Car roof box hoist systems offer an easy and practical solution for storing your car roof box when it is not in use. Depending on the load capacity of your hoist, you can even store fully loaded roof boxes. Then, you’ll be ready to hit the road once you reattach your box.
If you do not have a ceiling hoist in your garage, taking your roof box off your car and storing it can be quite a hassle. More often than not, it requires a lot of elbow grease and unwieldy manhandling.
Hoists not only keep your car roof box out of the way, they also facilitate the dismounting process, as the box goes directly from your car roof to your garage ceiling.
A sturdy well-built car roof box can set you back a pretty penny, so it makes no sense to store it offhandedly on the floor. Not only will it take up unnecessary space, it will also leave your car roof box vulnerable to dirt and scratches at best and mold, disfigurement and vermin at worst.
A high well-engineered quality hoist, if maintained properly, can last you a lifetime. It will give you peace of mind that your equipment is secure and easy to access. Conversely, a shoddy hoist can lead to frustration or even injury, as well as damage to your car roof box, car or garage.
There are a lot of hoists out there to choose from. Deciding which one is right for you can be a daunting task. Luckily for you, we have put on our researcher hats and combed the internet for the top five car roof box hoist systems.
When approaching the task of finding the best car roof hoist systems money can buy, we put ourselves in the mindset of the buyer. We are confident that every hoist on our list is of great quality. They can get the job done.
|Ranking||Product Name||Type||Max Load Weight||Product weight||Points of contact||Review||Price|
|#1||Thule MultiLift||Crank Operated||220lbs||7.5lbs||6||Read Review|
|#2||Garage Gator Single Kayak 125lb Storage Lift||Motorized||125lbs||22lbs||10||Read Review|
|#3||StoreYourBoard Cargo Box Ceiling Storage Hoist | Rooftop Carriers Hi-Lift Garage Pulley Hanger Rack||Rope operated||90lbs||4.37lbs||2||Read Review|
|#4||Rage Powersports Ceiling Mount Canoe & Kayak Storage Hoist||Rope operated||100lbs||7lbs||2||Read Review|
|#5||RAD Cycle Products Rail Mount Heavy Duty Bike Hoist and Ladder Lift - Quality Bicycle Hoist||Rope operated||75lbs||5lbs||2||Read Review|
Finding a Car Roof Box Hoist System That Works for You
The car roof boxes of today are a far cry from the primitive, non-aerodynamic, clunky roof boxes of yesteryear. They are true engineering marvels, made from the sturdiest and lightest materials out there.
A great car roof box can set you back a pretty penny. It would stand to reason, then, that you should take care of your investment.
Car boxes come in a huge variety of shapes, colors and sizes. The one thing they all have in common is that they need to be stored somewhere when they are not in use.
A hoist system is the smart way to go. A hoist has two major functions.
First, it facilitates the dismounting of your roof box without needing to use brute force. Second, it stores your roof box safely out of the way.
Garage hoist systems are almost as varied in price and quality as the roof boxes themselves. The one you ultimately go for will depend on quite a few factors.
These factors range from your budget and the size of your garage to the weight of your garage box and your physical strength. Here is a checklist of questions you should answer before you start browsing the internet for a car roof box hoist.
What is the height of your garage?
If you already have a car roof box, chances are the height of your garage accommodates your car with the box installed on it. Bear in mind, however, that this alone does not guarantee that you will have enough clearance once the hoist is installed.
If you have a tall vehicle, a large roof box and a low ceiling, you might end up with an uncomfortably snug fit in your garage. When calculating the clearance under a hoisted roof box, a rule of thumb is to factor in at least a foot of space to accommodate for the hoist and sag.
What is my garage ceiling made of?
All roof box hoists are designed to be used in garages, but the layout and structure of your garage ceiling can limit your options. For example, if you only have a single roof beam, your best bet is to go for hoist with a two-point mounting system, as both installation points would go into the beam.
