end of your vehicle, you will need to attach a red flag.

Step 10: Lastly, ensure the load is secured nose-down with no amount of lift.

Step 11: A rule of thumb is to check whether the item has moved on the rack after driving for a short distance.

Step 11: Make sure you tighten and add more straps if required.

10. Safety Rules When Traveling with Roof Rack 

Do you know that each year almost 1000 of poorly secured items fly off car roof on the main roads? And this can cause delay, damages and most times injuries. So, to ensure your loads are properly secured in your roof racks, here are a few safety tips you want to keep in mind.

    Don't Overload the Vehicle

You should always make sure you pay close attention to the manufacturer’s instruction on the amount of load your vehicle can carry. You don't want to overload your vehicle as this may reduce speed and fuel efficiency.

    Choose Roof Racks with Security Locks

To ensure the load is securely held down, you want to choose roof racks that offer security locks to lock up the load and prevent them from moving or falling off the roof.

    Use High-Quality Tie-Down Straps Ropes

We recommended you use quality tie-down straps to fasten all the items nose-down without any sign of movements.

● Don’t Over-Speed

We also recommend you shouldn't be at a high speed or pass the required driving limit when carrying bulky items on your roof rack.

Also, you want to make sure the tires are in good shape. You don't want it to blow up when you are at a very high speed.

    Frequently Check the Ropes

Ensure you do check those straps occasionally, so you don’t have anything falling off your roof rack.

11. Things to keep in mind before purchasing roof rack 

Before you buy a roof rack, there are important questions you need to ask yourself. Below are some useful tips that can help you decide on which is best for your needs.

●    Does your vehicle come with a pre-installed roof rack?

●    What kind of items do you wish to load on the roof rack?

●    What material is the roof rack made of? Is it durable?

●    How are you going to secure the items you want to transport?

●   What’s your plan for getting the loads up to the roof? Most size of the rack should be the same size of the vehicle

●    You need to have an idea of your car roof design.

There are also some other things you can look out for such as if it is a heavy-duty roof rack if you will be using it frequently, and other features like adjustable feet, aerodynamic design, and safety lock.

12. Common Problems and Solutions

1. Most roof racks tend to be noisy when driving on a highway. Most times, it sounds like you are on an airplane while you’re going 60MPH.

Solution: A quick tip to reduce the noise is to bring the crossbars down to a level that is more acceptable. You can also take a cordage cord and wrap it around your crossbar member in a spiral pattern. That will automatically reduce the noise of rushing air as you’re driving on a highway.

2. Another problem is that the load doesn’t often stay in place as it ought to.

Solution: In such case what you want to do is to tie down all the bulky items with an additional tie-down strap securely to your roof racks.

3. May end up leaving multiple scratches on your roof.

Another inevitable problem we often encounter when conveying objects on our roof rack is that they end up scratching our vehicle. Of course, we don't want that on our car. So, what is the solution?

Solution: As earlier said, all you want to do is to spread a towel on the roof to protect it from scratch. You also want to consider buying a roof rack that features a rubberized tower to protect your car from multiple scratches.

4. A roof rack can bring down your car fuel efficiency because of their resistance against noise, and wind.

Solution: Most roof racks reduce your vehicle's fuel efficiency. The best way to counter such problems is to choose an airplane wing roof rack that will increase your car cargo space as well as help you improve your fuel efficiency. You can mount multiple bikes, place canoe and kayak without even causing damage to your vehicle’s roof.

14. What Are the Best Roof Racks On The Market?

CargoLoc Roof Top 2 PC. 46" Aluminum Cross Bars
CargoLoc Roof Top 2 PC. 46" Aluminum Cross Bars

CargoLoc Roof Top Rack is a high-quality, lightweight rooftop rack that’s specially designed for vehicles with sturdy and raised 52” cross bars.

This roof rack is estimated to offer 150 lbs. of load capacity and is ideal for a car that features SmartFoot fitting kits.

The looks and feel of this roof rack are simply amazing, and it perfectly fits my Toyota Siena. And can effectively help you to convey your kayak, bicycle as well as other larger object with ease.

The installation is simple and straightforward, and it holds down your items very firmly without the steel getting rust.

The racks are lockable, making it convenient when carrying kayaks and bags. It is durable and can resist unfavorable weather elements.

Pros

●    Lockable for added security

●    Easy enough to put together

●    Cheap and affordable compared to other brands

●    Well-made aluminum crossbars

●    No sign of movements while driving

Cons

●    It makes a whistling noise when driving at a relatively high speed.

Apex Rlb-2301 Universal Roof Crossbar
Apex Rlb-2301 Universal Roof Crossbar

The Apex RLB2301 is a sleek multi-purpose rack system that is designed for vehicles with raised factory side rails. The quality is pretty good, excellent and reliable.

It is made of some dark epoxy powder covered steel, and features rubberized grips on the portion where you lock down.

This item fits a vehicle roof of complete 49.75" roof rack cross bar system. It fits perfectly well for SUVs, Vans, Trucks or Cars.

The Apex RLB-2301’s weight capacity is 130-Ib, and it has a dimension of 1.75"W x 1.75"H. The size and thickness of the crossbar allow it carry heavy loads such as haul luggage, sports equipment, gear and more without being disturbed by the wind or torrential downpour.

Pros

●    It is made of solid steel materials

●    It is easy to install without any problem and tightens up very well

●    It gives you more space for storage.

●    It’s not all that expensive, and it’s of good quality

Cons

● Not close to description since it may not fit some car model

Jeep Grand Cherokee Crossbars Roof Luggage Racks
Jeep Grand Cherokee Crossbars Roof Luggage Racks

According to the name of this product, it’s majorly designed for jeeps. It’s a great addition to your vehicle and is perfect for carrying loads such as bike rack, ski rack, snowboard rack, roof bags, and box.

The JEEP GRAND is also great for hauling luggage just as the apex roof cross bars. This lightweight and durable product carries a load capacity of 150Ibs, and it is made of an aluminum crossbar.

 With a dimension of 50.5 x 5.8 x 5.8 inches, this brand offers rails that have two screws. One for tightening the rail mounts to the rail and the other screw which allows the rails to be adjustable.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is very easy to install and stays tightened. It doesn't make any noise or shake around while on speed or disturbed by the wind.

Pros

●    It is straightforward to install

●    It feels very sturdy and mounts solidly

●    No wind or noise problem at speed

Cons

●    It wears out after some time.

●    Only fits chrome side rails models and not altitude or SRT models.

Sportrack Sr1002 Complete Roof Rack System
Sportrack Sr1002 Complete Roof Rack System

The SportRack SR1002 Square Crossbar Roof Rack System gives you a chance to transport your items. The sport rack crossbars can be installed on most recent vehicles. And its weight capacity is 130Ibs, with a product dimension of 50.5X5.8X3.8 inches.

