When we go camping, it’s like mobilising a small army. Normally there are 2 adults, 3 children and a big dog. Sometimes there are more kids and more grow ups too!!
Despite taking 2 cars, we quickly realised that we still wouldn’t have enough room to take everything with us. We considered buying a roof box, but at the time the cost was quite inhibitive due to all the other stuff we had purchased. Also we would have needed to buy roof bars too, adding to the overall cost.
In addition to this, we would also have the headache of finding somewhere to store it at home when it wasn’t in use.
Whilst nosing around the Amazon website we came across what is generally referred to as a ‘Roof Bag’. They are relatively cheap (we paid £25 for ours) and seemed to be a suitable alternative.
We read the reviews, which typically said that they weren’t very good quality and wouldn’t last long. However, as we were desperate we decided to take the plunge and buy one.
We are really glad that we did, and I can honestly say that we couldn’t go camping in style without the extra storage space the Roof Bag provides.
Our bag has been used now on 5 occasions this 2016 season and it’s not showing any signs of wear. It’s working much better than we anticipated.
What do we use our Roof Bag for? Well, the car we use the roof bag on already has roof bars fitted and it has a panoramic/glass roof. Therefore it would be beyond dumb to carry anything heavy or with sharp edges that could break the roof as the Roof Bag sits directly on the roof/glass. Therefore we use it to carry everything that is lightweight and bulky in size. Typically, 5/6 sleeping bags, 4/5 sleeping mats/beds, 1 double camping mat, millions of pairs of hiking boots, tent inner ground sheet, pillows, 3/4 camping chairs and a few other bits and bobs.
I chose to be over-cautious as regards the security and waterproofness of the roof bag. There are two straps on each side of the bag that secure it to the roof bars. I hated the idea of the straps failing (not that they would) and loosing all our sleeping stuff everywhere. Also I don’t want to be responsible for causing an accident on the road or motorway, so I choose to be better safe than sorry and use an additional pair of ratchet load straps (also from Amazon, cheap). The roof bags are said to be waterproof, but as it’s our sleeping stuff in there, we can’t run the risk and put their claims to test. Who wants a soggy sleeping bag? So all we do, whenever there is the slightest chance of rain, is just to throw everything into black bin bags before they go onto the roof – problem solved.
Overall our Roof Bag has been a lifesaver, we could not camp in comfort without it. I personally feel that it holds more that a roof box and I love the fact that it just folds down into a small box when not in use.