There are workarounds to these types of problems, but they involve extra expenditure and structural upgrades of your garage. Hoists are held up by screws and anchors, and the type of screws and anchors depend on what you will be drilling into. A wooden beam and a concrete slab, for example, require quite different approaches when installing your hoist.
How much effort do you want to put into hoisting your roof box?
All roof box hoists work on the same simple principle. They consist of ropes or straps and one or more pulleys. How the pulley system is activated determines the amount of physical effort needed to hoist the box from your car roof to your ceiling.
By hand, car roof box hoists can be operated by either ropes or cranks. Hoists that require you to pull on a rope require the most physical strength, which could be a factor if your roof box is heavy or you want to hoist a box full of heavy stuff.
Winch-operated hoists have cranks much like those on retractable awnings. They are somewhat easier to operate.
Electric hoists require no physical strength on your part in order to operate. An electric motor does the heavy lifting; you just have to press a button. All of this convenience comes at a cost, as electric hoists are far more expensive than manually operated ones.
How much weight are you planning to hoist?
Not all hoists are equal. All of them have a limit when it comes to the amount of weight they can safely take on.
When choosing a roof box hoist, it is good to have a ballpark figure for the maximum amount of weight you will realistically need to hoist. An inexpensive lightweight hoist can do the job just fine if you are plan on using it for storing a small, empty roof box; but you will need something beefier if you want to store your box fully loaded.
While some hoists are great at keeping your box level while hoisting, you will always be at risk of tipping you load your box unevenly. Be aware of the box’s center of gravity. Put your heaviest items in the middle for maximum stability.
How bulky is your roof box?
Roof boxes range from those no larger than a hefty suitcase to huge ones that cover the entire car roof. There are hoist systems to accommodate for all shapes and sizes of roof boxes.
Two-point mounted hoists are sufficient for smaller or narrower roof boxes. Larger and heftier boxes require four mounting points and pulleys to increase stability.
People most commonly use straps and belts to secure roof boxes onto ceiling hoists. Take note of their length when reading product specifications so you can be sure that they are large enough to accommodate your box.
Selection Criteria: How We Ranked the Best Roof Box Hoist Systems
When we went about compiling our list of best roof box hoist systems, we classified them based on the following criteria: load weight, product weight, type and points of contact.
These categories serve to differentiate the hoist systems. We will provide some basic statistics at a glance. However, just because a hoist system is impressive on paper, does not mean it will be in real life; and vice versa.
Below is a comprehensive explanation of each of these characteristics. We will outline what they can mean in regards to the overall function and quality of the product.
The type of hoist system is determined based on how the hoist is raised and lowered. The three types of roof box hoist systems on our list are crank operated, rope operated and electrically powered hoists. The first two are manually operated, while the third requires a power source in the form of an electrical socket.
Max Load Weight
The maximum load weight is specified by the manufacturer. It represents the largest amount of weight a properly installed unit can safely hold without malfunctioning. There might be variations to this number, depending on where and how you install the hoist.
A heavier hoist is not necessarily a sign of quality or higher carrying weight, but the weight of your chosen hoist system might be significant for other reasons. Plan on moving and taking your hoist system with you? A heavy electric powered hoist system could be impractical. Heavy hoists might also require sturdier installation techniques than more lightweight ones.
Points of contact
The points of contact stat is one that we came up with. They do not list it in most official product descriptions.
Put simply, it is the number of places that the hoist system is connected to, i.e. screwed into, the ceiling of your garage. More is not always better, as a single secure mooring into a structurally stable roof is worth more than several moorings into a flimsy one.
In most cases, however, it can well be seen as a measure of stability; along the lines of: the more points of contact, the better. It is also a useful piece of information to have when making plans on how to install your hoist system. It will tell you whether or not you can install it without having to do additional structural reinforcements.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Why even remove my roof box?
- Can anyone use rope/crank operated hoists?
- Will I need an extra pair of hands for mounting and removing my roof box?
- How do I prep for installation?
- Can I hoist a fully loaded roof box?
- Can I modify my hoist?
- Can I install the roof box hoist system myself?