With a square bar design and a steel construction, this roof rack can accommodate a variety of accessories like skis carriers, bike, kayak, racks or different items easily and safely on your auto's exposed rooftop.

It delivers steel development and dark plastic covering that resist rust and brutal UV rays. This economically priced removable roof racks system is going to clamp to your vehicle roof.

Just like every other crossbars, the sports racks comes with two crossbars with four towers and four clamping feet, two for each crossbar.

The feet have nice coded clamp, so it doesn't damage your vehicle. Each foot has a lockable cover, so if you remove the covers, it exposes the amble that secures the foot path of the vehicle. So, once you have the crossbar installed on your roof, you place the lockable cover so that nobody can gain access to it.

Pros

●    It has a very sturdy steel

●    It resists rust and brutal UV rays

Cons

●    Makes some whistling noise while at a considerable speed

Rage Powersports Universal Aluminum Locking Roof Cargo Bars
Universal Aluminum Locking Roof Cargo Bars

The Universal Aluminum roof load bars are made of quality aluminum that allows you transport large cargo without difficulty. The lined ribbed rubber on the top of the bar gives an extra grip for your cargo. These bars come in a sleek design that helps to condition the breeze clamor down.

The dimension of this rails measure 53.4 x 1 x 1.5 inches, and it is ideal for vehicles such as cars, trucks, SUV, and minivans. It is lightweight aluminum construction with a 150 lbs. weight capacity.

The Installation for this product is a piece of cake. You don’t need any tool to do so, and you can easily install the two bars within fifteen minutes. Simply screw the long handles by hand to fix the bars over the roof rails. You would then be able to bolt the handles to secure the bars from any form of theft.

Regarding fitment, you can fit rails up to 50 inches separated from one side and the other. Each bar has a 5/8″ wide ribbed rubber attachment which gives extra grip

 One good thing about purchasing this product is that you don’t need to get separate mounting bars that need you to invest hours checking if they will fit together.

Pros

●    It is made of an excellent aluminum material

●    It is very sturdy, and Installation for this product is a breeze

●    It fits perfectly when installed on cars

●    Less expensive

●    Looks great

Cons

●    They make loud whistling noises

●    The Locking mechanism is very cheap, which makes the item less secure from theft

54" Universal Locking Roof Rack Crossbars by Vault
54” Universal Locking Roof Rack Crossbars by Vault

Universal Locking Roof Racks are designed directly to fit your vehicle or SUV’s raised side rail roof. If your vehicle has cross rails that are installed on the roof of your car, then this brand is for you.

It supports any accessories such as kayak carriers, keyboard carriers, or cargo baskets. It offers three different sizes of the basket, providing a universal fit for your vehicle.

The Locking Roof comes with crossbars that measure 53 inches on both ends and features a 1-inch height by 2-inch wide. The low-profile Aerodynamic design of this roof rack is impeccable and skillfully engineered to give your load the maximum security.

You can attach the crossbars to any side rail rubber pads. The rubber pads placed at the feet of the roof will protect the roof from scratches or chip the paint.

It comes with crossbars that offer you 2 sets of keys that allow them to lock and secure your items without falling off easily.

Another interesting feature is that it comes with a rubber paint strip that protects it from dust. You will also get integrated lock and units that secure the rack to your vehicle.

Pros

●    Once installed, it doesn't slide around. It stays firm without any movements

●    The bars are well-built

●    Pretty affordable compared to other products

Cons

●    Fairly easy to install but not too easy. The instruction manual didn't do a great job

●    It produces a bit of whistling sound when driving at 50MPH

Thule Complete Cross Road System
Thule Complete Cross Road System

This kit comes with everything you need to mount your favorite Thule Complete cross road accessories to the roof of your vehicle. Such as your luggage, bike racks, kayak carriers or cargo boxes.

The whole roof rack system has a 165-pound weight capacity, and the dimension of this rails measure 60 x 6 x 5 inches. It works with any vehicle that has raised side rails and the accessories directly mount to the load bars.

The crossbars themselves are 58 inches long. They are constructed of durable steel with a plastic coating to enable them to resist rust and corrosion. The cross-rod foot packs use a rubber coated steel strap to secure them in place and ensure the side rails don’t get harmed.

Pros

●    Made of robust and durable steel

●    It is super easy to install 

●    Stays tightened,

Cons

●    It's a bit noisy

 
Spec-D Tuning RRB-PLT09BK Honda Pilot Black Aluminum Roof Top Rack
Spec-D Tuning RRB-PLT09BK Honda Pilot Black Aluminum Roof Top Rack

The Spec-D Turning is a high-quality black aluminum roof rack that is specifically designed for vehicles with side rails to help you hold your items securely to the roof.

The Spec-D Roof Rack offers both rear and front cross bars that house a black powder coated finish. The best part is that the roof rack produces no noise even at high speed.

The crossbar comes with 46 inches in length and 2.5 inches in width and also has a maximum weight capacity of 110lbs/50kg 110lbs/50kg to help you carry your entire load without falling off. You don’t have to pass through a lot of stress installing it as the installation process is pretty easy and instructional manual is easy to understand.

We do recommend you have someone to assist you when installing the racks to make the work a lot easier for you.

Pros

●    Ease of installation

●    Lightweight and durable aluminum

●    Waterproofed and well-coated finish

●    Easy to follow instruction manual

●    Well- built crossbars

Cons

●    In most cases, the cross bars may not fit correctly

●    The attachment points are plastic instead of metal.

Highland 2006200 Black Heavy Duty Bar Carrier
Highland 2006200 Black Heavy Duty Bar Carrier

The Highland 2006200 Heavy Duty Roof Rack is ideal for vehicles with naked roof and Vans with rain gutters. It is carefully designed for high-quality commercial heavy duty steel for carrying objects like ladders, kayaks and large equipment.

 With a well-built stainless steel and an aerodynamic cargo basket coupled with a sleek design, this roof rack can be customized to carry heavy items weighing up to 125 lbs.

The cross bars feature 37-inch to 62-inch for a vehicle with rain gutters, and it’s sturdily built to securely carry a heavy load and also features heavy-duty gauge steel that is perfect for commercial use. With silver/black splotchy finish, this roof rack did an excellent job in prolonging the life of the crossbars to last longer.

Pros

●    Easy to assemble

●    Well-made gauge steel

●    Perfect for vans with gutters

●    Affordable compared to other products

 Cons

●    You may have to drill 2 holes in each bar to get the exact fit.

●    The clamps aren't fully coated to prevent scratching up the van.

