Review: HandiRack Universal Car Roof Rack – Inflatable Roof Rack

Quick Review: Perfect for people who only occasionally need a roof rack. Fits just about any car, is cheap and only takes about 5 minutes to mount. Negatives, if raining water can leak into your car. It is best suited for short journeys.

Overall Rating

A few years back, I got into kayaking and would transport my kayak in my car. The kayak would just fit with the seats down and the boot slightly open, which was okay but not ideal.

I didn’t want to splash out for two roof racks (my car and my wife’s), so I opted for the universal fit HandiRack inflatable roof rack.

Is The HandiRack Inflatable Roof Rack Any Good

The HandiRack roof rack is a great product, but you need to know its limitations. It definitely isn’t a replacement for a proper metal roof rack.

roof rack folded up
Inflatable Roof Rack


How Do Inflatable Roof Racks Work

STEP 1: The roof rack tubes are inflated to quite a hard pressure so that they feel solid. You don’t want them underinflated. Otherwise, the load you’re carrying will bounce about.

Inflate roof rack
Inflated Roof Rack

STEP 2: Place the inflated roof rack directly onto your car roof, then loop the straps through the car

strap through car


STEP 3: Thread the straps through the spring-loaded buckle and pull tight

Tighten roof rack straps

That is all there is to it.

Pros: HandiRack Roof Rack

  • It’s cheap when compared to buying a proper branded metal roof rack. A normal metal roof rack for my car costs about £180, the HandiRack costs about £55

  • Fits most cars – I’m sure there are probably some cars that the HandiRack won’t fit, but the way it works means that it will work with most cars.

  • Quick & Easy to use – Once you’ve got used to how it works, it only takes about five minutes to get it mounted on your car. One person can do it on their own.

  • It’s well constructed – I’ve had mine for about 8 years, and it still works perfectly, apart from the pump. I’d say I probably use the roof rack about 10 times a year.

Cons: HandiRack Roof Rack

  • Not suitable for long journeys – I’ve used the rack on one long journey of about 80 miles (including motorway) and I had to pull over on several occasions to adjust straps to make them secure as they came a bit loose.

  • Rain leaks into the car – The roof rack straps have to go through the car door seals, meaning the seals are perfectly sealed, which allows rain to slowly leak in and run along the strap inside the car.

  • The pump that comes with the rack is not very good quality. Mine broke after about 10 uses. Amazon sell cheap replacement pumps for about £10

Tips When Using an Inflatable Roof Rack

  • Make sure you wipe your car roof and the bottom of the roof rack before mounting on your car. Because the roof rack sits directly on the car roof, any small stones, sand etc, underneath the rack will scratch your car.

  • If your roof rack comes into contact with sea water, then make sure you hose it down with fresh water; otherwise, the metal rings used to strap down the load will corrode.

Conclusion: HandiRack Roof Rack Review

Most of the journeys I make with the HandiRack are only been short local journeys. I’ve mostly used it for transporting a couple of kayaks and collecting large items (plywood sheets, insulation boards etc) from my local DIY store that won’t fit in the car.

I’ve found the HandiRack roof rack useful and highly recommend it.


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