HandiRack Universal Inflatable Roof Rack

I must admit that, at first, the idea of an inflatable roof rack seemed a little absurd. After all, inflatable items don’t tend to do well in the extreme weathers. They often deflate while being used and can be relatively easily holed. I’ve owned a variety of car racks in the past, but the HandiRack potentially offers great convenience. If you’re uncertain about all the available options, this list of the best bike roof racks is a great place to start! For now, we’re going to take a closer look at the HandiRack Universal Inflatable Roof Rack and see if it is really worth owning, or not.

The HandiRack is actually made by HandiWorld, who also make a variety of other accessories, such as the soft cargo box. They’re a British company that started trading in 2005 and have since built a thriving global business. Their basic premise is to innovative and provides products that promote fun time while reducing hassle.

Let’s see if the Handirack can keep up with their inspiration.

The Specs

The basic specs are actually quite inspiring and, in terms of load carrying, comparable to your standard roof bars or roof carrying system

Specifications:
  • Weighs just 6 pounds
  • Measures 14.6” x 7.4” x 5.7”
  • Made from Tough Nylon
  • 5 x D-ring anchor points
  • 180-pound capacity, more than the average roof can hold
  • Certified usable at highway speeds

The Good

There are a lot of good points that need to be considered when deciding the HandiRack Universal Inflatable Roof Rack is for you.

Easy to carry

Because it is inflatable it can be deflated and folded up, making it a surprisingly small package. This can then be kept in the trunk of your vehicle. This allows you to access the HandiRack whenever you need it. They’ll be no more wishing you have a roof rack or having to remember to add the best kayak carrier.

If you should take it out of your vehicle when not in use, make sure you know where you’ve stored it. It’s small enough that you could lose it in a crowded garage!

Can be used on almost any vehicle

If you check the bad points below you’ll see that this doesn’t fit every type of vehicle, but it does fit most of them. This gives you the convenience of using it on any of your own cars and even lending it to family and friends.

It’s worth noting that the HandiRack looks like two inflated pillows joined together. This forms one of the tubes that you place on the roof.

Although you may think they go lengthways, like roof rails, they actually sit across your roof, like cross rails. The straps secure through the vehicle but, if you have roof rails on your vehicle you can simply tie the HandiRack to the roof rails and carry your load. As long as they are as high, or higher than your roof rails they’ll do the job.

All tools & instructions included

Open the box and you’ll get everything you need to use the rack. There are 2 Handirack twin tubes and a pump that allows you to inflate each section in a matter of seconds. The pump is a double-action, high-volume affair to ensure minimal effort and maximum results.

You’ll also get a drawstring bag that allows you to store the rack safely when not in use, and, there are two 3m long tie-down straps.

There are detailed instructions regarding how to inflate and use the Handirack. Although the process is so simple you’ll hardly need the instructions! In fact, you’ll probably find t easier to watch this video than to read the guide, it tells you everything you need to know!

It should be possible to unpack and secure the HandiRack to your roof in less than five minutes, although it may take a little longer on your first attempt.

Build Quality

The surface of the HandiRack Universal Inflatable Roof Rack is made from tough nylon. This makes it abrasive resistant and unlikely to develop a puncture. Of course, anything is possible if you try hard enough!

Alongside the double-stitching, you’ll find the twin air sections beneficial if anything does go wrong, it’s unlikely you’ll pop all the sections at the same time.

The rack is built well enough to withstand highway speeds. Allowing you to use it for any trip and at any time of year.

Cost

It probably won’t surprise you to know that this is one of the cheapest options you can get for carrying loads on the roof of your vehicle. But, it is a quality item that will leave you wondering how you ever managed before you had one!

Uses

The great thing about the HandiRack Universal Inflatable Roof Rack is that you don’t need to purchase accessories separately. Whether you want to carry a ladder, kayak, paddleboard, or even some furniture, you just lift it on top of the rack and tie it in place.

Of course, it’s not usually a good idea to use it for carrying bikes. They have a few too many sharp points that could damage your rack permanently.

The Bad

Doesn’t Fit All Vehicles

Despite the claim that it fits most vehicles, if your car has a soft-top or curtain airbags, you’re not going to be able to use this.

The soft top won’t allow you to strap the Handirack on securely. Curtain airbags can be accidentally set off by the pressure of the rack and the movement while driving.

Water Leaks

The Handirack straps to your car with straps that run on the inside of your car roof. These are ratcheted tight to ensure the HandiRack won’t move.

Although this works well, you will find that if you’re driving in the rain, the water will travel along the strap and start leaking inside your vehicle, effectively at the lowest point.

This could be a problem for your interior, passengers, or any gear you’re carrying.

Fine Scratches

Fine scratches on the roof of your car will happen when you place any material on it and move it unless it’s a very good-quality micro-fiber cloth. The slight movement of the HandiRack while traveling will ensure that minute scratches appear on your roof.

It is worth noting that you can prevent these scratches from happening if you lay microfiber cloths under the HandiRack, before you fit it and strap it down tight.

The Balance

Surprisingly, I’ve found this to be a really useful piece of kit. Despite having had several roof loading systems, the Handirack has proved to be a useful addition.

One of the best features is not that you can carry it with you or strap it on in minutes. It’s simply that it can carry virtually anything with the minimal of effort and fuss.

Combine this with a reasonable price and a well-made product and you have a winner. The HandiRack by HandiWorld is one product that you should add to your vehicle today. Whether you need a rack occasionally or all the time, you’ll going to be grateful you got one of these.

While I think the HandiRackis brilliant if you regularly do long-distance trips you’ll probably be better off with the more traditional roof bars and an appropriate accessory.

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