Whispbar Rail Bar Roof-Rack System
Whispbar Rail Bar Roof-Rack System

The Whispbar Rail Bar roof-rack model is perfect for vehicles that offer smart foot fitting kits. The sleek design is perfectly engineered to resist wind and improve fuel efficiency. Thanks to its airplane wing design that does a superb job in reducing wind noise and securely holding down your items.

 Even though your car is equipped with sidebars, this product gives your open roof usability. Unlike other brands, you don't have to drill the cross bars and permanently attach your automobile. Thanks to the fact that the Whispers rail will fit any car with factory side rails.

Rest assured that without much assistance from someone, you can easily install the device without much hassle on your part.

Pros

●    Lifetime warranty

●    Easy to install

●    Well-made crossbars that can hold a lot of items

Cons

●    The locking covers are made from plastic materials.

●    A bit difficult to get the covers to lock in place after installation

15. Conclusion

As a motorist, you are legally responsible for any damage or injury caused if an item falls off your roof racks. That is why it is essential to getting the best roof racks as well as always properly secures your load before hitting the road. What you need are roof racks specific to that particular model.

That is why we have done the whole hard work for you by outlining a detailed guide of what you need to know about roof racks and best products that will give you the best results. Take a closer look at each brand and see which one fits your vehicle and also your budget.

Extensive buying guide and review to choose the best winches!

In simple terms, a winch is a powerful machine with drums on which cables are rolled to pull heavy objects. These magnificent tools have been fabricated for both water and snow sports, pulling riders swiftly across snow and water. And if you are an off-road enthusiast and your vehicle are stuck in mud or other rough terrains, winch maybe the first thing strikes your mind in such case.

1. What is a winch?

Before you buy a winch, it is imperative for you to know all about its components and functionality. A winch consist of several differ elements and each of these elements have a different purpose. Manufacturers combine these elements together in the most appealing way for a bigger goal.

Car Winch with a steel cable and a hook



Let’s take a glimpse of the components used in constructing a winch:

A cable wire

There are two types cable employed in winches, steel cable or synthetic cable. Steel cables are more reliable when it comes to heavy duty job and they are even durable. On the other hand, the synthetic cable is easy to handle, but get damaged soon. A standard winch includes 40 to 100 feet of wires and the measurement varies depending on the requirement.

Winch Drum

To wrap the wires around, there needs to a solid gear, and winch drum serves the purpose. The wires are cleanly wrapped around the winch drum, which rotates in a circular motion winding the cable in as well as out.

Motor 

The motor used in the winch is used to turn on the functioning of the drum so that it can pull and push the wire. You must know that not all winches come with motors as some are handled manually. Still, the popularity for motored winches is more in comparison to manual winches.

Gear train

The gear train used in the winch converts the power of motor into pulling power, making it possible for the winch to pull the heavy materials.

2. Pros and Cons of having a winch

When it comes to owning a winch, there is a whole lot reason to have them in your possession. No, wonders winches have more pros than cons. Let’s see what the pros are:

If you are an off-road enthusiast or someone who want to travel alone, winches are a must for you. There are times when your vehicle gets stuck in the mud, and you don’t find any help around. In such case nothing works better than the winch. All you have to do is fix it with the car and winch's motor will automatically pull the car out of mud. For many, winches have proved to be a savior when they were stuck amidst muddy areas.  

Off-road car winch


Some of the winches are also proven to be beneficial in waters. Boat owners use winches for pulling the skiers and for other recreational activities.

The only downside of the winches is they are heavy and will add weight to your vehicles, which will eventually reduce the acceleration and cornering speed. Even the chances of wear and tear increase with this extra weight. If you are ready to accept the downside, then these machines are an excellent possession.

Pros 

  • Highly efficient
  • Can pull the heaviest objects
  • Good for water skiing and vehicle towing
  • Great investments

Cons

  • Heavy to be carried on a vehicle
  • Need powerful powering source

3. How many types of winch are there? How does it work?

Operating sports utility vehicles and trucks may require winches, but winches come in different shapes and types and before you buy one, you need to understand your requirements. Basically, there are two types of winches: Power winches and Manual winch.

Power Winches

The power winches are rather a good choice as you will just have to hook the rope end to the object and the rest will be done by power winches. These winches are further classified into several parts depending on the source of its energy. Have a look at their further division!


Electric Winch

Electrical winches are powered by batteries, which can be either the car’s battery or an extra one working independently. Select the batteries depending on the type of operation you want to get accomplished. Suppose you are buying winches for emergency usage, then just the car battery will work. However, if you have bought it for occupational need, then you must get an auxiliary battery. Winches generate a significant amount of heat, hence limiting the energy supply and other capabilities, so an extra battery will be worth.

Hydraulic Winch

A hydraulic winch is connected to a hydraulic pump, and making these winches the most powerful option you can have. These winches are most popularly used by boatmen to pull skiers. We would say the hydraulic winches are best suited for industrial purposes. The only downfall about these winches is the installation, which is pretty involved as the winch is fitted inside the engine of the vehicle and the vehicle needs to be running for the winch to work.

Pneumatic Winch or Air Winch

 Air winches are also known by the name "Air tugger" and "Air hoist”. As per the name suggests these winches are powered by air, making it a more versatile and safer option. They are more efficient and safer than any of electric and diesel winches. When compared to electric and hydraulic winches, the air winches make a better option for industrial workload.

Manual Winches

Some of the winches are made for lightweight functioning and are handled manually. If you are looking to pull objects of 1000 lbs, manual winches are a good choice, plus, they are light weighted and portable too. If compared to the power winches, these winches have been ahead in portability but lacks a bit in efficiency.

4. What is the right winch for you?

The most important thing to take in consideration while buying a winch is how you will be using it. To utilize the power of a heavy duty winch, you require a heavy duty vehicle too. In case your vehicles capacity doesn’t match that of the winch, then the outcome couldn’t be so good. So, you must determine the frame and weight strength of the vehicle on which you want to mount the winch.  Last but not the least make sure you are particular about the type of winch and cables:

Basically, there will be two purposes of buying the winch, one for industrial use like towing and other for the off-roading journey.

For off-roading, you will need a winch that exerts high power on the rope. If the winch weighs too less or can't offer much power to the cord, it is going to be difficult to pull the vehicle out. Also, make sure that that the winch is not too heavy for the front of the car as it might cause off balance.

For towing job, you will need winches that are medium weighted and have a high durability. As you are buying it for regular job purpose, it would be better to buy a durable one, even if it costs a bit more.

Next, comes choosing between electric and hydraulic winches and here is how you need to go:

Electric winches

The choice is obvious when it comes to electric winches, if you are using it for off-roading, then go for nothing else than electric winches. It runs on vehicle’s battery as well as a spare battery. If you have space for an extra battery on your car, we will certainly recommend you to go for auxiliary battery as it won't affect the car’s performance.