- Does the hoist system come with everything I need to install it?
- How do I maintain my roof box hoist system?
- Will my garage door get in the way of the hoist?
- What type of hoist is the easiest to use on a frequent basis?
- How low will my roof box hang when lifted?
- Is the roof box level while hoisting?
Why even remove my roof box?
Although you can simply keep your car roof box installed on your car, there are a lot of advantages to storing your roof box when it is not in active use. The most obvious drawback of not storing your roof box is security. If you leave it on your car for a prolonged period of time, you could leave yourself open to theft.
Leaving your car roof box on could result in another, less obvious losses you could incur. According to several studies, just driving with a roof box can increase your average fuel consumption by up to 25% due to aerodynamic drag. The weight of the box and its contents alone will make your car more fuel-hungry. That is because it is additional weight that needs to be lugged around.
Lastly, it makes sense to take your car roof box off when not in use, as this will prolong its lifespan. Leaving it open to the elements on a regular basis can result in damage and wear, especially from rain, snow and humidity.
Can anyone use rope/crank operated hoists?
The hoist systems on our list are simple to use, but rope hoists do require more upper body strength than crank-operated ones. Using gloves when lowering or raising your roof box using a rope-operated hoist system can increase your comfort and make the process easier. As with any system that has heavy moving parts, you should keep children away from the hoist, especially when you are using it.
Will I need an extra pair of hands for mounting and removing my roof box?
While you might need help from a friend to lift your roof box onto your vehicle, hoisting it from your car roof is by and large a one-man job. You will not need any brute force.
However, you will need attention to detail to ensure a safe and balanced lifting and lowering. Every hoist on our list has a locking mechanism that prevents your roof box from lowering too fast or dropping if you suddenly let go of the rope or crank.
How do I prep for installation?
The first thing to be aware of is that you will, more likely than not, have to purchase your own installation supplies, as most kits do not come with all the necessary hardware. To put it simply, there are a lot of different types of garage ceilings out there. There is no universal set of screws and other installation hardware that works for all of them.
In some cases, you will need to buy additional hardware, such as two by fours or other structural materials. For example, if your ceiling studs or beams are too far apart for optimal fitting, you will need to secure additional beams. It is best to double-check before purchasing. It won’t hurt to consult a construction professional.
Can I hoist a fully loaded roof box?
There are many situations where it makes sense not to unload your roof box every time you store it. For example, if you are an avid scuba diver you might want to keep all of your heavy equipment in your roof box between dives.
Every hoist on our list has a maximum load weight that is provided by the manufacturer. However, you should always take this number with a grain of salt. Try to avoid pushing the maximum load weight in order to avoid unpleasant surprises down the road.
Can I modify my hoist?
In most cases, once your hoist is installed, you will not need to make any modifications or upgrades. That being said, both the wheels and ropes are prone to damage from intensive use.
These parts are inexpensive and can be purchased in any hardware store. If you notice any wear on either your wheels or ropes, be sure to replace them on time to avoid failures.
Can I install the roof box hoist system myself?
Great question, with a simple answer: it depends. It depends mainly on how experienced you are with basic construction and how stable your garage ceiling is. If you do not know how to install the hoist in a secure, stable and safe way, it is best to call in the experts.
Conversely, if you are an old hand at DIY and construction projects around the house and have the right power tools, you will be able to install the hoist system yourself. All of the hoist systems come with comprehensive installation instructions and operating manuals, so there is no guesswork.
Even if you have the skills and tools for the job, if you are not 100% sure of the carrying capacity of your ceiling, it would be well worth getting a second opinion from a construction engineer.
Does the hoist system come with everything I need to install it?
Some hoist systems do come with installation hardware such as screws and anchors, but bear in mind that these might not always be the best option. Your choice of screws, bolts and anchors should be compatible with the material and sturdiness of your garage ceiling.
For example, a concrete ceiling requires completely different types of screws and anchors than a wooden ceiling beam. If you are not sure of what screws, bolts and other paraphernalia you need to buy in order to install your hoist, check with your local hardware store.
