Wednesday 25 August 2010

Review: Halfords Roofbox and Thule Roof Bars

It was three years ago when we first went camping. We only had Garden Girl then and somehow, despite all the baby paraphenalia, we managed to fit everything in our Clio. We would sit smugly outside our tent watching other campers arrive with their MPV's and roofboxes and wonder in astonishment how they could possibly need a roofbox in addition to their massive boots. But, three years and two more children later and we were one of them. Our Clio has been replaced with a Berlingo and this year, thanks to Halfords, we had a roofbox on the roof. Had Halfords not agreed to lend us a roofbox and roofbars to review we would not have been able to fit everything in.

If you look on Halfords website you will see that they have a wide range of roofboxes, in a variety of sizes. We left it to them to decide which ones to lend us and they supplied Thule roofbars and the Exodus 470l black roofbox. The roofbars they originally tried to fit to our car were too small but Halfords made every effort to get the right ones in time for our holiday, with Pete, their expert fitter agreeing to collect the right ones from another store for me the next day. It is important to get the right roof bars for your car and you can work out which ones are right for yours on their website. It took Pete just 10 minutes to fit the roof bars and Garden Dad had no problem with the simple fittings when he tried it out himself.

One of the things that has always put me off having a roofbox is the worry that it might all come sliding off on the motorway but these are really secure with a decent lock. I was also happy with the way the roofbox attached to the roof bars, although this was a little harder to fit. It took Pete a little over ten minutes to fit, with the help of a colleague. Fitting the roofbox is most definately a two man job and Pete did have the benefit of being quite a bit taller than Garden Dad. The roofbox opens on its side and it is necessary to reach to the far side of the box to fit it into place. Garden Dad found this difficult when he tried it. There is also a luggage strap to stop eveything rolling around inside the roofbox but Garden Dad gave up trying to use this. He just couldn't reach over everything.

The roofbox itself is spacious and sturdy, with a very secure lock. When I first saw it I thought it would be far too big for us but after loading the boot we still filled it to brimming. I had also heard that roofboxes could be quite noisy but this one seemed to have good wind resistance and it was easy to forget the roofbox was there. We were really pleased with both the roof bars and the roof box and would recommend them to anyone who needs extra boot space. Halfords only loaned these ones to us but we are going to buy them and keep them now we've tried them.


  1. I agree- roofboxes/pods are a lifesaver for driving holidays! (especially when camping). In the even of a crash, swerve or sudden brake it is quite dangerous, especially to back seat passengers, to have unsecured luggage (as you do in most wagons/vans).

    We have a Thule pod (I forget the model) that opens on both sides, which mitigates the accessibility issue you raised.

  2. We borrowed a Halfords box the other week. Takea a lot of stuff but the closing/locking bar was awful to do up.