Hydraulic winch

The hydraulic winch is powered by the hydraulic system of a vehicle. In most of the cases, it will be the power steering pump which will be used by the hydraulic winch. Along with being a good industrial option, this type of winch is even perfect for water sports like skiing. Boat owners get the hydraulic winch fixed to their boat’s engine and offers balance to the skiers.

Air winch

When it comes to picking heavy load, nothing works better than the air winch, but believes us it has the most complex components you can think of. If you are okay with understanding the functionality and can assemble and disassemble the components, there won't be a better option than this. All over it is a good choice for regular heavy duty tasks.

Warning! For anyone trying to put their hands on hand winch just because of the cheap prices, beware of a headache it is going to give. We only recommend it for light duty tasks and portability. If you want it for landscaping, then it will definitely work.

5. Things to keep in mind before purchasing a winch

We hope you are ready with quite a few information about winches. Let’s put these information together to buy the best winches available in the market:

Know your vehicle

Before you go for one of the winches, first know the capabilities of your vehicle. Learn about its weight and strength as it will be the deciding factor for selecting a winch.  Go by the simple formula: for pulling a 1000 pound object, the winch needs to offer 1,500 pounds line pull.

Winch motors for your vehicle

Winches are primarily defined by the motor they use like – permanent magnet, hydraulic, and series wound.

If you have a smaller vehicle and you need winches for small recreational activities, then permanent magnet motor will work. These motors can work even on the 12-volt car battery, which is good enough for basic home usage.

For vehicles like SUVs and ATVs, you can run for a solid option like the series wound motors. Whether its rock climbing or pulling the vehicle out of mud, these winches prove to be the best. No to forget, even commercial users rely on these winches.

Here comes the master of all, the hydraulic winches. If you are engaged in an occupation where you require winches for the entire day, look no further than hydraulic winches. They have been successfully used for towing and other daily application for a long time now.

Type of cable

Synthetic and steel are two types of cable found in the winches with both having their ups and down. While steel cable is a solid choice, some people find it a bit heavy to handle and it is even open to corrosion. On the other hand, the synthetic cable is easy to use, but has a very less life. You can’t rely on them for heavy duty tasks, plus they add a lot weight to the winches.

Steel cable

Steel cable


Pros

  • Durable
  • Less expensive
  • Won't add more than 10-15 kg of weight, which is a lot lighter than synthetic cable
  • Dissipates heat from internal brake drum

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Can rust
  • Hard to handle, you will need hand gloves to operate

Synthetic cable

Synthetic cable


Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to handle
  • Won't rust

Cons

  • Synthetic cables are susceptible to UV exposure, heat, chemicals, and abrasion
  • Exhibits substantial elongation when under a load

Last but not least, you should see for the ease of installation these winches offers. What we want to say is, you won't like to indulge in a heavy installation process for small uses. For ease of installation opt for electric winches and expect a little complexity out of the hydraulic and air winches.

6. Accessories you need to buy with a winch

It is equally important to focus on the accessories that come with the winches. The absence of even one of these accessories might create a ruckus while installing the winches. Here is what you need to look for:

A mounting kit: This is one accessory that comes directly with the winches. Also, it will be the gateway to mounting the winches. When you research for your purchase, focus on winches that come with a mounting kit.

Tree saver strap: Although most of the people ignore this one product, it’s worth all the investment. When you wrap the hook around the tree, it usually damages that particular spot and even harms the hook. To avoid this, a tree saver strap is wrapped around the branch, and then the hook is attached to it. 

Some clevis pins: Clevis pins will be needed when you are attaching the tow and snatch straps together. There will be many other requirements too, so, better have a few extra ones in access.

Snatch blocks: You might not need it always, still it’s a necessary element when you want to double or redirect the pull.

Thick leather gloves: Save your hands from any damage by wearing thick leather gloves. It’s a must have accessory from the aspect of personal safety.

7. Safety rules when using winch

One final piece of information before you set towards the list of best winches and of course, it’s an important one. We are talking about the security aspects while buying the winches.

When you buy the winches, the company provides a list of safety measures. Be sure to read it carefully, before you start using the machine. However, if you are too bored to read those technical sentences, here is our simplified version of safety measures that you should follow:

Wear all the important gears before jumping in the field. If the task is heavy duty, go for a safety jacket, a helmet, and gloves. But, if it’s a standard recreational activity back at home, just the gloves will work fine.

Be aware of the load you are about to tow as you have to deliver the power according to the weight of the object. While taking the load on, never exceed the capacity of wire rope, it might cause breakage and falling of the load.

If the winch has grown too hot, take a brake and start loading once it cools down. Last, but not the least, make a better use of the accessories that come with the winch, for, e.g., use the choker chain and sling for hooking the rope.

8. How to use hand winch

Hand winches are portable and convenient when lifting standard size objects back at home.

Step 1:  Wrap the anchor strap chain around the immobile object and tie it to a tree or any strong object around. Once done, hook the winch to the strap and pull the winch cable to take it to the object you want to move.

Step 2: Inspect the attachments from both the ends, making sure it’s sound and secure.

Step 3: Push and pull the winch lever to tighten it for a better pull.

Step 4: Continue turning the crank and release the tension till the object has moved completely.

The process is as simple as this. The best thing about these winches is – they are light weight, cheap, and can be carried very easily. Even the load capacity is quite decent for such a price and low complexity thing.

9. How to wire electrical winch?

There are two ways to power a winch. You are either going to chose the vehicle battery or the auxiliary batteries. Vehicle batteries are recommended for light-to-medium duty winching jobs, but for the heavy-duty winching job, you will require an auxiliary battery.

Wiring process with car battery

On the winch

  • Attach the negative wire to the negative ground post and power wire to the positive post.
  • Take both the wire from the winch all the way to the engine compartment, making sure it doesn’t touch any hot areas.

Under the hood

  • Attach the positive lead to the positive post of the vehicle’s battery and negative lead to the negative ground post.

Wiring with auxiliary battery

Wire the auxiliary battery parallel with vehicle’s battery, making sure the combined battery is at 12 V. Also, don’t forget to install a battery insulator in between.

On the winch

  • Just like above, attach the power wire to positive post and negative wire to the negative ground post.
  • Run the wire into the battery compartment, without bringing it in touch with any hot thing.

Under the hood

  • Attach the positive lead to a positive post on the auxiliary battery and negative lead to the negative ground post.

You can also add quick disconnects to make the wiring easier. Once done, power it up and there you go with a ready to pull device.