How do I maintain my roof box hoist system?
If you use your hoist with the proper care, it should give you decades of reliable use. To ensure the longevity of your hoist system, it is highly advisable to inspect it thoroughly from time to time for signs of wear and material fatigue.
If you notice fraying or damage on your ropes and straps you should replace them immediately. You will more than likely be able to find inexpensive replacement parts in any well-equipped hardware store. Apply a mechanical lubricant, like WD-40, to pulley wheels if you notice them snagging or squeaking.
Last but not least, make sure that your roof box is dry and clean before transferring it onto your hoist. Moisture, dirt and grime can have an adverse effect on both your car roof box and hoist system. Wipe down your roof box after every use; a towel and some water and detergent should do the job.
Will my garage door get in the way of the hoist?
Depending on what door opening mechanism you have in your garage, it might or might not impede your ability to hoist your storage box directly from your car roof. Side hung doors will not get in the way of your hoist. Roller shutter doors won’t, either, but sectional and gravity doors might.
Does your garage door opens inwards and upwards toward the ceiling? It might get in the way of the hoist. Measure carefully and account for clearance heights to avoid nasty surprises once your hoist is installed. In some specific cases, you might have no other option than to hoist your roof box from the floor as opposed to directly from your car roof.
What type of hoist is the easiest to use on a frequent basis?
If you plan on using your hoist regularly, it makes sense to have an idea of how physically demanding this is going to be. Pulling a rope or turning a crank to hoist your storage box requires some upper body strength, and this could be a challenge for some users.
When it comes to ease of use, electric hoists are the best in show. They do not require any physical effort to operate, apart from pushing a button. Once you have attached your box to the electric hoist, the entire lifting process takes far less time than it would if you were using a manual hoist.
How low will my roof box hang when lifted?
Apart from the dimensions and load weight of your hoist, another measurement that could be relevant is the height clearance. In other words, how low your box will hang from the ceiling once you have hoisted it as high as it will go.
This is a number that is not provided by manufacturers, mainly as it depends on the shape and size of your box. Stiffening the load carrying straps with pool noodles or something similar will give you an extra inch or two of clearance.
Is the roof box level while hoisting?
Some types of hoist systems automatically keep your roof box level while hoisting and lowering, like electric hoists and most four-point hoist systems. Others, like two-point mounted hoists require some skill from the hoist operator.
These hoists have two ropes that move the two separate load-bearing straps. Pulling on just one or the other will raise the front or back of your roof box. This can be useful for fine-tuning the position of your hoisted roof box. Pulling on both ropes at the same time results in an even lift.
Rankings & Reviews
We have already covered all the basics you need to know regarding hoist systems and what to look out for. Therefore, you should have a pretty good idea of what kind of hoist system you should be looking for. We have combed the internet in search of the best products on the market.
Every product has its high and low points. We have tried to assess every aspect of each hoist system on our top 5 list fairly and objectively. Here is our handpicked list of hoist systems. They stand out from the rest. This is based on both customer reviews and our personal expertise.
- Thule MultiLift
- Garage Gator Single Kayak 125 lb. Storage Lift
- StoreYourBoard Cargo Box Ceiling Storage Hoist | Rooftop Carriers Hi-Lift Garage Pulley Hanger Rack
- Rage Powersports Ceiling Mount Canoe & Kayak Storage Hoist
- RAD Cycle Products Rail Mount Heavy Duty Bike Hoist and Ladder Lift – Quality Bicycle Hoist
Our #1 Pick: Thule MultiLift
- Type: Crank operated
- Max load weight: 220 lbs.
- Product weight: 7.5 lbs.
- Points of contact: 6
The high points: Great craftsmanship, easy installation and operation, extended warranty option.
The low points: Quite pricey compared to other hoists. Requires a sturdy ceiling.
Thule is the undisputed market leader in the cargo carrier market. They produce top-of-the-line roof box hoists. In some countries, Thule is used as a proprietary eponym to describe any car roof box, in much the same way as some people use Kleenex to describe any tissue.
