Stow Cargo With Confidence
  |  First Published: January 2010

A roof rack is a valuable accessory for a vehicle that it going to be used for work and play. In truth a well-made and strong rack is the sort of item that, once fitted, would be hard to imagine life without. Most drivers who have had the pleasure of using a rack on their vehicle will allow for the cost of a new roof rack when changing over vehicles or, alternatively, see if they can fit the old one to the new car.

The point is that a rack is just so handy; whether used for touring, work or pleasure, it greatly increases the carrying capacity of the vehicle to which it is fitted.

If you’re in the market for a roof rack, check out what ARB has to offer. The ARB product has the benefit of a lot of research and development plus rigorous testing to ensure it will do its job under the most demanding of conditions. While finish and practicality are important features of ARB roof racks, so too is extreme durability. ARB does understand that people might well use their car in a very rugged, continuous off road situation for extended period and it's comforting to know that no matter how hard the going, how much vibration the vehicle is being subject to, the ARB roof rack is holding its contents securely without any risk of failure.


ARB offer two styles of roof racks, steel and aluminium with a tough, long lasting powder coating ensuring maximum weather resistance on both styles.

Both style come in a variety of lengths and widths to fit virtually any modern vehicle whether that vehicle is equipped with a roof edge gutter or a reinforced area on which a rack is to mount.

Nissan Patrols, for instance, still feature roof edge gutters while the Land Cruiser and Pajero and many others late model vehicles come with special roof areas to accommodate a roof rack.

Either way the buyer is able to select and have fitted a rack just right for the particular vehicle.

Steel Rack: rated for 150kg

Steel racks use MIG welded round tube construction for maximum strength and aerodynamics and have spaced crossbars to fully support contents. You can also opt for a fully welded mesh floor, it’s the buyers call there. Alternatively a tradesperson might opt for a full open end at either extremity of the rack to cater for longer objects up top.

Stainless steel fitting hardware clamps the rack to the vehicle with a quick fit/release system making for ease of removal if the racks need to be removed. Pressed steel feet and legs are both height and width adjustable to allow for clearance and fitting on a large range of vehicles.

One item that ARB feature with their racks that will please buyers owning vehicles with gutter channels is the full rack length zinc annealed steel support channel, fully covered with a plastic outer protection strip, that actually sits under the feet of the rack to ensure that all load is distributed evenly along the gutter channel. This system ensures that gutter and vehicle damage cannot take place even if a rack is loaded to full capacity of 150kg.

The alloy alternative

Although somewhat lighter in weight (40% in fact) than the steel counterpart, ARB alloy racks don't trade performance whatsoever as they are also rated for a 150kg loading.

Note that this load rating (same as is the case for the steel racks) is subject to a manufacturer’s load rating for the respective vehicle, which may differ from the full carry capacity of 150kg. So make sure your roof or roof guttering can handle that much weight first!

These well-made and easily removed light weight racks come equipped with an alloy mesh floor as standard. A combination of TIG and CMT (cold metal transfer) welding processes ensure the optimum strength of each alloy rack.

Top rails sit well above the rack’s floor to ensure maximum load capacity and the rack’s top rail is manufactured from 25mm seamless tube and is the same as the steel counterpart.

For maximum strength, pressed steel feet and legs are used to connect rack to vehicle, again offering ample tolerances for height and width adjustment.

A full length support channel comes with each rack to maximise the distribution of weight to all load bearing areas.

steel versus alloy

ARB racks are hard to differentiate in performance, appearance or durability. The factors governing choice will be weight and cost with the selection of a steel rack requiring less outlay than the alloy alternative, although the latter rack is going to be hard to go past if it needs to be periodically taken on and off the vehicle.

Users do tend to remove racks between trips or if the car is regularly used for city work where car parks are to be negotiated. And you can trust me there will be no entering an undercover car park with one of these racks on!

That 40% weight saving will no doubt influence the purchase of an alloy rack if removal is intended, but I do believe the best move would be to take note of the manufacturer’s specifications and select the rack that will allow maximum carry capacity in line with those specifications.

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