10. How to attach winch cables to drum?

Whether you are installing a cable on a new winch or replacing the older one, the process is very easy. Here we are going to show you how to install winch cables to drum:

  • Put the clutch in the freewheel setting. Remove the bolts using a socket and pull the old wire from around the drum.
  • Start inserting the new cables in a way that it feeds of the bottom portion of the drum.
  • Insert the screws through the loop and fit it in the end of the wire. Some cables might not have the loops so get one that matches the specifications of your winch.
  • Apply a little of the thread locking compound on the bolts and tighten the socket with ratchet. Make sure it is secure.
  • String the cable out and attach it to a solid object like a tree. Winch it in line with the vehicle on neutral and do maintain the weight as you spool in.
  • Keep winding the cable on the drum in close loops, making layers one above another. In the end, just unhook the cable from the tree and wrap the rest of it securely.

11. How to install winch on your vehicle?

The process of installing winches will vary from vehicle to vehicle, but the basics will remain quite similar.

  • Install the mounting plate for your particular vehicle. Use Loctite to secure the winch to the mounting plate and then connect it to the ATV.
  • Connect the six-gauge winch wire with the ATV, and then you can connect it from the winch to the relay. Doing this, you are going to connect the switch to the winch and run electricity from the ATV to winch motor. In certain cases, you may also need the contractor box, which is located under the seat.
  • Connect the red and black wire from your ATV to contractor box and follow the instructions given on a particular ATV.
  • Set up the power switch at a convenient location, we would recommend it to be on the handle bars.

And now all you have to do is to connect the final black cables to the battery to power your winches. Now test the setting and you are done with the process.

12. Common problems when using winch and solutions

Winches are a great option for handling heavy loads in the day to day life, but when it comes to troubleshooting them, they might seem a little tricky. Here we have mentioned some of the problems that you might face and their possible solutions:

Motor running in one particular direction

The reason behind this issue could be a defective solenoid or a faulty remote. If the defect is in the solenoid, jar the solenoid to free contacts and apply 12 volts to coil terminal to fix it.

For the faulty remote control switch, disengage the winch clutch; remove the remote control plug from socket, and try running it at 8 and 4 o’clock.

Motor gets too hot

This is a normal happening, and there is nothing wrong with your winch. Just set up a cooling period for the winches to prevent overheating.

Motor runs, but the drum cannot be engaged

If a clutch doesn’t engage, you might have to disassemble the winch to find the cause and repair it.

Motor damaged by water

A high-pressure car wash might cause harm to the winch, and the only way to recover the loss is by letting it drain thoroughly.

Motor is running below recommended speed

Several reasons can be there behind a low-speed motor. Either the cause is insufficient battery, bad connection or insufficient charging system. Start by checking the battery, if its 10 volts or less, you might need to replace it.

While checking the batteries, if you come across corrosion wires, clean it and apply grease. In case, the trick mentioned above doesn't work; you will have to replace the existing system with larger capacity charger.

13. What are the best winches on the market?

Power winches

Superwinch 1145220 Terra 45 ATV & Utility Winch

Superwinch 1145220

If you want to stick to a highly efficient magnet motor while choosing your winch, then Superwinch 1145220 Terra is one awesome choice. The product arrives with 55’ of ¼” steel wire rope, and 1.6hp weather sealed motor.

No matter what the weather condition is this steel gears and oil pocket bronze bearing machine will always function smoothly. As far the compatibility is concerned, this one is especially recommended for ATVs.

Some other noticeable features are the ergonomic cam action free spooling clutch and handlebar mounted the switch. You can quickly disengage the motor and manually draw out as much rope as you need.  All over, the products boast, high-end power, combined with versatility and durability.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Circuit breaker protected
  • Weather sealed
  •  Heavy duty latch

Cons

  • A little pricey

Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch

Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch

Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch has been thoroughly updated for heavy duty tasks, and you are going to witness enhanced performance with excellent durability.

The winch comes with 6.6 hp Amphibious motor and 3 Stage Planetary gear System. The waterproof rating is IP67, and there is 500AMP Solenoid too. Smittybilt has maintained its quality standards by making this product completely waterproof, so even if it gets wet, there is nothing to worry.

You will receive the kit with all the wiring essentials.  93.5 feet 5/16 inch cables are wired around the winch drum, giving it the capacity of 9,5000 pounds single-line control. The product carries a five year or 100,000-mile warranty, which will depend on the usage which one will come first. In clear words, you will have lifetime mechanical warranty and three years of electrical warranty, which is quite an offer for this price.

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Automatic in-drum brake

Cons

  • Handle to switch from free spooling may seem hard to move

WARN 885000 Corded PullzAll 120V AC

WARN 885000 Corded PullzAll 120V AC

For those who are looking forward to lifting the weight up to 1,000 lbs WARN 885000 Corded PullzAll 120V AC is a savior.  The winch is considered ideal for the job of pipe fitting, construction, iron work, garages, auto shops and machine shops. You can also use it for farm and ranch use, hunting, and home improvement.

The variable speed trigger has both forward and reverses control button that allows you to be precise about the movements. As far the ropes are concerned, you will get 15’ of 7/32” cable cord, which users often complain about. But, for the low price it is available on, the cable length justifies.  With just 15 lbs weight, we consider PullzAll is one of the lightest options available in the market.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Sturdy

Cons

  • Cable length might need to be extended

Master Lock 2953AT 12-Volt DC Portable Winch

Master Lock 2953AT 12-Volt DC Portable Winch

For a winch with high-level compatibility with most types of vehicles, the Master lock 2953 AT winch makes a great option. You can mount it to any flat surface and use it in any vehicle be it a boat, trailer or car.

 It can roll approximately 6,000 pounds of objects on land, but in the water, the capacity gets reduced by 1000 pounds, leaving the marine capacity to 5000 pounds. And, when it comes to pulling the objects, expect no more than 2000 pounds.

The best thing about this winch is, it shuts itself down if overloaded, so, there is no worry of wear and tear. However, you will get a one-year warranty on this product.

You can carry this winch conveniently on one of your vehicles as it doesn’t occupy much space. For us it is one of the most versatile options available in the market.

Pros

  • Convenient to carry
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Free spool problem

Warn 89030 Vantage 3000 Winch

Warn 89030 Vantage 3000 Winch

When you need a powerful option of winch at a cool price, the Vintage 3000 winch is our choice. Whether you are moving heavy loads or towing vehicles, a powerful motor with 3000-pound of pulling capacity sounds enough.

Vintage with this release revealed an entirely new design, which is reliable and fast. All the components of the winch are packed in a compact form offering enough of portability.  You will find the winch to be corrosion resistant, which means the weather won't affect the mechanical build.