It comes as no surprise, then, that the Thule MultiLift takes first place on our list. The six-point installation system ensures a safe and stable install. It can carry up to 200 lbs.
Six contact points support the center component in place. Two screws each hold up the four wheels.
The hoist system requires no assembly, as it comes pre-assembled straight from the box. The drill patterns are unambiguous. They are a great help when installing. In addition, the user manual is a no-brainer.
You operate the hoist system using a crank, which is far more user-friendly than a conventional rope hoist system that can leave blisters or cause other inconveniences. This system works great for any roof box but is built to fit Thule roof boxes like a glove.
What DO reviewers say?
Not surprisingly, this product does not have any overly negative reviews. Customers praised the overall build quality and ease of use, and the MultiLift’s easy installation. Hoisting is reportedly effortless. The entire process of leisurely mounting the roof box and hoisting lasts from one to two minutes.
First-time users who were overly enthusiastic when hoisting appreciated the rubber bumper on the center bracket. This bumper prevents the box from being raised too high and causing damage to both box and hoist.
As far as the down sides are concerned, most of the complaints were put forward by customers with ceilings taller than 10 feet. They report that the crank is a little too short for such a high ceiling. The provided ropes are not long enough for floor to ceiling hoisting.
Some reviewers commented on the relatively high price tag. They were universal in the confidence they got by purchasing a tried and tested brand name product.
The length and type of warranty depends on where you are buying the hoist from. However, Thule usually provides a comprehensive and dependable warranty.
Users report that the hoisting action is smooth and reliable. It keeps the roof box level the entire time while hoisting. This is a great indicator of quality, as some hoists are prone to tipping or asymmetric hoisting while people are operating them.
Features & Considerations
This hoist system requires 14 screws for the most secure installation, so if you are not confident enough in your handyman expertise, it might be good to get help from someone more versed in construction.
The hoist comes with no installation hardware, so you will have to provide your own. If you have access to the space above your garage ceiling, like an attic for example, using wing anchor bolts is your best bet.
If the placement of your roof rafters is not compatible with the hoist’s installation points, you will need some extra lumber and know-how. This is usually as simple as a few two-by-fours and a lick of paint, which should not set you back more than twenty bucks.
- Type: Motorized
- Max load weight: 125 lbs.
- Product weight: 22 lbs.
- Points of contact: 10
The high points: Effortless hoisting thanks to a strong, reliable electric motor. Optional add-ons including hook bars and bicycle cables allow you to store all kinds of equipment.
The low points: This product is quite heavy due to the motor, so it requires carefully planned installation. This product is the most expensive on our list, and some might be discouraged by the relatively high price tag.
Believe it or not, the second best roof box hoist system on our list is in fact a kayak lift. The geometry and function of this two strapped hoist system is ideal for roof storage boxes. The Garage Gator 66051K’s rugged build impresses us. It was very easy and effortless to operate it.
It is powered by a reliable 120 volt AC/DC motor that you can plug into any standard power outlet. With the push of a button, the Garage Gator 66051 will quickly and safely hoist up to 125 lbs. of weight.
This product has a lockable wired controller. You can rest easy knowing that no one is using your hoist that should not be. Another great safety feature is the built-in automatic stop feature.
It stops the motor when you have reached the maximum height. This prevents any damage to your box and ceiling caused by overzealous hoisting.
The box itself is secured and supported by two wide, adjustable 8-ft. long nylon straps that are extremely durable. The rest of the product consists of high quality steel; they really did not skimp on quality.
As the motor is quite heavy, you will need to be extra careful when installing the hoist to make sure there is enough support for it. The entire system is designed to be easily installed on ceilings with 16- or 24-inch spaced joists on the center, which is the case for most garage ceilings.
We were pleased to see that there is a comprehensive and easy to follow installation video for this specific product on YouTube. It explains in detail every step you will need to take, from measuring and prep to installation, as well as the tools and materials you will need.
What DO reviewers say?