50 feet of 3/16 inch wire rope is rolled around the winch drum, making it reliable when you have to pull objects from far. So, whether it’s the coil length or the pulling capacity, this Vantage winch has maintained its position nicely.

Pros

  • Dash-mounted control switch
  • Corded remote

Cons

  • It will not fit on the mounting brackets of UTVs

Rugged Ridge 15100.01 8,500Lb Winch with Steel Cable

Rugged Ridge 15100.01 8,500Lb Winch with Steel Cable

Lightweight, durable, and affordable will be the three attributes to best define the Champion Power Equipment Wireless Power Winch Kit. Constructed with durable HP series wound motor, this winch makes a good option for off-roading. Whether you are planning any recreational activity of mud blogging, this winch will serve the purpose without messing.

The packet arrives with 94’ of 5/16” diameter wire rope, which is enough for most heavy duty industrial jobs. The entire exterior body is corrosion resistant, so, you don’t even have to worry about the mechanical health of your precious investment.

 There is a 12-foot remote switch which will swiftly control the winching actions. Buyers receive five years of limited warranty with this product, which is quite cool.

Pros

  • Good length of wire
  • Durable build
  • Five years warranty

Cons

  • You will have to grease it from time to time for long life

Champion Power Equipment Wireless Power Winch Kit

Champion Power Equipment Wireless Power Winch Kit

Champion power equipment winch kit is a great option for you if you are looking for powerful and reliable winch kit. ATV or UTV, it goes well with both of them with its 1.6hP permanent magnet motor. The ergonomic handle bar mounted remote control ensures a complete control on the winching action whether you are moving it in or out.

However, there will be just 38 ft of aircraft cable attached to it. We won't blame the manufacturers for the less wire as the product is available at a cheap rate. The winch comes with 2-year limited warranty and lifetime technical support. Not a bad deal at such an affordable price.

Pros

  • Permanent magnet motor
  • Durable build
  • Goes with both ATV and UTV

Cons

  • The winch is designed to be run for 1 MIN on and 5 MIN off.

Manual winches

Reese Towpower 74329 Winch

Reese Towpower 74329 Winch

Resse Towpower has been designed by keeping in mind the daily lifting jobs that we across at our home and outdoor. The product unreels easily facilitating swift pull of the object to be lifted. Even the installation process is straightforward, so you won’t have to worry about complex installations.

The winch will support almost 1500 LB of weight, which is a good choice for lightweight indoor and outdoor jobs.

Pros

  • Heavy Duty
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Spin it fast, and you will notice balancing issues

TEKTON 5547 4-Ton Dual Gear Power Puller

TEKTON 5547 4-Ton Dual Gear Power Puller

The TEKTON 5547 4-Ton Dual Gear Power Puller claims the capacity of 4,000 pounds on a single line and a safe working load of 2000 pounds. As it uses a simple ratcheting gear pulley system, there is nothing mechanical to learn about this product, except that it does its tasks very well.

Considered ideal of landscaping, construction, and other one handed operation; this manual puller is affordable also. The steel cable combined with this puller is 12 feet and 7 inches, which makes it 7 feet and 3 inches on the double line.

As far the build is concerned, it has an all steel construction, suiting well to the hands. Even the grip is firm with the cushioned coverage on the handles. For little everyday jobs, a recommended choice we would say.

Pros

  • Decent quality
  • Aircraft grade steel cable

Cons

  • Not for industrial jobs

Reese Towpower 74337 600 Pound Capacity Winch

Resse Towpower wins zinc plated to give the outer body and excellent corrosion resistance. The comfortable handles fitted to the winch make it easy for you to process the winching.

 You will get it with 36’x1/4” rope, which might seem less, but serves the lightweight indoor and outdoor jobs. Buyers even claim the build to be smooth enough to not require any hard and fast maintenance.

Pros

  • Enough rope
  • Zinc plated
  • Corrosion resistant

Cons

  • Not for heavy duty task

14. How to maintain winch?

No doubt, these machines are going to be one of your precious possessions, and it seems okay to spend a few minutes to preserve its long life.

Follow a lubricating schedule every month by applying grease to all the joints. This makes sure the movement is swift, and the joints don’t corrode. After a period, the bolts might get loose; it would be better to check the fitting from time to time.

For electrical winches, it is necessary for you to maintain the wiring. Keep checking all the possible connection for breakage and replace if any of the wire or switch is damaged.

Last but not the least; wires are the components of utter concern. Technically you should emphasize on finding any cuts and corroded wire.

15. Conclusion

We hope you now have all the details that you have been seeking for a long time. However, even if you know the facts, pros, and cons, make sure to check your personal requirements and work areas and then only proceed with buying a winch. If bought with above consideration in mind, these winches are going to deliver a great value for your investment.

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Top 10 Best Tonneau Cover Reviews for Your Pickup Trucks

Choosing your best tonneau cover for your pickup bed

The best Tonneau cover protects your truck bed from the elements. It also protects your cargo from potential theft. With so many options available, choosing the right Tonneau cover can be difficult. Read the guide so that you are aware of the many aspects, features and aesthetics that you need to consider when making the choice.

What is a tonneau cover?

A tonneau cover is a bed cover that helps shield your truck bed from sun, rain, hail, wind and other elements. It protects the cargo from debris and prevents theft.  It is one of the most essential accessories that you can have on your pickup truck. It helps secure the cargo and ensures that it remains intact at all times.

There are two types of tonneau covers – hard and soft. The hard cover is made of durable plastic or fiberglass. It is used to firmly enclose the cargo. The soft cover is made from sturdy materials and can be easily opened and closed. The soft tonneau cover is more affordable whereas the hard cover is more durable.

Benefits of Tonneau Cover

The benefits of having your truck bed covered are numerous. The benefits of tonneau cover go way deeper than just its aesthetic appeal.

  • Weather Protection: This is the most obvious benefit. Whether it is rain, snow, hail, wind or whatever element that crosses your path, the tonneau cover can help protect and keep the cargo dry and safe.
  • Keep Cargo Safe: If you are transporting delicate cargo then the cover can offer the much-needed protection to keep it intact.
  • Improve Gas Mileage: The aerodynamic design of the tonneau cover helps reduce air drag. This increases the gas mileage by 5% – 10% when compared to an open bed.
  • Keep the Pickup Cool: The truck bed cover can help keep the harmful UV rays of the sun away and this keeps the pickup cool.
Tonneau cover keeps the pickup cool

What factors to consider?

Tonneau cover is an accessory that every pickup truck owner needs to consider buying. Before you make the choice, there are several factors that you need to consider.

Types of Tonneau Covers

The truck bed covers come in several types, styles and fit for all brands of trucks. You can choose the type you want depending on your specific needs and requirements.

  • Roll-Up Tonneau Covers: The roll up truck bed covers roll up from the tailgate to the truck cab. They are usually made using aluminium support frames and heavy-duty vinyl. No drilling is necessary and they can be installed easily. They are available in several types including Velcro, snap less and snap and are reasonably priced. They are an ideal choice for keeping the elements out and the cargo dry at all times. They are available in a wide variety of colors with black being the most preferred.
  • Retractable Tonneau Covers: The retractable cover has a series of planks that slide open and close. They act like a garage door for the truck bed. They are made from heavy duty and heavy gauged aluminium panels. Most of them are available with intermediate locking positions. This can enable you to open the bed cover partially or all the way. The retractable covers are available in both manual and electronic designs. The manual model features auto latching positions on the rails and this lets you lock the cover partially open. The electronic covers use a motorised feature that enables you to roll the cover automatically. They can be stopped anywhere along the rails. A remote control is available for some electronic covers and this can give you total freedom to open and close it from a distance.
  • Folding Tonneau Covers: The folding covers feature 3 – 5 panels that tend to hold together. This makes it easier to open and close the cover. Most of the models available open up enough to allows space to place any kind of cargo you want. There are some models that can be folded all the way against the cab and this can give you complete access to the truck bed. Even though the folding covers usually come in the standard black color, you can choose to customize them to match the truck color for an added cost. It is an affordable design and is perfect for pickup owners on a tight budget.
  • Hinged Tonneau Covers: The hinged tonneau covers are made of hard cover and they are easier to open and close. You will be able to customize the hinged covers as per the specific requirements of your truck. The hinged covers are convenient and this can help accommodate larger cargo loads. Most of these covers have a load capacity of 400 lbs or more. You require minimal effort to open and close the covers.
  • Snap Tonneau Covers: Snap covers are available both in hinged and roll up designs. They are the most affordable options for pickup trucks. Installation is simple and you will be able to complete it within minutes. A snap cover is an ideal choice if you don’t plan to open and close the cover frequently.
  • Toolbox Tonneau Covers: The toolbox covers are designed shorter than the truck bed so that they can accommodate the truck toolbox.  With this cover, you will be able to enjoy the security and protection of a tonneau and easy access to the toolbox.

Materials

Top quality materials offer the best protection to your truck bed.

  • Vinyl – The vinyl covers provide the best water protection in any type of weather condition. The tough tonneaus are made from marine grade material and have superior stitching. This makes them one of the most popular materials.
  • Canvas – The canvas covers are durable and provide lightweight protection. They are mostly used in folding and roll up tonneau types. They are found less frequently than most of the other materials.
  • Fiberglass – Fiberglass covers provide superior strength and longevity. They are an ideal choice if you work in tough climatic conditions. Even though they are bulky than most other materials they offer the best protection to your cargo.
  • Aluminium – Aluminium is considered one of the best materials for tonneau. They are strong, durable and light and this makes it easy to handle.
  • ABS Polymer – The ABS polymer material is strong and easy to use. They are made of super durable quality and are easy to lift up when you want full access to the truck bed. They are resistant to impact and help protect the cargo from debris.
ABS Polymer is used in producing the tonneau cover

Installation

The installation can vary from one cover to the other. The soft cover can be installed within minutes with no tools. Covers that require rails need to be installed separately and you will need basic hand tools to complete the installation.

Covers that use hand tightened clamps or bolts require no drilling. There are some brands that require some drilling on the tailgate during installation.

Strength and Durability

The strength and durability depend on the material of the cover. Fiberglass covers provide maximum strength and durability whereas vinyl, canvas, and aluminium are lightweight materials that are strong.

Price and Warranty

The price and warranty of the tonneau covers vary depending on the different features and materials used.

Top 10 Best Tonneau Cover Reviews

1. Lund 96893 Genesis Elite Roll-Up Tonneau Cover

The Lund Elite roll up cover does more than turn heads. It helps protect your valuable cargo against weather (rain, hail, wind, snow) and theft. The covers feature heavy duty black rails and bows and this ensure easy operation.

The integrated seal on the front and rear rails ensure protection against moisture and debris. The cover includes all necessary hardware for quick and easy installation. No drilling is required. It can fit a truck bed size of 6.5’.

Pros

  • Protects and conceals the truck bed contents. The tarp rolls up easily and provides quick access to the truck bed. 
  • The premium twill weave material has been specifically engineered to be resistant to dust and debris, UV, mold and water. The unique texture of the fabric doesn’t trap dirt. 
  • The cover reduces drag and improves fuel economy. 
  • The cover is completely maintenance free.

Cons 

  • It is not as durable as the folding tonneau cover. It will not be able to handle much snow weight.

2. TruXedo 953301 Titanium Hard Roll-Up Tonneau Cover

The TruXedo is a hard roll up bed cover that offers complete access to the truck bed. The low-profile design greatly enhances the appearance of your truck. It provides good security and all that you need to do is to close the cover and lock the tailgate to protect and secure the cargo. The vinyl material used to make the cover is UV resistant. It can fit a truck bed size of 6.0’.

Pros

  • The quick release system enables you to remove the roll up cover within seconds. You will be able to access the truck bed without tools. 
  • Installation is simple and easy and you don’t require any special tools or drilling.
  • The heavy-duty aluminium provides additional durability and strength.
  • The slam latches allow you to open the tonneau cover from both sides. All that you need to do is to simply roll the cover to close the cover in a secure manner.

Cons 

  • The cover can get quite hot in the summer even with guards on the side.

3. Roll-N-Lock LG221M M-Series Tonneau Cover

The Roll-N-Lock LG221M enables you to lock the cargo in a convenient and secure manner. The sturdy tonneau cover is built using vinyl and aluminium. The M-series has a sleek appearance and this is greatly enhanced by the low-profile design and aerodynamically styled housing lid. With just the turn of the lock lever you will be able to slide the cover open. It can fit a truck bed size of 6.5’.

Pros

  • The clamp on track design is patented and greatly simplifies the installation process. It minimizes the need for drilling holes on most trucks.
  • It has a unique frictionless construction.
  • The tonneau cover opens and closes in seconds with no cross bars or snaps.
  • The built-in tailgate lock keeps the cargo secure and protects it against any kind of theft.

Cons 

  • The tonneau cover is expensive.

4. Pace Edwards (SWF2843) Switchblade Tonneau Cover

The Pace Edwards (SWF2843) tonneau cover is simple and easy to install and remove. The continuous tension spring helps the cover retract smoothly within seconds. The canister can be easily removed and this gives complete truck bed access and maximum cargo capacity. It can fit a truck bed size of 5.5’ - 6.0’.