Customers who bought this product are extremely satisfied with how easy and enjoyable it is to use. The smooth consistent action and the safety stop feature instill user confidence.
Multi functionality is another thing that customers liked, as they can use the hoist for several different items. Kayaks and roof boxes are hoisted with the straps, bikes with the bike cables, and anything else you can think of using the hook bar.
When it comes to installation, reviewers were not overly impressed with the provided user manual. However, they found the installation guide video on YouTube to be extremely helpful.
Features & Considerations
The only reason that the Garage Gator is not on the top of our list is the high price tag. While this lift might be the perfect choice for people who need to hoist and lower heavy car roof boxes quite frequently, it might be overkill for those who will need to hoist less often.
The lift plugs into a standard power socket, or 120V/60HZ AC/DC to be more precise. Before installing the lift, you will need to plan how you will power it. Many garages have sockets on the ceiling which allow you to plug the motor in directly. If not, you will need to get creative with an extension cord.
The manufacturer does not recommend for use on a sloped ceiling, as it could lead to damage caused by improper weight distribution. The only way to get around this is quite costly and involves installing an additional horizontal rafter.
Our #3 Pick: StoreYourBoard Cargo Box Ceiling Storage Hoist | Rooftop Carriers Hi-Lift Garage Pulley Hanger Rack
- Type: Rope operated
- Max load weight: 90 lbs.
- Product weight: 4.37 lbs.
- Points of contact: 2
The high points: Simple, no nonsense hoisting system. Two models to choose from, either standard or pro. This hoist system is quite affordable, great value for money.
The low points: Does not provide a lot of height clearance, i.e. the storage box hangs quite low when fully hoisted. The maximum load weight of 90 lbs. is less that on other models, not great if you want to store a lot of weight.
The StoreYourBoard Cargo Box Ceiling Storage is a simple but effective way to hoist and store your cargo box. The required installation is not difficult. It does not require a lot of construction know-how. You can use a wall mounted tie off cleat to secure the ropes when the hoist is not in use.
There are only two pulley wheel holders that you need to screw into your ceiling. You can decide on what the optimal spacing should be based on the length of your box. After you have mounted them, the lift is ready to use.
This product is available in both standard and pro models. The pro model is only a few bucks more expensive, but seems to be significantly more stable and easier to operate.
The main upgrade is that the pro model has an added HI-Lift ProSystem, a horizontal strap between the two pulleys that minimizes the risk of the two straps from sliding of your roof box and keeps the cargo in place.
Both the pro and standard models have a rope locking mechanism. This will come in extremely handy as it stops the hoist from lowering if you let go of the rope by accident.
What DO reviewers say?
The reviewers universally agreed that this product is extremely affordable. Customers who did not require a heavy duty lift were content that it got the job done.
On the other hand, people with lower ceilings were frustrated that, when they pulled them up, their roof boxes hung too low and wasted a lot of space between the cargo box and ceiling.
A significant portion of reviewers were frustrated with the installation instruction manual, some going as far as saying it was the worst manual they had ever seen. Luckily there is an instructional video that is somewhat more useful.
Features & Considerations
If you do not need to hoist a lot of weight and are OK with putting a little more elbow grease into hoisting your storage box, this will be a great product for you.
It might take a bit of practice to hoist your box evenly, but once you get the hang of it you should not have any issues with asymmetric hoisting. If you are hoisting a loaded box, make sure you distribute the weight evenly to avoid tipping.
- Type: Rope operated
- Max load weight: 100 lbs.
- Product weight: 7 lbs.
- Points of contact: 2
The high points: Heavy duty hardware, easy to use and install, reasonably priced.
The low points: Rope quality not that great, not meant for ceilings lower than 8 ft. because of low hang.
The Rage Powersports Ceiling Mount Canoe & Kayak Storage Hoist is the second hoist system on our list that is designed for use with kayaks but works great for hoisting and storing roof boxes. The product is light but sturdy, and very easy to install.