Pros

  • The handle makes opening and closing of the cover from either side completely easy.
  • The cover has a pull strap and this offers a lot of convenience. This means that you don’t need to climb the truck to operate the cover.
  • The padded polymer is bonded to rigid aluminium panels and this makes it weather resistant.
  • No drilling is needed for installation on most pickup trucks.
  • The cover allows full rear-view visibility due to its low-profile design.

Cons 

  • The canister occupies a bit of space on the truck bed and this can restrict your ability to carry more cargo.

5. Tyger Auto Tri-Fold Tonneau Bed Cover (TG-BC3C1006)

The Tyger Auto has tri-fold design and this provides complete access to the truck bed. The clamps are patented and this makes installation easy. The weather tight seal protects the cargo against moisture and dust. The low-profile design prevents resistance and this can enable you to save money on gas. It can fit a truck bed size of 5.8’.

Pros

  • No drilling is required for installation. No special tools are required and you will be able to complete the entire process within minutes. 
  • The cover is made of sturdy vinyl and this makes it strong and durable. The heavy-duty vinyl can support a lot of weight including heavy snow.
  • LED light is included.

Cons 

  • It is not completely weather proof and water can get under the cover.

6. BAK (26309) BakFlip G2 Truck Bed Cover

The BAK truck bed cover helps protect your precious cargo from the elements. The innovative living hinge system of the cover ensures water resistance. This means that the cargo remains completely dry and safe even in heavy rain and snow. You no longer have to worry about delivering things in any kind of weather. It can fit a truck bed size of 5.5’.

Pros

  • The panels automatically latch to both sides of the truck and this makes installation quite easy. The hardware that is necessary for the installation is provided. 
  • The panels can flip open in the same direction. This can help you access the truck bed easily.
  • The cover is scratch and UV resistant.
  • The cover can be folded all the way forward and up against the pickup trucks rear cab. This gives you complete access to the truck bed

Cons

  • The metal shavings tend to fall off during installation. 
  • Even though it is easy to install the instructions can be hard to follow.

7. MaxMate Premium TCD371011 Tri-Fold Tonneau Bed Cover

Enter your text hereThe MaxMate Premium is an easy to install tonneau truck bed cover and features three foldable panels. The vinyl cover is coated with marine grade aluminium powder and this can help withstand extreme weather conditions.

The high grade aluminium frames have an upward arch support and this ensures that the cover is held taut. The tri-fold cover is lightweight and has been specifically designed to protect and secure cargo from weather and theft. It can fit a truck bed size of 6.5’.

Pros

  • The tri-fold cover is fully assembled and this makes installation easy. The cargo rack or side rails need to be removed to complete the installation. 
  • The weather tight seal protects the cargo from moisture and dirt.
  • The aerodynamic sleek design helps save 10% - 12% of gas.
  • It comes with a ten-year warranty.

Cons 

  • It is not very hard and strong.

8. Lund 98001 Genesis Hinged Tonneau Cover

The Lund hinged tonneau cover fits perfectly to the edges of the pickup truck. This helps block moisture and protects the cargo from any kind of damage. The hinged design enables you to access the truck bed easily.

The cover is made of high-quality vinyl and this makes it durable and tear resistant. The double-sided fabric custom fits the trucks and adds to its elegant appearance. The cover comes pre-assembled and this enables you to install it within minutes. It can fit a truck bed size of 6.6’.

Pros

  • The sleek design improves aerodynamics and this reduces drag. This significantly improves fuel efficiency.
  • It includes a hassle-free closure that keeps the tonneau cover tight and protects the cargo from weather.
  • The latching system enables you to open and close the cover with one hand.

Cons 

  • There can be fitting issues with some trucks.

9. R&L Racing Hidden Snap Vinyl Tonneau Cover 94-03

The R&L Racing tonneau cover is made of heavy duty commercial grade vinyl fabric. It is coated on both sides and this makes it an ideal choice for weather proofing. It is thicker than most of the covers that are available in the market and this can help it withstand heavy rain and snow.

The aluminium frame is lightweight but strong and the gently arched design prevents accumulation of rain and snow on the cover. The all-weather sealing system protects the cargo in all types of weather. It can fit a truck bed size of 6.0’.

Pros

  • The unique design of the cover reduces aerodynamic drag and this increases fuel mileage. 
  • No drilling is required for the installation and it can be easily completed within minutes. The tonneau cover comes complete with all hardware that you will require for installation.

Cons

  • It does not fit all types of pickup trucks.

10. Truxedo 1117416 TonneauMate Toolbox

The Truxedo toolbox works with almost any type of tonneau cover. You don’t require a tonneau cover for its installation. The toolbox can help organize all the cargo in a systematic manner. Apart from being organized it also adds to the security with a built in keyed lock.

Pros

  • The versatile design enables it to support heavy loads.
  • It is constructed using a high-quality and heavy-duty material. It features an adjustable mounting design. This facilitates flexible positioning of the toolbox.
  • As the toolbox is elevated off the floor, you can use the entire truck bed to store and transport cargo.

Cons 

  • The toolbox can be opened only from one side.

Additional Information

Other Additional Accessories

  • Bed lighting kit – The lighting kit is a perfect choice for truck beds as it provides immediate illumination. You can always switch it on whenever you need extra light in bad weather.
  • Lock – The lock provides extra security and enables you to keep the cargo completely safe and secure.
  • Cargo Bar – The cargo bar enables you to keep the cargo from banging, sliding and rolling around in the truck bed. This can help prevent damage to the truck and the cargo. You can also use it to customize the cargo space.
  • Bed Extender – If you have items that extend beyond the truck bed then you can make use of the bed extender to carry the cargo in a safe manner. It helps create additional space for the cargo.

Installation and Using 

Depending on the type of truck you have you need to choose the appropriate tonneau cover. One of the important things that you need to remember about installation is that each type of cover has its own way of installation. The base part needs to be set first and then you need to install the cover.

It is advisable to check and test the cover after installation. The tailgate needs to be checked for closing after you have put things in the cargo bed.

Maintenance

It is best to check and test the tonneau covers at frequent intervals. This can help you know whether all parts work and are secure. The covers can be cleaned thoroughly with soap and water. Read the manufacturer’s instructions before washing the cover. You need to remember that different surfaces react differently to soap and other cleaning agents.

Avoid placing heavy things on the cover for a long time. Even though the covers are made of durable and sturdy materials, they can get damaged if you place very heavy loads on top of them for a prolonged period of time.

Final Verdict 

It is advisable to choose a tonneau cover that fits your needs. Review the different brands and learn about the pros and cons so that you are able to make an informed choice. Weigh in factors such as type, material, installation, strength and durability and price and warranty before making the choice. When you make a good choice, you will be able to protect the cargo in all types of weather conditions. It can also help protect against debris and theft.