The maximum load weight of 100 lbs. is good but not great, especially if you plan on hoisting heavier loads. This hoist is very similar to the StoreYourBoard Cargo Box Ceiling Storage Hoist in structure and function but does not have a pro model.
The hoist system is quite aesthetically pleasing and sleekly designed with an understated black finish. There are two adjustable six-foot tie down straps that are long enough to accommodate even the largest roof box.
The Rage Powersports Ceiling Mount comes with all of the necessary hardware you will need for installation. However, as with all the models on our list, you should purchase your own high-quality screws that are the best fit for your specific garage ceiling.
What DO reviewers say?
Most of the reviewers feel that they are getting a lot of bang for their buck, as this model is quite inexpensive. Several users report that they use the hoist regularly for roof storage boxes with no issues.
The one aspect of this product that reviewers were not happy with was the quality of the rope. After prolonged use, the rope is prone to fraying and can compromise the structural integrity of the hoist. Buying a new sturdier rope is not a big expenditure but adds a lot to the overall quality of the hoist system.
The product disappointed customers with lower ceilings. They found their hoisted boxes and kayaks hung too low from the ceiling.
There are some workarounds for this that can add a few inches of clearance, such as reinforcing the carrying straps with pool noodles to lessen the amount of slack.
Features & Considerations
People should use this hoist with ceilings taller than 8 ft. Therefore, if you have a low ceiling you might be better off with a product that offers more clearance. Otherwise you might find yourself walking around your storage box rather than beneath it.
Our #5 Pick: RAD Cycle Products Rail Mount Heavy Duty Bike Hoist and Ladder Lift - Quality Bicycle Hoist
- Type: Rope operated
- Max load weight: 75 lbs.
- Product weight: 5 lbs.
- Points of contact: 2
The high points: Highly customizable thanks to a patented rail mount system that lets you move the hoisting wheels to suit your needs, lifetime warranty, lightweight and durable
The low points: As this is primarily a bicycle hoist, the carrying weight is a bit less than for other models and is not suitable for hoisting more than 75 lbs.
Last but not least, we present the RAD Cycle Products Rail Mount Heavy Duty Bike Hoist and Ladder Lift – Quality Bicycle Hoist. Yet again, the manufacturer did not design this for roof boxes, but you can use it as such. You will have to provide your own straps or belts, and this is the main reason this hoist comes in last place.
Of all the hoists on our list, this one has the lowest maximum load weight, 75 lbs. This can be more than enough, especially if you will be hoisting an empty roof box, but is inadequate for heavier, loaded roof boxes.
This hoist has a comprehensive lifetime warranty. That is one of the main reasons that it is on our top five list. The manufacturer is confident in the build quality.
They also claim superior rope quality. That is usually the weakest point of any hoist.
Unlike most hoist systems that consist of steel, this one consists of heavy gage aluminum. The benefits of this are twofold. First, it is extremely lightweight and thus easier to install, and second you will not have to worry about rust or corrosion.
The unique rail system allows you to easily modify the distance between pulleys depending on the size of the box you can hoist. This means that you can continue using it, even if you purchase a different size of roof box down the road. The rail also allows you to drill as many holes as you want for a more secure installation.
What DO reviewers say?
While the pulleys are not as heavy duty as they could be, there were no complaints regarding build quality and ease of operation. Many reviewers appreciated the flexibility of the adjustable rail mount. They made good use of that feature.
As is the case with many of the hoists on the market, the installation manual is subpar. Some reviewers even reported that an entire page containing the string routing detail is missing. Luckily, there is a complete PDF manual available online.
The most negative review does not deal with the product itself. Instead, it deals with the wood screws provided for installation. Buying sturdy wood screws separately should make installation stress-free.
Features & Considerations
As the name suggests, this is primarily a bike hoist. This means that there are two hooks that you can raise and lower. You will have to come up with your own solution for attaching the roof box to the hooks.
There are several inexpensive straps you can buy online. Some are specifically for car roof boxes. If you want to take the more low-tech path, you can get creative with your run of the mill heavy duty rope. You might even have something lying around your garage that you could repurpose to get the job done.